Monday, February 11, 2013

To blog or not to blog...

So... to blog or not to blog? That is the question.

I've posted dozens, possibly hundreds, of 'stories', comments, musings over quite a few years. But nothing since April last year.

Did it become a chore? Was it a bit self indulgent? A bit up myself?

"I blog." So I must have something to day. Right? Not sure I did really. I took a break when I figured I didn't have anything new to say

I'm on Facebook. And there friends and family see little glimpses into what I do. And photos of the happy stuff.  And that's probably enough. For now.

Nice knowing you, blogosphere.

But I might be back.

Never say never.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


For the Type 1 diabetes community who read my posts here's a review of RapidCalc an iPhone ap for people with Type 1 diabetes.

Mr 12 is on a MDI regime and has recently changed to Lantus and Novorapid. So now he is learning to carb count – something most Type 1 diabetics eventually have to do. While looking for a simple way to calculate and record his insulin requirements we came across an iPhone ap that has been really useful.

The ap is called RapidCalc and costs $10.99 (NZ).

You have to take a few minutes to set up measurement units, correction units, BGL targets, basal and bolus info (like you would have to do for a pump) and then you are ready to go.

To use it you simply:
A) do a blood test and enter the result and
B) enter your planned carb intake (and you have options
about how this is calculated)

RapidCalc then immediately tells you how much shortacting insulin (Novorapid) you should be taking.

You then enter what dosage of insulin you took so that your records can be stored. And for those who may wonder if it’s accurate I manually calculated everything for 3 days just to compare it and RapidCalc was spot on every time.

A really good feature is that at any time you can tell the device to email your results (your entire history or just results since the last email) to your pre-designated email address at the tap of a button. It also creates charts showing actual/target levels.

Rapidcalc can be run on an iPod touch, an iPad or and iPhone.

For kids/adults who like technology it is a fun (and accurate) way to work out and record the important stuff. ( I’m personally not a big ap user but found it really easy to use.)

Now I just have to convince Mr 12's school that he can use his iPod touch during the day at school because it is a medical device!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Scary at all ages

My friend, L, and her family have moved to a new home 100 kms from where they used to live. It's paradise but it's still scary. L writes:

"... tomorrow our real life here will start. To be honest I’m a bit scared.
What if the kids don’t like their new schools?
What if they don’t make any friends?
What if I don’t make any friends?"

I have a solution. It comes from Miss 16. Yesterday she started school in Chicago. 13,000 kms away. Over 4000 kids at her school. She tells me day 1 was scary. People were nice but at lunch time it was just too hard to go into the cafeteria and strike up a conversation with total strangers. How do you break into a group? There were hundreds of people. Who would want to talk to her?

Day 2 she talks to a few kids during class. Someone offers to meet her at lunch time. She gets introduced to a group of kids for lunch. They're all nice. They ask her to join one of their clubs. The Irish club. (She's not even Irish - but she does have red hair maybe that counts?) After school she gets invited downtown with a small group. They have dinner together.

Day 3 tomorrow. It's still scary. But she has friends.

The solution? It's a cliche but... just do it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Big Apple

I am back from a whirlwind week in New York accompanying little sister on a business trip. I absolutely loved it. Heaps of sightseeing, shopping, eating and walking.

Transport consisted of walking, the subway (yes, I braved it), the odd crazy New York taxi (tooting is their first language) and a horse and carriage ride in Central Park.

One morning K and I found ourselves walking in the Garment District. Lots of 'wholesale only' stores selling copious amounts of clothes (I assume to retail stores) and some amazing huge retail/wholesale outlets selling nothing but trims or ribbons or buttons. It was jaw-dropping and made me wish I could sew!

On my first morning I went with my penfriend from Chicago (who is going to be Miss 16's host family when she moves there in January) to a traditional New York diner. We each ordered an omelette that I could swear would feed 4 people. It must have contained 6 eggs and was stuffed with mushrooms, cheese and spinach and would have been at least 6 inches high. It was accompanied with a mound of refried potatoes. I almost felt sick upon seeing the huge portion but it was delicious and after eating about 1/4 of it I admitted defeat. Including coffee or juice
it came to the princely sum of $5.95.

From that day on we ate breakfast on 7th Avenue (just by Madison Square Garden) at a very cool and busy New York bagel deli called "Bagel Maven Cafe". To die for bagels and a standard size!

I was really impressed with the food - did not have huge expectations before I left. We ate in either funky neon-lit cocktail bars/restaurants or small candle-lit family owned restaurants (no more than 30 seaters). Prices were fantastic - no more than $15-17 for a main course which might be a huge bowl of linguini with huge scallops, prawns and mussels and a fresh salad on
the side. The thin crusted New York pizza was lovely - very simple - often just prosciutto and basil and again, $15 for enough to feed 2. I was surprised to see a lot of seafood - grilled calamari featured everywhere. I gave in one night only and had New York cheesecake (had to really!)

