Saturday, January 30, 2021


We have had several days in the very late 20's and early 30's so it was great when it was a bit cooler yesterday and to cap it all off we had much needed rain overnight and early this morning.

So it was a wet trip in to the market this morning.  Luckily, it had eased off by the time we got to the market and cleared up completely mid morning.  The garden is just loving it though.  Although it was cooler yesterday there was a wind blowing which dried things out.

I only really needed to get avocados but ended up getting a Lebanese cucumber and aubergine as well as a couple of waist high Heliopsis which should be good for the butterflies and bees.

Because of the heat I have not been using the oven so as it is cooler (forecast of 22° today) I bought a chicken at the Supermarket and the smell of it roasting has been delicious - in fact the chicken, served with roast potatoes, roast kumara (sweet potato), roast beetroot, carrots and beans was a most delicious lunch with leftovers that will do us a couple of days.

While I was cooking lunch Doug got the two new plants in the ground.  We enjoyed the recent mussel fritters so much that he bought some at the supermarket and is making more fritters ready for tonight.  We can now take it easy this afternoon.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021


Hot, 31° C when I checked in the porch a short while ago.  Luckily it was a bit cooler when I went to the exercise class with my neighbour earlier in the afternoon.  

We did a bit in the garden this morning but the day  seemed to fly and I didn't get around to freezng any more tomatoes - will have to do that tomorrow.

I had not been home long when there was a ring on the door and it was my neighbour.  We did not stay for the usual cuppa as her daughter was coming down from Mitimiti and she had brought us some lovely raw mussels removed from the shell.  Doug has just made mussel fritters so we will be having those shortly.

I have just been over to take both the daughter and neighbour a jar of honey each as a "thank you".  The two banana plants that we bught at the end of November are liking this weather.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021


Honey is expensive here and it was just over a fortnight ago that we were at the Tikipunga Market and bought a 2kg honey.  Later on Doug's Grand-daughter and Grandson's partner were here and we said we would buy some for them.

Unfortunately, at the following market the "Honey Man" was not there.

Prior to this we have always bought a local Manuka and Bush Honey first from the Growers' Market and later, when he stopped going, from the Supermarket.  I decided to see if we could buy it on-line and found the price for12 x 1kg to be quite a bit less than half price.  Unfortunately, when I tried to find the cost of freight it said they did not send to Whangarei so I emailed them to see if we could purchase it from the property.

It is only a short drive from here.  We were going to leave it until we had nearly finished the 2kg jar but because things are uncertain with the new Covid case we decided to get it today.  It was a pleasant drive.  We went one way and came back another and it was a 20 minute drive return.  We enjoyed the drive and now have lots of cheap honey.

I am sure various members of the family will be enjoying it.

Sunday, January 24, 2021


We have just been told of the first case of Community Transmission since November 18. A lady who tested negative twice in Managed Isolation and was then released and headed north.  The area she has been is just to the south of us.  Rather too close for comfort.  They are yet to release the details of shops and other places she visited.  Apparently she was very careful about scanning into places she visited so that is good.

Anyway, we have cancelled the Parkinson walk for tomorrow as it is better to be on the safe side.  It has been a warm day with temperatures forecast to be 28° tomorrow, 29° on Wednesday and 30° on Thursday.

Friday, January 22, 2021

My Friend

 I have a friend I met in 1974 when her late husband taught at the local school (she is just four years older than me).  We met at the nearby lake when she and her two girls and Max and I were cooling off in the heat of summer.

They moved to Auckland many years ago and life has made many changes and she now lives on the North Shore.  I discovered after Christmas that she has a problem with one leg below the knee.  It started a few weeks prior to Christmas when she lost the feeling in this leg and had trouble walking.

In the New Year she was putting some shoes on and fell hurting her ankle and following this ended up in an Assessment Ward of North Shore Hospital.  She was there for about ten days and, towards the end of her stay, was taken to Auckland City Hospital to see a specialist who had worked at the Mayo Clinic. 

None of this did any good as she was discharged with the sole diagnosis that it is Neurological.  The doctor discharging her said that she could well end up in a Rest Home and have to sell her house.  I was horrified at this as, even if she did end up in a Rest Home, her husband would still be able to live in their house (as I did when Max went into care).  She said this doctor was in his 70's and I think he should have retired a long time ago.

I phoned her this morning to see how she is doing and she said she is coping well.  She has someone come in to help her wash (she is unable to get in the shower).  She has a walking frame but is unable to get down the steps of their Town House or into their car.  As she had a fall she is currently under the care of A.C.C.(Accident Compensation Commission) but at the end of February that will end and they will have to sort something out with the Hospital and she should be able to have modifications made to the house and get some more help. Luckily her husband is very good and does the cooking and looks after her.

