A very wet weekend

It has been very wet here most of the weekend.
I spent 90% of Saturday in the study determined to get the accounts finished.
I did it and then had three goes at emailing them through to the accountant.
I made a mistake with the address twice before succeeding.
This normally wouldn’t matter.
However, I have this amazing set up on my iMac where I can restart the computer and it opens up in Windows if I hold down the right button on the keyboard.
I only use the Windows interface for the accounts so when I am doing them I am totally separated from the world and the accounts have my undivided attention.
No jazzing off to check emails or fiddle around getting side-tracked on more interesting stuff.
I have to get into the figures and get them sorted before I do another restart to get back to my favourite friend, the Apple interface

So making a mistake with the address meant I had to go through the palaver of restarting the computer about 6 times to get it right! Normally the only time my computer is turned off is when I go away or if there is a lightening storm happening or a power cut catches me unawares. So I have always have various windows open that I am working on or saving to show Tim etc. Restarting means saving stuff or loosing it

Tim spent the day doing stuff around the sheds. Welding gates etc. They went out mustering between showers too.
The children were pretty much left to their own devices. They are very good about that but unfortunately Azzan seems to have been suffering due to his parents absence and he was getting mischievous and in trouble with his siblings – more than once-!!

During dinner the rain began pouring down so hard we thought it was hail. It wasn’t but the gutters were blocking so Tim had to go out to do a gutter and drain check. Shanni had to go deal to her birds so they wouldn’t get too wet either. Man! was it a deluge! Short and sweet though so not too much damage.

Seb drove to Nelson in the afternoon and got caught by rain – too much water on the road and his electric’s got wet and his car conked out on the Whangamoa’s. A friend came to rescue him but because of the delays he never got to his defensive driving lesson he had gone out for. So once again it was a wasted trip. Here’s hoping next weekend will prove more fruitful in that area.

Tim and I watched a movie last night. It was so good we ended up watching the whole thing right thorugh even though it didn’t finish till 11pm.
‘The Ultimate Gift’ based on a book of the same name. It was such a good story, thoroughly recommend it. Tim commented at the end how nice it was to watch a movie with no bad language or filth in it.

The children all slept in this morning so Tim & I snuck out for an early morning spa. It was trying to rain so quite nice out there. I love the heat of the pool when it is cold and wet outside.

I ended up in the study all morning. Had a l-o-n-g chat with Joy. A friend across the Sounds. Nice to have a catch up – we pretty much grew up together from our teen years and we married best mates but we don’t see each other very often these days unfortunately despite it only being an hours boat trip over there. I finally threw on some clothes around 11am and then went out to see what was brewing in the kitchen.

Before that though I did my weekly weigh in and whoopee do-!! I have broken the 70kg. I weighed in at 69.5kg. I was so astonished to see the 69 that I thought the scales were malfunctioning. It didn’t register at first that I was actually not seeing 70-something

Azzan was hungry – like he always is. He tells me a million times a day that he is hungry. So I suggested we made pancakes. No. He doesn’t like pancakes. So what about pikelets? Yes, he likes pikelets but didn’t want to make them either.
So I asked him what exactly he did want to make. He went off and had a think and then came back and said ‘I want to make bangles.’ Just as well I am a mother – I knew what he meant without too much figuring. ‘Ah! Bagels. Is that what you mean?’ Yes! That is exactly what he meant. I haven’t made bagels in years so I asked him how he knew about them. He said he read about them in Dr Seuss. So I guess there is something normal in Dr Seuss after all-!!

My recipe for bagels was lacking some ingredients so we searched the internet and found some recipes. And we set about making them.

Thankfully I have a Kenwood cake mixer so it did all the kneading for us.
Then I cut them into pieces
and Azzan and Mahalia helped shape them.
Mahalia got it sussed but Azzan was making some interesting ones. I think I made about 16 to their 4
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Then while they sat and rose a bit I had some breakfast.
Then it was time for the boiling water part.
Then it was into the oven with them all coated with sesame and poppy seeds.
They certainly looked very yummily delicious when they came out of the oven.
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I was wondering what we would put in them for lunch – I was thinking traditionally here, salmon, cream cheese, savoury fillings – you know the go!
But Nathan put all those thoughts out the window.
‘Butter and jam Mum.’
‘Don’t you remember? That’s what we had at the hostel in San Francisco.’
How could I forget??

