I was up early again today – two little girls were out in the sitting room playing with their dolls before 6am!
I spent most of the first 3 hours in the study and then arrived out in the kitchen to find 3 young males still eating breakfast – at 9:30am!

So I got the whip out and started cracking things along. Got results – the house was cleaned up in next to no time and dinner was prepared, well mostly by lunch time.
Nathan taught Josiah how to clean a bathroom and then both boys were relegated to a bathroom each. Seb was designated the living area and got most of it presentable – in between doing major surgery on the mouse. At the moment the children are swapping the good mouse between their computers. Seb really just wanted an excuse to see what was in it to make it go. It has totally died now so I will have to buy a new one tomorrow.

Finally got to have a sit down with Josiah and had a good talk about things and his future etc. He certainly has improved in leaps and bounds over past couple of days. Two days ago we were ready to pack his bags for him. Since our talk this morning he has been 100% better in his attitude. I have got him studying his road code so he can sit his learners licence at next opportunity in town. He also asked me if I had any English and Maths stuff he could study to get his literacy levels up. Great stuff, now I will have to go have a dig in my school room and see what I can find for him.

What do two young fellas do to entertain themselves on a Thursday night out in the boon docks??

Well, it is amazing what antics can happen when 3 juggling balls are introduced into the equation-!! From lying flat on their backs and juggling vertically to throwing balls at each other without looking at where they are going while lying flat on the floor. And this is the generation of the future – scary

Wild & Windy Wednesday

I was up early today because Shoshannah was going to work with Cat & Seb.
The younger children have been wanting to know what it is like on the oyster harvester so Cat is taking them in turns.
Apparently Shannie caused a lot of entertainment! She is a real blonde chatterbox at times

Mahalia had been designated to feed the birds while Shannie was away. She did this very diligently. However while I was hanging clothes on the line I was dive bombed by 3 pigeons and once a gain there was a hawk showing great interest in them. Somehow they had gotten out – I am presuming while Hali was feeding them she had inadvertently left the doors open. She claims total ignorance – safer that way-!!

We scared the hawk off and left the outside door of the aviary open.
I went out an hour or so later and one pigeon was waiting by the door so I escorted it inside. It immediately flew up and got stuck into the mother pigeon and scared her off her babies. – Bully!
When I told Shannie about it later she looked puzzled and said, ‘But that’s the husband.’ I decided I wouldn’t discuss the birds and the bees at that point

Then later on while we were having lunch Hali came rushing in and said the other two pigeons were inside the door. So I went up and quickly shut the door and let them into the aviary. I am so glad we built the aviary with a safety door area. It is very handy.

Here are all Shannie’s chickens – they are going to be quite a colourful lot. Her favourite is the grey one she has named Pepsi.

Josiah & Nathan were hard at it today conditioning mussel ropes because the boats are coming in to re-seed in the next few days. It’s a fairly monotonous job but very necessary. Be good because the poor old wharf is groaning under the weight of so many bags of ropes.

I belong to an internet group where we are sent a file of pictures and if we want to receive the following months then we have to create something with at least one of the pic sent by the end of each month. I am always chasing my tail to get them done – today I made two cards with one of the pictures that I thought was very quirky. They were very hard to get decent photos of, and certainly look better in the flesh. I also got another journal page completed.
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I have to go to a dental specialist to have a root canal done – my dentist doesn’t even try to do mine anymore because so far they have all proved to be tricky. Anyway, I got a call from the nurse telling me that the earliest I could get in would be February, but on hearing my plight she took pity and gave me a 45 min consultation appointment on 21st Dec. I was ‘What! I don’t want a jolly consultation, I just want the job done!!!!’ So Todd called me on Monday night and said he could fit me in on 7th & 14th Dec. And he would get in and do the job, no consultation necessary. That’s cool, arrangements made. Then this morning he phones back and says that the reason he had a free appointment on the 7th was that he wasn’t going to be in the surgery that day – but he had forgotten! So now, I am back to town on the 1st. So much for not getting the job done till February

Just another day.

It is still so cold here – a real struggle to get out from under the covers at the moment. Tim lit the fire for me this morning as it was so cool and I was trying to do some reading with the children. It is such a pain cause the sun’s out and you think it should be warm. It’s the end of November for goodness sake – it’s Spring, we should be reveling in the warmth…….

Had a death in the family yesterday – Nathan’s lamb died – for no apparent reason. Rather tragic as he had been diligently feeding it and it seemed to be doing well.

