Merry Christmas!


Hubby's knee

Today we went to the outpatient's center and were told that Hubby is infection free!

 His blood tests were all normal and they removed the PICC catheter that was used for antibiotics. We are both so relieved and appreciate all your prayers.


Update on Kevin

 It has been a while since my last post on Kevin's knee replacement infection. 

He was back in the hospital  for minor surgery on the 15th of November to remove the weepy bit on his leg but when we had his GP's nurse take out the stitches, it didn't look great. 

The GP gave him some antibiotics but we knew that wasn't going to do any good, so we went back to the ER again. He ended up staying for 12 days and had a major surgery cleaning up/replacing small bits of his new knee (on the 22nd).

Three days later, he came home with a permanent port for antibiotics that the district nurse showed me how to change every day.

We went for blood tests and checkup Wednesday the 7th and it looks really good but are waiting for test results. If all goes well, we have one more week of the IV antibiotics then oral antibiotics and we should be done.

We are working on paperwork for compensation (it's called  surgical misadventure) and, hopefully some payback for mileage.

It seems we are getting to the end of this whole thing. Kevin can drive again (YAY!) which I know makes him feel more independent.

FYI: The surgeon said that about one in 100 knee replacements get an infection but they have no idea what causes it.



 A while back we got a car for me to use because it's too far to take Hubby to work to get the car for the day. It has several 'auto' settings but I don't really care for those settings, especially the one on the windshield (windscreen) wipers.

It's not often that we drive it out in the rain. That's a good thing, because the wipers did an OK job but and the sensors thought they were reading correctly when they chose the speed. Fast, slow, super fast, off, repeat!

 And, of course, every time we would look at each other and one of us would say, 'We need to get new blades.' Yep,

 'We need to get new blades.' Yep, 

'We need to get new blades.' Yep.

And finally, 'We should get new blades before we go on our trip.' 



But in the first hour or so I remembered that 'We need to get new blades.'

So, we pull into a Super Cheap, Hubby goes in and a worker comes out to take the blades off the arms to replace them inside.

Come to find out, the blades on the car were the original factory blades! 10 years! No wonder we needed new blades.

So, now we have new, quiet, great-working blades and the 'auto' setting actually works quite well! 

For several hours of our trip, it rained a bit and we looked at each other and giggled. Maybe the previous owner didn't go out in the rain.


hospital update

It wasn't crazy enough to have one hospital stay...we had another one on the next Wednesday after the hospital weekend

Hubby was admitted again and there were more antibiotics and the threat of opening up his leg again if it didn't stop completely the second day at the hospital.

As it turns out, it was decided that the weeping wasn't critical and was probably just the last stitch inside his leg that was the problem.

So, with more antibiotics to take at home, we are feeling quite relieve and are on schedule for our getaway later this week!


hospital weekend

 Last week, we noticed a couple of places on Hubby's knee-replacement leg that were weepy so I insisted he call the doctor, even though they didn't seem connected to the surgery. He finally got a response from his GP on Friday.

His GP wrote a prescription for antibiotics which was CC'd to his surgeon. A few minutes later around 5pm, the surgeon called and told us to get to the A&E (ER) right now so we don't get caught up in the weekend crowd and have to wait forever to be seen.

So, we got up and went (over an hour's drive) without dinner.

There weren't a lot of people there so Hubby was seen without much waiting. He was tested into the wee hours and kept overnight and I left him on a bed in the corridor after a while (at his insistence) thinking I would be back the next day to get him. I blindly followed the GPS to get home since it's amazing how dark our part of the world is, even in the city limits.

As I waited for him to be discharged, he texted the next day, Saturday, to say he needed another round of strong antibiotics so he would be kept another day and would I bring him some clothes and things.

