Mocha zonked out in the garden

Ah, yeah, about who the hell is Mocha: Ellie has been renamed Mocha.

Reason being that although The Kid isn't called Ellie, his (real) name sounds close enough that every time we called out, "Ellie!" The Kid went, "Huh?"

Other name candidates were Button, Toffee and Kibble. Just sayin'.

Good morning

It's alright, the world didn't end yesterday. A little bit of food, a little bit of quiet time, a night of (mostly) sleep later and another day has, indeed, begun - with another spectacular sunrise above Lyttelton.

Good morning, everyone.

About to have a meltdown

Do not be fooled by the fact that I am laughing and making jokes about this, because on the inside I am about to have a meltdown.

But hey, at least I'm open about it, right?

Work in another country? No problem. But care for a 1-year-old and a brand new troublemaking puppy whilst the house is missing a few windows, there are powertools and cords out front and I can't let the puppy run around in the yard because neighbors' dogs aren't vaccinated for parvo and they've been in our front yard and so there's pee and poop happening inside and... Grrrgh, sorry, I should've spared you the details.

Long story short: I am about to have a meltdown. And I am so not doing another child in any near future! Geesh.

PS. In case anyone is wondering: I am writing this because I've put The Kid in front of a laptop watching Ratatouille and The Dog has been given a chewbone.

PPS. On world scale, I am doing well. It's only on inside-my-head scale that I'm having a problem. I'm perfectly aware of that. Yes, I'm grateful for food and family and peace and clean water and all that stuff. Perfectly grateful. I'm just about to have a meltdown regardless.

Monkey see, monkey do

The Dog starts chewing on the rocking horse, gets told off. The Kid observes, goes up to the rocking horse and... proceeds to chew it, too.


8 o'clock in the morning, can we go back to bed please

I don't have two children, right, I have a child and a dog. But... is that how people with two small children feel? They get up in the morning, tend to everyone's needs and an hour and a half later they feel like going back to bed?

Is it?

Because if that's what it's like, then I might reconsider this maybe-have-two-children-in-the-future business. Geesh, people.

Why I'm helping with the blog

I've been helping out with Around The Table - Bloggers Connecting website since it was started. And you know why I do that?

Because I know how long websites / blogs take. Formatting, resizing photos, scheduling - sounds like a piece of cake, and in many ways it is, but it's a time-consuming piece of cake. I am grateful to Miriam and Treena and Hazel and Holly and Rachel and Sophie and... should I really keep on naming them? Yeah, why not. Jamie and Rachelle and Max and Deb and Juliet and Amy and whoever else is involved - I don't even know them all, there's lots.

I am grateful they're organising this get-together and I didn't want them spending their time uploading all this stuff, so I do it instead. I feel useful like that. I want them to focus on what they do best instead.

That's why.

Weekend photo dump

Getting a puppy, of course.

Oh, and black labs are notoriously difficult to photograph. Apart from early morning and late at night Ellie ends up as a black... blob on photos. I think I need to pick up a few tricks as to how to do it.

A few photos of The Kid.

A few photos of the view.

Have a good weekend, guys.

On iPad and Apple

I wondered whether to write this rant here or not. It's sort of... complain-ish, and I think I've done enough complaining here over the past few weeks. But I'll try anyway, mmkay?, and only a little bit of it, mmkay?

So, let me start off by saying that I've been an Apple girl since, like, forever. Which, to me, is since 2005. It was the first computer I ever bought and in the process of doing so I spent a better part of my student loan money. Buying an Apple was sort of the reason why I started working a second year into university - cause, uhm, hello! I'd just spent a student loan which was meant for living expenses on a laptop instead.

But to me, it was worth it. My iBook was elegant, reliable and it expanded my world. It was sort of the thing with Apple - I bought a computer and everything I needed for little creative endeavours came with it. I didn't have to buy a video editing software - it came with it. I didn't have to buy an Oxford dictionary - it came with it.

