Sunday, June 30, 2013

WONDERFUL LATE AFTERNOON SUN


I took this photo in July last year of the border I weeded yesterday. Currently the daffodils are barely poking their first shoot through the earth.

I'm all dressed up after meeting our daughter for lunch at Colenso Café. (Photo Tomorrow). It's crazy to drive 45 minutes for lunch when we live 20 minutes apart but with lovely sunny days and a voucher for one free meal when two or more are purchased, (Thanks Jackie), burning a hole in our pockets it seemed like a good thing to do. Jane was working at Whangamata and Tairua today, so Colenso made a nice late lunch break for her on the way back to the office. For those who don't know, Jane is a registered nurse and one of a team of Community nurses. She was on call this weekend with home visits scheduled as far away as Whiritoa, 90 km or 50 miles from base it's a demanding day so lunch in the sun sounded like a great idea.

It's just as well I broke my Fat Fast last night with a higher calorie meal, creamy, coconut chicken curry, a Livin' La Vida recipe. John and I both had Colenso's delicious 'gluten free' frittata with salad and a cappuccino. I am so full I'm regretting the capuccino. A glass of water would have been nice. I've had so much coffee today I might be bouncing of the walls all night. If I eat anything else it will probably be a small dish of Greek Yoghurt.

My knitting proceeds nicely. I should have John's cardigan finished in time for summer.  *ha ha*
THE BEGINNING OF JOHN'S CARDIGAN SPREAD ON THE COUCH.
DO YOU THINK I LIKE BLUE.
You can also see a small section of a hand made floor rug which I made when our sons were young. I like the Arabian carpet patterns and found this hand stitched pattern somewhere. I thought the boys would enjoy playing on it with their small cars. It's large for a hand stitched rug and fills the space between our couch and TV very nicely.


I hope John doesn't lose much more weight or the cardigan will be too big for him next winter. I am wondering how I am ever going to get past him. Weight-wise, that is. He is now around 79 kg/173 lbs. I'm really enjoying knitting again and I love doing Aran patterns. My knitting was never perfect enough for me to be 100% happy with plain stocking stitch, also it gets boring before too long. This is a challenging pattern with 24 rows but now I have the hang of it I can see where I am by studying what I have already completed. The thing is, one mistake will show up and throw everything out of line so I do check against the pattern often.

In the way home we stopped off at Warehouse and bought ........wait for it .............












......... Not yet ...........














............Nearly there ..........


























weights. John has expressed an interest so we begin with 2 kg/ 4.4 lbs. I am still trying to decide which book to buy. Fred Hahn's Slow Burn or Jon Benson and Tom Fit Over 40. I think both will be useful but more books????????? As if I need to spend more hard cash on books.

I also bought a few more cheap pansies and some veggie plants. I personally think planting in June is a waste of time because the ground is so cold nothing wants to grow but John is in the mood to garden. Hurray! At last he is doing something other than mowing lawns and fiddling around in the house. To be honest I have given up on housework because he is so intent on doing it I may as well leave it to him and get on with other things. I have multiple interests and hobbies and never enough time to indulge in them all. John seems to have nothing other than seeing that the lawns are mown and the car cared for. He is a potterer and it's amazing how all the small things that I leave for tomorrow get done when he is around.

Yesterday I enjoyed weeding a small border garden, (see top photo) and planted 40 tulip bulbs in it. It's far too late to be planting tulips here and truthfully I don't think our climate is the best, being almost sub-tropical but subject to the odd frost. I bought the tulips when they were seriously reduced in price and should have planted them late May, before we went to Christchurch. When I went out to the car today I paused to look at my handiwork and gloat over my weed free patch. Half the tulips, it seemed, were scattered over the garden and lawn. Birds! Worm hunting birds! Tomorrow, if this fine weather persists, I will be out replanting the bulbs and planting a bunch of pansies to cover the bare dirt. Before I finish we will put bird netting over the border to protect it until the plants are properly established.



Friday, June 28, 2013

STAY SAFE AROUND DOGS



OOPS! NOT THIS KIND
ALTHOUGH THEY CAN BE DANGEROUS TOO UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES


I saw this on About Walking and immediately thought of Lynda




One of the scariest encounters you can have on a walk is being charged by an aggressive dog. How can

 you avoid dog attack and keep from getting bitten or mauled by a dog while walking or jogging?

