FIFIFRIZZLE's SparkPeople Blog FIFIFRIZZLE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Gardening in the rain Eight hours in the garden today. It was raining to start with but dried out and got very hot for a while there. Planted marigolds, gerbera, , a rose, and replanted many flowering plants I have moved. I still have some clumps to shift tomorrow morning. Mon, 23 Jan 2017 05:20:26 EST Flowers and birds and stuff Another windy day, horizontal rain, and in some parts of the country, snow! Not usual summer weather. We bought some plants for our garden and soon they will be in the ground. It gas been a most unusual growing season. The wonderful pohutakawa flowers have mostly blown away, which is sad for the local nectar feeding tui. I have a sugar water feeder in the garden but the birds haven't discovered it yet. I've never hung one before and I wonder whether they don't like the yew tree it is hanging... Sun, 22 Jan 2017 03:10:55 EST Wind storm OH it is windy here with gusts of up to 160 kph, they woke me at 5 am and the house is shaking with it, so more sleep isn't feasible. It is just getting light and we will be able to see the damage shortly. At least our paths will be swept clear and any debris left from our hedge trimming etc will be out to sea by now so the place might look pretty tidy... <BR> On the injury front the exercise stirred up the leg pain but it is not too bad most of the time and I will persist gently. The crush i... Wed, 18 Jan 2017 12:15:23 EST Exercising at last I decided that the garden was my number one priority and I have been doing that instead of exercise. Also I have had a slightly bung leg. Don't ask, but basically its because I overdid the star jumps in the water and I paid a big, dreary price. <BR> <BR> But, nil desperandum and I've pretty much ignored the whole thing and kept on going (minus pool work) and it is nearly better. <BR> So today I did 20 minutes on the dreadmill and 45 minutes in the warm pool. <BR> We shall see how it respon... Mon, 16 Jan 2017 21:44:44 EST Weeding and mulching in the garden, nothing to see here. It rained yesterday, all morning. We hung our new prints. Then, with the rain lifting I went out in the high cloud. DH was moaning about the weather on the phone to his Mum in the sunny South Island but I could tell it was all over and I wanted to mulch the garden while it was still wet. <BR> But first I had to weed. I ended up doing another six hours. The chooks helped, especially when it came to spreading the mulch. Caught out again as the sun came out, my sunscreen didn't last that long. ... Sun, 15 Jan 2017 12:57:12 EST Summer holidays ending Week two at work has nearly finished and things are speeding up. In New Zealand our Christmas break is combined with the summer holiday so a lot of people are still away, but next week it will be business as usual. It's fun to reconnect with people who have come back from their holidays and hear what they did with their leisure time. <BR> I'm still enjoying my first week of the Cura and the inspiration of dramatic weight release. <BR> <em>141</em> <BR> Taking things easy as much as I can.... Thu, 12 Jan 2017 12:53:36 EST Before I get into the garden... I was a little late starting this round of the Cura but now I'm in the swing of it I'm really enjoying the antidote to a full month of social eating. <BR> And awake early and about to start again in the garden. Let me at it! Mon, 9 Jan 2017 11:34:47 EST Birds of a different feather I've been gardening with the chickens for company and they are very companionable, although not as hardworking as me. I did another six hour stint and with reasonable weather if I keep it up for the next long weekend I'll be feeling very happy with the results. <BR> <BR> Everywhere I went the chickens did too. They weeded, sunbathed, dust bathed, snoozed, and hopped up wherever I was. They missed me when I was gone and now they are laying again. <BR> <BR> At our holiday place we were so ple... Sun, 8 Jan 2017 22:19:58 EST The garden After being away the garden calls, it is rather unruly at the moment but just a week or so would sort it all out. With luck DH will help and we'll get it all done but he is rather inclined to go off at a tangent. <BR> So I got up early and spent six hours gardening today. Now I'm sitting on the sofa wondering if I will be able to get up again! Sat, 7 Jan 2017 21:14:08 EST Some December pix (including foodstuffs) December is my birthday. We went away for a weekend with friends. <BR> Here are the hors d'ouvres I made. Olives of course, spiced nuts, stuffed baby peppers, devilled eggs, asparagus wrapped in bacon... and smoked salmon on cucumber. