Monday, May 30, 2011

What a difference a day makes

Finally I have got around to clearing and planting the area at the bottom of our section.  I now have to keep the Wandering Jew under control - I plan to spot weed it to start with and then put down wet newspaper with lawnmowings on top. 

The "plants" are bits cut off a plant (is it an agave?) near the house that was getting too big and I gather that they root really easily - I hope so.  At least it looks better than it did.

The branch at the top left is a huge magnolia.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Last night was pizza night - I make the dough in batches and freeze it in portion sizes which makes for an easy meal.  We had mushroom, roasted capsicum and feta cheese.  It was much better than it looks in the photo and was delicious with a salad of lettuce, radish sprouts, persimmon and avocado.

Healthy and economical!!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


After some lovely fine autumn days Thursday was horrible with strong wind and rain blowing in from the north.  Yesterday and today were fine once again but I discovered that our Luculia had shed some branches.  The scent of the flowers was almost overpowering.  I took some cuttings so, hopefully, some good will come from it.

I posted a picture of this bush earlier in the year when it was just coming into flower.  When we arrived here two years ago there was no sign of it under all the weeds.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Whau Valley Dam

This morning we had an appointment at a Guest House providing respite care.  As we were early we went up to the Whau Valley Dam first.  The weather was glorious.  The dam is full and it is hard to believe that just over a year ago it was virtually empty.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Stressed Wife

I was woken early on Sunday morning by a crash and discovered my other half in a heap having collapsed.  As I was unable to rouse him I dialled 111.  Luckily he was conscious by the time the St. John's had arrived and they checked him over - at 81 a blood pressure of 124/72 can't be too bad.  Thankfully they decided he didn't need to go to hospital.  He slept all of Sunday and today was feeling a lot better with just a cut over his left eye and a painful area in the middle of his back.

It didn't do much for my stress levels but things are improving.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Story of a New Zealand River

I must admit I had never heard of Jane Mander prior to our moving to Kamo and then only because there is a Retirement Village named after her.

We recently went on a group boat trip on the Otamatea River in the Kaipara Harbour and a gentleman recommended The Story of a New Zealand River by Jane Mander as it is set on this river where she lived with her parents.The book was written in 1920 and was published in New York. 

We were particularly keen to do this trip as my late mother-in-law's family settled near Mangawhai  in 1860 and her grandfather grew apple trees which he sold around the Kaipara Harbour.

I have just finished the book which I borrowed from the local library and found it a fascinating story of the tough life in the bush in those days made all the more interesting by the fact that we had just been there.  The landscape has changed though as in those days they were felling the kauri trees and clearing the bush.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Health Services

15 months or so ago I had a very painful cyst on my left breast.  It was lanced and finally settled down but didn't go away and on Christmast Day, 2010 it reappeared and after being lanced once again took some time to settle.

I was referred to the Breast Clinic and had a mammogram and ultrasound that confirmed there was no cancer.  Yesterday, I went back to the clinic and was expecting to be told that as it had settled down and there was no cancer nothing more would be done.

I got a shock when I was told it needed to be removed and would be done in Kaitaia.  KAITAIA IS 150KMS AWAY AND WE MOVED DOWN HERE TO BE CLOSER TO MEDICAL SERVICES.

After thinking about it overnight I have said I would rather have it done here in Whangarei.  There is too much to think about - I am not a good traveller and with painful shoulders would not be happy driving myself (don't like driving at the best of times).  If I went by the hospital bus which brings patients down from Kaitaia on a daily basis I would have to stay two nights which would mean arranging care for my other half and the cats.  I think my stress level is pretty high at present which always makes everything else seem more complicated.

I gather the reason for going to Kaitaia is a shorter waiting list but I just went to the hospital for my pre-op check and was told my urgency is 80% so it shouldn't take too long anyway.  It will be good to get it over and done with and, hopefully, get rid of the constant low level pain that accompanies it.

This getting old is no fun at times - not that I admit to old age yet.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Whangarei Town Basin

Today we went to the Whangarei Town Basin for a coffee and I finally remembered to take my camera. There were occasional gusts of cold wind but it was, as usual, a lovely place to sit and take in the sights.



