Category Archives: Manda’s musings

Where did the time go?!!!

Crikey I had a look to see when I last wrote on my blog and it was April!!! In my defence I have been keeping notes and writing bits and pieces in Windows Live writer but never actually got round to transferring them to the actual blog…so I’m going to put it right as soon as possible. In my defence I have been ill and there have been other major life events so not only have I not written here since April but there are big (actually gaping!) gaps since January and if I want to remember these things or be able to pass these things on to my kids I’d better get on and get writing.

As usual this will appear and later (hopefully) there will be posts and my boys will think what the heck was she going about she’s written loads….but this is just a testament to the fact I hadn’t!


I forgot!!!

I’ve got a new gadget coming soon….I was watching Queen Latifah’s chat show on TV the other week and she had Boy George on – he made a dish with Zucchini Spaghetti. I liked the idea of this given I’m just starting on my low carb journey. So I thought I would investigate gizmo’s for making veggie noodles / spaghetti.

I think this is a really good video to give you the comparisons…. 

I decided in the end to get the Spirooli slicer …because it will give you really long vegetable spaghetti. So you have the option of cutting it down to whatever size you want. I got it off Amazon in the USA….ironically it was cheaper for my to buy it and have it delivered to my door from America than it was for me to buy it in NZ…. sadly I find myself doing this more and more. It’s on it’s way so hopefully I’ll be eating veggie spaghetti really soonSmile 

Onwards and upwards……

I’ve strained my rotator cuff (shoulder) which is agony ..I thought the Sciatica was painful but this has topped it!

I have been to the doctor and so had blood tests done as well (he was thinking maybe Osteoarthritis….good news it isn’t. I also had fasting lipids and blood glucose and the results..
Good news – cholesterol is OK
Bad news – Blood sugars were high and I was told I’m pre-diabetic.
The good news with that is I’m not diabetic but it’s a huge warning. I’ve known since I packed the weight back on that I needed to lose it but this is the metaphorical slap round the face I think I needed (well I hope it is)…losing weight is no longer something I just want to do… I need to do it. I don’t see daily injections in my future and so I’ve got to do something about it.

It’s taken me a few days to process this and I’ve done nothing but read about diabetes on the net (in addition to all the bumpf he gave me) since I found out. So I’m going to REALLY apply myself. Lower fat, lower carb diet -my SW green days will be no more because I need to drop the carbs.

Hubby got a real bargain a cross trainer for $25 (they are around $400 normally) -the computer on it wasn’t working ..actually it was because the wires had come loose so he took it apart and has fixed it batteries and it’s good to go.

We’ve decided to turn our spare bedroom into a place to exercise (gym sounds a bit much)….so youngest son thinks this is great because at 8 years old he’s getting the big bed out of there )grin2(
So I WILL be getting my act together now and be more positive about sorting out my weight this time!!! )grin2(

All I need to do now is find out what’s going on with my shoulder and keep losing weight….simple eh ?!!

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.

Before pictures…..

I thought I should put up a couple of pics of me before the head shave on the 27th …Hi this is me Rolling on the floor laughing !!! (I don’t know if I’ve actually put any pics of me up in my blog)….anyhoo I thought I just stick these up to give people an idea of what I’m having shaved off


I was hoping I could donate my hair and I’ve found out that you can’t donate bleached hair….I’m gutted because I think there is a fair bit that could have been used but apparently bleach reacts in the wig making process so they can’t used hair that’s been bleached. 

Up until now I’ve always coloured my hair (which they can use so can be donated) but I’ve not bleached it since my teens (so it would have been WELL grown out Who me?)….so it’s even more gutting but can’t change it so I just need to get over it.

So heads up if anyone is thinking of doing a head shave make sure you’ve no bleach in your hair.

Aim For A cure…..

Our archery club is like an extended family and I don’t say that lightly…I think we have a very special club and I think a bit different from others (but I’m happy if there are others out there that feel the same about their club too).
Recently two members of our Aimtru Family have been diagnosed with Cancer and so we want to support them and at the same time do something positive.

Cancer affects 1 in 3 people in New Zealand and I think I wouldn’t be far off in saying that most people if they haven’t had experience of Cancer themselves know of someone that has.
There is nothing positive about Cancer …. it robs people of their loved ones…. just the word creates fear.
I had a partial molar pregnancy several years ago …2 years after I had J I lost twins. It was a emotional time as I was 12 weeks pregnant when it was discovered… but in addition to this the molar part of the issue is about abnormal cells….I was told I would need chest x-rays following this and ignorant to what was going on I couldn’t understand why when I had lost babies I would need to have a chest x-ray!…..I was told that those cells can metastasise and go to your lungs…..