So, for the second day in a row, I drove up there. Of course, I didn't mind because it was Hubby.  I was a bit apprehensive, since he usually does the driving when we are together but I got past that bit of fear and got to the hospital with his stuff. With the construction going on (and a huge lack of signage), I ended up following voices to ask for help (it was Saturday so not a lot of people around) and eventually found his room THAT  YOU ACTUALLY CAN'T GET TO WITHOUT KNOWING HOW TO GET THERE!!  *SIGH*

So, on Sunday, I waited for his text to let me know that he was released and, for the third day in a row, drove to the hospital to pick him up insisting that he meet me at the door, as I am sure I couldn't find his room again without help!

We got home and relaxed and poor Hubby was looking forward to a good night's sleep.

He did sleep pretty well, but I  didn't (as happens with Thyroid problems). So, it wasn't the best possible scenario when Hubby woke me about 8:00 to tell me we had to go back to the hospital because some paperwork for an ultrasound of his leg got misplaced and we had an appointment at 11:15!

And, away we went for the fourth day in a row. We had some other appointments and plans in town already, so we worked it all out, one thing at a time, and got them all done--including picking up chicken so we didn't have to cook.

We both were exhausted when we got home and, of course, took a nap.

I'm just so tired of riding in the car for now, so I hope I can stay home for the next few days.

We are both looking forward to a little get-away that Hubby has planned for next week. I think we both will feel better after being home together for six weeks.


The house with something special

We pass this house quite often and Hubby told me that it is a 'house within a house'. So, of course, I had to do some digging.

Fortunately (or not), there was a rather recent article in the local paper about it.

The future of a 170-year-old raupo (reed) whare (house) that has been sheltered inside a larger villa for 104 years has divided a South Taranaki whanau.

The wharepuni, or sleeping house, which has its celling and walls lined with reeds, is in the centre of the five-bedroom, two-story villa at Pihama that is set to be demolished by the family trust that administers the land it sits upon.

It was built as a place where whanau travelling from Whanganui and South Taranaki to attend monthly events at Parihaka could rest overnight, Ngāruahine kaumātua John Hooker said.

That whare is 150 – to 170 years old, it was built well before the homestead, the homestead was built about 103 years ago, it's just the shell around it.”

Nowadays, the room is used for whanau gatherings including weddings and tangi, and for meetings by the iwi kaumatua. At present there’s no natural light in the whare because the windows have been boarded up with plywood instead of being replaced.

The house around it is in desperate need of a new roof and other repairs, but has good bones, he said. The Te Hana Taua Trust decided to demolish the large five-bedroom, two-story villa after a property report in 2015 classed the building as a health and safety risk.

The dispute between the two groups from the same whanau has been underway for several years. The trust wants Elaine Warren, who has lived there all her life, to leave, so the building can be removed, but Warren, who has the role of kaitiaki of the house and the whare, is refusing to agree.

She is backed by kaumātua (tribal elder) from Ngāruahine iwi, who want the home repaired to ensure the wharepuni is preserved. They have had offers of help and funding from people who wanted to see the house restored, but no work can be done without the approval of the trustees, Hooker said.

We don't want it demolished, we want it mended, we want it protected for future generations.”

Warren, who is a Maōri warden, said the house was built by her grandfather, Pohe Tito, and she grew up there with her parents and 11 siblings. Tito is buried in the family urupa near the homestead. As kaitiaki, her role was to care for and protect the house and its special room.

The house is part of a larger farm which the trust administers on behalf of beneficiaries.

Hooker said the kaumātua (elders) are hoping the trustees will agree to setting up a separate, small reservation trust to look after just the house and whare and a small urupa (burial ground) beside it.

The ownership lists of all the current beneficiaries would remain the same, but the smaller trust could then attract its own funding to restore the property. This would absolve the trust of health and safety concerns and responsibilities, he said.

They have placed a rāhui (restriction) on the property to protect it, and a delegation of 15 turned up at a tenancy tribunal hearing in the Hāwera Court on Monday to voice their opposition to the demolition plan.