So jam and butter it was.
Such a nourishing and healthy lunch
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Enjoyed by all.
I even broke my carbohydrate free diet and had two. They were GOOD!

We have had a very chilled out day since then. The children have been watching ‘The Waltons’. Remember the wonderful TV series. It was one of my favourites when I was young. The children couldn’t understand why it was in colour if I used to watch it when I was young. I tried to explain that it was when Granny was young that the movies were in black and white. ‘But you are old Mum so how come they were colour back then?’ Cheeky brats – duh!

I decided it was time to become more involved in my craft room again. So I went and got engrossed and made a few cards. I am just fiddling with bits and pieces that are lying about that I haven’t cleaned up and actually turned out a few really cool ones. So I was feeling pretty happy with myself. Nice to do something I want to for a change – I have had enough of accounts and school at the moment

Shanni cooked dinner tonight and was very pleased with herself. I did suggest that yes, she had done a great job but it is usually best to let others praise you and not do it yourself over and over. To which she said ‘Well, no one else does so I have to’

I am heading off to bed now – I am feeling rather whacked now. Need to get myself together for a day at school tomorrow. It will be a short week so gotta make the most of the next two days.

The return of the sun :-)

Azzan went out to have his morning spa so I thought I would join him before any of the big fellas got up.
I was beaten by Seb.
Couldn’t believe it – he was outa bed already.
Apparently he had not slept much during the night – his cold and his back and whatever else is ailing him at the moment.
Anyway, he hopped out and let me in with Azzan so I got my early morning bubble attack and was then ready to face the day

Tim & Aidan disappeared up the hill to do bloke things on the farm.
Probably revolving around fencing and digging holes and chasing animals etc.

I got the children to the kitchen table and we proceeded to get into a study of the human eye.
It was amazingly fascinating.
But it took us many hours.
Shanni was doing ok but then she baulked and sat and sat and sat and wouldn’t write anything because ‘I am thinking’!
Then they decided that they couldn’t work cuz they were hungry and it was lunch time.
So I made toasted sandwiches for them which they ate while they were working.
However, even that nourishment did not assist Shanni’s brain.

She said – ‘Why do we have to do stuff like this? Why can’t we do Biology?’

I replied that this was indeed Biology-!!
‘But Biology is studying plants isn’t it?’ – she hopefully replied.
I put her right on that score and proceeded to tell her to get a move along as the day was disappearing fast and she wouldn’t have any time to play if she didn’t get the work done.
Normally she is right into writing but today she was definitely having one of her off days

During the morning we HAD to take a break because the children discovered the sun was on the clothesline just by the back door.
Great celebrations-!!
then Shanni saw it was on the decking so had to do a sun pose.

The mailboat arrived, bringing with it a new book from the library that I had been waiting for. Part 2 of the series
It also had a Police infringement notice for Tim.
I was trying to work out when on earth he had gotten the fine when I realised it was me who had been driving – it is the very first speeding ticket I have got and it came to Tim because the Terrano is in Tim’s name – funny
It is only $30 so not too drastic and I know exactly when and where it happened. It was at one of those places where I am always so careful to keep to 60km but I had momentarily let the car get to just under 65km. I saw the light flash but didn’t recognise the vehicle as police because it was a beat up old van on the side of the road so took no notice.

The men got back mid afternoon and had a very late lunch.
The mussel harvester came in soon after to drop off ropes from the harvest a few days ago.
So Aidan & Tim were down there till dark reconditioning ropes.

I gave up waiting for Shanni to finish her work so left her to it and lay down on the sofa by the fire to read my book.
She and Hali eventually finished so they joined Nathan & Azzan to watch ‘The Heffalump Movie’.

Dinner was easy tonight, Tim read to the children while I was getting it organised and Nathan made dessert. It was later than usual so now everyone has gone to bed.
No movies tonight – I’ve got a good book instead.

Last nights movie was pretty harrowing in its reality. And the fact that it was real was even worse.
It provoked a discussion tonight about mans inhumanity towards man.
Gruesome stuff


Today Tim & Aidan scarpered out to the mussel lines bright and early to work for the morning.
When Tim has a mission on he likes to get going and get to it before anything can side track him – like wife or children

The children got stuck in and helped to clean the living room cuz we were expecting guests for a ‘girls day’.
However, the main-player of the day called to say she had been up all night vomiting and she didn’t think it was a good idea to come around and share her bugs.
We all totally agreed with her, made some calls and postponed the day till next Wednesday.
It was also raining off and on so not a great day to be going places.