My sorrow at having lost children was rapidly replaced by fear as that meant only one thing, I could possibly have Cancer. I had months of blood test every week monitoring beta HCG levels to ensure the molar cells didn’t return but I was lucky….the beta HCG levels continued to drop and after 6 months I was given the all clear….but still now I can remember that fear…just the word.

Recently…….I was talking with one of these people (who I have to say is the most proactive and positive person with regards to fighting her cancer), who had just had her first round of chemotherapy and we were discussing her hair falling out as a side effect. She had made the decision to shave her head when her hair started to come out so she was taking control of how it happened….I suggested when it did I would shave my head too. Her initial reaction was No you don’t have to …No I didn’t have to but I wanted to….I don’t think I feel any emotional attachment to my hair and after all it is only hair …it will grow back and i have a choice about shaving it off. Two days later she told me it had started and so the next day she had her head shaved…
I decided then I would start a donations page for the Cancer Society of NZ ….I will say again there is nothing positive about Cancer but the research still goes on and so the only positive thing that can be got out of the situation is creating something to get money to support the organisations to fund research, provide support to any diagnosed and provide education so people can pick up on symptoms quicker….that is something we all can do in whatever way we decide.
From this conversation the idea has grown and now our Archery Club is going to have a day on Sunday 27th ….two of the coaches are going to do a “Thousand Arrrow challenge” (a 1000 arrows in the day…which is a big effort), the children will be able to do 250 / 500 arrows depending on their age and ability….and at the end of the day…..there will be a close shave for some ~ because I’m now not the only one doing this .

This way our Aimtru family can all participate in showing their support …which is exactly how it should be Red heart

Hello again…..

I haven’t popped in and written on my blog for ages so I’m going to need to do some serious catching up…but hey life takes over and whilst I want the blog to be something I can come back to and read at my own leisure in years to come it’s not the be all and end of things….but if I don’t write in it at all there’ll be nothing to read in the future (double edged sword eh?LOL!!)…..anyhoo onwards  with what has been happening in life.

South Island JAMA 2014

So once again the South Island Junior Archers Championships came round…. this year was different though as our small but rapidly growing club  were hosting them…the first big competition we’ve hosted. Two days of shooting for the children on the Saturday and Sunday – and many more days of planning and organising for the Committee and parents who volunteered their time to help out.DSC00111

For hubby and I it involved lots of firsts because we’ve become more and more involved with the Club since J joined – hubby is now the Equipment Manager and I’m the Club Secretary. So from a committee and parent volunteer point of view we were involved in the organisation and “doing”  for the days.  I have a white folder which had all the minutes of meetings and job lists for things to do and that had been done….it became infamous and if I had that folder people would avoid making eye contact with me….not that that saved them LOL!!
Fortunately I took some days off running up to and including the comp….bit of an after thought but I’m glad I did because I needed them for all the last minute things I kept thinking of!

On the Friday came the first big learning curve…laying out the range. (I think though I’ve got a pretty good idea of how to do it now thanks to Tim our President who fortunately did know how to!).

Friday we started around 10am  and went on till early evening…

Lines had to be put own first (thanks to the line marker we borrowed from the cricket club that was a much easier process) but a spray can and tape measure were needed and lots of bending to mark where the target centres needed to be positioned (I now have ingrained in my head 1.25 metres in from the edge of the lane !). Targets were constructed and left out ready for the next day. Safety areas were set out (it’s amazing even when people see a sign saying archery in progress they just walk right on through never giving a thought to the fact that an arrow could kill them!)

T had spent days making the target stands (14 of them) and they did the job wonderfully although it was a pity the new bosses didn’t arrive in time (Cyclone Lusi that blew through NZ saw to that…thanks a bunch)..but our very kind friends at another club leant us extra material so we had enough bosses for the day.DSC00112

Saturday and Sunday we had to get up at 6am Confused smile and were at the range in the dawn light for just before 7am…J was in his onesie with a sleeping bag and a pillow in the back of the car so he could get a little more sleep (not that that happened)  and Ali our treasurer did a BBQ breakfast whilst the volunteer ground crew got the targets ready for inspection by the judges……. Anne Mitchell who also happens to be the Vice President of Archery New Zealand and Logan Andrews.  They were both lovely to the children and very kind to us given it was a huge learning curve.

