15 December 2012

Summer Christmas

For the  first time, we are celebrating Christmas Day in our own house and the family will come to visit us.
Previous years, we have either travelled and visiting the family for a few weeks so there have been very little decorating earlier (apart from last year when I started decorating in the small).

I have tried to mix New Zealand summer decorations with Norwegian traditional decorations.
As I always say, I never really get used to the summer Christmas. On the other hand it is quite easy to be able to sit outside having a meal from the BBQ with roasted veggies and salads.

Happy Christmas!

Isn't it cute?
Christmas tree with snow and butterflies, angels and birds

7 December 2012

Our water cat

It has been a while since I last wrote about our cat, Bella.
She is a funny little cat with special interests I have never seen in a cat before - like water....
She loves the kitchen sink and bath tub, preferably with the water running.

The other day I came home to a running tap in the kitchen. Guess who had been out on her furry paws turning on the water....hm...

5 December 2012

Sissel Kyrkjebø & Jose Carreras

Some nights the hours are passing by searching for music on youtube.
This time I found a lovely concert with our own Sissel..

Lovely music, especially as it is getting closer to Christmas.


21 November 2012

A visit to Gibbs Farm

I was surprised with a trip to Gibbs Farm last weekend. The farm is located in Kaipara, about one hour drive north of Auckland. You can see some of the sculptures from the road, but it absolutely worth a stop to see the whole park. There are also a good selection of animals. We saw emus, ostriches, bison, sheep and little lambs and giraffes. I even got the chance to feed a giraffe. That was a first!

This is an amazing privately owned sculpture park and open monthly by prior appointment only to artists,
educational institutions, charities and the public. During 3-4 hours walk you get to see amazing sculptures, landscape and animals (I fed a giraffe!!!). 
Another hint: the park is open on Friday 23rd November. 
More to read here: http://www.gibbsfarm.org.nz/about.php....

88.5° ARC x 8 by Bernar Venet

1 November 2012

House & garden *October*

Last weekend was lovely & sunny so all of Sunday was spent in the garden.
New plants have been added (even a lemon tree and swamp plants which attracts butterflies), some old plants have been removed or replantet.

We are now making salads from our homegrown lettuces. Hopefully the tomatoes will be just as successive as last year. Bring on the summer! :)
Bird of Paradise in blossom. Two more to come!

Lemon tree (very small) and parsley

Beetroot, broccoflower, lettuces and strawberries

25 October 2012

San Diego & House of Norway

A few years ago while my better half lived in the States (and I was able to visit a few times), I visted my friend Deanna in San Diego. 

There are heaps more photos but below pictures are from the Balboa Park where House of Norway is located (and a lot of houses from other countries). A great place to learn about other nationalities and to visit if you are a tiny bit homesick.

The other day I sent a few photos from last visit in 2009 and got a message back that they were going to visit the same house the next day! What a coincidence! Today I received a photo from the house with greetings. It made my day! :) Thanks Deanna!

Deanna and I in front of House of Norway in 2009

Deanna with greeting by the house in 2012

2 October 2012

Oslo next

I have had three lovely weeks so far with family & friends at home.
Weather has been so so, but today we have had a lovely sunny day starting with a nice walk and ending up with gardening and pizza making. Couldn't be any better!

On Thursday I am off to visit my friend Jette in Oslo. Almost two years since last visit so will be good to catch up again. Shopping guide has already been made and hopefully there will be time for a little sightseeing as well. Can't wait. Will be good too see the big smoke again.

Below are pictures from previous visits.

Oslo Opera House
View from the Opera House

21 September 2012

Back home....

We are back in Norway now, have been here a week already. Love to be back to see family and friends again. We have met dear friends and will spend more time with good friends during the next few weeks.

The other day we had a nice walk at the beaches by Sjøsanden in Mandal. A lovely place I spent a lot of time walking and sunbathing while living here many years ago. Unfortunately, the summer has been and gone and we were too late to enjoy it, but the air is fresh and crispy so early autumn is not bad either.
Nice to be back again.

19 August 2012

House & garden *August*

It is still life at our place, even though the blog has been in hibernation for a while.

The spring is slowly starting up again, flowers are blossoming and the temperature is not scaring us inside to the heat pump anymore.

We have had a lovely, sunny weekend so today it was time for project Garden Centre. It has such a great selection and the vegetables can be planted already so no reason to wait anymore.

Got some broccoli/cauliflower mix, lettuces, strawberries, beetroots & also some seeds. Just have to try if we have better luck this year.
Also got some grass plants and one lily plant. Will get more later. We just have to test a little bit and see how much space we have.

A few weeks ago the flower boxes were lifted and later painted. I think it looks great and it is very user friendly as you do not have to get too far down to work in the garden. Great for the back... :)

Before adding height to the boxes

Height added, but not painted yet

18 June 2012

Lazy Monday

The weather is grey and rainy. What a perfect day to stay at home from work.
Nah...I haven't taken a sicky, just a couple of days off work to stay home with our dear four legged bundle of fur. She is fine though but a week ago life was tough with a collar and body band and a very unhappy cat that had to be hand fed the first night.
The next few days she went back at the vet's day care and they took care of her while the stitches were healing and we were at work.

She is now a lot happier. The body band is off and she can walk again herself, but a lot of time is used for rest and she is spending hours in the beanbag by the heat pump. I can't blame her. Who wouldn't after such an operation (spayed)?