I got myself a relatively clean living quarters out of it anyway, so it wasn’t all bad
Nathan & Shanni got on to their Alexander Graham Bell projects.
I was really pleased with how well they both worked independently of me.
Shanni said the problem with studying interesting people is that there is so many interesting things to learn about them there is too much to try and write down!!
I was busy in the office getting the accommodation quotes done for next season so couldn’t give them my undivided attention.
Mahalia managed to do her maths with only one small altercation with Nathan – those two seem to be red rags to each other at the moment – for some reason they really spark each other up!
Azzan was at a bit of a loose end and was quietly driving everyone nuts, at one point I tucked him up in my bed to give him and the rest of us some space. He cuddled my angel bear until he decided they were both hungry!

The guys got back in time to have lunch with us and then the children and I cuddled up to watch ‘Little Lord Fauntelroy’. It was the original 1936 version with Mickey Rooney and the children were fascinated that it was black and white. Azzan lost interest so he went off rather reluctantly to go mustering with Tim and the guys. He arrived back very happily later on so it can’t have been too bad an outing.

Shanni and Hali did the veges for dinner. Hali very happily did the brussel sprouts saying she loved to cook and this was the first time she had helped get dinner ready. Man! Am I ever the slack one. She has done heaps of baking but never dinner – we will have to rectify that won’t we

Shanni made roasty potato chips with fresh rosemary and black pepper. They were delicious. I bought the brussel sprouts cuz when I was shopping with one of the little ones they didn’t know what they were. Shame on me! I have never really liked them so don’t buy them unless they are super cheap. So while the children are happily gobbling them down for dinner I smile and make out I am being very generous in allowing them to have them all on their plates!

Even though Anson is miles away across the Tasman I am still his secretary
I got a text today asking me to find his Australian tax number and then I had to make calls to his previous employers to get other important information so he can work and get paid over there. What would he do without me??

Tim cooked the scallops I got given yesterday from Seb’s boss. They may be very small and not terribly developed yet but they were still very delicious. First scallops of the season – yum

Seb arrived home in time for dinner.
He had slipped down the boat steps today and is walking around very stiffly – hit is neck and upper back. I think he will live but as he still has his head cold he is very fragile.

We are just about to go watch a movie – I will go see what the guys have chosen.
Nathan has just come to tell me it is ‘Shooting Dogs’ so I am off. I have been wanting to watch that one for ages.

And yet another two days have gone…

Tuesday morning was spent getting Anson packed up and outa here.
He had too much gear so he brought it down to the house and we had a weighing session.
His shearing gear weighed over on its own without his clothes.
So resignedly he headed off to town to pay the excess luggage amount on the plane.
It basically amounted to having to pay for a child’s seat.

Tim hopped into the passengers seat and they took off in a cloud of dust or maybe that should read mud! around mid-morning. I thought Tim was pretty game being the passenger – but then he would probably comment that it was no worse than sitting in the passengers seat when I’m driving

The children and I got into our unit study after they left. We worked through and had a late late lunch.
I had found a book called Colours in Communication. It was really interesting. There were some fn things to do.
One was to hold two different coloured pens/pencils on each side of someone’s head and move them slowly forward and see which colour they can see first. It is supposed to be the yellow or red or orange one – thus showing why warning signs are made with these colours.
I was concentrating on showing Mahalia and Azzan decided to get in on the act and do it to me at the same time-!!

Aidan, being a qualified plumber put his qualities to use and assessed our 3 toilet problems before Tim left so he could get necessary parts. He is wonderful – our toilet now flushes. It has been playing up for months and has been in Tim’s too hard basket. Aidan comes along and fixes it in 5 minutes

Aidan spent some time on the wharf in the sun doing mussel ropes. Nathan zipped up the hill to move some sheep for Tim. The children played and I worked in the study.
Nathan cooked dinner for us – quite nice having a small family. We had chicken for a treat

I got the children off to bed with heaps of stories – we are at present reading a chapter from ‘Bambi’ – (the original version not Disney), another chapter from ‘What would Jesus do?’, a random picture book of Azzan’s choice plus a Bible reading. Then, and only then was I allowed to tuck them down and say prayers. Azzan is having major problems at the moment settling to quietness when he is required. I think he is 5!

