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The Neighbours are Watching

WASH YOUR HANDS! You didn’t wash long enough. You didn’t wash properly. You didn’t dry properly. ACK don’t use the air dry blower! That water’s not warm enough. That soap didn’t foam enough. Don’t use block soap the germs will stay there. The germs don’t stay on soap. Only use soap dispensers. Make sure you clean the soap dispensers! Don’t touch the taps with your hands. Don’t touch the doors with your hands. Don’t touch the dispensers with your hand. What do you mean you don’t wash your hands. Weren’t you washing your hands before?

Make sure you use hand sanitizer. Why don’t you have hand sanitizer? Why don’t you make your own hand sanitizer? That hand sanitizer is no good. Buy only this brand of sanitizer. Use vodka if you can’t find isopropyl alcohol. Don’t use vodka only use isopropyl alcohol. Only 60% and above. Anything is better than nothing. Why are you buying hand sanitizer? Why are you making hand sanitizer? SOAP AND WATER WORK BETTER. Don’t hoard the hand sanitizer. Why did you steal the bottle of hand sanitizer from the church and the hospital? Do you know who has hand sanitizer? Stores are sold out of the sanitizer and the materials to make it. Why aren’t you using hand sanitizer?

Are you wearing a mask? Why are you wearing a mask? You don’t need to wear a mask. Masks are only for essential workers. Why don’t you wear a mask? You should wear a mask. That’s not the right mask. You aren’t wearing the mask properly. You aren’t taking it off properly. You didn’t fit it properly. You aren’t disposing of it properly. You should make your own mask. You should make lots of masks. You should donate masks. How dare you hoard masks! Wear your mask at home. Only wear your mask when you go outside. Only wear your mask at the doctor’s. Wear your mask all the time. Change your mask often. Don’t waste masks.

Are you wearing gloves? Why are you wearing gloves? You don’t need to wear gloves. Gloves are only for essential workers. Why aren’t you wearing gloves? You should wear gloves. Those aren’t the right gloves. You aren’t wearing the gloves properly. You aren’t taking them off properly. You aren’t disposing of them properly. You shouldn’t hoard gloves. You should donate gloves. Wear your gloves at home. Only wear gloves when you go outside. Only wear gloves at the doctor’s. Wear gloves all the time. Change your gloves often. Don’t be wasteful.

Why are you outside? Why aren’t you staying home? You’re supposed to #StayHome. Get out of the park and off the beaches. Stay off the playgrounds. Only essential workers can go outside. Don’t go for walks. Stay 2 metres away from everybody! You need vitamin D – go for walks. Move onto the grass when people go by. Keep your dog close. Keep your children close. Leave your children at home. Go sit outside in the fresh air. How dare you have your children outside! How dare you go for a drive to break up the monotony of staying home? You might have an emergency and expose others! You can be in your backyard, you know. You can be in your front yard but don’t go near anyone.

Don’t touch anyone. Don’t shake hands. Don’t touch your face. Don’t touch anything until you clean your hands. You’re getting OCD. Why are you afraid of germs? Your immune system needs exposure to germs and bacteria. You’re overreacting.KEEP YOUR DISTANCE! 2 metres minimum! SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Buy groceries online. Why aren’t you supporting local businesses? The grocery stores are fine – go shop there. Only 1 designated shopper at a time! We don’t care if you have no one to babysit your children while you grocery shop. Only buy groceries online if you’re self-isolating or disabled. THE FIRST HOUR IS FOR ELDERLY AND DISABLED ONLY! Oh and for Essential workers. Buy extra food. Don’t buy extra food. Buy extra prescriptions. Don’t buy extra prescriptions. Buy extra toilet paper. DON’T HOARD THE TOILET PAPER.

Why are you only buying a couple of things? Why are you buying so many things? Why are you buying junk food? Make sure you buy junk food – for the stress. I can’t believe you didn’t buy vitamins. Don’t buy ibuprofen. Buy ibuprofen. How dare you try to buy over your limit on items? Remember to buy extra for the food bank and for your neighbours in self-isolation. Send only one designated shopper for multiple families! LEAVE the alcohol wipes for those that need them. You need alcohol wipes to clean all your devices!