Here's How:

  1. Keep a safe distance between yourself and dogs being walked on leashes.
  2. Ask owner's permission before approaching a dog, on leash or in yard.
  3. Never approach a barking, snarling, sleeping, eating, or nursing dog.
  4. Do not stare the dog in the eyes.
  5. Turn sideways and slowly withdraw.
  6. Put an object such as a tree, post, or bench between you and the dog.
  7. Speak softly and gently to calm the dog, "Good dog, it's OK, go home."
  8. Stand still or maintain a constant slow pace out of the dog's territory.
  9. If local law allows, use pepper spray when charged by the dog.
  10. If charged, get something between you and the dog's mouth - umbrella, pack, jacket, stick
  11. If attacked, curl up in a ball and protect your face, neck, and head.

Tips:

  1. You can't outrun the dog, not even an Olympic sprinter could.
  2. Be aware of dogs a block or more ahead, change your route or turn around to avoid unleashed dogs.
  3. Know the weapons laws in the community you are walking in and obey them.




WHAT I AM DOING


This is my third day on a "Fat Fast" á la Dana Carpender

It sounds gross and weird and rigorous but in fact is quite simple and it works. In April I did a modified version for 10 days and lost 3 kg It is a great way to shift things around if weight loss has been stalled for a period. This was followed by various activities including a weekend away and then two weeks in Christchurch. Our first week away went well but then the strain of being away from home began to make me careless. Add to this multiple birthday celebrations, all for me, and I was pushing the boundaries of sane eating. By the time we got home I needed time to settle and compose myself again. I didn't realise how tired and unsettled I had become. 

Not too surprising really when you think that we managed 4 prison visits with our eldest son while in Christchurch and went out almost every day. We came home last Thursday and had a birthday lunch with our daughter, Jane and Greg, our Rotorua son, on Saturday. On Monday our car was taken into town by tow truck. Something went wrong a few days before we left for Christchurch, and it wouldn't start. The garage gave John a courtesy car and today he returned it and picked up our car. Fixed but we are nearly $700 poorer.

Finally on Tuesday, three days after our last meal out, I began to get my sane head on. 

I'm drinking more coffee than is probably good for me but all before 10.30 am. We have a new Sunbeam coffee maker. I'm drinking my coffee with coconut oil and coconut milk. It sounds gross but I'm finding I quite enjoy it. I'm not very hungry so a small bowl of plain Greek Yoghurt with about 2 teaspoons of lemon flavoured cod liver oil mixed in, does the trick for lunch. Again a meal that would have made me gag to think about a few months ago. I look forward to it now.

This time I have followed Dana's recommendation of 1000 calories. I eat around 12 gm of carbohydrates, less than 40 gm protein and around 90 gm fat. I don't think I have a fat phobia but this pushes my comfort zone a lot mentally. I will continue to eat this way for one more day. By then I might have read more of the New Atkins Book. I am definitely keen to stay in nutritional ketosis but that does mean I have to be more careful about indulging myself. I enjoy going to a Café for cappuccino. Sometimes I want sugar. I always look with longing at the cakes. That's fine if it really is a rare treat but even once a week is too often.

I'm also knitting. I enjoy knitting but I haven't made anything for years. John decided he wanted a cardigan and we looked everywhere but he didn't see anything he really liked. I kept telling him it would be better if I made it until finally he caved in and we bought the pattern and yarn. I am furious with myself because I bought acrylic and nylon when I fully intended buying wool. We simply ran out of time to search for exactly what I wanted and with John looking over my shoulder all the time and complaining about the cost I grabbed a cheap option without checking it properly. It's soft and easy to knit so is OK. Maybe I will knit another after this but with good wool.


PLAN TO GO TO THE LOCAL FARMER'S MARKET AT KUAOTUNA TOMORROW
THERE WON'T BE THE VARIETY WE FOUND AT RICCARTON, CHRISTCHURCH

Thursday, June 27, 2013

DO YOU KNOW DIABETES KILLS 8 X MORE THAN MELANOMA?

