Monday, August 29, 2011

US Immigration

When I was frantic, I posted to several different immigration forums re: trying to get back into the USA after being gone for longer than a year. A few days ago after speaking with a friend, Larry threw out a possibility of moving back to the USA. Immediately I said, "We didn't just go through 2 years of hell just to move back there 2 months later", however, I'm open to the idea of being bi-coastal between countries.

Funny enough. A response came from one of the forums just a few days before that linked me directly to the US Immigration website for residents who have been outside of the States for longer than a year who do not have a re-entry permit who qualify, by way of extreme circumstances that were out of your control (eg: health issues), to apply for a re-entry permit based on the inability to travel at the time of the one year mark.

6 weeks late, but still very useful.

There's also no harm in querying being Naturalized. I can't remember if it was 5 years or 10 years to have held Residency before applying to be naturalized, but as my issue with US Immigration is full of technicalities, there is no harm in trying.

Eye appointment scheduled for a few weeks time.

Haemo Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays.

La Vida Buena.

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Renal Specialist

We met our new Renal Specialist today. She was so surprised by the overturned judgement re: Immigration that she wanted to see his passport for proof. I have only briefed the public about the overturned decision because it was requested that we not go public with the details, and I must abide by that. We didn't have his passport to show her, but this was ok.

Loved our previous Renal Specialist, but he's too far to visit once a month.

Diabetes has come up as the big reason as to why his kidneys failed. Because he has never been officially diagnosed here, it's become somewhat a mystery to some experts who don't understand why his blood work has always been good when he shows signs of diabetes causing all the problems. I know it's diabetes, but try telling Larry that when he's getting good bloods.

His catheter surgery is scheduled for the end of next month, but because his catheter site looks a little gross, they are hoping to have the surgery moved forward.

I've said it before that the eye people don't like us (Villa 3 at HBDHB) and I've been trying to get an appointment with his Ophthalmologist for 6 weeks now with no luck. The Renal Nurse told us today that he has an appointment next month. Good news. He needs work on the left eye, which we've been told several times before, is out of action permanently, but the right eye is the keeper.

He misses working.

He misses checking his emails.

He misses adding to forum bliss. I stopped reading them out to him. Sometimes it's like reading a script from The View .. and that show is like nails on a chalkboard.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Refried Beans

The Pinto beans soaked all day yesterday and cooked all night and all day today.
It was time to make the roux.

The roux consists of oil, onion, bacon and flour - in that order.

You'll know when the beans are ready to smash.

We don't completely smash them however.

Add the roux and mix.

It will become thick.
To make them refried beans, leave them to cool and sit and refry the next day.

Jeston's Team Shot

MAC 7th Grade Rugby.
Jeston is in the back row 1st next to management from the left, just incase you wanted to slap him across the head if you see him on the street.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


We were talking about Haemo dialysis vs Peritoneal dialysis yesterday and both were confused at why patients prefer Haemo over PD. Thinking back to last year when we did 10 weeks of it in Auckland, the only thing that made it less depressing was the nurses. Here, it's pretty depressing. I cringe leaving him there for 5 hours. If you know Larry, you know he has enough Sandia Lab stories to makes your ears bleed. The guy talks alot, so I feel for him when he has to sit there for 5 hours with no one to talk to. Why don't I sit there with him you ask? Because I've heard the same stories for 11 years and I'm on strike in that department.


Public vs Private health. Definately a huge difference. Larry has only been in the public system for a little over a month so we've had several appointments with renal people who are coming to the appointment with the idea in mind that we know nothing about end stage renal failure and every advantage and disadvantage that comes with it physically and otherwise. It's safe to say that I know more about End Stage Renal Failure after 1 year of experience than I do about photography after 12 years.

Everything is running smoothly for us. He still hasn't become bestfriends with his computer yet, half the reason being because the room it's in is like an ice box. Alas, Spring is 8 days away.

Happy Birthday to our big niece, Tyler, who is 18 years old today!

Can't believe it.

(Jan 2011)

Sunday, August 21, 2011


The secret to a chewy cookie? 2 tips.
Brown Sugar and knock 2 minutes off the cooking time. Simply switch the oven off and let it sit there for 2 minutes as oven temps drop.

