Tag Archives: pets

Pets, Friends, Fresh Fruit & Preserving

Although we are heading in to winter here in New Zealand there is still loads of fruit around. Kiwifruit season has started.

Some gold & green kiwifruit. Personally I don't think it is 'real' kiwifruit unless it is green & furry.
Some gold & green kiwifruit. Personally I don’t think it is ‘real’ kiwifruit unless it is green & furry.

At the moment I have a couple staying with me from China who are on a year long trip around New Zealand. Sophie & Bob are very sweet and I am really enjoying the cultural exchanges that happen when you have people from another country staying with you.

Bob & Sophie checking out the local 'old' car show.
Bob & Sophie checking out the local ‘old’ car show.

The fur babies are a hit. They are loving all the attention they are getting from two extra people. Which is good news as a few of them have had incidences in the recent past. Charlie in particular has been propping up the vet’s bank account though Jackie has done her fair share to keep up.

Jackie in her 'happy' place.
Jackie in her ‘happy’ place.

Recently she took to hiding under my bed. Warning signals flashed when she began to refuse to come out for two days. When we visited the vet it turned out three of her teeth were infected. I felt like the worst fur baby mama ever. The vet was a little shocked as only a few months ago she had her regular check up and though there was some tartar it was not enough to worry about. Apparently that can change quickly. We had to have the teeth taken out and for a week or more I had one very unhappy pussy cat. Sophie & Bob were sure I only had the one cat, as she was not at all social. Though under the bed still seems to be her ‘happy’ place, at least these days she is back to eating normal food and seems quite happy to venture out again. Now the baby of the family [Charlie] thinks he needs to make sure that other cats in the area know he is man. When the neighbours recently had family staying which also added three new cats to the mix, things got a little hairy. A trip to the vets was in order when he came home barely able to walk. The pads on his feet were in a terrible state and he had had a knock around his shoulder as well as scratches to his neck. We are still unsure what happened but either he tried to take on the whole neighbourhood’s cat population or possible a dog got hold of him. Seems that wasn’t enough of a deterrent. Last Friday evening he again came home in a sorry state. Does anyone else notice pets seem to get in to strife when the vets are closed ????? Great gouges out of his eyelid and nose, as well as one very sore left shoulder area. He was lucky though that the claw that did the damage missed his eyeball. I was lucky [financially] that the tear in his lid does not require surgery to stop it irritating the eye in future. Today is the first day he has been allowed outside since the incident. We have had to listen to a rather loud ongoing vocal disapproval of being confined indoors. I wondered if he was going to fly this morning when I opened the door for him, he took off so fast his feet seemed airborne.

The eye looks good but his nose has a little hair to grow back still.
The eye looks good but his nose has a little hair to grow back still.

As for Chevvy…luckily for me she is behaving at the moment. Though a wee while ago she also got in to a scrap which saw her eye and paws in a sorry state. I am thinking of arranging an extra mortgage just to keep up with the vets bills. We have managed to fix the fence problem. For a small dog she sure can scale things, but these days she no longer escapes the minute my back is turned. She does enjoy a good bone on the lawn as a reward.

The bone is almost as big as the dog.
The bone is almost as big as the dog.

I have taken to soothing my nerves with cooking. I recently raided a few friends’ gardens and came home with bags full of bounty. From one friend I came home with enough Red Cherry Guavas to make 13 jars of guava jelly.

Red Cherry Guavas
Red Cherry Guavas

This is the cookbook I got the recipe from…isn’t it beautiful ??

Journal of Agriculture Cookbook.
Journal of Agriculture Cookbook.

This was my second attempt at the jelly and I am thrilled with the results. This recipe makes it hard to go wrong…I did add a little extra pectin. I also had to look up how many cups a quart is. 2015-04-21 10.37.39I have become a bit of an addict when it comes to guava jelly.

Guava Jelly ready for distribution amongst friends.
Guava Jelly ready for distribution amongst friends.

From another friend I scored two bags of feijoas and some Chilean Guavas.

Chilean Guavas...tiny yes but sooo delicious.
Chilean Guavas…tiny yes but sooo delicious.