Tim & Josiah were sposed to be heading out early to grub thistles but that plan was changed by a late phone call last night. Instead Tim zipped up to Waterfall Bay at 6am to get his fire extinguishers checked by the fire safety guy. He had come in yesterday and done all of our extinguishers and alarms but Tim was away so couldn’t get to the boat ones. Then Tim picked up Josiah and did an hour of mussel work before the wind picked up. Gales in the forecast again. Back home to do land based mussel work and then up the hill this arvo to grub thistles and muster stock.

Nathan made some Hokey Pokey biscuits this morning. It’s good that he and Shannie enjoy baking – saves me having to do it all the time Azzan spent hours playing with some small animals. He had them all sorted out in family groups and then in lines, he is very systematic and methodical. He got books out to make paddocks and sheds etc, he had the lounge floor covered in his farm. Tonight I sent him and Mahalia to have a bath so he took all the animals with him. Left all the books lying on the floor. Shannie has been at a bit of a loose end today. I asked her to pick up the books. She wasn’t too keen cuz she hadn’t put them there. Anyway, while she was picking them up I saw her sitting there reading one of them. It was a book about Aztecs. She came and asked if she could make a house that was in there. So after a day of doing not a lot, at 6pm she started gathering up what she needed to make this Aztec house and by 7pm it was constructed. When she gets inspiration she is away!!

Seb was really tired today and slept most of the afternoon. When I woke him to help me with dinner it took quite a while for him to activate!! Cat was also tired but she spent the afternoon painting her yacht.

I was rather tired today too, don’t know why, must have been up too early this morning. But instead of having a sleep I decided to potter away at some art journals. I ended up having a nana nap in the sun at my desk. Revived me somewhat but I still had trouble trying to get my head around making dinner. Sometimes I just hate having to cook. I made a salad, and macaroni with a homemade tomato and onion sauce and Seb did deep fried oyster fritters. Dinner was late because I was late starting it and also Tim and the boys were late back – they had found a fly struck sheep so had to deal with it.

I asked Cat the other day if she had lost the kitten. Azzan said to me ‘It’s lose Mummy.’ I wasn’t paying attention so he had me a bit bewildered, so he repeated himself ‘It’s lose Mummy, not lost.’

I think I will give up teaching and let him take over!

Babies & Boats

A lovely sunny day – but still very cool and shivery.

A day of babies again.

Went to visit Shoshannah’s chickens this morning – she has them in the avairy sometimes and has them all over her. Not my scene but she loves them. She, Hali and Nate have been cuddling them and bringing them down to the house to visit and show me throughout the day.

The kittens were taken down to the wharf while Cat caught wee spotties for them to eat. They are so funny, they may be only 4 or 5 weeks old but they sure know how to demolish a fish already. And woe betide the other brother if he steals a bite off the others fish!!

Then Joshua and Summer came to visit with their two boys Nathan & Ryan.
Azzan thought Ryan was pretty good – and especially loved playing with his toys.

Joshua lived with us many years ago – around 1990-95ish, and when he left Tim gave him our boat ‘Frolic’. It was very sad parting with her as she had been part of Tim’s life for around 20 years. But sadly our family was growing too large for her to continue to cart us about the Sounds safely.
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This is her in 1976, during the years that Tim chalked up many, many miles of water travel to and fro his hunting grounds.

After a while Josh sold her on and we lost track of her. Then recently Josh found her abandoned and left to rot so he bought her back off the last owner. He and a friend have spent the past year doing her up and giving her a new look and life. It was so cool to see her today – we had no idea that he had her or was working on her. Doesn’t she look great?!

Lazy Sunday

We had a fairly slow day today.

Tim turned on the radio early and found that the All Blacks were playing the Welsh in the last rugby match of the tour. So I ended up listening to the whole game – it was really exciting. The All Blacks totally trashed the Welsh 45-10. Serves ’em right really for being spastic about the All Blacks perform ing the haka – it actually became quite a focal point of the game commentary because no-one realised it wasn’t going to happen until it didn’t!!

The weather turned very wet and stormy. Nuana came around to visit – she came down Friday with her father to set up the campsite for their family summer holiday.

Had church meeting around lunch time so lunch was around 2pm.

We then decided to watch a movie – had to show all the others ‘Strictly Ballroom’ and then we watched ‘Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest’. Cat & Seb got home from work in the midst of the first movie.

