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Archive for April, 2009

Random Thought…

Butt cracks in a public place. Not a pretty sight…

Guy in Jeans

Big shudder. I need to scrub my eyeballs. Just sayin’…

What say you?

Interview with Meankitty

Cats Next 10 Miles

I visited Jody Wallace and Meankitty today. Meankitty asked me some tricky and probing questions. My interview is here.

Froggie Went A Courtin’

Look what Mr. Munro found in our garden during the weekend…


Isn’t he handsome? We don’t live anywhere near a pond and it’s a big mystery as to how he arrived in our garden. He made Mr. Munro start when he jumped from beneath a bag of compost. Hubby thought he might be lonely, so he found him a friend…


He stayed around for a while before hopping away into the depths of our garden. The only problem is that I have this song inside my head now.

Did you find anything interesting in your garden during the weekend? Did you do anything exciting during the weekend?

Childhood Memories

Thursday Thirteen

We always had a lot of books around us when we were kids. My brother, sister and I knew our nursery rhymes and read a lot. I remember boxes of books in the back of the wardrobe that belonged to my parents – mainly mysteries and westerns. My mother was a teacher who taught new entrants (five-year-olds) and she used to have heaps of books that she’d use in her teaching. She’d show us her new purchases and of course, I’d read them. She died in an accident when I was 21 and I kept a few of my favorites. I was looking at my bookcase today and pulled out one about a rabbit finding an egg. It made me smile.

Here are Thirteen of My Favorites (that are still in my bookcase)

1. Because a Little bug went Ka-Choo by Rosetta Stone and Michael Frith

2. Bears in the Night by Stan and Jan Berenstain

3. Travels of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting – this version adapted by Al Perkins. As a kid I had the actual Hugh Lofting series, which is probably what started my fascination with talking animals.

4. Hubert’s Hair-Raising Adventure by Bill Peet

5. The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek by Jenny Wagner

6. The Berenstain Bears and the Missing Dinosaur Bone by Stan and Jan Berenstain

7. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss – I just love the rhyming. :grin:

8. The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree – I loved these bear books and still do!

9. Jim and the Beanstalk by Raymond Briggs

10. The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown

11. The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss – still one of my favorites. I like the message.

12. Shelley and the pony of the year by Ellen Bosworth. How could I resist this story? I see that it’s out of stock and a used copy is on sale for $45.

13. Proud Riders by Josephine Pullein-Thompson. Like lots of other little girls I liked pony stories.

I noticed when I did the Amazon links that many of these books are still popular and highly rated. A good book never goes out of date.

What stories do you remember from your childhood? Do your children or grandchildren have some of these?


As part of his job my husband has to go into people’s houses. He’s always amazed at how messy some of the teenagers’ bedrooms are with so much stuff on the floor he can’t do his job. I think he’s actually scared to go into some of the bedrooms because of the lurking laundry and undies around the place. He’s never sure exactly what he might find.

I’ve always tended to pick up after myself, even when I was a teenager. I shared a room with my sister. She wasn’t as tidy as me and we argued. When my mother suggested we tidy our room, it truly wasn’t my fault. Really!

When it comes to my writing stuff, it all looks fairly tidy, but the sheer number of piles on my desk irritates my hubby. I tell him I know where everything is, but he thinks one pile would be best, or better yet, no piles at all.

How are you when it comes to tidiness? How are your children?

Running The Sheep.

In Spain, they have the running of the bulls. In New Zealand we have running of the sheep.

Mention the small town of Te Kuiti and most New Zealanders automatically think of sheep. It might have something to do with the fact that the NZ Shearing championships are held there or the fact that David Fagan, a world champion shearer comes from Te Kuiti. They have a huge statue of a shearer in the town centre. Each year they host the annual running of the sheep. The run took place a few days ago, and they had a few problems this year. The sheep ran amok, leaping over barriers designed to protect the spectators. One woman was knocked out. Around 1500 sheep were released and only 400 crossed the finish line.

Here’s a Youtube from a previous year showing images and live footage plus some foot-tapping music. Enjoy!

When people think about sheep and New Zealand, they often start with sheep jokes. I couldn’t find any definite figures on the number of sheep in NZ, but the numbers have definitely declined in recent years due to a surge in dairy farming. I know my father used to have quite a few sheep but has scarcely any these days. My sister has a pet lamb (now fully grown) called Pandora who terrorizes our little dog every time she visits. Scotty knows to keep far, far away from Pandora. I had pet lambs when I was a kid and entered agricultural shows. I still remember my pet lamb, Belinda. She was a real champion.

Some sheep facts from An Encyclopedia of New Zealand 1966 for the historians among us…

– New Zealand’s first sheep were set ashore by Captain Cook on 20 May 1773.