Warren did not attend, because she was unwell, adjudicator Rex Woodhouse said. Lawyer Susan Hughes QC, representing the Te Hana Taua Trust, asked Woodhouse for a possession order, so that arrangements could be made to have Warren evicted.

There is no doubt the trust is the legal owner of the land,” she said. She said a decision from the Māori Land Court in August 2020 and mediation between the parties had reached agreement that Warren would leave, but this had not happened.

Mrs Warren does not have proper legal authority to be in the building,” she said. Parts of the building that can be saved will be preserved,” she said. It has dealt with this matter as generously as it can, but needs to progress the matter and the demolition of the homestead.”

She said the trustees’ desire to see the building brought down was “not capricious”. They are feeling acutely the divisions within the whānau (extended family) that this brings.”

Woodhouse said he would provide a decision in writing “within the week”. Ngāruahine Iwi Authority chairman Hori Manuirirangi said the issue was not as clear-cut as it might seem.

Although the trust had a duty because of the health and safety issues, the elders also had a vested interest in the house because of the whare inside it, he said. This is an issue of tikanga Māori and tikanga Pakeha. As a marae trustee, under the law in the Māori land court we are viewed as owners, but we are not the owners, it is the people.”

There is a taonga (treasure) in that house built by the old people... we don't want to see that building trampled on.”


An update on life in the country

It has been less than two weeks since Hubby had his knee replacement surgery and he is doing very well, even walking without crutches in the house. I will be taking him to his first physical therapy session later today.

Before he went in, he made sure the freezer was full, the pantry was full, the fire wood was brought to the back porch so I won't have to go far for it. He even organized someone to come in and mow the lawn and do garden work while he is recovering. And, I certainly appreciate all that planning.

That old adage, 'You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone' surely rings true. He happily did all the driving. He voluntarily topped up the shopping on his way home from work. He picked up prescriptions and other needs on his lunch hour.

It seems a bit out of kilter with me doing those things, but we both look forward to getting back to our 'normal' routine as soon as he's cleared to drive.


tribunal results

Earlier, I mentioned that our last landlady didn't return our deposit/bond because she said we didn't clean the house to her liking. Sadly, she stuck to her guns and refused to return it, so we had no choice but to take her to Tenancy Tribunal to try to get it back. When that happened, we were both quite annoyed and Hubby decided that some things that we were going to let slide were going to be brought up.

We had a two hour session at the end of June and got another three hours last week.

Basically, we won almost all of our items and she didn't win any!

The bottom line is that we got our bond back plus we were paid $1050.00 in punitive fines from the landlady! 

I would have been happy with just our $400 bond/deposit back so this was a very nice surprise.



I saw this sign a while back when I was at the pharmacy in Stratford. As I pondered how one would decide if they liked the scent of these items without using the testers (which I thought were for testing!), an employee stopped by at the display, took a bottle off the shelf, put some lotion in her hand, returned the bottle to the shelf and kept walking as she rubbed it into her hands.

In my book, that's stealing but I guess that's an old-fashioned notion.


St Joseph's Catholic Church

 This historic church is in Jerusalem, NZ, 66 km up the Whanganui River Road.

It is the second church on the site after a fire in 1888. There has been a continuous presence of the Sisters of Compassion since 1883.

You can click here for more history of the church.


the impossible dreams

 Below is a portion of an article in today's paper. 

Road Safety advocates said the 'Road to Zero' programme isn't moving fast enough.

"We are seeing some progress in certain areas, like speed interventions, but we're not seeing the scale of what we'd like to see," Caroline Perry, Brake NZ director, told Newshub. 
The Government's Road to Zero campaign ultimately wants to see no deaths at all.
To get there, one of its targets is to have 1000km of median barriers added to our roads by 2030. If we're on track, in 2024, there should be 400km installed. 

I can appreciate their enthusiasm, but that seems a bit ambitious, like the goal of New Zealand being smoke free (less than 5% smokers) by 2025. 

