A beautiful day

The children were all up early so we got their breakfasts organised and then I got mine and I sat curled up on the sofa and watched a movie. Mahalia got my dressing gown for me to cuddle up under as it was a bit cool just siting there eating cold fruit and yoghurt.
The movie wasn’t cold though – it was brilliant.
So good that I am going to have to buy a copy of my own.
It was called ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ starring Jack Lemmon.
Cry! Did I cry.
It was so good.
If you haven’t seen it you gotta get it.
I was telling Christine about it and she had read the book.
It was mandatory for those working in palliative care.
So, I guess I better look for the book now cuz I want to read it too.

After that finished I ended up spending the rest of the morning in the study.
I was playing with http://www.photomax.
I have joined up and I was experimenting and ordering stuff.
Am slowly getting the hang of it.
It is great.

I also had a long chat with the Council – we have to do major stuff to/with our wharf.
Whatever we do is going to be horrendously expensive and the paper work/red tape to do before we even get to start work on it is so daunting that I just cannot get my head around it.
I am now in consultation with a guy who is going to assist us with it all.
I have decided that I have way better things to do with my time and energy than to to get stressed out trying to do something that someone else can do in no time at all cuz they have been doing it already and know what they are about.
It is absolutely bizarre though – our wharf has been there for around 100 years. Built out of timber from around here with no modern treatments. It has stood the test of time and will stand much longer if left be.
However the powers that be have decreed now that all foreshore structures must have a resource consent which hinges on an engineers report.
We know darn well that it won’t pass one of those.
But if/when we buy new wharf piles they are only guaranteed for 30 years and the consent is only for 15 years.
No quality in anything today eh??
As well as that I have just realised the Waterfall wharf has to be renewed next year so I may as well do all the paper work at the same time. I told Tim that at least I won’t be doing the next one.
He was a bit dismayed to think I am thinking I won’t be here in 15 years.
But it actually wasn’t that – I was thinking that by then I would have resigned my post in the office and would have handed the baton on to a younger member of our family society
After all, I have better things to do and to look forward to than playing with red tape

I finally got out to the kitchen around 11am.
Nathan had made two French chocolate cakes.
I got him all cleaned up and sorted and then I began my cooking.
I made a venison casserole for my catered party and then another venison and mutton one for our dinner tonight.
I also made lunch and used left over sausages to make a casserole for tomorrows lunch – but Bri has decided that it will be enough for dinner.
I’m outa here tomorrow so whatever they do with it is fine by me. As long as it gets eaten

This afternoon I got caught on the phone with a neighbour who is also going through wharf issues – that was quite a long conversation and then another call from our accounts manager who had all the time in the world to discuss my accounts programme issues. By this stage Christine had arrived around for a cuppa so I was pretty keen to get off the phone. She saw I was on the phone so went down for a swim with the children.

The children swam and then came up for a spa and food.
Christine & I finally got our cup of tea and chat while we watched the children from the decking.
Bri took Shannie out for a sail in the catamaran.
Nathan decided it looked so good he got the optimist out for a sail too.
Then Mahalia and Azzan went kayaking with Tereza.
There was quite an armada in the bay.
They had so much fun.
Bri had the catamaran all over the bay. It was fair moving along.
Christine decreed that our children have such an idyllic life – and I would have to agree

They got back in time for dinner but then Tristan and Steve went out fishing in the kayaks. It proved to windy for Steve so he returned but Tristan stayed out till dark and came home with some good sized cod.

Nathan zipped up to WB in the dinghy to get Mike but Mike had already walked around the track with his pack. He is leaving tomorrow to head back to Palmerston North and University.

I have got the children all sorted for tomorrow – as per normal, I have had to wash their town clothes at the last minute so they are now in the dryer.

I am hoping to be outa here well before 6am so I had better get off to bed now.
Got a good day planned so hopefully it will all go well. Have to have Mike at the airport by 9am so hence the need to get away early.