Follow hazmat protocol when re-entering your home. You’re overreacting. Just wash your hands. Wash everything you bring in with you. Use lysol. Use bleach. Use soap and water. Use soap and water on your fruits and vegetables. No, use bleach on your fruits and vegetables. No, use vinegar on your fruits and vegetables. No, use this retail product on your fruits and vegetables. Just rinse your fruits and vegetables. Cook your fruits and vegetables. Remove all outer packaging and put your groceries in new containers. Grow a victory garden. Only buy direct from grower. Only buy directly from produce suppliers. Make your own bread and baked goods. Can and preserve your fruits and vegetables! Only eat frozen vegetables! Make sure you buy vitamins for when the vegetables run out.

Order take out! Support local business. Don’t order take out. Ewww why are you ordering takeout the delivery drivers might be sick. The essential workers who made your food might be sick. Don’t order take out. Wipe down all the cartons! You don’t need to wipe down the cartons. Did you hear that company doesn’t take care of their workers? They have people working there that are sick. They laid people off! Don’t support them. You can’t make every meal at home. You need the treat.

Go outside and clap for the essential workers. Go outside and sing together. Put things up in your windows. Chalk your walk. There’s supposed to be a stuffed bear in your window. The workers can’t hear you anyway. Nobody’s outside to see your windows. Nobody wants to sing with you. Support the essential workers! They’re very important. Why should they be paid more? They’re not getting laid off. They don’t need EI. They should have emergency funds. They’re asking for too much. They aren’t taking it seriously. Why are they working and not staying home? Protect the essential workers! They need the masks. They need the gloves. They need the hand sanitizer. They need a plexiglass barrier. Pay them more! We’re watching to see how companies take care of their workers.

Homeschool your children! Don’t stress out your children. Don’t let them hear the news. Let them hear the news. Why aren’t the teachers teaching? The teachers are working so hard. Support the teachers! Your children need structure! Your children need to be constantly learning! Your children need to be constantly playing! Your children need boredom. Get your children off the devices! Your children can do all their learning online. Some parents will learn the problem isn’t the teachers. Why don’t you like your children? Stop working and enjoy the time with your children.

Work from home! Don’t work from home. Don’t work if you have children at home. Work from home just like you do at work. Don’t slack off! Have your video on at all times so your employer can watch you working. Don’t do your housework. Don’t take care of your children. You can’t work and watch your kids and clean at the same time. Slacker! It’s important to work. If you get laid off go be an essential worker. There are lots of jobs. Essential workers are being laid off. They can’t pay their rent. Support local business! Support the economy! Of course you can work and watch your kids and clean all at the same time.

Buy things to keep you busy at home. Support local business! Don’t buy things from Amazon. Don’t buy things from Walmart. Local businesses are closed so order online! Don’t order online the delivery drivers are sick and unclean. The drivers are being careful. Lysol everything that comes in the door! Don’t sign for anything. How dare you buy unessential items? How dare you buy crafting supplies? How can you be so frivolous at a time like this? Keep yourself busy. Enjoy your hobbies. Great time to do all those home improvement projects. Did you see all those people at Home Depot buying non-essentials? They should stay home.

The neighbours are watching.

**inspired by multiple conversations, news items, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts.

On not feeling lighter

For a year, I basically sat on my ass, doing nothing.  I had no energy.  I was actually very anemic, but I didn’t know it at the time.

I didn’t realise that gasping as I walked up the stairs was not a result of being out of shape and sitting on my ass all day.  I blamed myself.

I didn’t realise that not being able to walk across a soccer field carrying a camping chair without feeling like I was going to faint was not a result of being out of shape and sitting on my ass all day. I blamed myself.

Still, if you sit on your ass all day doing nothing, even if it’s because you’re anemic, you’re going to gain weight.   And I did.

One year on, I’m no longer anemic, and I’m working.  Both these things are good. Doesn’t mean I’m any more off my ass, since it’s a desk job, but it means, at least, that my meals are more regulated and I make sure they’re healthy.

I have also apparently lost weight.  I have no proof of this – only that my doctor and my husband say so (I haven’t been weighed to check) and that I’ve had to take my belt in two notches.

I certainly don’t feel like I’ve lost weight.  I feel just as huge and bloated. I still blame myself.

I don’t feel any lighter.

And as if moving wasn’t enough…

English: The flag of Fredericton, New Brunswic...