– Rapid sheep population growth in the 1850s and 1860s was mostly attributable to permanent immigration rather than natural increase. In 1864 alone, 13,000 sheep arrived in Canterbury from Australia. Droughts meant that sheep could always be bought cheaply from Australia. Drought continues to affect Australian farmers and sheep numbers.

– The first shipment of frozen lamb and mutton sailed to London from Port Chalmers aboard the Dunedin in 1882.

What would you do if a sheep came charging at you during the running of the sheep?

Interview, Threesomes & Touch of Fire

Author, Selena Illyria is having a menage a trois week. I was really excited when she asked me to participate. Here’s the link for my post here.

I also have an interview over at D. Renee Bagby’s The Multiverse’s Archival Chambers

Pop back tomorrow to see if you’re the winner in my blog participation contest. Nothing like a little suspense!

And finally, check out Maria Zannini’s book coming to a store near you in May…

Buy TOUCH OF FIRE by Maria Zannini

Do You Hoard?

A news item caught my attention last night. On 31 July 2006 the Reserve Bank of New Zealand introduced some new coins. The 5c coin was made obselete, and they resized the 10, 20 and 50 cent pieces. I forget how many million coins they put into circulation at this date. I know it was a lot, but it seems a few million coins have gone missing.

The Reserve Bank are appealing for people to empty the jars of coins they collect and spend them so they go back into circulation. If people do this, they won’t have to spend money minting new coins.

According to the Reserve Bank the average person has two hundred coins on hand at once, and men are worse than women at hoarding coins. They empty their pockets and put the coins in a jar.

I have to say that I don’t hoard coins. I’m not one of the people who have two hundred coins hanging around. I use my coins to buy papers and milk, the odd ice cream, and I use them for bus fares. Nope, you won’t find stray coins hiding down the back of my couch!

What about you? Do you have two hundred coins hiding around the place? How is your partner with coins? Are you…gasp!!…a coin hoarder?

Clever Inventions

Thursday Thirteen

I was thinking about inventions yesterday, and all the things I’m glad that some intelligent person or persons invented. Here are some of my favorites.

1. Hot and cold running water – I think one of life’s simple pleasures is a hot shower. I love being able to walk to a tap for a glass of water. I’ve done quite a bit of traveling in countries where people don’t have this luxury. Hot and cold running water is something that I never take for granted.

2. iPods – my iPod is the most basic sort you can buy, but I love it. I like being able to carry all my favorite songs with me where ever I go.

3. wheels – I love cycling every day. I love my orange and black bicycle. It would look pretty funny with square wheels and probably wouldn’t work very well either!

4. telephones – the ability to keep contact with friends and family all over the world is pretty amazing. Of course, sometimes the telephone is a PITA but on the whole, I think it’s an excellent invention.

5. chocolate – whoever managed to turn the cocoa bean into luscious chocolate has my vote.

6. ebooks – I like the immediacy of them, being able to download an ebook at any time of the day or night and the ability to take lots of books on holiday without breaking my back with a case of books.

7. washing machine – it makes washing day a breeze instead of an all day thing.

8. BBQ – nothing tastes better than a BBQ meal, eaten outside on a beautiful night.

9. computers – a computer makes writing so much easier. I can’t imagine what it must have been like typing a manuscript on a typewriter or by hand.

10. dishwasher – hubby and I didn’t have a dishwasher for a long time. When we moved to a new house, a dishwasher was part of the package. We’d hate to be without it now. It was hard to go back to handwashing dishes when it broke down. We arranged for the serviceman pretty quickly!

11. airplanes – I like to travel. I like it best when I’m on the ground but a plane comes in handy to get from point A to B.

12. muffins and cakes – when it comes to food, I’m always fascinated by how people discovered various food combinations. I know many were discovered by mistake, but some combinations just don’t seem obvious at first. I’m so glad blueberry muffins were invented.

13. Internet – I can’t imagine life without the internet for both my writing, for learning new things and for meeting new people and keeping up with friends and family.

Which inventions are you thankful for?

A Surprise Present

My husband came home with a surprise present for me last night. There was no occasion – he just turned up with a present. I thought it was chocolate when I started to open it, but it was a Pandora bracelet. I’ve been eyeing the bracelets for months but thought they were too expensive. It’s sterling silver and very pretty. You buy the bracelet and add the charms as the budget or occasion demands.

My husband and I don’t do presents for birthdays or Christmas. Since our birthdays are a month apart we usually buy something we both want or have dinner out. Sometimes he’ll bring me home chocolate or a bottle of wine if he knows I’ve had a bad day. This bracelet was a complete surprise, and I was really touched. Lots of brownie points :grin:

How do you handle presents in your family? Do you have memories of a special present that you really loved or maybe hated?

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