Friday 29 April 2022

A Walk By The Lake


I went for a morning stroll beside Hamilton Lake this morning (officially named Lake Rotoroa, but we always call it Hamilton Lake).

It was meant to be sunny – in fact, the weather forecast said it actually was sunny at the time – but a high cloud cover hid the sun and made the day rather dull.  Sometimes the forecasters don’t get it right!

Being school holidays, there were a lot of families and people out walking and using the playgrounds.  

Most of the bird life had taken to the water to avoid all the activity, and I thought these Canada Geese looked attractive as they cruised around.

Quite a few Australian Coots live in this area and obviously get very used to people.  Several of them came to within a couple of metres of me without any trepidation whatsoever. 

I especially love the feet of these birds as they are so different to any other bird we have here.

I like the way the City Council has decorated these public conveniences with Maori motifs. 

Public facilities are much needed but are often very utilitarian, so making them more attractive is a “well-done” in my book.

May your day be a happy one 😊


Wednesday 27 April 2022

A Super Long Weekend


Home again, after a wonderful relaxing long weekend at Whangamata.  It is so good to go away sometimes, even if it is only for a few days – and always good to come home again!

The weather was wonderful the whole time we were away, and we pottered around, laughed lots, and generally did very little.

It was lovely walking along the beach.  Around at the Estuary we sat and watched Variable Oystercatchers with their black plumage and bright orange beaks.

There were a lot of New Zealand Dotterels there as well, often difficult to see as they blended in so well with the sand.

We wandered around town, doing lots of browsing but not buying very much. 

Town was busy, and I was surprised to see how many people had dogs with them (thankfully all on leads, or they could have created chaos in the crowd).

Back at the house, we watched movies, sat out on the deck and talked, and worked on a jigsaw puzzle.

Breakfast was eaten at home, but our other meals were eaten out.  My favourite spot was the Smash Pipi, a Monteith’s Brewery bar and restaurant.

We visited here on Saturday night and the staff, the drinks, and the food, were all exceptional.  My Seafood Chowder was full of real fish, shrimps, king prawns and mussels.  Yum!

Mittens was thrilled to see me home again (as was Son!) – she then jumped into my suitcase as I was unpacking, as if to say “Next time you can take me as well.”

There really is no place quite like home 😊



Thursday 21 April 2022

Disappearing For A Few Days


Thought I’d better pop on here to say I am going to be away for a few days.  It is time for another Girls Only time away!

Myself and two girlfriends are leaving early tomorrow to spend some time at the beach, and I am really looking forward to it.

It will be a screenless few days as there is no internet access at the place we are staying, so I am not even attempting to take my laptop with me.

Mittens says she will miss me while I am away

I was speaking with my daughter this morning, and there is a large wild fire burning out of control near the city of Flagstaff AZ, where she lives.  Their home is not in any danger, but I feel for the people who are having to be evacuated with the prospect of possibly never seeing their homes again.

It is a traumatic time for anyone who faces this situation, and I find this fire particularly sad as I know the area involved quite well. 

I hope the fire will soon be brought under control and that everyone will be kept safe.

See you all again next week sometime,

Margaret 😊


Sunday 17 April 2022

My Home Gym


I confess that I am not an Ideal Housewife and I certainly don’t subscribe to the idea of minimalism.  I like to have things around me that make me feel like I belong to this place, somewhere I can call Home.

I have always done my best to keep my home reasonably clean and tidy, but recently I’ve begun doing more Deep Cleaning around our home and am loving the results.

(Deep Cleaning: doing things that are often ignored as they don’t usually need doing on a regular basis – things like turning out cupboards, scrubbing down walls, cleaning lightshades)

I have mapped out a schedule to keep me on track.  It is not an arduous one as it takes 36 weeks to complete, but is designed to give me, with my limited mobility, some exercise.

Autumn colour in the field behind our home

The word “exercise” fills me with mild horror at the thought of following a structured regime with added pressure to achieve certain targets.  That may be good for some, but not what I call enjoyable.  I don’t want to run a marathon or play sports or look like a super-model.  I just want to be able to keep moving as I grow older, to keep doing things I love, and to feel good doing them.

Hence the creation of my Home Gym – deep cleaning the house!  I can stretch, bend over, reach out, walk around more – I find I can even break into a mild sweat scrubbing cupboard doors LOL.

I take my time doing these chores (I’ve been at it a few weeks now), and deliberately make an effort to find enjoyment while doing them.  The bonus is a house that is beginning to ‘sparkle.’

From experience, I know if I stop moving my arthritis will seize me up completely.  I’m told that any movement is better than none, but I am starting to also find that as I do things I am able to do more things.

Always find enjoyment in everything you do 😊



Thursday 14 April 2022

A New Bed For Mittens


It seems to have been a rather busy week, but lots of things have got done.  The garden is all cleaned up and ready for winter, and the house has been getting some cleaning as well.

Son has sorted out his firewood pile and brought wood inside ready for our first fire (he takes care of the fire during winter).

I went shopping one morning and actually managed to find some slippers – a pretty pink, they fit me perfectly, and only cost $12.  Brilliant!

I also purchased a little bed for Mittens and tucked it underneath the desk in my room.  It took her about 15 minutes to find it and curl up to see what it was like.

It must have received a Tick of Approval, because she has been sleeping a lot in it the last few days.