DREAMING OF TOPICAL DAYS

It's a grey old wintery day with wind and showers Temperature around 10'C//50' F or maybe less.

I have just finished listening to today's Ted Talk by Dr. Peter Attia who founded the Eating Academy and here is the link to his website and blog. There is a wealth of great material here. I'm sure you will enjoy it if you are interested in being in the best health you can possibly be in. I am filled with hope  by this medical doctor who is humble enough to say he was wrong and now puts all his energy into toward improving the health of his nation. Here is the link to the talk.

My comment to John is one of puzzlement. Why are we so afraid of melanoma that we cover ourselves with sunscreen and special clothing yet do not have the same horror of developing type 2 diabetes. What is wrong with a health tradition that has grown around protecting our children from the sun which we need to bask in occasionally for good health and sanity, yet insist on nutritional advice that does little to prevent diabetes? Is it because it is generally an easy matter to use drugs to control type 2 diabetes and more difficult to find a drug treatment and cure melanoma.?

I watched a very dear friend lose her health and life to diabetes. It's a horrible disease. We should all fear it. Fear can be a good thing if it makes us change our habits. My brother, who was dearly loved and as close to me as any twin could be, died from a melanoma. He was only 34 years old with a young family. I know the pain and tragedy of that yet I should be many times more afraid of diabetes than I am of getting melanoma.

I don't believe I'm at risk of either disease but it makes me think. Am I taking care of myself in the best possible way.

I so hope you will listen to this Ted Talk and then consider looking through his Blog

I know ... doubled up on the links but I want you to look at them. *lots of smiles*



Thursday, June 20, 2013

GOING HOME TODAY ...... IF THE SNOW HOLDS OFF

QUIRKY CHRISTCHURCH

The forecast is awful for the next few days and we are scheduled to fly out of Christchurch Airport in the middle of the day. So far the weather has followed the forecast exactly so hoping the snow arrives late after we've left town. I wouldn't mind being here when it snows but we all have plans and don't really need the stress of disruption. The shops are running out of bread and milk tonight as people prepare for being shut in for a few days.
MAYBE YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND
THE LOVE AFFAIR NEW ZEALAND HAS
WITH BLACK, GREY AND OTHER DARK AND DULL COLOURS
TO APPRECIATE THE HOPE THESE BRIGHT BINS EVOKE

Yesterday we visited the prison for the last time this trip. We were glad not to get wet walking between the buildings. Driving was not all that pleasant though. John is exhausted and I think it's been the stress of doing more driving around the city than for some years. I am more relaxed than I expected to be. The time has gone fast and I feel as though we are going home having achieved most things I had in mind. Yesterday we found a new knitting/craft shop at Eastgate Mall. I found a pattern for the cardigan I want to knit John and they had a good range of wool at decent prices. Thank goodness for the Australians. Yes I did write that!
I ADORE STREET MURALS

Monday, June 17, 2013

TWO LINKS .... BOTH INSPIRE IN DIFFERENT WAYS

CITY SCULPTURE
CANTERBURY WAS A MAJOR GRAIN GROWING AREA


PHOTOGRAPHS

I would love to have to skill to achieve my own bunnies, (beach grass heads). One day I will have a few lessons with Janet.

CEREAL KILLERS 

An interesting post on FatHead with a link to Kick Start a programme that gives interested people a chance to support a project that they like.

THE AVON RIVER
IS VERY SPECIAL TO CHRISTCHURCH PEOPLE.
LOOKING TOWARD THE BRIDGE OF REMEMBRANCE WHICH IS UNDERGOING REPAIRS
A CONSEQUENCE OF THE EARTHQUAKES MEANS THE AVON
WILL HAVE INCREASED PARKS ALONG THE BANKS

Sunday, June 16, 2013

WARNING MANY PHOTOS ....MY 75TH BIRTHDAY .... HOW COME I AM SO OLD?


I woke up early, 5 am, just like an over excited child. More truthfully, I was disturbed when someone got up and although I was determined to stay in bed I never dozed off again.

