ELECTRA: intelligent, organised, practical, creative & strong; mum, wife and person.

WANTS TO VISIT: Germany, Portugal, Spain, & France, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, USA, Andorra, Bulgaria, Thailand, Phillipines and Venezuela for starters.

23 May 2015

Finally it's finished and we've launched our e-book package.  Yay, yippee!



  • A5 landscape format
  • 61 pages
  • 14 chapters
  • Over 350 questions/prompts
  • 2 dozen+ illustrations
  • 4 exercises to sort out your personal needs and wants


Plus the following bonuses:

  • Comparison overview worksheet (2 A4 pages)
  • Extended comparison worksheet (5 A4 pages)
  • Vendor contact facsimile form (A4)
  • Mind map (A4)
  • Needs vs wants (2 A4 pages)
  • Prioritising grid (2 A4 pages)


From now until the end of June we are offering the e-book package at a 20% discount via this link.


Only $19.96




If you know someone looking to buy a mobile home please share this post with them.  

19 April 2015

Gallipoli rose - cistus salviifolius


ANZAC day is a little more special for our family this year.


It's the 100th anniversary of our New Zealand soldiers landing on the Gallipoli penninsula - where a couple of our forebears were killed in action among others that served and returned home.

One, will be actively commemorated with the honour of being asked to lay a wreath in a dawn ceremony in New Zealand; and the memorials of both will be visited in Turkey.  [Close family were offered a very late ballot to attend the dawn and ANZAC services - a once in a lifetime opportunity they are taking albeit in primitive and challenging conditions].

So as we rally our troops (the children that is) to get up before the sun rises on Saturday, we stand with family up and down the country and around the world to honour the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom; and to find a short moment of solitude to be grateful for the present and future we have together.


I have the opportunity to assemble the wreath being laid here in Aotearoa and thought others might be interested in the Gallipoli roses that I made for it (above).



  • White felt
  • Scrap of yellow felt
  • Pin with yellow head
  • Yellow embroidery floss (I used 6-stranded)
  • Needle
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Disappearing fabric marker
  • Template

The felt I used was somewhat stiffer than the soft acrylic you can usually buy - more like cardboard.  Either ought to be fine but I liked the idea of it holding it's shape.

Download the template for the petals, trace and cut 5 pieces from the white.  Cut one circle for the centre back also from the white.  Cut one piece from the yellow felt for the stamen area at the front.



Cut a length of floss and strip it (separate the strands from each other and then put them back together again - you could probably skip this step but it's habit for me so I do it regardless).  Use all 6 strands together and sew from the front to back and return leaving about a 6 mm tail on both ends before you cut it.  You don't fasten the floss at this point so be careful not to pull them out accidentally.  Continue until the centre of the yellow felt looks as if it has enough 'stamens'.  Push the pin in from the front through the centre of the yellow felt.

Take the circle of white felt and lay it in the middle of your work area.  I marked the centre with a pencil to help laying the petals in the right place.  Dab a little hot glue on each petal point and apply to the circle in a clockwise direction, overlapping by a few mm.  The 5th petal will be over both the 4th and 1st and that's okay.



Push the pin with the yellow felt through the petal pieces and when you've got it in the right place apply a dab of hot glue to fix (bearing in mind you want a point of the yellow felt to be centred in each of the petals.  This fixes the floss stamens at the same time.



Pin directly into a foam wreath or cut off the pin stem and sew a small safety pin to the back to wear this week.  

I plan to use the pin to twist around the rosemary and olive wreath I will make on Tuesday.

[Download the template for a rose to wear as well.]





NZ Government website for the 100th commemoration of ANZAC day - find a service to attend.

Auckland Museum online record of all who fought - Cenotaph - find your ancestors and add their stories.

14 April 2015

Organs are simply not conventional dinner conversation unless you're eating steak and kidney pie or calves fry and bacon.  We barely spare a thought for how our body works until it doesn't.

This is something though that you are brought face-to-face with every time you renew or update your driver's license.

Question 4 asks whether you would like to be an organ donor or not.

Statistics, I have seen quoted, suggest that our opt-in rate is a little under 50% which is higher than I thought it might be considering there is little or no easily accessible official information to help us decide.   The actual number of donors who end up in a situation to offer their organs is around 45 people per annum.

It took me a few emails and trolling the internet to start to answer the questions I had.

Let me signpost 3 resources to help you.  The first is the Statement of Death and Organ Donation (pdf) from the Australia New Zealand Intensive Care Society, another is a website called Give Life NZ that has it's own FAQs, and the last is Organ Donation NZ's FAQ.


Here is a 10-point summary of what I found out:

  • There is no legal definition in New Zealand for death.

In New Zealand, death and organ donation are covered by the Human Tissue Act 2008, which uses the words ‘satisfied… that the individual concerned is dead’ without statutory definition. *

  • We can donate heart or heart valves, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas, skin and eye tissue subject to medical tests and matching needs.  A person's prior general health also dictates what may be used. 
  • Checking 'Yes' on your driver's license form is only an indication that you want to be recognised as someone who would consider organ donation.  Presently this is not interpreted as implicit consent.  No particular organs are stipulated.
  • At present only organs from people who end up brain dead in the intensive care unit can be used.
  • There is a series of stages one may pass through in the dying process.  Where a person is at determines what they may donate.

Dying is a process rather than an event. The determination and certification of death indicate that an irrevocable point in the dying process has been reached, not that the process has ended. *

  • It is your family that make the final whether or not to allow organ donation and sign the consent.  Any operations are usually completed within 6 - 12 hours after death is pronounced so they don't interfere with any bereavement plans.  [No anesthetic is used as a person who is brain dead can not feel.]
  • Two doctors must run through tests to determine death.  I'll spare you the specifics as they are in the ANZICS document.  It is after the second doctor declares that a patient is brain dead that the official time/date of death is recorded.  [It seems that family are often allowed to be at these examinations on the understanding or with the guidance of a liaison who will explain the process.]
  • "There is no documented case of a person who fulfils the preconditions and criteria for brain death ever subsequently developing any return of brain function." *
  • Organ Donation NZ co-ordinate the surgical transplant team (independent of the ICU team), the matching with a compatible recipient, and the subsequent after donation support a family may need.
  • Your body will not appear disfigured if organs are removed. It will have stitches like a normal operation.


If the standards of care are abided by, and people could genuinely benefit from a mortal tragedy, it seems logical to check 'Yes' on your driver's license.   You don't have to wait until you are filling out another paper form, simply phone the NZTA to have it changed on the license register 0800 822 422.


To be honest, I am dubious about the state-funded medical system at the very best of times, so that doesn't help at all.

Vega said something though that I am mulling over, when I told her what I was contemplating ... "Mum, you are always helping people so I think you would want to." She may just sway my decision.


* The ANZICS Statement on Death and Organ Donation, Edition 3.2, 2013.