FIFIFRIZZLE's SparkPeople Blog FIFIFRIZZLE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community I've got a thing going on... .... And it has pretty much totally peroccupied me for the whole year. And the end is in sight. <BR> <em>198</em> Tue, 12 May 2015 13:28:48 EST Back to business Hi there, strangers! Back to work today. Holiday is over, I am rested, just had a haircut and ready to rock and roll. <BR> Again it is raining, but we have had wonderful weather. <BR> I,ve read a olt of books and watched a lot of boxed sets, Zumbaed, swam, and now it's back to normal. <BR> How've you all been, Sparkies? Tue, 7 Apr 2015 15:05:14 EST Warm rain My holiday began on Friday and to be honest, the weather was not that great. And today it is raining. But yesterday we walked along the oSuth Coast, watching a big post-cyclone sea in a very warm breeze. No snow on the South Island mountains we can see from that coast, but there is snow further south. The garden is doing that autumnal growth spurt thing, I am looking forward to making the most of that. <BR> Today I have been doing chores, including cooking chili and tidying th kitchen. I have... Sat, 21 Mar 2015 21:21:10 EST Zero to 1650 in six weeks This morning I walked on the beach with DH. I am so unfit, it was a bit depressing. This afternoon it was so hot and sticky, soI suggested we go to the pool. It was lovely being n the water and I swam and aqua jogged. DH loaned me his snorkle and flippers, that was fun. <BR> Then I swam 100m non stop, because on the zero to 1650 plan you need to be able to swim 100 non stop. I was puffing at the end, but, so what. <BR> It is going to be a challenge but I think I will have a shot at this durin... Sun, 15 Mar 2015 00:19:10 EST There is a hurricane on its way... the Pacific and we will get the tail end of it in a few days. So it's battening down the hatches for me for the next day or two. <BR> Yesterday was my 14th anniversary in my workplace. That is officially the longest I have ever spent in a job, the longest job before was 13 years. <BR> Of course I only work three days a week, so that makes it a bit more bearable... <BR> I got up early and baked a cake, but it didn't meet the grade, so I bought another for work, and will share this one wi... Fri, 13 Mar 2015 12:42:24 EST Swimming and raining When it was swim time it was raining, a drenching tropical downpour. So I put my rainwear on, which is rain resistant not rainproof. By the time we reached the car DH & I were both drenched. We should have worn our togs under our rainwear. <BR> After the swim I had to put on cold wet clothes to get home. <BR> Got home to dry off and had a nap, swimming does that to me sometimes... <BR> Yay me, even though it was persisting down I still went for my swim. Sat, 7 Mar 2015 13:24:27 EST Arggh! So active today and forgot my FitBit! I hate it when that happens... <BR> Especially since I have been stuck to my desk over the last week, totally busy with other stuff. At last I've had a day in the garden, and a truly busy one at that, and no tracking of all the steps I have been up and down. Oh well, I know I have done it. So do my legs, they are a bit stiff Sat, 28 Feb 2015 22:03:15 EST Feeling a wee touch of autumn here So my buddies in the USA must be getting a sniff of spring. <BR> I just want a very hot day so I can clean out the henhouse ready for the cooler weather. So far the perfect days have all been while I am working. <BR> On another note, crushingly busy with all sorts of things, Sparking is far from my mind at the moment. I'll be back to normal in a week or so. <BR> See you later! <BR> Fifi <BR> <em>213</em> Sun, 22 Feb 2015 03:18:50 EST Looking forward to a short week next week I should blush to be thinking about this because I only work three days a week outside the home, but I am looking forward to a public holiday on Friday. <BR> We won't be going anywhere, but it is an extra chance to get the garden sorted out after a month of neglect. And the house in order. And get the exercise routine on track... <BR> Plus next week I have appointments at the dentist, hairdresser, and beautician, what I call panel beating appointments. <BR> Oh I will be a thing of beauty, in... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:35:19 EST Too hot to sleep Its a funny old world, isn't it? Here I am struggling to get enough sleep because it is hit and stuffy, while over in the US, people are struggling to cope with blizzard conditions. Wed, 28 Jan 2015 10:38:28 EST Relosing countdown. One week down and twelve to go. On my return from holiday I just... picked up on my weight loss program. After one week I have repost 10#. Late last year I had several abortive attempts to get on track but didnt follow through. But now, rested and indulged, it seems natural, just... the thing to do. <BR> I lost sight of my goals in the first half of last year and what with one thing and another-reasons and excuses both-didn't find my way. At the time I was just a few kilos from goal whereas now I have a fair way to go. <BR... Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:47:21 EST Jury service This week I am on jury service. Yesterday we attended, all 150 of us, and about forty were balloted to the trial. Then the second ballot in the court room, in which the lawyers got to challenge us as our names were called. As the prosepctive juror approached the seat, several were challenged. Once the jury was selecected we remnants waited as the jury chose a foreman. At that stage another juror was excused, so the jurors returned as four more candidates were called and challenged. At last t... Mon, 26 Jan 2015 10:44:46 EST Putting things to rights in the garden Yesterday was a big gardening day. I slept so well the night before, but not so long last night, because it was hot... <BR> We were so busy clearing the greenery DH trimmed, we took two trips to the dump, but managed to fit in a couple of visits to friends and family, too. <BR> And that pretty much occupied our whole day. We had planned more, but at the end of the day were so tired we didn't have enough energy to proceed. <BR> Today is set to be hot so I am getting up soon to make a good sta... Sat, 24 Jan 2015 12:13:42 EST Back to business Yet another hot day, thankfully it is the last day of my first week back at work. <BR> Got home and spent some time in the garden, chatting with neighbors then doing some gardening. <BR> Lawn has just been mowed and DH hired a pole trimmer and spent four hours tidying up the hedges and wild overgrowth. Tomorrow we will straighten all that up and enjoy another hot day. Maybe swim to cool down. <BR> Hang with the chooks, who run up and stand on my feet as soon as they see me, gazing adoringly ... Fri, 23 Jan 2015 02:58:26 EST Well, yes, the plan We travelled home today and it was a very hot day. So we sweltered in the car and the ferry. A whole day of traveling, waking at 7 am and arriving home at 6.30 pm. Our dear tenant prepared a welcome home BBQ for us, so when we arrived there was a wonderful meal and friendly company. It has been quite hard to contemplate life post holiday relaxation, so this was a very sweet introduction. And yes, back to business starting tomorrow. <BR> Unpacking and tending to the rampant garden. And rampant... Mon, 19 Jan 2015 06:10:37 EST The end of the summer weather... Not really, but we were woken at night by heavy rain on our iron roof. What great timing as everything has been so parched and our water tanks need replenishing. <BR> Today we pack up and head for Motueka, just an hour away but because of the special conditions created by Takaka Hill, which cuts off Golden Bay, it seems like another world. The real world, approaching in the last few days of our holidays. We will enjoy a short visit in my sister's new house, then across on the ferry to home an... Fri, 16 Jan 2015 16:14:37 EST The beach We joined some friends at Tata Beach yesterday for a kayaking experience. The water was so warm in comparison to the river. I water walked and swam, then it was time to get in the tandem kayak. DH was the principal propulsion power. We fell out at one stage but that was fine., on account of the warmth of the water. Though the life jacket made it hard to get in again, so we moved closer to shore for that. <BR> My first time in a kayak. They are not so maneuverable as a canoe, they don't turn ... Tue, 13 Jan 2015 14:29:28 EST The river It was too hot today. We were cast in whatever cool places we could find. It was so hot I couldn't even think of walking to the river, so we drove to the swimming hole that had just a little walk down. It is called the Miners' Pool. <BR> <BR> Then, the river was so cold. <BR> We swam to the rapids for a water massage, then floated down, then repeated. <BR> I hung suspended in the water for about 30 minutes. <BR> Some of the children visiting joined us so we put on our togs and got them to ... Mon, 12 Jan 2015 04:30:26 EST Do be do be do... A friend just said, that is what our lives should be. Do. Be. Do. Be. Do. <BR> Not do do do do. <BR> This holiday I've had a lot of being, but the last week a heap of doing. Today is the day to make salads and set up the tables, then let the party begin. <BR> Lots of folk here to help with the cleanup tomorrow. <BR> Then a week of being, then it is time to travel home. <BR> Oh I don't want to think about that! <BR> Fri, 9 Jan 2015 12:30:47 EST Party prep Things are hotting up here with preparation for our party underway. We are celebrating 40 years of group ownership of our holiday property and people are coming from as far as Sweden to join in the fun. A long trip, so it better be good! <BR> We begin with an evening at a local restaurant on Friday, mostly for members, then on Saturday a BBQ followed by a party to which all members and their guests, and the local community is invited. <BR> The Lodge is now festooned with lights, the garden is... Wed, 7 Jan 2015 12:10:38 EST Deep relaxation Happy New Year Sparkies. <BR> We have intermittent internet in our remote holiday spot. Mostly I have been reading, watching a few shows on the computer-Peaky Blinders and the Fall. We walk and swim in the river or drive to the beach and swim. <BR> Mostly the weather is sunny. It is always warm, except in the small hours of the morning, when it is cool. <BR> It is quiet and relaxed. There is stuff to do, cleaning up the house, weeding the garden, and I do what I feel like when I feel like do... Sat, 3 Jan 2015 15:46:59 EST The rain is lifting Mostly it's been around 30 Centigrade in Golden Bay since we arrived so I was thankful for the soft rain today. We walked around by the river in the rain, and forded the stream with out any regard for getting our feet and shoes and leggings very wet. <BR> One of the visitors has just installed a WiFi Hotspot in the Lodge so we will be able to contact people more easily. A mixed blessing, really. <BR> Christmas was lovely, extended family stayed for a couple of days and now they are gone the r... