It’s Almost Eeeeeaster

Daughter is really getting into the whole Easter thing this year though I discovered it has snuck up on me this year. I suspect it has something to do with my considering the 25th to be sacred due to ANZAC Day, since I don’t have the same attachment to Easter.

So I was going through my RSS feed looking at the Easter blogposts I’d starred and thought I’d share.

Firstly, I saw these Easter Egg Hunt Bags from Perl Bee (via The Crafty Crow and they instantly put a smile on my face because they reminded me of one of my favourite parts of ballet, the Character Skirts which were trimmed along the bottom part of the full skirt in much the same way as these bags. Ahhh. I think we’ll be using some of our vast collection of wicker baskets though.

Then I saw this neat idea from Parent Hacks suggesting alternatives to chocolate and sweets, like Lego, for Easter Egg Hunts. Read their comments for some other ideas :)

Parent Hacks had this other brilliant idea for using a muffin tray for dying eggs one colour (although I wonder what the dyes look like after the last egg has been done!)

Similar to the Egg stitchwork that I blogged about earlier in the month, Craftzine uncovered these sweet embroidery designs at The Split Stitch that are downloadable. I love what she’s achieved so far.

And finally, Chasing Cheerios blogged about an idea I hadn’t heard of before, drawing on hot boiled eggs with crayons so they melt!

Random Open Tabs

I love to have many browser tabs open. My computer … doesn’t; but it copes.

I thought I’d randomly (well, relatively randomly) share some of the tabs I have open at the moment.

Sheppard Software
I haven’t spent a great deal of time exploring the site but I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far. There’s a wide variety of games, quizzes and drills for learning various subjects.
I spent a good 1/2 hour procrastinating … err I mean working on my 101 in 1001 task of Learning the locations of countries. Well, actually I got hooked on learning the locations of capital cities in Oceania and I got quite good at it.
So you see some activities are age-less. Do you know all your capital cities in Oceania and where they are?

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
This is the home of the contest where contestants battle for the honour of having written the worst first sentence of a book.
Some of the entries are not safe for work (NSFW) but there are some beautifully cringeworthy entries truely worthy of winning the title, like this one:

As the fading light of a dying day filtered through the window blinds, Roger stood over his victim with a smoking .45, surprised at the serenity that filled him after pumping six slugs into the bloodless tyrant that mocked him day after day, and then he shuffled out of the office with one last look back at the shattered computer terminal lying there like a silicon armadillo left to rot on the information superhighway.
Larry Brill, Austin, Texas (1994 Winner)


Financial Literacy Month
Well thought out site, with a sequential approach that can be jumped into and out of at any point. Some interesting tips in there as well as useful forms to utilise. Definitely worth a look if you’re not 100% in control of your finances – and who is, right?

Monarch and Red Admiral Friends

This was the best of a batch of terrible photos but I really wanted to have visual evidence of a Monarch Butterfly and a Red Admiral Butterfly sharing the same space.
I was at the Bason Botanic Gardens today (which is quite gorgeous and bigger than I thought), and saw a Monarch Butterfly being chased by a Red Admiral Butterfly. It went on for some time with the Monarch trying to land on a gum tree and the Red Admiral seemed to be bothering it. Eventually the Monarch seemed to give up and accept their new friend and I saw them move from one part of the tree to the other.
Now for the terrible photo explanation. I had my two camera’s with me. I’d grabbed them on the way out the door knowing that one needed a battery recharge and the other was okay. Now the Canon, despite my owning it for some time now, I still haven’t got the knack of it much to my disappointment. When trying to take a decent photo of the butterflies, I thought I’d give it a go with the flash. Could I work out how to do this? Nope, pressing buttons and twisting dials trying to locate the flash options didn’t work. Well, what it did was switch it to delay mode, so now when I clicked I had to wait 10 seconds before the photo was taken. Brilliant.
By the time I decided to resort to the manual and finally get the perfect shot, my phone rang and I had to leave for the day.
I got home this evening and one of the first things I did was get out that jolly manual and find out how to a) turn off the delay, and b) operate the flash. And how do I do the latter? Well there’s a button clearly labelled all on it’s own near the flash unit. I keep forgetting it’s there!

