Author: Fee Writes

Little Visitor

Little Visitor

I’ve decided that maybe I should be a Buddhist. Lots of people ask me if I am due to the fact that I just find it totally impossible to harm animals.

I’m the one in the family who will actually take a cockroach out into the garden, so when I saw a little field mouse walk into the house the last thing I thought of doing was setting a trap……a killing/maiming one.

I was sitting on the deck, minding my own business and having a morning coffee when I saw this cute little mouse come from behind the broom that’s up against the wall and just duck inside.

I named her Millie. Now, of course, she could have been a Mickey, but I preferred the idea of another female. So Millie took up residence behind the fridge. She was exceptionally clean, never saw any sign that she was even in the house, in fact, we (my flatmate and I) actually thought she’d gone back outside. However, the clue was all the little dog biscuits that we saw along the side of the fridge.

Now the dog is old, blind and deaf and although still with a good sense of smell, she had no idea that someone else was dining out on her food. In fact, Millie really was living the high life….where else would she be warm, safe and buffet-styled fresh food right on her doorstep?

But it was time for action.  After searching the net I came across a humane mouse trap ideal for trapping and releasing.

The trap duly arrived, and after putting a little peanut butter on the end it was set right next to the fridge.  It did go through my mind that maybe Millie, with a stock of food already, may not be tempted.

The idea of the trap was that Millie would run into it, go to the end where the food was, the door would shut, and the trap would tip. So quite when Millie got in there is anyone’s guess.  During the day, I did hear little clicking noises, checked the trap but it still looked like it was in the “set” mode, and hadn’t tipped at all. It wasn’t until later in the evening and on closer inspection I realised that she was, in fact, in there. Design fault! There needs to be a sticker on the door so you know that it’s shut – where’s the paintbrush, I’ll put a dot of paint there.

Well, there was nothing else to be done….I mean, I had no idea how long the poor little thing had been in there, but she just had to be released regardless of the fact that we were now in the P.J.s.  Into the car we hopped (dog and all) and off round the corner to the reserve next to the beach.

Millie was released right next to the trash bin….well, got to give a girl some hope!!!


A little p.s.  pulling the fridge out to clean (and check there was no nest …. no), wow, there was a huge stash of doggie bikkies under and around the fridge – I wonder if she had a bit of squirrel in her????






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I’ve Started Farming

I’ve Started Farming

Farming? Well, worm farming. Finally, after months of having the worm farm paraphernalia sitting around with no worms in it, I am happy to announce that a very healthy bunch of Tiger, Red and Indian blue worms have taken up residence.

The process was really pretty easy. I think the reason I hadn’t gotten around to actually getting the worms was that I was really nervous about how I might just not be very good at it.

I was in the garden shop getting some winter veggie seedlings and when I got up to the counter I noticed that the people in front had purchased a worm farm. I asked if they knew where to get the actual worms and, lo and behold, they were right there in the shop. Hadn’t seen them before, but then I don’t think they come in very often. Maybe the worms prefer the more up-market garden centres that have cafes and gift stores attached?

Off down the aisles I went in search of the worms, determination on my face and in my stride. Found them, rushed back to the checkout and into the car before I could change my mind.

The worms have their own website, so tap, tap, tap on the keys and up came a really great site with great information and brilliant videos that showed just how easy it was.  WormsRus

Got the worms settled in and this morning when I went to check. It’s like have a new baby, but I’m pleased to report that they were all there wriggling and squirming and doing what worms love to do – starting the composting procedure.

This is going to be fun!  Oh, and the winter veggies got planted to.







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Big Business At It Again?

Big Business At It Again?

New Zealand has the dubious honor of having the largest dairy exporting company in the world. Yup, little N.Z. can lay claim that dairy products are exported to more that 100 countries around the globe.

The company’s name is Fonterra and you can bet your bottom dollar that they will outstrip and outsmart any other company that makes dairy products.

The latest “innovative” move they have made is to introduce a “light-proof” plastic milk bottle  Now I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they genuinely thought they were right when they came up with the idea that milk deteriorates when it comes in contact with light and they should do something about it, but I’m more inclined to think that this is one helluva marketing ploy that will get the punters believing that, not only is milk good for you but it should be kept in the dark.

I spoke to a sales lady who was promoting the new bottles in the super market the other day, the conversation went something like this:

Lady:   Do you like the new bottle?
Me:      No, I don’t – I can’t see how much is left. (I thought that’s what most people would be annoyed at)
Lady:   If you can’t see the milk then that’s actually a good thing, as it means neither can the light!
Me:     (under my breath -duh) It still doesn’t solve the problem. So you’re saying that one just has to do the weight and shake test and judge when you’re going to run out?
The lady ignored my question.
Me:      With three layers….that seems like an awful lot of plastic.
Lady:   These bottles are 100% recyclable.
Me:      Maybe, but it just seem like more plastic.
Lady:   The plastic is thinner, so there’s not that much more at all. Did you know that with these bottles it means that the milk will be as good on day 15 as it is on day 1.
Me:     Mmmmmm, I think you’ll find that a bottle of milk will be used within about 3 or 4 days in the majority of families – or are you saying that I can leave the milk out on the bench longer?
Lady:  Oh no, the milk still has to be refrigerated.
Me:     So there’s really no difference then.
Lady:  Yes, this milk tastes better.
Me:     I can’t see why if the milk is still used up quickly….milk is milk.
Lady:  But with these bottles it’s fresher.
Me:     I can’t see why – other companies get the milk bottled and into the stores daily, just like Fonterra does.

