Saturday, June 23, 2007


1 : 0 to the Swiss I'm afraid... seems that they do have a faster boat.... They won by 35 seconds but a win is a win. I'll have to stay up again tonight to see the second race . I don't want to see a trend developing here.... ! DH is snoring it off at the moment. He stayed up even later to watch the rugby game between NZ and Sth Africa...

More lovely photos from Doris. Thank you . Don't they just brighten up the page ? The early settlers brought gorse over to NZ and farmers have been struggling to rid the country of it ever since.... not just golf balls that get lost in it, sheep do too !!!

Just returned home from enjoying a delicious Chinese meal. A Chinese young man, recently moved down from Auckland and joined our church. We have enjoyed his friendship and had him here several times. His parents are down this week and they wanted to take us out for a meal... Very nice it was too ! Our young friend had a busy time, talking in English to DH and I, Cantonese to his parents and Mandarin to the staff at the restaurant !! Clever boy !! We had invited the parents to spend a day with us here but they were fearful of driving on unsealed roads, as an alternative we suggested that their son brought them out after work for an evening meal but he didn't want to drive on roads without street lights !! I guess it's all about what you are used to !!!

Some rough weather down south , lots of snow and ice on the roads. Good for the ski-ing enthusiasts ! Warm and sunny here though the fresh snow on the Alps has lowered the night time temperatures..

Time to go.
Marion .


the little wild Irish roses - and - gorse!

The gorse was in full bloom down in Wicklow County. It was breathtakingly beautiful. (Celia, does it make you homesick?) We've always been to the UK/Ireland later in the year and caught the random blossom. Oddly enough, further north in Northern Ireland we were told the full bloom was a few weeks earlier! Nasty prickly stuff, though. If a golf ball goes into the gorse, we just wave goodbye to it. LOL Our gore-tex jackets cost too much to let the gorse rip it up.

Here is a photo of the little wild Irish roses that I saw on some of the golf courses. I put the car keys down on the ground next to it, for perspective of its size. These are plucky little roses....every stalk had a flower! Amazing. I only saw them on one other golf course just north of Dublin, never more than 18 inches tall, all seeming to have a single cane (stalk) with a flower on it.

Welp, this is the travelogue for the day. Hope you scrolled past if it's not your thing. :-) Must go do laundry. Hugs to everyone!

Mellifont Abbey in Ireland

I hope the text in the second photo is readable. (Click on photo to enlarge) This is Mellifont Abbey, the first of the Cistercian Abbeys, built in the 1100s. The top photo is of the Lavabo, a gravity fed font where the monks washed their hands, etc. This abbey is the only one with a Lavabo, of all the abbey ruins we visited. The place has quite a history, and is in a beautiful setting.

We visited lots of Abbey ruins, ad nauseum, LOL, and found them fascinating. The architecture was quite the same in all of them and apparently they all followed the same basic blueprint. Not much remains of these places, as the locals would use the stones for other purposes (think: recycling) after these abbeys were abandoned.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Great photos...

Thank you Doris for posting the photos. Just lovely to see those crosses. Aren't the carving amazing ?

Cold day here today. A good day for sitting around ! I plan to be up most of the night watching the first of the America's cup races !! Best of nine again, so I hope it doesn't go on all week !! NZ has a bit of a history here . We won the cup in 1995, successfully defended it in 2000 and lost it in 2003...the sad thing was that we were beaten by a Swiss boat, crewed by the best of NZ sailors who had been given an "offer too good to refuse" following our success in 2000... Made a lot of us quite sad but that's the name of the game nowadays and you can't blame the guys for taking up the offer of more pay and of having more money going into the campaign. The NZ team was just about bankrupt after their loss (we are a small country, low on multi- millionaires who like to race yachts ...!) However, key members of our crew stayed on and Grant Dalton was persuaded to take on the campaign. They have kept a low profile and worked very hard. We were all thrilled a couple a weeks ago, when they won the right to challenge for the cup, after weeks of competitive sailing. Tonight is the first of the main races.. Unfortunately, it happens in Valencia (Spain) so starts at 1am. NZ time..... Could be a long day tomorrow !!! The Swiss boat is still crewed by several NZers, I guess sailing isn't a number one sport in land- locked Switzerland and our boys are good !!

Fingers crossed !

And I'll bore y'all with some more....

This cross is also at Monasterboice. Back in those days most people could not read (circa 1150 A.D.) so the carvings told the bible stories. Similar concept in old French cathedrals and, no doubt, the rest of Europe.

Well, that picture was too small

I'm glad it went through and I tried to make this one bigger but it won't "take." Hhhmmm..... I am technologically challenged. LOL This cross is at Monasterboice.

Edited to add: Okaaayyyy.... I figured out if you click on the photo it will enlarge itself. These crosses are huge. I'm six feet tall in my shoes so you have some perspective.


