Backity Back Back Back…

It appears I have been MIA for approximately 12 months, now!!!  Well, I’m back.  And I hope I can keep on top of my blog with my VERY busy schedule.

It’s not that I’ve had nothing to say, it’s quite the opposite.

You know that old saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!” 

This, is what I was doing.  There were a few ‘Issues’ happening and it killed my mojo for writing, and I feared if I did write, the ‘Issue’ would take centre-stage.

Mojo is BACK!  YUSS!

Anyway, this year, in Aotearoa, is election year.  20 September is deadline day for political types to throw some banter around by over-promising and under-delivering.

And we’ve certainly had our fair share of unrealistic promises…eh, Labour...?

Then, the PM called Kim Dotcom the sugary sweet sugar-daddy of Internet-Mana party leader Laila Harre.  She smashes back claims of sexism on the PM’s part. 

Personally, I don’t find that sexist.  Like I heard a radio commentator say recently, “If he had no money, would she [Harre] give him [Dotcom] the time of day?”

I think not.

Then, there was the Hitler-type rally-of-the-youth (dumb-asses) encouraged by the zeppelin-sized “alleged” criminal.  Personally, I hope National gets in purely to kick his fat ass to the States where they can give him a dealing to…He’s making a mockery of our laws.  WHICH need updating…every single one of them!

And, what the heck is up with Hone Harawira?  Anyone who follows him (and there are a hell of a lot of angry-birds following him) surely cannot be deemed as a right-thinking individual enough to vote??? They’re all haters! (BTW, Jealousy causes people to become haters.  JS).

Exercise your democratic right to vote.  Please.


When is a kiwi, not a kiwi?


Check this out.

What’s wrong with the above photo?

My 8-year-old, whilst in the DoC centre at Punakaiki, decided she wanted a little keep-sake to remind her of the beautifully fantastic DoC walk that leads to the famous pancake rocks and blow-holes of Punakaiki.

And it is the best DoC walk I’ve taken the kids on.

So, after a long time searching the shop, she decided on a lovely little Kiwi.

It looked so life-like with its mottled brown fur.

Upon getting back into the Safari we hear, “Mum! The beak is wrong! The nostrils are meant to be at the bottom!”

Well I never! 

I’ve said it before, she is one patriotic little girl! Anything kiwiana and she’s on it like a rash.

She even has the history of Taihape down pat!

While we were in the shop, we asked the very helpful staff member about the origin of most of the products for sale in the centre – such as the native flora and fauna screen-printed tea-towel, an apron with the same design and a few other things that looked like they should’ve been manufactured in Aotearoa.

They’re designed in New Zealand but made in China. It’s to keep the costs down because people don’t want to spend twice as much, she said.

Well, I for one, would spend twice as much to keep a NZer working! How dare DoC make that sort of decision for me!  It’s so wrong!

How can a Government body decide to give priority to an economy, miles away from our shores, over our own.

This is just silly!

And to top it off, they’ll even give our national bird, the mighty flightless Kiwi, a facelift, just to save money!

What a joke, DoC.  You do such a fantastic job with our natural environment, but this is an EPIC FAIL on your part!

Oh, and if you do go to Punakaiki, take food and drink with you. My wallet was violated (after all the frugalness of sandwich making up and down the country!) when my children decided to lose their drink bottles and complain of their desperately thirsty little bodies. I caved, against my better judgement, and bought four drinks, two 750ml waters and two small Cokes (for mum and dad) for…$19…

Sorry I haven’t posted lately. But what better way to start afresh than to post for a much needed campaign…

Bobbin Winder problem with Janome MemoryCraft 4900QC

After finding disjointed information all over the net about a problem with my sewing machine (abovementioned), I decided to put some clearer instructions right here…right now!

So, here’s the problem.

You’ve just wound a bobbin on your Janome MemoryCraft 4900QC.  You click the spindle back to normal sewing mode when HELLO, the bobbin icon stays on the screen!

When this icon stays on the screen…

Oh no, you can’t do anything with your machine!

These new electronic fan-dangled things!  Why on earth don’t you just own a treadle sewing machine and just be done with computerisation!

What do you do?

Well, instead of cursing your machine and vowing to never again touch a sewing machine with it’s own brain, think about fixing it yourself (before taking it back to the serviceman, that is).

You may find it’s your bobbin winder sensor not engaging.

To check if this is the problem, go straight to step ‘3’ below.

Follow these COMPLETE instructions if you find that your bobbin winder sensor needs adjusting:

  1. Turn off the machine.
  2. Remove the top cover.
    This step requires photos:

    Remove the cap over the light cover screw.

    Remove the light cover by removing its screw.

    Remove the large screw above the bobbin winder spindle.

    Remove screws from under the handles.

    Remove screws from under the handles.

    Remove hinge clips from top cover.

    Ready to wiggle out. Lift the back of the top cover and wiggle back and forth until you hear a click. It will sound like it has broken, but it has just unclipped from the machine.

    The top cover clips into this slot in the machine.

    Be mindful of these clips when pulling up the top cover

  3. Enter ‘Adjusting mode': Turn on the machine and at the same time push down the needle up/down button and the stay-stitch button.
    Press ‘5’ when menu comes up.
    You are now in ‘Adjusting Mode’.