Before I move to NZ (2006), I bought cigarettes for $3/pack. I got here to see gross photos on the packs that sold for $12 for a pack. Now they are about $40 for a pack and you won't even know they are being sold because they have to be kept out of sight.

So, I can see how reducing smoking can happen, but you can't make drivers drive better.


My, how times have changed

 As I was growing up, I always thought that my grandparents lived in the most amazing time. It had to be marvelous to watch the world go from horse and buggies to automobiles to space ships.

But, now I have to wonder about that conclusion. 

You see, we recently bought a new top loader washer and I was so very shocked to find that the washers don't have agitators any more! I mean it was merely 15 years ago that the one we bought had one. I felt comfortable with that purchase. It was  a fair exchange of like machines--with agitators and their droll swish back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

It seems that now there are 'better' ways to move clothes around to get them clean. The machine even senses the weight of the clothes and determines how much water is needed for that load--nothing for me to calculate and press corresponding buttons for the correct wash--just  turn it on and tell it what's being washed.

I am truly shocked at today's machines but, I guess I am showing my age. Or maybe it's just the fact that I am not out in the world shopping around very often and don't care to read much about what is going on out there. Whatever the reason, I am sure that both of my grandmas would be calling it all witchcraft.

I suppose the only thing I could wish for now is for an actual English-speaking person to writhe the  little manual that came with the machine.

"Possible to select the function for each program. (Example) For a simple washing as the little dirt program:" The need to work on that.


a covid tale

On Friday, the first of July, Hubby came home early because he had tested positive for covid, much to our surprise.  It was especially shocking since, for weeks and weeks, he talked about co-workers having it  and being out of work , but he never seemed to be exposed. In hindsight, it all became clear.

Hubby is a member of Toastmasters in the nearest town. But the farther we moved from 'town' the less frequently he attended meetings and saw his friends, so last Tuesday the 28th, he made a point to go to a special meeting for some fun and socializing. It seems that the meeting included balloons that the each member had to pop--but you couldn't pop it the same way anybody else did, so, Hubby tore his open with his teeth!! (That did not surprise me at all but I'm sure he got some shocked expressions!)

It seems that the one who blew up the balloons had no idea they had covid and, pretty much, gave it to all the other members in little balls of breath.

Fortunately, we both have pretty much gotten over it during the week that we are suppose to self-isolate.  But, I can only imagine how the balloon-blower-upper feels.



 Just a little update about the landlady situation:

We went to tenant tribunal yesterday and had judgments in our favor for her illegally coming into the house when we were still paying rent, the bond not being lodged, and for not cleaning the house!

The lack of cleaning part was funny when the adjudicator asked about her phone photos. The landlady told her that if she zoomed in on the photos, she can see spots. The adjudicator said, 'If I have to zoom in, it's not a problem.' And that was the end of that!

The bond situation carries a $1500 fine. 

We also may be awarded damages for the unlawful entry but it wasn't about money. We just wanted her to know that she can't do whatever she wants whenever she wants.

That was two hours worth and we have more things to discuss at a later date a she has brought up some silly things at the last minute to counter our claims.

Meanwhile, Hubby is scheduled for his knee replacement in a few weeks, so we're happy about that. I just have to keep him occupied for the first several days of his recovery!


Sorry it's been a while

There have been a few things happening in our lives that are ongoing and bothersome, but time will make it all ok.

The most annoying thing is that the last landlady didn't give us our deposit (bond) back. Here in New Zealand, each bond is suppose to be give to the Bond Tenancy Services to hold so you get a fair shake at getting it back. 

But, the last landlady is only used to dealing with farm helpers and doing things her way, so she didn't even register our bond--which is highly illegal. And she's been texting some really outrageous things to Hubby since we left. Long story short, we are taking her to Tenancy Tribunal (sort of small claims court) to get our money back.

Hubby has been having tests and seeing specialists about his knee to see about a replacement. Apparently, they only last about 10 years, so for the Universal Health Coverage to pay for it, he's too young (not yet 60--yes, I robbed the cradle!!). And with most elective surgeries backed up due to Covid, it will be a long waiting list for the operation. More tests tomorrow.

