The past two days have been wet.
Rain coming down in torrents and then still, calm, nothing.
We have had over 110mm (4.33″) since Sunday.
Smiling weather for farmers.
Perfect week for us to have rain as we are both so tired and we have no extras in the house.
Just us and three young’uns.

We have done some school work both days.
Getting a bit done on our Arachnid unit.
Yesterday we focused on scorpions.
Today it was mites and ticks.
We also watched a couple of good episodes from Suzy’s World about Tarantulas and webs this morning.
She is so delightful and fun to learn from.
I can sit back and relax and learn with the children

I am not too sure if it is the weather or just that we have been incredibly busy for so long that we have crashed.
Tim is pottering about fixing things.
I am managing to school the kids and that’s about it.
My body is aching, I am lethargic and headachey and can’t get out of my own way.

I have to find some energy soon cuz I have to face the big wide world again on Monday.

I was trying to get energetic this arvo but ended up lying on the sofa talking to a friend.
Shanni kindly gave me a foot massage – it was lovely.
Then at 6pm I dragged myself into the kitchen to try and formulate something interesting and tasty for the family.
I was totally uninspired and lacking in enthusiasm.
Tim had already cooked some mutton chops in the woodstove so that part of the meal was sorted.
I steamed the last of the silverbeet that Anna had cut.
Then found a cauliflower.
Cut it into pieces with a carrot into sticks.
Cooked them then after I drained the pot I added grated tasty cheese and added a can of reduced cream.
With rice it was absolutely delicious.
I felt heaps better after dinner.
Must have needed some sustenance!

A cold southerly has blown in the bay this afternoon.

I think I might just go crawl into bed now and try to get warm.

Azzan the proverbial procrastinator
who has already been put to bed by his father…
and re-sent to bed by his mother…
Just met Tim in the hall again a few moments ago.
With his finger raised to ward off a telling off he said,
I just have to tell you something really interesting.
I just heard my middle name in the story – it’s in the Bible.
It said something like 2nd Timothy.

Another very wet day

Anna & Jan decided to make a run for it this morning.
It had not been raining for a while and we had strong winds throughout the night which had hopefully dried the roads a tad.
So after breakfast they said their farewells and had a group hug with the kids as they walked out the door.

It is always sad to farewell new friends but life has to move on and they have other places to go and people to meet.

I was intending to do some school work but other things sorta got in the way.
I discovered I had made another huge mistake when booking our tickets to Melbourne.
I had actually paid for travel insurance to the airline agent.
My darling s-i-l reminded me today that I had a visa card and was covered with that if I paid for the tickets with it.
So I called up and they canceled the policy – so we now have – or will have as soon as it goes back on my card within the next 10 working days, got to be precise here!! – an extra $720 to play with

Then all too soon it was lunch time.
During lunch Tim asked if I could drive up the hill with him and then bring the ute back so he could go muster some sheep.
So we loaded all the children on board and headed up to the top.
When we got there it was starting to rain again but Shanni decided she was going to help Dad with the muster and hopped out too.
I managed to persuade her to put his spare sweatshirt on over top of hers for a bit more protection.

We came home – hit a couple of greasy patches so had to take it a bit more slowly.
Finished cooking dinner.
I had stuffed chicken pieces with a mixture of tasty cheese, slightly steamed silverbeet (squeezed of excess liquid) and nutmeg all whizzed up together.
I just poked it in under the skin and let it bake in the wood stove all afternoon.
Then I put it in the electric oven on a high heat for 30mins to brown off a bit.
It was the best chicken I have ever had.
It was so tasty and melted in your mouth.

Tim has spent most of today fixing Shanni’s bike.
Good day to do that.

After dinner Tim played Risk with the girls.
Azzan was busy eating feijoas.

I made a banana and boysenberry smoothie for my dessert but of course had to make extra for the others once they saw what I was up to.

Tim glanced over and said to Azzan
Where’s the stuff you spilt? Did you wipe it up?’
Azzan replied.
I sucked it up with my proboscis.’

I just went into melt down
That boy is just way to fast with his words.

It is now pouring with rain again.
Tim says we have had over 80mm since Sunday already and it is still coming down real heavy.
We really need it but there is a road out there which the grader has only just been over and it is a total mess and very dangerous.
I just hope no-one is going to have any serious accidents on the way to town.

I also hope that it stops well before Monday and dries out before I have to leave cuz I hate driving on muddy, slippery, freaky roads

A wet wet day

Today was wet – all day.
It was a great rain.
The creek is up and running freely for the first time in quite a while.

Tim & Jan went out to do mussel work this morning.
I set Anna alight on a list of jobs that needed to be done.
Then I got the children rounded up into the school room.
We carried on with our Arachnid studies.

We spent today looking specifically at what arachnids are –
mites and

and what constitutes one.
i.e. 3 points
they have an exoskeleton
they have no antennae
they have 4 pairs of legs

I was asking the children what they thought an exoskelton was.
Azzan said

It’s when the skeleton is inside out.
I thought that was a pretty good explanation

We were talking about each type and I told them that mites are everywhere, so teeny tiny that you don’t see them but they are in the dust and in your clothes and on your skin….

