Mail day

I am nearly finished the book I am reading at the moment.
It is called ‘Summer of Miracles’ by Jamie Buckingham.
I am totally intrigued by it.
Intrigued because he is/was a staunch Pentecostal.
Intrigued because I am not.
Intrigued because despite the major differences in our beliefs God is speaking to me through this book.
It is amazing.
It is really touching my spirit.
I am reading Isaiah 58 with new eyes today

Today Tim & Lawrence went out to move more timber.
Nathan and I moved furniture and cleaned more of my art gear out of the living room.
We moved the young ones computer into the living room as well.

Nathan plays Age of Empires on one computer and right beside him Azzan is palying a Reader rabbit game.
They seem to be quite happy about it and it is giving the girls more room to spread out their toys in the school room.

I did a spot of school in amongst the furniture moving, making muffins, hanging out washing and getting mail ready for the mail boat.
The girls were busy with their Lego and Sylvanians.
Azzan put his dancing dress on over his pyjamas and stayed that way all day.
Made it easy tonight to get ready for bed
I am sure the tourists on the mail boat enjoyed his fashion statement

Midday and the men were not yet back.
I sent Nathan out to look for them.
Lawrence was booked on the mail boat – due in at 1pm.
Nathan returned from his bike ride up the hill – didn’t find them.
I sent him out to Cape Horn – it was now 12:30pm!
They eventually came home as the mail boat was steaming in the bay.
I had made Lawrence some lunch so popped it into a bag and sent Tim down to stall the boat.
Lawrence did a mad grab of all his gear and rushed down to the wharf only to see the boat steaming away and Tim sitting on the wharf laughing.
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They did a circuit of the mussel farms and came back for him.
Gave us all a few minutes to gain some equilibrium and actually say our good byes.

I then gave Tim a big lecture about not ever never taking anyone out to work on the farm when they are booked on the boat. It is the second time in 2 weeks he has done this and it is just way too stressful cutting it so fine.

We came back and had ourselves some lunch while I opened the mail.
Then Murray – the bee man arrived – so another cuppa and a chat.
Then the guys went out and checked our hives and got a good lot of honey.
It will be so nice to have some honey again.
Tim has been too busy to run them for the past two years so they haven’t been looked after at all and we have had to survive on jam

While Murray was here ha asked about accommodation and when I checked I saw we had a party coming in tonight that I had forgotten about so Nathan zipped down and made the beds and got The Cottage ready. He is a good boy for his Mum

I made some phone calls and then Erica & Blake arrived from the USA.
Shannie gave Erica a whirlwind tour while Blake and Tim went off to do men stuff.

Dinner was late again tonight.
Everyone just gets too busy on these long evenings and they forget to come and eat.
The children just grab a snack around 5-ish so they are happy.
Hence dinner not happening till after 7pm.

Anson arrived home – he had been shearing locally today.
So dinner was very noisy – he blames the little folk but funnily enough it is actually relatively quiet when he is not here-!!
He tends to add quite a dynamic dimension to the proceedings

Tim popped the 3 youngest to bed and Nathan & I watched a movie ‘Assault at Westpoint’ A true story. One of the kind that always makes me gutsick as to how men can treat each other so badly and all in the name of skin colour.

We spent another morning doing school work. It seems to take all the time just to get through the Maths and Reading at present.
Nathan is really struggling to understand the concept of multiple figure multiplication.
So we go over and over and over and over example after example. Talking about the concepts, working them through in different ways.
I think the light bulb is beginning to glimmer.

Mahalia is doing well with her Reading. I have her working from several different books to keep her interest up and to extend her sideways. She has only 21 lessons to go in her ‘Teaching a Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons’ – it has been a long and painstaking time for us both – we have taken way too long to wade through the book. It is sposed to be done in 100 consecutive days – but…….
life has just invaded any possibility of that. I am really really trying hard to keep consistancy going at the moment though so we can complete it before the end of the year.

