Saturday, April 30, 2011

There are no words.

Someones been smoking endo.

New England Clam Chowder

How simple it was to just go to a 99 cent store and buy 2 cans of clam chowder for 99 cents, or a can of clams - 5 for 99 cents. The only chowder I could find here in a can is corn chowder. I did see a seafood chowder last year, bagged, in the frozen section, but I have not seen it again this season.

It's simple.
Fry the bacon and onions.

Add uncooked diced potatoes and quick fry for a few minutes.

Add liquids. I used vegetable stock, but you should use clam juice.

For the life of me, I could not find canned clams. Bought a bag of baby clams frozen at Hawkes Bay Seafoods.

Here's the tricky part.
NZ don't have cream of celery soup, so I had to make that up just to add it to the chowder pot.
Then milk.
And heavy cream.

Put the dill in last.
Let it simmer for an hour then let it cool and heat it again .. then do all that over again.
The outcome is similar to a reduction, thick and creamy.

They don't have the oyster crackers here, but we had a 98cent french stick from Pak n Save on hand.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Taco's, Ceviche & Pizookie.

I made these a while ago and need to revisit making them again.
I've never had any luck with making corn tortilla's and as delicious as these look, they all fell apart when picked up.

A mans bestfriend.

Pizookie is a dessert I was introduced to at the restaurant BJs in Burbank, CA. Essentially, it's a cookie cooked in a pizza dish, similar to the Skookie: a cookie baked in a skillet.

I miss being able to get cookie dough in a store in the USA. I've never seen cookie dough in NZ, does not mean there isn't any available, but making it yourself adds to the taste, psychologically.

The secret is to half cook it so the inside is gooey.
Top it with ice cream (Awesome Chocolate something brand).

Perfect dessert while channel surfing between, The Breakers game, The Highlanders game, The Royal Wedding and American Idol.

The Appeal.

Went in yesterday.
If they didn't receive it today, they should by Monday.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Royal Wedding.

Apart from wanting to see what she's wearing, I really don't give a hoot.
There is no point in the monarchy anymore.
I don't know why NZ still follows it.
Just another waste of time celebrity.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


It's a mutual feeling, we've both been waking up some days wondering if it's all worth it.
If it's better to call it a day and part ways.
Because things get more and more intense and it's unbearable most of the time.
Not sure how much more we can take.
What's worth it and what's not.
It's THE question.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

An Update.

We received some advice from a lawyer a few days ago, by way of the MP who is helping us out.

He basically said that Kidney Disease is a HUGE no no as far as INZ (Immigration NZ) is concerned and they've really toughened up on medical conditions in relation to residency visas. However, the fact that I'm a NZ Citizen is extremely helpful as the authorities have previously indicated that spouses of NZ Citizens should be permitted to remain in NZ in situations like this.

In essence, we are seeking an exception to INZ's policy based on humanitarian grounds so I've learned in my own reading (thanks Understanding Commercial Law - set text for Legal Studies this year) I am a NZ citizen, it would be contrary to my rights to force his removal as he is my spouse.

The appeal will go in next week, after the easter break.

In other news.
Hello Winter (it's come 2 weeks early).

Friday, April 15, 2011

Letters of Support

Gathering letters of support that will accompany the appeal application. Still feeling optimistic about it, but we have waves of "Let's just go, this country can suck it", sometimes too.

We have a few from friends who have known us our entire marriage. Our doctor and renal specialist and family. There are people we should get to write letters, but they're unapproachable so we go with what we have.

If there is anyone reading that we've missed, who has known us personally over the last ten years, who would be happy to write a letter of support just shoot an email here.

So apart from the fact that our lives are still in the hands of the government, it's all good.

Much Obliged.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Getaway

We woke up on Sunday morning and Larry decided we needed to get away for a couple of days. So we packed up and within an hour we were on the road to the best place we know to go when we need some happiness.

Believe it or not, at this close he can't see her properly and she doesn't understand why.

To make sure he does not have peritonitis, we place a book under the drain bag. If it's clear and we see the words on the page, it's good. It was good.

Day out at the Auckland Botanical Gardens.
Back to reality tomorrow.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I'm optimistic about the appeal after today.
We had a Minister of Parliament visit us today giving advice about how to prepare the appeal. I drafted out an appeal during the week and went into detail about the Bill of Rights Act, Humanitarian Act and NZ's Immigration Act. I wasted my time.

He detailed us on the Immigration Protection Tribunal and I don't know why I didn't see it before, but the tribunal if for Immigration PROTECTION, an independent board. He said they take very seriously the grounds of compassionate reasons especially with families. There's our 'argument'.

He said it's all in the layout of the appeal and what you say. He offered to look over our appeal and make changes where needs be. He also said he'd run it by a fellow political speech writer/editor also. I think he'll be surprised that despite my boondock upbringing, I'm literate.

A good day.
It's the hope we needed.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Adam & Eva's Food Store

I discovered Adam & Eva's googling for Yerba Mate in the Hawkes Bay area. I know theres a place in Napier, but Napier sucks for parking. Havelock North has a teeny-tiny-fit-in-your-back-pocket town, but it took a while to find Adam & Evas. Originally, I was going to get Frito chips from the Havelock New World, but remembered Adam & Evas once I got there.

With Tamale's on my mind, I picked up a few things. Village Press olive oil with a lime infusion, which I substituted for lard in the dough.

