Archive for the 'Home Front' Category
Monday, December 9th, 2013
Mr Munro and I had a very fun cruise. We started in Singapore, which is such a great place to visit. Singapore has everything—great shopping, history, delicious food and it’s very safe, even walking around quite late at night. From Singapore, our cruise took us to Thailand, Vietnam, Bali, Darwin, Port Douglas and Sydney. I’d never visited Vietnam or Bali before and thoroughly enjoyed the days we spent there. I was also new to Darwin and enjoyed our visit, but there’s no way I could live there. Darwin is way too hot for my liking.
This is a reclining Buddha in Thailand. It was huge and too big to fit in one photo. The marks on its face that look a bit like acne are actually pieces of gold leaf. Those who visit press pieces of gold leaf on the buddha’s face for good luck and to honor his teachings. I always like seeing the Buddha statues because they look so serene.
Today I’m visiting Mia Downing where I’m talking about frost fairs, Christmas and Mistress of Merrivale. This was a fun post to write, so I hope you enjoy it. I’m also giving away a copy of The Spurned Viscountess. Here’s the link to Mia Downing’s blog.
Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
The Merlin, symbol of Singapore
Life is a little hectic for me at present, so I’m going to take a blogging break for the rest of November. I’ll be catching up on writing stuff and spending a few weeks in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Bali and Australia. See you in December!
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
Silhouettes of people doing the Auckland Harbor Bridge climb
Today I’m visiting Merissa McCain who is celebrating the paranormal genre all this month. I’ve written a short excerpt set in my Middlemarch Mates world. My leopard shifters and their friends come out to play during a summer evening—Middlemarch Mates style.
Would you like to win a print copy of Christmas is Coming? Enter my Goodreads giveaway now.
Monday, October 21st, 2013
Hubby and I have been taking a lot of photos with our new camera. Here is a selection of moon shots. It’s amazing seeing the craters so clearly.
This is the moon as we saw it from our back yard with no magnification.
A little zoom and the shadows and craters are more obvious.
Hubby thinks the placement of the craters is why people speak of the man in the moon.
And here’s a close up of his face.
This one is zoomed up even more, and you can see the craters.
Would you like to fly into space or become an astronaut? Did you want to be an astronaut while you were growing up?
Friday, October 18th, 2013
Bella, our puppy is very smart, and she picks up things quickly. She was top of the class at puppy school. Recently she has been difficult when it comes time to go for a walk.
She likes to go for a different walk each time, and if I head off in the normal direction, she sits down and refuses to move. If we turn in a new direction, she’s happy and bouncy, trotting alongside like a perfectly behaved pet. If she meets “little people” during her walk and especially giggly little girls, she sits down and refuses to move until a meet and greet has been completed.
Color me frustrated.
At first it was funny, and I laughed. Then this stubborn behavior happened every day, and I lost my sense of humor.
I tried speaking in a stern voice.
I tried bribery with some dog crackers.
I tried pulling her. (Can’t do this too hard because her collar sometimes pops over her head, and the last thing I want is a loose puppy on the busy roads)
I tried shouting. (The neighbors twitched their curtains, but that was all that happened. Bella didn’t move!
Finally last week, in exasperation, I sat down in the middle of the footpath and glared over at Bella. She looked at me, and I could literally see the surprise on her furry face. She jumped up and came over for a pat. I got to my feet and our walk continued. Each time she decided to sit, I sat too.
Our outings seemed to go a bit more smoothly, and I got my way about the location of our walk.
I was telling my husband when he got home from work, and he started laughing.
“What?” I asked.
“Don’t you see what has happened?” he said. “Bella has taught you to sit!”
Anyone else have a naughty pet? Also, does anyone have suggestions for natural remedies for dog allergies? We’re not sure what is causing the allergy. There are so many variables.
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
The fantail or piwakawaka is one of our native birds. This year we’ve seen quite a few in our garden and also while we’ve been walking Bella. They’re tiny birds with a tail that fans out—as their name suggests—and they live on a diet of insects. They like to follow people when they’re walking, which gets a bit creepy. I’d call it stalkerish, but in reality they’re snatching up the insects that are disturbed with each footstep. I guess it’s takeaway for birds.
The fantail has a very distinctive cheet-cheet and the birds never seem to keep still. They’re very difficult to photograph because they’re always in motion.
These photos were taken at Christ Church in Russell.
The Maori people consider it bad luck if a fantail flies inside a building. They say the fantail is a messenger and it’s appearance means death or news of death is imminent.
