Like answering Questions?

The Blended Blog

Like answering Questions?  Here’s a new list I found over at Teleportingweena’s blog. Please click the link to see her answers, and where she found them. 

Some fun questions, here is the list you can copy and paste.

1. Favorite animal?
2. Wine or beer?
3. Socks on/off while sleeping?
4. One piece or two piece bathing suit?
5. Cooking at home or eating out?
6. Pepsi or Coke?
7. Regular or electric toothbrush?
8. Candy or chocolate?
9. Coffee or tea?
10. Music or talk radio?
11. Chick flick, action movie or documentary?
12. Regular or mechanical pencil?
13. Swimming or laying out?
14. Dog or cat?
15. What do you drive? SUV, van or sedan?
16. Early bird catches the worm or night owl?
17. If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life what would it be?
18. While sleeping: Phone in room by your side or phone in another room?
19. Singing in the shower, yes or no?
20. Oreo cookies, Eat whole? Take apart and/or dunk?

Here are my answers

1. Favorite animal?  I love all animals, that’s why I enjoy farming life.
2. Wine or beer? Red wine, a small glass every night with tea.
3. Socks on/off while sleeping?  Off
4. One piece or two piece bathing suit? Don’t swim, if I did it would be a one piece.
5. Cooking at home or eating out? Cooking at home.
6. Pepsi or Coke? Neither, Water for me.
7. Regular or electric toothbrush?  Regular.
8. Candy or chocolate?  Candy, not too sweet, chocolate gives me a headache.
9. Coffee or tea? Drink both, Morning Tea, Coffee, rest of the day tea, Ginger tea before I go to bed, settles my stomach.
10. Music or talk radio?  Talk Radio, which plays ten songs, then a break with ads, news, etc
11. Chick flick, action movie or documentary? Not sure what click flick is, don’t watch Television very much if I do it’s usually Animal Planet.
12. Regular or mechanical pencil? What’s a mechanical pencil? As I don’t know I suppose it must be a normal pencil.
13. Swimming or laying out? Neither, spend most of my day at the computer or walking with my husband for exercise.
14. Dog or cat? Both, as I said at the top all animals.
15. What do you drive? SUV, van or sedan? When I drove it was a sedan, I still have a drivers license but my husband does the driving now, which is not often, we stay at home, we both have cancer.
16. Early bird catches the worm or night owl? Both, it doesn’t matter what time I go to bed I always wake up 6.00 am, that’s 30 years of going out to work which started at 7.30am.
17. If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life what would it be? Sweets with lots of whipped cream and ice cream on even in the winter.
18. While sleeping: Phone in room by your side or phone in another room? I have a landline phone beside my bed I don’t take my cell phone to bed it is left in the lounge.
19. Singing in the shower, yes or no? No, can’t sing since I lost half my top lip with ACC cancer, before that I would sing anywhere I loved singing.
20. Oreo cookies, Eat whole? Take apart and/or dunk? I don’t know what Orea cookies are, but I dunk Ginger biscuits in my coffee at morning tea time.

I’d love to read your answers, please leave a link in my comments, or you can leave your answers in my comments if you don’t want to put them on your blog.

Teaching the Value of Money

Piggy bank with coins

Teaching the Value of Money

In a recent GoBankingRates study, 69% of adults admitted to having less than $1,000 in the bank, while 34% said they actually don’t have any savings at all. But apparently, this collective lack of savings doesn’t get all that much better with age. A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found not so long ago that almost half of Americans die nearly broke. Of the general population, 46% of retirees die with savings of $10,000 or less. But that number climbs to 57% among retirees who are single.

It is never too early to start teaching children to save, these days toddlers know what money is, and by the age of two with your help, they can buy an article and have even learned what the coins are.

Climbing piggy chart


My Thought’s about Children and Saving

Children have lost the way to save these days as EFTPOS and Credit Cards have taken over the money scene, they never see real money.

All children ever see is a card that is added to a machine and out comes money or a card pay’s for the articles they buy, the young ones never ever see coins or paper money, so how are they to learn about the value of money.  

A program in responsible cash management could be a good idea in schools, at a young age. This would give children with parents who are dysfunctional in that area a chance to not follow in their footsteps and perhaps teach them how to save.