Tim as Director of ShootingDSC00103-001



Tim (Director of shooting)            Anne (Head Judge) and                  Petra (Head Coach)




The line up was just over 40 archers and the weather was great both days which made it much easier for them.







Jo did a fantastic job as Team Manager making sure the children were all hydrated and fed….parents chipped in to help move targets, do a Sausage sizzle (which raised well needed funds for the club)….it was a fantastic effort all round and it makes me proud to be part of it.

Bruce D’Bear who is our mascot got a bit full of himself and took on the role of coach ..but hey what would you do…..and he’s a bit of a Romeo…chatting up archers from other clubs too Winking smile

Bruce 2Bruce D'Bear 1

DSC00148 - Copy

It was an amazing weekend …wish I’d taken some days off afterwards ..I was capoopered !!! …and before you ask yes that is a word and it sums up exactly how I felt lol! Smile with tongue out


Archery Camp…..

This past few days have been a great time for my youngest son J….our coach Petra ( funny reading back through this I realised I’d called her “our” coach  when it’s only the little one who does archery….LOL!!!) organised an archery camp over the school holidays.

So what? ….Well the so what is Coach invited a Mr Laval Dee Falks who is an USA Elite Archery Coach and has been involved as a coach with the USA Dream Team, the USA National team and coached for top archers in the USA (including Junior Olympian Miranda Leek). He has also been involved in the development of archery coaching in the USA and coaches in developing countries….impressed …well I am!!  Not only is a well respected man in his field….it seems to me he puts so much energy into the sport …..When he was leaving us he was going home and then he was off to China….he’s a busy bloke!!

Anyway I digress.. the camp was for 5 days and the invitation was extended across New Zealand…J is only 7 and so because there were going to be lectures which he likely wouldn’t be able to sit through he was able to go for half days which involved working on forma nd technique..pretty much the practical side of archery.

I have to be honest I was worried it would be too much but I needn’t have…he LOVED IT!! Bit daft of me to worry ..I don’t know why I do really – I think it’s because he’s still so small – he’s my baby… BUT …it’s archery and so it is what it is for him…he doesn’t get the opportunity he’s had – the guy is Coach Dee and at the camp he sorted out his shoulders…and that’s it…..nice to not overcomplicate things and so I take my lead from him and try not to overcomplicate things either.

Main thing he had a fantastic time and learnt….what is not to love about that… and I hope that those who came from other clubs had the same experience.

Who knows where he will go with this thing called archery he is after all only 7… but for now ….he is doing something he loves,learning and enjoying it all at the same time….what more could a Mum ask for.

I would like to add to this my thanks to Coach Petra who organised the camp, Coach Dee who came so far to the bottom of the world to share his knowledge, Coach Olivia who carried on regardless (on crutches!), Coaches Mum who did great food (J approved Flirt male) and everyone who worked behind the scenes to make the whole thing work.

Oh and I hope that Coach Dee doesn’t drive his wife mad with the shepherd’s whistle he got whilst he was here…because thanks to my husband I think my ears are bleeding! Smile with tongue out



So far this month….

I haven’t posted much but that doesn’t mean life hasn’t been busy…..

– My truck has blown the head…needs a new engine as this is the cheapest option $2000 (ish).
– There was a fire at work and I have had the effects of smoke inhalation for the last couple of weeks
– Last week I tore my calf muscle in bed – the dog jumped up and as I went to shift him with my leg and my calf muscle went pop! Oh Joy…So I am off till next Tuesday at the moment.
– Then T’s car started to overheat….it needs a new water pump (goes in tomorrow)…bye bye $900
– We’ve had rain for almost all of the last 4 days floods everywhere and bridges closed (the bridge near us had one of it’s piers washed away!!

We have lakes in the paddocks we didn’t have before (plus side ducks have had somewhere to float about in) …. apparently there’s a polar surge coming up the country again !!! We’ll wait and see if that happens…
Oh and one of the freezers clapped out on Sunday so we had to shift loads and we’ve been eating a lot of roasts (that were too defrosted)this week ….our neighbours don’t mind though as we invited them round, I’ve made a load of ready meals that we’ve frozen (irony is not lost on me there) and made a shed load of dog biscuits from the liver etc… that had defrosted – so no waste which makes things better.

Do you think we should do the lottery? LOL!!!