Friday, October 31, 2008

The future is not bright

It's a windy cool sort of day today and I intend to plant my lettuces and some tomatoes later. There have been a number of people coming into the shop but no sales so far. The sales so far this season have been about a third of what they were last year and there is a noticeable lack of tourists around. Only two bus tours this morning and neither of them the profitable variety.

The future is not looking very bright round here.

DH has only one week of full time work left and then he is back on contracts. This tends to be short term profit but long term too unreliable.

I am going to move all the kitchen stuff out into the rest of the house later so that we can start ripping up the floor in there and get it redone with proper insulation and also to mouse proof it. I have had enough of clearing away mouse poo every morning off all my kitchen surfaces and I suspect that some of the tummy upsets round here are the result of this.

I would love to get the bathroom done too but the money is not there for that. William will have to sleep in the shop on the stretcher for a while longer yet. He is going to use the old bathroom as a bedroom eventually and we cribbed a bit of his brothers room to make it a bit larger.

I read about the size of those McMansions but I can't say I'm really all that jealous even if you could fit our entire house into one room. At least our heating bill is very small. House work is minimal too. Only takes about 30 minutes to do the lot. However I would like the house to be finished!

I hope there is a future left for the boys.

viv in nz

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

th tax man cometh

I don't really mind taxes on the whole. I know they get spent on stuff I don't approve of as well as stuff I use and do approve of but that's alright because life has to be compromised in some places. What I really hate is how the tax is always for last year. Somehow we always end up paying heaps of tax in a year with hardly any income - being self employed can be a real bummer sometimes. Even in a good year you end up paying for all the stuff you couldn't pay for in the previous year because that year you were struggling with the tax from the previous year and I think you get the idea.

Maybe next year I'll finally get a bathroom.... Maybe even the kitchen!!! With a real sink and an oven :)

Dreams are free.

Hey...maybe we'll be able to have a bedroom and stop sleeping in the living room. There's a radical thought.

I do see why people spend money on lotteries. Sometimes it's the only way out.

Well, at least the tax will be paid by next week.

viv in nz

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cat Days

I thought about doing the APLS thing but really left it too late so here is my take on being a stray.

Hello, my name is Chainsaw. I was born in the back streets of a down market suburb to a poor and unknown mother. I am just another tabby with nothing really to recommend me to humans as a suitable adoptee. I used to sneak into a local house and eat their dog's food when he wasn't looking but one day I got caught. I was about three months old at the time.

They gave me lots of pats and called me Chainsaw because I purred so loud. They would have liked to keep me but the dog was old and frightened of cats - even such a small one as me. So the day after their sister got married, they gave me to her and I went to live in the little house by the creek.

It was very nice there. There was food and pats and leaves to chase and water to look in and a nice bed to share as well. I grew big and strong.

When I was two, a new creature moved in. He was very small to start with and woke up at inconvenient hours of the night. I mostly ignored him until he got big enough to grab bits of me - then I stayed clear of him until he was old enough to treat me with respect.

A couple of weeks after the new creature moved in, another kitten came to live with us. She was only about six weeks old and she was found in a rubbish tin. They called her Skillsaw but shortened it to Skilly and she was a pest! She still is. We always seem to battle and playfight over everything.

When Skilly was two and I was four another new creature moved in. We both avoided these two creatures for some time but the second one was much kinder than the first one and we liked him quite a bit.

Soon after this we left our house and stream and moved into the city to near where we had come from. There was a stream but it was three houses down from us. Never-the-less all four of us went there to play but only when a grown up came too. We lived happily in the new house for five years and then, once again, we moved. This time we only went across the valley and I had to be picked up from the old house five times before I decided that perhaps the new house was an alright place too.

Skilly got lost. She went hunting for rats (her favourite occupation) and didn't come home. Our owners went all over calling her but she didn't come. I thought I was lucky because she really was a pest.

For three months she was missing and then, just as we thought she was gone for good, she came home. She was very skinny but in good health otherwise. She didn't go out of sight for a long time after that and she got rather fat too for a bit. Now she is back to normal except she doesn't hunt rats outside of the backyard.

I am getting old now and rather stiff too. I will be 14 at christmas so I am an old man. I like to lie in the sun on the bank and drowse in the heat.

That is the story of my life so far.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Plastic in my kitchen

I read the post by Beth on Fake Plastic Fish and decided to clear out the kitchen. I took special note of the plastic out there which turned out to be somewhat more than I'd like. First there was an old bread bag. I mostly make my own but when I buy it there is always a plastic bag.