I'll refresh your memory. Pizookie is a cookie baked in a pizza dish. Pictured it a spring form pan.
Springformookie doesn't sound as good as pizookie.

Top that baby with ice-cream, cream and chocolate.


Chipotle is a burrito bar in the USA. I didn't give burrito's a second look before Chipotle.

Start with the tortilla, as always.

I made mexican chorizo at 4 this morning during the unforgiving All Blacks game against the Springboks. Chorizo needs to be marinated for up to 8 hours for all the spices to drown nicely into the meat. The filling is a simple breakfast burrito with chorizo, eggs, hash browns and cheese.

Add Salsa (mine is a capsicum salsa) and guacamole.

I wrapped this one for my sis-in-law who was unable to join us for lunch because of 5 children.

It's not chipotle, but it's better than the claimed burritos/wraps they serve for breakfast at Burger King.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Now I'd heard all about Burger Wisconsin, but I really don't know what exactly was Wisconsin-y about it. I will always love In and Outs Double Double protein style.

This was the Chicken, Camembert & Cranberry Burger.
It was like a thanksgiving burger.

I know someone who lives here.

Idea services cut the pines down that blocked the view from my street to the main road now you can see my house from the main road.
Yep, it's orange.


Living in rural Hawkes Bay, I come from a community with a population of less than 1000. We're all family. The only people who aren't blood are whoever residents bring in via marriage. To some, our small community is labeled 'a hole', 'the ghetto', 'the bronx' and so forth, but here's my opinion.

With those things in mind, I drove around 'the hole' today and took photos of all the business's here locally. There are only 4 roads that matter here and within a 2 mile radius of my house sit 40+ signs most of which are vineyards. We're bang in the middle of wine country.
There are unfortunate events that occur in rural Hawkes Bay, but there are unfortunate events that occur in the city too. So the next time my home is referred to as a hole, I'll smile to myself because I know freedom and happiness is here, in the middle of NZ's own Napa Valley.

Dinner & a movie.

We took our niece Shailahzay (how many times did you say her name out loud?) out for her birthday, which was 2 weeks ago. We were supposed to see Harry Potter, but Senor Shultz begged for Captain America.

Captain America?


Slow. Holes in the story. If it weren't for the popcorn cruncher behind me I would have completely fallen asleep.

But that isn't the point.

The Recormon is sure working it's magic. As you can see he's wearing his prescription glasses. The $500 pair that hadn't helped a bit since we got them 10 months ago. He didn't see crisp sharp lines, but he saw clear enough to follow along and when I'd look over at him, his eye's would be panning in sync with the movement on screen. This made me happy. Now we need a cinema standard screen to hook his computer up to so he can get back into LightWaving and being a menace on the forums.

Captain America

We took Shai to dinner and a movie last night for her birthday, which was 2 weeks ago. If Shai picked the movie, like she should have, we would have seen Harry Potter. But no, Uncle Larry picked it.

Captain America was U-N-B-E-A-R-A-B-L-E.
Uncle Larry loved it.
We'll see Harry Potter another day.

Tostada ensalada con pollo

I have two special helpers when I do photo shoots. I owed them both dinner for helping out, but the timing was always off, so I made these today because everyone is too busy to get together.

Excuse the backwards photos. For some reason my netbook is possessed and loads all my images out of order.

Very simple recipe.

It's deep frying the tortilla's that's a hassle, but my parentals helped invent a something that helps.

I forgot to take a photo of Harriett and her bowl, so you'll have to deal with looking at Michelle looking at hers.
It's for dinner tomorrow because I have left over ingredients.

NZ Kiwiburger

I had never tried the Kiwiburger before. Larry tried it way back when we were first married and he always told me it was an atrocity. I tried it today and I have to agree.

It wasn't yuck, it was just weird.

I don't like beetroot and I think the only thing that makes it Kiwi is the egg in it, which I ended up taking out.

I may be able to do beetroot now .. they weren't too shabs.

Watch the video to hear the ingredients.

Love the commerical, dislike the burger.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Volcano Cake

Freaky Friday

Halloween in August, told you we're backwards.
Kids school is having a freaky Friday day.
I don't know what Jeston is, but Ness is a vampire.

