Category Archives: Miscellany

Green tomato pickles

Once again I ended up with green tomatoes. I had seeds left over from last year and though I’d give growing them another go. However, as of the end of April (like October for the Northern Hemisphere) many of the tomatoes were still green. So, the sauce was only a middling hit last year. In fact we just polished off the last of it a few days ago as part of a freezer cleaning out effort. So something a bit more immediate. More useful, and requiring far less tomatoes.

So as you can see not so many. I did actually get some red ones this year. And I only had a few plants as well. But these have been sitting outside off the plants, on the vine, failing to ripen any more. So time to pickle them!

I read about a few green tomato pickle recipes, but they all seemed like bread and butter pickles (so sugary) and involved onions. I’m still onion free for the baby so that was out. And I’m not a huge fan of sugary pickles. So I thought I’d adapt my refrigerator pickle recipe to these.

Pickling spice, dill seed, salt and vinegar:

Now, on measurements. What I did was add about  1/4 cup pickling spice, a tablespoon or more of dill seed, maybe a cup or two of while distilled vinegar, and 1/4 cup of salt. These are guesses as I just kind of put things in. Taste it before adding your sliced tomatoes. It should be vinegary, but light. I think that’s about a 2 liter container (so around 1/2 gallon).

This is what vinegar looks like:

Now before adding the tomatoes I topped up my mix with boiling water fresh from the kettle. I didn’t fully fill my container, but I wanted the salt dissloved and the liquid warm for the tomatoes.

Put in the fridge to cool and cure. Only a day later I’ve had them on cheese and tuna sandwiches and they are light, flavorful and crisp. Yum!

Too many earthquakes

I know I haven’t been updating. Naughty me. I’ve been spending my time on parenting forums and on my new, other blog which is about boobies and not having enough milk.

So…earthquakes! I’ve now been through multiple large earthquakes.

Earthquakes I’ve known (and not loved)

Santa Cruz 1989

We lived in Lompico, so basically the middle of nowhere outside of Felton. Which is a mountain suburb of Santa Cruz. So more rural than a country town. Basically it was the other side of the mountain highway 17 traverses from the epicentre. Still, our car fell into a crack in the ground and the house across the street from us totally collapsed.  It wasn’t fun. I fell down, everything fell down. It was however, much worse than this next one

Christchurch: Sept 4th 2010

Not so bad. It went on longer than the 1989 one so while walking was possible it wasn’t easy.

The worst thing about this one is that because it was an earthquake from a dormant fault we went through almost 5000 aftershocks (I think it was at 4880+ when the next one happened). So, dormant faults suck when they wake up.  That’s basically around 1000 earthquakes per month until the next large one hit.

I know for me this last one was bad because it was so much more intense, but after close to 5000 aftershocks you pretty much stop reacting. No more duck and cover, and after a bit you start gauging them by if you feel like you want to stand up. ‘Hmm, stand  up? Must be 5+!’

I bet other people felt this way too. Which is really bad, because it was so much more intense it did a lot of damage and I barely moved to get out of the house until the power went out. Then I thought, ‘hmm, this may be bad’. Then walking became difficult. And being during the middle of the day, rather than in the dead of early morning made the toll much worse. All the aftershock shaking, plus the loads of brick buildings made this last one really bad.

Christchurch: February 22nd, 2011

I don’t like brick buildings, haven’t since 1989, but now I never want to live near or work in one. And I think when we buy a house we’ll be getting some geotechnical reports done to see whether the area is on sand or rock. We are fortunate enough to live on rock now, so have our power, water and not that much damage.

But there are still aftershocks. The count is now over 5000, though this latest one does seem to be behaving more like a ‘normal’ earthquake and they are tailing off more rapidly than the first one.

I’m sure I was in some sub 6 earthquakes as well, but I can’t remember any of them specifically.


So, hopefully there won’t be any more significant ones. Christchurch will hopefully rebuild in a spectacular way. Earthquakes still suck.


Raaar presents.

She knows what’s up.



Interlude (and babies eating lemons)

Just waiting now.

I have a starting induction date on Thursday the 8th, with more urgent methods being applied on Friday. Since this baby is soooo comfortable up in there. But it’s really time to come out now (please don’t be 12 lbs). 42 weeks is plenty long enough to be pregnant.

I was thinking a bit ago of the absurdity of our last minute before baby things.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, we are taking the dogs off to the kennel for a week/10days something or other. Enough time for us to hopefully come home with a baby and get a little used to it before adding dogs back in. I had always wondered what the appropriate ‘time’ to take them off to the kennel would be, but now it’s more or less all planned out, which is a bit odd.

Glenn is off getting a haircut so he wont look scruffy in pictures with the baby. I find this mildly hilarious, but also adorable.

And now for babies eating lemons.

The geekiest mobile ever.

Maybe. I mean it could be more geeky. Regardless, I’m pleased. I’ve been thinking about doing this forever.

So I had plans many many months ago to make a mobile. I bought some dowels (and a saw for sawing them) and they sat for a long time until I finally got my act together today to start putting things together.

