Sunday, March 5, 2017

when cute turns brute

Remember these cute little critters? Yeah, well they're not cute anymore. The rest of the ducklings we fostered for Bird Rescue grew up, found homes or swam down the stream into the wilds but not these two. Nope. Tiny and Mastodon are still here. (And yes, the irony of their names has not escaped me - especially since they were named when they were little).
Brought up with the greatest of love and care it turns out they're an unusual muscovy duck/goose hybrid, are HUGE and to be blunt, they're brutes. 
We live in fear. It's summer and there have been no picnics under the trees or swimming in our stream. Mastodon sneaks up and attacks. He draws blood and bruises. I kid you not. I can post a picture of my legs as proof. 
Our two old aunty muscovies barely leave their roost as they get attacked too. 
The garden is languishing and we can't leave the back door without the canoe paddle - which is the only thing they're afraid of. Laugh if you like, but let me tell you...I can't wait for Bird Rescue to re-home them. They've been fabulous throughout the fostering process and do such great work - please don't think badly of them...they weren't to know the cuties had the brute gene. I can't even get a decent photo of them as they run hissing at me whenever they see me. So, here you go...a blurry photo of the brutes, Tiny and Mastodon. Living proof that love does not conquer all. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

summer shoes

My favourite shoes this summer. I had been eyeing some Saltwater sandals online but they were way too much money for me to justify buying them. The next day I was at a school fair and there was a pair, brand new and in my size, at one of the clothing stalls. I did a little happy dance and they were mine. They've been on all sorts of little adventures this summer. They've been well worth the $35.

I am kinda glad the weather hasn't been great. I have been working too much and hot weather makes that hard to do. I work from home and my office is upstairs. It gets stuffy up here. 
I had been dreading the start of term one. I knew if I struggled to balance work commitments with everything else it would be clear in the first weeks of term. I was right. I am doing too much. It's not just time really. One of my jobs has been stressful and that's oozed out into everything else. Jed and I got out our weekly planner and mapped out all of our commitments (not including things like oh, eating well) and I am not sure how I have been doing it. Morphing time itself I think. We've simplified but it's not enough. There will be some changes coming up. I keep coming back to the thought, 'It's great to have choices'. Those saltwater sandals need to go on more adventures and perhaps another festival before the summer is out!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Heroic Garden Festival

It's that time of the year again! 
If visiting other people's gardens is your idea of a good time, take a friend along to the Heroic Garden Festival. You'll have access to 22 fabulous gardens all over Auckland on the 18-19th of February. Don't forget to see Jo and Kay's organic garden in One Tree Hill. All proceeds go to support Mercy Hospice - such a good cause to support. In fact, even if you aren't a gardener or garden appreciater (I just made that word up), buy a ticket and gift it to some gardener person in your life.

Might see you there!

Garden locations, tickets and more info are HERE.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Meet Frank

Gah! Is anyone else struggling to get back into the work headspace? I love my work too. I feel for those who don’t have that motivation. 
Some consolation is cracking open the new diary. The lovely Julia from Do Good Jobs gifted me a corker from Frank stationery. A book is donated to a child in need for every planner sold. I like that. Frank is also a small business (tick), run locally. Another tick. I like both of those things too.

Happily, I like my weekly planner even more. You can check them out here.

(If anyone is paying attention, you may notice a distinct dive in image quality on the blog. That will be because my flash new laptop’s ports have stopped working and I am having to use my phone. These things always happen over holidays when the tech folks aren’t available huh. It’s like some universal monty pythonesque law, like your kid always gets sick on Friday night when your doctor’s off duty all weekend. Harrumph.)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Community service

Each year I choose a community service or theme of activism to focus on for the year. Last year I was feeling overwhelmed and needed to put all my energy into finding more work, juggling multiple contracts and keeping my head above the turbulent waters of life. Sounds melodramatic I know, but I think we all know that feeling of being too busy, having too much going on and like we’re treading water constantly and only able to come up for a much-needed breath before getting swept off again. Yep. That was 2016 for me. For many of us. There was no space for any pro bono work. Much of it anyway. Ahem.

This year feels different. (Pause for a small celebration, hoorah!) 
I have realised that my paid work could be considered a partly pro bono affair. I work in the charity, or Not-for-Profit sector. I have honed incredible skills over the years of my environmental and social change work and am proud of the results of that work internationally. While the not-for-profit sector is improving in valuing employees financially, wages are not nearly close to our corporate counterparts. One of my current jobs could be a full-time role and I am paid for less than ten hours a week. At not a great hourly rate either. To do the job well I end up gifting my time. I try and limit this. I get to work with fabulous people, doing great work in the world, but it's clearly not a great choice financially.
So, my thinking this year is that I ALREADY donate my time and skills to good causes. That’s quite liberating for me. It frees me to focus more on my own creative work, writing and connecting time with my boy.

That said… the throwaway element of the ‘developed’ world is driving me crazy and I would dearly love to see disposable coffee cups (what is so hard about carrying your own cup?!) and plastic bags banned here in NZ. Better yet, not ban them, but have the dominant culture reject them. You know, people-led change rather than a top-down legislated change. I have been thinking about it today. Who is already working on these issues in NZ? I hope people are. Otherwise I will want to start my own campaign.

See what I did there? Total turn around…I identified that I already donate chunks of my time and energy but people, I have this passionate drive to help create a more sustainable world. Sigh. Who’s with me?!