I was up at 5:30am Tuesday.
Went straight out for my walk.
It was so cool to be walking along the track at that hour – it was light but pre sunrise.
The birds were dawn chorusing, the cicada’s were chirping deafeningly in the trees and the wind was blowing warmly around me as I got to the points.

Had a good start to the day.
Tim and Nathan & the 2 guys took off out to begin the yearly weeding programme.
We have a map each year of the farm and as they complete each block it is coloured in to show how much is done and what is remaining. Gives great incentive to see all those red lines increasing each day.

Seb stayed home to do some school work.
Tereza spent the morning cleaning the Cottage.
I began making dinner but as Cat was insisting I delegate – which I usually do – I asked Seb to do The Pumpkin.
It had been a unanimous decision from him and Cat that we have Pumpkin & feta salad. I am happy to make it but cutting and skinning the pumpkin into cubes is very tedious. So the agreement was that Seb would do that.

Cat biked to work around midday.
Then a friend of Seb’s zoomed into the bay in his dinghy from across the waters.
So guess what?
Seb got occupied for the rest of the afternoon and the pumpkin remained as it was until around 5ish.

I continued with the delegating.
Nate came home and after lunch he made mushroom stroganoff.
Shannie began scrubbing the potatoes.
Tereza finished them and made a salad.
Azzan wanted to make a hidden treasure dessert so I helped him with that – pretty basic really – mix an instant pudding and fold in choc chips and lollies – too jolly sweet for me but he had found the recipe in Shannie’s Scooby Doo magazine and just had to make it. He loves those recipes

Tereza took the children swimming which was great. They love to get down to the water at least once a day.
Hali & Azzan had been on the beach earlier int he day and found heaps of crabs.

In the meantime I was beginning to make progress in my bedroom with sorting out art gear – basically moving stuff, sorting and getting rid of rubbish and excess boxes so far.
I called my friend Bethel in Oz and had a lovely catch up chat.

It was now getting quite late but I was able to begin the pumpkin salad.
(If you want the recipe let me know – it is wonderful )
Consequently by the time I finished it, it was near 7pm and I was beyond tired.

Steve, Tereza & Tristan quickly washed up the dishes and rounded up sleeping bags and bed rolls so they could get up the hill.
They were sleeping up there so they could catch the sun set, stars and sun rise.

Tim had to go kill some muttons so Seb put the children to bed for me.
I was just way too tired to do anything.
I crashed out on the couch and watched ‘What’s eating Gilbert Grape’.
Must admit is was amusing seeing Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio as young fellas!

I was feeling totally anti social and just needed time for me with NO ONE around me.
So when Bri & Anna arrived home around 9pm they didn’t get any response from mother.
That is until they and Seb decided at 9:45pm to hop in the spa.
Tim and I always have our time in there around 10 so they were booted out just a few minutes after they got in.
It definitely was don’t mess with mother night!!!

I didn’t even read my book last night.
Tim was up at 5:30am today and I dragged myself out soon after to make up some sandwiches for the 3 up the hill.
Tim & Seb have gone up to get them and they will do a run on the weeds while it is cool.
It has dawned very cloudy with a lowish fog so I think they have missed sunrise today.

I am skipping my walk this morning – may go for one later on.
Got a really busy day today as I am off to town tomorrow with the 4 children and have to prepare for a catered party this weekend.
Am cooking for 10 guys for 3 days.
A breeze I know after catering for 15 here most days.
But when they are paying $$ for it you always feel more conscious of what you are serving.

Last night we went to sleep with the sound of the southerly pounding in on the shore.
This morning it had blown itself out and the bay was mirror calm.

I left home a little later than normal this morning – the sun was already on the house

I went walking along here…..

this would have to be better than pounding the concrete pavements or working out at the gym – wouldn’t it?

I get glimpses through the pine trees of home on the way back

Aren’t telephoto lenses great!

Especially when you can use them to see way over to Waterfall Bay…

Tim took Steve out to cut up a tree that had fallen over the road and then to muster some cattle.
Tereza & Tristan finished the mussel ropes and cleaned the Cottage.
The children cleaned their rooms and I began to clear the school room.
That was after I had cooked dinner.
Hence the reason I never got too far with the school room.
One day I am going to get a good run at it with out being interrupted by organising food or people-!!