A couple of weeks ago we started on project "heighten the flower boxes". Extra planks were added, and later more dirt and new plants / vegetables will be added to the boxes. We are not there yet though.
Work is keeping my hubby away from the garden project and the weather is not always on our side either.
But one day I will have more pictures for you all.

Project "heighten the flower boxes"
Temperature has been down to +5C here and it is cold in kiwi land.
Have a nice day and stay warm. Another day by the heat pump for me.Bliss.

9 June 2012

At the vet

A week ago, little Bella had to visit the vet to be spayed (it is part of the contract and this way she would be free to roam around outside during daytime). At the office, the vet asked if they could do a few tests and later had to take even more tests as they were abnormal. Serious illnesses could be the result (liver and bone diseases) and we were all a bit worried what would come next.

A whole week went by with worry and a few tears.
However, on Friday we got the good news. Bella's tests were fine but she has to do some new ones in a months time. Just to be sure everything is fine.
On Monday she will be back at the vet to be spayed. Hopefully it will be fine and she will be a happy cat who can run around outside, spy on the birds and catch flies and other insects.

..and we are happy again...

Bella on the sheep skin

22 April 2012

House & garden *April*

 Hello again!

We haven't had a lot of activities around the house and garden the last couple of months (hence no updates in February and March). Most of the hours have been spent at work. Yeah. I know. It sucks... :)
One thing has been done though and we are very, very happy with it.

During the Easter weekend all three handymen (husband, brother-in-law and father-in-law) in the family turned up to work in our backyard.
The cobblestones were moved so it could be leveled and a patio made.

Luckily, they all knew what to do. The machines were running for a couple of days, a lot of noise and dust, but hey! it looks good.

The next job will be the plant boxes along the walls.

Here are some photos:

The backyard after its face lift

24 March 2012


For several years I have been wishing for a cat. A little cat that could sleep on the couch, who is purring happily when it is getting patted and who would meet us in the door after a long day at work.
Previously, it has been impossible due to all the travelling, but now that we have settled a bit things have changed.

Last Saturday this little lady moved in with us. Her name is Bella and she is a 9 week old seal pointed birman.. She has now been living with us for a week and seems to handle being on her own during work hours. She has just started being outside in the backyard (while we are watching from the stairs).
There are a lot of new things to research.

Isn't she lovely?

Bella is testing the scale. Only 700 gr so far, but sure it will change fast.

11 March 2012

Over the rainbow

It is quite a while ago since I added another commercial to this blog. Previously, I have added commercial from the power company Genesis Energy who is known for their ads with the pukeko birds charming us with their funny little ideas.

This time it is from the New Zealand we like to think we are living in, a bit idyllic with beautiful nature and good people. The musician Tiki Taana has made a remake of "Over the rainbow" song and all the profit is going to Starship Hospital which is a hospital for children and young people....and this ad is also for a power supply company, this time Mercury Energy.

Just beatiful. That's what it is.

25 February 2012

Friends visiting from home....

It is two weeks ago since my dear friends left us to go back to Norway after 10 days in Auckland. Yes, we had only 10 days but wow! did we do a lot of things while they were here!

We did sightseeing in the harbour of Auckland, Devonport, shopping, trip to Rotorua, saw the sheep show at the Agrodome, Wai-O-Tapu geothermal sculptured after vulcanic activity thousands of years ago, Taupo, Huka Falls (even saw a couple of young rafters going down the falls), lunch & dinners everywhere, visit to the farm & the in-laws, Matakana & concert, Omaha beach etc.
Lovely days with lots of laughs.

Here are some pictures:

Auckland on a very sunny day!

19 February 2012

House and garden *January*

Hello to you all!

As usual I am a bit slow with my house and garden updates, but as the summer finally has arrived the time is running away to do other things. Very sorry :)

Anyway, here are the last news:

The garden is growing as ever before. Some plants have lost its flowers (ex. bougainvillea plants) and some have had their second blossoming. I cut the tomato plants down quite a bit a few weeks back and thought I had killed it. This also made the access to the tomatoes for the birds a lot easier. Clever little things! However, it made the plants grow even taller and wider and the tomatoes are having a second harvesting. Good fun. The tomatoes are deliciously sweet and are mainly used for salads.

The tomato plants are taller than me now!
Red and sweet

24 January 2012

Bruno Mars : The Lazy Song

New favourite... Must be the good weather we have had here today,
Reminded me a lot about summer and the keyboard at work is not very "tempting" at the moment...

11 January 2012

House and garden *desember*

December has been a very quiet month for our house and garden projects, so I have only one thing to show you.
The dining room lamps!!! The magician electrician has been here with his electric wand and simsalabim...there was light...
Aren't they great? The walls and ceiling gets this amazing pattern and the lamps looks like big snow crystals.

Finally we can see what we are eating!

8 January 2012

Hakuna Matakana!!!

Hi all!
The title is borrowed from the very known Disney song "Hakuna Matata". I thought the place we went to last weekend, sounded a bit similar. We went to Matakana in the Rodney district about 45 minutes drive north of Auckland known for its art galleries and vineyards. We have been here before when we visited the Morris&James pottery shop a few months ago.

This time we didn't visit the pottery as we had other places to see. Matakana centre is a small place with lovely shops, art galleries and cafes. A place full of tourists during the summer and where it is rather quiet during the winter months. The beaches in the area are very popular and we visited a few of them. My better half has childhood memories from this place when he went on holiday with his parents and grandparents as a kid.

The weather was nice and warm, but a bit overcast as you can see. Anyway, it was way better than the weather we have here now; rain and more rain.

Snells beach