Sunday, 21 February 2016

GreeNZ Peace is Moving!

Kia Ora!
Since we have decided to resign from fully paid employment and begin a new lifestyle working in our backyard, it seems fitting to move to a more sustainable blog site!
Thank you for reading some of my blogs, I have enjoyed sharing with you.  I am excited to be moving to a new platform and blogging on a new site.  If you would like to see what I am sharing, please check it out HERE !

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Recycling Tetrapaks

 We live in the beautiful Western Bay of Plenty.  A quiet, peaceful little village hugging the shores of the Tauranga Harbour protected by Matakana Island.  It's a wee gem in the necklace that is the Bay.  On a sunny, clear day, we have these terrific glimpses of the inland harbour, over to the headland of Kauri Point, and outcrops of Matakana Island and Mount Maunganui.  It's friendly, and people pass each other in the streets and greet you.

But I am not here to talk about the merits of living here, more to the point, what to do with the useless used tetrapaks we buy at the supermarket when we purchase coconut water (silly!  They come in the greatest biodegradable nature-made containers!!), nut or grain milks (why not make your own - easy peasy!), or UHT milk (toss-up - plastic or tetrapak, not sure which is better, plastic can be recycled where I live).  I have dabbled with a few options but these are the most user-friendly solutions to recycling Tetrapaks I could share.
Cut the side off of a tetrapak and cut X's in the bottom with a craft knife, pushing a pencil through to create little holes out of the X's.
Fill the prepared seed trays with seedling mix and sow your seeds.  Wait for the magic to reveal itself.  The tetrapak seed trays become quite soft, so it is easy to pop individual seedlings out before planting into vegetable beds or garden.

Turn an old Tetrapak outer into a suitable wallet coin purse or travel sewing kit by cutting off both top and bottom ends, folding the sides inwards to create a wallet effect. Fold them in half (i.e two concertinaed folds).  Cut  a top cover to fold over and fasten with either ribbon or button.  The one above is a great little travel sewing kit.  The irony is that this Tetrapak is for organic coconut water, which happens to have been packaged in a perfectly organic biodegradable outer shell!!  But business being business, some company had a great idea!  Voila!  Let's remove the water from the hard-to-crack outer shell, pour it into a sterile Tetrapak with a longer shelf life and ship it all over the world!  Let's not be concerned that the Tetrapak container is not recyclable every where it will end up!!  And let's brand it as Certified BioGro Organic!   Truly, I think common sense is no longer common!!

 Above is another little Tetrapak coin purse, using a button and string to wind around to keep it closed.  Ingenious, (not my design) but sad that we have to resort to trying to make use of what is basically a useless item of throw away junk!  We pay a yearly fee for curbside recycling.  A few city councils do recycle these but when I inquired at my local council, they were befuddled by the question and had to hand my on to the next operator, who still could not give me an answer!  She searched through her brochures and wall charts, to no avail.  When I asked if they had plans to include Tetrapaks in future recycling operations, there was a disquietening silence.  And then suggestions I call another company or even look on the Council website for the information (I had prior to our conversation!!).

There have been times we have had to buy Tetrapaks though usually I tend to avoid purchasing them like the plague!  What to do with our conundrum?How can we create a groundswell movement where we as consumers, tell the producers exactly what we want and how it is packaged?  And will they actually listen??
Under Blue Bay Skies

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The Writing on the Wall

 2.02.16 Post Script to this blog:  I have just discovered this bit of writing which I had done, prior to my December seizures.  Hmmn, it is interesting to see that my thinking has not changed much between the episodes.  Below is what I wrote in November 2015:

The Writing has long been on the Wall.  My husband had a brain tumor and subsequent neurosurgery 8yrs ago to remove it, and so I have always thought life is very precious, that we should enjoy it to the MAX!  With this in mind, I resigned recently, to finish teaching at the end of the year (I am a kindergarten teacher), so I can spend more time with my hubby.  Gearing toward time together......I have convinced him to also drop his paid full time work.  It wasn't easy but I managed to do it!
The Writing on the Wall....
And then 3 weeks ago, I had 2 brain seizures.  Phew!  Out of the Blue!  No warning.  No feeling unwell.  Only a minor sore back to bug me.  Funny how Life throws curved balls, without you having any indication of them coming, fast and furious!  Just Bam!  That's it Ma'am!  Time to take stock of Things.  We learn as we go.  No dress rehearsal.  Just impromptu acting out on the stage of Life.  Learning the dance steps in the middle of the show!