It took me a bit of mental planning to decide what layout I wanted. I had two 47ish inch dowels and around 9 things I wanted to hang (I could have had more but I have other plans for them. Maybe). So 3 20 inch pieces, one little bracing piece and a long spine. Hot glue to hold things together a little…

Then I wrapped the joints with yarn. Braces it well, looks ok. Works for me. Hot glue, as neat as it is, is rarely enough.

Now, the things I’ll be hanging.

Those are Giant Microbes. I used to get one (or more) free with purchase over X amount from a biosupply company I bought from at a previous job. I have a reasonable collection. Shown in this picture: Kissing Disease, Bedbug, Flesh Eating Bacteria, E. coli, Red Tide, Chicken Pox, Lyme Disease, and hiding a bit, Sleeping Sickness. Not shown, nor going on the mobile, a Brain Cell and Mad Cow.

I tended to get the interesting looking ones. There were some more I wanted, but the company didn’t offer them as freebies so I never got around to it.

After a bit of guesswork with balancing the nearly first try was good enough.

Finished product!

I’m pretty proud. I wonder if it will scare the baby?

Ok baby. You can show up now.

Really. We have stuff for you and everything.

Well, today is my first day on maternity leave. I’m trying to keep busy, but am also trying to pace myself. Don’t want to run out of things to do! I worry I’m in for a bit of a wait because other than having more trouble hobbling around (I’m on leave about a week early at 38 rather than 39 weeks because of this) I don’t feel like a baby appearance is imminent.

Had a large box of baby clothes arrive from Glenn’s grandma so washing those, along with some other ones I had hanging around. Then stuffing the rest of the nappies with inserts. Did our laundry earlier and hung it out, washed my breast pump, organized a bit. Now what?

Well, here are some pictures of what we’ve got. I’m fairly pleased with our purchases. Of course the clothing from family has helped as well. I was really worried about the baby being cold (winter is here and it’s damp) but am much less so now.

Yay for clothing.

That’s only what I just washed and put haven’t put away yet. It’s of varying sizes so should be set for a while.

Carseat with headrest thing I got second hand. It needs to go back in the car. We took it out as we needed room for picking up the stroller. The headrest came with a breastfeeding pillow and a diaperbag/backpack thing for $10. Good deal. Carseat is new.

We bought a blue one because it matched the car. Seriously.

Stroller. With this we got the sun and rain shades, a toddler seat (for further babies), a shopping pannier and a backpack. $100. Considering this is a $600+ish stroller new (not to mention probably $200 worth of accessories) I’m pleased. However, it’s also the ugliest thing. Maroon and yellow? Blech! I made that little baby bag in there. Doesn’t match, but oh well (and really what would?).

Various things on and around the change table-bath. The bath is under the change pad. I mainly wanted something that was multi function even though I’m not sure on all the functions, and portable (it has wheels). That way I can store things on it at the very minimum.

Aforementioned breastfeeding pillow,  some of the cover cloths from last update, the top of the table.

Some odds and ends, cloth wipes seen in last update etc.

Nappies, all stuffed and ready to go. Paid less than $500 for 30 of them. I wont need any more (assuming these fit ok). Easily the most expensive purchase, but also a good money saver.

And on the bottom there is clothing, towels, blankets etc.

The bouncer. I wasn’t going to get one, but then I realized having a spot to stick the baby in the room I’m in seems like a good idea. Also has a toy arch. I think it cost me around $30 secondhand.

Blanket I knitted and a toy my boss gave me. It’s a sheep…like thing.

Here is the baby bed. It’s a hammock thing. Responds to baby movement by bouncing gently. I’ve got it scrunched up next to the bed. I bought this forever ago for around $90. We’ll see how the baby likes it, but will probably move onto a crib bed by 6 months.

Glenn wants a baby capsule thing just to carry the baby around in. I’m ambivalent. We have a Moby wrap baby carrier and I thought that would be easier than a carseat you take in and out. Haven’t bought one yet, so we’ll see.

Some come on out. None of my shirts fit anymore.

The nesting

That should be the title of a horror movie.

I think I’m starting to get it. I have some baby clothing and a bunch of new reusable diapers (nappies, may have to get used to saying that) that I’ve bought over the course of the pregnancy so far and I’ve been wanting to wash them. I was waiting until we moved so I could go from washing to setting them up, but here it is April (October for your N Hemisphere people) and we are just moving next week. So I took advantage of the nice weather over Easter weekend and just washed them all. The baby clothing was pretty straightforward, but the diapers need to be washed 3-5 times before use to build up absorbency. So that took a bit of time.

But they looked really nice hanging out on the line.

I’m disproportionately excited about them. I looked around a bit and bought these new. They should work from birth to 2ish (through a clever arrangement of snaps and velcro) and have several strengths of inserts (to soak the wet) that go on the inside (you can’t see but they have a pocket to put the soaker parts). Reusuable diaper technology is fairly advanced these days.

Anyhow, enough baby prattle. Even though that’s what I’m mainly doing. Got stuffs to buy still, but less than 3 months to go.