I sat down to watch a movie and then Cat text me to say they had the phone connected so we chatted for a while. Then I started the movie again. It was called ‘3 needles’ – a pretty harrowing & intense movie about Aids and it’s spread – 3 stories in one set in Africa, Canada & China. I must admit that once it was finished I still was a bit in the dark as I felt it was a bit random in it’s telling so I spent time around midnight searching for synopsis & reviews on the web to enlarge my understanding of it.

I had given everyone permission to sleep in this morning so I never got up till 7:45am. We had a slower morning but still got things done.

The children did do Maths. Shanni is stuck again This time it is grasping the place values of the thousands – mainly hundreds of thousands. I am sure she gets it but she just gets these random days where her brain really doesn’t want to know such boring information and we really really battle. Mahalia finished her Helen Keller page and Nathan began his mini project on Alexander Graham Bell.

Seb text me to say they were coming to work in the bay and his skipper was asking if I had muffins on the go – cheeky boys So Nathan got some started and I finished them off in time for the guys to come get them for morning tea. My crew at home don’t complain either cuz they got unexpected muffins for their morning break too.
They are working on a different mussel boat this week – sister ship of their normal one.
While they were tied up and we were chatting I spotted Mo trying to jump on board. So Seb had a cuddle with him – he really is a total ships cat – he is always on board when the girls go fishing in the dinghy.
The guys soon had to head off back to work so they steamed away from the wharf munching on boysenberry and white chocolate muffins.

We have a little monkey in the house these days. He is always climbing the tree in the living room and hanging upside down on it.

Today Aidan was my domestic. He had cut up and cooked all the pumpkin yesterday afternoon so today he skinned it and pureed it in the processor already for soup.
He also cooked up a large pot of apples. He was right in his element – very enthusiastic about it all. Then the dolphins arrived and he spent quite a while trying to get photos of them.

Shanni made bread buns for lunch as we were really short of bread. But we forgot to cook them so I improvised on lunch (they were all still full of muffins anyway) and the buns were devoured with dinner.

I have spent most of the afternoon in the study – the book work at the moment seems endless. I am trying to get the accommodation quotes done for the new season as well as finish the end of year accounts.

Tomorrow I am having visitors so I will not be in the study at all if I can help it.
Tim arrived home in time for dinner and was here to put the children to bed so I could carry on in the study for a while. He is in my good books cuz he remembered to bring home the block of Cadbury’s Old Jamaica Rum ‘n’ Raisin Dark Chocolate I ordered – what a lovely man he is
But I am sick of it now so I am off to bed.

PS – just got a text from Anson and he has arrived safely in Armidale NSW and is on his way to his new home at Guyra (for the next few months anyway) with his new boss.

Yesterday & Today

Sunday we woke to a lovely clear day.
Naoko’s car was fixed so she left at 8:30am and made the ferry this time.
The children had to sign her autograph book before she left
Didn’t Azzan do well?

Anson had driven in Saturday night after all.
The All Blacks had played the Spring Boks and lost the game by 2 points so there was no point in staying in town to celebrate I guess. So he got back about 1am and was a bit slow at rising.
It was the first time in 30 matches played here on NZ turf that the All Blacks had lost to them – pretty good odds really I thought!

We all pottered about doing not too much.
Had a Sunday gathering with just us and Aidan.

Then when we finished at lunch time I called my bro Duncan and had a catch up chat with him over in Sydney.
I then spent the afternoon on the net and phone organising a home schooling mothers night out for this term and a girls day here this week.

Today Tim & Aidan headed off to do mussel work bright and early while it was nice and calm.
I was intending to do some school work but decided that we should do some cleaning up first.
That took all day – so no school work – just home science
Nathan did the floors and organised lunch for me.

The girls cleaned up the Sylvanian corner, taking unnecessary things back to the attic.
They cleaned their rooms too.
Azzan sorta helped along the way.
There were a few altercations – but that is normal, so no big deal.