Then I realised Azzan was squirming all over the place.
He started complaining about all the itchy things all over him.
Talk about the power of suggestion!!

Cat was rained inside today so she called up for a chat.
She was bored.
Tough life these riggers have!
She has put her boat on the market so anyone interested out there give her a call.
She has her eyes on a much bigger one.

Tim & Jan went down to try and put in another pile this arvo but the rain was just too heavy and the hole they dug kept filling up with water – rather frustrating as the tides are changing and he won’t get the low low tides for much longer and will have to wait for a couple more weeks to try again.

Shanni came in quite distressed last night as her wee lame dove was near dead.
I actually thought it was dead and then she saw a wee glimmer of life.
So it got brought in and dried off and warmed up buy the fire and it has perked up and is as good as new today.
She was delighted as it is the first bird she has managed to save.

The rain is sposed to last for the next 3 days so I guess there will be a lot of indoor jobs completed.

I was going to make lasange for dinner as I have heaps of silverbeet to use up.
But on looking for the lasange sheets I discovered I was all out.
So I changed the recipe and we had spaghetti with a meat & tomato/silverbeet sauce.
Served with grated cheese and guacamole and Shanni had to go get the corn chips to complete the meal.
It was sort of a mix of Italian, Mexican and Port Ligarian food
But whatever – it was very tasty.

Tim and I have just had a spa with the wind whistling around our ears and the penguins giving us a concerto from beneath the verandah.
What better evening entertainment could we wish for
The children are all settled nice and early so it looks like I might actually get to bed early too.

Saturday afternoon Anna got stuck into the back bank.
She trimmed and tidied and swept the path.

Makes it much nicer now we are approaching winter.
There were a couple of bushes I wanted out but they will need a chainsaw so I got her to just cut back what she could of them.
It was beginning to drizzle.
She also painted the trim that is left to go up around the fire.
The first coat is really horrid smelling as it is an oil base primer so she had to do it outside.

Azzan has been busy planning his birthday.
It isn’t till Oct but I guess it is good to get it all organised – in his mind at least
I over heard him discussing it with Mahalia.
They were talking about what sort of things they would have and they laughingly said they would have Santa Claus there.
But Azzan said it had to be an insect party so it would have to be ‘Anta Claus

I have also been busy booking flights for Seb & Cat over to Jesika’s b’day in Melbourne.
It has been a bit of an act trying to sort them out with dial-up and contacting them to make sure I have the right times and dates to fir in with their work etc.
I got them all done.
Then yesterday Seb text me to ask what his flight times were and I discovered to my horror that I had booked him on the plane from Auckland to Nelson at 7:45AM and not PM.
I had to hop back in and change it which ended up costing me another $50!
But just as well I found out now and not when he arrived in Auckland at 2:45PM and found he had missed his flight several hours earlier!!!

I had just hopped into bed at 10pm when my s-i-l called me up to say there were some cheap tickets for us online right now.
So I hopped back onto the computer and booked the tickets for the 6 of us.
So that is all done.
Now we can get the rest of the trip organised.

Sunday at our place was wet.
A wonderful rainy day.
Haven’t had one of those in a while.
And it was on a Sunday.
Couldn’t be better.
Thank you Lord

Tim had to get up early because the folk in The Croft needed to underway to catch the tide in Havelock.
So he was around there at 7am to bring their gear back to their boat.
The rain eased while he was doing it which was great.
He came back to bed though so we did get our Sunday lie in.
Very unheard of in this house.

Tim is not one to lie in bed.
He reckons people die in bed!!

Anyway, Azzan was getting hungry so I got up around 9ish to make him breakfast.
We had found a recipe in a book that we were going to try.
After I left the kids moved in with Tim.

They look very angelic here but there was a lot of noise and rumpus going on and the bed sure didn’t look very tidy when I got back to make it.

Azzan had found a cookbook in the library and there was a recipe for Pyramid eggs.
Very easy.
Even I could manage to make it.
As you know – I don’t do breakfasts!
Basically it is toast cut in triangles with scrambled eggs around the outside of it.

He was very happy.
I even had to make it for the girls and Tim lined up too.

We then watched an old movie ‘The Story of Ruth’
That took up the rest of the morning.
It was really good.
I think I may have seen it before.
The children enjoyed it and sat through the whole 126 minutes of it.

Lunch really didn’t happen.
Tim, Jan, and Shoshannah played Risk.
Hali sorta helped Jan when she felt like it.

Anna painted the first top coat on the trim batons then she & Azzan decorated a mask.

He said it is an Indian goddess mask.

I tried to make some cards but it was so hot in the living room that I was so sleepy and couldn’t function so I headed to the study to cool off.

I got dinner ready early.
It was soooo good.
We had stir fried veges with smoked salmon in a creme fraiche sauce over fettacine.

While we were eating Azzan asked me,
‘How come the Bible isn’t finished?
Is it because people just got too busy inventing and making things?’

