The Drought has Broken (in NZ)

You may wonder why the title adds, in NZ!

drought affected region
A sad cornfield

Well I wrote this exact title at the end of October in 2011 after we had been in a severe drought in Samoa for three months! The comparison to the last few months in New Zealand is quite different. I know it hasn’t affected us city folk as much as the poor farmers and their animals. But I am fairly certain that even in the drought conditions we faced in NZ they would still have managed a shower (but, maybe not a bath) most days!

It is all relative – what we get used to, we miss when it is suddenly taken from us. I was certainly used to a hot shower every morning when I went to Samoa, but on arrival, was really happy with the luke warm to cool water from the cold tap, as we needed showers to cool us off at least three times a day. But, when I had NO water coming from the taps – in the middle of the drought, that WAS different!

It was a twice-weekly trip down the road to a friendly neighbour who allowed us to fill our 4 drums with water to keep us going. Then – back home to fill them into a solar shower before we could have a shower – once a day (twice if we were really lucky)! That would have been okay for just the two of us, but we had four visiting helpers on the farm, who also needed a shower! They were young, and took the opportunity to go downtown to Aggie Grays’ to have a swim and meet some of the local/visiting girls during their stay in Samoa!

And don’t even think about a flushing toilet! We were back to digging another hole in the ground, only weeks after we finally go our toilet working! So, when our climate varies from the normal, spare a thought for those whose “normal” is not as good as what we have on a bad day!

Don’t get me started on Global Warming – that will be in the next post!





Keeping Positive

Trials come upon us all in life. That is expected. It’s not the trial that is the problem in many cases. It is how you react to it. Like now, for instance. Trying to write a  blog post on my Android phone. Small keyboard, awkward access to punctuation, no spell check for the many times I hit the wrong key and such a small display to edit in. But, I want to write and for whatever reason my laptop has thrown a wobbly!

So, do you give in to technology and let it win? Or are you a battler – born to rule! I have decided the only way in life is to take life’s challenges by the horns and twist those little beggars around to suit my needs!

Now, I am not promoting selfishness. Nor am I advocating getting everything you want. A few challenges in life can certainly speed up the way in which we become adept at solving problems. If you live life accepting problems as simply challenges turned upside down, then your stress levels will certainly be reduced and you will become a more positive person. You know ‘the glass half-full” type! (Note to self: I always find that a conundrum – I just want to know where the other half of the glass is!!!!)

Have a good day!

Shared Parenting

It's difficult ... but not impossible!
It’s difficult … but not impossible!

I spoke to a neighbour recently who has recently separated and is having some issues with the younger son coping with the change of households. It dawned on me, as I spoke and thought about the situation – I have been there, done that, and got the T-shirt to prove it! I can offer many insights into what might work for these situations in life. I have dealt with many of these single parenting issues myself, after parenting alone for nearly 14 years. And, if I haven’t had them, I know many who have, or seen many of the issues in my classrooms.

So, do you have a child that finds it a real challenge to go to ‘Dad’s House’ or ‘Mum’s House’ in this new experience they are having, sharing your marriage break up? I don’t say that in a derogatory way – but our kids often have no understanding of what is happening – sometimes we don’t either! Continue reading “Shared Parenting”

If God is for us who can be against us?

A thought-provoking verse for the start of 2013…

What then shall we say to these things?

If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31

It’s a question many people have thought about, indirectly, as they ponder the tragedies that have struck them over the previous year. Illness and death of loved ones; marriage breakups and other family problems; natural and man-made disasters wreaking havoc in communities – never to be the same again! Continue reading “If God is for us who can be against us?”

Arguing in a Persuasive Manner

Teaching kids to argue in a persuasive manner
Prufock Press Blog

Gifted Kids can often get into the bad books of their teachers at school because they have a propensity to argue the point. This in itself is not a bad trait, but it can be a little hard for teachers to swallow. I have always said it is better to teach them how to explain their ideas to others in a respectful manner. It seems this blogger at Prufock Press, the’ home’ of gifted education publishing agrees, and elaborates on a good way to do that.


Nobody likes to be shown up, especially by someone younger, and supposedly less knowledgeable  An effective argument has to have both people committed to listening to each other’s point of view, so the sooner we teach our gifted kids this art of arguing in a positive manner, the sooner they will be able to effectively advocate for their own educational needs.

Pacific Paradise “burns the calories”

How many diets have we all tried, and failed … or at least not reached our goals with? I have been on this sort of bandwagon since I had my last child! He’s now 22, and it got a bit embarrassing when he told me one day I was heavier than he was for his latest rugby weigh-in!!!

Well, what do you say when you return from Samoa after 18 months in the hot tropical Pacific Paradise, and you are 26kgs lighter! Praise God, was my first reaction!

But really, it was so effortless – no diets to follow, no feelings of guilt after discarding a chocolate wrapper!!!

You Ask … How did you do it? Continue reading “Pacific Paradise “burns the calories””