By crikey, I think my love affair with guavas has become a permanent relationship. I might try my hand at feijoa jam next. I will keep you updated.

Feijoas ready for feasting & jam making.
Feijoas ready for feasting & jam making.

Although I have been advised that feijoa chutney is pretty good too. My next stop saw me bag a whole lot of apples. They reminded me of growing up. These days in the supermarket the only fruit you see is shiny and there is never a mark to be seen. Of course this all comes about because of pesticide use. Growing up, fruit was never perfect, but it was still delicious and pesticide free. Those apples took me back to a time when you either cut out the bad bits…or you just ate them anyway.

Pesticide free apples.
Pesticide free apples.

I picked what may well be the last of the chillies from my garden yesterday.

There is something so tempting about red food.
There is something so tempting about red food.

Later today I am attempting to make Chilli & Apple Jelly. This could be interesting. I have already a jar of chilli sauce fermenting in my pantry. Yes I did say fermenting. I am in to fermenting these days. Even made a batch of Zuurkool the other day.

Zuurkool ready to eat.
Zuurkool ready to eat.

That is the Dutch name for Sauerkraut. I haven’t made it in years and feel that perhaps I added too much salt. But we live and we learn, and after a good rinse it was very yummy. To finish off what was a rather long winding post I thought I would leave you with a video of Chevvy…doing what Chevvy does best…being cute. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2RJZYvlwmQ


On A Good Day

Yesterday I took my two students from Hong Kong with me…and Chevvy…to Waihi Beach for a walk.

IMG_0639 copyThe girls had fun…writing their Chinese names in the sand.

IMG_0620 copy
Carrie with Chevvy. She told me her Chinese name. We will stick to the English version I think.

Which Chevvy promptly demolished with her footprints as she ran rampant.

IMG_0621 copy
This Is Yuki…at least that is the English version of her name.

Not really great weather for it. But others were out too…having a game of soccer.

IMG_0709 copyWind, rain and pretty chilly at first, though it did warm up once we got walking.

IMG_0659 copyThe birds were out in force off shore having a feeding frenzy.

IMG_0687 copyChevvy had a ball running around.

IMG_0653 copySmelling …

IMG_0614 copyChasing birds.

IMG_0671 copyJumping.

IMG_0613 copyCausing general mayhem when ever possible.

IMG_0612 copyShe made sure that she left her mark in the sand as well.

IMG_0624 copyThe sea was fairly calm considering the wind.

IMG_0631 copyOn the way back home we saw this pheasant running around.

IMG_0716 copyWhen we got home the girls went about cooking me dinner.

IMG_0726 copyWhich was pretty darn good I must say. All in all…a good day.


Winter Solstice in NZ

The Winter Solstice is here in the Southern Hemisphere and it is a cold dreary day. The tuis are still filling my garden with their song. I love having this pair residing in my trees.

IMG_0462Someone however, does NOT think it is a good idea to get out of bed…can you guess who ???

IMG_0467Yesterday when we went for a walk it was chilly enough that we decided to both wear our winter woolies. Chevvy loves her new coat. IMG_0375 copySo much that I get THE LOOK when I dare take it off. THE LOOK says quite plainly…and all in capitals…GIVE THAT BACK, IT’S MINE !!!

On our walk we did enjoy seeing some ducks having fun in the stream.IMG_0392The pukekos had raided someone’s vege garden and were enjoying their ill-gotten gains.IMG_0386And though they were far away, the kingfishers were out and a delight to watch zooming over the mudflats looking for dinner.IMG_0368This year I am proud to announce I have planted garlic for the first time. Yippee…now I just have to wait for the Summer Solstice to enjoy my favourite spice in the world. Though technically it is not a spice but a vegetable. As however my favourite vegetable in the winter is the trusty, tasty brussels sprout I am going to call garlic a spice and be done with it.

And to cheer up my dreary day I am going to share this kitty with you. I love the look on its face when it realises it has been caught.



Wordless Wednesday

IMG_8758 copy

Share Your World – 2014 Week 18

What object do you always have with you when traveling and why?