I dragged it with me to Alaska and back, lived with it on a glacier for three months, took it to all my uni classes for three remaining years, then used it up in the Arctic, then New Zealand. It bloody worked. I loved it.

And I trusted Apple because of it. They'd built this machine that worked and lasted and was, quite simply, elegant, and I trusted that my future laptops would come from a company that had built that first one.

But then I got my second Apple, a MacBook Pro, last year. (First one's screen connection died on me after six years of massive use.) I still liked it, I did, but not as passionately as I liked the first one.

They'd redesigned iMovie and I couldn't, for the life of me, understand the idea behind it. I'd worked with three different editing systems in the past, on Sony Vegas Pro I even worked - like, paid professional work - for three consecutive years in Wanaka, and with the new iMovie I just flat out stopped editing videos. That thing was bloody constrictive, and stupid. I didn't want to make videos that looked like any other video on Youtube made on Apple, I wanted my videos to look like ME! And on that new iMovie it was just frickin' energy- and time-consuming.

And to cut this long rant short, I've now got an iPad and... I feel painfully disappointed. Like, really?, I can't import anything unless I've done it through iTunes? I can import thousands of photos, but I can't delete a single photo unless I do it through my computer via syncing? Are you guys for real?

I can sync photos from my computer but it won't sync any sub-folders? Like, who on earth is interested in having hundreds, if not thousands of photos, on an iPad - without organised folders?!

My first iBook was like stepping out onto a big wide open field and I could do pretty much anything on it, if I wanted, and with this iPad it feels like I've stepped into this little fenced-off courtyard and Apple is trying to make bloody sure that I can't do anything or go anywhere unless I do it on another Apple product.

The thing they've achieved with this iPad is that I've mentally stepped out of this Apple camp or fanclub or whatever you might call it, and when I ever need to buy another electronics device, I won't give Apple unquestionable trust, like I would've done - sorry, did - after that first iBook.

I can browse the web on this iPad and type a little. I can watch videos, and show people photos. I can consume what's already on it.

iPad is a consumption device and it is not, by any means, a creativity device - though that's what I expected from it.

The time of tomorrow

Tomorrow we will bring home Ellie, the black lab.

About simplicity

I thought about simplicity today.

Like, when I'm reading other people's blogs, it is often with curiosity about how they do simple, everyday things. Things that, once familiar, seem so basic to me that  I don't even think of them as worth mentioning. For example?

Closing the curtains to conserve heat - as opposed to closing them simply as a way to dim the outside lights. Hiding electronics into drawers, with cords coming out the back - and then putting child locks in front so that I can still, for example, get a signal from a wireless router, but the baby can't tinker with it in the meantime. Building a fire pit in the backyard out of old bricks.

I mean, loads of basic, everyday stuff.

But... That doesn't take away from the fact that once - all these things were new to me. Useful, new "knowledge things".

And I thought how now, after two years of using cloth nappies with The Kid, I could write about what nappies I recommend and which I'd suggest staying away from, for several reasons. I mean, back when I was shopping for nappies, I would've loved information like that!

Or about buying second hand carpet from TradeMe and carpeting the WHOLE house with it. Again, not so long ago I would've loved to read a post like that.

Our house is a rental - an old, run-down rental. The sort of a rental that if you want to be comfortable in it, you really need to do some stuff to it before you can get to that "comfortable" part. And so we carpeted it. And it made sense to us, because we got to keep our cheap rent, but the place got warmer, comfier, and if one day we need to move, then if need be, the carpet can come with us. (Not that I'm looking forward to moving one day...)

Or, how I make kitchen towels out of old bed sheets. It frickin' works! And how I made nappy wipes for The Kid, and two years later we're still using them. Little, sort of basic-looking things, but my am I glad for them now that I've got them.

That sort of simplicity.

We bought an iPad last week and this is my first time posting from it.  And you know how there's LOADS of videos about jail braking your iPad, whatever, or some fancy ways of using your iPad and tips and tricks and whatever? Whereas all I want at this stage is to find out how to change volume, and get an apostrophe without leaving the qwerty-screen, and moving between windows, and doing copy-and-paste because, of course, being an iPad this thing does not have a Ctrl-C option.

