Monday, February 15, 2010

Sweets for my Sweet? - Not Exactly.

The man doesn't really like candy. He certainly wouldn't like to get a little box of sugar hearts that say things like "Tweet me." and "LOL". He wouldn't want me to buy a greeting card. Ever.

So what did I do for my very own Captain Planet on the most Hallmark-y of days? Well, the way I figure it, the best part of Valentine's Day is knowing that someone has taken the time to do something special for you. So, I took a minute to make him some home-made valentines out of things we had lying around. Some were out in the open and some were hidden.

The first one was on his computer. I've been playing around with graphic design projects lately, and this was one I came up with a few months ago. I secretly put it on the desktop of his computer and so began the scavenger hunt.

Summer is in full swing and the tomatoes are practically jumping out of our garden. What better way to say I love you than with some juicy goodness?

A beany heart. This was my favorite poem because I worked his morning farting habit into it.

A garlic braid heart. Tough to find.

Scrabble heart. Need to use our favorite 2-letter word. What rhymes with Qi?

And the final heart was made out of something black and lacy. I think I'll save that picture for our archives and not send it out there onto the world wide web.

The scavenger hunt reminded me of when we were first dating and used to leave each other little notes in secret places. More than once I went into full blush mode when I discovered one tucked in my pocket or in my laptop case while I was in front of a room full of students. The joys of new love.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

First Whanau

whanau: (n -maori) Family

This past weekend our we had our first visit from family members to New Zealand. Nelson's dad's sister and her husband and his brother (did you get all that?) came to visit from California.

Even though I had never met them before it was still fun to show off our garden, our little home, and our town. They stayed here at Solscape for two nights to get over their jetlag before heading out to conquer the Milford Track.

We loaded them up with home-grown food and thought we could give them a little warm up for their trek on our own mountain, Mt. Karioi. (Note to self: test out hiking tracks before attempting them with family.)

Our little adventure begun at Te Toto gorge. We then climbed up through a meadow and walked along a ridgeline towards the summit.

We thought we had hit the most adventurous spot when we came to a 5 meter ladder.

We were wrong. The track got narrower and the trail got bumpier. We stopped to have a little lunch after two hours to consider our options.

Groups of sweaty hikers kept passing us on their way down telling us how close we were to the lookout. We pushed on.

But when we hit the sheer cliff that you had to scale using chains, we decided that we had had enough. Karioi, you win this time, but we'll be back.

Bob and Suzanne were gracious enough to treat us to dinner that night and then they headed off to Taupo and beyond the next morning. Perhaps we scared them off? Don't worry other family members, if you come visit we promise we wont try to make you climb a cliff.

Bob, Suzanne, and John. Thanks for the hours of great conversation, the good kai, and for giving us some whanau love in person.