Then there were a couple of tie tags from something - I think one of them might have been off an apple bag. The other was most likely the bread bag. The apple bag was next to be disposed of along with three other fruit bags. I do try not to collect plastic but sometimes the bargains are too good for a cash strapped family with two locusts pretending to be children :)

After that there was the bag the meat came in. A small bag maybe but still plastic. I thought I might have everything at this point but I reckoned without the cat food bag and the lining from the tin of tomatoes I used in the hot pot.

Rather a lot of plastic all round especially as I am trying not to end up with a rubbish bag full. I have cut my usage from one rubbish bag a week to one every three to four weeks but I can't afford to be smug just yet.

I'm just waiting for the next horrible installment of plastic to turn up. It must be nice to live in an area where bulk buying can negate a lot of the plastic I end up with.

viv in nz

Sunday, October 12, 2008

cushion man

Photo of William and his cushion. (See last post).

viv in nz

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Green bunny/dog cushion

Youngest got all inspired by a book he borrowed from the library at the last quilt meeting and also by the dog cushion I made out of it for my sister whose birthday is on Sunday.

He sorted through a stack of material until he found a piece he liked and that I would let him use (appropriate weight, size and ease of use). Colour I left up to him. Why he picked a darkish green I'll never know but that is what he wanted. He then picked a flowery lime green for ears and a christmas print for the inner ground. I gave him the sizes and left him to it.

He wobbled a bit when he came to do the chin so I gave him a bit more info (but didn't physically help) and then told him to draw the ears as he thought they ought to be. Which he did. I did help him cut the curve across the top as he is left handed and my scissors aren't as sharp or tight as they might be.

He got them sewed up fine on the machine, curve and all although he did have to redo one a bit. I showed him how to turn them inside out and he picked a fancy gold thread for the detail edging. I threaded the machine for him ( and showed him how for next time) and he ironed and sewed those ears with only one slight oops.

I cut the outer strip for him and pinned it to avoid accidents to those ears and he sewed that and all the following strips into place log cabin wise. I had a stack of pre-cut pieces made into a continuous length and I let him use that. Rather a lot of it was pink, flowery or both but he didn't mind a bit.

I did sew the finished front onto the back for him. Then we disembowelled an old cushion for its stuffing and he stuffed it.

The result was a real credit to him but it looks more like a rabbit in some ways. The ladies at the club thought it was great.

He took it to bed with him.

Love at first make :)

viv in nz

ps. We won the block of the month draw so we got his first block back along with 10 other blocks so I will now have to make them into a special quilt.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

pie in the sky

Its a funny sort of day today. One minute its bright hot sunshine, the next its coming down cats and dogs. I did get my washing dry but only because the storm that came through was mostly hail and vanished relatively quickly.

The boys have been on computer far too long but it is school holidays I suppose. Youngest son and me made quilt blocks for the club meeting tomorrow. He wants to be a full member and I said he could but would have to miss the odd meeting if it ran too late (he's only 10 and normally in bed by 8.30). He's starting to master the sewing machine quite well.

Eldest thinks it isn't worth his while because it doesn't include computers or sweets, but he will quite happily help with bread or puddings. He still refuses to have anything to do with greens unless buried in sauce of some sort. He's a bit unlucky with puddings too because we don't have them on a regular basis.

I keep reading doom and gloom in the various economic and financial sites but then look out the window and see lots of green and houses where I know all the people and like most of them too and think that our family really is lucky even if we never have had regular income. I don't think we'll starve just yet. I just wish they would get it over with and let us all start rebuilding properly for a good future - now that probably is pie in the sky but whatever. Dreams are free.

Another little storm coming up - better go collect the rest of my washing,

viv in nz

Thursday, October 2, 2008

a little bit of fun

Just a funny little post today. I have two young boys who are both dyslexic. They have a friend living up the road who is also dyslexic. The other day the younger one and his friend found my scrabble game and decided to play it. I suggested that they take it into the sunshine on the front doorstep and asked if they knew how to play and did they need a dictionary. Oh no, they said, we know how to play so I left them to it.

When I checked on them about 20 minutes later, they were going well but the board was incomprehensible. Some words were forwards, some were backwards, upside down didn't seem to phase them either. There were words going in all directions and overlapping at will. Spelling was creative but they knew what they meant.

Funniest thing I've ever seen on a board game.

I did suggest that perhaps the words ought to go in only one direction but I don't think they quite got why.

viv in nz