She has always been a walker and we have had many walks together so this is really upsetting.  You never know when life is going to throw a curved ball.

Thursday, January 21, 2021


 Up early but no work in the garden as I watched the Inauguration live at 5.30 a.m.  So good to hear the President of the United States give a coherent speech of hope, but Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have so much work ahead of them. I just hope that for the sake of all my friends there that this is the start of calm.

This was the cartoon in our local paper today.

After breakfast we headed out of town to visit friends for a birthday celebration.  I had intended to take a couple of photos of their views over the Hikurangi Swamp but we were so busy catching up that I didn't get around to it.

Back home we had a late lunch and I caught up on mail.  I had an email from my cousin near Toronto telling me that the calendar I posted on 23rd November had just arrived.  That is the time postage by surface mail  used to take. I was just pleased it had finally got there so that I don't have to hassle with New Zealand Post and buy another calendar.  The postage for one calendar was $26.00 which is ridiculous.

Finally managed to put my feet up and read for an hour and will now go out to pick and water.  Still lots left on my today's "to do" list but most of it will have to wait for tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021


I have not blogged or followed other blogs for a while as life got in the way.  This is the busiest time of year.   At 6 a.m. or whenever I wake up I go out in the garden to do deadheading and  weeding before it gets too hot, then have my walk before breakfast.  Today was the first day that Doug has come with me.  He is doing well but still taking things easy.

We  seem to be busy with birthdays and visitors (two lots of visitors today and I went to an exercise class in between).  

In the evening there is harvesting and watering which takes a while with Doug doing the front and me the back garden.  There were a few days when I did both but Doug is doing it again now.  This was the harvest a couple of days ago and it is much the same every day.  We also have lettuce, beetroot and carrots.

By the end of the day I finally want to put my feet up and watch the news and the half hour Repair Shed that is on after it.

We weighed one of the Black Krim and it was over 600 grams.  They are delicious.

Fellow blogger Jean phoned when I was at the exercise class today to see if we were o.k. as it was a while since I had blogged.  Thank you Jean.  I gather Doug said it was because I was lazy.  Jean the beans you gave me are still producing vast amounts and we have been giving them away - I did freeze beans many years ago but as they were thrown out the following spring I don't bother now as there are always plenty of fresh greens in the garden.

We are pleased with the garden this year, both the flowers and vegetables are doing well.  Tomorrow we go out to a friends place just out of town as it is his birthday but I hope to make a start freezing the tomatoes in the afternoon and will soon make some chutney.

Of course tomorrow it is also the inauguration which starts here at 5 a.m. so we shall be watching that while we have our breakfast.  I just hope and pray that there is no major disruption. 

Monday, January 11, 2021


 I didn't go on the Parkinson walk today, I was tired but also wanted to make sure Doug didn't do anything strenuous.  I need not have worried as he put his feet up straight after breakfast and fell asleep then a friend phoned and they chatted for some time.

I, optimistically, made a "to do" list this morning then went out to feed the tomatoes, peppers and beans.  Of course, I got waylaid and pulled up some old plants, planted others, dead-headed etc. in my happy place.  One job on my list was to bake some "healthy" muffins.  When Grandson and his partner came here a few days ago she brought these banana and blueberry muffins.  I happened to have two large over ripe bananas and an oversupply of coconut oil so wanted to make them.  

When I got in from the garden I made a cuppa and we ate the last of the muffins from the other day then I set to with my baking.  It always takes me longer than I expect by the time I get everything out, weighed, sifted, mixed etc.  Anyway, I got them made in time for a late lunch (Snapper again).

I made these muffins using gf flour and almond meal and they were delicious.  I made them in loaf shaped tins as I like to line them and it is easier than lining the round ones.

As they are quite large the idea is to have half each but we ended up having one each today.  I have put one in the fridge and 5 in the deep freeze as gf baking does not keep well and I am less likely to eat them all.

One of the items on the list was take down Christmas decorations but that will have to wait.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

SUNDAY - a quiet day at home

 First thing (just after 6.30 a.m.) we went to our local, Tikipunga, market as we had noticed smoked fish for sale.  We bought some more snapper fillets as that is all Doug has felt like since he came home from hospital and we weren't sure they would have them again next week, smoked snapper which we had for lunch and some smoked roe which we plan to have on toast tonight.  I also got some new potatoes as we didn't grow any this year and a 2kg jar of honey.  Both the honey and fish came from the Far North where I lived previously.

We came home but went straight out to the supermarket which was lovely and quiet.  Home for breakfast  and by this time Doug was tired so he put his feet up and fell asleep straight away.  He had only just gone to sleep when  a grand-daughter and her husband arrived followed shortly after by the other grand-daughter and great grand-daughter.  They brought some more snapper for us as they had been fishing last night.  You can never have too much fish.  We had cups of tea and biccies and put the world to rights (if only we could with everything that is going on at the moment).