Once we had worked out how to start our day it flowed long in a delightful way. I could not have orchestrated it so well. There were a couple of hiccups like our son waking with a stiff neck and needing to see his chiropractor. He is currently having treatment for a badly mis-aligned spine and today's pain was probably the result of yesterday's manipulation and being overtired from a long, tiring week at work.

We went to the Farmers Market at Dean's Bush, Riccarton. This is an up-market, Farmer's Market with some interesting vegetables like hot chilies, many types of cabbage, Japanese radish and everything it seemed except spinach, which I wanted.

There were several meat producers with sausages, smoked meats etc and the rest were loaded with delicious baking, cakes, breads, hot food stalls and a few specialty stalls. The day was chilly and grey or we would have spent a lot more time there. It was in a pretty setting beside the Avon River. A few hardy souls sat on the grassy banks enjoying their food.

It was a short walk from Dean's Bush to the Riccarton Mall but enough to give me a pain in the eye. John put gel drops in for me and once I could see again we wandered around until we came across the Chocolate Lounge, the most dangerous shop in the Mall. First treat coming up. Belgium Dark Chocolate Mochaccino.
EMPTY CUPS ... TOO DELICIOUS TO SHARE

Amanda, Wayne's wife, returned to pick us up, (she had been doing a couple of work related jobs). Next stop C1 Espresso in the central city.

This Cafè is in a stand alone building, once the High Street Post Office, a survivor of the earthquakes in a street of demolished buildings. There are beehives and a pointing man on the roof.
STATUE OF MAN ON ROOF POINTING OVER THE CITY
The lights are recycled from the Art Centre.

The pinball machines, old sewing machine and sliding bookcase were rescued from the original Cafè.

The owner has encouraged coffee growing in Samoa. There are too many stories to write here. We ordered at the counter and found a table. While waiting for our food I began to wander around, taking photos. The staff were so polite and stepped aside or waited for me to take my shot before moving through. Such patience surprised me.

Finally I returned to our table to find the others eating but no sign of my food. I was on the verge of asking if it had been overlooked when it arrived. The staff had been keeping an eye out for me and waited until I was sitting before bringing my meal which was delicious and fresh and hot. I had a courgette and bacon slice with fresh salsa and salad. It was just right.
THE SLIDING DOOR LEADING TO THE KITCHEN, TURN RIGHT TO THE BATHROOM

Wayne was feeling miserable so Amanda took him home while John and I strolled up High Street between the protective fences all the way to Cathedral Square.


CATHEDRAL SQUARE AND THE REMAINS OF THE CATHEDRAL

This street was opened to pedestrians recently, but not through traffic. I took many photos of the desolation and future expectations. Our walk ended in the Start-Up area where shipping containers have been arranged to make a funky shopping mall in Cashell Street.
IT WAS THE CHRISTCHURCH BRANCH OF THE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND BUILDING

It's only 14 months since the destructive 6.3 quake on February 22nd, 2011, which changed our second largest city forever. There are many people who still live in awful conditions and the city has lost so many historic and beautiful buildings it is unrecognisable.

But that is not what I saw and felt. I found life, a city rising out of the ashes. People with vision and excited about the future. People, proud of what they have and are and will achieve.

This is the most exciting city in the world. Words like resilience, innovation, inventiveness, creativity and determination all come to mind.

We did a little business, sorting out a minor banking problem in one of the Banks in a container. We walked across the road to one of the schools John attended as a youngster.

We walked around the church where he sang in the choir. It was a High Anglican Church and that means the services were more like Roman Catholic services with swinging incense burner and procession of altar boys.

It seems that St Michael's school continues in a new block of classrooms but the church is meeting elsewhere while repairs are being made. St Michael's is one of the few churches to survive.

After all that walking and photo taking it was time for another cappuccino. We chose Taste Of Coffee in the red container and opposite the Humming Bird Cafè in the brown container.

A text to Amanda and she met us by the Bridge of Remembrance which is also closed and under repair. We thought that was the end of our day out and John changed into track pants and we put our outside clothes in the cupboard. We were just getting cosy in front of the fire when we were asked if we would like to be taken out to dinner. Silly question!

