Sunday, 29 December 2013

Why is it.....?

(source Tiger Philosphy)

Why is it just sometimes I feel really lonely.  At the moment I can not tell why or how this came about but I guess it has been brewing for some time.  Maybe it is because I am tired.  Maybe because I feel isolated and limited by what we can do in life with my disabled son.  Maybe I just need a holiday.Whatever it is it is time to do something about it.

In my house the first challenge is finding someone who can look after Hayden in the evenings so we can go out.  Maybe that is my challenge.  I have been thinking about it the wrong way around.  Perhaps we can have people come around and do the entertaining and that way keep up with the world outside of the house.  Maybe I need to work harder at finding a good baby sitter as that seems to be the biggest problem.

Maybe it really is all about the state of relationships inside my house at the moment and I need to spend a little time reflecting and working on them. 

Whatever it is it is time to take action and start by loving myself a whole lot more.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Traditional Food at my table.

With Christmas only one sleep away I am sitting here pondering what traditions I have instilled in my family.  What will my children carry on when they are adults and creating their own traditions.  There are many things that I hope my children will carry forward but tonight it is all about food.  With us living in a nation where Christmas is a early summer event.  No snow for us and plenty of unstable windy, hot and sunny and even wet days are possible.

So with that in mind I would share What is in my oven gently cooking at the moment ready to take with me tomorrow to our family Christmas.

Meringues  yes I know.  While in New Zealand the Pavlova is proudly claimed as its own although history is debatable and states that it was a dessert that was invented after Anna Pavlova had been on tour with her ballet troupe traveling around New Zealand and Australia.  Whatever the case it was invented in Australasia.

As an upshot of that dessert, which coincidentally I don't like very much, I have made the tradition in my house to make meringues.  Just like a pavlova it is made with egg while just smaller and crunchier.  I guess this why I like the meringue over the pavlova. 

So without wasting anymore words here is my recipe for meringues.


In preparation you need to make sure you have the tools you are using perfectly clean and dry.  Your egg beater and bowl both need to be grease clean and dry.  Water, grease and fluffy egg whites do not combine well.  

That also brings me to another point.  Humidity and meringues do not combine well together as well.

Now I have got these two things out there let us begin.

4 egg white  (room temperature)
a pinch of salt
1 cup of castor sugar


1.  Place 4 egg whites into a metal bowl (maybe an old wives tale but I was always told it should be a metal bowl) and beat until the egg whites form peaks that can stand on their own.

2.   Next add in the pinch of salt and tablespoon at a time the sugar.  Beat until the sugar has disappeared before adding the next tablespoon of sugar.

3.  When all the sugar is in you will have a glossy looking mixture ready for spooning onto your tray covered in baking paper.  Don't forget you will need to have lovely looking peaks too.

4.  Place in an oven pre heated to 120 degrees celcius and then cool the oven temperature down to 90 degrees celcius.  Bake for about 1 1/2 hours and then turn your oven off leaving the meringues in the oven for 3 or so hours. 

5.  Store for up to 3 weeks in an air tight container.

I will be covering mine in a berry coolie with the option of light cream and fresh fruit.  Self assembled.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Mondays Menu 23 December

Finally my life has some time to do things that I love to do.  So without further ado here is my menu for this week.

Monday    Fahita   (home made recipe)

Tuesday   Curry Chicken Pasta

Wednesday   Christmas Day....we are out at families for the day.

Wednesday   Ham steaks with baked potato and garden salad.

Thursday  Spicy Beef salad

Friday   homemade pizza with leftover vege on it. 

Saturday  Bbq Chicken Chopped Salad

(Image source Iowa Girl Eats)

Sunday  leftovers

I am linking this post to I'm an Organising Junkie.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Wordless Wednesday 30 October

There is nothing like spring.  The Thrush that laid these eggs got scared of our lawn mower and has not returned sadly.

I am linking this post to My Little Drummer Boys.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Monday Menu 28 October

Well Monday is here.  This week is starting with a public holiday, the last one before Christmas arrives.  So here is my menu.

Monday  Italian Grilled Chicken with Lemon & Herbs

Tuesday  spaghetti bolignaise  

Wednesday  steak and kidney crockpot on rice 

Thursday   creamy coconut beef stirfry on noodles.

Friday  bacon and vege pasta (my own recipe)

Saturday  homemade hamburgers

Sunday  leftovers

I am linking this post to I'm an Organising Junkie.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Fridays Fabulous Five # 43

Here are this weeks links. 

Enjoy your weekend.