Millie sleeps on Son’s bed on a special blanket, so it was nice to give Mittens something of her own (the two cats are siblings but seldom share anything).

New Zealand has moved to an Orange Alert (down from a Red) at midnight last night.  Apart from wearing masks at some venues and on public transport, it almost means “life as it used to be.”

We still have folk in hospital but officials are saying the peak has passed and our restrictions and borders can now be relaxed more.

Our family has been fortunate in not having caught the virus, except for my 18 year old step-grandson.  He spent the required isolation period at home and then returned to work, commenting it was a strange way to spend his birthday – feeling fine but stuck at home.

It is a lovely sunny autumn day today.  Ex-Cyclone Fili has been battering parts of the North Island but we have escaped with nothing worse than having a bit of wind and some cloud yesterday. 

I do feel for those in the Hawkes Bay who are still recovering from a storm three weeks ago.  More heavy rain is not something they really need right now.

Take care and be happy 😊



Sunday 10 April 2022

Visiting My Cousin


My Cousin G was recently in hospital with a life-threatening issue, but is now home again.  She is frail and needs assistance when walking, but is doing alright.

I had made arrangements to visit her and her husband this afternoon, planning to travel there in the company of her sister, my Cousin M.

Then, around lunch time, I got a call from Cousin M to say that she herself had just been admitted to hospital with possible pneumonia.

I guess my family is getting to be of an age when things like this will happen more and more frequently, but I hope this will be the last one for a while.

A family gathering in the 1960s

I went ahead with my visit and had some happy time with Cousin G and her husband.  Cousin A and his wife also arrived, so I was able to catch up with them after not seeing them for quite some time.

I was also able to catch up with a second cousin and his wife who have returned to New Zealand from Argentina, where they have been teaching.

I cherish these moments with extended family.  Families are a treasure that should never be taken for granted – life is too short to do that.

Take time to make someone in your family circle feel special today 😊



Friday 8 April 2022

Cornwall Park, Hastings


Firstly, thankyou so much to all the dear readers who wished me a happy birthday on my last post.  Your comments helped to make my day very special.

I was sorting through some of my photos and saw that it was thirteen years ago today that husband and I visited Cornwall Park in Hastings (Hawkes Bay).

It was refreshing to be able to stroll along the green grass
beneath these beautiful mature trees

A splashing fountain and some contented wild fowl

Inside the Garden House

Wandering through the New Zealand Garden

Enjoying the solitude of the Chinese Garden

These stone seats looked so quaint in this setting

Cornwall Park is quite extensive, and we could have stayed
much longer here if time had allowed

Apart from having my car serviced yesterday, life has been very quiet.  Sometimes it is nice to just reflect back on happy memories.

Margaret 😊


Tuesday 5 April 2022

A Happy Birthday


Today was another birthday for me.  The years seem to be going by so fast these days …

I’ve had an awesome day and The Family took me out to lunch at The Helm Bar & Kitchen.  I had seafood chowder with toasted ciabatta and it was delicious.

Eldest son got me to pose for a photo (shudder!) but says I am a Big Girl now and need to get over my hatred of having my photo taken!

Yesterday was a very productive day.  I spent three solid hours cleaning the inside of my car, and you should see it now – it positively sparkles!

Son and I have also started giving the garden its winter-preparation cleanup.  Lots of weed piles (his job) and new flowers in the hanging baskets (my job).

Stay happy and keep smiling 😊



Sunday 3 April 2022

Changing Our Clocks


At 2am this morning our clocks all went back an hour as Daylight Saving came to an end.  It always takes me a few days to adjust, and really throws the pet’s feeding schedules out of plumb.

For myself, I find the best and easiest way to adjust is to become a clock-watcher for a couple of days.  If the clock reads 12 noon I know it is time to prepare lunch, that sort of thing.  By the end of the week my body will have readjusted itself and I can return to running on instinct.

We had thick fog again this morning, along with 100% humidity and a temperature of 14 degrees Celsius.  The sun is breaking through now (mid-morning) so the fog is retreating as the day warms up.

The moist warmth hasn’t prevented me from changing and washing my sheets.  They will dry today or tomorrow, and are quite safe if they have to stay on the clothes line overnight.

I knew a woman once who used to race around washing her sheets every time it was going to rain, as she loved the smell of it on her bedding.  I prefer the smell of sunshine on mine.

Happy Weekend everyone 😊



Friday 1 April 2022

Cold Feet


Us Kiwis love to wander around barefoot, especially during the summer, and I seldom wear shoes at home when the weather is hot.

However, with mornings growing cooler my tootsies are feeling the cold so I decided to buy myself some slippers for winter.   My previous ones lasted about three seasons, but were beginning to fall apart at the end of last winter and found their way into the trash.

I made my way over to Kmart department store and found plenty of slippers – big Ugg boots (too hot for me) and comfy scuffs (no foot support, which I need), but no shoe-style slippers.  However, I did find some shoes that could act as house shoes and double as slippers, and also some casual slip-ons that will be great next summer.

The shoes were all on special and, altogether, my three pairs came to $19.50.  Even if they only last one season (and I can usually get more than that out of them) they are a big bonus for my budget!

Stir-fry vegetables for dinner tonight, with some mincemeat and mushrooms for flavour.  

My turn to cook 😊

Bye for now,



The Header photo for this month is one of Tree Ferns in the Otanewainuku Forest near Tauranga.