An exhausting weekend….

I woke to a real good frost in Nelson on Saturday morning. I had a disturbed sleep and woke with a start at 7:18am so had to rush to get away on time. Was so glad that John had covered my windscreen with a tarp. But in the few minutes it took from uncovering the windscreen and driving out onto the road it was already icing over again – brrrrrr, I hate the cold!

I was very glad I had packed lots of my Icebreakers and that I had bought gloves last week cuz I had everything on plus my jacket and scarf. The day began at 8:30am with André as our tutor this time. He is the owner of ‘Triple 1 Care‘ It was very interesting having a change in tutors. They don’t normally like to do this but it was unavoidable this time. He was very good but a lot more intense than Glen. We spent the morning working inside as it was quite cold. André was really good at throwing us in on the deep end and putting us on the edge. Jenny and I were talking in the morning about something to do with the course and he called us through the door. There was a body face-down in the toilet! Of course we were then timed as to how long it took us to resuscitate and manoeuvre it correctly – not too good at that stage I don’t think-!!

In the afternoon we had two scenarios outside. Using a picnic table as the fuselage of a crashed plane we had to extract and keep alive the two people trapped inside. Then there was a car wreck with 3 young guys (actually 3 of our class mates!) trapped inside. That was interesting-!!

I went up to Estelle’s for dinner Saturday night. I was soooooo tired that I didn’t make it a late night. Had a great sleep but woke before 5am so read until 6:30. Nice to have a leisurely shower and get organised without having to rush. We did a lot more reviewing of equipment and then after lunch we went out up into the Marsden Valley regions near Stoke and went through some more scenarios.

The first was reasonably basic and we had to work in small teams of 1 patient and 2 care givers. The 2nd scenario was much more intense – 3 parachutists crashed in the bush somewhere. The rest of us had to find them and then deal with what we found and get them out to the helicopter landing spot. Really great example of leadership and teamwork skills. We did really well and André credited us with 8.5. Pretty jolly good! I was totally knackered after all that intensity and scrambling up and down banks and lugging bodies and the hardest part – thinking/remembering what to do first and next!!!

After I left I popped in to pick up some curricula books that I had lent Estelle, helped her to find some online and then after grabbing a snack for dinner I met up briefly with Anson at his bosses place. Finally left town around 6:30pm. I was glad of my ipod to keep me company for the drive home. The road was really really busy over the Whangamoas but from our turn off at SHW6 I never saw a soul.

I thought that I would find the children in bed and all quiet when I arrived at 9pm but instead was welcomed by 3 little ratbags who had created havoc, Seb on the computer and Tim on the phone. So I wasn’t too impressed. Sent the children off to bed and unpacked and tidied up what I could.

Daniel, Sheri and their two Josiah 5 & McKayla 11 months (from Australia) had arrived Sunday morning and are staying in The Croft for a couple of weeks. Daniel & Jonathan went out to do mussel work with Tim – all day Monday and most of this morning. Sheri was fantastic – got stuck in and helped the children clean up their rooms, vacuumed and then totally cleaned up Nathan’s room. I am sure he will be very happy to see it when he gets home. Eva spent the day helping Jesika clean the Lodge etc.

I had a lovely visit Monday afternoon from Anneke – a neighbour from 1.5hrs drive away! It was so nice to sit in front of the fire and chat for an hour or two. She hadn’t been able to get to my b’day so she came to deliver my gift – a lovely kete – a Maori woven flax basket -. Full of home baked biscuits and a bottle of Baileys

Today we spent all morning making pumpkin soup and getting veggies done for dinner. In between everything I am trying to de-junk my room, the school room and the office. Just feel like I am going around in circles cuz when I make a start somewhere I get called away. Tim has just taken everyone except Sheri and McKayla out mustering so I am off to have another attack on one of the rooms……..

A long but enjoyable day.

