A Wonderful Rainy Day :-)

Yesterday was yet another lovely sunny day.
I went for a walk and by the time I got back Tim & Matt were heading up the hill to grub another block of weeds.

Seb, Matt & Marianne had not returned from possum hunting until 2am so they were rather sleepy.
In fact I couldn’t rouse Seb till after 11am.

Marianne ate her breakfast in the sun with Azzan helping to plan the picnic that they wanted to go on.
Azzan has nicknamed her Flower.
Hali is Bambi and he is Thumper.
Never guess what story he has been listening too??

Anyway they all three packed up their food and headed up the hill.
Marianne was quite excited as she wanted to go walk on the farm.
But the children had other ideas.
They walked up the hill to just above the pig pen and picnicked there

Josie arrived on the mailboat and was very quickly assimilated into the madding crowd.
She and Matt took the children swimming while Marianne and I made Malayan Fish Dish for dinner.
Josie and Shanni made a treacle tart for dessert.
Josie was most particular about making the pastry just right so Shanni got a good cooking lesson – although I am not too sure how much of it stayed inside her blonde brain-!!

Bri called from The Land of Oz so we had a good catch up.
She is sounding really happy which is great

Last night Tim loaded up timber in preparation of his trip to town.
The children had finally cleaned up their room so I let them watch a new movie I had bought.
I got it at The Warehouse – it was priced at $14.99 and when I went through the checkout the girl almost apologetically said that it was scanning at $6. Well, I wasn’t complaining-!!
Anyway, it is called ‘Paulie’ – and we all sat and watched it before dinner.
It is so lovely and funny and poignant.
Well worth the $6

When I loaded my photos today I found a heap of random ones – someone had been using it – here are Matt with Jynx and Josie with Mo.
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We all mostly had an early night – well sorta early.
I think I got to bed before 10:30pm.

Woke early this morning – around 4am.
Couldn’t sleep and was lying there wishing my art gear was still out in the living room so I could get up and play without disturbing anyone.
As it is in my bedroom now I can’t play while Tim is sleeping – bother it

I finally gave up listening to the radio ever so quietly and turned on my bed side light and read a while.
Then of course by the time Tim got up I was ready for sleep again.
I dragged myself out of bed at 7am and proceeded with the day.

Tim had promised to take the children out to the Rai Show. But the forecast was not at all good.
So there was a bit of humming and hawing.
It is a 2hour drive to get there for us so we didn’t want to risk setting out if it was raining there.
I called a friend near the show grounds – it was overcast and not raining then.
So the children got mentally geared up to go.
Then she called back an hour later – still overcast but misty around the hills.
So Tim had another look at the weather map and pulled the plug on the journey.
Thankfully he did cuz soon after it began to rain here and it has set in and is quite heavy.

Azzan was asked to dry the breakfast dishes
‘Is this the way it works??’

Seb took Matt & Josie up to Waterfall to help Richard with some gardening and Marianne went for a walk.
So I guess they will all be getting rather wet now.
Tim is happy though – we so desperately need the rain – he had heaps to do but is doing a happy dance anyway

As a consolation the children are allowed to watch ‘Surfs Up’
They are totally engrossed.
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There was not a flinch or movement from any of them when I took these – note the concentration – must be a good movie-!!

I am going to go start wrapping Mahalia’s b’day presents now and sort out stuff that has been dumped most unceremoniously in my bedroom.

I would actually prefer to go back to bed –
– it is 9 days till I have to go to town to the dentist
– 14 days till I have to take the children to town to the Staying Alive Expo – home school visit involving 2 days
– it is only 15 days till Hali’s b’day
– 21 days till Shanni and I leave to head to the airport for our Australian trip

Soooooo, I better go and do.

We went visiting this arvo

I ate my fresh fruit salad and natural yoghurt at midday while everyone else had lunch.
Then we loaded into the Safari and headed over to Waterfall Bay.
I took Marianne, Matt and the 3 young’uns.
It was such a glorious afternoon that when we got to the top of the hill we took the scenic route.

