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2015 Reading Challenge update


oh dear oh dear!

another month has passed by!.

well, here is my next instalment for the 2015 reading challenge. these 2 books bring the total read this year to 13!. I knew trying to read 30 would be a challenge in itself!. still all my reading so far this year has been based on the challenge list, and I’ve enjoyed looking for books that fit the prompts!.

first up is Husbands, by Adele Parks –


I’ve always enjoyed her books, and I’ve had this one for ages, bringing it back from the UK with me!.it tells the story through the eyes of the 4 main characters which I really enjoyed – I like hearing the other persons take on something. It was a nice easy read and I was chomping at the bit to find out how it ended!. I give this a thumbs up!.

Husbands ticks off the one word title category!.

Next is the book for an author with the same initials as you –


I found it fun looking for this!. I headed to the library, went to the P’s and then just read spine after to spine to find an R P. I actually worked backwards along the shelf!. This was the first book I came to and on reading the back cover felt I would enjoy this so got it out. I didn’t bother looking for a back up! I was right, I really liked this story and was dying to see how it ended for all the main characters. I’d not heard of this author before, although the book was published in 2003 I think. If I was at a loss for something to read ( will never happen, given the number of unread books I currently own!), I would certainly look at other books by the same author.

I’ve got the next book lined up, then will need to fill a gap while I wait for the 4th book in the Deborah Challinor series to come out, which should be early Nov I hope.

I have now unpacked all the books I own! Found a few I’d forgotten about and smiled at a few favourites. I recently brought a new book by an author I’d read before called Sara Donati. In this new book it had a list of a series she’d written, of which I’d read the first 2. I turns out there are 6 in that series, so I intend, over time to get the other 4 as I loved the first 2.

ok, so that’s me for now!.

the garden is coming to life, so I should !!!!! be able to have a few more interesting post up sooner, rather than later. I’ve also started a ‘fauxbonichi’, but I havent decided how much I’ll share of that yet!.


the new vegetable patch


Its time to start recording the progress of the vegetable garden at our new house. The house is a new build so the garden is a blank canvas.

We decided this would be the area that the beds would be placed.

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Its the eastern side of the property, so doesn’t get full sun til mid – late morning, then keeps it until around 4pm ish, in the winter. Obviously in the summer the sun will be higher in the sky and the area will have sun for longer.

Originally, we were going to extend right back to the fence line, but in the end, due to location of waste pipes, the clothes line had to be put in the back.


I then begun the fun part of digging up the ground!. I dug a rectangular bed for the main vegetable bed and a bed along the fence line that will primarily be a fruit bed. However this year it will have some vege as I get to grips with a sensible plan!.




Initially we werent going to raise the beds, but decided to as it will keep things tidier. I still have to break down the earth and remove the turf from the raised bed, but have completed the task for the berry bed behind.

the berry bed currently has broad beans, lettuce, strawberries, raspberries and a pear tree which i’m going to espalier on the fence.






This view shows where the compost bin is – there is a second one now beside it. you can make out the grey pole of the clothes line behind the green bag. that green bag had vege in it that we moved from the old house. the soil is going into the raised bed once i’ve broken down the turf clods more.

The area in front of this raised bed will most likely become another raised bed next year. we decided just to work on one this year. i want 2 however as i want us to be able to feed ourselves from the garden, therefore we have to grow enough to sustain that!.

I havent worked out what to grow this year yet. I have some seed potatoes, but other than broad beans and lettuce, i havent decided how wild to go yet. part of me wants to go gentle and really work on the soil this year, and the other half wants to get everything in the ground!. I’ll definitely have some beans and corn, but other than that, i’m not sure.

We’re just about to enter spring here in NZ, so soon it will be time to start sowing seed!.

Exciting times ahead for sure!.

2015 Book Challenge update



I just seem to think at the moment I have nothing interesting to say, so havent been posting. despite those thoughts, I have been making  vegetable patch and taking photos, so I will record that in a post soon!.

Anyway, I have read 2 books in the past few weeks!. I’m well behind where I should be if I want to have a hope in hell of reading the 30 book topics I picked from the challenge list. I should be well over 15 by now, but am on only 11!. I always knew 30 books would be a challenge!.

so, here are my 2 offerings for the challenge –


yep! I read Grey!. more on that in a mo!.

Firstly, for the trilogy category I read Bellaroo Creek. I picked this up in Australia and liked the sound of it as it was 3 stories about an outback town called Bellaroo Creek. Sadly it didnt live up to my hype!. What I failed to notice on the back was it was a Mills and Boon trilogy!. Mills and Boon!!. all heaving bosoms and no action!.