After quite a short night – one which was disturbed by a wee man
clawling over top of me and snuggling himself down between Tim & I
– doesn’t happen often but he’s got it sussed now. He knows I
absolutely hate being sandwiched between two males so he now gets
straigh into the middle so I don’t chuck him back in his own bed!

Tim was up around 5am cuz Anson was starting shearing at 6am. So I got
up too. By the time I had showered checked my emails and gotten seb up
it was 7am and Shannie was also up very bright eyed and bushy tailed.
Seb was taking over in the kitchen today so I got him activted and then
I loaded up the Terrano and headed to Nelson.

Had a good run. Was most surprised to see so much frost along the Ronga
Valley as it was so much warmer at home this morning than it had been
for several days. Guess winter is finally kicking in.

Managed to do a couple of jobs and then zipped on out to Mapua to meet
up with Ella & Grant. They have bought a restaurant/bar there. Was
called ‘Flavour’ – they have now renamed the restaurant The Village Inn
and the bar ‘The Local’. It is so cool to see them so excited about it
and to see and hear about all the changes they are making. It is a
great we business. Ella & I had a lovely lunch and chat and then I
had to get myself back into town to do all the rest of the jobs.

On the way I stopped off at the Police Station to report some extremely
offensive texts that I have been receiving over the past couple of
days. It took longer than I anticipated as they actually took it very
seriously and photocopied everyone of the 23 texts I had received.
Since then I have received more. They are going to try and track down
the person behind and have enough evidence to prosecute if they can
locate him. But even if they can’t they will disable the phone totally.

Brianna text me several times today. She and Nathan had a gret tramp up
Mt Arthur – heaps of snow around. She was spewing that she had left her
camera in the car When she got back to the car park her car was
frozen over and wouldn’t start so she had to call the AA. Apparently
her glow plugs need replacing.
She has gone off tho the movies with Mandy tonight and Nathan is out
eeling with Nicholas – way too cold for that I reckon but being boys
they are bullet proof when it comes to having fun.

I popped into Four Seasons to suss out Wood Stoves and while there got
the gen on spa pools. Some good deals going at the mo so you just never

I meet up with a couple of young lads from Minnesota who are being
billeted with Estelle and Gary. They are touring NZ with a school choir
for 3 weeks. Some are as young as 9. I left Estelle with a large box of
school books to look at and then headed to John & Sally’s. Had a
yummy dinner and now am heading off to bed to hopefully get a good
nights sleep. Certainly need it after such a short and disturbed one
last night.


We seem to have had a few days of good byes this week.
Traute left…

then Jen & Cat….
we had to have a group huddle before they left

They took Fly with them….

Sylvia and Anna came over before lunch and Anna and I had a good chat about Waterfall Bay. She seems keen to take the job so we are both thinking it through now. Jesika leaves for Melbourne on July 2nd for work and study. Depending on what she can find once she gets there. She was planning on studying Events and Hospitality Management and has applied for a 2 year course but in the meantime she has been sending out her CV to prospective employers but nothing positive yet. She will probably have to actually get there to really search the job market with success.

Yesterday Brianna was on a mission to get the flashing on the roof the lining into the wash house roof before leaving so she had Jonathan and Eva helping. It was a bit dangerous trying to go out to the wash house for a while – the roof was off and dust and debri was flying everywhere with banging and crashing and nailing and sawing!
She managed to accomplish her mission by dark and then she and Nathan packed for their tramping trip.

This morning they left for Nelson and I got a text at 7:12pm to say they had gotten safely to the Mt Arthur hut and all was well. It is just a one night tramp and then they will head to the Ashton’s at Motupiko and she will leave Nathan there for the week to spend time with Nicholas. She is going back to Christchurch to pack up all her belongings. She is flying to Sydney on 13th July so on count down. Her car is officially on the market now so if anyone is interested in a 1997 Toyota Caldina station wagon then let us know.

Anson got home late last night so today he was into the shearing by 7am. Eva and Jonathan and Jesika were doing the wool and helping Tim with shed work. Seb was helping me with the food. He will be doing all the food etc tomorrow as I am off to Nelson again.
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Jonathan wasn’t sure what job he had ever done that was more tedious than wool handling!