We also moved, hopefully for the last time. Since the last house was full of furniture, we needed to find some cabinets and tables and stuff.  Fortunately, Hubby has found some great pieces in our area online and things are coming together.

I pulled some muscles with an unexpected jog to my arms last week. They are finally down the the 'feeling sore' stage compared to the actual pain of stretching too far or laying down wrong. Soon, it will all be back to normal and I will be glad when it is :)

It has rained pretty constantly for the last week or so. *sigh*

Oh, yes, our new little house is great but there are TV screens on the market that are bigger than my actual kitchen floor! And, the kitchen sink is only about 8 inches deep. but it's all good. I can adapt. At least, we have a dish washer in the pantry.

And, that's what's been going on here....it's not perfect, but life it good.


Legend of the Dogwood

We are in the midst of moving house so my time is limited 
at the moment. Enjoy this bit of trivia.

Join us at My Corner of the World each Wednesday!


'Who's Afraid?'

I posted a photo of this sculpture on my other blog without 
But, I usually can't leave photos like that alone and did some research.

The sculpture is called 'Who's Afraid?' by local artist, Paul Dibble.

The "Who's Afraid" sculpture was unveiled outside the Regent Theatre in Broadway on 3 July 2011. It was the sixth work commissioned by the Palmerston North Public Sculpture Trust. It is by local artist, Paul Dibble.

The sculpture is in bronze of blue-green patina. The two contrasting pieces challenge each other, physically and metaphorically. The taller, the dancer, stands 3.5 metres. eying the 3 metre tall tuatara.

Paul Dibble said, "Because it's for the Regent Theatre, it's about drama, acting out emotions and feelings. I've called it Who's Afraid, but I'm not too sure if she's alarmed or trying to scare the tuatara. There is also a fair bit of joy in her and that's because theatre is about all those emotions."  



A pretty pest

For the first time since arriving in 2006, I captured a pukeko actually 
in my garden-after Hubby noticed him/her and quietly called me.

They are a lovely color, but are a pest to many gardens. 
Originally, from Australia, they have no natural predators so 
their numbers are quite high.

They are among those birds that can fly but prefer to walk or run if
possible, so we often see them running down the
road trying to 'get away' from the car!

They have been culled in the past because they threaten native animals.


Townies v Farmers

 When I was a kid, I would hear about people that 'run in different circles' than others.  It wasn't something I thought about much at any stage of my life. Growing up,  my mind didn't sort things to an 'us v them' situation.

Even after I moved to NZ, I never thought of it much. We lived in 'town' or close to 'town' and did our shopping and business there. We found rentals from the local agencies with little problem.

Then the housing market went crazy a couple of years ago. Houses and rentals got totally out of hand. In fact, the one house down the road from us now--just a section on a farm paddock--sold for almost a million dollars a while back. Yes, you read that right, almost a million dollars. 

When we house-sat about two years ago or so, it was mostly because rental prices had jumped practically overnight to $300 a WEEK for a run-down, moldy house, more than most of us renters could really afford (we had previously been paying $170 a week for a definitely not perfect house). But they all rented because people needed a place to live and there were few to choose from.

Through word of mouth from a work acquaintance of a friend of a friend, we found the house we are now in, a lovely established home and garden of most of an acre. It's hard to believe it's been almost two years. But now we must leave as it's needed for new farm workers.

And that's when we realized we had fallen onto the 'farmers' side of the fence. Instead of looking at the rental agencies in town, we posted on FB notice boards (mostly rural) and got some astounding responses that would never have been listed at the agencies. Farmers here know each other well and we just have to mention the name of the farm for other famers to know exactly who/where we are.  It's early days yet in looking, and even the present house owners are looking out for a place for us to rent.

We found one house by word-of-mouth and hopefully, we will find a very long-term house the same way.