Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Our Own Tree Cat

Hey Stanley, move along, we have our own tree cat now so don't overrate yourself. Our little Hobie (that is not so little any more) proves herself to be a real tree cat. Whenever we have coffee or tea on the deck, she will follow and into the garden. Next minute, we will see her little face in the ti tree meowing at us. She also likes the Australian frangipani; that one has bigger branches and she can easily jump up and down on to the fence. We are glad we adopted her and give her a happy home.

On Christmas' Eve, Bob delivered bags of cat food and treats to Melanie's of Franklin Cat Rescue from where we adopted our own tree cat. He told me there were already piles of cat food and chocolate at the front door. He left our gift to the pile. Isn't it nice a lot of people support what the FCR is doing? If you cannot adopt any kitten right now, just donate a little bit to FCR, either in cash or in kind. Your gift will make a big difference to the kitties in their care.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Summer Treats: Super Easy Ice Lollies

They are very yummy and very easy. All you need are Lewis Rd Creamery's Whitaker's Chocolate Milk, ice block mould and sticks (of course, you also need a freezer:)

We love Lewis Road Creamery's Chocolate Milk (they also do Coffee Milk and Vanilla Milk but Chocolate is the wickedest one:). It's rich, so you can only drink a small glass at a time. I just pour the milk into the ice block mould and freeze until firm then insert sticks and freeze further until solid. It's beautiful - if you have guests for lunch or dinner this summer, no need to break sweat over complicated pudding. Serve your guests, young and old, with these ice lollies and watch the smiles on their faces!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Goodbye, 2015 and Hello, 2016

This is the last sunset of 2015 just behind our place. New Year's Eve was pretty quiet around here with only a few pathetic fireworks. As we have had two consecutive long weekends, I guess a lot of people went away and unfortunately, the weather did not play nice. We had rain and strong North Easterlies from the first day of the year.

We don't have New Year's resolutions - we don't smoke, we eat reasonably, we exercise regularly and drink occasionally. When we decided to quit smoking ages ago, we just quit and didn't think of it as a resolution - with a little help of medication (gladly prescribed by our GPs:) we did it in 3 weeks and no looking back. A packet of cigarettes is now $22 as I have seen on the news. Ouch! That's twice as much as it was when we were still doing it. Two packets a week will cost more than $2,000 in a year. And with 2 of us, it will total to $4,000 plus - we can have holidays in Hawaii for a week! 

I think New Year's resolutions are somewhat cliche - they are easy to make but not easy to maintain. They are more suitable for celebrities to be in the news or magazine writers to fill the pages. You don't have to wait for a new year to improve yourself and when you slip you can make it better the next minute or the next hour - just don't wait for another year. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas (pick one that you like or pick all, like me;) everyone. Hope your holidays and festive season filled with joy and happiness and plenty of food; your New Year full of inspirations and prosperity. And if you have a feline friend or two or more...enjoy your Catmas everyday.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sangria - in the Park or Not

When I think of Sangria, I cannot help also thinking of Lou Reed and his Perfect Day. But I tell you what, you don't have to wait for perfect days- you can have it on any warm days, in the park or not. Sangria is so easy to make, so easy to drink and so very, very easy to get drunk on!

I make my Sangria in a jug - about a litre or so, a little bit at a time and top up as we go. You can also make it in bach in a a punch bowl and that would be beautiful as a centrepiece by itself. It also looks so festive for Christmas or New Year parties.

1 Bottle of red wine, I use New Zealand Merlot
750 mil. of Sprite or 7Up, better from cans than bottles
200 mil Cognac
200 mil Pomegranate Juice or Cranberry Juice
1 cup Strawberries, chopped in chunks
1 cup Cherries, pitted
Ice cubes

Mix everything in a jug or glass bowl. If you make it in a jug, make half portion at a time. Substitute cherries with raspberries or blueberries - or mix them all. Enjoy!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Surinder's Christmas Shortbread Biscuits

Last week I had a get-together- before -Christmas with my friends, Surinder and Dee. Both of them were my gym instructors at some points and our friendship has grown from then on.

Surrinder gave me these wonderfully yummy shortbread biscuits she baked herself. They were so yummy Bob and I gobbled all of them in 2 days - very festive, I'd say:) She also kindly gave me the recipe - only 3 ingredients.

You'll need:
225 grams of butter
1 cup icing sugar
2 cups plain flour, sifted

Preheat the oven to 130 degrees C.

Cream butter and icing together. Stir in flour to form dough and roll out on a floured surface to about 1/2 cm thick. Cut with shaped cookie cutters and prick with fork a few times for decoration.

Bake on a baking sheet for about 1 hour. Easy isn't it? Thank you very much, Surinder.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

New Flag?

Last month we voted by mail our preference for the our new flag referendum should we change the flag in the future. We like Kyle Lockwood's flags but our number one preference is not the above black and blue but red and blue of similar design.

The result published in the New Zealand Herald  is very interesting. Less than half of eligible voters cast their votes and among those, almost 10% is spoiled votes. They said that it might be the result of protest votes - from people who do not want to change and push for status quo. Some friends of mine either did not vote at all or voted tactically for the least preferable designs. They told me over the coffee that they did not agree with the change so they voted for the design they hated. Didn't they know that they might end up with it? One said that several veterans who fought for the present flag are still alive so we should not change it. Of course they are/were our heroes; more so than rugby stars. I told her I begged to differ about the flag. I believe those who have fought, still with us today or not; they have fought under the flag - not for the flag. They have fought for our democracies and our freedoms so that we can vote today whether to change the flag or not to change and that we can agree to disagree.

Whatever they voted for - it's absolutely their freedom of choice and their democratic right to vote. The freedom we sometimes take for granted - the freedom that doesn't come magically by just flying a piece of cloth.