Half an hour later and in our glad rags we set off for GOR:LLA and had a delicious fun meal of shared plates, some small and one large. Pork crackling with chilli dipping sauce, smoked ricotta and pickled vegetable salad made a satisfying starter. Shoulder of lamb with a light sauce based on aioli, pear, arugula and parmesan salad, crispy potato cubes done in dripping, (fat), beetroot, almond and feta salad made our main course memorable. The lamb was roasted to perfection and it was so tender you could pull it apart with a spoon. The meat melted in your mouth and the accompaniments were perfect. The food was so delicious we had to finish with dessert. We all ordered salty caramel icecream. Someone mentioned to the waitress it was my birthday, and when I complained that no-one had baked me a cake with candles she returned with a fine taper already lit. The staff joked with me over the pathetic singing and I blew out the candle with one puff.
MORE CREATIVE USE OF SHIPPING CONTAINERS

John and I are now sitting in front of the fire. Amanda and Wayne are out and the rugby is On. A test match with All Blacks and French. I'm not at all interested except to know the All Blacks are winning 23 to nil with the game three quarters gone. Final score 30 - 0

Now it's time to add in the photos. I hope you enjoy them. I have so many it was a job to limit them to 28, but who's counting? I believe it is polite to limit photos to 8 or 9. OOPS!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

CHRISTCHURCH ..... SOMEWHAT STRESSFUL...BEWARE, PHOTO OVERLOAD!

THIS PICTURE SHOULD BE WAITING FOR US WHEN WE ARRIVE HOME

It seems a little pathetic to say I'm finding this trip to Christchurch a little stressful. We are comfortable staying with our son and his wife. The house is warm and we have few responsibilities and no long "To Do" list.

The prison visits have gone smoothly so not sure what's up with me. The novelty of visiting a prison has completely worn off and it is becoming a chore. The thought of continuing these visits for several more years is one I don't want to think about.

When I do not Blog you can be sure it's because I feel stressed for some reason or another.

I am generally eating my kind of food so it's not that. Of course everything is easier in our own home but things are being made so easy for me here I have nothing to complain about.

This afternoon we stopped at the Hub, the Shopping Mall in Hornby, S. Christchurch. After being at the prison there's a desire to treat ourselves, well that's what I think anyway. I had a cappuccino, and a sweet slice made from nuts, seeds and dried fruit glued together with honey. It was sweet and I expected to have food cravings but here it is, 7 hours later and I still am not hungry.

Amanda had bought some coupons for PixelPaint and asked if I'd like to use them. They make those wrap around pictures from your own photos. I wanted to give Amanda's sister a photo of the Blue Hawaiian cocktail we drank on one of our last days in Honolulu, since it was her request we get one and take a photo for her. It looks so good I wish I had one done for myself but I can't justify the full price. The second coupon I had already used to get a photo of a branch of plumeria flowers, (frangipani). Top photo.



I had to enlist Amanda's help to choose our picture. here are the possibles. Of course there were many others but when I had to choose only one, I had to think more carefully about what would bring back the memories and atmosphere and still look good on canvas.
ABANDONED HOUSE, PAHOA

HUGE POMPOM FLOWERS ON THE GOLDEN TREE


SUNSET AT THE LUAU FEAST NIGHT

BEACH LOCATION OF BLUE HAWAII STARRING ELVIS PRESLEY

ARRANGEMENT OF LOCALLY GROWN FLOWERS IN THE LADIES TOILET

PALM TREES AND MUSEUM, KING'S MANSION IN KONA


THE YELLOW HIBISCUS IS HAWAII'S NATIONAL FLOWER ...
NOT SURE WHETHER IT IS THIS PARTICULAR VARIETY THOUGH


FRUIT AND VEGIES FROM THE PAHOA FARMER'S MARKET

PARROT AT THE LUAU FEAST NIGHT

ROCK FORMED FROM LAVA FLOW

PALM TREES AT HOOKENA BEACH BEACH

PLACE OF REFUGE

TWO STEP BEACH NEAR THE PLACE OF REFUGE

TRAIL ACROSS THE KILAUEA IKI CRATER,
A SMALL SECTION OF THE KILAUEA CALDERA

A MOST PLEASANT WALK ON THE WAY TO THURSTON LAVA TUBE