What Happened at School Today?

Hayden arrived home from his special school looking like this......

Since he is not good at communicating and his home communication book did not offer any ideas we are stuck.  What exactly did Hayden do at school today.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Wordless Wednesday 23 October

There is nothing like playing the violin with clean fingers.  I guess that is little boys for you.

I am linking this post up to My Little Drummer Boys.

A Hospital Visit or Two

This year has been full of hospital visits.  Usually one day stays but one for longer.  Hayden has been in hospital to try and clear his port a cath 2 time.  Both with short lived success ending up with facing the reality that he would need surgery to replace it.

(Starship hospital Auckland from the atrium inside)
Starship is the place he usually is admitted to but not always. A day might be anything from keeping Hayden still in one spot while hooked up to a pump putting fluid into his port to clear it.  Or it might mean surgery, in and out in one day.  Maybe a three night stay in hospital with campylobactor.  Yes you read that here.  My son who is mainly feed through his mickey button got food poisoning.  Don't ask me how because he was treated as the primary source.  Hmmm

Anyway this is what hospital can look like for us.

Firstly there is the temper tantrum and feeling sorry for himself.

Art and craft make and do while waiting.  A holiday programme put on in the atrium.  

Spending time to try and unblock the port a cath.

Then there is the reality of being sick.  With Hayden's medical condition being sick is means being hooked up to plenty of IV fluids.  Usually no food and .....

......plenty of blood tests.  Finger prick variety this time as his port was yet to be fixed and he was hooked up to a lure in his foot.

Just maybe there is the ward wall art which has been donated in the specialties ward refurbishment that I got to enjoy while Hayden was feeling sorry for himself and sleeping while sick in bed.

Finally, for those who can enjoy, there is the lovely Auckland skyline that can been see from the 6th level.


Monday, 21 October 2013

Monday Menu 21 October

Here is my menu for this week.  I am feeling tired already.  I guess that must be because the end of the school year is not far away for us here in New Zealand summer, my favourite time of the year, is finally starting to appear.

Monday    Freezer meal (saving my sanity today)

Tuesday  Chicken fajitas

Wednesday  spaghetti bolignaise

Thursday  cuban marinaded steak and salad with baked potato

Friday  Easy Fried Rice

Saturday  grilled Tandori Chicken with red onion skewers on couscous

Sunday  Leftovers.

I am linking this post to I'm an Organising Junkie.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Fridays Fabulous 5 # 42

I am back to the reality of life after being on holiday in Wellington.

So my list for this weeks is diverse.  I hope there is something in here that you might like.

  • There have been lots of thing written about Miley Cyrus lately.  Anna Stretton is a fashion designer in New Zealand.  She is quite successful and truly one of my favourite designers from New Zealand and I can affort her stuff.  So here is what she wrote about Miley and her recent antics.
  • While I am on about Miley Cyrus this week Sinead O'Connor wrote this a couple of weeks ago.  I think it something that teenage girls should read and digest.
  • Then there is the problem I had with my smart phone and in the end a factory resent was needed.  Thank goodness for You tube and its contributors for this little clip and now I am back communicating with the world.
  • Finally all about smiling.  Especially as some of you will be thinking about those photos to go with your Christmas cards.
Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Wordless Wednesday 16 October

My daughter recently played hockey for the Auckland Under 13 team in the Colliers cup.  It is the largest girls sporting event in the Southern Hemisphere and history shows that this event has been very difficult for Auckland girls to win.  With 24 teams participating it is a fun even but with fiercely fought for prize of first place.

So this year prove to be the year where the girls proved that they are winners.  They were so excited and after winning 8 games in a row they were crowned the champions.

This photos really shows how exited the girls are with their will deserved win.

I am linking this post to My Little Drummer Boys

Road Trips

There is nothing like taking your child on a trip that is longer than just down the road.  Personally I think that travelling by car is the best way to see New Zealand.  You get an up close and personally experience the countryside.  Children get to read a map, look at the towns and cities as you pass through them.  They even get to see them in relative nearness to each other.  Hopefully no more thinking that Hamilton is at the bottom of the South Island.

(map sourced here)

So when my husband and I had a reason to drive from Auckland to Wellington with 9 year son we decided that by car was a great way to share the beauty of our country.  

That is when, at the last minute, I decided to put together a little activity sheet to do.  It really was more of a ...take a photo sheet that should keep him busy through the whole 7 - 8 hour trip.

I am pleased that this did exactly as I had hoped.   One child happily snapped photos all the way down to Wellington.  He observed and learned things he had never known before.  It broke the trip up into manageable bites and sure helped him with his map reading skills.  