My next problem with the books were that there was very little connection between the 3 books and that disappointed me. I think 1 book mentioned the character from another and that was it. I would have liked more connection and cross over about the characters. The stories themselves were ok and I enjoyed reading them, but the book then went straight onto the donate pile!. I didnt love it enough for it to take up valuable real estate on my bookshelves.

Then I read Grey!. I used this for the colour in the title category!!!.

Well, what can I say about this!?!. It was ok!. just ok!. I was intrigued to read the story from his side of the coin, but I just felt it was a woman writing what she thought was a mans point of view. I felt that a dominant male wouldnt think some of the stuff she had him thinking so it kinda lost its edge for me. it was a nothing book really and I’m certainly pleased it wasnt being sold at full price!.

so there we have it. 2 more books read!. not alot else accomplished other than working behind the scenes on my business idea.

I hope to be back sooner rather than later with a vege garden post.



oh my goodness, i’ve been gone how long?!.

I’m terribly sorry for being MIA since getting back from OZ. i’ve been sorting out my mother – lots of health incidents while i was away that i wasnt told about til i got back!.

i havent read any books since getting back, and think i will cease holding the reading challenge linky party. apart from me and Carole ( you star! ), and an occassional other participant, it hasn’t taken off. with me otherwise engaged, i’m not reading so dont have anything to share. i’m well behind the total i should be at by now!. i’ll keep working on reading books in line with the challenge and share those posts when i’ve got a few books to share.

i’ve been working behind the scenes on a business plan which i think i’m not far from going public about. i’m very excited about it. but it will mean less time for other things initially. it involves me having to record myself talking – super big eeks!.

the other thing i’ve been working on is establishing the vegetable plots. i’m currently trying to get the turf off the turned over ground and breaking up the soil. given that it was -4 this morning, i havent done anything today outside!. i brought a pear tree however!!.

i hope to be a bit more regular with posting and have some show and tell pics. i brought some scrapbook stash yesterday!. and i’ve discovered just how great youtube can be. i’ve never really got into it before!. now i watch that more than tv!.

anyway, thats me touching base and hopefully i’ll be back soon with something of interest!.

keep well folks!.

the aussie haul and the post aussie haul!


so here we go with show and tell!!……

My first purchase was the Enchanted Forest and a set of watercolour paints that stack up for easy transportation. I also picked up 2 aqua brushes, and worked on one page while I was there. I picked up Secret Garden at the end of my trip.





I added to my funky measuring cup collection –

they are just so cute!.

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I decided I wanted to look into getting a box set of the Australian tv drama Offspring. I’m about the only person in the southern hemisphere who hasn’t watched a single episode, but I’m lead to believe its very good and the few times I’ve watched 10mins, it’s also quite humourous. I was lucky enough to find the last box set in the shop, a left over from the Christmas selling and at a great price – not what was on the front!. I wouldnt have been able to get the individual series for that price.


of course, I cant go anywhere without coming home with books – I tried really hard to restrain myself!. you’ve seen one, but here’s the other 2 I brought –


all Australian authors and of the romantic variety about life in small towns or in the outback!.

I went to Spotlight, a hobbycraft type shop and ended up with some Project Life goodies. its the first time I’ve had any true PL merchandise!.



I love the colours of Hi sunshine on the left, and the one on the right is designed by Cathy Z, I’m a huge fan of her clean scrapbooking lines.




My sister took me to a Japanese shop where everything is less that $3.00!. I’m managed to not come home emptied handed!!

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lots of stickers and post it notes for planners, some very cute!.

My sister also got me back into using fountain pens, giving me one before she left on her travels. then she brought me back a new limited edition Lamy with some ink!.


the green one is the Lamy, the black one is the one she got me before she went away, and the 3 in the middle are disposable ones she picked up at Paperchase! the stapler on the right turns 90%, and the flowery thing is a hole punch.

I kept seeing this shelf unit and lusting after it, and finally decided to get it and just carry it in hand luggage!. I’ve always wanted a house shaped shelf unit. its my intention to paint it white and line the back walls with scrapbook paper. please ignore the items on the shelf – I didnt even notice til I was processing the photo!. the union jack is a hamma bead creation I made while there.



Since getting back I’ve not brought much, but I did spy 2 things I really wanted –



I’ve made 2 things from this so far – the slow cooker pasta sauce is currently cooking away, and a caramel sultana cake is out of the oven and tastes pretty good!.

