Category Archives: and everything else……

Simple Christmas Tree….

So Christmas is all done and dusted but I thought I would share about our “tree” .

This year as I was due to have surgery on the 20th (it didn’t happen by the way much to my relief…right before Christmas I mean…really!)…we decided we would go for a minimalist Christmas. Couldn’t face the thought of getting the tree up and down from the loft..not that my neck in it’s current state would have allowed such activity…so after seeing the effect at my lovely neighbour’s house we decided to do the same thing.

A string of lights and some Command hooks (these are in NZ and are the type you can peel them off after)…we had some Christmas deccies that hadn’t made it into the box last year and a load of Candy Canes …job done …no dogs knocking things off or trashing the tree and easy to put up and take down….I think I might be hooked although I don’t think our son was Thinking smile

Maybe next year I’ll see if I can get away with doing it again but using more lights with different colours perhaps and a bigger jar at the bottom to make the light “trunk” …still not sure the small person will buy it a next time but you never know.





The first ever Invictus Games saw over 400 competitors from 13 nations compete across 9 adaptive sports. It is an international Paralympic-style multi-sport event in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in sports including wheelchair basketball,Sitting volleyball and Indoor rowing.

The games were given the name Invictus after Invictus, the Latin for “Unconquered, Undefeated” the event was inspired by the Warrior Games (a similar event held in the United States). The first Invictus Games took place in 2014 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

We were lucky enough to be involved with this on a more personal level when our archery club hosted two members of the military who needed to learn archery and quickly …and I mean quickly.

DSC00590 Medals to Commemorate the First Invictus Games that took place in London in 2014. Would like to say a huge thank you to our friends who we had the pleasure of meeting because of the games and who gave us this medal.

DSC00593These are limited edition and we (that’s me and T) feel very honoured to have been given one. So proud of all the people who took part because of who they are and what they stand for (although of course we were a bit biased)….
We will treasure this always.

I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud to watch all those servicemen and women take part and represent people with disabilities taking on the world and living their lives regardless of what life has dealt them…they’re and inspiration.

Thursday 14th August 2014

It’s here!!!…It’s here!!!

The Spirooli has arrived …



So everything has been getting Spiroolied (don’t know if that’s a word but if it isn’t it should be!)

Spirooli chips for tea for the small person.



Spirooli Zucchini “pasta” …now it’s of course not the same as actual pasta but it does give the feeling of eating pasta and of course the ability to feel smug that you’ve got rid of a ton load of carbs, which at the moment I’m doing.

We had floods…..

Yep ….we had floods….


…not for the first time….this is where they spend hundreds of thousands putting in flood protection….mmmm not sure if it’s really worked.

However to be fair since the earthquakes the water table has risen so much and the ground has been compacted so much that to be honest I wonder just what would work other than building everything up again which lets face it is impractical.
I have to say though I was getting a little concerned at one point because it just seemed to keep on coming..luckily for us we high enough it never seems to be too much of a threat.



Still a waterside property wasn’t something I ever wanted….and I’m pretty certain I don’t want one in the future either (this is the corner of our lounge and the steps  up to the dining room!)



We were lucky (as cross fingers we always seem to be in this weather)….there were farms around us completely flooded, houses being swamped with water, roads closed and impassable. Farmers out rescuing newly born early lambs (what a welcome to the world).

Aim for a Cure…..

On the 27th April….our archery club had their Aim For A Cure day to raise money for Cancer Research….
It was emotional and amazing and a whole load more in between…..

Things kicked off at 8.45 in the morning…still chilly but the sun was up and looked like it was going to be a good day weather wise…which is always helpful when people are going to be out there all day shooting arrows!



                                                   These are the fur babies…all the older girls have one and so throughout the day Petra (our head coach) would put one of these around her waist for every 100 arrows shot….there were a few!!!


Support was fantastic…..but rightly or wrongly I expected that because of the people they are.


DSC00241…and as the day came to an end a double rainbow appeared….which I have to say had me feeling just a bit emotional…OK I blubbed!




I learnt today what my head looks like now as an adult, which when you think about it not many people actually get to find out unless …and that when I have a shower I only need one towel and a VERY small amount of shampoo Flirt male  Oh and I also discovered I have cold ears and I’m not that keen on hats (they make your head sweat …what’s that about!!?) …yep so winter’s on it’s way …I’m going to have to work on loving hats me thinks Sarcastic smile


One of the most important things is there are now two pony tails that will be made into wigs for people who’ve lost their hair through chemotherapy…..


Every day of your life you learn something new…well I think you do – in fact you should. In addition to only confirming that I know a bunch of awesome people and am so lucky to have them in my life.

(I will say again I picked this site which is NZ based because they don’t have any processing charges for fees.)

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough”……

I hope when I look back on my life I will feel that applies…so far I’m thinking yes…because on the 27th every person who took part in Aim For A Cure could say this applies…it’s not about saying how good am I but just feeling like you tried to something good for someone else…if one day research manages to find a solution then everyone who helped raise money to keep that research going was part of the solution.