Shannie flies through her work, she jiggles, and sings, and wriggles, and hums, and works her maths out loud, generally causes everyone to get annoyed. She seems to be one of those children that just has to make noise of some sort while she is working
I am going to have to pull her in a bit as she is flying through her work too fast and not being careful with her writing. If I can’t read it then it is too rough!! She has such an artistic temperament though and when I mark her maths I cannot help but be amused at all the extra flourishes she adds to her numbers and the drawings she adds to the pages She is far more interested in being outside and working in the garden or being with her birds. She is alwasy coming in and regaling me with stories about what is happening with her chickens or pigeons. I have to actually listen cuz they all have names and I tend to get the pigeons mixed up with the hens if I am not careful. With her continuous chatter it is very easy to switch off and just give cursory replies

Tim took Mike and Lawrence out on the water this morning to do some mussel work. Anna helped me a bit with Hali’s Reading and then we organised her to get to Auckland next week for a visit to the Rife Clinic. The guys came back for lunch and we ended up having a real banquet – there were so many left overs they did very well.

Cat got back from work just as we were cleaning up from lunch so she, Mike & Anna loaded up and headed off to town in the Terrano. They had to drop Mike at Rai Valley so he could bike through to Blenheim while they took the Terrano to Nelson and leave it there for a WoF check. They then got Anna’s car and drove back over to Blenheim, picked up Mike, left his bike and trailer at my Mum’s and are heading down to Christchurch tonight. I have a feeling they will be arriving there quite late. It is Anna & Mike’s Mum’s 60th b’day on Saturday night. Sounds fun – she and 3 friends are having a 240th party!!

Tim & Lawrence cleared off some fallen tree’s from the track Tim made down to the beach. Tim is trying to get his new boat trailer reconstructed down there so he can pull the ’88 South’ up to clean it.

I don’t know why, but I was really tired this afternoon so I hopped into bed with my book. Actually slept until I woke to the girls having a scrap I called the Dr today and organised to have a blood test done next week. I normally have my iron levels checked every 3 months and realised yesterday while the nurse was here that it has been 5 months since the last one. With low iron levels like I have I have to keep an eye on where I am at.

Nathan helped me cook dinner. He is such a good cook and very helpful and imaginative to work with. I was searching for something quick in the freezer – couldn’t find sausages but did find some steak. Was just going to thaw it quick and fry it up. Nathan chopped up onions and the steak into strips, stir fried it and added a tomato gravy. Much nicer and very palatable – Thanks Nate

Tim is putting the children to bed now so I think I might go find a movie and then head off to bed. Might even forgo the movie – I will see how tired Tim is………

Back to school today

Life is beginning to return to a slight sense of normality here.
I gauge that by the amount of academia achieved.

And today we did achieve

I found the school books – still cannot find Nathan’s Maths dvd which is totally frustrating but I am sure it will turn up in some random pile of something somewhere-!!

I was about to begin working with the children when Mike arrived in fro breakfast and asked if he could help with anything.
I immediately said ‘Yes! you can do maths with Nathan.’
This was said knowing full well that I had a mature university student in my presence who was more than capable of doing thus and then found out that he and Anna had both had struggles with their initial schooling so could empathise well with my lad.
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Anna arrived and stepped into the breach with Mahalia when I had to leave the Reading lesson to go to the phone.
Mahalia thought that was pretty cool so I was able to spend some time with Shoshannah.
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Azzan was of course his normal bright wee button self – giving the answers for Mahalia before she could and then using the maths blocks to make patterns – he was adding double numbers and figuring out himself how to add different numbers together to make 14. He is certainly not going to be left behind that one-!!

After lunch Tim. Mike and Lawrence moved more timber down the hill. Anna is on a creative bender at the moment and was raiding the school paints to begin creating something on Cat’s ceiling. Should be fun

Nurse Charlotte came to visit so we had a lovely few hours chatting and catching up. Haven’t seen her since she went on holiday several months ago.

Nathan & Anna made another lemon meringue pie – a yummy one this time. And then it was time for me to begin dinner. Thankfully Nathan helped as I didn’t get tot he kitchen till 5pm.
But soon after 7 we all sat down to pita breads and falafels etc. It was decreed to be the best dinner out.
Well worth the effort

Tuesday’s been and gone

Well, I did manage to get the gst completed today. Signed sealed and delivered to the IRD tonight via email and internet banking, still with one day up my sleeve.

