Thursday, July 7, 2011

Zucchini ahoy!

This year, I planted four zucchini plants - a yellow one, two different green ones and a scallopini too. It turns out that 4 plants is probably too many for two people (especially when one of them is away quite a lot this summer...). Every couple of days I go out to check them, and they seem to have grown to marrows while I wasn't watching.

Here is last night's haul:
Four green (all off one plant), a yellow (I'm trying to pick them when they're wee so that we don't have quite so many) and two scallopini.

And here is my total outstanding number:
That's quite a few zucchini for one medium sized human.

So I decided to make this:

Zucchini, pea and herb soup. Some of the peas were from the garden, all of the zucchini were and so were the herbs (I used a mixture of rosemary, oregano and mint). It was very tasty!

Next on the list is zucchini chocolate cake!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Things I'm loving...

I've been enjoying reading other bloggers' "Things I'm loving" posts and thought I'd join in on the action...

This week, my favorite things are...
  • Mango honey! I can't decide if it's from bees in a mango tree forest, or if its actually mixed with mangoes, but it's very very tasty...and I am a honey loving bear.
  • My thermal mug! I take so long to drink my tea that this way, I can pick it up 4 hours later and its still warm. Saves leaving 1/2 drunk cups of tea around the house.
  • The smell of coppertone just reminds me of childhood summers.
  • The intrigue of waking up in the mornings to find all the cupboard doors open. For some reason Sahara can not leave a cupboard door shut, and has figured out how to open them...the wardrobe, bathroom cupboards, hallway cupboard, linen closet, laundry, kitchen sink... strange cat!
  • Remembering not to buy white tea towels or hand towels when there is a male in the house! 
  • The amazing treats Winston bought back from Washington DC via our friends there via the NZ Embassy - I got pineapple lumps, minties, gingernuts, k-bars, wine gums, milo, rashuns and burger rings!
  • The smell and look of a freshly mowed lawn. Especially when it was me and only me that mowed and weedeated(ate?)/strimmed(strum?)/weedwhacked (why are there so many words for this task and why do I not know the past tense of almost any of them?) my lawnS and edges. (Yes that's lawns with an 's', not just lawn).

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My very pretty nails...

So I've been working pretty hard at not biting my nails (thanks to Winston's reminders ("Get your fingers out of your mouth! Now!") which are very much appreciated now, although perhaps less so at the time.)

Just to prove that they have been growing, here are some before and after pictures. Before = May 24, when I decided for good that I had to stop, as they were so incredibly ugly. Middle = last week before I had a manicure. Last = now, after my wonderful manicure given to me as a gift.

So I'm not there yet, they are 50% beautiful, and 50% less so. But on the positive side, the cuticles are healthy (no more ripped, bleeding, infected skin) my nails are tough, strong, and not ridged. Which is really more than I deserve having treated them so badly for 27 (oops I mean 28) years!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I have just that in a previous post, I stated that "xxx and I...". Well of course, that wasn't supposed to have been published like that, but was a temporary blog name for my husband. He is supposed to be choosing his own blog name but he hasn't decided yet (and he's not here this week). So in the meantime, we're going to call him Winston.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Is it a cat, or perhaps a fish?

Our little kitty Sahara, has been up to some mischief these last few days. Part of my vegetable garden purchases was some bird netting. We ended up not using it, and so its been lying around the house. Sahara has decided that its the best fun - to sleep and play in.

While we're on the subject of cats, I'd also like to put a request into whoever takes care of these things, to ask Sahara to refrain from catching lizards. I'm a little sick of picking up lizards' tails from our bedroom floor. The poor little things.

AND, she brought me a lizard and a sparrow on Tuesday. Not impressed.
And last thing, anyone think these marks in the ginger crunch (my first in years!) look decidedly cat claw or tooth like??

Monday, June 13, 2011

Garden update

I've decided I don't like this header, but until I get one I like (which is taking some time...), I'm going to stick with it.

My garden has been growing amazingly, thank you California for the perfect growing weather - sun and warmth. Although we're probably lacking a bit in rain, but it did rain last weekend (of course this was the weekend we had a BBQ for 25 people, and it hasn't rained in June for 16 years, just our luck!).

Anyway, here are some updates of the garden. The squashes have been growing amazingly well, they are almost overtaking the lettuces, and I had to move the peppers as they had lovely big umbrellas (squash leaves) keeping the sun and light off them.

