366 days of gratitude

December 10, 2016

Stinging nettles are the exception to the rule that weeds are just plants in the wrong place.

The wet spring has encouraged far too many of them and I spent much of this morning pulling them out.

Today I’m very grateful for thick garden gloves.


Word of the day

December 10, 2016

Klatsch –  a casual gathering of people, especially for refreshments and informal conversation.


Saturday’s smiles

December 10, 2016

Oil Change Instructions for Women:

1) Make an appointment at the local garage and drive there when the odometer reaches 10,000 kilometres since the last oil change.

2) Drink a cup of coffee , read free paper.

3) 15 minutes later, swipe the Visa and leave with a properly maintained vehicle.

Money spent: Oil Change: $40.00 Coffee: $2.00 Total: $42.00

Oil Change instructions for Men:

1) Wait until Saturday, drive to auto parts store and buy a case of oil, filter, kitty litter, hand cleaner and a scented tree, swipe the Visa for $50.00.

2) Stop by the Bottle Shop and buy a slab of beer, swipe the Visa for $40, drive home.

3) Open a beer and drink it.

4) Jack car up. Spend 30 minutes looking for jack stands.

5) Find jack stands under caravan.

6) In frustration, open another beer and drink it.

7) Place drain pan under engine.

8) Look for 19 mm ring spanner.

9) Give up and use crescent wrench.

10) Unscrew drain plug.

11) Drop drain plug in pan of hot oil: splash hot oil on you in process. Curse and swear.

12) Crawl out from under car to wipe hot oil off face and arms. Throw kitty litter on spilled oil.

13) Have another beer while watching oil drain.

14) Spend 30 minutes looking for oil filter wrench. 1

5) Give up; crawl under car and hammer a screwdriver through oil filter and twist off.

16) Crawl out from under car with dripping oil filter splashing oil everywhere from holes. Cleverly, hide old oil filter among rubbish in rubbish bin to avoid environmental penalties. Drink a beer.

17) Install new oil filter making sure to apply a thin coat of oil to gasket surface.

18) Dump first litre of fresh oil into engine.

19) Remember drain plug from step 11.

20) Hurry to find drain plug in drain pan.

21) Drink beer.

22) Discover that first litre of fresh oil is now on the floor. Throw kitty litter on oil spill.

23) Get drain plug back in with only a minor spill. Drink beer.

24) Crawl under car getting kitty litter into eyes. Wipe eyes with oily rag used to clean drain plug. Slip with stupid crescent wrench tightening drain plug and bang knuckles on frame removing any excess skin between knuckles and frame.

25) Begin swearing fit.

26) Throw stupid crescent wrench.

27) Swear for additional 5 minutes because wrench hit bowling trophy.

28) Beer. 29) Clean up hands and bandage as required to stop blood flow.

30) Beer. 31) Dump in five fresh litres of oil.

32) Beer.

33) Lower car from jack stands.

34) Move car back to apply more kitty litter to fresh oil spilled during any missed steps.

35) Beer.

36) Test drive car.

37) Get pulled over: arrested for driving under the influence.

38) Car is impounded.

39) Call loving wife, make bail.

40) 12 hours later, get car from impound yard.

Money spent: Parts: $50.00 Driving Under Influence fine: $2500.00 Impound fee: $75.00 Bail: $1500.00 Beer: $40.00 Total: $4,185.00

But you know the job was done right.


Which Christmas Carol matches you?

December 10, 2016

Had I been able to choose I’d have opted for Te Haranui but the quiz answers led me to:

‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear’

‘Peace on earth, good will to men, from heaven’s all-gracious king. The world in solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing.’ You are a gentle, spiritual person, and your presence always has a soothing effect on other people. You work hard to keep your mind tranquil and your heart full of hope, and your effort shows both in your manners and in the life you lead. Other people might overlook you when they’re in high spirits, but when they’re feeling low, they will seek you out–and they’ll never forget your healing touch.

Saturday soapbox

December 10, 2016

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

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Love your life. Tell people you love them. Do things that scare you. Say ‘hello’ to strangers. take that trip. reconnect. Jump in puddles. Don’t waste this! – Sue Fitzmaurice


December 10 in history

December 10, 2016

220 – Cao Pi forced Emperor Xian of Han to abdicate the Han Dynastythrone. The Cao Wei empire was established and the Three Kingdomsperiod began.

1041 – Empress Zoe of Byzantium elevated her adopted son to the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire as Michael V.

1508 – The League of Cambrai was formed by Pope Julius II, Louis XII of France, Maximilian 1, Holy Roman Emperor and Ferdinand II of Aragon as an alliance against Venice.

1394 King James I of Scotland was born  (d. 1437).

1520  Martin Luther burned his copy of the papal bull Exsurge Domineoutside Wittenberg‘s Elster Gate.

1655 The Royal Netherlands Marine Corps was founded by Michiel de Ruyter.

1684  Isaac Newton’s derivation of Kepler’s laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, was read to the Royal Society by Edmund Halley.

1830 Emily Dickinson, American poet, was born (d. 1886).

1868 The first traffic lights were installed outside the Palace of Westminster in London. Resembling railway signals, they used semaphore arms and were illuminated at night by red and green gas lamps.

1878  Rajaji, India’s freedom fighter and the first Governor General of independent India was born  (d. 1972).

1901 The first Nobel Prizes were awarded.

1902 Women were given the right to vote in Tasmania.

1906 U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first American to do so.

1907 The worst night of the Brown Dog riots in London, when 1,000 medical students clashed with 400 police officers over the existence of a memorial for animals which had been vivisected.

1907 Rumer Godden, English writer, was born (d. 1998).

1908 Ernest Rutherford won the Nobel Prize in chemistry.

Rutherford wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry

1914 Dorothy Lamour, American actress, was born (d. 1996).

1927 The Grand Ole Opry premiered on radio.

1932 Thailand adopted a Constitution and became a constitutional monarchy.

1936 Abdication Crisis: Edward VIII signed the Instrument of Abdication.

1948 The UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Eleanor Roosevelt with the Spanish version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

1949 Chinese Civil War: The People’s Liberation Army began its siege of Chengdu, the last Kuomintang-held city in mainland China, forcing President of the Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek and his government to retreat to Taiwan.

1952 Susan Dey, American actress, was born.

1955 Jacquelyn Mitchard, American novelist, was born.

1960  Kenneth Branagh, Northern Irish actor and director, was born.

1962 New Zealand born Maurice Wilkins won the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. His colleagues James Watson and Francis Crick shared the prize for their studies on the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the genetic molecule found in all organisms. Watson used X-rays to show the shape of the double helix.

Wilkins wins Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

1978 Arab-Israeli conflict: Prime Minister of Israel Menachem BeginandPresident of Egypt Anwar Sadat were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1983 Democracy was restored in Argentina with the assumption of President Raúl Alfonsín.

1989 Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj announced the establishment of Mongolia‘s democratic movement that peacefully changed the second oldest communist country into a democratic society.

1993 The last shift left Wearmouth Colliery in Sunderland. The closure of the 156-year-old pit marked the end of the old County Durham coalfield, which had been in operation since the Middle Ages.

1994 – Rwandan Genocide: Military advisor to the United NationsSecretary-General and head of the Military Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of the United Nations Maurice Barilrecommended that the UN multi-national forces in Zaire stand down.

2013 – The life of Nelson Mandela was celebrated in a memorial service at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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