It's ok, I'm embarrassed myself.
Shai didn't dress up, she was too cool.
Ignore the stamps on the bottom and sides, my resizing app. by default has my stamp.
Michelle sent these this morning on Skype from 5 houses away.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Meet Neo.

I am trying to free your mind Neo - Morpheus.

Can't believe I remembered that quote.

What a loser.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Basketball Team Shoot

Child 1 and 4 belong to my brother, the other 5 belong to 3 of my first cousins.
It's a family affair.

Despite that I threatened to throw my shoe at them several times this afternoon, they still couldn't stand straight, but that's ok.

PS: It's currently 3 degrees in Hawkes Bay.


It was supposed to be a dolly varden cake using Tinkerbell.

But it didn't work out and so became Tinkerbells rock.
It tasted good. Very good.
Buttercream frosting.

New Years cake, just a sponge, cream & berries.

Snow in Hawkes Bay

It's a cold day in The Bay today.

Mount Erin

Te Mata Peak. I've never seen snow on the peak in all my 32 25 years of life.

The story of the Te Mata Peak hill scape is centuries old when the Maori lived in Pas (fortified villages) on the Hastings plains. They were always under the threat of war from the coastal tribes so a kuia (wise woman) suggested at a gathering in nearby Paki Paki that the chiefs daughter, Hinerakau, seduce the chief of the coastal tribe, a giant, and have him fall in love with her in an attempt to turn him from war to peace. This was accomplished and the chief Te Mata fell in love with Hinerakau.

Holding a grudge against the past, the people of the plains wanted revenge and demanded that Hinerakau make Te Mata prove his devotion by completing tasks that seemed impossible. His last task was to bite through the hills between the coast and the plains, so that people could come and go more easily.

Te Mata died while eating his way through the hills. His half accomplished work can be seen in what is known as The Gap or Pari Karangaranga (echoing cliffs) and his body forms Te Mata Peak.

His feet are on the left of the picture. Move up his body you have his knees and up move even his appendage is visible. Move directly up from my stamped signature along the bottom you have his chest and finally his head. Behind him, half pictured, is "The Gap".

Paki paki'ing.

Teaching Carlos Te Reo.
Todays word, paki paki.

She's a genius.

The 6 minute brownie.

Michelle has a brownie recipe she got from her friend who probably got it from the internet.

It's a microwavable 6 minute recipe.

I must admit, Michelle's was better.

For some reason it felt right to put baking powder in it, mine was fluffier than Michelle's thick, dense, fabu-oso brownie.

My milo is better than her milo .. she doesn't even have milo.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Happy 1 month

It's been a month since Larry was granted Residency. It's still hard to believe, but it's kicking in. Just knowing that we know what we're doing tomorrow is good enough. And sleep? We've caught up on 2 years of it in the last month.

Larry will be on haemo for another 2 months at least. His roster is for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and his nurses are pretty awesome. Tuesdays he has Recormon shots. Wednesdays are free days. Fridays we have home visits from nurses. It's all very organized and regimental, but all very great.

On Wednesday, we'll celebrate 11 years of marriage, that too has been great.

No regrets.

Larry now has blog rights, as he has requested just incase he wants to update. Fortunately, the Recormon will be helpful to his eye sight. When I offered for him to drive the car home today from my parents, in jest, he said yes that he'd be able to do that. Funny that he thinks he can drive a 4-tonne vehicle 1 mile up the road, but cannot find the kitchen sink to place his dirty dishes 3 steps behind him.

It's all good.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday Rugby & Photos.

Long day.
It started with 7am dialysis at the hospital, which I don't have a photo of.
Then an 8am photo shoot with the obvious (see below), which began an hour later (typical).

10am Rugby game, Jeston got a jersey today.
He's on the left with the head gear.

7th Grade Rugby.

He's getting better, this photo's for his Dad. (center just incase you forgot what your only son looks like).

Little Miss Horrible.

And the day ended back at the hospital 5 hours later.

Summer part 2

Nessa envisioned this shoot with my nephew Ellis. They pulled it all together very well. Hubs was supposed to be in it, but got stage fright...