Canon cameraWhy…because it has become another limb.

What subject would you like to study in depth, if given the time to do so?

 Mythology. So I can invent my own a little better.

14 - 13.2.2013Which would you prefer:  a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure–intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks; or a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family without such wide swings of fortune and mood?

Okay…so do I look or sound like a person who wants a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family ??? Do I ??? There are moments it would be nice…but it has never been MY LIFE. The one I have got will do just fine – a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure–intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks.

You do remember this I hope…


What are your favorite spices?

Most of these are in my garden. Except for the garlic, ginger and the bottled ones of course. Sadly coriander season has finished here but as it is one of my favourite herbs I keep a bottle handy.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week I was grateful for all the love and support that came my way, from friends, from bloggers, from family in dealing with of the loss of Crash and what it meant to me. I was also grateful to my wonderful vet and her staff who cared for Crash and then took the time to care for me.

IMG_8783 copy IMG_8786 copy IMG_8787 copy

As for what I look forward to this coming week…spending time with these guys.

Taking walks around Katikati.

And whatever else comes my way.

Thanks Cee…for the chance to share a bit of my world. Oh and…just for the heck of it and because it is sooooo cute. A video of goats riding horses.

The final farewell

IMG_2062First I want to say thank you to all of you have expressed your sorrow and sent your hugs in the last couple of days. It has meant more to me than I can ever express. Chevvy, Charlie and Jackie are all taking very great care of me.

On Tuesday I buried Crash close to the house so that he will never feel alone.

A friend was kind enough to drive me to our vet in Tauranga to pick him up and bring him home. They had wrapped him in a lovely patterned towel and placed a blue flower in with him. Celia took me for some food on the way home. And we both raised a glass of wine to toast my sweet boy. She was kind enough to ask if I wanted her to stay and help with burying Crash, but I said no…this was really something I wanted to do alone.

After finding a box suitable I added some toweling and went and picked a bunch of lavender sage leaves from a plant Marianne gave me when she visited last year.

2014-05-01 10.02.33Their smell is beautiful and soft so I lined the box with them and laid Crash on top.

I replaced the blue flower [which is now by his photo] with a bunch of the lavender sage flowers

2014-05-01 10.02.49and some brilliant red hibiscus flowers from the garden to make a blanket for him.

SAM_0108.1I knew the spot I wanted to lay him to rest. Not only is it close to the house, but it has a very serene feel to it.

2014-05-01 10.06.13
Crash rests under these palms next to the small bush.

I talked to him a lot during this whole process. Told him I loved him, I missed him. Laughed about his silly antics, and how much I missed the sound of him throughout the house. I cried…a lot. As I filled in his resting place I said goodbye to Crash with this poem.

Invocation ~ by Rod McKuen

It may happen
that in some hidden
middle night

you’ll rise up
and come to me
in solitude or silence.

We will meet
as we have met
on a train or at the end
of some new train of thought.





R I P my beautiful Crash.

I miss you already. I miss your silly antics. I miss the noise you filled my house with. I miss the love you filled my heart with.

IMG_4207Today my heart is in pain…but I am so glad I knew you.

R I P my beautiful Crash.

Crash is in hospital.

cockatielMy little boy Crash is not well. I rushed him in to the vet this morning. When I got him up he was on the floor of the cage, very lethargic and wobbly.

In the past he has had respiratory infections. I came close to losing him when he was still a baby really. It took a month of getting up every four hours to medicate him, as well get water in to him and food and changing his hot water bottle so he didn’t have to use his energy to keep warm.

Trouble is, with birds being prey animals they cover up being sick until they can’t cover it up anymore. So the vet says he is really sick. I am lucky that she is also really clued up about birds. She runs a wildlife trust that treats lots of injured New Zealand birds.

Now it is a wait and see game, They are giving him antibiotics, vitamins, fluids and someone from the practise will take him home and keep an eye on him overnight.

Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for Crash. I am not really ready to lose him just yet.


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Texture

Texture – according to Cee this week is about: “This first week is texture which is a touchy feely type sensation to me.”