That sort of stuff. Simplicity.


A full day wearing a heart monitor.

A visit to the library.

Another good morning

I know, I know. I've been doing these "Good morning" posts like it's nobody's business. There's hardly anything else but on here now!

But... it's just that time of the year now - the time when the mornings are happening as I'm going about my day, not when I'm still in bed asleep. I'm here to witness the mornings as they happen. It's wonderful, I think.

I'm really reveling in these last, summer's end nights. (And mornings.) (And days!) So warm. So quiet. So... easy.

The autumn will turn soon. There'll be a stretch of color and forgiveness and happiness, and then the winter will set in and with that - the wood stove, and the curtains, and honey in my tea.

For now, though, we will witness the mornings and we will look forward to the first rays of light hitting our house. They come straight at our kitchen windows. It lights up the space, it really does.

Ronan making friends

Oh, and this here - this picture above, here - is the reason there's a fence in front of our house. It's a rental and we frickin' fenced this place, ourselves, own money, labour, whatever - but at least there isn't a bunch of cattle in our yard now.

But not that I'm complaining. I like it here.

Where to?

A quiet afternoon. The Man is ill, and so he is asleep. The Kid is, well, The Kid - and so he is asleep also. I've done my internet rounds, I've done work, sort of feel like getting up and doing dishes, but... I dare not make any noise lest I wake either of the sleepy ones. It is so wonderfully blissful with both of them gone.

And since I'm plopped down in bed anyway, laptop at hand, I peruse local real estate for sale. Well, start to peruse anyway - because after about three listings I think, "Wait a minute, how do I decide where to buy, even if I did decide to buy one day?!"

Oh, the bliss of people who have grown up in a place and settled in that same place.

I don't even know if I'm in the right country. I mean, I think I am. And even if I am, do I really want to live in Banks peninsula? Really?

Oh you blissful, blissful people who have grown up and settled.


...aaaaaaand The Kid is up. See ya later!


And in the spirit of oversharing, here's some photos of Ellie - our labrador to be.

Good morning

Technically speaking this lot is from yesterday morning, between The Man leaving for work and me leaving for work. But I wanted to share them, and so here they are.

On feeding a dog raw food

It is only a few short weeks until there's a pup in our house, and it is about time I get this feeding thing sorted in my head - and then in my freezer and in my cupboard.

What our breeder says makes sense to me. Raw food. Meat. Veggies. Muesli. Supplements. No kibble - Pedigree or Purina or whatnot. And however daunting this process sounds at the moment - with having to mix ingredients ourselves rather than get a cup or two of kibble from a bag - apparently it isn't even half as bad, or more expensive. It's just... different.

And so in the spirit of collecting it all in one space where I can easily get to it later, and for anyone else who might be interested - here are a few links my breeder gave us about feeding a dog raw food. Here goes:

Bruce Syme has quite an opinion on feeding a puppy, on feeding an adult dog and on feeding raw bonesTukkathyme is a herbal muesli (for dogs, that is) for adding to raw meat when feeding a balanced diet.

So what it basically means is taking 1/3 Tukkathyme mixture, adding it to 2/3 meat and sprinkling it all with a spoonful of supplement powder and half a spoon of vitamin C - as opposed to dipping a cup in a bag of dog kibble.

We've bought a second hand freezer on TradeMe ($66), set it up in our laundry room where it's out of the way and when we're a week away for bringing home our puppy, we will order a load of chicken carcasses from the butchers (apparently $1-$1,5 apiece) and keep it all in the freezer. A few bags of Tukkathyme will probably fit in right next to it.

A box of Bruce Syme's supplement powder is already sitting on the kitchen bench. All I need to figure out now, really, is what sort of vitamin C to feed.

Whoa. It's already feeling less daunting, this feeding raw food deal.