The three youngsters had a lot of fun playing in a karaka tree this afternoon. They were having picnics and parties up there….
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Today was Eva’s 24th birthday so we had a cake in her honour tonight for desert. She even got a big cuddle and a kiss on the lips from Azzan – he is an expert at those
Shannie had made a pass the parcel game so Azzan played and sang the music for the game.
The rules included having to wear a funny hat when it was your turn to open the parcel
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Of course Eva had to be the recipient of the surprise in the middle which was – a shell!

Well, I am off to bed now – later than planned after a l-o-n-g phone call with Anson’s boss. I am off to Nelson early in the morning. The 2nd part of my Phec course is Sat & Sun. Should be interesting – it is all about fractures and trauma this time. Then I think I might just be home for a couple of weeks – hopefully!

Azzan came running to me tonight with a torch and announced with breathless excitement –

‘When I was star gazing I saw God’

Jesika asked him if God had winked at him. He said ‘No – He blinked’!

It’s Tuesday already

Once again the days have gotten away from me.
Yesterday was Monday – all day!
I didn’t even get as far as the school room.
Had a heap of mail to sort through. Got Jen and Eva to do some cleaning up and cooking. Cat was up weed eating the lawns bright and early. Bri and Cat both have agendas to work through so they keep the girls occupied which is great.

Had a call from our ‘adopted’ daughter and Jesika’s best friend, Sasha. She was calling to tell me that she and David had gotten engaged. So that was great news. David being my cousin, so she really will be part of the family soon.

I had ordered Azzan a free standing blackboard and drawing board – it had arrived in the mail and the girls had hidden it in my room so I didn’t find it until later in the day. He was totally delighted about it because it is decorated with the ‘Cars’ theme. So out came the paints etc and he and Mahalia were busy for ages.

Today Tim took all the crew out mustering early so it was just me at home with Mahalia, Azzan & Nathan. Quite pleasant actually. Azzan keeps wanting me to spell words for him to write on his board. The main one is ‘cereal’ for some reason.

Azzan decided his blackboard should be packed up before lunch time so he took out two of the dowels which hold up the paint containers. Unfortunately he never thought to take them out first so there was a bit of a mess. Then when I was ungraciously cleaning it up I went and dropped them again and made even more mess. I told him quite firmly that there was absolutely NO need to pack it away again as it was intended to be up to be used whenever he wanted to-!!

Jesika took Jen, Eva & Jonathan to Waterfall after the muster so they could help stain the deck. I had spent the morning making a huge pot of pumpkin soup so they missed out on that today!

Sylvia arrived with Anna just before lunch. They had picked up the mail for me and Anson’s laptop was there. I had bought it on TradeMe for him so now he is moving into the realms of the IT world and will have to learn to do his own accounts – yeah right! Nice laptop though, I am very pleased with the purchase.

Tim announced that he was taking everyone out fishing so Sylvia’s eyes lit up big time. They all had a quick lunch and then took off out the bay with all on board except me. I enjoyed a few hours of quiet as I was rather tired. I managed to get an hour to doze with my book in between doing other necessary things.

They never arrived back home until around 6pm. Cat went diving and Bri took Eva and Jesika rock climbing. Jonathan was pretty happy – he had never caught a fish before and Shannie was pleased with her very large cod too. So it was fresh fish for dinner and then Cat & Jen left. They are heading to Granny’s tonight and then on down to Wanaka. Cat has some short term work lined up down there and Jen has a job at the ski field. Bri has been debating about taking Nathan tramping, the weather being the hinging factor. It looks like they may head off in a day or so.

Cat also was taking Fly down to Megan as she is adopting her because Jesika is moving to Australia. Rather heart rending parting and very emotional for Jesika. Fly has been a great companion for her and it is hard to have to part with her but it was the only way we could get her to Wanaka. I am sure Fly will enjoy learning all about chasing rabbits on Megan and Jon’s place

Jesika took Sylvia and Anna home with her so she can show Anna the ropes tomorrow. More mustering in the morning so Tim and the boys will be away early again.