Azzan came and told me that his room was ‘deliciously clean’
That was after days of trying to convince him to tidy it to my specifications – not his!!

Richard arrived just as we were clearing lunch. So we sat and talked for quite a while.
Steve & Tristan went fishing in the double kayak – they were gone until very late this evening.
They came home with some cod so were most proud.

The children watched ‘We of the Never Never’ A great Australian classic story.
Tim took Richard up to Waterfall to have a look and see if he liked the prospect of care-taking it for us.

The answer is Yes!
So we now have an official long term caretaker – yahoo!

They arrived back just in time for dinner so we talked some more and more.
Then Tim went mustering again and I put the children to bed.

And so the evening went…..
and it is off to bed for him and off to bed for me

Another weekend disappeared.

Saturday Tim was up bright and early – he took Steve, Nathan & Tereza up the hill to muster the sheep and wean the lambs. Rie & Bara did mussel ropes all morning.
Tim went to use the tractor after lunch and for some reason the hydraulics wouldn’t work so that canned the work he wanted to do for Cat. She got the girls to sand and paint one of her boats and then took Tereza and Steve to tidy up some wood.

I made a vegetarian Shepherds Pie for dinner. I use lentils instead of meat – it goes down real well with most of the crew!
Seb & Hazel went around the track to chainsaw a couple of fallen trees that are making it rather difficult to get around to Waterfall Bay.
I blobbed out in front of a chick flick in the afternoon and then again after dinner.

This morning I woke up at 3:30am and realised Seb was not in bed.
Couldn’t get back to sleep so got up at 4:30am so I could take Hazel around to the neighbours as she was getting a ride out to town with them at 5:30am. Found several of the older crew in Cat’s hut – they had not been to bed at all so I was glad I had woken in time to drive her around.

We got there in plenty of time.
Steve & Rie had gotten up at 5am and walked to the top of Crichtons Hill to see the sunrise.
I saw a little of it through the clouds when I returned at 6am but I couldn’t be bothered waiting another 20mins at the top of the hill to see it all.

Decided to have a read and soak in the bath when I got back but kept on dozing off so ended up putting the book down before it fell in the water and just dozed a while. Definitely needed the extra zed’s-!!

Christine walked around to join us for fellowship and Baz, Janice and family came too.
Wendy was driving out so she took Bara & Rie to Takaka with her.
Then the water taxi arrived bringing Tristan from Berlin.

After a late lunch Baz & Janice left – they had enjoyed their weeks holiday with no phones ringing or TV blearing in the background. Lots of fishing and R&R

Tereza convinced Steve & Tristan to go kayaking and the little ones were playing happily so Tim, Nathan & I watched ‘The Wind and the Lion’. A real good classic movie set in Morocco. We really enjoyed it. Lots of drama, but as Tim commented – it was great to watch a movie that had no foul language or explicit sex. A very pleasant change. Okay! It did have some fairly interesting scenes of head removals with Berber swords – but heck! it was a true story

I was going to make savoury pin wheel scones for dinner but the filling proved to be more than I could pin wheel so I turned it into a Berber pizza. It was delicious. We then had crepes for dessert. Totally unhealthy dinner but the kids loved it. Too much wheat for me though – I have had an upset tummy ever since – back to the diet tomorrow.

Update on Emma.
She is home as from last night.
But sadly had to leave her wee man in hospital as he is not developed enough yet.
That was real hard for her, but her other darlings were needing her so she felt it expedient to go home.
The wee man has a name – David Colin.
David means ‘beloved’
Colin is after her obstetrician who was responsible for saving her life though all this trauma.
When I researched the name Colin, I found it to be a diminutive form of Nicholas – which means ‘victorious people’ AND he was the patron saint of children.
How appropriate-!!

Another hot day.

