Friday, 30 September 2016

It was Influenza A

My garden is blooming in forget me knots. 

We have had notification from the hospital that the test results have come back and James had Influenza A.

Recently I completed some research for a naturopathy assignment about having the flu Jab. I've copied and pasted it in here as thought you may be interested in reading it.

Annual flu vaccination.

The immune system is divided into two parts:

Innate Immunity which is the first line of defence. It protects you from many different disease causing agents. It detects the presence of an invading organism and either eliminates it or prevents it from reproducing. Vaccines have absolutely no effect on the innate immunity of the immune system. This is because it does not seek out a particular pathogen or toxin, instead the innate immunity’s role is to protect the body from many different disease causing agents. With a strong immune system, you are less likely to come down with the flu.

Acquired Immunity (also known as adaptive immunity) recognises the return of a previous disease, pathogen or toxin and adapts itself to their presence, so that you become immune to that specific disease. It will not help you fight off another disease. For example measles immunity will not help you against chicken pox virus.
Flu vaccines were produced so that a weakened form of a pathogen (killed vaccine) cannot take over the body’s immune system. But the lymphatic system recognizes it and makes the antibodies to destroy it, and then makes the memory B cells to remember the infective agent in case the organism attacks again. Over 200 viruses cause influenza. Vaccines may only be effective against influenza A and B, which represent about 10% of all circulating viruses (Cochrane,2014).Therefore you have a 90% chance of getting the flu even with the vaccine. The Cochrane database did a comprehensive meta-analysis on the flu vaccine and found that “Influenza vaccines have a modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost. There is no evidence that they affect complications, such as pneumonia, or transmission.” (Cochrane, 2014). The virus strains contained in the vaccine are usually those that are expected to circulate in the following epidemic seasons (two type A and one B strains). The 2016 New Zealand flu vaccine contains A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus, A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus and B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus (Immunisation Advisory Centre, 2014). Which is a bit of a hit and miss approach as it is pretty hard to predict the strain that will be in each person’s community each season.

Taking into account that the flu vaccine may only give 10% immunity to the flu I would recommend that each person works towards building their innate immunity to ward off flu’s and colds.

Cochrane (2014) Vaccines to prevent influenza in healthy adults. Available from Accessed 20/6/16

Immunisation Advisory Centre (2014) Influenza info for Health Professionals. Available from Accessed 20/6/16

Farm Stay Guests.

Bruno Pi and Portia have the full use of all of the cattery and seem to be thoroughly enjoying their holiday. Hope their family are catching lots of fish on their's.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

A week we hope we don't have to go through again.

James crashed Friday night crook as dog and was way worse Saturday. carted him off to the medical centre and full emergency mode happened. They poached an ambulance booked for some joker with a broken foot... Straight into Wellington emergency ward with suspected meningitis with sirens and flashing lights. Face masks, gloves and all the contagious drama. 
I was to follow the ambulance via car and as James had perked another man's ambulance I was asked if I could drive the man into hospital. Thankfully a back up ambulance arrived and took the other man. The ambulance driver told me they may stop if they need to attend to James so just keep driving. I decided not to follow the ambulance but took off straight away for the hour drive to hospital. Normally I am a bit of a granny driver and potter but I arrived just in time to see James come into A & E. It was quite a shock he was way worse.
He got filled up with antibiotics on the way in and when he got there he was pretty much out of reality...They said do you know where you are and he barely whispered "I'm @ the zoo"
I am one who copes always do, always have. But when the Dr said to James that they seriously suspected meningitis and told him it was a life threatening illness I was like What! Get outta here. Then to hear the Dr get the contagious illness department to be on standby (James had been working at the Wellington Zoo and I suppose they were in alert mode). I thought Brent better get into the hospital fast too, this all started to sound a tad more serious. 
I stayed amazingly calm and just in pilot mode. I texted a few friends and man I am greatful I have so many friends of all different faiths we had so many prayer warriors, healers and light workers working their magic.
The hospital staff were amazing it was full go, a spinal tap to drain off some test fluid, a CT scan, chest xrays and several blood tests and swabs. We got the news around 10.30pm that it was most likely not meningitis but some real nasty viral infection. 
G I V I N G   T H A N K S
I stayed the night in a chair next to James' bed even tho he is 20 his mum was not leaving him there alone. We came home Sunday and boom down I came with it. Then Abbey and now Brent. James is slowly getting better. Brent, James and the dogs have the fire on and watching Clint Eastwood movies. I got to read Susan Branch's latest book while getting better. A lovely read.

Such a nasty virus. My naturopathy learning has been put to the test and soo greatful I have my own medical homeopathy kit, herbs, tissue salts and vitamins. We are all coming along well. It went to my chest and today is the first day out of bed, but thankfully I've been able to medicate myself and kept the chest infection at bay. It's 4 years since I've had to have antibiotics or steroids for asthma so I am thrilled. I have actually been off my asthma meds due to practising naturopathy on myself but back on them at the moment and I am totally fine with it.