I have printed off proof this time that I have paid them so they can’t come back at me and say I haven’t and charge me heaps of penalties like they did last time.
I spent some time on the phone today and actually managed to get them to reverse some of the penalties as it appears to have been a banking error – well, they were happy with that reason, so who’s arguing with them

I actually had a bit of space in the afternoon whilst waiting for the accountant to check over the accounts and call me back so I watched a dvd – ‘The girl with the pearl earring’. It was really interesting. It gave a good portrayal of life in Holland in the 1600’s.

Tim finally managed to fix the leak in the fuel tank of the log splitter so the guys were away splitting logs for some of the day. They also got all the remaining largest lengths of treated timber moved and restacked down the hill in a safer place. It is just too inviting to leave it at the top of the hill. It is a sad indictment on our society out here that we have to worry about thieving nowadays.

Anson had to head out to Blenheim tonight as he is shearing there for the next few days. He is staying with his Gran, be nice for them to have a catch up.

Azzan and Anna baked some flapjack this morning – it was very yummy and most has gone already.
Cat was folding the washing today with Jynx on her back. She seemed very comfy there and wasn’t in the slightest bit worried that Cat was trying to do stuff.
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Anna & Nathan had some fun over the lunch dishes
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while Mike had an idyllic spot on the wharf to fish from. Nathan got the yacht out for a sail too.
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Anna took the children down to the beach this arvo for a swim.
Azzan was very proud of this red starfish he found and the black limpet thingee he got too.
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Azzan was doing some more dancing tonight.
He twirls about so gracefully but too quick for my camera – in most of my pics he is just a blur!
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Nathan made a lemon meringue pie – wasn’t his best one but that just means he can try again – a good excuse to make another

Tim went out to do a late muster after dinner. I didn’t realise he had gone so the 3 wee ones were left to their own devices for quite some time. I eventually realised at 9pm that the girls were still dressed and happily playing with the Lego while Azzan was tucked up in Shannie’s bed listening to a cd story. I got them moving along and tucked up into their own beds and now Tim has come in.

The waves are lapping on the shore – a sure sign the southerly has come through. The temperature has been slowly dropping this afternoon – we have had such idyllic weather these past few days, looks like we might have to pop our warmer clothes back on again tomorrow.

The phone has just gone dead so I can’t post this right now.
Will have to wait and see what is happening…………………..

I am off for a spa now to warm up a little before bedtime

***************

Okay! Just had a spa and came in and found the phone working again.
One of the wee kittens was walking around the top of the spa behind Tim – it didn’t seem too worried about the water. The southerly is really pounding in now and because the kids had been in the pool earlier it wasn’t as hot as usual so it was a quick exit into the bedroom to dry off in a warmer environment – brrrrr!

Off to bed this time

Monday

Let me see.
What did we do yesterday?

Well, Nathan decided he would cook dinner.
So he got some of the veges prepared in the morning.
In between doing this and getting The Cottage done, taking Tim to WB and getting the fires going to heat the water he played Age of Empires. He is really enjoying it – so much so that we have to prise him away and it nearly causes ructions in the camp when someone else wants to use the computer. Anson enjoys the game too which is good. He needs to have something like this to blob to. He is such a workaholic that he doesn’t really rest up much.

Shannie had vege plants and seeds she wanted to get in so she got Lawrence to help her dig over some more garden and got them all planted. Anson has bought her in some more chickens. One of the sheds he shears for has hens galore and they are breeding beyond what they can cope with so are very happy to send some on down here. Shannie of course is only too delighted to receive them. She is full of tales about them and that she is sure one is a rooster etc.

Mahalia cleaned up the living room – did a brilliant job, even cleaned out the fire place so it looks like new.
The 3 children also cleaned up the school room and bedrooms – it seems to be a continual job.

The school room is being overtaken by Lego and Sylvanian’s. Pretty good take over I reckon. They spend countless hours playing with it all in very creative fashion.

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Note Shannie’s black eye – she ran into an open window at Waterfall Bay on Sat – I hate those push out aluminium windows – the sun was in her eyes and she didn’t see that it was open. Quite painful at the time but now quite an impressive bruise!