Today went pretty well really.
Tim & Seb went out early to finish the mussel work.
Nathan took the girls down to the wharf and showed them how to do the mussel ropes and sand the boat.
Cat and Steve made a start on Anson’s abode.

I made dinner & muffins while Nathan & Hazel baked cakes.
It was so hot today.
At one stage it was 25’C inside and later this arvo it was 34’C out on the verandah.
That is hot for here – I know it isn’t for those of you who endure temps of 42’C plus. But it is all relative and when I say it was hot, it was!!
Everyone was wilting at lunch time so they all went swimming.

Louisa came on the mailboat and collected her three darlings. I am not too sure who most pleased to see Louisa – the children or the grandmother
PICT4859_2 PICT4864_2
They are off to have a week with their Dad now.
It was lovely for them to have the mailboat trip rather than the drive – much more relaxing for them all.

Cat & Steve carried on building afterwards.
I went to have a rest but ended up chatting on the phone to my bro instead.
It was nice to have a catch up as we hadn’t talked in a while.
He has been pretty cut up over losing his old dog and then a week later his wife’s horse.

Got the rest of dinner underway with Hazel’s help. Iced the cakes and then put on my walking shoes and walked around to Waterfall Bay. It was a good walk, lovely in the bush as it wasn’t so hot.
PICT4867 PICT4868
I haven’t walked through there in a while – it was all over grown with several fallen trees blocking the way and felt all jungley.

Christine rowed around from Bush Inn.
Charlotte was at her yacht and she and Wendy had taken a cruise in her rubber ducky around the bay whilst waiting for us.
Tim was last to arrive in his dinghy.
There were 3 or 4 dolphins were playing right in close to the shore tonight.

Wendy had begun dinner and Mike completed the preparations.
It was delicious. Roast chicken and fresh vegetables and good company.
We had a very relaxed and friendly evening.

Only stresses of the night were that the blasted freezers are playing up and Tim & Mike had to juggle stuff to make room for the fishing party’s fish. It is a 4 day party so they need quite a lot of room.

We have just enjoyed a zippy ride back in the dinghy and now I am off to bed.

Catching up

Wed morn sorta disappeared fairly quickly.
I was up at the crack of dawn to fit my walk in before the day went crazy.
Tim and the guys left early to do mussel work – we are finally having some harvests done.
They were sposed to begin back in August but it has just been too dry and conditions not right for fattening.

Then the two Israeli girls left – they had stayed longer due to the storm.
It was such a fortuitous meeting – they hadn’t known about us until they met up with the 2 Israeli guys who were booked to come in. They all came together, the guys could only stay one night but the girls stayed on and on and on – and would’ve stayed on longer if they could’ve.
In fact they are threatening to come back – we will welcome them with open arms when they do

Mahalia has disappeared while I was in town.
She has taken up residence with Christine and the Davidson children at Bush Inn.
It is so quiet when just one child is removed from the equation-!!

I had a VERY long catch up call with Phillipa.
It was great.
We talk frequently but usually just for quick info calls.
So a 2 hour deep and meaningful call was a special time.
Made easier because I now have 3 cordless phones in the house and I could carry on doing things while talking.
In fact my stove top got a good clean for the first time in a while – thanks Phillipa

Cat helped to organise the 2 new wwoofers while I was occupied.
Finally got some shrubs planted that had been sitting at the backdoor for weeks waiting to find the right place.

Because I get up and go walking in the morning I am dressed but not showered and some mornings once I set foot in the house life just takes over and I don’t actually get to find the shower until much later in the day. BEMW (Before Early Morning Walks) if I got up and put on my dressing gown and started to get things underway – it was pretty jolly obvious that I wasn’t decent to face the world, so I would get to the shower a lot earlier. Nowadays I keep on getting caught out and Wed was one of those days. Finally after dealing with heaps of calls and visits a neighbour arrived in his boat after lunch. So I decided it was time!