Teaching some of the complexities of money at an early age (in terms the child can understand) helps to set a regular practice of viewing money as a means of subsistence and not a ticket to the mall.

In many cases just teaching the children to put their money in a bank won’t teach the value of proper handling of money if the parents are spendthrifts.

Maybe it would be an idea for your child’s fifth birthday, buy then a money box and start them on their way of saving, add some money every year on their birthday.

Money Box NZ coins

Learning to save at school in the 1970’s

Schools do not teach the skills these days to learn the value of money as they did back in the 1970s when my children were going to school.

In New Zealand the Post Office had a weekly banking where children learned to fill out a form and bank money every week, watching the amount mount up weekly, they would get paid interest at the end of the financial year on their savings.

I remember mine would come home from school all excited how much money they had in they Post Office account sometimes they would just sit there looking at this all-important bank book, I used to wonder what was going through their minds.

This saving habit was only done at primary school, once they went to high school it was transferred to a bank account which they open themselves had a talk with the bank clerk which made them feel very important and started them on their career of work and saving a little every week of their earnings, they would bring their bank account to me to see, so proud of it and I was very proud of them.

By the time they were ready to set up their own home they had already set up a good relationship with their bank which continued on through their life, but all children are not as lucky as this to know the value of saving and setting goals for their future.

Now in the twenty-first century, there is not enough encouragement for children to save, they receive a few dollar, run to the nearest store and spend it no idea about saving, I see it around me all the time, so much money wasted on sweets or just plain junk.

70 year old piggy bank

I know even though I don’t need a money box to save money I really enjoyed that little piggy above, I received for my seventh birthday at a family get-to-gather.

That day (My Seventy Birthday), it made me feel so good, as I watch my family, add a few coins in it, watch by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren and now some nearly seven years later when they visit they ask me how much money I have saved?

I do add some occasionally. One day whoever breaks that piggy will get a surprise how much money is in there.

I’m sure my great grandchildren will never forget that day, on my seventh birthday.

Looking forward to your thought’s about teaching children the value of saving.

All About Pigs

One little pig

All About Pigs

Pigs are highly social and intelligent animals.

Because of the similarities between pigs and humans, pigs are used for human medical research.

A pig uses its snout to dig into the soil to find food, has a very acute sense organ, and because of the excellent sense of smell, they are used to find truffles in many European countries.

Pigs have panoramic vision it is thought they have no eye accommodation

Where's my Mum, I want a feed

Pigs have small lungs in relation to their body size and are thus more susceptible than other domesticated animals to fatal bronchitis and pneumonia.

Pigs also can acquire human influenza.

Because of their relative lack of sweat glands, pigs often control their body temperature using behavioral thermoregulation. Wallowing, which often consists of coating the body with mud.

Older pigs will consume three to five gallons of water per day.

Sows may savage their own piglets, often if they become severely stressed so that maybe what happened in this situation, as the piglet were not ours, it was given to us knowing we would spend the time needed to keep it alive.

I am a coke bottle baby.

Pigs can be aggressive in defending themselves and their young, as my young grandson found out when he went into the shed to have a look at the piglets, lucky for him we had a hay baler in the corner of the shed, he managed to get behind it, lucky as I don’t know what would have happened to him, but he never when near any pig after that even though they would always follow anyone thinking they would get a feed.

He is an adult now with children of his own, we often bring up the subject and have a good laugh, though it wasn’t funny at the time.

I feel full now

Domestic pigs are intelligent and can be trained to perform numerous tasks and tricks, you don’t even need to train them for some things.

I had nine piglets one time to rear as their mother died at birth, they were reared indoors as day old piglets, needing to be kept warm and feed regularly all night long, I had a radio going all the time, those piglets never grunted or made noise like a pig, as they had never heard the mother pig, but those piglets could sing beautiful tunes just like the music they had heard on the radio, they even spoke human language that you could understand.

When they got older they were put in the shed with a heat lamp above them, every morning we would put them in a wheelbarrow and take them to a cage pen to feed on grass etc, wish I had a photo of those piglets sitting in the wheelbarrow with very little room to move, they never jump off, sometimes I think it is easier to rear piglets than bringing up teenagers, at least they never answered back. Ha ha.