I must be getting old.


Another dud night from me sorry. But I do have these rather random blogposts I’d like to share with you.

Firstly, this brilliantly humorous post from Vaughn Davis entitled 10 Uses for an Unwanted Skyhawk. If there’s any left over, sign me up please. If nothing else, it should be a decent deterrent for all the drivers that speed down our street!

I’ll admit I’ve been fascinated with the idea of Red Velvet Cake since I first heard of it, but thanks to Craftzine, this photo has me salivating at the idea of Red Velvet Crepes!

And finally, these bunnies look incredibly cute, (despite the one of the right looks a tad malicious)
and the Spring Bunnies come with instructions and even diagrams care of Craftzine and their creator, Stephanie from All About Ami.

No Blogpost Tonight

(Did you see what I did there)

Where has the Day Gone?

Let’s see:

  • Snuggling in bed under a nice, thick, warm duvet
  • Working on Home Education planning and prep, and the dastardly exemption
  • Straightening the house and thinking I should really get on top of the housework (but not doing much about it)
  • Stacking firewood and listening to husband using the chainsaw and wood splitter
  • Watching a couple of TV episodes
  • Stacking firewood and realising the dog howling I can hear over my music is actually my husband’s music
  • Running husband into town for some errands and sitting in the car singing to Disney songs and The Beetles with daughter
  • Making Rice Porridge for Dinner
  • Installing Myst Online via Wine on Ubuntu
  • Feeling satisfied at getting Myst Online working great but feeling sad the gameplay is too slow for me
  • Patching Lord of the Rings Online
  • Watching a TV episode
  • Still patching Lord of the Rings Online
  • Realising I don’t play Lord of the Rings Online nearly enough
  • Playing Lord of the Rings Online
  • Writing this blogpost and wishing I’d started earlier in the day and had something highfalutin to say
  • Rewriting this blogpost!
  • Having the content disappear three times, recreating it once and then realising I could have used the back button on the browser to recover it, having to create a new post from the old content!!

  • Photo of the Week

    I was with some members of the Marton Plunket Committee earlier this week selling Raffle Tickets at Marton New World. I had my camera out ready to take some photos of our stall and prizes and someone pointed out to me the giant lampshade in the entrance way and I without thought lifted my camera and snapped it.
    Makes me wonder how many other great images (well I think this one is great!) I miss out on by not having my camera at the ready!

    The Torchlight List

    I heard about this book by Professor Jim Flynn while catching up on the latest episode of 60 Minutes where an individual claimed he was the smartest person in New Zealand based on the fact he could get a perfect score on a standardised IQ test. (I’ll leave that particular topic well alone!)

    So bearing in mind that I haven’t read the book, here’s what I’ve found out about it since I found the idea intriguing.

    The full title is The Torchlight List: Around the World in 200 Books and to put it simply, the premise is that everyone can improve their education and knowledge by reading good books.

    The book is only 120 pages long but appears to be a succinct, yet engaging journey through history. It isn’t clear from articles and the like that I found online whether the list stays strictly in the history genre of wanders into other areas of study, though admittedly history can be such a far-reaching topic in itself.
    The Otago Daily Times have a 3 page article about the book and author which is a really good read and a far better overview of the author’s aim and opinions and they also have a 4 page edited extract from the book, which lists the books numbered 93 to 114. Each book name is inserted into the text amongst information on why the author considers it a useful read, tidbits of information and witticisms.
    Despite how dry this idea for a book may sound, the edited excerpt drew me in and had my fingers itching to search out each book and get started.

    It’s fairly easy to see at a glance that this booklist on RadioNZ’s website isn’t the complete list of books but it appears to match up with the books mentioned in the description for the RadioNZ segments that you can listen to/download here. There are 12 episodes listed averaging about 10 1/2 minutes long.

    My own forays into the world of Charlotte Mason’s education theories and those of the Classical Education bring to mind the term “Living Books”. These are books which immerse you in the subject you’re studying, and let you breathe in the facts rather than have them pummelled at you. Certainly from my own childhood and latter years I garner and more importantly retain the most information when reading a book which tells a fact-based story rather than a dry tome that simply lays out the information.