We drove along the airstrip and right to the tailing yards to give Marianne some spectacular views which she missed last night as it was too dark.

She and the girls had fun
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Then we zoomed down the airstrip and arrived at Waterfall Bay soon after.
We unloaded all the shop supplies and had afternoon tea with Richard.
He was pleased to see us all and we enjoyed his baking

The children went swimming and then later on Matt, Marianne, Azzan & Hali walked home around the track.
I spent the rest of the day walking about the garden with Richard sussing out where to plant all the new plants I had bought.
The place is looking so good – all neat and tidy.
With the new plants it will add a bit more colour and fill a few gaps.

The afternoon flew by and before we knew it – it was close on 6pm and we had to high tail it back home.

Nathan & Seb had cooked dinner which was very tasty.
It is now bedtime for the small folk and I am feeling like I really need to be following them closely.
Not too many hours of sleep last night so a catch up is needed methinks-!!

Fun times

Well, Tim did surprise me and nearly caught me out on Tuesday-!!
I saw the boat returning before midday so I had to race through the shower.
We all grabbed a quick lunch loaded up and headed around the road.
Shanni stayed back with matt and they swam and fished the afternoon away.

An hour later we got to the turn off to Canoe Bay.
I have lived here 30 years and this is the first time I have been down.
Crazy eh?
We are usually so intent on getting to where we have to go we don’t visit our neighbours.
It was a long but very lovely meandering drive down.
Took me 15 mins to get to the house.
We found Rossi & Doug there and Carol sleeping peacefully under the tree out front.

We enjoyed afternoon tea while we waited for Tim to arrive.
He had a heavy load on so was a lot slower than me.
When he arrived they unloaded the firewood
I sat and chatted with Rossi and Carol in the sunshine
and the two little ones enjoyed playing on the beach with the puppy Tai
Tim had a quick drink and chat and then we had to head away.

Tim took he two young’uns and went to Elaine to get fuel and then back home again.

I zoomed into Rai Valley, dropped Seb there just before 5pm and he hitched a ride through to Blenheim.
He stayed the night and then drove his new baby home.
I zipped over the hills to Nelson and got there just on 5:30pm.
Dropped Nathan at Starbucks and headed up the stairs to do a work out at Curves.
Then we moseyed through the supermarket, got some food for his lunch the next day and for dinner and headed up to cousin Phil’s for the night.

Wednesday I was up bright and early.
Had a quick breakfast with Phil and then headed down to the garage to leave the Safari there for a few hours.
They had a zippy wee automatic Bluebird for me to use.
So good to drive around town in after the tank-!!
Got Nathan out to Richmond half an hour early and when we got out of the car realised he had left his day pack in the Safari. So we tore down to the village and I got him another notebook and pen.
Back to Ainsley’s, still had plenty of time – oh the joy of being early for once-!!

They left around 8:45 so I headed back into town.
Parked up and did a few walking jobs in the city centre.
I had to return a top to The Warehouse and while I was browsing there found they had beach towels on half price special – so of course I had to load up with those. Our towels are looking very old and sad.
The garage called to say the Safari was finished so I went back to Tahunanui to collect it then off to pick up Tim’s mussel ropes and the dive bottle etc.
Then a call from Phil to say Nate had left some clothes behind.
Talk about blonde boys!!!
Zipped up the hill and got it and by this time Phillipa was close so we met up for lunch at Oasis.

As she was parking she realised her wallet was at home.
I have very strong memories of that happening to me not too long ago so I was very glad I had finished most of my jobs and I was able to hop aboard her trusty stead and go shopping with her.
We had an enjoyable lunch and then headed to the No1 Shoe warehouse.
Great fun.
I actually found 3 pairs of shoes that fit me.
Wow! That was miraculous.
I bought 2 and the 3rd pair was just a bit wacky so I wasn’t too sure whether or not to buy them.
But Phillipa liked them on me (gotta blame someone for the extra purchase) and when I went back to find them again they were still sitting there all lonely like waiting for me to take them home.
So I did-!!