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We went out for dinner on The Day, too <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> it was ... Wed, 4 Jan 2017 02:03:22 EST Baaack Happy New Year to my Sparkadees. <BR> What a great holiday I had. A true family time, both families, and it went well. I just got back. Flew home while DH drove the car and took the ferry. He's just disembarking now. <BR> We went south to spend Xmas with DH's family. Then north to connect with mine and spend a few days at our holiday home with friends. <BR> The weather has been variable, mostly cloudy which was wonderful driving weather. DH and I did a working bee at MiL's and transformed he... Tue, 3 Jan 2017 05:13:06 EST Loving my new rice cooker with wierd spelling corrected Sister in Law gave me her rice cooker, a device I have never owned before. My first rice cooked in the cooker was wonderful! I mixed it with cauliflower rice in my vegetable stir fry for tonight's dinner and we were happy chappies. <BR> We had about 1/3rd cup cooked rice in all, the rest was vegetables. <BR> <BR> I,m looking forward to trying out quinoa and brown rice combined in the cooker, but wish I had the instruction manual. Any advice, Sparkies? <BR> <BR> Later... no, Dr Google has no... Mon, 12 Dec 2016 04:19:43 EST One weekend...with recipe It was a three day feast, thank goodness it's over. <BR> A wonderful still night on Friday, we sat outside in the garden for our housemates' dinner. Later we turned on the outdoor heater but there was not a breath of wind and the night sky was beautiful with a fingernail moon and the evening star for the longest time as we sat eating, drinking, and playing nicely. <BR> I made baked slider burgers and trifles in individual jars. <BR> Saturday a catered birthday party for an old colleague, it ... Sun, 4 Dec 2016 13:39:19 EST Rested What a relaxing time at the beach. The weather was wildly windy and there were rain storms on the water. The waves rolled in ceaselessly, with breakers far out into the ocean. Seabirds hovered and swooped in the wind. But it was warm, we did not need the fire. There was astonishingly good food. (Too much of that, but indulgence soon mended.) <BR> The company was relaxed and happy. <BR> Newspapers were read. <BR> Sudoku and origami puzzles were done. <BR> And now we are home again. <BR> We wer... Mon, 28 Nov 2016 12:30:24 EST The beach It is the last few days of spring, and we are preparing for a trip to a beach called Raumati, which means summer. Unfortunately rain is forecast, but we are taking our bathers just in case. <BR> The place we stay is architect designed, and captures wonderful sea views. Maybe I'll take a photo if I remember. It is only an hour's drive away and en route we will cast away our cares. <BR> <BR> A well deserved long weekend break. <BR> <BR> Happy thanksgiving to those who celebrate it. <BR> <BR>... Thu, 24 Nov 2016 11:17:01 EST The joys of gadgetry Today is the end of the fourth week and of this round of the Cura, and I begin to wind down for a weekend at the beach, along with a return to more normal eating, at least some of the time. The dust hasn't settled yet but I got my fourth gold star, for 20lb lost in four weeks, which is not to be sneezed at. <BR> <BR> I read the promoted sparticle on green smoothies, these are a favorite of mine and I often make them to start the day with a little dose of vegetable goodness. Mine have less fr... Sun, 20 Nov 2016 12:46:34 EST Garden bliss Early waking this morning after a nap yesterday. I gardened for five hours, the weeds are so lush and easily pulled out. My garden is full of weeds, many flowering. I know they are there but others just see a mass of flowers, and the garden is glorious at the moment. The storms have dislodged a lot of petals, and it is a sweet thing, to be gardening among the petals. A pleasure to be In ithis garden, and I'll be in it more today. <BR> DH oiled the garden furniture yesterday, one more coat t... Sat, 19 Nov 2016 