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All the Sylvanian’s have new clothes. They also have a huge dolls house which they have added to their Sylvanian houses. They have quite a wee village there now. It is good to see their computer has been unplugged.

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They have used a piece of blue carpet to make a canal for the canal boat. Books get used to make roads and walls etc. I love to see their creative minds in action

Azzan spent most of the morning dancing in an apricot coloured dress to assorted music of his choosing.
We were very entertained by his twirling and prancing around the living room
He would interlude the dancing by lying in the bean bag beside the radio listening to Jim Weiss telling him stories on cd.

I am so pleased I invested in so many of Jim Weiss’ cd’s. The children have gained so much from listening to his stories of history and folk lore. Learning in a relaxed manner that is

I filed all the paperwork of our accounts and now just have to sort out the smaller receipts and odd cash journals and then it is all done for this month. I also started sorting out more of my art stuff that has yet to find a home.

Tim, Anson, Anna & Lawrence put in the last of the posts for Anson’s car-shed and sleep out. Now Cat can begin the building of it. Anson & Lawrence stacked up timber cuz Tim couldn’t get the log splitter working. Nathan & Tim shot up to WB in the dinghy to meet the fire safety guy who was down to do his annual checks of alarms and extinguishers.

Cat went to work at 5:30am.
Anna and I were sitting at the table talking in the mid afternoon when Cat arrived home – she crept up behind Anna and presented her with a surprise.
Mike! Anna’s bro – he had cycled in. He has biked all the way from Palmerston North over the past weeks and yesterday came in from Okiwi Bay. Took him mega hours and he only got a ride just a few moments from our boundary-!!

I finished getting dinner ready for Nathan as he was busy doing the Cottage for me.
After dinner Cat & Anna went for a bike ride – for some funny reason Mike wasn’t too interested in going with them
Then they went for a swim and a spa.
Nathan, Mike & Lawrence played cards. It was hilarious. They were playing Cheat – Anson, Tim & I were in stitches watching them. They were all cheating but none of them would challenge the others – the body language was so funny.

For some reason my computer decided to restart itself just as I was about to write up my blog so I went to bed instead and here I am now.
It is another beautiful calm sunny morning in paradise.
There is rain in the forecast but no sign of it yet.
We desperately need rain – it is looking like we are in for a very long hot dry summer.
Could be serious stuff

My mission today is to get the gst finished.
Tomorrow is D-day!
So off to the shower now to begin my day………

Shannie, Azzan and I went up to Waterfall Bay on Friday afternoon to open up the Lodge for the fishing party. Tim came over too and did some weed eating while waiting for them. They came in and had a bbq dinner and then went out for an evening fish.

Azzan then decided that he should go home with his daddy so he could go out to the Nelson A&P show with Mahalia. Anson was shearing in the show so Tim & Nathan wanted to go watch.

Shannie and I raided the freezer and had a very interesting and not that healthy a dinner – but it tasted good and filled the gaps. We watched some TV and then she went off to bed. I was watching ‘White Oleander’ when Herb arrived with some more groceries for me. He helped me butter the bread for the guys sandwiches, had a chat and then went over to join the rest of his friends at The Cottage. I finished watching the movie and then went to bed.

I was very glad that the men wanted to go out for an early morning fish and have a late breakfast around 9:30am. So I had plenty of time to shower and do washing and get things cooked. Lawrence arrived over about 9:30, but still the boat hadn’t returned. It was a beautiful day and they went out further than they planned. We went out and weeded the herb garden and then watched some tv. Got the washing from the Lodge done too which was a good start to the cleaning process.

Had a call from my neighbour Sandra – nice to have time for a catch up – also was good talking with her about how I have been feeling this past week. She agreed that I have probably been experiencing post trauma shock from the accident. It is one thing to stay strong for the casualities at the time but afterwards is when the mind starts reliving it all. Sandra is one person who actually knows what it is like to have to walk the journey of life out here and who really understands what it is like when things hit the fan. I don’t know if I have said this before, but Sandra, you were the one person that kept my sanity when I first came here and even today I know you are there when I need a friend – thanks so much for being you and for being there.