So that pretty much wiped out the day.
Had a very casual Sunday night dinner.

Exciting day really – not!
But kinda cosy and restful. Much needed methinks.


I zipped out to Nelson again early yesterday. Had a great day doing mostly ‘me’ things.
Visited the hairdressers and had a cut and blowwave – I only treat myself about twice a year so I really enjoy having a spot of pampering. Then went and did a bit of shopping, came out really hot so I ducked into a fashion shop to find a cooler top, came out much later after having tried on half the shop. Of course the first top that I saw and totally fell in love with was not in the shop in my size – sorry, we can have it here by Tuesday
I ended up buying 4 tops and 2 skirts – so lovely. I traveled half way around the world and couldn’t find clothes I liked and then find them at my own back door! 1 of the tops and 1 skirt are being sent to me this week as they weren’t in the shop.

I loved them so much I said, just take off the tags and I’m wearing these now. Was so great joining all the other ladies at our Sounds Women’s lunch at the Honest Lawyer country pub, feeling good about myself, instead of dragging in there in my normal jeans and sweaters feeling like a country bumpkin! We had a great time and enjoyed good food. It is really crazy that we have to travel out to town to actually spend time together with our neighbours, but it was so much fun that we all voted to make it a more regular occurance.

After more shopping I zipped back to the motel to freshen up and go out to dinner with two other friends. It was a rain check on Estelle’s 50th b’day. We went to a lovely cafe/bar called ‘Verdict’. The food was superb and the band was really good. The vocalist had a wonderful voice and the sax player was terrific.

Spent this morning doing last jobs and then met up with my sister to collect 6 young bantams that a friend of hers was raising for Shoshannah. They have lost their fluffy and are at the gawky teenage stage of just getting their feathers – I personally can’t get too excited about chickens but Shannie was totally delighted with them. They are now residents in the rabbit cage until they are bigger and the chook house is built.

Cat and Seb found two wee wild kittens today. One had been caught in a possum trap and the other was hanging about nearby so Cat took off down the hill thru the bushes and caught it. She has called her one Speights and Seb has called his Smirnoff! Most of you will know Smirnoff but for those of you who are not Kiwis – Speights is a very popular brand of beer here.

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Jesika & JoDee came for dinner and brought Alan & Dawn with them. They are down this weekend on their yacht. Jesika made Seb’s belated birthday chocolate cheesecake for dessert. It was delectable

Seb’s Birthday and Alibi’s Berth day

Happy Birthday Sebastian

Seb went to Nelson today with Nathan/Herb to bring his car home. It needs work done to it so he can sell it.
Cat spent all morning getting Alibi up on the trolley.
She towed beautifully back from Waterfall Bay behind the dinghy.
It was quit an act.
Getting the rails just right.
Catching the tide
Keeping the boat in the right place – Josiah was dumped off on the raft to hold a rope, I was holding the rope on wharf, Tim was pulling from the shed, Cat was diving up and under and around to make sure it was all going where it should. The water was really murky which made the job harder.
Tim was directing from the shed – just a bit this way, no! a bit more thata way!!
Cat was pretending she was a monkey!
Finally Alibi was just in the right place.

After lunch Cat was on the go again. I could hear the scrub cutter buzzing away and found her busy at it above the house.

We cooked a delicious dinner for Seb and then had to wait until he got back from Nelson. He arrived at 7pm – roast chicken and potatoes and kumara and a real mans salad – full of all sorts of yummy fresh veggies
And yes, that is right – you can see a lovely pink beaded necklace on Josiah – he had to wear it all through dinner

Then – the cake – Nathan baked the cake and decorated it.

Seb masquerading as Darth Vader in his new welding helmet.

Jesika, Azzan & Mahalia being cheesey for the camera!

The last day Seb will ever be 15!

Azzan asked me this morning why I don’t wear ear rings.
‘Cuz all Mum’s wear ear rings.’
I asked him where he had seen a Mum wearing ear rings and he said on ‘Born Free Living Free’.
‘But’, he went on ‘that Mum didn’t have children. Mum’s in Africa don’t have children.’
I commented that I thought that maybe African mum’s did have children but she just didn’t have any.
He then thought a moment and then said ‘Only Mum’s in the country have children, not Mum’s in town. John & Sally don’t have children do they?’ I reminded them that J&S’s children were big now and that is why he doesn’t see them.

