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Archive for the 'Home Front' Category

Christmas at My Place

I’m visiting Berengaria Brown today and talking about Christmas. Here’s the link to Berengaria’s Blog.

My husband sprang a surprise on me for my birthday and my holiday ended up a bit longer than I’d planned. Not that I’m complaining. I had a fantastic time. I’ll be back to tell you about it tomorrow. Meantime I have what seems like a million things to do before the family arrive for Christmas lunch.

Farmer Shell

Mr. Munro and I had a busy weekend. Hubby went fishing on Saturday, leaving me in peace to do some writing. Job done since I completed the short project I’ve been working on recenty. Mr. Munro arrived home with lots of fish (guess what we had for dinner?) and we headed off to the farm for a working bee.

We spent a couple of hours fixing fences and trimming trees and vines. We were exhausted by the time we finished and I was covered with sheep poop. A shower never felt so good!

Shell and Farm Bike

This is me on the farm bike. :grin:

I purchased another mushroom farm from the local farmers’ market. The mushrooms taste so much better than the ones we buy at the supermarket. I thought my farm had stopped producing but this morning when I woke up several more mushrooms have popped up. I think they like the extra hot weather we’ve been having recently.

Mushroom Farm

This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago when I first got my mushroom farm. The current batch of mushrooms are really small but they grow quickly and should be to this stage soon.

How was your weekend?

Cash in Hand

When I was a kid, banks weren’t open during the weekends. People would go to their banks on a Friday to cash a check and stock up for the weekend ahead. For a couple of years I was a bank teller and I remember busy Friday afternoons well. I also recall my tired, aching feet after a busy day in the bank.

These days most businesses take plastic—either credit cards or Eftpos cards. (I think you have debit cards in the US). The only time I use cash these days is for bus fares and, the rest of the time, I use my credit card.
This made me curious and I wondered if other people were doing the same as me.

Do you use cash or do you tend to use plastic?

You’d Better Watch Out…

Dear Mr. Thrush,


This is your last warning. If you don’t stop looting and plundering my strawberries…


I’ll take strong measures and shoot you with my supersoaker. You have been warned!

Guy Fawkes Day!

It’s Guy Fawkes day today in New Zealand. We spent the evening at my brother-in-laws and once it got dark, the men let off the fireworks. During the drive home the night sky was very busy with fireworks being let off on back lawns and grassy areas.

I was the sober driver tonight, and we gave one of our nephews a lift home. There’s a large park near his house and lots of people were letting off crackers. As I was driving past a little white dog shot in front of me. I wasn’t going fast and slammed on my brakes. Luckily no one was driving behind me and I missed the dog. Mr. Munro immediately shouted at me for slamming on the brakes. I know experts say you should keep driving, but I hate even killing ants or other insects. A cute fluffy dog…heck, I would have felt guilty for days…make that weeks.

As an aside, I’m a bit angry at the owner. Animals don’t like fire crackers and he should have been locked up in a safe place!

So, my question for you today – do you brake or serve to miss or, do you steer straight and hope for the best?

You Know Summer Has Arrived When…

The first ripe strawberry makes its appearance.




What sign says summer to you? And for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, what sign says winter to you?

Water Lillies

I’ve always liked water lillies, which is probably why I’m a fan of Claude Monet. I adore his water lily paintings. A few years ago hubby and I purchased a single water lily. It’s never grown very well until last year when it had two flowers. A few months ago hubby repotted the plant, dividing it into three. Since then the plant has flourished, growing heaps of leaves. We’re now waiting for the flowers to pop up. Maybe we’ll even beat our record of two this year.

Water lillies are actually Nymphaeaceae and they grow in fresh water in both temperate and tropical climes. The plants grow in dirt, but the leaves and flowers float on the surface of the water. They come in lots of different colors, the flowers lasting only a few days before dying.

I took the photos below at the Wellington Botanic earlier this year.

Water Lily

Water Lily

Water Lily

Do you like water lillies?

Shopping Success and Foster Dogs

I went shopping yesterday, on the hunt for a nice summery dress. Success. This is the one I purchased and I’m really pleased with it. Now if only the weather would cooperate so I could start wearing it.


When we applied to foster dogs for the SPCA we thought we’d have dogs quite often. We had Patch for five weeks and haven’t had another dog since. I rang to ask about the frequency but evidently the fosters aren’t available all the time. Color me disappointed when I arrived home after picking up my husband from golf to find a message on our answer phone. I rang back straight away, but they’d found an alternative foster for Mikey meantime. Cross your fingers that a foster comes up soon. I’m really missing a dog around the place and, unfortunately, we can’t adopt one at present since it’s possible my husband will be transferred to the other end of the country.

And finally, I was very excited to wake up to find The Spurned Viscountess had made the Top Five list at Carina Press. By the time you check out the list I’ll probably have disappeared, but I thought it was exciting. :grin:

Time Out!


Shelley is away from her computer, taking time to smell the roses…

Sweet Tooth

I have a terrible sweet tooth. I blame my father. He’s always liked anything sweet ranging from dessert to cakes and sweets. It would be much easier if I hadn’t inherited this gene, but I try to control myself as much as possible.

My father is a farmer. He’s worked hard all his life and has never had a weight problem. My sister thinks, and I agree, he should be allowed to indulge his sweet tooth. He can’t hurt his teeth since he has false ones. :grin:

He has a lolly jar that my sister fills periodically. There used to be a running joke. My sister would fill the jar and before she knew it, the lolly jar would be empty again. My father always denied everything and said that Joe ate them. (Joe was my sister’s big foot cat. He was a real character but he died earlier this year) This is how the conversation would go:

“My lolly jar is empty.”

“But I filled it a few days ago,” my sister would say.

“Joe has been in the lolly jar again,” my father would say. “He’s a real fiend. I told him off but he keeps eating the lollies.”

After Joe died, my father forgot for a minute. He tried the lolly jar is empty and Joe ate them.

“Ah-ha!” said my sister. “You can’t blame Joe. He isn’t here.”

My father is still trying to come up with a good excuse.

Those of you with a sweet tooth will probably curse me in a moment. I found this recipe for Coconut Ice in my favorite food magazine – Taste. It’s incredibly easy and uses the microwave rather than a saucepan on the stove top. It would be great for those times when you need to make something for a fete or school fair.

Coconut Ice

1 kg icing sugar or 2.2 pounds(confectioner’s sugar in US)
1/2 cup milk
200 g butter or 1.76 sticks of butter
4 cups long coconut threads
2 – 3 drops red food coloring

Mix the icing sugar, milk and butter in a large microwaveable bowl and microwave for 2 minutes or until the butter has melted. Stir in the coconut.

Spread half the mixture into a baking paper-lined slice tin. Smooth until flat. Add a couple of drops of red food coloring to the remaining half and mix well. Spread on top of the white layer and carefully smooth until flat. Refrigerate the coconut ice until firm then cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

Notes: If I’m making it for myself I make half the recipe. I couldn’t purchase the long coconut threads and use normal dessicated coconut. I’ve given the conversions NZ to US.

This is really yummy stuff. :grin:

Do you have a sweet tooth? What is your biggest sugary indulgence?