The boat finally arrived back just before midday, they had breakfast, packed up, took their packed lunch and departed, off for another fish before going home. We didn’t take too long to get the Lodge cleaned and by then the washing was dry so we got the beds remade and all done in good time. It was so hot I felt we all deserved an ice cream from the shop as we drove back home.

It was very quiet over here with Tim, Anson and the 3 children all gone for the day. Cat & Anna went out diving & fishing with Herb’s mates, and Herb took Lawrence out fishing in PL3. I crashed out in front of a movie and then at 4pm went and lay on my bed to read my book. Shannie chilled out with her movie then.

At 8pm she came in and told me I had been in bed for 4 hours!!! I staggered out to the kitchen – they were all finding plenty of food for their dinner so I grabbed a water bottle and went back to bed. I was so groggy and feeling really out of it. I didn’t even hear Tim when they got in around 11pm.

I woke early this morning and Tim & I had a spa at 6am. Tim got breakfast organised and then took the troops out scalloping. I went back to bed with my book.

Mahalia & Azzan were very happy that they had one some toys at the show. They really enjoyed their day and Tim said they were very good and absolutely no trouble. Next year they have to take Shannie though as there was a huge bird section and Tim said she would love seeing all the chickens.

Shannie made pikelets and presented them to me for breakfast. I had a couple and then I got up to do the washing and have my fresh fruit salad and natural yoghurt breakfast. It was so hot that I took my book outside. Too hot after a while so I retreated back to my bed. It has been a great resting time. No reason to get up and do anything major.

Azzan was happy most of the morning dancing to his music. He is so funny, he changes the cd’s as he feels, turns them up real loud and then dances around the room and does actions in front of the mirror.

This afternoon –
Shannie caught up with Katherine on the phone
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Lawrence and Azzan read stories
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and Nathan was engrossed in Age of Empires
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I found a Mac version of it while in Christchurch and whenever he is not required to be doing anything else he is totally preoccupied with it. Seb is not at all interested in it but Anson is so he borrows the disk whenever he can get it off Nathan-!!

Brianna called so I had a lovely long catch up with her. It has been weeks since we talked. The men all came up for a fellowship meeting while we were talking. It was nice to have a guitar player here. Plus some really good strong Maori guys voices leading the singing.

The men had to leave just after 3pm so it was a fairly short meeting but good stuff. I had been wanting to make crepes all day, so I decided to get them cooking then. I mixed up the batter and cooked up a few and was about to eat one when the phone went. It was Aunt Elvina from Australia. So I ended up having and hours catch up with her. Got back out to the kitchen and found most of the pancakes had gone and there was just enough mix left for me to make a couple for me. So I got to satisfy my craving

I am celebrating because this morning my weight was lower than it has been since I can’t remember – I am down to 74.5kg – yippee-!! Nearly 10kgs off since March. Slowly but surely, they reckon the slower you loose it the more chance you have of keeping it off!

Had a good long catch up with my friend Phillipa tonight and then had a salad for tea. The others were all devouring venison steak, oysters and mussels. Not my scene, nor Shannie’s either. She came in to find me to help her find something she could manage to eat. We raided the freezer and found her something she was happy to eat and she made her own salad – she couldn’t handle the raw onions that Cat had added to the main salad.

Tim & I have just finished watching ‘A Very Long Engagement’ – it is a fascinating movie by the director of ‘Amelie’ – one of Cat’s favourite movies. I would like to watch it again as it was quite involved but it has to go back to the hire shop tomorrow.

Anyway, despite the many hours I have spent in and on my bed I am still tired so I am off to bed now.