Shopping was amazing - Saks 5th Avenue was lovely and Macy's was hit hard. Christmas decorations outside buildings were fantastic -especially on 5th Avenue. Took lots of photos. Credit card saw a bit of damage (I blame Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein for making clothes in my size!). Huge floors containing warm winter coats - everything from furs to fleece. Sales
everywhere - possible to get a full length down coat with fur trim on sale for $200. Not that I need one in Wellington. (And I wouldn't buy fur!) Makeup and cosmetics were ridiculously cheap - the Bobbi Brown foundation I splurge on at $90 a bottle at home was US$45 - even with the exchange rate it was cheap. Suffice it to say I had to buy an extra suitcase to lug home all my purchases.

I did lots of touristy things including going to the top of the Empire State Building for the amazing views; Times Square was buzzy and neon (even the police station had a neon sign); the Ground Zero memorial was worth queuing for - a very sad place - and very calm and quiet amidst the bustle of the city; the Rockefeller Centre with its famous Christmas tree and
avenue of angels and iceskating; St Patrick's Cathedral to light a candle for dad. I had a day and a
half by myself (my penfriend had left and K was working) so I walked to Greenwich
and Soho which was a great afternoon. We went to a Broadway show one night - The
Book of Mormon - which I confess I had never heard of but which had just won 9 Tony Awards and consequently was practically booked out until 2013. We had to pay $299 for tickets (oops that's over $400 once converted!) but worth every cent - the funniest thing I've ever
seen. It got a standing ovation. Next time I will go to way more shows - there
was so much on it was amazing.

We spent a morning at MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art) - a bit of a quick visit but enough to get a sense of the vast range of work they cover - the collection area (painting and sculpture) held lots of works by people like Picasso, Monet, Warhol (the Campbell soup cans!), Kahlo, Matisse,
Cezanne etc ; there was a great architecture section featuring an exhibition on the architects who were invited to design a replacement for the Twin Towers; the photography section had a new exhibition of 6 American photographers with works from the 50s to 70s. My favourite, interestingly, was a display on typography which I found fascinating. Felloow scrpapers would have apreciated it, I think. I felt like we really just ran around it all to get a quick glimpse of what was there. Could have spent a day or two there. And I didn't get to the Guggenheim or the Met but there's always next time.

I had expected the people to be hard and brash but found the opposite. Occasionally they were indifferent but never rude but mostly they were very friendly and chatty. The streets were packed and frequently you'd get bumped just crossing the street but without fail people took a second to say "Oh, I'm sorry. Excuse me, Pardon me" And "Ma'am" was heard hundreds of times a day. Most people knew where New Zealand was and I only had one person ask if it was "near New England?".

Anyway just a wee snip of my 6 days in NYC -hadn't expected to love it so much. Would I go back? In a heart beat.
(Blogger is doing silly things and I can't seem to load more photos)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lane Tech

Albert G Lane
Technical College Preparatory High School,
Chicago, Illinois - this is where Miss 16 will be spending her school days in 2012.
More than 11,000 students apply for just over 1000 places at this school each year. The school has over 4000 students - that's 1000 kids in your year.
The school day starts at 7.40am. I think, that for Miss 16, that's going to be a culture-shock all by itself!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Winter Wonderland

I've lived in the Hutt Valley for almost all of my 40-something years and we have never experienced snow like we've had this week. We see it in the hills around the valley quite often but in my memory I have never seen it in our back yard. Inches deep.

So this week's weather has been the source of much amusement, discussion and concern.

Miss Indie (our 3 year old choclate labrador - didn't know what to make of it and ran around and around the yard like a total nutter. Tomorrow school is closed for Miss 16 and Mr 11 is praying his school makes the same decision.

This is what we came home to find after work today...

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Science Fair

I have one kid who's good at the school stuff and another who hates it. So when Mr 11(the school work hater) runs to me after school with a big beam on his face I know it's good news.

Mother: "How was school?"

Mr 11: "It was cool. In science we dissected a cow's eye. It was really cool. Some kids thought it was gross but I didn't."

Mother: "Fantastic. I thought you were happy."

Mr 11:" Oh yeah, there's another thing. At the end of science we got to go and see all the science fair projects. And I couldn't find mine. And then R told me he knew where it was. And I came first in my class! And, even better, I came 3rd out of all the year 7 and 8 kids (130 kids) and, even better, P won the whole thing out of the whole school and he's only a year 7 like me. And we're both going to the regionals."

Mr 11's project looked at whether doing a blood test on clean or dirty fingers made any difference to blood glucose levels. (It did!) A totally relevant project for a type one diabetic.

But I want to know - do any kids actually do their science fair projects TOTALLY by themselves. Mr 11 did the research, the testing, the writeup - but I did most of the sticking to the display board. And helped him refine his topic. Come on parents - 'fess up!