Thursday 27 April 2023

Grumpy Face


Mittens and I have both had our Grumpy Faces on at different times this last week.

Mine was the result of not feeling up to doing anything much as I came down with a bout of bronchitis.  I used to get it fairly regularly, but haven’t had it for the last few years and the bug decided to make up for that lapse in its attendance!

On the mend now, but both sons have come down with covid and I am really hoping I can dodge that one.

Mittens displayed her Grumpy Face one night when it was raining.  She does NOT like the rain!  She sits up on her cat-scratch perch and glares at the world (and us!) like we are all to blame for it.

We had our first white ground frost this last week, and a couple of sessions of strong wind has seen a lot of leaves fall from the trees.

Today it is fairly calm and the sun is streaming in the windows.  I had them all open earlier but have closed them now so the house can warm up.

Fresh air and sunshine are the best things out for lifting spirits (and banishing Grumpy Faces!).


Margaret 😊


Tuesday 18 April 2023

Think About It


Call me old if you will, but I remember when our supermarkets phased out paper bags and introduced us to plastic ones.  The reason was because all the paper bags being used was an unsustainable and pointless use of a valuable resource, namely trees.

Fast forward to today.  With concern for our environment, our government has enacted laws that phased out our using plastic carry bags for our groceries.  We all duly bought our own bags to use (mine are made of hard-wearing canvas).

That is fine, but it hasn’t decreased my use of plastic bags.  Now, instead of recycling the plastic bag as a rubbish bag I purchase plastic bags to use as rubbish bags. 

Produce bags were next in the firing line, but most supermarkets still give you plastic bags to put your fruit and vegetables into.  Our local supermarket has just returned to the paper bag system – a beautiful thick brown paper bag to place one broccoli into.  It seems such a waste.

Of course, I could avoid using the paper bags and buy the produce already packaged up – in plastic bags!

Can you imagine a world without trees?

Plastic is not good for our environment.  There is no argument with that.  But sustainability is also important.  Humans have a sad history of raping their world, using a natural resource until it is no longer viable.  We are still doing this, from mining minerals to catching fish to impoverishing our soils.

I think it is incredibly sad when one sees how creatures of this world can suffer because of human greed and pollution, but realistically I can also realise that if we continue to use trees to provide throw-away paper products than our whole earth is going to suffer (remember that trees are one of the major producers of oxygen on the planet).

Is there an answer to this dilemma?  I really don’t know.

We could all return to growing our own fruit and vegetables, using a basket when we go shopping, only buying things in glass that can be recycled and reused.  But that isn’t feasible in our society today, as it is not just groceries that use plastic. 

We are too consumer driven and our markets are too global.  Plastic is everywhere.  Our whole civilisation depends upon it.

Our Earth is strong, but it is also very fragile

On a personal level, I think it is good that we each do as much as we can to protect our personal environment, but our efforts are infinitesimal in the big scheme of things.

Nothing is really going to change until the big corporations and the world’s governments unite together to change the whole lifestyle of the people they rule over.

Can you see that happening in the near future, or ever? 

It makes you think, doesn’t it?

Margaret 😊


Thursday 13 April 2023

A Little Bit Of What You Like


There is a shop in Hamilton that sells quality home-made chocolate fudge.  I met up with some family members there this morning, and before we went to morning tea together I bought myself half a dozen pieces.

With so much “healthy” advice floating around these days, and the current fashion for making sugar a major culprit in ill health, I had to think twice before I bought the fudge.

I mentioned to the sales lady that it was my Little Guilty Treat, and she said there was nothing wrong with enjoying something you loved.  Her husband had recently suffered a heart attack which had brought them to the realisation of how short life actually is. 

She told me that when it comes down to it, whether you enjoy an occasional little treat or not will make absolutely no difference to the final outcome of your life.

It put me in mind of my own grandfather.  He loved cake and enjoyed a slice most days.  One of his favourite sayings was “a little bit of what you like never did you any harm.”  

He must have known something because he lived a reasonably healthy life until he passed away at the age of 90 years.

I think the secret is to stick to the “little” – to be moderate in our indulgence and not overdo things.  I intend to limit my fudge to one piece a day and thoroughly enjoy it each time.

We should never feel guilty when taking pleasure in something we enjoy.  Don’t you agree?

Margaret 😊


Wednesday 12 April 2023

Morally Wrong?


It seems to be a common theme of conversation these days about how our societal standards are slipping.

Terms such as decency and integrity are disappearing along with keeping your promise.

A good friend of the family organises events for a group he belongs to.  He found a suitable venue for one event and booked it just over one year in advance, as well as paying a substantial deposit to secure it.

Now he has been told, through an email full of apologies and excuses, that he cannot have the venue – basically because a larger organisation has come along and wants to book the place for a longer period of time.

