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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

No-Pay Garden Assistant, Eco Breath Mints, Christmas Shopping

I'm not complaining, just noting that having Spring roll into Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere makes for a very busy time if you are a gardener.
I'm always glad to have a little help - but this recently came from an unexpected visitor.
We have a native bird called a pukeko - basically a swamp hen. We don't usually see them in our garden, which I am kind of pleased about as they can do a lot of damage, eating one's plants etc. 

Pukeko flees from his weeding leaving a trail of pulled weeds

This lone pukeko however spent ages on the lawn pulling out some of our worst lawn weeds right down to the roots, leaving a bit of a hole. Go pukeko. Then after a couple of days of this he was gone and I haven't seen him since. 

Minty breath freshener
I used to like a bit of chewing gum to freshen my breath - before I discovered that I was chewing plastic that would never go "away". Those breath freshener strips too - more plastic packaging than anything - and $7 for a packet??
So I couldn't resist this chocolate mint plant when I saw it. The pot will get reused, so it's not so bad.

Recommended natural breath freshener

I have had some interesting responses when offering friends and family a mint after their coffee in town, and then whip out a leaf that I have brought with me in a little container. After accepting it dubiously, they have admitted that it is quite refreshing. Just sit the leaf on the tongue - I think they are just as breath freshening as mint strips, but so much better for me and the world.
 It's ok - I know I am a bit unusual, but I am still on a mission to find replacements for all those purchased manufactured items.

Christmas Shopping
I ventured into the shops yesterday looking for something specific, but with my increasing awareness of not buying "stuff", it felt like a nightmare that I wanted to rush home from. Long queues of people and trolleys loaded...shudder.
Our Christmas shopping this year has mostly been done online. We have purchased tickets to concerts, the Waiwera Thermal Pool complex, Grab One restaurant vouchers etc. We want to give experiences not stuff. It will also mean very little time wrapping presents (exquisitely in recycled paper). They will be presented, probably with a home made food gift to make it feel a bit more personal. I'm pretty sure no family will read this so my secrets are safe.

One gift that I got last year was thoughtfully tailored to my ethics, and was lovely.

It was this cut glass decanter, with a pretty cameo decoration, both upcycled.
It now graces our bathroom with home made bubble bath in it.


  1. Chocolate mint sounds like a breath freshener and dessert in one little leaf. Yum! I do chew on spearmint leaves.
    I'm doing experience gifts this year, too. So far I have a family zoo membership for one daughter's family and theater tickets for my sister and bro-in-law, along with handmade potholders sewn from recycled men's shirts and local pecans.
    Your bath bubbles bottle is very pretty.

    1. Yes spearmint would be nice like that too. Experience gifts are so good.

  2. I used to have some chocolate mint growing, it was lovely, somehow I managed to kill it.
    I love the concept of experiences over things!

    1. Experience gifts are great in so many ways, I'm sure they will become more and more popular - a great market with potential still untapped.

  3. Chocolate mint, I would love to try that. I love your decanter it's gorgeous with the cameo on it and to use it for bubble bath was unexpected.

  4. I enjoyed your latest blog post about Christmas Lois.


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