Monday, May 16, 2011

Clinical Pilates

About seven months ago I tore a tendon in my right shoulder.  It is finally starting to heal after months of physio.  However, I twisted my neck and hurt my left shoulder a couple of weeks ago while putting the wheelie bin out.

I thought some exercises would be good to strengthen my body and, hopefully, stop getting these problems.  The physiotherapist suggested Clinical Pilates and last Monday was my first session. The exercises seemed to be quite gentle but on Tuesday I woke in agony and had to go back to physio to get it worked on.

I went to Pilates again this morning and this afternoon had a session at physio - so far there is no more pain than usual.

I have never been one for organised exercise although I have always walked a lot and used to get plenty of exercise working on our previous five acre property (but perhaps not the correct exercise!!)

I have a lot more planned for this life  so will see how long I manage to keep up with the exercise class and whether it helps.  More later......

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Many times a day I am asked "What day is it?", "Where is.....?" "I can't find....", When is ...coming?". 

Just after I logged off yesterday the question was slightly different.  "Is it Sunday" my man asked me - "No, it is Saturday" I replied.  His immediate answer "Oh, its yesterday".  Just as well we can still laugh.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I should have started this blog a year or more ago.  I thought that Alzheimer's Disease was people forgetting things, names, people etc. before it happened in my family - it is so much more.

My wonderful husband was an auto-electrician by trade but could turn his hand to most things, he did all the work on our vehicles, building work on our previous house, set up the mixed orchard and was constantly thinking through some plan or other.

It is so hard to see him now trying unsuccessfully to complete a small task - he doesn't even attempt such simple things as changing the wiper blades after being able to do all the fine electrical work that he did for many years.

I think that confusion is the main problem rather than the memory although I suppose they are linked. Working out what clothes to wear, which part of the house to go to for a shower, where to find cutlery and everything else needed for a meal - the list goes on and on.

The hard part is that he knows this is happening and it is frightening.

If I happen to mention to someone that my husband suffers from Alzheimer's the answer is invariably "my mother, father, grandfather etc has it as well".  It seems to be spreading like wildfire.  More to come....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Wet Day

The forecasters got it right today and it is hosing down.  The car was booked in for its 6 monthly "Warrant of Fitness" so after dropping my wonderful husband at the Alzheimer's Club for the day I took the car to the garage.

The rain had eased so I walked down to the Whangarei Town Basin for a Flat White.  Unfortunately it didn't ease for long and I got absolutely soaked as I walked back again.

First thing when I got home was to relight the "Pot Belly Cast Iron Stove".  My sodden clothes are drying in front of it, the kettle is heating for afternoon tea, it is heating our hot water and keeping the house warm and dry. I wouldn't be without it.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


This pot of bromeliads sits in the shade behind the house and performs wonderfully.  I do love its bright flowers on a dismal autumn day.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


On returning home this morning I noticed that autumn is arriving in the garden.  The gleditsia is turning colour and in the recent winds has lost a lot of leaves.

At the bottom of the garden the camelia and luculia are coming into flower.

When we moved here 20 months ago the luculia was hidden by all the weeds.  It has been hard work but very therapeutic clearing them all.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A good day for a sleep

Although the temperature is 21 degrees C. the weather is variable with constant showers and thunderstorms.

Cats always know when it is a good day to just stay inside and have a nap.

Here is Kath's "sister", Kim who woke up when I took her photo.
However Kath slept on.

No baking today but here is the loaf I baked on Sunday - only enough left for breakfast so must bake a fresh loaf tomorrow.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday- a day of rest

A wet and windy autumn day here today.  I hope it is not a sign of a winter to come.  A good day to do some baking.

First get a batch of fruit buns on the go (Hot Cross Buns minus the crosses).  Once they are on the way make a batch of Jaffa Biscuits and then get the buns shaped and in the hot cupboard to prove. 

By now it is lunch time, Pumpkin and Kumara Soup.  Time to get the Buns in the oven and then get a new loaf of bread underway,  it doesn't sound much when written down but this has taken me most of the day.

The weather forecast is for it to get worse over night with heavy rain and strong easterly winds.

The last of the roses were likely to get a hammering so I picked some last night.