Archive for the 'Home Front' Category
Sunday, May 8th, 2011
Hubby and I have been trying to eat healthy during the last few months. We’re counting calories and have increased our daily exercise.
About two weeks ago I discovered an iTouch app called Fitness Pal. It’s free, and we’ve found it very good for counting calories and recording our exercise. For those who don’t have an iTouch or phone, you can use the web based Fitness Pal. There are also mobile applications.
Check it out. It’s working for us.
Twin Trouble received a wonderful review from Whipped Cream and is up for book of the week. You can vote for Twin Trouble or one of the other nominated books here.
Friday, April 29th, 2011
I’ve been thinking about sleep recently—mainly because I could do with more. Yes, I’m in sleep-debt. Our genes determine the amount of sleep we require. The average amount of sleep required by an adult is around eight hours, although people can fall either side of the scale. A child requires more sleep than an elderly person.
If we don’t get enough sleep we might experience all or some of the following symptoms.
• Daytime sleepiness
• Difficulty concentrating
• Poor thinking
• Increased risk of accidents
• Other health complications e.g. weight gain
About eight hours seems about right for me, maybe slightly more. Anything less, and I start to get grouchy. Tonight I’m off to bed as soon as I finish watching Bones. I’m a morning person—the early to bed, early to rise thing works for me.
How much sleep do you need to function well? Are you a night owl or a morning bird?
Wednesday, April 27th, 2011
Our puppy Bella is a real terror with her toys. She chews them and rips them to shreds until eventually I need to confiscate them for her safety. I decided I’d try to make her a chew toy.
I cut up this old blanket, using the checks as a cutting guide. I cut the fabric three squares wide and cut down the lines, leaving one end intact. I ended up with long tassel-like pieces, which I plaited and tied with a knot. The photo below is what I ended up with after the plaiting/braiding.
Bella took to it straightaway and had a fine time tearing around the house with her new toy. She ends up chewing it to pieces but has a few hours of entertainment. When she sees me making a new toy for her she’s there trying to chew it as I’m braiding.
Mr. Munro came home from hospital today. He has his right arm in a plaster and needs to wear a sling. He can’t drive for eight weeks and has four weeks off work. I can’t see the scar but hubby said it looks like a lightning zigzag – sort of Harry Potterish. Bella and I are pleased he’s home, but I can see that frustration and impatience will make tempers flare during the coming weeks. Mr. Munro is not good at sitting around doing nothing.
Monday, April 25th, 2011
Easter isn’t my favorite holiday for reasons I’m not going to explain, but I’m always pleased when Easter is over. This year my husband was on call. On Saturday he opened a packing case to fumigate the contents and an engine part fell out. He managed to shove it back inside the case but crushed his finger in the process. He’s okay, but the middle finger on his right hand isn’t. Besides crushing his finger, he’s severed the tendons and needs an operation to reattach them.
So far, he’s spent three nights in hospital waiting for the operation. Since it’s a public holiday there have been lots of more urgent cases and his surgery keeps getting bumped. We’re hoping the operation will take place tomorrow because they can’t leave it much longer. Meanwhile, he has to go without food each day until they decide whether to operate or not. My husband loves his food, so he’s not a happy camper.
At least he’s not in any pain. He has a plaster from fingertip to his elbow to keep his fingers immobile and is on a drip plus antibiotics to fight infection. Here’s hoping he comes home soon. Both Bella and I miss him.
How was your Easter weekend? Did you do anything exciting?
Sunday, April 10th, 2011
Bella continues to do well. She weighs 10kgs and hasn’t gained any weight during the last few weeks. We’re hoping she’ll take after her Jack Russell side and won’t grow too much bigger. When we first adopted her she was mostly white, but I’ve noticed a few spots coming out in her coat. They say people and their dogs resemble each other, and Bella is coming out in freckles to match me!
Since she graduated from puppy school, we’ve continued her training. We’ve started letting her off the lead a little, although this isn’t always successful. One sighting of another dog and it’s a fifty-fifty chance of her obeying a command to return to us. Food isn’t always as attractive as the company of another dog.
We’re teaching her not to jump on visitors or to nip them. Mostly she’s pretty good, although sometimes the temptation is too much for her. We have a plastic bottle with a few stones in it. The instant she does something she shouldn’t we shake the bottle and this is a great deterrent.
She loves it when my husband is at home and decides to work in the garden. She follows him around and tries to help, generally getting in the way. It’s very cute to watch.
I put the basket of dirty laundry down for a few minutes to do something in the kitchen, and when I came back to put the wash on there was a puppy in it!
Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
Last night was Bella’s final class at puppy school. The seven weeks have passed really quickly and have been good for all of us. On the run up to the final class we worked hard with training, practicing several times each day. Our training paid off big time last night when the instructor ran a competition. It was a bit like muscial chairs. The puppies walked in a circle and the instructor shouted out commands for them to sit or drop. The last puppy to complete the command each time was eliminated. Bella sat and dropped like a champ and beat out the last puppy to win bragging rights. She was a real little star and both hubby and I were very proud.