I was very excited tonight because I had a salad of different types of lettuces, radishes and beans, all freshly picked from the garden!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My very first vegetable garden

A few weeks ago we decided to plant a vegetable garden - we spent a while deciding where would be the best place for it, and then moved the roses that were growing there to make space. xxx and I made one of our many pilgrimages to Home Depot for supplies, and not too much longer, we had created this:

Two lovely beds shaped to fit along the path. The white hoops are 1/2" (I know aren't inches so old, one drawback of living in this country...) pvc pipes, bent over and fed into short lengths of 1" pipe, screwed onto the inside of the frame. The idea is to cover in bird netting. Hopefully bird netting will also become gopher, skunk and raccoon netting when there is something worth eating. As yet, its not needed.

After a dosing of hardware cloth on the bottom (gopher and mole protection), various types of soil, manure and grass clippings we got to the most exciting part of the whole process (well almost the most exciting) - planting!

And planted we have:
  • PEAS! 2 whole rows of peas. Peas are my favorite (hence why my garden posts are titled with peas)*
  • Yellow corn (x6)
  • White corn (x6)
  • Green globe artichoke
  • Icebox watermelon
  • Sweet million tomato
  • Sugar tomato
  • Heirloom: Martin's Roma tomato
  • Yellow plum tomato
  • Bush beans
  • Kentucky wonder pole beans
  • Radishes
  • Carrots (Long Imperator #58)
  • Oak leaf mixed lettuce (x6)
  • Sweet bowl mixed lettuce (x6)
  • Orange bell pepper
  • Sweet banana pepper (x4)
  • Yellow zucchini
  • Japanese cucumber
  • Big Bertha bell pepper
  • Red bell sweet pepper
  • Black beauty zucchini
  • Green zucchini
  • Scallopini squash
  • Butternut squash (x5)
When you write it all in a list like that, it seems like quite a lot. I'm a little disconcerted now as there are only 2 of us. And seemingly quite a large number of vegetables!

* I was a little disappointed that the only pea seeds I could find were Disney themed children's pea seeds. I have nothing against children's pea seeds, but Disney ones? Really? Do they dance and sing? I'm also going against all advice I received from the garden center - perhaps the reason the only peas I could find were Disney seeds is because its the wrong time of year to grow peas hot or something....hmmmm. We shall see.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Birthday Resolution

Well, its my birthday today and I have decided to make a "birthday resolution". This is something that my husband has been trying to help me stop doing for...hmmm...well...about as long as I've known him (make that over 7 years). Because I have a really bad habit - I bite my fingernails terribly. So much so that they bleed, the sides are all ripped, my fingers are stubby, the nails are completely damaged - got white spots all over them and are all ridged, and they are such a mess. I thought that when I got my beautiful engagement and wedding rings that I would be shamed into stopping biting them, but it didn't help either.

But for no longer will they look so messy! From tomorrow onwards, I am going to stop chewing, biting, ripping, picking or mouthing my nails.

How you ask? I've been biting them for 28 years, how will I stop now? Well, firstly, I'm going to create myself a sticker chart (I already have an exercise sticker chart, more on that another time). My sticker chart is just a calendar, and each day that I go without biting my nails, I'll get a sticker. At the end of the first week of complete stickers, I'm going to buy myself a treat. And the same after three whole weeks. After a month, I will get a bigger treat. (I'm hoping that the age-old child sticker chart - treat method will work for me!). I've also got bottles of that foul-tasting nail polish which from now on I will carry at all times, along with a pair of nail clippers.

I'm also hoping that by being accountable and making it public...I will be more motivated to stop. So I'm going to provide updates, with photos!

Any help, suggestions, encouragement, tips or anything else would be much appreciated!

Here are photos as at t:0

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Very First Blog

So this is my first foray into the blogging world. My idea is to blog about things that excite me, upset me, ideas I have, and my own little world over here in California. But who knows, we'll see how it all turns out.

But what great timing! I have exciting news for my first post. I am currently a lawyer (attorney) in New Zealand, and in the United Kingdom and I just passed the bar exam in California so I can be an attorney over here now. It was a huge accomplishment and meant:
  1. 2 months off work
  2. Study. Study. Study. Study.
  3. 8 - 12 hours/day of it. 7 days a week.
  4. For 8 weeks.
  5. An amazing husband who did all the cooking/shopping/cat taking to vet/cleaning/washing for that time.
  6. 18 hours of exams. Over 3 days.
  7. 6 essays. 2 performance tests. 200 multi-choice questions.
  8. A gas leak during the exam. And horrible LA traffic.
  9. Logging onto the website at 6pm on Friday May 13 (what a day to pick huh?) to see this:

It was the highlight of my month, no make that year.