Once most of the tidying was done the children changed tack from playing with their toys and decided to play dress-ups. Anna had given them some old make-up so they were in fine form when I caught up with them
Pretty scary bunch eh?
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Azzan likes to try and do his ballet steps – he was most proud of his costume

I had a bit of a change around in the living room and am getting towards sorting out my sewing table.
I moved it to make it more accessible. Now I just have to work out how to thread the jolly over-locker and sort out the mending and materials that have been heaped all together into a pile by painful people who do not know better – grrrr! And then I might be able to make some progress there.
It was my day to change the bedding today, and I managed to not only get my sheets washed and dried but also got them back on the bed before lunch and had a tidy up in our bedroom so Tim is not always breaking his neck trying to get to bed-!!

Shanni & Hali went fishing this arvo cuz the cats were hungry. They came back with a pile of spotties for them.
Nathan helped to cook dinner and made a very tasty Chocolate Fudge self-saucing pudding which disappeared very quickly.

After dinner the two boys were flexing their muscles. Nathan might only be 3″ shorter than Anson – as he keeps reminding us copiously throughout the day – but he gives Anson a good run for his money. Won’t be long and he won’t always be the one on the bottom of the heap-!!
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I think Anson knows that and is making hay while he still can

It is like having a couple of young bulls in the house.
These two have always enjoyed tussling despite the 10 year age gap.
It sure will be quiet tomorrow when Anson leaves again.

He is packing his gear trying to get it to the require 20kgs.
Bit hard when he has so much heavy stuff to take.
Guess he will have some excess luggage to pay again

Rainy Saturday

Naoko was leaving this morning.
It was raining quite hard so Tim went with her to make sure she got to the top of the hill okay.
They arrived back an hour or so later.
Her car had broken down

So I postponed her ferry ticket – thankful that we had booked on Bluebridge as they are so easy and good to change things with, unlike Interislander.
Then Tim and Aidan spent all day trying to get her car to go.
It was a problem with a split hose but Tim thought it was more than that.
Eventually they duck-taped the hose and it is going fine now.
So she can try again tomorrow.

I put through a mountain of washing today.
Shanni decided to wash everything on their beds – so 4 beds and all the duvets and covers went through.
The dryer got used a bit today – I couldn’t handle the idea of having it all drapped around me as there was so much
I spent all morning – in between the washing) lying on the rebounder in front of the fire reading my book.
It was just too good to put down.
It was ‘After the Rains’ – the 2nd book in the series.
What an amazing couple of books. Just such a great story of Gods grace and forgiveness.
It was engrossing and at one point so real I was crying.

Seb spent most of the day resting and showering and blowing his nose. In between times I was filling him up with Vitamin C and kiwifruit to try and get rid of his head cold.

This afternoon I spent catching up on emails and freeing up my Inbox.
The children have been a bit niggly today.
I guess too much inside time.
Azzan seemed to be on the brunt of it all the time.
Tonight at the table they were rather silly so Seb manhandled them outside to cool them off-!!
Tim cooked Corned Beef. I think I ate too much cuz I now have a stomach ache
I think it is because it was processed meat. I can normally eat plain beef or mutton without trouble.

The children and I watched ‘I’ll be home for Christmas‘ before dinner.
It was so funny.
But then it was late and they were niggly and silly. I think pre-dinner movies may not be such a good idea.

We have had about 30mm since the rain began yesterday – the parking area is beginning to actually look like it is winter at long last. Mud everywhere. A good load of gravel is needed now.

Anson played rugby today and was named player of the match so he decided it would be better if he stayed in Nelson tonight. So we will see him tomorrow for a couple of days. He flies out on Wednesday for a stint in Australia.

Well, it has been a very stressful day, I think I need to go to bed. See ya!

A torrentially wet day

Thursday we were on deck, up and at ’em early to get the chores done and the place cleaned up before our guests arrived soon after 10am.

It was yet another very chilly day. We heard reports of fog and ice on the roads but it was reasonably clear here.
Tim took Aidan and Nathan out to get a truck load of firewood while I made boysenberry & white chocolate muffins.

Our guests were our bank manager, finance manager and their office manager. They had not been to visit for a long time so it was good to finally have them come.

When they arrived we had morning tea and then Naoko & Aidan went down and did mussel ropes on the wharf for a few hours. Granny played a board game with the girls in the school room, Nathan did school work and Azzan played on the computer.

They all were really good and gave us several hours to talk in peace.
We then had a late lunch of pumpkin soup before they headed off back to town, taking Granny with them.

Last night Naoko and I began watching ‘Summer Solstice’, we were totally engrossed in it when there was a horrendous accident at a crucial part of the movie and then the credits began to roll – shock, horror! We then realised there was a 2nd dvd in the container.