Bella received a certificate stating she’d completed basic training.
At the end of the class we watched a demonstration of obedience and agility training with some older dogs. I’d love to do agility training with Bella but she’s not old enough yet. She needs to be 18 months old but she’s not quite six months yet. That’s something to consider in the future.
Meantime, hubby and I feel like proud parents…
Monday, March 14th, 2011
The months are passing so quickly. We’ll be off on holiday again very soon. This time we’re going on a cruise of another part of the Pacific. We’re visiting Norfolk Island, Vanuatu and Noumea. I’m looking forward to the short ten-day break.
Mr. Munro visited a school or play center recently for his work. They had a worm farm and Mr. Munro arrived home with everything he needed to create his own worm farm. We already recycled all our kitchen waste into the compost bin, but these days I have to separate out the onion and garlic skins and any citrus scraps. I keep forgetting and that means a telling off. I think I’ve got it straight now, although I haven’t worked up the courage to peer inside the farm to see if I can spot the worms.
The garden has also received a bit of a makeover with some lime chips and some solar lights. It’s made a big difference and the garden is looking very pretty. The lime chips should also stop the weeds coming through. Yesterday, Mr. Munro planted some spring bulbs (rununculars and freesias) because he knows how much I like them along with some garden greens and coriander. I get the job of watering.
Bella has been a little horror since I last posted about her training. I’ve been calling her a devil dog and she’s lived up to the name. She will insist on biting when she gets over excited. I know it’s a puppy thing but I wish she’d get over it. At other times she’s so cute I just want to squeeze her. Ah, the trials of owning a puppy!
In writing, I’m currently working on a short hot historical and I’m also adding a few words to the follow up story to The Bottom Line. The follow up story belongs to Julia. It’s given me real fits. I don’t think I’ve ever started a story so many times before. The current version has me excited and I’m cautiously optimistic that Julia’s story is on its way.
How was your week?
Sunday, February 27th, 2011
On Tuesday at 12:51 pm an earthquake struck Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand. It’s been an emotional week for us down here in NZ. Today the death toll stands at 147 with around 200 people still missing. Watching the news is heartbreaking. Hundreds of people have walked away from their lives in Christchurch, saying the stress is too much to take. Even worse are the people who are stealing and looting. Police have caught several and they’re receiving stiff sentences. A curfew is in place each night.
People throughout New Zealand are donating time, money and are fundraising for the Christchurch people. In the coming week our Prime Minister will announce a worldwide fundraising drive to help the victims of the earthquake. In New Zealand, the Red Cross is collecting donations and I, like most people I know, are giving what I can.
One thing about the earthquake is that it’s reminded my husband and I how precious life is and that we should enjoy it to the max. Those things on the bucket list – we’re doing them as time and money allow. Life is short and can disappear in the blink of an eye.
Monday, February 14th, 2011
During the last two weeks I’ve heard a lot of ads promoting Valentine’s Day and the perfect gift to give your loved one. The ideas for gifts range from cards and flowers to diamonds and expensive dinners. I don’t know about you, but I’m careful about how I spend my money these days. I don’t know how people can afford some of these things.
Valentine’s Day has only come to prominence in New Zealand during the last ten or fifteen years. When I was a child we didn’t celebrate the day. To me, Valentine’s Day is merely another excuse for retailers to part us from our money.
For those of you who want to celebrate the day here’s a suggestion for the perfect gift. It’s free but I don’t know a single person, male or female, who wouldn’t treasure receiving this as a present. Give your loved one time and attention. Make them feel special. And here’s a radical idea, why don’t you continue this throughout the year? Your partner will love you for it.
Friday, January 28th, 2011
Most days I go for a bike ride. It’s a great way to get out of the house and combat bottom spread–the writer’s curse. I think I suffer from a very mild form of hayfever or allergies because the minute I go outside my nose starts to run. It’s not enough to cause me distress, but when I’m exercising I tend to breathe through my mouth.
Picture this: Me calmly riding along on my bike with my mouth open and listening to my iPod.
Got the picture? Right. The minute I open my mouth it’s like an invitation to a Rave. The invitation spreads fast and far to every bug in the vicinity. They fly in like kamikaze pilots, diving bombing me to get to the party.
Now, we get to the unladylike topic of spitting.
Here’s what happens. A bug flies into my mouth. First I almost run my bike off the path. I’m choking and gasping and flapping my hands. Oh, good, I think. The bug didn’t get in. Then I feel it. The bug inside my mouth. I gag and splutter and attempt to spit it out. It’s still there. I gather up saliva, swish my mouth and do my very best spit. A great blob of saliva lands on my hand and I start laughing. Remember I’m still riding my bike? Right. I’m now chuckling like an idiot, wobbling down the path, and swiping my wet hand on my T-shirt. Oy!
When hubby reads this he’s gonna laugh. He’s always said I’m a girl when it comes to spitting. Personally I don’t think it’s a skill I need to learn, not unless I come back as a llama or a camel. Then I’ll be in real trouble.
BTW – today’s bike ride was a two-bug day.
How are your spitting skills?