I had one fly inside the house a few months ago, which didn’t make me very happy. The fantail was hanging around outside for days. I’d hear it and shut the door since the bird seemed determined to fly inside our house. I shooed it back outside (they seem fairly smart and don’t divebomb windows in panic like some birds) and waited for news. Thankfully I didn’t receive any news of death.
The fantail is a cute bird, but I do prefer to see them outdoors!
Have you had birds fly inside your house before?
Friday, October 11th, 2013
Maori carvings tell a story, and we have a form of totem pole, called pou or pouwhenua here in New Zealand. They’re like carved poles and were used by the Maori to mark boundaries.
Mr Munro snapped photos of these pou up at Paihia in the north of the North Island.
I’m not sure what story these pou told, but they were definitely interesting!
Monday, October 7th, 2013
Edits have kept me busy for the last week. I’ve completed those now, but writing stuff continues to take up my free time—my self-imposed deadlines before I head off to Singapore.
We’re officially on summer time in New Zealand now and losing one hour has kicked my butt this year. I actually went to sleep in my chair this afternoon. The puppy was piled on top of me, and I thought I’d listen to the end of my audio book – the first in the Agatha Raisin series by MC Beaton. The last I remember was learning the identity of the quiche murderer. I woke up when puppy leaped off my knee because hubby had arrived home from work. My audio book had started over and reached chapter three. And to think I used to laugh at my father…
Mr Munro took these photos. He’s since purchased a tripod, but the moon hasn’t made an appearance for a few nights. He’s waiting impatiently for its reappearance.
What’s happening in your world?
Monday, September 16th, 2013
Mr. Munro and I like to explore our city, and yesterday we did a boat trip from Z Pier in central Auckland, up the Upper Waitemata harbor to the historic pub at Riverhead.The Riverhead was established in 1857 and holds New Zealand’s second oldest liquor licence. Incidentally, we visited the oldest one—the Duke of Marlborough in Russell, Bay of Islands—a couple of weeks ago.
This is me, sitting on the top deck of the Red Boat and waiting to leave on our adventure. Central Auckland and the Sky Tower are in the background.
Our boat traveled under the harbor bridge. Two New Zealand flags were flying on the bridge yesterday. The flags change often and honor different countries. For example on the US Independence Day the US flag will fly along with the New Zealand one.
We traveled in the footsteps of our ancestors who used ferries and boats on the upper harbor as a means of transport to head north. Lots of gorgeous properties lined the harbor and this is one of them. A big lawn to mow!
This is the Red boat. It tied up at the jetty and we climbed up lots of steps to get to the pub. The view was gorgeous from the terrace and lots of people were dining in the restaurant. Mr. Munro and I chose some bar snacks, beer and wine and spent time in the public bar. The people watching was awesome.
Although children and families are welcome, the management like the children to remain under close parental supervision. They had these cute signs everywhere relating to children, and the one below is my favorite.
We had a fun day, although we were tired out when we arrived home. I can’t wait for our next local adventure, whatever that might be.
What is your favorite way to spend a lazy Sunday?
Friday, June 28th, 2013
Ever since we arrived home from our last holiday, (beginning of June) I’ve been working extra hard with my writing. Yesterday, I finished the first draft of a sports romance, a book loosely tied to a new small town series I’m working on. Yay! I’m thrilled with my progress on this one since holidays normally throw me off stride and mess up my productivity. Not this time! Imagine me doing a fist pump here, because that’s what I did.
On Wednesday night I did an author talk at the Leys Institute Library at Ponsonby in Auckland. I spoke about erotic romance and had a fab time. I just love the libraries we have in the Auckland region, and I’m a very good customer! I use the library to borrow fiction and non-fiction books, audio books and sometimes magazines. As I said, I’m a regular visitor.
Today I caught up with housework—did the vacuuming, countless loads of washing, washed Bella’s blankets and tried out a new recipe for Cinnamon Scrolls. (Delicious – recipe to come)
Over the last few months Bella has suffered from an allergy on her feet. We took her to the vet and he prescribed pills plus a spray to make her feet taste horrible when she tries to chew on them. Bella’s feet healed while we were on holiday, but since our return home the allergy has come back. We’ve been trying to work out what she’s allergic to and after much discussion, hubby suggested the laundry powder. I purchased some natural laundry powder for those with sensitivity and have used this to wash her blankets.
This seems to have done the trick and her feet seem much better over the last two days. Hopefully, the problem is solved because the poor puppy suffers, and she hates the foot spray. She runs when she sees the bottle.
Anything exciting happening in your world?