Welp, we finally got the digipics uploaded. I hope this photo comes through. This is one of the Celtic crosses at the cemetary in Glendalough. DH and I love them and took lots of photos of the Celtic crosses all over the place.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

this & that

Crockpots--I have a large one sitting on the kitchen counter. Borrowed it from a friend for the Bar-B-Q boneless ribs for Sunday night. I'll make the Brunswick stew in my smaller one. Plan to do my crockpot-ing on Saturday morning so they can cook all day. That is the food that is better after it sits in the fridge overnight.
The newer one that I have, after the old brown one died, cooks faster and with less control than the old one. "Low" and "High" are the only settings on mine. The other one had numbers from 1 to 9. However I like the oblong shape of the new one, and it fits into the dishwasher, a bonus. It has a glass top.
Adventures--We went kayaking again this past Saturday. This time in Blue Springs, a natural spring which is now a state park. Saturday is a busy day at a state park. The water is about 60, there were several divers there with their wet suits on, looking at the fish and the rock formations. The spring feeds into the river, which lots of boats, some good boaters, some not. We did see our first alligator! Fortunately he was small, only about 3 feet, and was busy up on a broken down dock eating a large fish.
Summer and the afternoon showers are now here. Yea! We need the water, but the 100% humidity really takes my breath away. I had the grands out to the local park for about an hour this afternoon as DD had a Dr's appt. She has another bladder infection. Poor thing seems to get at least one a year.
Not a very interesting post, but I did a deep cleaning of my sewing room yesterday. Oh, my! The dust. DH built a display shelf on two walls about 5 years ago, and I haven't dusted since. Took all the pictures and nick knacks down, pitched some, put the rest in a more pleasing order. A quick trip down memory lane.
Think I'll go fondle the fabric and plan my next project.
Sara in Fla.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'll add my two cents worth about crockpots; I've worn out two of them over the years, and wouldn't trade mine for anything. Though now I only cook for one, the crockpot is still in use almost every weekend, especially in the winter months. In the summer, it means the oven isn't heating up the house, too. Beans, pot roast, a chicken and dressing casserole, a hamburger and potato casserole, or something along those lines, even meatloaf. I use a 5-quart with a removable crock and glass lid and I'll never go back to the nonremovable style - they are too hard to wash. I prefer the glass lid, although I've used a plastic one in the past. Using the larger size means I have all I want for that evening's meal plus one container for the freezer and one container that will make two days lunch during the following week. Sure makes packing lunch easier in the rush to get off to work in the morning; just grab a container from the fridge and its off to the races. Luckily, we do have refrigerators and microwaves at work.

Great to see Anna in Spain posting on the other board - she'll get here pretty soon. Y'all have a great day, now. Marie in Maryland

apologies to Fran !!

(who posted on the other board by mistake !!) As one DUG to another, I do apologise ! I was really thinking of NZ Dugs when I wrote that .... Just scrolled down to find your last post and yes, you did ask a question. Sorry I missed that ! We have changed our travel plans for this year. Hope to go to UK next Easter. It all got too difficult finding times and dates which suited various members of the family over there . With this "advance warning" it may be easier to fit everybody in.

Off to bed shortly. Had a great day with my sewing friends. Didn't get a lot of sewing done but we sure solved a few of the worlds problems !!

Sweet dreams .

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

only in Oz !!!!

You are right Bee !! I didn't see the article but I can believe it ! Our neighbours are innovative if nothing else !?! Good to hear from you. I was beginning to think that I was the only "DUG" left standing ! So sorry to hear about your anxieties about your DGD. What a worry. With your loving support I'm sure she will come through this difficult time.

Talking DGC... My 10yr old DGS seems to have undergone a personality transplant !! DD received an email from his teacher this week saying how impressed she had been with his classroom behaviour. So polite and so helpful !! Wonder what's going on there !?! It would be nice if he could bring that behaviour home sometimes !! DGD is very excited because she had been chosen to be part of a school production (after two auditions !) These children moved to Auckland nearly a year ago so it's heart warming to hear these encouraging things.

A nippy morning hear this morning. New snow on the Alps. I'm off to sew with two friends today so I'll be warm and cozy !

Enjoy your day.

for Sara in Fla


I'm emailing you the recipe. :-D


Monday, June 18, 2007

Viagra and crockpots

What a mixture. Ours was an original one and had both lids, of course I broke the pottery one and had to use the plastic lid for the next 20 years!!!!!!!!! The outside of the pot crumbled last year and I now have a new one with a glass lid. I am soooooo careful with this lid. On Viagra, there was an article about oysters being "helped" by adding Viagra to their feed , Marion did you see this, I think it was in Australia. I am thinking only in Aussie. Just who is being helped? WE are in the middle of winter and it is quite cold but not much rain. The other side of Auckland gets a lot but for some reason we miss it. I haven't been posting fora while as our eldest DGD is having problems , she was taking too many papers at Uni and was determinded to get Hons. She was so bad she was on suicide watch. Poor love, we think she is a lot better and is getting a lot of help, Uni have been wonderful and helped so much. We have been helping as she seems to enjoy coming here and making things and we see her at least twice a week Not much quilting but we are having fun making silly things. Hugs Bee in NZ.