There is nothing more touchy feely to me than an animals coat. So here are a few textures I love to feel under my fingers.

And a few other textures I found while roaming around Katikati on my walks with Chevvy.


Ever thought of becoming a vegetarian ? Do you have a friend that is looking in to becoming a vegetarian ? Well, here is a great little book written by Fea O’Shea [a lovely Kiwi lady who happens to be a vegetarian] that will help you make the decision. There are some great tips in it. If it isn’t for you maybe this would make a great gift !!!

“Why be a Vegetarian: Debunking Your Excuses” is available now at Amazon. Just click the link. And for the first 48 hours you can get it for $0.99 US.

Now I realize that the topic of this book: “Why be Vegetarian” may not be to your thought pattern, please, rest assured I’m not trying to convert you to vegetarianism. This book is targeted to those who want to be Vegetarian, but have, what they feel is, a valid excuse, so the sub-title is “Debunking your excuses”. – Fee O’Shea

Because they loved me…

Isobel is holding a Pet Remembrance Day at her blog in memory of Cat, her beloved moggie that she lost three years ago. She has inspired me to tell you about some of my dearly missed and always loved pets.

The first pet I remember was a budgie. When he died I horrified my mother when she came home to find the kitchen smelling rather funny. I was eight at the time and I put his cold wee body in the oven. No…not a cremation, I was praying that if I warmed him up he would stop being cold and still.

The next pet was a puppy named Penny. She died way too young when she fell asleep under my brother’s car and he ran her over.

Penny and I
Penny and I

Then there was Tiny. I came home one day to find Tiny gone. After my mother died I was living with my brother, who took an intense dislike to her…I heard from family friends that he took her on a trip and dumped her.


It wasn’t until I grew up that there was another dog. Her name was Tia. A staffordshire terrier I rescued from the pound. She had distemper, and it was a long battle to save her but we did. When I went overseas Tia went to live with another brother. A much kinder one.

Me with Tia on a road trip to Queensland. She loved ice cream.
Me with Tia on a road trip to Queensland. She loved ice cream.

While living in Holland my ex and I had Jab. He had a funny habit. No male could put his hand in Jab’s cage. He attacked every time. But females were always welcome.

Jab and I checking out the camera together.
Jab and I checking out the camera together.

It wasn’t until I was married and living back in Australia that I had another dog. While living in Queensland the ex and I went to a Jack Russell breeder and both fell in love with one puppy. We were sadly told he had already been picked by someone else. So we decided to wait. One day I spotted and ad in the Courier Mail for a male Jack Russell puppy that someone was selling because they were moving.

Sep and Tia
Sep and Tia

Turned out that puppy was the same little male we had seen at the breeder. The ex was in hospital at the time, so I arranged to have the breeder pick him up and put him on a plane to Bundaberg and me. The ex was a bit put out, but I had Sep, and that was just meant to be.

Sep was my Houdini puppy. When we moved to Napier, he escaped once and the lady we got him back from was full of stories about how he took on her rottweiler and refused to back down.

One day this trait he had of wandering would end his life. I found him after another escape laying on the road. When I picked him up he folded like a book in my arms. My only consolation was that it would have been quick. When I buried him under a rose bush our other dog took to sleeping on his grave.

Sep and Tia
Sep and Tia

Our other dog was Tia. A kelpie cross, she had had a hard few weeks of life when we got her. Raised in a cow barn, she was a tiny ball of fleas. Tia was with me for 17 years. She had such a wonderful temperament. When her time came it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

Not long before Tia passed I also had to make a similar decision for Katie. Katie was a maltese terrier. But she was so inbred that her life was short. Just 18 months. She had Cushing’s Disease. My post ‘The Capacity of Katie’ is about all the things this wee darling taught me in those scant 18 months, and the legacy she left me with.

Katie and the daughter
Katie and the daughter

So…to these beautiful souls, I say thank you. Thank you for being part of my life, Thank you for your love, your joy, your being. Each one of you have left your mark on my heart and in my soul. I will forever be grateful I knew you, that I loved you, but most importantly…that you loved me.