11:29:19 EST The next gold star... within reach. I'm so glad for Beck's weight loss goals. She says graph up to a 5lb loss and start a new graph each time you achieve 5lbs. <BR> Every time I get rid of 5lbs I put a gold star on my phone. This round of the Cura I have 3 shiny new gold stars on my phone. <BR> I'm hoping I will get my next gold star this week, because from next Friday I am shifting to diet number 2, which is the 5:2 diet, to see me through a month of at least two social eating occasions a week. In the new y... Fri, 18 Nov 2016 15:00:05 EST A new reality for some We saw the sun for a while, and I caught a glimpse of the supermoon, but mostly it has rained since Sunday. The rain is washing down all the displaced soil in the earthquake slips, so we are experiencing a little taste of what it could be like if it was really bad... Some people in the country are doing it quite hard. <BR> <BR> We're all glad to see the tourists on their way, they've been evacuated from Kaikoura and fed, watered and washed, so our guests are alright. Now it is time for the f... Thu, 17 Nov 2016 00:29:43 EST Quakes AND stormy weather Honestly, you wouldn't read about it. We are still having significant jolts, just had a 5.8, and to top it off there are gale force winds and a record downpour in the Wellington region. The MOST drenching rain, but I still went for a swim and felt better for it. <BR> I shopped for some earthquake supplies, and repacked our grab and go bags. To be honest I feel uncertain about going to work tomorrow but needs must. We are in a very safe building at work, but I feel safer at home. <BR> The roa... Mon, 14 Nov 2016 21:08:51 EST Earthquakes in Canterbury More earthquakes in Canterbury, a 7.5 which woke us in Wellington, it went on for 2 minutes! <BR> We're fine, our friends and family are fine, the quake was a long way away but followed by a wave of quakes up the country. <BR> Not much sleep last night. <BR> We took in friends from the adjacent flat low lying suburb, as there was a tsunami warning. We think the tsunami danger is all over. But there are aftershocks and ... I'm wondering if the super moon has a part in this, in which case, it's... Sun, 13 Nov 2016 16:28:39 EST For America In this dark dawn... <BR> <BR> Fri, 11 Nov 2016 14:46:19 EST Spring rain Raining today, it started out as a soft morning, the odd bit of drizzle, but now it is more than that, falling straight out of the sky, drenching and so good for the spring garden. <BR> The tuis are not put off at all, my flowering flax bushes have got tui in them from morning until night. One nectar feeder departs and another swoops in. They are very territorial, a visitor stopped by one of the flaxes and a big tui swooped down onto the topmost spire and stared her out. They don't mind me at... Sun, 6 Nov 2016 19:08:52 EST Chocolate bean cake recipe by request I have yet to taste this but apparently the chocolate black bean cake went down a treat. DH advises it tasted as good as my goto chocolate cake, which is loved by all. <BR> That,s a surprise as he knows I'll bake it again, so I guess it's a recommendation. <BR> <BR> I served it with chocolate butter icing decorated with strawberries and banksia roses. <BR> Running late so didn,t take a photo but here,s the recipe <BR><BR>/01/31/black-bean-chocolate-c... Sat, 5 Nov 2016 14:03:13 EST Foody thoughts Once again blogging in bed admiring a beautiful sunrise. <BR> Just weighed myself to find I am at a new number for this year, and have earned myself another gold star for my phone cover to mark the next five pounds lost. <BR> Yesterday <BR> I came home from a hard day at work to discover that the party today began in the afternoon. So I had to make The Cake then and there. I made a chocolate bean cake, with black beans. It's gluten free, with black beans instead of flour, and I made gluten f... Fri, 4 Nov 2016 13:50:39 EST In bed ...looking out the picture window at a dark and threatening sky. Yesterday, a work day, was blissfully sunny and mild. Why is it that the weather packs up for the weekend? Anyway, I'll wear my raincoat today. But before I get up... <BR> I'm approaching my second 5lb weight loss in this round of the Cura. The weight isn't dropping so quickly as in the past, maybe because I am on medications that must interfere, but it is falling away. I