Happy little pig

Pigs are not a dirty animal as everyone says, they will use one corner of the building to pass motions etc, it was never scattered all over the building like most of the other animals, they keep their beds clean, even the piglets never soiled their bed.

Quote to end this post   Winston Churchill famously said that “Dogs look up to man. Cats look down to man. Pigs look us straight in the eye and see an equal.”


Photo Credit  –  A pig trained to find truffles.

Usnea Lichen Growing on Trees

Usnea Licken on Plum Trees

There has been a problem with the trees in the garden for some time now.

So I decided to do some study about this lichen, which I did not know the name of when I started researching.

Having researched this subject thoroughly, I still believe it does kill trees that it host on, as I have the proof of dying trees for the last ten or more years.

Of all the sites I have visited they all say that lichen should be viewed positively, their presence tells us that we live in a healthy environment and they give any garden an established look.

It is said that “lichens prefer areas with clean air, so are more common in rural districts” that may be true as we live in the high country with bush growing all around us and very little traffic, so if Usnea is very sensitive to air pollution, especially sulfur dioxide, the air is clear of that.

There is a lot of lichen growing in the bush reserve which surrounds our farm, also which I consider isn’t good, the possums are coming from the bush into the garden, if it is spread by spores they will be carrying it on their feet, therefore, that will be settling the spores on the trees.

If not then how does it start growing?

It is said that its spread by the wind.

I have found out that this gray-green fuzzy stuff covering many of my trees is one of the gentlest yet strongest immune tonics in the herb world.

But that does not make me feel happy about this lichen as it is unsightly in the garden.

The growth of algae, lichens, and moss may be more common on plants lacking vigor, so their presence could indicate that attention is needed, particularly on old fruit trees, in saying that this, the photo below was a very health plum tree until the lichen start taking over and it died.

Dead Plum Tree

Dead Plum Tree

Three Questions I have researched about Old Mans Beard – Usnea

  • What is Usnea?

Usnea is a lichen which is an organism that has characteristics of a Fungus and Algae.

  • How to tell if it is Usnea Lichen?

Elastic Thread in Usnea Lichen

Break the stalk of Usnea (thallus). If there is an elastic, white cord running down the center, then it is Usnea.

  • Does Usnea grow from spores?

By searching this question I have made the conclusion that it must be spores that nest onto the bark and germinate to start the beginning of the Usnea growth.

Lichen on Maple Tree

Lichen on  Maple Tree

By my study, everything is pointing against Usnea killing trees.

I do not agree.

My guess is lichen growing on trees is harmful to the trees, even though they are saying that the lichen does not extract nourishment from the trees when entering the inner bark and clinging to the tree branches where food is available from the tree.

My garden looks unsightly and I’m slowly removing the trees, but more seem to have lichen growing on them every month, I have tried pulling it off of them on the young trees but it continues on growing.

You can see by the photo below that Usnea does not need trees as a host as it is growing from an old basketball ring and surviving very well, it has the sun on it all day when the sun shines.

Lichen growing on Metal

Lichen growing on Metal.

The Cherry tree below is only about five years old and the lichen has already started growing on the trunk.

Cherry Tree

What are your thought’s about Usnea Lichen?

Have you seen it before, or do you have it growing where you live?

It hard to believe that it grows on sick or dying trees due to the pre-existing loss of canopy leaves.

If that is true it won’t be long before I have no trees.

Appreciate any comments.

One Word Meme


One Word Memeone word (which is ironically two)

Started at Lori’s blog (As the Fates Would Have It) to play with! It’s called One Word Meme and is originally from shelter life photography.

You can use only ONE WORD to answer each phrase. Let’s play!

1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2. Your hair? grey
3. Your dad? heaven
4. Your other half? reading
5. Your favorite food? ice-cream
6. Your dream last night? complicated
7. Your favorite drink? coffee
8. Your dream/goal? animals
9. What room you are in? lounge
10. Your hobby? Crocheting
11. Your fear? rain
12. Your home away from home? farm
13. Where were you last night? bed
14. Something that you aren’t? hairdresser
15. Muffins? blueberry
16. Wish list item? happiness
17. Where did you grow up? Taranaki
18. Last thing you did? breakfast
19. What are you wearing now? clothes
20. Your TV? hate
21. Your pets? animals
22. Friends? rare
23. Your life? focused
25. Missing someone? grandchild
26. Favorite breakfast food? toast
27. Something you’re not wearing? hat
28. Your favorite movie w/one-word title? Jaws
29. Your favorite color? mauve
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Cried lately? no
32. Who will repost this? everyone
33. One place that you go to over and over? supermarket
34. One person, who messages me regularly? daughter
35. My favorite place to eat? home

That was a fun! If you’d like to join in, snatch the questions and link back to me AND

Please share and go go go!