My day was also a little difficult cuz I was realising that I had made quite a mistake in accepting the last minute wwoofer I had brought home the night before. She was just not gelling with us. It does happen occasionally, but once it happens and esp so early in the visit I find myself having to work out how to diplomatically getting them to leave. Most folk rub along really well, we do get one or three that are a bit ‘different’ but then just occasionally we get someone who just rubs us all up the wrong way – and now is that time

Shannie, Tereza, & Rie went kayaking around to Jack’s Beach to spend the afternoon with the rest of the children. Christine had organised a picnic there for them.

Tim & I took our lunch down to The Cottage and had a chat with the crew down there. It was a nice interlude to the day.
But after a while I found myself nodding off so while it was quiet I came back home and had a of a rest.
I was quite weary. It was a bit of a struggle to drag myself off the bed to get dinner prepared at 5pm.

After dinner I blobbed out in front of a movie.

Thursday –
My alarm woke me at 5:30am. I am setting my cell alarm at 8 hour intervals to remember to take my antibiotics. At this point they seem to be working, my tooth has settled a lot. Just have to pray it will continue to improve and not keep niggling.

Tim, Steve & Seb were back out doing mussel work – Tim likes to leave by 7am to catch the early morning stillness. He does not like working on the mussel lines when it is windy. He is most fortunate that he can have that preference because we live on site.

I went for a walk and then got Nathan to take Rie and Bara up to Waterfall Bay in the dinghy to help Mike for the day. Tereza helped me. I don’t think we really did a lot. I was planning on getting the school room cleaned up – once again it has become the dumping zone. Cat told me that the hole in the hall ceiling is going to lead into a storage area. Great news! At long last we might have somewhere to actually store things and not have to move spare bedding etc around the house. But until it is completed I will continue to juggle boxes.

Anyway, I never did get to the school room. I did actually walk in there and around it and then came straight back out. Too hard. I was too tired to think about it.

We were having lunch and Brynn and Jo arrived for a visit. It was great catching up with them. Brynn worked for us when Anson was a baby – 1995/96. The marker for remembering this is that he was here when the Mikhail Lermentov sank in Port Gore.

Steve and Tereza went on a long walk around the farm – Steve had done it on Tuesday and Tereza wanted to see it all as well. She is a bright wee button – very enthusiastic & pleasant to have around.

Azzan has taken to asking me if he can use my camera to take photos. So I out the strap around his neck and turn it on and off he trots. He takes a few and then comes back happy as Larry. Most of them I have to delete as they are blurry. But this time he actually captured his magnetic sculpture very nicely.

After they left I went and lay down on my bed and slept. Once again I had to hurriedly wake myself to get dinner finished. While I was waiting for everyone to arrive in I got a few batches of butter made to put in the freezer and also got 2 loaves of wheat free bread on the go for Tim.

Hazel (Seb’s friend) is visiting this week. It has been really nice getting to know her. She is a delightful girl. Azzan has also been enjoying her company. They both helped me make the bread and get dinner finished last night along with the 3 critters that my children were given at the ‘Just Because’ party at Bush Inn.

For once everyone turned up for dinner pretty much on time. I just hate preparing food and then having people either coming in real late or not coming at all and then finding food disappearing at random hours of the night. It is so hard to budget the food when that happens. When we only get to town intermittently and I am feeding around 12-15 plus people each meal I have to have a handle on the amounts. Food is not cheap either and I hate waste.

Mahalia arrived home for dinner too. She was looking very partied out.

It was such an amazing evening that after dinner the children all took off down to the beach. Tim was down on the wharf getting the mussel rope gantry set up for the girls to do the ropes this morning. I think it was close to 9:30pm before we managed to get them into their beds-!!

By this stage I was beside myself with tiredness. I had forgotten though to cook the bread so I had to wait up for it to finish. I waited for Tim to get in and shower and then I fell into the spa. Decided last night that today I would take it quietly and not head of early for a walk. So set my alarm for 6am instead and I woke just before it. Have had a good catch up here on the computer and now I am going to hop in the shower before today disappears……..

The Road to a Friends House is Never Long! – remember that if you come to visit us :-)

Monica & I left home just before 7am today.