Today we awoke to rain pouring. We had a humdinger of a rain storm today. Tim measured it tonight and said we had 25mm throughout the day. Great stuff

Aidan helped Naoko process a few pots of apples and get the veges done for dinner. A great big dish of stew spent the day cooking for dinner tonight.

I did a bit of maths with Mahalia & Nathan. Shanni went out to do her chickens as she normally does but when she came in she proceeded to curl up on the sofa and read her book. When I realised she was there I suggested strongly that she might like to join us as we had already begun our school for the day. She wasn’t terribly forthcoming with enthusiasm and sat at the table is silence and basically did not a lot. I got a bit cross as she was not trying at all to do anything and was just going dog on me. So I took her out of the room to remonstrate with her. Before I could say much she was in tears for no reason known to her! My goodness, this child is only 10 – am I having to deal with hormonal swings already – I am so not ready for this, again-!! Anyway, after a hug and a face wash she came out and got the maths done and then merrily went on her way

I left her and Nathan doing some of their Helen Keller page and spent an hour in the office trying to get mail ready for the boat. Also was trying to actually find my desk – yes! it is in that state again Looked good to show the bank managers anyway – after all isn’t mess a sign of activity?!

After lunch Aidan and Naoko got roped into playing a board game with Nathan, Shanni & Hali. Big learning curve for Aidan Shanni & Nathan were exhibiting great sibling love for each other – not! Hali wasn’t co-operating and wanted to bend the rules so I got Tim to come and join the game and then Shanni quit. So that made things rather less stressful.

The rain stopped for a while so Tim & Aidan in a fit of cabin fever went down and did more ropes on the wharf.
Hali came and asked if she and Naoko could bake. So they made gingerbread biscuits.
There was lots of finger licking when it came to icing them.

Azzan kept busy with Shanni’s craft stuff.
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I got a great craft book from the library which I am sure I am going to have to prise out of Shanni’s clutches when it is due to be returned. She is finding great projects in it.

I found this most revealing photo on Shanni’s camera tonight.
We have 3 cats.
They are NOT – I repeat – NOT allowed inside.
Mo thinks he is an exception to the rule-!!
He obviously made himself at home in Sylvania while I was busy in the office

Seb finally made it home tonight. He got off the boat early on Wednesday as the winch had broken down again. He went to Nelson to pick up his car from the garage but when he got to Rai Valley the power was fading again. He had already had a new alternator and battery put in so it was rather frustrating. So Tim got a friend to help him with a spare battery to get him back to Nelson. He got it fixed properly this morning and then headed home. But the weather was so bad, so windy and heavy rain that he holed up on top of the Whangamoa’s and had a sleep for while. Didn’t help that he was blocked up with a heavy head cold which made him feel totally out of it. So when he got home this arvo he headed straight to bed and is still there. Hopefully after a good nights sleep he will be a bit more communicable with the rest of the world.

Mo & Jynx have the most amazing fur coats. Mo is quite dark and Jynx is silver.
They both curl up on the outside doormat and meld into the mat.
Someday they are going to get trodden on in the semi darkness as they blend in so well.

Dinner was rather hilarious tonight. Azzan began speaking in Italian English – he was so good and so funny that we were all in stitches. He was copying an accent that he had heard on the story of John Bunyan told by Jim Weiss. Man! Did he have the accents down good and as he was taking the mickey out of Nathan it was doubly funny

Naoko and I finished watching ‘Summer Solstice’ tonight – that was a must as she is leaving tomorrow morning and she couldn’t leave a movie at a crux like that-!! It all finished up happily ever after so a nice warm and fuzzy finish for a cold damp night

Frost – and – the sun is returning!!