English: The flag of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, flying in downtown St. John Français : Le drapeau du Fredericton, Nouveau-Brunswick, Canada, vol au centre-ville du Fredericton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Moving overseas is a big deal.  Sure, I’ve already moved overseas once: from Vancouver (ish), BC, Canada to Tauranga (ish), New Zealand.  But now it’s an even longer move: from Tauranga(ish), New Zealand to Fredericton (ish), New Brunswick, Canada.

It’s stressful.  We have stuff to sell (we’re trying to go from a 3 bedroom house full of stuff to 10 boxes.  TEN!), utilities to cancel, stuff to ship, a house to sell, things to arrange.

My mother reminded me of the Holmes and Rahe stress scale. Currently I’m at about 202 on there.  We’re moving, we’re changing work, changing our family situation, etc etc etc AND … as if that wasn’t enough …  a change of eating habits rates on that scale too.

I got fed up with feeling sick all the time and took myself off to a registered dietician.  I told her that the healthier I eat, the sicker I get.  And she asked me which foods cause me trouble.

I was prepared for that, and told her everything.

And the lovely lady just said “Well, that all makes a lot of sense to me.  Have you heard of FODMAPs?”

Would you look at that.  Someone who didn’t just say “Don’t be silly, of course you should be eating healthy food!”

Next thing I’m on the low FODMAPs food elimination stage and within a few days I’m already feeling much better.  Six weeks on, I feel better, I look better, I’ve lost 6 kgs, and I feel vindicated.  I knew all those “healthy” vegetables and fruits were making me sick!

Unfortunately, that means I’m trying to maintain this elimination stage AND start up the challenge stage of this wellness diet while I’m also trying to find accommodation in our new city.

It’s no wonder I’m under a moderate amount of stress at the moment!

Do you live in NZ and miss American food?

Do you wish you could buy those food products that you miss?

perhaps you should check out Uncle Sam’s – NZ’s online grocery specialist.

I did.  Now I’m happily chomping some strawberry twizzlers and looking forward to some sweet mixed pickles.

I have it on good authority that they have a limited supply of nutter butters.

Perhaps you should check it out!!


**Disclaimer: I know the people who run the store and I may have been bribed with food to make this post. I am unapologetic. 😉


I used the very scientific method of putting names on pieces of paper and putting said pieces of paper in a hat and then holding them up so Hubby couldn’t see and telling him to pick three pieces of paper.




and Embejo won the Bakers Delight vouchers!!

I’ll try to contact you by email but if you don’t hear from me, message me at brootfloondragon at gmail dot com with your address and I’ll post them to you!!


Using one idea to answer another

Not too long ago, I read a post at BlogHer about a different way to get out of debt. In a nutshell, since concentrating on paying off her debt wasn’t working for the author, instead, she concentrated on making more money. (Focussed on a positive (more money) rather than a negative (less debt).) In this way, she paid off her debt.

I’m fortunate enough that Hubby & I agree on financial matters, and we have no financial difficulties in that way.

But it got me to thinking – I am physically challenged in the fitness category.  And when I say challenged, I mean that.  I have had foot, knee and hip problems since long before my BMI went over 25.  Within the last few years, I’ve concentrated on the negative – removing body fat to alleviate some of the pain.  But maybe (as in the link above), I would be better off concentrating on the positive – increasing how much I move.

And then a friend of mine posted this video on Facebook (Oh how I love these videos!!)

Seems I’m not the only one who thinks increasing my movement – however I do it – is of greater benefit than trying to remove the fat.

So that’s what I’ve already started to do.  I can limit my sitting and sleeping to 23.5 hours a day, surely?

All about food – are you tagged?

Cyndi at Latte Junkie challenged me to answer some questions on food and cooking.

1. What, or who inspired you to start a blog?
I wanted a place to write out my musings and learnings. Just get back into the habit of writing. Writers write, you know. 😉

2. Who is your foodie inspiration?
Healthy Food Guide (HFG) and Pinterest at the moment.

3. Your greasiest, batter – splattered food/drink book is?
Betty Crocker Cookbook. Before I discovered HFG (see above) I used this most of the time.

4. Tell us all about the best thing you have ever eaten in another country, where was it, what was it?
Kangaroo steak in Melbourne, Australia on our 10th wedding anniversary.  Yum!

6. What is the one kitchen gadget you would ask Santa for this year (money no object of course)?
Does a range hood count?  Hmmm. I’d love a kitchen aid mixer.  I think I have a whole list of stuff I want from Pampered Chef. New baking pans would be fantastic since some of mine are rusting.