Conversation over, we moved onto a new topic……
‘I love you Mum’ with lots of cuddles and hugs – he is very tactile and loves to feel and touch. Each meal time when he has finished eating he has to get the comb and clip and do my hair for me. Just as well I love having him do it – it was especially nice last night when my head was achey.

Glorious day here again today. Tim went out grubbing thistles, the boys did ropes and gave up on the hole digging. Azzan not wonderful still. Nothing really wrong, just happy to sleep in the afternoon – most unusual for him and he is just wanting to lie about and cuddle. Bit heavy eyed but that’s about all. Seb & Hali also complaining of a headache – maybe something obscure is going around.

Jesika popped in to do some office work. After lunch I felt a bit like blobbing so the children and I started watching ‘Strictly Ballroom’. Then Charlotte, our district nurse came to visit and make sure we are all well and happy. After she left we finished watching the movie. It was really funny – highly recommend it as a good Australian comedy, with a bit of love stuff and dancing thrown in for good measure!!

Tim & Seb did the bay clean up this arvo. Every year the mussel industry assigns it’s members to clean up the beaches and we are allocated the whole of Port Ligar. Then they went cattle mustering. Shannie had cooked a yummy potato dish and made a broccoli salad for dinner so I didn’t have to do too much tonight which was great.

Here is Seb pretending he isn’t there
Josiah and Nate behind him – and please note the ever important bottles of BBQ and tomato sauce that the two 15yr olds insist on plastering all over the meals – most encouraging to the chef when hours have been spent cooking a delicious meal – Not!

I spent some time working on some altered journals that I am hoping to post on Friday. They are coming together well now.

Cat took the two little girls out in the dinghy tonight. The weather is very inviting to be outside and on the water at the moment. Mahalia was very excited cuz she had been on ‘Alibi’. When they got back they were out on the deck practising their dancing. They really enjoyed the movie and were trying to do the Samba & Rumba!!!

After dinner we all had a boisterous game of Lagretto. A card game that Cat bought back from Germany. It is really fun – keeps you on your toes, Tim and I ended up with the lowest score – Cat blamed our ages

Tiresome Tuesday

Azzan had dressed himself this morning and as normal likes to come out and give me a big morning cuddle. I commented to him that he had done good to get himself dressed but that he had no knickers on again!

Shoshannah said ‘Azzan when you grow up and get married you will probably forget to wear your undies on your wedding day’!! Sisters

Seb & Josiah went out to get the nets in that they had set last night. They got a heap of small sharks and one or two other fish so it took quite a while to sort the nets out and process the fish. When Josiah & Nathan were still having breakfast at 10am I started cracking the whip.

Cat had gone to work this morning leaving Shannie instructions that she had to dig 7 holes each a metre deep for her new chicken house before she got home this arvo!! So I sent Josiah up to the orchard to dig the post holes. He was having problems yesterday seeing the thistles so Tim went up the hill by himself today. No point Josiah just going up there to sunbathe!

By this time I had gotten the younger ones moving on room cleaning. It was hard yacka to keep them at it, and Shannie couldn’t see the reasoning behind having to vacuum the floor to finish it all off. Nathan did a bit in his room and swept the hall and school room for me.

Anyway, they did a great job and found many errant library books and tapes. Then when I thought we had finished I came out to the kitchen and nearly had a fit – no sooner finished cleaning one end of the house and they had made a mess at the other. Shannie had been painting her clay models, water had tipped all over the floor, Azzan had a bag of puzzles all over the table……….

So, I cracked whip for a few more minutes and got that all cleaned up and crashed in the chair with a cup of camomile tea and helped Seb with his maths – I sure needed the camomile for that too-!!

Did a bit of research about microscopes on the net today. Thought I had finally found what I want for school but on closer investigation it doesn’t appear to be good enough – bother it! Have to keep searching.

At lunch time Azzan said he wasn’t hungry – he thought he might just hop into my bed for a wee sleep. He did and slept for several hours. I snuck in and lay on the bed with him and watched a documentary about Frida Kahlo’s life and art. He woke up as it finished and told me that he had had a sore tummy when he went to bed.
I asked him if it was better now and he said that it was still feeling a bit weak

I was still feeling rather tired and headachey so I didn’t do a lot for the rest of the afternoon. Watched a movie ‘The Shooting Party’. A rather slow English movie – quite good but not one the rest of the crew would enjoy. Had lots of shooting in it but the rest of the story was rather undramatic.

It was a beautiful evening, Seb & Josiah went out fishing across the bay and didn’t get back in for dinner till after dark. Everyone else was in bed by 9pm.