We parted company then and I headed back to Curves to have a work out.
Then I met up with Marianne from Norway – a friend of Bri’s.
She & I went and got the groceries while waiting for Nathan.
I think she had a lot of fun seeing the crazy bulk way I shop!
She was catching loaves of bread as they fell off the trolly and hooning about looking for things for me.

Nathan’s first aid day went extremely well, finished an hour later than planned.
We hit rush hour in Richmond so getting fuel on the main drag was a bit of an act.
Especially when you get into the wrong lane at the lights and then turn into the fuel station in the opposite direction to all the other motorists!!!

We finally collected Nate, chatted with Ainsley and came away with a big bag of her yummy grapes.
Zoomed back into Nelson, flew through Countdown and then got to Starbucks in time to get our last frappaccino for the day.
They have introduced a brand new flavour – it is di-lectable – Dulce de Leche – so YUM

We managed to leave Nelson before 7pm.
Had a good trip home.
It was fast as we were trying to catch the light to show Marianne the best views before it got dark.
We managed to catch most of them and even got to visit with Syth’s llamas in the headlights

We past Seb & Matt on the way down our road – they were spotlighting for possums.
We unpacked and unwound and then hit the hay.
Tim and I had a delightful spa first – the moon was just coming up over the hills and through the clouds.
It was beautiful.

This morning dawned fine and clear.
Tim & Matt went out and did mussel work for a few hours.
Marianne and the 3 children went kayaking – after Shanni had shown her the chickens etc.
Nathan is continuing with his bedroom clean up and Seb is doing his maths.

Here are some photos of the beautiful shrub outside of my study window.
It is the most glorious plant.
It is green and white and rust and brown and orange – all depending on the light.
Looking down the path it is on the left
and with the sun on it is is russet
the bumble bees love it and were working furiously this morning in the heat of the sun.

As I was taking the photos I caught a gorgeous whiff of the most beautiful flower.
It was the ginger – such a wonderful scent

It is now midday – I am catching up on mail, washing, and everything else I need to after 2 days away – so now I am going to go have my breakfast

Monday & Tuesday in a nutshell

Monday – Tim was planning to go and do mussel work but it began to blow so he and Matt went out grubbing weeds instead.
I did some school work with the children.
But after a week off it was hard going.
We managed to get Math and Reading done.
Took ALL morning – how tedious-!!

We were all very relieved to get out of there at lunch time.
The afternoon disappeared into my computer.
I am trying to organise our trip to Oz and looking up places and accommodation all takes time on dial up
Tim & Matt went and got a load of firewood.
Our guests arrived into The Croft – I actually forgot they were coming but they didn’t seemed too fazed by that!

Nathan baked a huge moki that Cat had speared on their last D’Urville trip.
I had steak.
I am not a baked fish girl.
I am glad it gives Tim & the others great pleasure to eat it but I can’t handle it.

Cat arrived home alone.
Anna has gone to stay with her Mum while her ankle heals.
Sounds like Cat had a great weekend.

Today I am getting ready to go to town again.
Nathan is going to a home schoolers First Aid day.
As I was the one who instigated it for him I really do have to go
It has taken a bit of juggling cuz I have to put the Safari into the garage soon after 7:30am for the wheel bearings to be fixed and Nathan’s day is way out on the other side of town.
They have promised me a courtesy car so hopefully it will all go smoothly.
I just have to get Nathan to a friends house by 8:45am and she will take him to the day.
That will leave me hopefully free to get a few things done.

It is a gloriously calm and sunny day today.
Tim & Matt have gone out early this morning to do mussel work.
Cat didn’t have to go to work till 9 today as the police were coming in to fingerprint the boat.
Apparently someone thought they needed the tools on board more than she and Noel do so they removed them over the weekend – man there are some heinous people around.