7. Who taught you how to cook?
My mother, my home economics teacher, and a lot of trial, error, and practice. I like watching youtube videos to learn new techniques.

8. I’m coming to you for dinner what’s your signature dish?
I make a really yummy homemade pizza.  Crust from scratch. (That’s the one my hubby always requests) but I’m also proud of my hot & sour prawn soup.

Hot and Sour soup by jetalone, via Flickr

 9. What is your guilty food pleasure?
I love baked goods of any kind, but especially flavoured cakes, like an orange flavoured cake I request on my birthday.

10. Reveal something about yourself that others would be surprised to learn?
Even though I’m relatively skilled in the kitchen and can make a decent version of most recipes at which I try my hand, I have yet to make a successful batch of homemade uncooked fingerpaint for Playcentre.  (I think I’m the only one!!)

Finally…tag 5 other bloggers with these questions…like a hot baked potato…pass it on!


Karen at Solodialogue

Jenn at You know … that blog?

Jenn at Out of the Mouths of Gamers’ Babes

Jenny at Practically Perfect

and Susan at Mighty Acorns

Although of course I neither expect you to do it nor will I be insulted if you don’t. 🙂  Do it, or not. Your choice! 😉

(wow, I know a lot of Jenns)

Lego Party

I promised pictures. Here they are!!

The invitations:  We found a printout of a legohead online, printed it out and used it as a template on yellow card to make these. Then The Boy drew the faces on.

At the party, we first held a building competition. We bought 1 car for each child, then drew numbers out of a hat so each child got a random one. They got to keep the cars.  After that, we guessed how many lego pieces were in the glass.  Correct answer? 63. Closest answer? 44.

Then, using the cars the children had just built, we held races!!  This was extremely popular.

When that (finally) got boring, we threw water balloons at two little legomen in the carport, trying to knock them over.

Then we had cake and opened presents.  You can see the cake here. Then each child went home in a goodie bag (that I made myself!!)

It seemed to be a success.  Everybody went home  happy and tired!! And the Birthday boy is happy, too.

My very own cake wreck

It’s just so  horrible it deserves a post all of its own.

I was trying to make one of these:

Image via Flickr: Signature SugarArt (Creative Commons license)

Ok, not that fancy.  Just one yellow brick.

But you know, I’m really not one for detail, plus, I’m fighting some kind of bug off again (you know, the sore throat, achy muscles, always tired kind). And I didn’t do what I originally intended to do because The Boy made last minute changes.

I intended to make a white or yellow cake.  The Boy insisted on chocolate.

I intended to use fondant.  The boy insisted on buttercream. (“I don’t like that smooth icing, mum!)

I intended to make the cake myself.  The boy wanted a boxed cake mix.

So, what he got was this:

My sad yellow lego brick cake.

I know, you’re thinking “okay, so it’s not smooth like fondant but other than that, it looks fine.”

Oh yeah? Well that’s cuz you’re looking at it from the top down.

I ran out of icing.


Fortunately, I don’t think The Boy will mind so much.  There’s enough icing on there (chocolate and yellow) to keep him happy.

But it’s definitely not my best work. The Captain Underpants cake was way better.

Just don’t mention chicken.


Image via Wikipedia

Tummy bugs are a fact of life when you have small children.

Even if you catch a completely different bug than your children at the same time.

I caught a really gross tummy bug while I was working at a Playcentre.  Its effects hit me last Friday night, extremely suddenly and without warning.  I figured I had food poisoning from some sushi I had eaten earlier that day. But later, I found out that everyone that had attended the same Thursday session I did was also out with the same bug. Yuck.

And then, early Saturday morning, (12:30am to be exact) I heard a noise. And thought “It sounds like I left a tap on!” But nope. That was just The Boy’s tummy bug surprising him, too.  He caught his from his classmates, who were all out with the same bug.

I was useless for 4 days, except for Sunday, when I decided that I had to disinfect the whole house (including doorknobs and the washing machine) so that no one else in the family would get the bug. Then spent two more days in bed, whimpering. The Boy didn’t come right until Thursday.

I gotta say one thing for catching one of these bugs – it helps you lose weight really quickly. I lost nearly 3 kg in only 2 days. Probably because I could eat nothing. I couldn’t even look at food on the television or in a recipe without gagging.

Even now, a week later, I cannot stand the sight of cooked chicken (not even a chicken recipe!) So, please, keep your chicken to yourself.