A prime example of this is a young man who recently died. Stephen Sutton… he was 19 years old. Stephen, who was diagnosed with incurable cancer in 2013 (but had battled with cancer since the age of 15) initially wanted to compile a 46-strong bucket list in the time he had left and in the process he hoped that he could raise £10,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust….he achieved so much more when he decided to change tack and not focus on the bucket list …..the amount raised stands at at a staggering £3,898,836.00

Life shouldn’t be measured in time but in achievements Stephen Sutton for example probably achieved more in his (what would be considered by many short) life through his bucket list and the fundraising he did ..he left a heck of a legacy.  How many can say the same?

As it stands at the moment I hoped we would raise $5000 by the time the amounts from all the different places money has been paid into come together (because some paid direct to the Cancer Society) I believe we have achieved that…..makes my heart feel good.

If you can’t beat ‘em , join ‘em…

I posted a while back about my youngest son getting into archery (he shoots a recurve bow)…he’s been doing it about a year and a half and in that time we’ve become completely enmeshed in the Club …Hubby is now the Equipment Manager and I’m the Club Secretary  Rolling on the floor laughing

Anyhoo a few months ago hubby got a compound bow – which can be used for hunting.

Hubby and I both recently became qualified Archery coaches …OMG this club know how to suck you in!!!  Flirt know who you are LOL!!

Well I decided if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! so I’ve got a new toy



Samick 2I haven’t been able to play with it yet because I’ve had Sciatica for the past 2 weeks and standing has been a bit of a challenge never mind using a bow…but hopefully that will change really soon.

It’s very gorgeous and although the matching bow stand wasn’t by design it’s an added bonus LOL!!

Making Butter…..the process….and then onto Spreadable butter….

We make our own butter etc something I’ve said before but I’ve never actually got myself organised and taken pictures of the process before…

I didn’t make butter for years as I thought it would be complicated ….I wish I had known!

DSC04464First you need cream…you can buy it (obviously) from the store or if you use raw milk (as we do)…warm that to between 30/40 deg C (this releases the cream better we think, having tried it without doing it) and then put it through a cream separator…After it gone through the separator then you bottle the milk…you can decide how “skimmed” you want your milk. We go for very little cream in our milk because we want to get as much out of it as possible.

The cream then needs to go in the fridge and sit over night so it can really cold (it seems it works better if you do this and you get more solids out of it…I don’t know if this is true but it’s what we do).


Then to turn the cream into butter it needs to be whisked…and whisked…and whisked. It will increase in volume and will be just like good old whipped cream….keep going….



It will become overwhipped and that voluminous creamy mass will all of a sudden start to fall back down the bowl….keep going….



The cream will start to take on a kind of grainy quality …it’ll become like little round but of solid…keep’s nearly there.

DSCF3018This is the time you need to keep a really close eye on things because all of a sudden the liquids and solids in the cream will start to separate….if you’re not watching and you’re near you will hear the sound change and a sloshing sound…..

If you don’t want your kitchen covered in buttermilk now is the time to slow things down !!

If there is a lot of buttermilk you can get a sieve and drain the buttermilk into a bowl (it’s great in scones or soda bread or other baking projects).

Whisk and drain off the buttermilk…get as much out as you can…you might need to repeat this a couple of times.



The butter will need washing …this will help get as much buttermilk out of the butter as possible….I usually do this a couple of times.

DSCF3021 DSCF3022

After this get the butter out of the whisk attachment and you need to pat it to get any more buttermilk out of the butter…you literally pat it and you’ll see the buttermilk coming out…just keep draining it off…in the end it will be small amounts…I use the backs of wooden DSCF3023spoons…and then you have butter!…Salt to taste.



Probably takes 30-45minutes from start to finish.

Spreadable Butter…

I wanted to make my own spreadable butter so that in our hot weather I didn’t have that “ leave the butter in the pantry but don’t use it quickly enough and it’s going to be horrid..but leave it in the fridge and it’s rock hard” scenario.

So I kept some of the butter I made and to the 200g I added a cup of Vegetable Oil (still playing with the quantities so might change)


Into the food processor and blend…looks a bit like mayonnaise DSCF3027DSCF3028

Now it’s in the fridge just waiting to see how it turns out. I reckon though if it works then I’m getting roughly 1400g of Spreadable butter (which is healthier than just butter) as well as buttermilk and the milk for the week for $10 …I reckoned up if I had to buy it all it would cost me just a few cents under $40 so I think that’s pretty good for about an hour and a half’s effort….fits nicely into my frugal thinking Winking smile

The Rainbow cake …….

The M&M’s did what they were meant to do….YAY!!!! Happy me!!!!


We had the paddocks overseeded today…they are doing pretty well considering we use them to the max with the animals we have on there….cost…..T did some tree work for some friends of ours and will do a little bit more for them after some more trees came down in some gusts we had a couple of days ago……

We like the bartering system 

A hunting they did go….

T and J went out last night and got back just before I was due to go to work ….very excited and covered in blood (not so attractive!)…

They had gone hunting and on their way out a couple of Wapiti cross red deer had popped out in front of them…one didn’t get away. This morning they went back (while I was asleep) and went to pick up said booty.

IT’S HUGE!!! They are a big animal..well they’re cross elk so they’re not going to be small..

Venison is now on the menu again …YAY!!