The three young ones are doing a massive clean out in their bedrooms.
Hali has decided to move in with Azzan.
So that gives Shanni a room to herself.
But we will see how long it lasts – probably not too long knowing them-!!
In the meantime it is a good reason to clean their rooms

We are all going around to visit Carol after lunch on our way to town.
We will drop off the food and wood and then I will head out to town.
Dropping Seb off at Rai Valley so he can hitch his way through to Blenheim and collect his baby from Mum’s garage.
Tim will get a load of fuel at Elaine Bay and then head back home again.

I have been having an interesting time surfing the net this morning and have found a wonderful place to visit in Oz.
It is Sovereign Hill
Looks great, so we may take advantage of their package deals.

In between the surfing I have made 2 loaves of bread for Tim and some muffins, had breakfast and delegated chores to the children.
I now need to go shower and chuck some overnight bits in a bag and get organised.
Tim has promised he will be back at midday – heard that one before too
Let’s hope he surprises me today.

Cherokee Seasons

I told you a few days ago that I had heard something really good on the radio.
Well, I have managed to track it down.

This is what spoke to my heart.
I hope it speaks to yours.

There was once an Indian chief who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest – to go, in turn, and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in autumn.

One year later, when the last son had returned from his journey, the chief sat his four boys down and asked them to describe what they’d seen.

The first son reported that the pear tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.

The second son argued that, no, what he’d seen was covered with green buds and full of promise.

The third son disagreed, claiming that the tree was loaded with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful – the most graceful thing he’d ever seen.

The last son disagreed with all of them, insisting that the tree was ripe and drooping with fruit, exploding with life and colour.

The Cherokee chief then assured his sons that all four of them were right, because they’d each seen just one season in the pear tree’s life. He went on to explain that you can’t judge a tree, or a person, by only one season … that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons have come around.

If you give up when it’s winter, he said, you’ll miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, the colour of your autumn.

Moral: Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.
Don’t judge life by one difficult patch.
Persevere through the difficult times and better times are sure to come.
Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

A busy Sunday

Last night we got an email asking for help for a local family who have an elderly, ailing, mother requiring 24/7 care.
So I spent this morning baking and cooking up a storm to put together a care box of food for them.
Tim is going to take a load of firewood.
That wasn’t possible today though as it has been raining most of the day.
So looks like the guys will get that organised tomorrow.

As normal when I get into the kitchen I cook in bulk so there was also a lot left over for us.
I made 2 double batches of Flapjack slice and a double mix of Louise Cake – which is actually a slice!
While that was happening Matt & Nate helped cut up vegetables.
I made a double sized quiche, a huge pot of mincemeat & vege goulash and a venison casserole.
Plus we were roasting chickens for dinner and making stir-fry.
So it was a very busy kitchen.
Shanni wanted to know what multi tasking meant

Tim & I both had a long chat on the phone with Anson.
He wasn’t working today as they were rained out.
He is pretty happy down south and has some interesting plans to look forward to this winter.

The 3 guys played cards for a while.
Then Seb cooked lunch, and afterwards Tim, Matt, Nate & Shanni played Settlers of Catan and the little ones played on the computer.
I retreated to my bed with my book for an hour.
I am engrossed in a Danielle Steel book ‘The Kiss’.
Quite an intriguing story.

We have actually had dinner at an earlish hour so while Tim is feeding his dogs and the guys are doing dishes, the little ones are getting ready for bed.
Then we will all sit and watch an episode from a dvd that I bought a while back.
It is the adventures of two guys travelling the world to spread the Gospel.
It is the first ever documented reality mission series.

Talked to Cat tonight – she came 4th in her section of the competition.
As she has never bouldered before she did really well.
If she had gone into a different section she probably would’ve won it.
She has had to take Anna to the hospital to get he ankle looked at.
She fell about 3m so gave herself a bit of a nasty injury.
Just as well Cat has no work tomorrow – they can take their time getting home.
Seb’s baby is getting closer to home…………apparently, according to Cat, it is a really racey number-!!