    Though having not succeeded at the Higher Education route myself, I certainly understand the value of a University Degree and those who achieve them (and vastly admire those who go on and continue their studies in academia).
    However I do agree with Professor Flynn that a great education can be had through Self-Education. I’d add that it’s important to remember that education is a life-long process and no one should consider themselves past learning.

    The book is $33 RRP in NZ Dollars and I can tell you it’s been bumped up to the top of my wishlist!

    Squishy Circuits

    If you’re at all interested in how you can do electronics with your young children, do I have the TED talk for you! ;)

    For more information you can visit her website, Squishy Circuits.

    I’m really looking forward to giving this a go later in the year!

    Edit to add: Just found this in my drafts – It should have published on the 6th April – and I’m not calling it a NaBloPoMo fail because I could have sworn I published it!

    It’s my blog and I’ll emote if I want to … emote if I want to …

    A random title for a rather random day.

    Tonight I went to my first Marton Community Meeting and became a member. I may have made an impression by the end of the meeting but I’m not convinced that it was an entirely positive one. :D
    My intention was to be quiet, observe and learn – but my mouth engaged more than I expected, though hopefully the brain along with it! I am excited to be participating in the community more though, and I am interested in finding out how local government works (or doesn’t) for the members of the community. More importantly though, I was overjoyed at the news the next meeting’s venue will be somewhere warm! I can’t recall the last time I shivered my way through a meeting (though it at least covered up any nervous shaking I might have had!)
    When I got home I realised I was dreading having to give a potted bio of who I am before they co-opted me onto the committee. Luckily that wasn’t requested though I’m left wondering what they think they know about me. :D
    But enough self-obsessing!

    Sam and I went, on our first proper organised educational fieldtrip, to the Canaan Honey Farm. The owners were lovely people and Sam conducted herself well. It occurred to me that in a school setting with the wrong teacher she might actually be able to coast her way through a day without the teacher picking up on her specific needs. She happily sat on the mat with the other children and chorused the answers to questions with them. Until you listened closely, and realised that she was just mimicing their vocal sounds and not saying any particular word – in the same way you can mumble your way through a song. She really enjoyed herself though and I know she did pick up some of the information, which I’m certain will come out in the next few days. And if it does take her a few days before she mentions some of the facts we were presented with, that may be another aspect of her Autism as it took her a few days to process (without any discussion) that she was once a baby and was born and not purchased!
    I was really impressed too that she took herself off to a quiet spot in the room when she got overwhelmed with the noise/people/constant movement, with zero fuss and then returned to the situation when she was ready. I wanted to squeeze her I was so proud!

    Third and final topic before I jump back into the raffle-ticket fray (I’m up to the cutting stage; the perforating stage went really well – except for one mishap) and that is I made an attempt at the latest Weekly Photography Challenge. With a twist though as I was too much of a wuss (it being rainy and cold) to leave the protection of our vehicle, and so I took some shots sitting in the truck whilst parked on the main street of Wanganui. I wasn’t particularly happy with the results unsurprisingly. Sitting still is definitely a handicap I didn’t need. Nevertheless, I did make an attempt and I will probably have another go before submitting a photo to the challenge.
    Ooh, actually, I’ve just looked at them onscreen and they look so much better than they did on the LCD screen. Still not brilliant though. The images I was trying to capture needed more zoom than I had for tighter photos and I’m not convinced they really fit the criteria of a street scene, though I guess I could say I looked above the street level – above the parapets so to speak for my inspiration. Here’s the best two out of the bunch:
    I like the incongruity of a building built in 1875 sandwiched between a building reminiscent of the Art Deco period and the building on the left which frankly defies description on a main street. (Click on the image for a closer look – the cladding has to be seen to be believed!)

    This photo isn’t the best I’ve ever taken and yes, that is a bit of my car at the top. It was taken with my Kodak camera which has a better zoom as a comparison shot to the one I took with the Canon. However, I liked the mock-ancient look to the building with the (and let’s see if I remember my architectural terms correctly) pilasters and pediment, and that it’s got a touch of the modern with the bright splashes of colour taking it from what would otherwise be ho-hum.