 Louie the doberman missed his dog obedience training graduation due to us being sick. The instructor rang and told us he passed on reputation alone and didn't have to sit the test. Hows that!
Louie has been amazing for such a high driven puppy to not of been walked all week, He has just hung out in the lounge and behaved. I think he is going to be as good as our female dobie Briar was and that is a pretty tall order to match Briar.

Farm Stay Guests...
 Pi having quite a big conversation with me
 Portia having a good old rub down
Bruno - what a dude - those eyes look deep into the soul don't they.

Brent has been busy looking after the farm animals, a lamb has been born which I haven't seen yet and also looking after the cattery. We had friends offer but we managed and I'm back on deck today. But I will make sure I have a better back up plan and train up one of my friends in case we are all sick again at the same time

Friday, 23 September 2016

Spring Equinox

Spring has officially arrived.

 My first tulip of the season is nearly out.

Tulip Sunday is this Sunday.
I look forward to tip toeing around the tulips.

Farm Stay Guests.

 Coco and Omar.... don't their tails speak volumes of how happy they are.
 Omar is trying to work out if he is going to jump on top of the shelf over the doorway or not.

Sterling and his panther cheeks ... soo cute.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016


 Our three old hens have started laying again. AMAZING. They are so geriatric gosh they must be 11 or 13 years old and they keep on going. The large egg is one of the geese's. Since the nest was raided (by us as we do not want any goslings) the girls have started laying more eggs... we are going to have to be extremely vigilant.

Farm Stay Guests
 The door is opened and the race is on to get to the scratching pole.
Sterling has a fun trick. While trying to put a fresh bowl of water down he bunts my hand. The power of the bunt sends the water flying. Believe it or not he has caught me out three times. He's such a character.

Feeding time is supervised as Sterling sure likes to gobble and Coco eats very lady like. Omar has the meal time sussed and gets in first.

Monday, 19 September 2016


 The geese were a tad sad as all their eggs were taken. What a mission! The blackberry bush had to be cut back to get to the nest. I am pleased as I did not want any little goslings running about while trying to study and train a puppy.
 We have had heaps of rain in the area. Our bottom paddock has had the biggest ponds to date.

Farm Stay Guests....

Omar. Coco and Sterling have made themselves at home. They stayed inside all weekend. No way were they going outside in the rain. Today is sunshine which I am sure they are also pleased about,

Friday, 16 September 2016

Socks, Moon and Cats

What fun! Our favourite craft shop, Nancy's Embroidery has featured one of Abbey's designs, her Movie Marathon Sock pattern. If you pop into Nancy's snap a photo and share.

 SOB I'll not get to see the Full Moon tonight, we have rain and cloud. In the wee early hours of Saturday morning will be the a lunar eclipse, the last eclipse of the year. Often during an eclipse changes happen and our family have felt the many bumps....and doors closed firmly shut.  Have you too?

Farm Stay Guest...

 Sienna had just finished doing the old head bunt that the Lordy/Cinders line often do.
 Beau trying to tell the new guests who is boss...

Sterling has claimed the igloo
 I often wonder what the cats are thinking. Sterling I am sure is saying to Coco and Omar
There is no way you are both going to fit through the cat flap at once...

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Its a lot like Spring time

Farm Stay Guests..
 Beau sure likes to pose for the camera
 Sienna having a wee play with the mouse
 I whistled, called Ella's name, made rather foolish sounds trying my best to get Ella to look at the camera.... no such luck, She would jump down and rub around my legs and we would try again....this is the best shot.
But maybe she did not want me putting photos up of how untidy she is.  I do wonder why she tried to pull her blanket and Pooh Bear out of the igloo. I often wonder what the cats do at night when all tucked up.

Monday, 12 September 2016


 It's a pretty strong kombucha batch  this round. An exploding kombucha was not quite what I had in the plan, nor was a full pantry clean. But it's all nice and tidy, The trick is to remember to burb the second fermentation kombucha daily.

 It's all very idyllic with stunning blossoms on plum tree, dove cote in background.... until notice your sons tyre stack for his streetcar...

Farm Stay Guests... 
 Ella seems to remember her previous stays and has slotted straight into the routine here,
 Molly claims the chair and Bella was sleeping in the carry cage when I entered... she must be ready for home
 Bella being brave and having a look outside
 Sienna loves the tunnel... it might be to get away from Beau. Beau keeps over grooming her and I do wonder if she is getting sick of it. At home Beau's mum reminds him to stop but here I have no control. The cat nuts and water do not live on the ground, I'm usually in the middle of feeding, tucking cats in when I have my camera on me.
Beau the cleanest cat ever who even washes and washes and washes his sister.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Stranger Things...

Stranger Things is a great watch on Netflix. Our whole family is enjoying it.

First iris out for the season

FarmStay Guests...
Ella getting her claws all ready for the new move to her new place.

Terrible photos of Sienna and Beau - they move so fast and I thought I had got better ones.

Where is Bella?
Bella was just peeking out from behind the quilt
Molly sure suits purple.