By the time they left it was about 1 p.m. - where does the time go so I cooked vegetables and made a parsley  sauce for the smoked fish and we had lunch.  

We have been pleased with one of the new plants this year and I wasn't sure where I had got it - either as seedlings or seeds.  I have just checked up and it was seeds from Kings Seeds and it is Ursinia Star of the Veld which was described as drought tolerant.  This is the photo in the catalogue but it is actually a vibrant orange and I have some in flower beds and some in pots.  Funnily enough when I took a photo yesterday it looked a lot like this more yellow than orange.

We both had a siesta and that is enough for today.

Saturday, January 9, 2021


When one is young bodily functions are automatic and one doesn't think of them but as one gets older and, in particular, when one is sick or had an operation, they get more important.  Doug was not allowed to leave the hospital on Tuesday until he had a "wee".  He has been making slow but good progress but today finally went to the toilet (in other words "had a poo or motion" and now feels a lot better.

We had an expected visit from great grand-daughter (who will turn 3 in May) and her parents who came for morning tea.  We had a good time catching up and then went through the gate to the park behind so that she could have a go on the swings. (we spent Christmas day with them).

Doug's eldest daughter also called in and his youngest was going to come to lunch tomorrow but phoned to say she is feeling unwell, sore throat, so won't be coming.  

I also removed several lettuces that have got away on us.  The best lettuces I have ever grown that got overlooked while I was dealing with other produce.  I gave away a lot of beans and courgettes today and must now go out and pick today's crop.

We have also had some lovely showers.

Friday, January 8, 2021


Although we knew that the Capitol had been invaded we had not seen or heard the News yesterday but sat down to watch the 7 p.m. news only to have a visitor, Doug's primary school friend.  Consequently, this morning I looked with horror at what had unfolded in Washington.  Doug and I were always worried about Trump starting a civil war and we saw that was exactly what was printed on the Tee shirts.

I just hope that enough people see sense for all this destruction to stop and feel so sorry for people in the U.S.A.  as they don't seem very united at present.

On the home front we awoke to the sound of rain.  It was supposed to start at about 2 a.m. and it kept going until 11 a.m. with more forecast.  Wonderful, no watering tonight and, hopefully, tomorrow as well.  We are still taking it easy and Doug is lying down at present.  

After the rain it has turned quite humid.

Thursday, January 7, 2021


 Doug is progressing well but still getting plenty of sleep and not doing any heavy work.

One thing I didn't mention yesterday was that Doug's nephew phoned to say he had some fish for us.  Luckily, his wife was coming into town this morning so, instead of us driving the 20 kms to their place,  she brought it to us.

It was  a pack containing 8 good sized snapper fillets - each one enough for the two of us.  I froze most of it in individual packs leaving one fillet out for today's lunch and it was delicious.  

A bit cooler today ,  28° but the night time forecast is the same as last night, a low 18°.  Rain is forecast for early tomorrow morning and I hope we get it.  Mind you, it was forecast for this morning but keeps moving further away.  The soil is so dry that watering every day is just keeping things alive.  

After the hose blew apart at the join yesterday when Doug left the tap on I searched out a longer hose that I brought with me from Kamo and Doug put new fittings on it this morning so that should be better.  He insisted that was a "light job".


I just picked and watered - there are now more of "Jean's beans" that the Dalmation ones.  Today's harvest

I noticed this moth on my trug.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021


We both had a good night and first thing this morning Doug fed the cats and birds while I attended to the tomatoes as they needed tying to their stakes and some leaves cutting back.  Doug is doing very well.

After breakfast I finished the job and did some dead heading and, unbeknown to me Doug got the hose and washed some bird poop off the kitchen window.  We discovered much later that he forgot to turn the hose off and it blew apart at a join.  Never mind it is not the end of the world., I have done it myself before now.

Doug slept for the rest of the morning and only wanted a boiled egg for lunch.  We knew friends were going to call in after lunch and his eldest daughter arrived as well.  Once they had gone it was time to put our feet up.  I read my book and Doug had another "healing" sleep.

We had the fan going in the back porch while we all chatted and have had various fans going in the house as well as it is 30° today, too hot for us.

Bobby wants to help cutting up some sirloin steak..

The new Carioca beans that blogger Jean gave me are quite prolific

as are the tomatoes, these are Black Krim.

The pots at the front door will be good when they have grown a bit more.

One of the many red roses we have (all from a cutting from Doug's youngest daughter's garden).

These daisies are flowering well

The Tithonia Goldfinger has very small flowers compared to the size of the leaves and plant.  I bought the seeds as they are good for butterflies.

This is a large flowered dahlia.