“Your deposit will be refunded in full” and “We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause” doesn’t really help the situation.

On the home front, son has been building more built-in bookcases (he is a bibliophile!) and is currently staining the wood.  It smells awful while he is doing it, but thankfully that soon disappears when you open up a couple of windows.

Our weather is still unsettled, with the odd rumble of thunder about.  Currently, it is overcast and rather dreary.  Both cats have the right idea - they are curled up and sleeping!

Always do the right thing 😊



Monday 10 April 2023

Thunder Clouds


The seasons are changing and it seems more people are succumbing to coughs and colds as we head into winter.  Covid is quietly on the rise again and the hospital is having to open more dedicated wards to cope with the extra patients.

I’ve been sniffling this weekend myself (thankfully not covid, just a cold) so have been taking it quietly and resting lots, drinking heaps of water, and taking vitamin C.  I’ve learnt over the years that my body responds best to that sort of treatment (garlic used to work for hubby, it does nothing for me).

Part of the problem is the swinging temperatures we are experiencing – with nights from cold enough for a fire to warm enough to throw the blankets off the bed.

This week the warm moist temperatures are putting us under a thunder watch.  We had a loud storm pass through at dawn, and all day there have been the odd rumbles. 

This evening I could see this cloud bank building up and couldn’t resist taking a photo.

I’m also happy to report that the slug bait seems to have worked.  I’ve not found any dead slugs or snails, but the violas are now flowering happily and make a pretty sight on the deck.

That’s all for now, folks 😊


Thursday 6 April 2023

Six For Dinner


Yesterday was a gorgeous day, with blue skies and a few fluffy clouds.  Today we have overcast grey, verging on fog.

I’m glad the nice day was yesterday, as it was my birthday (they seem to come around too fast!).

Son organised a lovely roast dinner for me, and invited my brother and wife, my youngest son, and my granddaughter.  I enjoyed myself so much that I forgot to take any photos!

These are some of the clean dishes this morning, waiting to be put back into their respective cupboards.

Tomorrow we head into the Easter weekend, traditionally the last weekend to go to the beach and enjoy the end of summer.

I hope you all have a great weekend.  Stay safe 😊



Monday 3 April 2023

Tummy Clock Woes


I am one of those persons who have an inbuilt Tummy Clock to tell me it is time to eat!  My mother suffered from the same ailment and my father used to say he could set his watch by her need to eat at a particular time.

Daylight Saving ended early Sunday morning and our clocks all went back an hour.  It means I can now get up in the dawn instead of the dark, but it takes a bit of discipline to get my tummy clock back in sync with the clock time again.

It only takes a couple of days to re-set, watching the clock and not eating “early” because it feels like the right time to eat.  The cats have the same problem, although it is probably worse for them – how do you explain to an animal (or a young child, for that matter) that their meals are suddenly now at a different time?

Millie says its no substitute for a nice dish of jellimeat

Once again, the weekend involved a lot of watching rugby on TV.  Our local Chiefs team are currently leading the table for the Super Rugby Pacifica competition – it would be fantastic if they can keep it up, but there is some stiff competition out there and one can never take things for granted.

Hope your weekend was a great one 😊



Saturday 1 April 2023

Slimy Selective Slugs


Here it is, the first of April already.  The year seems to be going by very quickly.

My little flower seedlings are beginning to flower, but some of them are minus their petals.  The viola plants look fine, and the sepals are present, but the petals themselves are missing.

I thought it might have been bird damage to begin with, but I think we actually have some slugs with very selective taste buds.  I saw some silvery trails on some leaves, so have put down some bait to see if we catch anything.

This yellow viola was a rogue seedling that self-seeded itself from last spring’s blooms.  The slugs don’t seem to be attracted by it, or maybe the climb up the concrete to reach it is too strenuous for a slimy slug.

I’ve been to a very large funeral this last week.  I always find it amazing that you know somebody for a good part of your life, but you never know all that they are involved in.  Funerals are great places to discover new things about a person!

My little Suzuki Swift car has had its annual service and only needed the usual top-ups and filter replacements.  It is always nice to be told that nothing was found that needed repairing or replacing.

The weather is a little dull today, but more sunshine (and colder nights) are expected this coming week.

Margaret 😊



For my header photo this month, I am staying closer to home.  Hamilton Lake is also known as Lake Rotoroa and covers about 54 ha (around 130 acres).  It is a naturally formed lake with a shallow average depth of around 2½ metres, although it can reach 6 metres in places.  Being in the middle of the city, it is a popular destination for walkers and those who love to sail (big yachts and models).  In my younger days, it was also a popular place to go swimming but sadly the water quality now prevents that.  The resident bird population doesn’t mind that, however, and several species will nest here.

In the background of my photo can be seen Mount Pirongia.  Once the largest basaltic volcano in the North Island, it is now (thankfully!) classed as being extinct.