Saturday 24 February 2024

Going Into Recess


Have you ever felt that sometimes your life has turned a corner?  Or, as my uncle used to say, started a new chapter in the book of your life?

After recovering from my surgeries last year, I am finding that my whole lifestyle seems to be changing.  I have different priorities and my life is taking on a slower pace.  In a few short weeks I am going to turn 70 years old, which makes me feel like I’m becoming a Senior!

I found this cute little kitty in a thrift shop recently

I find I am struggling to get back into blogging.  The joy has gone out of it for me (at least, for the present), so I am going to put my blog into recess for a while and take a break.

I want to say thankyou to all the lovely friends I have met through blogging.  It is a great way to make the world feel like a smaller place.

No doubt I will occasionally pop in to see different blogs, but a decision of if or when I return to writing a blog myself will be left to the future.  I may just make a few postings at odd times, when I am feeling up to it.

One never knows what the future is going to bring!

All my love,

Margaret 😊


Wednesday 7 February 2024

Cicadas and Crickets


We are now one week into the “last month of summer” and it is becoming obvious.  All day we have cicadas singing in the trees and all night we have crickets singing in the lawn.

The place is becoming quite noisy!

This cicada, no doubt in search of a willing mate, spent some time chirruping from the perch of our deck umbrella.  I have no idea whether the serenades were successful or not.

There are no safety catches on my bedroom windows, so I dislike having them open during the night.  However, last night the room was quite stuffy so I opened them up for 15 minutes to let some of the cooler air in.

The noise from the crickets was deafening!

Now that the new Expressway is open we seldom hear traffic at night any more, so this change from relative silence was quite a surprise.

Cicadas and crickets are not the only busy ones at this time.  I found this paper wasp nest on the fence – thankfully, it doesn’t have to be me trying to get rid of it!  I will leave that job to the expert (aka, my son).

I know the length of the days is changing as I am once again getting up before the sun rises. 

Summer does not seem to have lasted very long, although I remember from past years that February can often have extremely hot days.

Stay safe and be happy, whatever you do today 😊



Saturday 3 February 2024

Dipping Sheep


Until 1993, it was a legal requirement in this country for all farmers to dip their sheep, as a means of controlling/eradicating external parasites.

The sheep would be forced to jump into the swim-pit, where they were to be “dunked” at least twice so that they were completely wet through to the skin.  I can remember my uncle doing this, and how much the sheep hated it.

It may have worked to eradicate parasites, but, unfortunately, knowledge about toxic chemicals and their effect on humans, animals, and the environment, was woefully lacking.

Many of the early dip chemicals had arsenic as a main component, and there are thousands of contaminated dip sites still existing around New Zealand.  Unbelievably, some of them are now being declared Heritage Sites, as evidence of early farming practices.

My grandfather died at the age of 36 years, and I now wonder if these chemicals played any part in his untimely death.  This is a photo of him in the early 1920s, dipping his sheep.

Generally, farm chemicals are more regulated now and there is much more awareness around safety issues.

Dipping sheep has become a thing of the past for most farmers, although there are some who prefer it as a superior method of controlling fly-strike.

Personally, I do not like the use of chemicals but I would much prefer to see them used responsibly, and thus avert much pain and suffering that an animal might otherwise endure, than to not use them at all.

It is a bit of a balancing act, really.

Margaret 😊


Thursday 1 February 2024

Chocolate Mint


I no longer have a herb garden as such.  Those days are past me now.  What I do have, though, are a few herbs dotted around the garden. 

Most of them are in pots as a lot of herbs seem to like sharing their space with other plants, or swamping them altogether!

I did a wander around the other day to see how many I actually have available, and was surprised to find there are 14 of them: borage, calendula, chives, comfrey, garlic chives, lavender, mint (garden), nasturtium, parsley, rosemary, sage, salad burnet, thyme and a little patch of violets (yes, violets are classed as herbs too).

I went to the garden centre the other day and saw this Chocolate Mint for sale.  The smell was enough to make my mouth water, and I thought what a delicious tea could be made with its leaves.

I have since found a tea recipe online, but will need to wait for this little baby to grow a bit bigger before I start raiding it for leaves.  I hope it grows fast!

Have you ever tried using this herb for anything?


Margaret 😊



Between Tauranga and Whakatane, in the beautiful Bay of Plenty, there is a small coastal camping ground area known as Pikowai Reserve.  Back in 2008, we stopped there for a while and I took this photo down on the beach beside the Pacific Ocean.