Have you missed me??

Well, it’s Sunday night and I have just gotten back home from several days in Nelson.
Last time I wrote was Wed.
What has happened since then?
I am really having to scratch the brain cells to remember

Thursday – Tim & Jesika went to Nelson. I got up early and got the fires lit and made some cards. We did some school work. The girls came back from Jesika’s but not a lot got done for the day. I heard via the family grapevine that they had not gone to bed until around 3am so that’s probably the main reason for lack of brain function! Nuana came around and did some baking with the little ones then took Azzan back to Waterfall with her. We watched a movie – well 1/2 a movie while having dinner – an Australian one called ‘The Shiralee’. Then Tim arrived back with Eva from Germany.

Friday – Traute left. Tim & Jen went out to do mussel work. Cat got Eva sorted to paint in the Cottage. Brianna conditioned more mussel ropes. Nathan & I left for Nelson around midday. Did a bit of shopping then met Jonathan from Wales for coffee. He is coming to wwoof for us this week. Dropped Nate off at Tylers so he could have a bloke weekend with Anson. Estelle wasn’t home so I went back into town and wandered around the supermarket and The Warehouse. Got Chinese for dinner. Spent the evening helping Estelle and got to bed at 1am!

Saturday – I was awake well before 6am. My weekend in town was specifically to participate in a PHEC course – Pre Hospital Emergency Care first aid. It began at 8:30am. There were 10 of us all from varying backgrounds. Most were involved either in adventure tourism or education or fire service. I had not done a first aid course for about 20 years and even then it was a pretty basic one so I wasn’t too sure how I would cope. But I was reasonably confident that I had enough bush experience and reasonable intelligence to get through it. As I hadn’t done a basic first aid course before hand I have to do one before the end of the month.

Needless to say – I have had a terrific weekend. The course is brilliant. I am absolutely loving it. Have learnt so much and more to learn next weekend. It is a 4 day course. Yesterday was a lot of learning, talking, listening, questioning. Did some scenarios in the afternoon. Our tutor was brilliant and was really wanting us to learn so never treated any question as dumb or stupid.

Today we learnt CPR and how & when to use Oxygen and a defibrillator. I am concerned though that doing CPR on a real person may be quite different to the dummy! I hope I never have to actually but now I feel much more confident than I ever have before.

I met up with Anson and transferred Nathan into my vehicle and headed home pretty much straight after the course so we got home around 8pm. The girls have beaten me to it and have already moved the big cabinet out of the living room into the school room so it looks like my day tomorrow is already planned – sorting out school stuff and finding where Cat has put it all-!!

An extra treat to share – just got this lovely photo of the newly engaged couple.
For those of you who don’t know our darling 2nd daughter – this is (Sunniva) – Sunni and Ryan.
Don’t they make a lovely couple

Today and yesterday

Well, it is all happening here.
Brianna has been officially offered a job and has accepted it.

It is with Camp Somerset
It is just a short distance north west of Sydney so she will be heading over there mid July for a years contract with them.
Most exciting. We are thrilled for her. She is great with young folk and she loves the outdoor activities so it should be a wonderful opportunity for her.

We have been quite prolific in the school room this week so far. Managed to get another two days in there – quite miraculous Mahalia has reached another milestone with her reading so received her ‘prize’ today. She was very happy to get another addition to her Polly Pocket collection. I all of a sudden realised that Nathan has nearly finished his maths book so had to make an urgent phone call to order the next one. He is also very keen to get his prize so great incentive to get through it soon. Shannie is pestering because her new reading books have not arrived from the US yet. I get them from BJUP and they take the slow boat over – 2 months now so shouldn’t be long. She keeps busy writing stories in her journal. Today Nathan actually spelled out a word for her – it is normally the other way around so he was pretty pleased with himself!