Weighing In

I forgot to post yesterday. I'm down a pound from last week, and 3/4" off measurements. Slow, but steady, and most satisfying.

I've been working on a quilt top for the church that lets my quilt guild use their building for our meetings every Monday. 20+ ladies made blocks for it. If I ever volunteer to put one together again, made by ladies who each seem to have their own special 1/4" seam allowance, and who seem to assume that directions are really more just guidelines, I hope someone will just shoot me first. Ended up taking some blocks apart and resewing, and just couldn't use some. I'm glad this quilt will not be going to Paducah, the judges would hurt themselves when they fell down laughing at it.

DH has been in Georgia since last Thursday visiting our DD and helping her get her new house and yard fixed up. He comes home tomorrow. I've been enjoying the peace and quiet, LOL. Today is going to be a stay-in-my-jammies-all-day day, while I make a bunch of nine patches for the border on this quilt top. Heaven!

Pat in Rockport, TX


Thanks for the comments re: crockpot lids. I wonder how Rival decided to make this one with the plastic lid. It must have been a WallyWorld one-off. Oh well, if it wears out, it wears out, and I'll get a new lid. I've started using it a little more often, for cooking navy and white beans. I think I need a smaller crockpot, though, since I'm cooking for just the two of us. This one is 3 or 4 quarts and it's heavy when I wash it.

The Irish Stew and Irish Soda bread came out quite well. My sister, who does not care for lamb, even liked it! The bread was a hit and now I have to send her that recipe. She's quite a good cook so if she likes it and my DH likes it, I know it's a keeper. And no yeast, no rising, just baking soda and voila!

Hugs to everyone,
Doris W. in TN

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Well done!

Well, done, Jane! On the diet, which was really good progress, and on that great Viagra post! I must admit that the Viagra post *almost* induced me to post the link a friend sent, which described the US military research into a possible airborne spray intended to be used to divert enemy soldiers in the field from a path of rectitude into a full blown state of homosexual lust (and that subtle little pun was entirely inadvertent, but I refuse to change it!), but I chickened out. As did the military, I believe...

Tomorrow is the day when I get to fly falcons! You have no idea how excited I am about this!

Yesterday the little old lady I watch over had her 98th birthday. She requested a roast beef dinner for lunch and I made her a New York cheesecake for her birthday cake. She managed several servings of that over the course of the day! I hope I have such a healthy appetite in my later years! I also hope there is someone around to make me cheesecakes, but that is another matter...

Jean, heading off to make a salad for dinner and to pack a lunch for tomorrow...


Doris, after trying to figure out the title of your last post I finally got it! I won't say any more so as to avoid a flame fest.

Today's weigh in was a mood lifter. After having gained back every ounce of my seven pound loss on my trip to Callaway Gardens I was a bit discouraged. As of today I'm back to that point so it can only go up hill (down hill in terms of fat) from here. Finally getting back to some regular exercise after all my travel, medical crap and lethargic habits.

I never published the Al Brown raccoon repellent (negative reinforcement) method. Since our bird feeders were hung from wooden arms he'd attached to a 4x4, or possibly 6x6 post, also wood, he wired the post and arms to house current. It was easy to separate the positive and negative lines far enough so that the birds wouldn't be able accidentally to close the circuit but the squirrels and 'coons would. Only one squirrel died but a few others got a hot foot. The best part was that the 'coon problem was completely solved. Never again did we find a feeder on the ground, broken beyond repair and with contents gone. The only problem was that I, as the usual feeder filler, would occasionally reach out to the post to steady myself as the post was located on a fairly steep grade. Since I'm not as smart as the 'coons it took a number of zaps before it was finallyh imprinted on my dim mind that touching that post should be done with great care.

Jane in NC

Sunday.. (clever title to your post Doris !!)

Cold day here and new snow on the mountains , it all looks very pretty !

It's a shame that you are such a good baker Rosey.. ..all those threats you keep baking ! It must take an iron will to resist them !!

I took some baking to a neighbour yesterday. A couple who have moved here from Zimbabwe. (sp ?)White, fifty plus and with only a suitcase of belongings between them... That's got to be hard. They are a delightful pair. We've had them here for a few meals and helped them out a bit, they had invited us there for lunch yesterday.. They are living in a very modest old (and cold !) cottage, but seem very happy there. They have both been able to get jobs. I can only admire their willingness to fit into another culture and society. They will do well here.

I see that "Anna in Spain" has finally found her way here. She has posted on the other page . Good to see a few "old "names appearing. Lots more to come I hope !

Worked on my quilt this afternoon. I want to get the top finished before DD#2 comes down for the holidays. I'm using her bdrm to sew in and have material all over the place ! She and her three children are coming down from Auckland for two weeks . This is all new for us. They used to live nearby, we would have the children out here regularly but not often altogether and staying for two weeks !!! Could be interesting....!?!

Time to get some dinner. Have a good day.