Monday, February 7, 2011

Life On The Domestic Front

Life around the home

Christchurch sweltered yet again with a very very hot day yesterday.  Our Temperature peaked at 36 degrees Celsius well into the evening - South-swelters-in-real-scorcher.  As I type this I have most of our downstairs doors open to let all the pent up heat OUT of the house.  I shouldn't complain as a small town south of Christchurch, called Timaru, got to 40.  We didn't really know what to so with ourselves with all that heat and no wind.  Our Church put on a special lunch with sausages, drinks and ice cream.  The children specially liked this, however the ice cream was melting faster than the ladies could handle.  You couldn't talk to people or else you lost your ice cream down you hand.  I took the children for a much needed swim at a local public pool about 4pm. We stayed until around 6.30.  I must say they were lovely cooled and calmed children to take home.


What has been happening over the last week here? We have been concentrating again on getting the basics started for the year.  This means grammar, math, English and science and some history.

Do you remember our monarch caterpillar called Nibbles? Sadly he drowned in some water in our bathroom several weeks ago (a bizarre accident I know).  The children were gutted as they had desperately wanted to see a chrysalis form, so how lucky were we when a very large caterpillar was found crawling on our next door neighbour's drive.  Clearly looking for a new home and a nice juicy swan plant to nibble on.  Munchy arrived on Tuesday and started his metamorphosis on Thursday night

Amazing to capture the metamorphosis beginning
We kept a close eye on Munchy ALL day Friday until about 3pm when we finished school and mucked around in other parts of the house.  When we came back after 4pm, look what had happened.  You obviously need to be quick when observing the insect world!
We were all very disappointed we had missed the show so we checked out You Tube to see what we had missed .  The good news is there are 2 new little caterpillars on the plant as well, so we may yet get to see the metamorphosis after all.

Filling the Baking Tins

This last week I spied 500gm butter at the supermarket for $5.95. I just about fainted!  I have always baked cakes, slices and biscuits to fill our baking tins, but these new butter prices have forced me to reconsider what I am baking.  I certainly haven't paid that price (yet) for my butter.  I hunt out the absolute cheapest option in what ever supermarket is the cheapest.  In this case it is Pak N Save.  For budget butter I am paying $3.79.  What most people don't realise is that all the butter in the South Island is made in the one factory.  They just put different packaging on for each "brand" of butter, but it's all the same.  My budget butter is just the same as the flash Mainland brand at over $5.95.

When I look  through my recipes for day to day baking, I now have to take into consideration just how much butter is used.  I still believe baking from scratch is far cheaper than buying packets of biscuits and muffins.  A tray of 6 muffins is costing around the $5 mark, almost the price of a 5kg bag of high grade flour. Lets look at what I have been baking in the last week....

Horse Happenings

Georgia has started riding lessons at a new riding school about 30mins north of Christchurch.  Our time at the paddock looking after Spice, the ex race horse, came to a nasty end just after Christmas.  Needless to say, Georgia ended up being treated very badly by the girls and their mothers there.  Georgia left feeling very upset and stressed after being continually accused of stealing since September.  As a homeschooling family, we have been shielded from alot of the rampant bullying that is occurring in our schools and society at the moment.  Perhaps we were naive to think those frequenting the paddock would be like-minded people like us, however that was not the case. Georgia was a rock, sticking to her guns when being faced with nasty accusations and rumours.  Since we made the decision to leave the paddock just on Christmas, Georgia has been quietly de-stressing at home as all that drama did eventually take a toll on her health.  She is, after all, just a 12 year old dealing with nasty 16 year olds. So starting out at a new riding school has been like a breath of fresh air for all of us.  

Below is a shot of Georgia and Tiny at Ashley Downs Riding Centre.


  1. Oh you are a good cook! - Obviously enjoy it too?
    I buy butter when on sale & freeze it.

    Hope you get to see a monarch in all stages - we have been very lucky over the years - I have lots of monarch trees, this year it was hard as I was taking off the eggs but missed some & had to take off caterpillars - I HATE doing this but have to to save some caterpillars. Always easier to take off eggs.

    Love Leanne

  2. Thanks Leanne.

    I get a huge thrill in copying the baking I find in local bakeries and supermarkets. My family will say, Mum...can you make such and such? so off I go, making yummy food from scratch.

    I also buy butter when on special and freeze. Am buying extra sugar at the moment after the damage done to sugar canes in Queensland.



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