And so the conversation continued.

I finally got bored and left. I’d had my humour for the day, so off I went to get my soy milk. I don’t drink animal milk anyway!

When I was putting this blog together I came across an article that said the recycling companies are not happy with this bottle as it takes more energy and resources to recycle it. Wish I’d known that when I was talking to the lady!

There was also a comment made by ‘Whiti (N.Z.)’ who threw up another argument:

“My wife is a science teacher and just couldn’t resist testing the new bottle. Happy to report that the bottle does indeed appear to be light proof. Unfortunately the good old fashioned lid is not. Given that most light tends to shine down seems a bit of an oversight if it’s really all that important. Maybe just a lot of hype over nothing? Nice try Fonterra better luck next time.”   

Good one, Whiti, couldn’t have said it better myself.







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Oil Spill Affects Humans This Time

Oil Spill Affects Humans This Time

With so many oil spills over the years it really wasn’t too much of a surprise when I read from a favorite site of mine – “Two weeks ago today, Exxon Mobil’s Pegasus pipeline carrying diluted bitumen from Canada ruptured catastrophically, creating a 22-foot long gash that unleashed hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil and toxic chemical diluents into the Central Arkansas town of Mayflower.”

What is tragic about this is the number of residences who have suffered from toxic fumes, the contaminated water and the fact that these people will now have to battle with lawsuits. Having something like this happen within a built up area highlights the danger that pipelines, that criss-cross countries around the world, can create.  Most of the time these spills affect both the environment and the animals and, although tragic, is not as impacting on our sense of horror and outrage as it is when there is a population of humans in the forefront.

It really is time that we put more pressure on these companies that disregard the environment and disregard human and animal suffering.

I leave you with a video put out by comedians Andy Cobb and Mike Damanskis who have satirized this disaster…..even though it’s “comedy” I’m sure if you watch it you will get the underlying message.






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Do You Use Re-Usable Shopping Bags?

Do You Use Re-Usable Shopping Bags?

I came across an article the other day which worried me a bit: It was titled ‘Are Reusable Shopping Bags Making Us Sick’

The article went on to say that “studies seem to link reusable grocery bags to foodborne illness” along with the increase in stolen food.

Well, it was the illness part that concerned me and I would hope that people would read the entire article before passing judgement as it went on to add that although different microbes were found and “more than half the bags contained some sort of coliform bacteria” what the study didn’t say were the specific strains of E. coli found in the bags. According to Dr Susan Fernyak, director of San Francisco’s Communicable Disease and Control Prevention division, “Your average healthy person is not going to get sick from the bacteria that were listed,”

I can remember as a child, my mother always used string bags or a cane basket to do her shopping. It was in the days before supermarkets and we would go to the butcher, (who wrapped the meat in brown paper), then onto the vegetable market, the baker and the grocer for flour/sugar etc. None of the items were put in plastic, in fact, other than the meat, I don’t remember anything else being wrapped…..oh, wait a minute, I think the bread was put into a paper bag.

I’m sure the string bags went through the wash periodically, but the cane basket I don’t know, she may have wiped it out.

Now I realise that the bacteria and other microbes bugs have mutated and become more vicious over the years, but maybe if those who use reusable bags are educated into making sure the bags are washed regularly we just might be able to win the war on plastic.

I did come across a string bag made from hemp. Having a “see-through” bag would also stop the food being stolen as well.

Another thought – why doesn’t someone invent a thin disposable bag, (like the plastic bag), made from hemp….good for the environment. The growing of hemp is easy, sustainable and good for the land and it’s strong enough that bags won’t split. Supermarkets could use these instead of the plastic bags and we could use them as bin liners. Oh, that’s right, growing hemp is illegal unless under license.







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About Me

About Me

Thanks for dropping by, my name is Fee O’Shea. I’m a mother and grandma, an author and an Improver. I’ve got a resource website to help peeps go plant-based, I’ve scribbled six books centred around veganism, and have helped others write and publish their own stories.
But this blog is for my thoughts, my rants, raves, reviews and things that have grabbed my attention. From politics to social media to beauty, health and the environment. Fee’s Ramblings Over Coffee is written to bring you a smile or get you thinking. Enjoy.



Don't be shy, please contact me if you have any questions or what you'd like me to write about.

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