#WQWWC – Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – Autumn


#WQWWC – Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – Autumn

Quote for  “Autumn”.

“A withered maple leaf has left its branch and is falling to the ground; its movements resemble those of a butterfly in flight. Isn’t it strange? The saddest and deadest of things is yet so like the gayest and most vital of creatures?”

Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

Thought’s of Autumn 2016

Autumn has gone for 2016 in New Zealand.

Just thinking back it seems to have been many moons ago as winter has been and gone, we are now waiting with open arms for the warmer weather, spring bulbs are late this year, magnolia trees are just starting to blossom.

A little memory of Autumn has stayed in my mind because of the photo above.

The Maple trees were beautiful this year the Autumn color was brilliant.

Autumn linger long into what was supposed to be winter, leaves were slow to leave their hold on the bushes, it’s as if nature has completely changed in 2016.

The grass hasn’t actually stopped growing right through winter, cows have had plenty of grass and all the large bales of Hay we harvest last summer are still not feed out.

The reason I picked the quote above was most of the Autumn leaves on the Maple trees didn’t really fall this year they just wilted and stayed on the trees for a long time until the strong winds cleared the bushes, what did fall I saw the birds scratching looking for bugs under them, but they didn’t seem to find many, it seemed as thought the worms and bugs weren’t even available this year for the robins, which are very tame, you just about walk on them as you are cleaning up the leaves.

So that was Autumn in New Zealand, I will be interested to see how Autumn progresses in your part of the world.

writersquote wednesday challenge

It’s easy to join in:

  • Find a quote you like that goes with the theme of the week.
  • Use that quote either in or as the title of some form of writing such as a flash fiction piece, poem, or pretty much anything as long as you include the quote and make sure to note who said it.
  • Then do a Ping Back or paste your URL into the comments of this post so we can all visit you.

This week’s theme is: Autumn

The Blogging Meetup Weekly Wednesday Prompt 6/01/2016

Trees Hagley Farm

The Blogging Meetup Weekly Wednesday Prompt 6/01/2016 

#WeeklyWednesdayPrompts  Here are the prompts:

  1. Dream – Write something inspired by a recent dream you had… good, funny or a scary dream… just write.
  2. Age – What is the most difficult thing about being your age?
  3. Legacy – What do you want to leave behind when you’re no more?

I’m a little late writing, I have picked this one.

Age – What is the most difficult thing about being your age?

In New Zealand in the last couple of weeks, we have had very wet stormy weather.

The result is that two large Blackwood trees fell across the fences.

The weather cleared this week so from Wednesday to Friday my husband and I have spent three days chainsawing and burning all the rubbish from the trees, there were seven large loads of firewood taken back to the shed to dry out for future fires (at the moment they are too green to burn.

Now that’s where the above title comes in, ” Age – What is the most difficult thing about being your age”?

My husband is nearly eighty I’m seventy-six in September to us there is no limit to what we can do, only got a little slower, age has nothing to do with not being able to do whatever is needed to do in life, to us, it’s all about mind over matter and attitude to life, you are never too old as long as you have lived a healthy life and are in good health, last May I had ACC Cancer I’m still under a specialist, but I won’t let that stop me from living and doing what is needed to live our life.

Yes, today we are both rather tired but it’s Queen’s Birthday weekend in New Zealand, Monday a holiday, so that’s what we will do relax in our home in town.

Baling Hayledge

Sunday we will go back to the farm and move stock into a new paddock for feed, very soon we will be feeding them hay ledge which involves a Quad and trailer which we open the late bales of hay ledge and peel off the feed from the large bales, put it on the trailer and feed it to the cows, admittedly we only have 65 animals to feed as we sold stock in the autumn, we had 150 animals during the summer.

There are no limits to us in old age, we have a farm and animals to look after when we can no longer work we will sell the farm.

Happy Days Living.