I guess you would call this a success.  I will have to post the photos when we can sit down to have a look at them.


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Monday Menu 14 October

Here just a little late is my menu.

Monday  Spaghetti Bolignaise

Tuesday  Chicken Fajitas 

Wednesday  North Aftican Chicken curry.

Thursday  Roast Beef with Salsa Verde

Friday  Chicken BLT

Saturday  warm Thai pork meatball and noodle salad.

Sunday  Left overs.

I am linking this post to I'm an Organising Junkie.

(Image source is here)

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Wordless Wednesday 2 October

Nothing like a great game of hockey to view.

Believe it or not just a couple of weeks ago my daughter was supposed to be on that field playing club hockey one Saturday morning early.

Luckily about 10 minutes later the fog lifted and it was a beautiful spring morning.

I am linking this post to My Little Drummer Boys.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013


Have you ever wondered what 2 cubic meters of driveway stones looks like?  Yes that's it.  Dropped in the middle of our drive was this little pile of stone.  No going anywhere until they are dealt to.  So with only three of us at home we armed ourselves with spades, a bit of kiwi ingenuity and some muscle power we set to work.

 (the muscles on show)

 (the plank of wood to move stones....a bit of Kiwi ingenuity)

Two hours later and after a lot of laughter the pile was gone and we had a lovely smooth top of the driveway.  Free of pot holes and lovely to drive over.

Isn't it funny how something like this can become a family bonding moment.

Mondays Menu 30 September

Here,at the beginning of the school holidays, I have time to to blig my menu for the week.  We will be going away for a few days and want to use up the food in the fridge so a week of use what we have.
Monday   chicken wraps
Tuesday   meatballs and spaghetti

Wednesday ham, corn and cheese pasta bake

Thursday  steak with salad

Friday  meatloaf with baked potatoes and salad

Saturday  left overs to clear the fridge

Sunday  we are on holiday

I am linking this to I'm an Organising Junkie.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Continuing on the Happiness Journey.

I am late posting my Art Journalling but I thought that I would in the weekends make a post or two catch you up on my thoughts regarding Happiness.  I really loved this months prompts and the kit which visited Japan.  To me Japan always conjures up images from youth and a fabulous holiday I had there.

(credits...  these are all made using Tangie Baxters AJC March Collection)

Friday, 27 September 2013

Fridays Fabulous 5 # 41

(image source here)

Here are my favourite finds for this week.

  • Since we are off to watch my daughter play hockey at a national under 13 tournament I thought that this post would be great for taking the photos with athletes on the move.
  • This post by Mye De Leon about the birth of her little boy.  I feel her pain and understand exactly were she is coming from.
  • What about these fun little baubles.  I think that they might just be worth having a go at from Meet Me at Mikes.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Wordless Wednesday 25 September

It has been quite some time since I posted and there have been many photos taken.

(taken on my smartphone)

I am linking this post to My Little Drummer Boys

Oh Boy

Please forgive this post I started it on my computer then we had a branch on our power line,a few sparks of high voltage power, leaving us with half power.  You know the sort...a few lights, the tv and importantly when it is a winter storm my electric blanket. So this post is the first from my smart phone.

Oh boy life has been hectic in my life and something just had to give.  Sadly my blog was one of those things.  The reality of having children who  have been busy with winter sport.  Added to that their is the music, speech and drama, and of course the busy things that make up the of a mum who cares for a disabled child. Even my creative brain took a break which I hope returns quickly.
So with the last week of term three (of four) underway and so many untold stories I am ready to tap the keyboard to get them told. All those Saturday mornings at the hockey turf and a hospital with one child who had food poisoning for just a start.

A rose given to me from a little 5 year old in one of the classes I relieve in on a weekly basis. 

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Fridays Fabulous 5 # 40

After a break of sometime here is my first post of this kind.  I have lots of links just waiting to be posted but I would love to find some that others love too.  So please link me up.


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Wordless Wednesday 24 July

Just a little look at the crystals close up.  These ones are copper sulphate.

I am liking this post to My Little Drummer Boys.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

A day in Daystay at Starship Hospital

Hayden has been in hospital today for a renal function test.  I had a lot of time to fill while he was waiting for the different blood tests he had to have over the course of 5 hours.  That does not include the hour before it all started that was needed to get his port a cath accessed so we had a point to draw the blood from.

So this is how our time looked like today.

First step is the port a cath which needs to be put it.  I does not hurt as all the nerves have been quarterised.