am noticing how my Beck strategies are helping. For examp... Thu, 3 Nov 2016 13:57:18 EST No!vember The first day of November here and I have made serious inroads on my eating for the week. <BR> Food shopped yesterday, my least favorite thing, and I have so much enjoyed MyFoodBag taking that off my hands. But I'm on the Cura now so MyFoodBag won't do the job. <BR> This morning I prepped my vegetables and meats for the week and put them in the fridge or freezer clearly labelled with marker pen. <BR> I now have my menus all sorted out and food all prepped for the week, so I can say, all cove... Mon, 31 Oct 2016 20:57:58 EST Dryathlon drawing to a close? Howdy Sparkees. <BR> Nearly the end of Stoptober and while you might be preoccupied with Halloween, I am thinking about my dryathlon coming to a close. <BR> <BR> It has been our most social month this year, all unintentionally. I have lost count of the number of shared meals and social functions we have participated in, most of which would have involved imbibing some alcohol. And all of which I managed without a glitch. So I have had plenty of practice with navigating social occasions and ce... Sat, 29 Oct 2016 18:43:38 EST A fast note Just a quick note before dashing off to work, so this is a fast note in more ways than one. <BR> My first fast day for quite a while went so well yesterday. I felt strong and good, the body likes a break every now and then. <BR> Well, mine does, anyway! I slept wonderfully, too. <BR> No doubt there will be a few headaches along the way as I detox over the weekend, but that is easily fixed with a panadol. <BR> Happy Friday! <BR> Fifi Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:56:04 EST Staycations are the best It was a holiday weekend and so DH joined me in a four day staycation. We worked in the garden together and got one part weeded and cleaned up after ourselves, including a trip to the dump with the bad weeds. How much easier it is with two. And the chickens were a great help as well. <BR> Stoptober continues, and true to form we had guests for dinner twice in the weekend, it was fun catching up and I enjoyed cooking for everyone. <BR> I aim to knuckle down and pay attention to my eating for t... Wed, 26 Oct 2016 01:34:58 EST A dryathlon This month I am on the wagon, and it has been my most social time for a very long time, with dinner parties and dinners out, houseguests and drop in visitors, and now a funeral to attend. Every single one of these occasions would have involved a glass of wine or two, or a gin and tonic, or a whisky, and I am still offering these things to my guests, but not partaking myself. <BR> <BR> It's no problem, but Stoptober has reminded me how habitual drinking is in our lives. We don't have children... Sun, 16 Oct 2016 02:01:36 EST Stoptober continues We went out for dinner last weekend to celebrate DN's birthday, and I was the sober driver! I wear glasses and I'm not keen driving at night, but I managed and enjoyed being the chauffeur. <BR> This has to be one of the most social months lately, with dining occasions every week so far. <BR> <BR> I'm managing fine on the wagon, mostly substituting with water, but also having some lovely elderflower cordials. And also, celery tonic, a New York invention, I do believe <BR> http://www.sixbarre... Mon, 10 Oct 2016 03:22:52 EST Stoptober Dinner party weekend included an impromptu lunch date also! And tonight out for dinner with DN. So far this has been our most social month for a while. Regardless I am pressing on with Stoptober. No liquor for the month. <BR> Usually wine accompanies our social dinners and if people call around from wine o 'clock we would offer an alcoholic beverage along with a platter of food. So it,s good to mix it up a little. I am replacing with water and it is just fine. I leave it up to DH to look aft... Thu, 6 Oct 2016 13:12:06 EST MIA Hello there Sparkadees! <BR> Long time no post. <BR> I,ve been MIA the last few weeks. DH,s birthday. Messy work situation I'm helping out with. <BR> Sister came to stay and whilst picking herbs in prep for her visit I hurt my left forearm. We think it's the supinator and it seems not to be getting better. As I go on it gets more sore and I get more tired out. So not keen to type too much. <BR> Keeping up the swimming but not able to increase my exercise as