    We need to focus on SP (bobbin spindle position).  Click over the bobbin winder to see if it’s values change to either ‘OFF’ or ‘ON’.  If not, then we definitely need to adjust the sensor.
    NOTE: The SP should show ‘ON’ when bobbin winder spindle is set to the bobbin winding position.  And/or ‘OFF’ when bobbin winder spindle is returned to sewing.

  4. Loosen setscrews to adjust position of the switch fixing plate.

    As you can see, this is all out of whack!

    As you can see, my switch was way out of range for the switch. Loosen the screws, reposition and test until it’s all where it should be…

    Correct switching position ‘OFF’

    Correct switch postion ‘ON’

    Screen showing position of spindle. ‘ON’

    Screen showing position of spindle. ‘OFF’

  5. Once everything’s going the way you want it, tight set screws and replace cover.

And there you have it, you’re ready to go again :)

Just a quick note on cutting foam…

I was in a bit of a tizz this morning wondering how to cut out foam cushions out of a queen-sized foam mattress (I had picked up a few months ago for this exact purpose).

I wanted to make up a burning contraption consisting of a car battery, some clips and a bit of wire…

…But we don’t have a spare car battery (although there are two in the Safari…).

So back to the drawing board.

After deciding that a Stanley knife isn’t the way to go (on account it’s blade is far too small to cut an accurate edge), I noticed the handsaw laying on the floor of the bus.

I thought (quite slyly), “I’ll quickly test this sucker out before Jase sees me cutting through non-wooden materials.”

He saw me STRAIGHT AWAY and sent me on my way with an old handsaw, bless him.

A few back strokes and BANG!  The foam was cut with precision and accuracy with virtually no waste.

So, if you don’t have any flash equipment to cut foam with, use a handsaw!

Make sure your measurements are accurate though, because a handsaw is not very forgiving when cutting with a small waste-edge.

Red Bands – Bringing the community together

Yesterday, I went up to the Nightcaps 4 Square to buy some bread and milk.  Amongst the bread, I bought a packet of Scone Toast.  Dilicious with REAL butter!

Anyway, that’s not the point of my blog entry.

I was in there for a while (because I was waiting on $4 worth of hot chips, but shhhh, don’t tell the doctor!), yacking with my neighbour (as you do) and with the girl behind the counter (who actually swore about the doorbell when I asked her if that noise was annoying).

Chips wrapped and ready, I left the shop with my puku grumbling.  Thinking nothing more than filling it with those lovely, fatty, salty hot chips.

But the artery blocking/hardening goodness of hot chippies is not the reason for my blog entry either.

Tonight, the phone rang!

“Is that Marcia?”

I affirmed the caller’s query.

“I believe you might have my son’s gumboots,” said the caller.

Upon investigation out the back door, yes, it seems I have someone else’s son’s Red Bands…in size 9!

How that happened, I don’t know as there was one pair when I walked in and one pair when I walked out.

But what’s even more incredible than the switcharoony of the old Red Bands, is the fact that this lady, who I’ve never met in my life, was talking to me on the phone.

I like to think of myself as a stealthy ninja, keeping anonymous while observing the everyday life of those around me.

However, I’m not as inconspicuous as I think.  And that all comes down to the fact that I love to yack, talk, chatter, whatever you like to call the good ol’ chinwag…I’m shocking for it.

And I have been told that my brain to mouth filter is inactive (thanks Leelee).

Which means that, because I was talking (quite animatedly) to the girl behind the counter, she remembered I was at the shop at the time a young lad in larger-than-my-gummies was.

The woman who rang me tonight was able to pin-point where her son’s size 9 (no holed, I might add) Red Bands right down to details including the road, the phone number and MY first and last name, thanks to our small-town lacking in anonymity.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the tight-knit characteristics of Western Southland’s small communities, in fact they’re admirable.

To think that you can just reclaim something you left at the shop a day after it happened, that’s pretty cool.

I bet you couldn’t do that in Ngaruawahia!



The last post on the Transit of Venus!

I know what you’re all thinking, “Marce, it’s just a dot on the sun and it basically looks the same everytime you look at it!”

But nah! It’s flippin’ intriguing!

So here are my final photos on the amazing transit…

Projections of Venus!

One hour and a nearly burnt out lens later (uncover the telescope for only one minute increments) we succeeded in projecting an image of venus!!!


It seems we are the only ones in the country that have weather clear enough to see the Transit of Venus!


Project Transit of Venus

Today the little Acorns will be watching the Transit of Venus from 10.15 this morning.

We’ve fashioned a typical Southern solar viewer to watch the Transit, which won’t happen for another 105 years (in December).

Gosh some people are pathetic!

This morning there’s a story in the Waikato Times about a woman dying in a booze bus lastnight.

It’s okay for people to comment on the situation (as they have done on the link on Waikato Times’ Facebook page), but when some people claim racial reasons for the death of the person, that’s where I think, ‘Gosh we’re f*@ked!’


As a person with dark skin (I am of Maori/European decent – New Zealander!) I am appaled at the racially motivated comments  that have been made.

Do these narrow minded individuals realise that they are part of the racial segregation that they see in this country?

I’m moving back to the Waikato in roughly a month after being in Southland for ten years.  I was once ashamed to have Maori blood, but have finally found my roots and would love to embrace my culture.

It was only because of hearing such racist remarks that I became ashamed in the first place.

If you are one of these loud-mouths, think about who is being racist.  For starters, it’s not the ‘cops’.

Sort it out and move on!


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