Starship hospital from the inside and the playground in the foreground which filled in some of the time.  I got time to admire the paint job from the Atrium.

Of course no stay in hospital is complete without stickers and some paper.

Luckily there was a holiday programme free to attend.  So Hayden made a flying fish kite and did some colouring in .

There of course was the cutting and gluing but I forgot to take a photo of that and the long walks too and from one side of the hospital to other to kill some time.

It sure is not a test to be repeated as it makes for a very long day.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Mondays Menu 22 July

This week will be a week of trying some new meals for us.  I hope that some of these recipes will stick and will become handy during the new school term which starts next week.

Monday  Coconut Fish Chicken on rice.

Tuesday  Grilled Tikka Masala Lamb cutlets with raita

Wednesday  spaghetti and meatballs

Thursday  chicken noodle soup

Friday  lamb cutlets with salad and potatoes

Saturday  homemade beef burgers with finger grilled vegetables and hummus on the side

Sunday  leftovers

(An image of winter I too just last week)

I am linking this post to I'm an Organising Junkie

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Project 365 May 2013

 I am still chugging away with this project so here is Mays installment.  I had to sit down one day and play catch up but it was worth it as now I just need to do last weeks page.  All is good in this department I think.  I love having my pages with bright colours.  So Orange is the flavour for this month.

(Credits; Life in a Box templates, weekly wordart, hodge podge 5 Life 365 and SS 8 from Weeds and Wildflowers)

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Off site backing up

After a long break from blogging I am back with fresh energy.  I needed to take some time away because life got so busy that something just had to go or my sanity would.  So sadly my blog did. 

Anyway here I am back again with my thoughts about backing up my precious bits and pieces.  I run 1 EHD but now, with time to think clearly, I know it is time to proactively do something more.  I have, since January, been considering on line storage options.  Very nervously I must say but the thoughts have been floating around in my head and the occasional an on line search.  I was nervous because I was not sure how reliable these companies would be and even if they would exist when I really needed them.

So then the I lost some photos due to a small EHD failure and now I know I need to do something quickly.  Luckily I still have those photos backed up on CD....yes I know they were my original back ups which I did when I got my first digital camera over 9 years ago.  I used a Nero programme and I have yet to work out how to unpack then but they are still there.

So what I have decided is

  1. Firstly I should back up everything in onto an EHD.  The one I have has a whole lot of digital scrapbooking stuff but my photos and things sit on my computer.  (I say this very embarrassingly).  So tomorrow I am off to get a new EHD to back up the photos and other documents that I need stored.
  2. On line storage.  I have narrowed the list of possibles down to 3 companies.  Mozy, Backblaze and CrashPlan.  The things that I have been considering as important for my families storage needs are; scheduled backup updates,  access to the items stored, and ease of use.
  3. I have some CDs still but choose not to continue down this line as they CD do fail. 

 (source is here article about using Gmail for storage)

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Wordless Wednesday 29 May

There is nothing like learning a new skill.  No bumps or bruises were evident at the end so it must have been good fun.


I am linking this post to My Little Drummer Boys.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

When enough is enough.

Most people do not realise how difficult our lives became when my son became disabled.  Back in February 2006 when Hayden became disabled one of the many things he was left with upon recovery were significant behavioural issues.  We lived with these behaviours initially hoping that they would recover and they would moderate over time.  Unfortunately this did not happen and in fact the behaviours have become harder to deal with as he has got older and stronger.

Now for our own sanity Hayden is medicated for his behaviours but the challenge we have been trying to overcome has always been that he does not swallow medication.  Especially tablets.  Everything has to go through his peg.

Last week I was told that Hayden's behaviour is at the extreme end of things and that the consultant we see has never seen behaviour like it.  He has concluded that Hayden needs to be referred on.  Also that Haydens behaviour is like one of a kind certainly in his experience and finally that Hayden should have it noted that his behaviour is his most significant disability, even more significant than the rigors of cystinosis.

Phew..... we live with this behaviour everyday and most significantly the unmedicated times of before school and after school.  It is exhausting and stressful.  Last week when we were at the appointment I was unwell so was at a low point.  So it sure felt good to hear that his behaviour has been put in perspective and it is not just me the parent and professionally the teacher over exaggerating things.

Fingers crossed that something more can be done for use before we can no longer cope with everything he throws at us.

So while I have written a lot of doom and gloom there are a few moments of spontaneous fun....alright this is when he is medicated.....

(credits....kit is Berry Delight by Caroline B at Nuts4Digi)