We headed up our road
to the top and drove through our Boundary paddock.
It was a beautiful clear calm and warm morning.
Zipping along, over cattle stops.
Fewer of these on the road now as the farms are being sold and land de-stocked.
Met some local critters who move off the road at their leisure, not our request!

Admiralty Bay was a mirror this morning
quite different from last Saturday

and then on around more corners and up hills
until we get to the best view ever – I never tire of this.
Every time I drive out I love to stop and look across the bottom of D’Urville Island and northwards through French Pass
Monica had to capture it too just before we meandered away from the pasture lands into the bush.
Through the Garnes/Saville Reserve
Nearly at Canoe Bay
And finally,
Voilà! Tarseal – yippee
here we are at the Elaine Bay turnoff.
Mind you, tarseal does not mean the end of the hills or multitudinous bends and corners to navigate around. It just means you are more likely to meet a huge truck somewhere where you least expect it

And down McLarens Hill we zip and zig and zag..
and at the bottom for the unwary is…..
the one way bridge.
Been caught out here a time or two

Then through Moncriefs Reserve
and up another small hill
and down the other side to
holiday homes
Okiwi Bay
The first, or last, which ever way you happen to be approaching, toilet stop on the trip-!!

Then it is onwards and upwards over the Ronga Saddle and at last we get to make a decision
Which way shall we go??

Well, we could always turn around and go home

Not today.
We continue to wend our way over more hills to Nelson
on State Highway 6.
Can you see it there amongst the bush?

We got to Nelson, Monica dashed into Starbucks for our brekky fix and then the rain began.
We had jobs to do.
So we ducked and dived from car to shop to car to the next shop.
It finally came in so heavy that we were actually getting wet.

By then it was time for my dentist appointment so I left Monica at the Info Centre.
James found thankfully that there is no abscess yet.
And that the copious amounts of Vit C and Garlic I have been taking is actually helping the low grade infection to subside.
He prescribed some antibiotics to try and stop it in it’s tracks.
If it does not calm down by next week then I have no option than to have it pulled.
There is not enough real tooth left to save this time

Disaster struck
I discovered to my horror that the necklace that Tim gave me when I was 16, that I have worn continuously ever since, was not there.
My nexk was naked.
The catch of the chain must have malfunctioned and it had dropped off somewhere in my running about in the rain.

I am totally gutted and am now trying to find photos of me with it showing clearly enough to be able to show to insurance and jewellers so I can have it remade.
It is very unusual, I have never seen another like it.
It had a large teardrop shaped Amethyst in it with a pearl set in a very old fashioned gold setting.
Apart from the sentimental side of things – I actually treasure it way more than my wedding ring – it is actually worth quite a lot of money.

I found Monica and we went clothes shopping at Mariposa.
I just LOVE that store.
We had such fun, and came away with a few more necessary articles of clothing

Popped across the street to Morrison St Cafe and met Bri & Anna for lunch.
Just squeaked our orders in before the 2:30pm deadline.

We parted company after that Bri had to go to the physio, the girls carried on shopping.
They are heading down the West Coast on a road trip for a week.

I zipped up to the gym and did my work out then met up with Tereza from Czech Republic.
We wen to The Warehouse and Countdown and the got a heap of hire dvds and pizza for dinner.
Picked up Tereza’s friend Bara and headed out of the city around 7am.

The rain had stopped by this stage and the fog was lifting so we had a good clear trip home.
Bara didn’t appreciate all the corners and spent the trip with the window right down trying to contain the cherries she had just eaten.

Finally at 9:30pm we got to the gate.
The moon was glorious and full.
It kept on disappearing behind the clouds.
Tim said that the bay was totally whited out today as the winds were so strong.
I think I did my travelling at the right times today

Time for bed now.

Quick Emma update first though.
She text me today to say she has done a ‘Lazurus’.
Praise the Lord
She is feeling a lot better and has been able to hold the wee man and is also now able to express to feed him.
Wonderful news.
A big thanks from her to all of you who have been praying and supporting her.

In her words
‘Thanx 4 rallyn da saints!