planned. On the bright side, my rig... Wed, 28 Sep 2016 03:00:44 EST Mixing it up a little Even though the days are getting longer and I am enjoying the light mornings, it,s still dark outside right now. I do love this time of year when we naturally wake early and have time to inhabit the mornng before heading to work. <BR> Though the breakfast steel cut oats have less appeal as the weather warms up. I guess it,s time for smoothies to come to the fore. Fruit and yoghurt... I am considering making a permanent switch to breakfast between 10am and 11. Anyone out there doing this? I,m... Thu, 15 Sep 2016 13:52:48 EST Thinking about Stoptember In Nz we have a Steptember challenge going where people raise money for charity by increasing their steps. September here is the first month of spring, although we have had a wonderfully mild winter and the last month has had some lovely weather. <BR> I,ve been picking up my exercise as my injured knee allows, but I'm not up for a Steptember challenge this month. <BR> So I might make it Stoptember. DH and I have been considering stopping drinking alcohol for the month...unfortunately his birt... Mon, 29 Aug 2016 16:16:34 EST Food blog: Grab and go lunches Warning, trigger food maybe mentioned here. <BR> <BR> This morning is one of my batch cooking days. i got a head start yesterday when I made a chicken vegetable curry (chicken, pineapple, cauli, potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, beans and corn briefly fired in coconut oil in a spicy tomato and spinach sauce), which we had for dinner last night. I've frozen two more meals and like most curries and stews, they are the better for eating later.. <BR> <BR> Last night MyFoodBag with four vegetarian mea... Sun, 21 Aug 2016 19:49:00 EST Fish pie for OJ Fifi's fish pie, by request. <BR> Mash potatoes for topping. Preheat oven to 180 centigrade. Heat 2 cups trim milk with 2 bay leaves and 4 peppercorns. <BR> Gently fry celery and onions in butter. After 5 minutes add 1/4 c flour and some salt and cook until gritty. Strain infused milk into floury vegetables, stirring, and cook roux until thickened. Add white fish and smoked fish. (I grate in a carrot and add corn at this stage.) Cook for a few minutes then gently stir in a few handsful of ba... Tue, 16 Aug 2016 14:01:29 EST A feeling of virtue I exercised first thing this morning, a swim and water yoga. Felt so good. Was tempted to do more but decided to go easy. Just as well because on my return home I prepped and even cooked a few things. <BR> Prepped for Vegetarian stir fry tonight, cooked rice. Prepped a chicken stroganoff meal, and made fish pie. <BR> Several spare servings there for the freezer. <BR> <BR> I have the energy to cook in the morning, but am susceptible in the evening. So it is a good idea to have my soup pre ma... Mon, 15 Aug 2016 21:40:33 EST A pleasant surprise Yesterday was bright and mild. DH & I walked around the waterfront. Little boats were out in the harbour and there were many walkers. We both enjoyed our walk and promised to make it a regular feature. Nothing strenuous, just normal walking - it's good for my pesky knee. <BR> We visited with family on our way home and then had a slow day, which included a nap on the couch for us both. I made our MyFoodBag meal, it was no hassle to simply follow instructions. We decided we'd keep this up for a... Sun, 14 Aug 2016 18:31:23 EST A week in the life ... It's been cold - we have had frosts to the extent I have had to scrape the car windscreen. But ravishing days, and they are getting longer. Driving home around Oriental Bay the water is pink with the sunset, the Harbour fountain foams hyperwhite, and in the distance the snow covered Tararuas recall Queenstown. <BR> Today it is warmer and raining very heavily. I'm about to go for a swim. A nice thing to do when the weather is so rotten. <BR> The week has been full of Fifi maintenance - a heari... Fri, 12 Aug 2016 21:33:51 EST Busy busy with lovely treats It is freezing today, 3 degrees centigrade which is quite cool for us in Wellington, which is normally temperate in winter. Our island is not blanketed in snow but there's a fair amount about. I've had the washing out twice today but I give up now. <BR> <BR> I did have a proper excursion, to get a haircut. Alright, more than one hair. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I stayed in bed well into the morning, it was deliciously wickedly lazy. I feel so much better for it. <BR> <BR> What a pleasant few week... Tue, 9 Aug 2016 00:38:42 EST Doing things differently I've taken up Sudoku again. I got into the craze when it started in the West, then did them less often as I got busier, and more tired. <BR> When I'm tired, I don't do so well at sudoku. I am slower. My app tells me how long they take, so I can see my lacklustre performance. When I'm not doing well, it's a sign I need to rest. <BR> <BR> Except, now...instead of doing sudoku as quickly as I can, I have started to try to solve each square before I move to the next. Quite a different approach.... Mon, 1 Aug 2016 15:22:50 EST its all a matter of priorities i've done lots of fun things lately. On Sunday Dear Niece and I drove to the Manawatu to see the Frida Kahlo photographs exhibition. <BR> <BR> DN took some photos of her own as we were driving back along the coast road. The weather served us up severe gales and the sea was a boiling mass of white. Until DN sends her photos of the sea foam, here's what it was like <BR> <img src=""> ... Tue, 26 Jul 2016 00:32:43 EST A working weekend Hi there, sparkadees <BR> <em>213</em> <BR> I know i have been quiet, but, boy have I been busy. Nothing very exciting. <BR> First, the knee is still strapped but definitely getting better. I have to use a stick for my 106 steps and that means the knee gets rested. I expect it will be fine in a week or two. <BR> <em>548</em> <BR> <BR> This weekend I have been cleaning up after DH who spruced up the bathroom in the bottom flat. It looks so much better but he didn't have time to get hi... Sun, 17 Jul 2016 02:00:26 EST Strapped I live up 106 steps, and they've been giving me a bit of trouble since I sprained my knee. After treating it myself with rice (rest, ice, compression, elevation, and exercise) and anti inflammatories I was getting nowhere. In fact, there were a few days when I wondered just how I was going to make it home. <BR> (Slowly, with rest breaks, is the answer.) <BR> So I went to the doctor and she sent me to a physio and the physio strapped my knee. <BR> What a difference! <BR> I was silly to leav... Fri, 8 Jul 2016 02:49:36 EST The winterless north, continued It has been so rainy here, and it's getting a bit cold. So I am going back in my mind to our April trip to the winterless north. Last travelblog we had spent a night at Omapere after a drivey sort of day, which concluded with a sundown swim. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Next morning we headed south for Ngunguru on the Tutukaka coast, where an old friend lives with her family. <BR> <BR> On our way south we stopped at a ... Sun, 26 Jun 2016 20:56:04 EST Still drinking Hey there Sparkadees, checking in for the first time in a while. I've been logging in but keeping a low profile this month. Keeping up my hydration challenge, which has interacted a little with last month's sleep challenge, as might be expected. <BR> <em>211</em> <BR> But I have been sleeping well, and taking care of my rest and stress. Somehow hurt my leg and have had to take to propping it up and downing anti inflammatories. For the first time in nearly a week I feel up for water exerci... Sun, 26 Jun 2016 15:21:43 EST Drink up: wine o'clock That,s not quite what I had in mind for my hydrating June challenge, but I came home early today because my arms are overcooked from too much computer work. <BR> It's Friday, it can be wine o'clock, I am rereading the Cormaran Strike books, it is very windy here and when I look up I see the storm tossed tree in the window. Listening to Alberta Hunter except when the wind is particularly gusty. <BR> <em>181</em> Fri, 10 Jun 2016 00:27:53 EST Back to basics: Drink up Taking a leaf out of OverworkedJanet's book to focus on something each month. <BR> This month has been getting enough sleep. And it,s been more successful than I anticipated. I am feeling rested and relaxed, due to getting seven hours sleep most nights, with a few high points of eight hours, and a few failures. <BR> For me, going to bed earlier has turned out to be the key, and then seeking the opportunity to fall back asleep when I wake up. It has resulted in a consistent extra two hours' s... Mon, 30 May 2016 16:05:57 EST