Well, we just watched the first episode of Travel the Road.
It was interesting but too much travel and not enough gospel for us so far.
We will watch the rest of the series and see what pans out.
Interesting adventures though.

Am off to bed for an early night.
Had too many late ones lately and am feeling somewhat weary tonight.

Nighty night


Tim & Matt went out early and spent the morning doing mussel work. It came in to rain and started to blow and wasn’t looking too great for the work but then it calmed right down and the rain eased.
They had a very productive morning.

Seb spent most of the day doing Maths.
Nate was cleaning his room – man! it needed it too.
Long way to go yet though!

The 3 young ones cleaned up after breakfast and then I sent them out of the living room.
So they played upstairs for hours.

I shut the living room up and sprayed.
The wee house flies have been driving us all nuts so it was a good time to try and annihilate them.

I took my breakfast into the study and spent the whole morning, actually most of the day, catching up on emails etc.
I am so behind it isn’t funny.

After lunch Tim & Matt went down to the wharf to recondition mussel ropes.
There is quite a few bags to do and unfortunatley they have been there a few days so are getting rather smelly
Nate and Shanni helped too for a while.
Shanni’s chatter drove the guys totally nuts but when she quit they did notice the difference in workload.
So she had been quite productive.
Just seems that her tongue has to work to make her hands work

The men’s clothes needed a long hot soak when they came in tonight.
They were very yucky!

Matt took the children swimming.
They do so love to get into the water, but Azzan is always the first back to the spa to warm up

I did a bit more mending before dinner.
Had to get Seb rto thread the needle of the sewing machine.
I just cannot see the hole – it is a real bummer, my eyes are just too blurry even with my glasses on

Shanni made pikelets before dinner so the crew all had a pre dinner snack and then I mixed up some more and we had those for dessert. They were very tasty and disappeared fast.

After dinner Matt played Settlers of Catan with Shanni and Nate.
Seb & I watched a dvd of Danny Buoy – a Scottish comedian.
He is very funny.

Heard from Cat that she didn’t win the rock climbing competition but did really well.
Anna unfortunately sprained her ankle.
We are looking forward to hearing more when they return home tomorrow night.


This morning was filled with leavings.
Brianna and Deborah took off in clouds of dust just after 8am.
Bri to Christchurch on her way back to the Land of Oz and Debbie to the ferry as she is heading north to her YWAM DTS.
Manuela left a little later.
She is going tramping in the Nelson Lakes area.
Then after sorting out ferry tickets and making popcorn etc. Cat and Anna left at midday to head to Wellington to join the ‘2008 National Bouldering Series – Baring Head Rock Hop’

Also this monster of a vessel which arrived in the bay last night departed so quietly I never realised it had gone for ages.

I spent most of my day doing untold loads of washing. I lost track of how many I hung out.
In amongst them I got my sewing machines cranked up.
The hardest thing was threading the needles – I am sure the eyes of the needles are way smaller than they were when I last used my machine 8 years ago I also have a very sore finger cuz I spiked a pin under the nail. Tonight I totally gave up. I broke a needle and then couldn’t thread the new one and when I finally did the machine wouldnt cooperate. So I will try again in the morning light. Shanni and Nate want me to teach them how to sew, so I guess I better dust off my rust real fast like!!

Tim and Matthew spent the morning doing mussel work and then after lunch Tim fixed Azzan’s bunk and Matt took the children swimming.

Shannie came and asked me if she could have a flower garden of her own so I told her to go choose anywhere she fancied. She fancied the bit right outside the backdoor.
Good choice
Now we all get to enjoy her pretty flowers.
When I shopped for plants on Monday I also bought a few pots of pretty wee primroses and pansies etc.
So she got stuck in and weeded the bank and planted them. They look so pretty.

This is how it happened – just imagine that between each breath Azzan is popping in to tell me he is hungry!!!

‘I’ll pull the weeds up here Zanni and you can fill the bucket for me.’

‘Okay. I will just scrunch them right down in here Shannie.’