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 20:09:01 EST Packing for our summer holiday The house is in disarray because we are packing for our trip and we are taking everything. In the meantime, everything is spread out in various places but by the end of the day it will be stowed in the car. <BR> I don't know what possessed me but we invited friends to join us for dinner tonight, it will be simple takeout from our local Malaysian place, followed by fruit. <BR> The neighbors will be taking care of the chickens, lawn guy will keep the lawns under control, and I have told friends... Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:36:21 EST And the band played on Today was hot, Sparkies, hot and mostly still. Searing in the sun, where I sat with my niece eating a Mille Fieulle, her birthday treat for me. Still hot while I watered the wildflower meadow I have just sown. Hot when the brass band playing Christmas songs worked up and down the valley. <BR> Warm when DH & I sat outside drinking champagne, as he BBQd fish for me for my B'day dinner. <BR> Now my new Fitbit Charge is charged, and I am a year older all at once. <BR> My last year in my fifties. Mon, 15 Dec 2014 03:34:02 EST Fasting today... I am doing the fast diet and after breakfast I decided to make today a fast day. So my fast day is 24 hours from 11 til 11 tomorrow morning. Not starving, just having 500 calories in those 24 hours. I find it fun to do this, at least when I have a big breakfast under my belt! <BR> I made a chicken salad for dinner and if I get peckish I will have an early night. <BR> <BR> I have just one more day at work, on Wednesday. And it is a half day because we are having our team Christmas celebratio... Sat, 13 Dec 2014 01:08:15 EST Sleep injury Don't ask me how I did it, I hurt my ankle somehow. Fine when I went to bed, and when I got up in the night, but then, nek minnit, sore ankle! So sore that I had trouble getting down my steps. And along the road. And to work. And back up the steps. I have absolutely no recollection of hurting it. And no, it cannot have involved any, uh... Bedroom action. <BR> A mystery... <BR> <BR> I've been busy and I am tired and stressed. But the other day I had the jolliest dinner party with old friends... Wed, 10 Dec 2014 02:52:19 EST Fast Exercise HIT HIT is High Intensity Training. There are some good articles on it here on Sparkpeople, check them out. <BR> I got a session in yesterday morning before work. I did three sets of one minute running in the pool. It was harder than I expected, after the first session where the recovery took not too long, I felt the effort. <BR> It made my exercise session more fun in a way. I spent just less than an hour, still did my usual strength training and all my stretches. <BR> I knew about HIT but I've ... Thu, 4 Dec 2014 10:39:22 EST Giving myself credit Nightshift so I started late. Plan was to exercise at the beginning of the day but I ran out of time. Spent the whole day sitting down because the afternoon was spent at a conference. Interesting but by the time I finished the last thing I wanted to do was spend three more hours sitting down. <BR> Went home and met DH on the steps. <BR> I nearly stopped for Fish and Chips on the way home, I said. Me too, said DH. We could get some now, said I. We could, said DH. But we won't said I. No? Said... Wed, 3 Dec 2014 03:49:26 EST Traditional Saturday We had a guest coming for coffee and the house was a mess, so I skipped morning exercise to clean it up. Normally I do my housework on Mondays while DH is at work. <BR> So Saturday was a little like my childhood Saturdays when my sister, mother and I spent the morning cleaning house. Each of us girls had to strip and make our beds, clean our bedrooms and one other room. My sister took the living room and I did the bathroom & toilet. My mother did everything else, laundry took a while in those... Sat, 29 Nov 2014 11:33:44 EST How is that working for me? It's a powerful question, isn't it? I sometimes ask it of others who tell me they are doing something they're not happy about. <BR> <BR> Well, Sparkies, i've been awake since just before 3am and it,s all my own fault. <BR> <BR> Yesterday was a big day at work, I worked from 8 am through til 6.15 with two breaks, on etwenty minute breaks, one ten, and today will be similar. <BR> <BR> I didn't then go straight to the pool for a swim, which is my schedule for after work Wednesdays and Thursda... Thu, 27 Nov 2014 09:55:05 EST Upping the exercise And have hurt my foot. I don't recall doing it, but for the last nearly week my left foot has been gypping me. I got DH to look at it tonight, and he says it is all bruised along one side. <BR> I guess if the bruising is visible, it is close to being gone. And it's a relief to know it is just a bruise not some internal structural niggle. <BR> <BR> So I swam today instead of Zumba. I wanted to do two Zumba sessions this week but might just have to hold off until next week. Wanting to up my l... Tue, 25 Nov 2014 02:44:58 EST Plan B. Report on fasting day Well, that was different. I have done a lot of 500 calorie days over the last year or so and they have worked very well for me. But this felt really different, and I enjoyed it. <BR> My low cal days before were weeks with restricted foods, and I found them easy to do. Until I didn't. But this Fast Diet day really mixed things up and DH & I really liked it. <BR> <BR> The noticeable difference was that tomorrow I could eat whatever I wanted. I could feel little girl Fif go, OK, when I said '... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 11:10:59 EST Plan B, the Fast Diet In the event yesterday did not make it to the work do, I had to work instead. <BR> Not to worry, DH & I went to a favorite place and had some yummy plates. No dessert though. This morning all set to go for a swim but the pool is in use for a swim meet. <BR> I suggested the other pool as plan B but DH didn't want to, so we went out for breakfast instead. Then did a heap of Christmas shopping, which is a great feeling. Picked up some cocoa husks for my chickens, and put it in their nesting boxe... Fri, 21 Nov 2014 22:50:10 EST This time of year Our end of work celebration is scheduled today, they took a chance and decided on an outdoor BBQ but I don't think the weather will be kind today. The default is next week. <BR> <BR> I have been worried about going away, how my chickens will cope, but I have made arrangements for their care so that is a load off my mind. <BR> <BR> We are hosting a Christmas celebration in our shared holiday home, with the family, including children. I have been fretting about this but now I am putting that ... Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:00:26 EST Thank you my dear SparkBuddies What kind and sweet messages you have sent me, SparkBuddies, on the death of my dear little cat Edie. And such thoughtful spark gifts. <BR> <BR> It really makes a difference to know that you understand and care. <BR> <BR> Feeling much better after a day at work, it was a warm sunny day, at least when I went out for a big walk at lunch time. And life goes on. It's for living. And we mustn't waste it. <BR> <BR> Have a great day, dear Sparkfriends. <BR> <BR> <em>247</em> <BR> Fifi Wed, 19 Nov 2014 02:18:34 EST Back on track but still a joy germ Hey there Sparkers <BR> It's been a tough week or so and I took some time to sit with the things that have been going on. Didn't exercise except in the garden, but the last couple of days I have been swimming and that has helped me regroup and get back on track. <BR> Charlotte the new old chook is making great progress, she is laying now and is clearly better oriented and interested in mixing with the other chickens. <BR> I'm off to work today, it's a windy cool day because spring is like tha... Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:28:50 EST RIP Edie Our dear little cat Edith is no more. <BR> <BR> She was a lively happy and opinionated cat who enjoyed bossing us around. She had a lot of fun in her life. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> She enjoyed playing until the very last, and doing all the things that cats love to do. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Bye bye, dear Miss E <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Sat, 8 Nov 2014 22:05:26 EST The eggs Thought I'd better get a picture before we eat them. <BR> Tallulah, who lays the green eggs, is going broody so this might be the last one for a while. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> The other eggs are laid by Dora, Riga, Henny Penny (the really big one) Artemis, and Riga. Charlotte, the one who is having a hard time, hasn't laid for a while. Henrietta doesn't lay, and the other pullet didn't lay today. The two from Riga are from a secret cache ... Thu, 6 Nov 2014 02:24:30 EST Slept like a log Got over six hours which is unusual for me. Even though the gardening is persistent, it doesn't feel like effort, so I haven't been tracking it. Or using my fitbit, I find wearing a bracelet tends to give me tingling in my wrist, and we don't want that! But when it is enough to tucker me out, I know I have had a good day. <BR> It's cool and rainy today, perfect for my just planted plants. And to be at work in. Though I find myself thinking, what I could accomplish if I didn't have to go to ... Tue, 4 Nov 2014 12:24:06 EST Four garden days Am I tired! I didn't do a full day in the garden because I had a couple of visitors. But got up early to beat the rain-which hasnt arrived yet-and got more done, planted some plants, filled a fadge up with weeds and twigs. So got four hours in. <BR> Then my niece came to visit, then a friend dropped by. After which prepped my vegetables and meat for the next week, cleaned up and sat down feeling rather tired. Even had a little snooze. <BR> Feel better now. But glad to be going to work for a b... Tue, 4 Nov 2014 02:22:45 EST Bonus blog more chick pix Am I tired after 3 days in a row in the garden. <BR> I am being very lax about other exercise but the gardening is wearing me out. <BR> Oooh my back! Maybe a bath for me tonight. With Epsom salts. <BR> <BR> The clematis is out, it smells wonderful <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Spent day in the garden and got lots weeded. Still need to put some more plants in the ground. and there are more weeds. I'll get it done, I just need to stick with... Mon, 3 Nov 2014 01:35:00 EST Chick Pix OK it's a lovely day today so I might get more. But actually I am on a mission in the garden. So in the meantime... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> The newbies are learning how to use the chookateria. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And here is Oriental Bay from the other day when we took a walk on the way home from work. They had just groomed the beach, hence the track marks. <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 2 Nov 2014 18:58:57 EST Garden car movies Despite spending seven hours in the garden I only planted six bedding plants, but I did a lot of weeding and turned the compost. <BR> The chickens are very interested in these activities, and I have to fight them for the compost or they would eat all the worms before you could say Boo. <BR> We had a short break in the day during which we went to look at a car DH was interested in purchasing. It is a people mover and it is a very long time since I had a car that is taller than me. This will b... Sun, 2 Nov 2014 01:54:56 EST Busy and tired Work has been a mad house. We are two people down in our team and the work has been pouring in! Yesterday I was just tired working away, my hands were sore and I could hardly see when I stepped away from the screen. <BR> Far too sore to swim the last two days but last night DH and I stopped by the harbor and had a walk in the evening sun. It was great to stretch my legs and arms and feel my body relax. <BR> One of the consequences of being in lockdown is it takes a long time now to exit the ... Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:23:59 EST Cauliflower rice by request You can do this with a grater or food processor. Chop the florets off the core of a cauliflower and discard the core or use it for soup. Grate or process the cauliflower until it is in rice sized grains. <BR> At this point you can freeze some of it. I keep it in my fridge along with other prepped vegetables to use for the week. <BR> Cauliflower rice does not absorb moisture and if you steam or microwave it, it will be moist itself, so it is best to dry fry it. I spray a non stick pan with oil... Sun, 26 Oct 2014 16:19:41 EST Rain Its raining today though forecast to clear and then get rather cold. This will be a challenge for my newbie chickens, who have no experience of rain except for a heavy shower yesterday. And they have been in a temperature controlled environment. <BR> Looks like we will be eating inside tonight... <BR> I think it will be Thai fish cakes with cauliflower rice and stirfried vegetables. <BR> No chick pix until we have a sunny spell. <BR> Have a great day Sparkies! Sun, 26 Oct 2014 14:40:17 EST Holiday weekend Today I gardened the whole day long. It was a great day for it, warm but not too hot, and cloudy for the most part. DH did some chicken stuff for us, fixing up a feeder. I need a variety of feeders because I have to encourage the girls to eat pellets instead of mash, and there is a certain amount of waste at the moment. The newbies are getting bold, one followed me down to the lower terrace and explored. <BR> Then we went to dinner and a movie -A Most Wanted Man- leaving the chickens to put ... Sun, 26 Oct 2014 06:07:34 EST In lockdown Long days at the moment getting up at dawn to let the chickens out, then sitting with them in the evening to be sure the newbies have each eaten enough. And work is in full swing, with the MPs back in their house too. It is busy and buzzy. <BR> Concerning too with the events in Ottawa. Parliaments all over the world have shivered and we have gone into lockdown, which means that we cannot readily come and go as we please. <BR> Sparkies it reminds me of the measures we took after 9/11. It's u... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:56:41 EST Bedtime for chickens My work week begins and I need to accommodate extra time for the new chickens. <BR> They are so sweet I am enjoying them a lot. <BR> Putting them to bed is a drama as the newbies need to sleep in the coop with the other girls. However Henny Penny the boss chook drives them out as soon as I put them in. It,s a performance for about ten minutes in the dusk, but I know it will get easier soon as they all get used to each other. <BR> Hoping by next week they will be putting themselves to bed, the... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:04:54 EST Spring chickens are go An early start to the day to let my chickens out of the hen house. DH helped me to set up a separate part of the run so my new gals can have some security while they learn how to walk and find food, without being haraassed by the Whataitai Whanau. But at night I am putting them all in together, much to their horror. <BR> <BR> One of them is doing very poorly so I spent time with her on my knee this morning, giving her sips of water and little bits of food. <BR> Suddenly she seemed to wake u... Sun, 19 Oct 2014 19:22:15 EST