It was another chilly day.
The children and I did our maths and reading in the living room.
I am trying to fit Azzan into the equation more regularly now.
Some days he is really great and others his brain is dancing with his feet everywhere except on his chair.
Today he was not being very attentive.
He managed to get through his literacy in a very flippant mode.
He loves rhymes so is enjoying what we are doing.
But when we began Maths we watched the dvd together as he was learning a new concept.
It was introducing 10’s and units. And interpreting double numbers.
He was being a total pain in the derriere and not even trying to understand.
I persevered for a while and then got so frustrated with his behaviour I told him to just go away.
I carried on with Mahalia & Nathan.
Then after a while he came back to me very penitently and apologised for his behaviour.
I had never thought he would’ve even thought about it but obviously my sending him away had been enough to make him think.
He then sat up and we discussed the concepts and a few moments later he said ‘This is lots of fun’!!
And after just a couple of examples he was telling me what each double number was correctly with no problem at all

After morning smoko we headed to the school room.
The heater had been on there for a few hours.
They spent the time making a presentation page about Helen Keller.
(I have just managed to locate the dvd of ‘The Miracle Worker’ – the movie made about her back in the 1960’s. And the best things was it was on sale )
We work at the round table in front of the ranch sliders.
Lots of light and a great view
Today we were working when all of a sudden Shanni exclaimed that the sun was back on the wharf-!!
Great excitement and wonderful encouragement to the children who have been deprived of their vitamin D over the sunless winter weeks. Granny couldn’t believe that in the time she took to put on her shoes in preparation for a walk down there it had gone again – gotta be quick around here!!

Nathan ran up to the hut after lunch to put the heater on for our new wwoofer.
He came back telling me I just HAD to go see the garden, so I did.
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We do not usually get frosts of any consequence so this was a good one for us.
As you can see we have a bumper crop of silver beet up there

Nathan picked a bunch and cooked dinner for me.
He made spicy chickpeas and silverbeet.
We had it on brown rice with wiener schnitzel and baked pumpkin.
Granny made an apple crumble for pudding.
The kids think Christmas has come cuz they have had dessert two nights in a row and there is enough leftovers for another two nights-!!

I filed most of my accounts this arvo just got the last fiddly things to do and then I can get the gst done and the end of year accounts finished. Hopefully by this weekend I should have most of it wrapped up.

Granny had seen pinecones on her walk the other day so she took Naoko and the little ones out to gather them for the fires.
They all had a heap of fun.
Posing for cameras – Shanni and Granny were both flicking the shutters today.

Gathering the cones from fallen branches, using a half mussel float to drag them home in.
Very useful things, mussel floats
Especially for giving little lads rides!

When they got back the three children were engrossed in Sylvania.
They love to play in the living area. It is a great alcove at this time of year. It is close to the busyness of everything and it is warm and they have constraints on the area they can extend to.
The back door is at the left so they have to keep the alley way clear between them and the kitchen bench.

Aidan arrived around 4pm. He is from West Auckland – quite unusual for us to have a Kiwi wwoofer. He spent his time before dinner unpacking and making himself at home.

Granny called up Jesika and had a chat to her for an hour and then the children chatted to her before I had my turn. Haven’t caught up with her in a while so it was good to talk. Shanni & I started cleaning the 2 older computer keyboards. They were disgustingly filthy. Mum finished the job today so hopefully they will perform a heap better than they have been. It’s no wonder they haven’t been working well, the amount of grime underneath the keys – yuck!

Cat is continually on the move around the lower North Island – certainly an interesting job. She doesn’t get a chance to get bored by the sounds of things. She keeps in touch by text frequently – if any of her friends that read this don’t have her new cell phone number then just send me a message and I will pass it on.

We all enjoyed Nathan’s cooking. Dinner was interspersed with the last moments of ‘Freaky Friday’. The children had been watching it in bits since last night. So they had to pause for main course and then I released them for a few moments while I served dessert. Then they watched the last afterwards. I didn’t watch it but from the laughing it sounded hilarious.

Tim and I have just enjoyed a hot spa out on the verandah under a crisp, clear and starry sky. It’s quite good really, you grab a towel and run fast out across the freezing decking and ease down into the deliciously hot, hot water. Soak for a while, boil the blood and then leisurely hop out and wander back to the bedroom. Now it is time to head to bed before my blood temp has a chance to cool down again – the perfect end to a winters day

cold days, warm fires

We have had the fires going non stop these past few days.
It has been so chilly here.
No sun on the house and not much wind to blow away the cold air.
The children are counting the days till the sun returns – should start coming back in the next couple of weeks.

Tim has been working out on the mussel farms during the mornings because it is so calm and we have had some harvests so float removal is essential. And despite working in the sunshine he commented that it is also very cool over there too. Richard has been giving him a hand while he is wwooferless. That will be changing tomorrow as we are expecting a young lad to arrive.