A couple of days short of my 49th birthday, we went to bed after watching something on TV, next thing I woke up on the bathroom floor, wondering what I was doing there.  My husband was talking on the phone and the before I could comprehend, there were 2 ambulance officers taking me to hospital!  I was hooked up to an IV drip on the side of the road and then I knew no more.
The ebb and flow of Life.....
 Apparently I had 2 seizures, one at home at 2am, and then the second on arriving in the emergency ward at hospital.  My poor husband witnessed both and said he felt helplessness and despair.  I woke up in intensive care, hooked up to an IV drip.  My worst nightmare.  Or so I initially thought.  This nightmare was rather surprising, and I discovered that I was strong, even in my weakest moment! I could shuffle to the toilet and back, with my Drip on Wheels, and return to my bed, with a sense of Immense Achievement!
I have done a lot of writing on the walls around our home!
In our bedroom....just in case we forget where to sleep!!

The doctor was a Nigerian doctor, Dr O, with the most beautiful big liquid brown eyes and smiley face.  At first he thought I may have had a brain bleed and wanted to do a lumbar puncture to check if there was blood in my spinal column but I refused, politely but firmly!  He tried to convince me but I challenged him to try other avenues, and the blood tests came back to reveal dangerously low levels of iron and magnesium and haemoglobin (the oxygen carrying capacity of blood), so I was given 2 pouches of life-giving red blood cells, and antibiotics (aaargh!) via IV.  After 2 1/2 days I was allowed to check out.

A Starfish out of Water.......
 What I learned:
  • The nurses and doctors in Tauranga hospital are the kindest, warm-hearted people I have met in any organisation!
  • The ambo's from Katikati are un-rockable, un-flappable people you could ever wish for in an emergency.
  • I am human.  I have weaknesses!  And I'm learning a lot!  About myself, health and well-being.
  • I have so much to do before I expire!
  • Food's horrid in hospital.
  • Magnesium is VITAL for human bodies!  It helps avoid seizures.
  • Healthy Living is like flying in the dark, without getting regular blood checks!
  • I am loved and would be missed by friends and family!
  • I have always feared the medical fraternity, but I have come to realise, we need them in times of weakness and illness. 
  • I can take drugs (legal) for the first time ever, and I will survive, and even though I look forward to ditching them, for the time, they are maintaining an equilibrium I need.

Leaving Footprints on the Heart.......
The last hospital stay for me was when I had my first baby (23yrs ago)!  And even that was accidental (was supposed to be a home birth but my husband ended up calling the ambo's to find out how long they would take to get there if we needed them - they came anyway!)  So I have lived quite a healthy, happy life.  Eating organic, much of it home-grown.  Don't smoke, don't drink, don't eat meat........ hell, sounds like I don't have fun, but I really do!!
Sailing through Life......
I have sailed through life, considering myself extremely lucky to be able to avoid all the niggles of ill health.  I thought I was healthy.  I didn't realise my menorraghia (heavy, painful periods) were anything other than my "lot in life as a woman"!  Silly me!  Years of heavy bleeding (hormonal imbalances) takes it's toll on the iron stores in the body, which in turn can cause havoc in the body.  Now I know and I want to warn other women who tend to put up with menorraghia; get it sorted!

Now I am taking iron and vitamin C supplements, along with anti-seizure drugs - so goes against the grain of what I believe to be healthy living, but the scare was big enough for me to take heed and follow the doc's advice.  I have decided I still have lots more to achieve, to do, to experience and to be. I am also using Progesterone cream (my body apparently makes NONE of it's own, 0.2, which should be a 5.5- 10.0 reading !) There will come a time when my body can function on it's own again, without the aid of tablets and potions. Anyone interested in getting their hormonal progesterone level checked in Tauranga can do so at Patient Advocates Ltd.

I have felt lots  of love during this period, from my husband, my children, my friends and family.  It is amazing how a scare can bond you closer to others, perhaps they are reminded too, how fleeting this time is on earth.  How easy our demise.  How fragile our existence.  And in the end, all that matters is Love.
Life without Love is like a barren landscape with no hope of rain.
Love Hard!  Love Long!  Love Hugely!  Love every day!  Love yourself!  Wishing you all a long and loving Life.

Thank you for reading.