I used 3/4 Masa Harina and 1/4 Besan flour from A&E.
The taste? Not too shabs, not too shabs at all.

One thing I don't do is cook whole chicken.
I hate the chore.

I wish Adam & Eva's had dried corn husks (and powdered horse radish), but it wasn't so and I ordered these online from Tio Pablo.

I don't know if these are cherry peppers or not, but they were a good combo with the chicken. After my trip to A&E, I found the exact same bottle cheaper at Countdown.

Picante Peppers with pollo in the top bowl and tomatillo with pollo in the bottom.


Always stand vertically for an even steam.

50 minutes in the steamer.

Overall, loved Adam & Eva's. Purchase over $40 of stuff and you get a free coffee and cake.
I suggest the brownie with a hot chocolate.

Feijoas aka Pineapple Guava

Giving NZ some credit today re: Food. We have feijoas. $4 for a 2KG bag, when in season.
Price per feijoa at Albertsons in the USA, $4.99 USD.

Water, sugar and boil the fruit for about 20 minutes. Eventually, they'll all float to the top.

4.5 bottles from three 2kg bags.

I tried to make oil from the skins using the boiling method, but it wasn't happening.

It occurred to me now to make a feijoa cobbler using cornbread ...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What happened today ....

Intravitreal injection, Avastin into the right eye.
Remote chance of the left eye getting any sight back, right eye is bleeding (we knew this), but is a very minor leakage.
Pressure is up, but nothing concerning because it's expected in his condition.
His eye is pretty sensitive to light, any light.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

National Out. God In.

It's been an emotional week since we received the letter from NZ immigration a week ago. The weekend bought a lot of tears and anger, but we got some good advice by way of General Conference. All things we needed to hear to make it through our rocky journey.

We've discussed moving to New Mexico, Larry's stomping grounds and so hypotheticaly, we could move. I'll be honest, I didn't want to move on Thursday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Monday, hence the tears and anger. Since Tuesday I've been copacetic with the possibility.

An appointment with our Bishop last night also bought confidence to the appeal situation and despite it's all we can be right now, we're 70% more hopeful than we were about the appeal before the appointment.

I'm very much still angry at New Zealand for not taking into consideration at all the extreme hardship, but that's politics.

It really isn't what you know, it's who you know .. and Prime Minister John Keys knows Mr. Hollywood Money-Bags very well, but doesn't care too much for Mr & Mrs Law-Abiding-Honest-Married-Couple. They're only for humanitarian needs when it's something that the world can see, but when it comes to humanitarian issues behind the scenes the rhetoric falls short.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Camilla & Carlos

One is me, the other is Carlos.
Carlos is pretty like me.
Not Aunty Ness.
Aunty Ness = Ucklee.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Horrific Day

Today my feelings towards my country have changed, drastically.

We’ve struggled to stay in New Zealand at the expense of Larry's eye sight. We delayed surgeries and appointments because we didn’t have the money to go and do it immediately and money was required because of his non resident status. The Hawkes Bay District Health Board plainly said, "Helping you would set a bad precedent. You need to pay first before we treat you". This attitude cost him his eye sight. He has been without Recormon shots because we need to pay for them, $100 per shot, needed twice a week. His right eye is temporarily out of action and working to just get an appointment is an effort because they remind us EVERYTIME that we have to pay for it out of pocket, which we've done.

We have relied on our church for too long. It needs to end because we're using up their resources. ALL money that our church has paid has gone back into New Zealand. All monies we've had in 2 years has gone back into New Zealand and still, Larry is kept from accessing the health system.

New Zealand has breached the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights where it states not to discriminate on a number of bases: race, ethnic, origin, social status etc.

New Zealand claims it's family oriented. New Zealands "Settlement Support Operations" ensures migrants/visitors feel welcome and integrate into society essentially wanting to make New Zealand their permanent home.

The Immigration Bill is all about balancing the rights of the individual and NZ being known as a strong National Identity. How can New Zealand retain it's claim and objective in being a strong national identity when you deny residency to an applicant and possibly undo 10 years of marriage? Immigration NZ wants to support those with real interests in being in New Zealand. Hello? New Zealand? We're here.

We’ve had to drive hundreds of miles just to get surgeries and it’s been a horrific burden. This country has chewed us up and spit us out. What we’ve had to go through here has made anything we’ve had to go through in the US a cake walk. We’ve beat our heads against this for two years. We’ve put our savings and money back into the NZ economy. We've poured our hearts out to the Immigration department just to get a prolonged NO.

Short from telling my country to go F itself, I'm appealing without a Lawyer. Larry doesn't want to appeal. Possibly the most stupid thing I'll ever do, but we can't afford a lawyer. We've had to beg family just to afford the fee to appeal and we're OVER doing that too.

The powers-that-be in the NZ Immigration Department are heartless.

Exclude the kidney disease, Larry would qualify as a skilled migrant to New Zealand. At one point in the last 10 years, he made over $2000 per week USD. You do the math but it equals skilled.

The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act itself has a very strong anti-discrimination provision, which includes non-discrimination on the basis of ability.

I hoped my country would pull it's finger out of it's acclaimed humatarian ass and give us a break. We only want to be together. Leaving here would be leaving a house and everything in it and starting over from scratch.

New Zealand is slowly killing my husband.
I can't even pull the race card on this crap because I've read through the Treaty of Waitangi several times this week only to discover it's all about land.

If only Larry were Frodo Baggins.
Under that Long White Cloud is an unethical power.

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...