Tim got Nathan & Naoko helping with reconditioning mussel ropes on the wharf. He was really pleased with the amount they got done. This arvo Nathan & Naoko did some more – Tim didn’t get back for lunch till mid afternoon.

Naoko de-cobwebbed the house while she was vacuuming yesterday and today she made more pumpkin soup.
She also enjoys going out mustering with the guys. It is a great help having an extra pair of hands while I am trying to get school work done.

The children and I have been working at the kitchen table for the first part of the mornings cuz it is warmer in the living room. So we do Maths – it is easier to spread out on the bigger table – and some Reading with little people.
We are racing through the Maths at the moment which is great. Makes up for all the lost time we have had this year.
Then mid-morning, after morning smoko, we head off to the school room.
By then the heater has warmed the room enough to work comfortably.
Mind you this morning my feet never thawed out at all

We have begun a new unit study – it is on communication. So yesterday we talked about all the various ways we communicate and the children did a poster page displaying the different ways. Today we read and discussed a book about Helen Keller. It was a really good photographic production. An amazing lady!

Shanni called Uncle Murray in Perth today to wish him a Happy 50th Birthday. Granny and I also had a chat with him. He was going out for lunch with Donna & friends and looking forward to enjoying his special day.

I made a chicken creme fraiche with pasta for dinner – it was so good
We have had roast mutton so much lately we all decided that we needed a change (except Tim of course! He would eat mutton 3 times a day-!!)
Granny made an Apple Shortcake for dessert, so we ate pretty well tonight.
I cannot eat grains, seeds, nuts or beans while I am taking a new thing to try and build/stabilise my iron levels. It is not too hard really as I can eat meats and lots of fruit and vegetables. And tonight I realised I could eat ice cream I actually don’t normally like ice cream but as everyone else was enjoying apple shortcake and ice cream I thought I might just have a bit, and it wasn’t too bad at all.

The children and Granny went for a walk to visit the pigs,
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of course there is no show without Mo!

The meals are filled with the normal discussions – philosophic & questioning from Azzan, argumentative explanations of knowledge from Nathan, crazy blonde woman stuff & bird talk from Shannie and Hali just fills in the gaps with giggles or trying to remember stuff in between mouthfuls!

I gotta go and file accounts – great evening entertainment – not!
End of year stuff and all – I don’t want to be chasing my tail getting it all done this month, plus the bank manager is coming to visit this week so need to have things in order

Bone-chilling Sunday

We had a pretty lazy day today.
It was absolutely freezing outside.
I have had both fires burning and had heaters on too.

Despite this Shanni, Hali & Naoko went fishing and caught a cod for Granny’s dinner.
Shanni was very happy that her Daddy had fixed her rowlocks for her so she had to go use them
Seb took our friends Janice, and kids fishing too – they got 2 cod but the cats felt they had more use for them and cleaned them up while the boys were putting the dinghy away-!!

I slept in and read my book. Then had a shower, pottered around a bit more and read my book again. Made a cake for Seb to take to work. He was having car problems – again so it took a while to get him sorted and away. He has tomorrow off work so is in Nelson and hoping to get the problem fixed – sounds like it is an electrical malfunction – something to do with alternators and batteries – men stuff!

Azzan got all dressed up today to do some dancing – he looked stunning
Today he was doing some Egyptian dancing – according to him

Sunni called from Vancouver so we had some wedding preparation discussions. Good to talk about things – emails get rather frustrating at times.

The mussel harvester took 2 lines this arvo which pleased Tim immensely.
Once they were done and the ropes were delivered to the wharf Tim loaded the troops into the Safari and went up to the airstrip to do some skidder boarding.
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It involves sitting on a piece of mussel float and being towed behind a vehicle as fast as up and down the airstrip.
The children love it and do not seem to feel the cold.

The sun was setting as they left.
Naoko and Granny were exhilarated but chilly on return. The 2 little folk hopped into the spa to thaw out before dinner.

While they were gone I started getting the school room sorted for tomorrow and then talked with Cat. She and her team have driven from New Plymouth to Palmerston North today. She has a new cell phone so I was giving her what numbers I had. She missed out on climbing with a friend today cuz she couldn’t find a contact to get her number – so frustrating. She is also trying to work out the best option for getting into her car as the keys were stolen.

Well, it is early, but it is cold and my bed is warm so I am going to find another book and get an early start on the night. Can’t sleep in tomorrow as I want to get a good go at our new unit study this week.