“Why don’t you just go down and full the bucket with weeds Azzan?’ – in a patient quiet voice.

‘No, I think I will just stay up here and pull out weeds.’

‘Are you going down to empty the bucket Zanni?’
‘No, I am just going down here for a while.’

‘Oh well. I guess I will just go and empty the bucket then.’

Seb has been sussing out cars on TradeMe for a few days now.
So after a long consultation with his father and then discussing it in depth with his mother I agreed to help him achieve the desires of his heart.

The car he really really wanted and could afford just happened to be near Wellington.
And Cat & Anna were booked to return on the ferry on Sunday from Wellington.
So after several phone calls I helped him buy his car.
It is wonderful how rapidly it can all be done on the internet.
We bought it with the flick of a button.
We paid for it with several flicks of several buttons – involved Mum & Dad paying and then moving Seb’s savings around so he can pay us back real quick-!!
Even the change of ownership was done with a few button flicks too.
Great stuff-!!
Then a quick phone call and Cat’s ferry tickets were changed to add the car so she can drive it over.
The insurance cover – hang on-!! It’s Friday night. The office is closed.
Hey, I can text our broker.
And he actually replied

Results are one very happy chappy.
This is what he has scored
A Rover Tomcat 220 I 1993 – and for all of you who like details…
Tahiti Blue, 2 door, Coupe, 2000cc, Manual, Petrol, 153,000km
ABS brakes, Air conditioning, Alloy wheels, Central locking, Power steering, Sunroof

He owes his mother big time now for all her help – and he has made a good start.
Dinner was cooked willingly and the humungous pile of washing was folded so expertly I thought Deborah was still here

He went off to bed early and I am guessing his dreams are very blue tonight

My day at home

I had a wonderful morning.
I stayed in bed and read my book until I felt like getting up.
Then I pottered about wrapped only in a towel – it was so warm and I didn’t feel the need to dress for ages.
No-one to get dressed for, no one to worry about, but me. Total bliss

I updated my blog, finally had a shower before midday and then had some breakfast.
I was going to have fruit and yoghurt but the yoghurt was not smelling too great.
I found a bowl of chocolate mousse in the fridge labeled ‘for Mum’ – so I couldn’t NOT eat it now could I?
I sat out in the sun for a few minutes and ate it while I read a magazine.
Wallowing in my peaceful uninterrupted state

Then I decided to use the very very black bananas and the very smelly yoghurt and make a banana cake.
I also made use of my wonderful new headphone that means I can talk on the phone and do things at the same time. So while I mixed the cake and rattled around in the freezer looking for frozen bananas I had a long chat with Emma.

Then after that I mixed up four loaves of wheat free bread for Tim while I had another long chat with my sis-in-law, Sylvia. Makes me feel so productive being able to catch up with friends and actually do things as well.

I also made dinner for the troops. They all arrived home around 5pm and were starving hungry. I fed the wee ones a snack then chucked them in the bath and then gave them dinner. The banana cake went down a treat – Azzan came back for 3 helpings!!

The older troops were unpacking and sorting gear and then some of them were repacking as they are leaving in all directions tomorrow.

Here are my two very special ladies from Switzerland who have been so helpful over the past few weeks.
They have been such pleasures to have here, I am going to miss them so much.

Manuela and Deborah – thanks so much for all you have done and all your smiles and the times you have helped with the children. I appreciate you both so much

The trip to D’Urville

Bri is the troubadour on the ’88 South’ as they sail out on the briney heading for their destination on D’Urville Island.

All aboard the tinny with the camping gear and zoom into Greville Harbour to set up camp
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A paradise for all –
so a skirt it actually for holding the shell collection!
Fresh fish – so much better eaten with the fingers
A bunch of cosy igloos
Tim and Hali take an early morning stroll
The day is ripe for fun and sun

Anna teaching Hali how to do a handstand
Matthew and Shannie in the royal residence

Such glorious days
even Jonathan Livingston Seagull is cruising by to say hullo