A social weekend

I arrived home last night at 9pm. The last 1.5 hours were rather quiet and peaceful as my ipod had gone flat. Up until then I was singing my heart out with The Carpenters – glad I was alone in the car-!! So I enjoyed the quietude to think my own uninterrupted thoughts.

There was only Tim & Seb awake to greet me so it made unpacking and sorting much easier and quicker. Little people get very excited and want to see everything I have bought – and ‘is there anything special for me??’!!

I had a good time in town on Friday, took Nuana out with me. We enjoyed a yummy breakfast together at my favourite cafe and then zipped about doing chores. During the morning I realised to my horror, that I had not packed my sleeping bag, pillow or towel. I had to get some men’s stuff for Tim at the Mega Centre low and behold what was there on special but sleeping bags. So I added one to my trolley – only $35 so it was a bargain and proved to be very cosy.

After I dropped Nuana home I did a few more things. I left Briscoes till last and went to find a pillow, and you wouldn’t believe it. Everything in the shop was 40-50% off. So I got a gorgeous thick fluffy bronze coloured towel and flannel and a pillow and a complete set of new sheets for us for a very reasonable price. By this stage the heavens had opened and it a deluge had hit the city, and it was getting late. So rather than sit down to eat I decided to grab something quick and make a run for it. We were sposed to be at Camp around 6pm and it was already 5:45. I made the huge mistake of getting McDonalds and felt so ill by the time I got to Camp. I only have to eat Macca’s about once every ten years to remind me why I don’t eat it more often – urghhhhh!!

The camp was held at Teapot Valley just out of Brightwater near Nelson. It is a lovely venue. The staff provided excellent food – it was just too good – AND we didn’t have to do dishes, even better-!!

I met so many lovely ladies and made some great new friends. Had lots of fun and made a some cool projects. I had done a lot of the stuff before but I had gone knowing that it would be like that and I was mainly there to meet up with the others and enjoy the socialisation – mother’s have to have that stuff too you know. Our govt is quite concerned about home-schooled children getting enough but they forget about us Mum’s.

Here are some of the lovely ladies.
My work mates – Rosey from Lincolnshire UK (she had come out for her son’s wedding which conveniently coincided with camp) and Carol from Nelson.
Sheryl (who I found had gone to school with my bro and I was best buddies with her older sis in our teens – small world eh?) and Marion.
Denise from Wales, Kate from UK and Maryann (one of my roomies originally from Singapore) and a wee portion of Gill from over the hill in Korere.
And the glorious food – really healthy stuff with a few extra yummys to add some kilos-!!
Linda and Glad enjoying lunch.

I left camp early after lunch on Sunday so I could visit my friend Sally who is home briefly from the UK. It was really lovely to catch up with her. By the time I had gotten back to Nelson and bought groceries it was after 6 so I headed for home. We had a special Telecom calling deal for the weekend so I was able to fit in two calls before midnight to Australia. So it was after midnight before I got to bed. But as I had been really good at camp and had gone to bed quite early I am feeling fine today – some ladies didn’t find their beds till 2 and 4am, I would’ve been dead if I had done that!

The children were thrilled because I bought home some Das paper modelling clay. They are having a lovely time this morning.
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While they have been modelling Nathan has made a very delicious batch of fudge. Shoshannah in particular has been very creative, she made herself a stove with pots cooking eggs and a table & chairs etc.
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The paper clay just air dries and then the children can paint it if they want.

Seb was so excited – NOT! The mailboat on Friday delivered his first set of Correspondence School English. I had only just sent the application form away the week before so neither of us could believe it had come so soon. So this morning he has made a start – not really his cup of tea but at least he is having a go – his attitude could be a bit more positive, but no doubt it will get worse before he gets the course finished – I am not being negative, it is just that mother’s know these things about their children

Tim & Josiah have been grubbing thistles this morning and are going out to do mussel work this arvo. Cat went to work – to much rain to harvest but maintenance to be done. There has been a lot of rain in the past few days which has brought down heaps of rock falls along the road and quite a bit of flooding along the way home. Our drought is very definitely broken – just hope we get some fine clear days soon as it really doesn’t feel too much like summer yet. Jesika & JoDee are on their way in after 2 weeks away. From the brief texts I have received it sounds like they have had rather a damp trip.

It is such a glorious day here today.
Nathan and Azzan hung out the washing for me – they made a great team!