Neighbours from across the road have just phoned to see if we want a hand with anything and Doug's youngest daughter has said the same and, if she can't do it, one of her children will.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021


 I phoned the ward at 6.30 a.m. to see if they knew what time the Doctors' rounds would be and was told from 8.30 a.m.  Doug wanted his second hearing aid which I had brought home from A & E and the batteries so I had breakfast and got to the hospital at 7.50 a.m.  

This was just in time to sort out the hearing aids and then the Doctors appeared.  They were very pleased with the operation and Doug commented on how much better he felt after it than his other ones about 20 years ago.  (Modern technology).  

He had  done the all important "wee" and we were told he would be discharged so after a while he was taken down to the Discharge Room and, after another little wait he was discharged and came home.

While in hospital he was woken on the hour so, after a cuppa, he lay down and had a couple of hours sleep.  He is now eating some scrambled eggs and, I think, will shortly lie down again for another nap.

While he was away I remembered to check the Monarch butterfly "cage" and let one out yesterday morning and there were another couple today.  Last night when I did the watering there seemed to be Monarch butterflies everywhere and I had to keep dodging them.  It was lovely.  

Monday, January 4, 2021


I had an unsettled night as, apart from the stress, it was quite hot.  Although I had set the alarm on my phone for just before six I decided it would be too much of a rush so cancelled the setting and phoned the hospital at about 9.30 a.m. to see how Doug was.  Because it was a Holiday Weekend the rounds were running late and I rushed in and got there just before the doctors arrived.  

They were pleased with Doug - the worry was the bowel - and we were told that as long as there were no Traumas he would be operated on as an Emergency today.  I left at about 11.30 a.m.   

At 12.30 p.m. I got a call from Doug's daughter to say he had just been wheeled down to theatre and his grand daughter estimated he would not be back on the ward for about three hours.  I was surprised to get a call at about 3 p.m. from Doug to say he was back in the ward.  He sounded good but a bit groggy.

I will get another update in a little while when his daughter goes back to visit him as she lives near the hospital.

So, I am going out to water both front and back gardens.  I was going to do it this morning but we must have had a heavy dew and it did not seem too bad.

Sunday, January 3, 2021


 Yesterday morning we went to the market as usual (right day this time) but a lot of stalls were missing.  We managed to get what we wanted except for the peaches.  The weather was fine for the market but then we got a few hours of lovely steady rain.  Could have done with more but what we got was very welcome.

Doug was fine in the morning but after lunch he was in pain and felt nauseous.  I asked if it was his hernia as he often feels like that but he told me it wasn't and he thought it was food poisoning or a bug.  He then realised that his hernia had come out but still thought that was not the cause of the problem.  He didn't eat for the rest of the day and was in a lot of pain.  

I told him to wake me if he was not well in the night but when I woke at 6 a.m. he was feeling miserable and had been vomiting all night.  He still thought it was not the hernia.  We had two choices - either go to Accident and Emergency or to White Cross which is an after hours doctor service (it is a long weekend here).

As he didn't think it was the hernia causing the problem we decided to go to White Cross and they open at 8 a.m. so we got there half an hour early to be first in the queue.  He saw a lovely doctor who thought the problem WAS his hernia and phoned the hospital and arranged for him to see a surgeon. 

So he ended up in A & E after all (It would have been $65 cheaper to go straight there).  They did an x-ray then a scan and blood test and gave him intravenous fluids.  The surgeons were operating on emergency cases and one finally came to see Doug a little after 3 p.m.  He was able to get the hernia back in (presumably as Doug had been lying down for several hours at this stage).  They were still worried as the hernia had been blocking the bowel hence the vomiting.

Anyway, it seems as though he will not need an emergency operation now but is still in hospital and we think they will operate in a day or two.  I came home at about 4.30 pm just after they found a bed for him in a ward.  I have just spoken to his daughter who visited him this evening and he had still not had any food although he was given a small glass of water.   He was due to have a doctor see him about now.  If I wake in time I will go in for the Doctors' round at 7 a.m. - apparently it is held between 7 am and 8 am.

This is the first time since the aborted operation at the beginning of October that the hernia has come out.

Friday, January 1, 2021


 Doug informed me that the car needed a run so we decided to go for a drive just close to town.  First stop was the cemetery to check on the grave (the ashes of our late spouses are both in the same grave).  We then travelled on towards Maungatapere and turned off to cut through the countryside back to Kamo (the suburb where I used to live) then to the supermarket as we plan to be too early for it tomorrow morning.

We stopped and took a few photos from the same spot.  It was a lovely day - 26 degrees but quite cloudy and we have much needed rain forecast. (Not that I particularly want it first thing tomorrow for the Market still any time is better than not at all).

We stopped again closer to town and took some more photos.