Below is my reading material for the next little while!. I love love love it!. its written by NZ’ers for NZ’ers so has all the information that we need to know, that foreign publications dont. I cant wait to dive in!.






well, that’s if for this edition of show and tell!.

the vegetable garden has been started so I’ll do a post about that shortly.

the Gold Coast, Mar – May 2015


ok, here we go!.

I spent 2 months in OZ caring for my niece while my sister and brother in law travelled around Europe. Because I was with her all the time, I didn’t do a lot of touristy things.

Near where I was staying Hollywood had set up camp to film the 5th installment of Pirates of the Caribbean. When they werent filming you could drive along the road and see the two ship sets they had set up. For most of my time there Johnny Depp wasn’t in OZ, only arriving the week I left. (I’ve never seen any of the films!)

The top 2 photos are of the same ship and the bottom one was of the other ship!

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The area was quite hilly where I was and often, especially first thing in the morning when it was cooler, you could see all the lights lit up while they filmed scenes, but you couldn’t get close enough to see any more.

I took my niece to mini golf one morning and had a blast, apart from the heat of the day!. I was hopeless, and she was only marginally better – we both need more practice!.

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It as set up really coolly – 3 different areas of 18 holes each with varying levels of skill. Its definitely something I’d do again!.

We also went to Movie World. Because of her we concentrated on the child friendly rides and amusements, and the parade.

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That fellow in black kept trying to muscle in on my photos!.

I observed a foreign male taking photos of blond haired young girls while I was watching my niece on a ride. This male comes from a culture that doesn’t have blond hair. I found this very uncomfortable and had to check with my Bro in law, did I see what I thought I just saw. He agreed with me. I decided to inform security – do you think I could find a staff member or security guard!. no!. Eventually I found a young woman running a ride and asked her what the child protection policies where and then explained the situation. After giving her a description and place where I’d seen this I was thanked, told the security office would look into it,  and that was that!.

I found it all a bit seemingly low key, shrugged my shoulders and continued on my way. Later that day I saw the man again, and decided to follow up. When I approached customer services they were every pleasant, hadn’t heard anything about it and felt security services will have dealt with it.  ‘thanks for your concern’, and here’s the door!.

having taught child protection policies for several years I found their attitude very lax. I wanted to know he had been identified, cos if not, I could take them to him now – but Ms customer services didn’t want to know. I didn’t need to know any more, I just wanted to be sure he’d been identified. Who knows what happened that day! I did think about complaining, but haven’t done so as I’ve been busy dealing with my mothers issues since getting back, which kinda makes me as lax as they seemed to be!. Would you follow up via email?

As well as my niece, I had 2 dogs to look after. (btw, that pool there – I spent a lot of time in it!)

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Meet Scout, on the left, and Lucy. Gosh!, where to start with this part of the story…..

While I lounged by the pool each day!, I became aware that Lucy was incontinent. She was leaving puddles whenever she got up. I informed sis and bro in law, and took her off to the vet. He wanted a urine sample!!! Seriously!. But bless Lucy’s gentle nature, she just stood there while I tried to catch her wee in a container. (these are the times you’re thankful for all the nappies you’ve changed over the years and aren’t squeamish about bodily functions!). I got the sample and dropped it back to the vet. An infection was ruled out so she was put on incontinence pills. These didn’t seem to help and we finally got to see her normal vet. She had another urine sample taken, this time via a needle, and was recommended that we shave her back end to get a better picture of what was going on. Long story short – the pills didnt work, the shaving didn’t change anything, she was struggling more and more to pass urine, so an xray was taken. The dear girl had cancer in the neck of her bladder which was growing so fast it was blocking the wee coming out. What a hard day that was. Lucy was as happy as always, she never whined when she tried to wee, she was always so good natured. That was 2 weeks ago, and this past monday she was put to eternal sleep as she wasn’t passing any urine at all. Due to its location the vet has said operations wouldnt be able to reach it. Poor wee Scout is lost without her mate, but getting happier by the day. I skyped Oz this morning and she was running all round the room looking for me, which broke my heart!. and all this from a cat person!.

**wipes tears away**

so, thats all about my 2 months away. I’ll be back soon with a show and tell of all the goodies I came back with!.


just a quickie!


I’m back in NZ now, and in a new house. finally able to fire the laptop up and take off all my aussie photos today. i’ll be back with a better catch over the weekend and then the excitement that is planning a vegetable garden!.