Last night Jesika came over for dinner and brought Nuana (she is staying with J for a few days) and Mark & Lillian (M used to be Cat’s boss at Glacier Guides). We had a fun evening and hence a late night.

This morning Mark & Lillian took Jesika, Cat & Bri sailing in their catamaran. I think they had a good trip but they were pretty chilled when they arrived back. Jen went around this morning and helped Nuana with painting and gardening so tonight they are all having a social evening at Jesika’s.

Anson’s been wanting to get a laptop for a while so today I had a chat with one of my iMac mates and he sussed some on TradeMe and tonight I got the one he recommended – a Titanium Powerbook G4 with a 15″ screen. It was tight bidding but I was determined not to be pipped at the post. So Anson is joining the Apple ranks and yet another computer is entering the premises. I have told him he now has to learn how to do his own accounts-!!

Queen’s Birthday Weekend

Sunday passed by reasonably leisurely.
We had fellowship in the latter part of the morning. No-one seemed too interested in lunch so it was eaten on the go by most folk.
Cat took Jen & Traute out fishing so there was fresh fish with our dinner.
I managed to do some work in the journals I am trying to finish and post on.
I actually spent some time in the school room in the evening preparing today’s lesson. I need to do more of that as it makes the lessons flow so much more better – how’s that for good grammar??? I have just joined a yahoo group for Weaver curriculum users and I am finding it so helpful.

Today everyone was up bright and early. Tim took Anson, Brianna, Cat & Jen out mustering. Seb took Traute up to Waterfall to help Jesika clean the Lodge. Then he spent the morning doing his school work. Tim & Bri got back for an early lunch and then headed off across the bay to do mussel work. Jen walked on down to help Jesika and Traute.

We had a good day in the school room. We were drawing and talking about ziggurats and Nate and Shannie rewrote the story of The Tower of Babel using alliteration. Nate had heaps of fun with it which was great as he is normally a reticent writer. Whereas Shannie who is a prolific writer really struggled. But with help she ended up creating a fun story. I will see if they are interested in posting their stories on their blogs tomorrow.

I was working away at my desk trying to complete the journals. I had worked myself into a total mess as normal so I had to clean that up as well. While I was doing that Azzan came in and was playing behind the sofa by the book case. He spotted that one of the sets of encyclopaedias was not in order so he rearranged it all. He then decided that all the sets had to be in number order. We have quite a few different types of encyclopaedias so it kept him occupied for a while.

It was quite fun listening to him discussing the numbers. He found 16 & 19 and was having fun trying to sort them out. Decided that 15 should be said as five-teen. By this stage I was over in the kitchen and he was asking me things like ‘What number is 1 & 2?’ I said 12. Then in amongst it all he asked ‘What is 1 & 1?’ So I said ‘Eleven’. And he kept on chatting and asking me what it was. Then he said ‘Is it a little emergency?’ I was like ‘What do you mean?’ And he asked again ‘Is 1 1 a little emergency?’ I clicked then and realised he was meaning that if you call 111 it is an emergency so if you call 11 then it must be just a little emergency!

I watched Oklahoma with Mahalia & Azzan before dinner. I love the music from it. It is such fun watching it with the little ones as there is so many things to explain. For example, they had been listening to one of the songs on their Vege tales CD and when I was singing along with the movie I realised they had the words a bit wrong – it is called The Surrey with the Fringe on Top. They couldn’t quite understand what a Surrey was, let alone with a FRIDGE on top There are also a lot of old fashioned things talked about and done in the movie which are totally from another era so it is very educational and most enjoyable at the same time.

Jesika came for dinner tonight. I made nachos and judging by the way the disappeared they were enjoyed to the max. We had a quick came of Lagretto which Tim & I lost miserably.

Oh, it was Queen’s Birthday weekend so a holiday today. But as we don’t listen to the news or read the papers we just carried on as per normal.

Also got a message from Sunni tonight telling me that the engagement is totally official now as Ryan has been most romantic and done the proposal thingee. Congratulations to you both – great news