Growing times

Thursday –
Cat & Anna went off oyster harvesting.
Anson had a days shearing near French Pass.
Tim took Lawrence up the hill to finish getting the posts and timber packed up for the truck.
Nathan and Peter went up to Waterfall Bay to mow lawns and weed gardens.
Seb and Jo went to Nelson.
Jo has had to leave early to meet her folks over in Sydney. We will miss her. It has been fun having her here and I have really really appreciated her help with keeping the children going on their school work.
Shanni did some baking – it is really the best way for her to learn her fractions and weights and measures – in such a practical way. She comments to me now that she is getting to know what it means when she sees 3/4 or 250gm or 6oz. She is becoming multi lingual in the maths realm

I have been struggling with thinking Nathan is not doing enough academic work but then he continues to dumbfound me. He will come out with such broad and amazing facts when we are talking at the table. He reads so much and despite the speed with shich he is reading he is comprehending it all. Unlike me he does reread books several times if they grip him. So I guess I need to stop worrying and just let him grow and be a boy. He will have to face the responsibilities of adulthood soon enough. And after hearing Peter Pan telling why he doesn’t want to grow up the other night I can quite agree!!

I did the GST and got meals ready.
I have also been sorting out photos and old home movies.
I have just joined Photomax – which is a place that copies your photos and films onto a secure website. Plus they send you back copies of them on disk and store everything in an underground vault in Utah. You can access them on your own website and edit as you wish. You can also get movies etc made from them. It is a great way to protect and preserve the family photos from age, fire and flood etc. I am really excited to have found it via a friend as I hate to see all our photos aging on the shelves and the movies we have taken over the years just sitting gathering dust. I know we have some fun ones when Bri was young – watch out Bri they will be getting done soon

The weather is beautiful at the moment – most conducive to being outside. I really enjoyed hanging out the washing and soaking in the sunshine. Very healing

Shannie is so excited to be seeing her plants growing.
Her peas are up to her waist already and the silver-beet is up to her chin. Never mind that it is bolting with the heat – she is still immensely proud of it-!!
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She was very delighted with her first radishes which we immediately enjoyed in our salad for dinner.

We are totally overrun with cats here at present.
There is Marco, our 11 year old granddaddy cat, Speights the mother of the younger ones and 8 kittens – 4 from each litter – the small ones are now 7 weeks old and very cute. The older ones are cute but getting to be a pain as they will not stay outside. Cat brought the smaller ones down from the attic last night and it was really funny watching them all playing around old Marco. They wouldn’t stop still for a photo though. Seb took one out to a new home yesterday – we have homes for 3 more but not for a couple of weeks, anyone want a kitten?? 3 left to find homes for. Cat is keeping one of them. Here are the 3 bigger ones.
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The truck got in late – it had a huge load on board and then it took time to unload and reload. Anson finished work early and got back in time to help which was great. This time we had used a different truck and it has a lifter so made the work so much easier. But still the guys did not get home for lunch till 6pm. They ate their pizza and then ate dinner half an hour later-!!

I think everyone slept very well last night.

Tim has taken a boat load out scalloping this morning and Cat is going for a dive while they are out. Shannie & Hali have been re-sorting the school room. I have been juggling furniture to make room for all their Sylvanian houses and the lego. Thankfully it is a big room and it is a good chance for them to clean it and sort out rubbish. But as usual they have almost come to blows. Shannie gets frustrated cuz Hali doesn’t do what she wants her to and then Shannie starts sounding like a fish wife and Hali just stands there and nothing happens. I have just told them that is is unacceptable behaviour – so Shannie is carrying on in there on her own and I have assigned Hali to cleaning their bedroom and Azzan’s too. They do work well, but better apart- sisters! It really is quite an educational time for them – learning to get along and also learning to sort and work out what is best to do with what. And what can I throw out and where should this go etc. To think you can pay money for kids to play sorting games – mine don’t need them – it is part of our life

I am beginning to feel better.
Life is not quite so dark.
I think I made it through yesterday with only a few tears.

Today the sun is shining.
I am feeling lighter.

I am now going to go get some baking done for the packed lunches I have to provide tomorrow. I did make a banana cake last night but I am really not with it at the moment and it is not the best I can do so I am going to go try making something else now. Maybe some brownie or flapjacks.

I have to go over and get the party sorted this arvo and will be staying the night at Waterfall. Am doing breakfast and packed lunch for 12 guys. I just so love cooking eggs for multitudes – not
It really is not my forte so I am hoping I can wing it somehow and that they look past the eggs to the rest of the yummy food-!!
Thankfully they are doing their own dinner so I am going to chill out and watch a movie and have a quiet night -here’s hoping!!