We got the children off to bed early but they never settled till late.
Tim & I watched ‘The Gathering Storm‘.
It was a very interesting movie about Winston Churchill in the mid 1930’s up to the beginning of WW2. 

Our wharf.

I have mentioned our wharf in previous updates.
And it often features in my photos.
It is a huge part of our life as our life revolves around the water and the boats that come and go – including our own.
To fulfil the legalities of the local council we have to have a Resource Consent for the wharf and it has to have an engineers report saying it is safe and up to standard and will last for at least another 15 years.

Our wharf has been standing for many, many years.
Tim has found writing on the breakwater concrete saying 1908 or 1910 so we are presuming that it was built at the same time.
So for 100 years it has withstood the tests of time, boats belting up against it, weather, wind and sea.

It is now beginning to look rather old and jaded and despite repairs Tim has done over the years it will no longer pass an engineers report.

As you can see there are piles which are wearing out and there are boards which are unsafe on the walkway too.
We get some very large vessels in here and huge weights of ropes piled onto it so it has to be able to do it’s job.

So I we have been filling out all the paper work, consulting with a wharf builder and an engineer and trying to keep the council happy while we puddle around getting everything done.
Nothing happens in a hurry so we keep getting letters asking when……

It is getting closer now.
The wharf builder has nearly finished all the necessary paper work and is about to send it to the council.
Got to cross the T’s and dot the I’s or they come back to us wanting more and more information which delays the proceedings even longer.

Tim & Graham were cutting logs for the piles last year only to discover they were too hard for the treatment to get to the centre so they couldn’t be certified as marine grade
So in the long run it is going to be cheaper just to buy the piles and get them transported down from the North Island.
Crazy thing is that they are only ‘guaranteed’ to last 30 years.
And they are cheaper than producing them ourselves.
They cost between $250-$600 each and we need about 20 of them!
(There goes my new kitchen for now )

The whole process has to be done step by step in time with the council’s demands.
If we go ahead and remove one stick of timber from the wharf to begin demolishing it before they put their stamp on the papers then they will have our guts for garters.

We are going to demolish all the wharf from the woolshed out.
So the piles and runners under the woolshed have to be given an engineers report separately.
He flew down in a float plane and checked it all out a few months ago and told Tim what he had to replace and repair.

Any work has to be done at low tide.
So yesterday Tim & Jan went down and made a start on replacing the piles.

Jan mixed concrete in a half mussel float
while Tim got under the shed and dug out the old pile and then they were able to replace it and cement the new one in.

The old pile is lying to the left in the photo below – as you can see it has worn away considerably.

So for those of you who have been asking – that is the story to date in a nutshell
I will keep you posted as it all happens – and yes there wil be lots of photos.
Guarantee that!

Farewells and Fun on the top of the hill.

Tim took all the McIntyre’s gear up the hill on the back of the truck.
Once up there it took a while to repack and say farewell.
Shanni recorded all the fun the children had while the men adults talked sorted all the stuff.

Jonathan and Azzan playing merry-go-rounds

And then a very giddy little boy.


  The old fuel tank is always fun to play on

and in!

Always time for one last smooch

And the ever imperturbable Kathy

Time for a group hug

They finally headed off on their way
Tim brought the rest of the crew home for a late lunch.

Blood, guts and gore…..

Tim did a spot of shearing yesterday.
Shore two sheep.
The sheep looked like this…

and within a very short space of time they looked like this.

This is what we had for dinner last night

This is the possum hunting team with their one and only possum for the night.
Mean lookin’ bunch aren’t they??

In case you did not already assume this – the photos are from the cameras of the Shannarazzi and the Annarazzi!

Saturday at our place.

This morning Kathy & Bruce were up early packing.
They were heading out and were wanting to beat the rain.
They finally got loaded just on midday.
We all went up to the parking area say our farewells.

Bruce, Luke with Mo, Kristie, Daniel & Kathy and Jonathan

Shanni and Kristie – farewell new found buddy o’ mine!

Tim took most of their gear and the kids on the truck so Bruce could get their car up the hill without excess weight in it.

Azzan, of course, took the opportunity to get some extra cuddles with Kristie.
We reckon we are going to have to start collecting up all his ‘cuddles with pretty girls’ photos and produce them at his 21st birthday party!!!

It has been a busy week but we have all had fun.
Back to school on Monday for all!

The weather is calm, grey, overcast and beginning to rain.
Tim is working on the wharf with Jan.
He has a lot of wharf work ahead of him so has been hankering to make a start.
Anna is pruning and tidying the back bank in preparation for winter.
Azzan is watching ‘Curious George’,
the girls are playing with Sylvania
and I am nearly finished updating this ‘ere blog.
It has taken a while today because of internet hiccups and other interruptions.
We won’t have too much to do for dinner tonight as there are so many leftovers.


Today we moved the couch from in front of the Sylvanians and brought the old fire guard/play pen thingee inside from where it had been stored in the shed.
Tim had it made many many years ago to protect the wee people from the wood fire.
But in recent times our wee folk have gotten big enough to not need it any more.

It was a perfect time for a clean up.
Anna got in there and helped.
She is move focused than the children when it is clean up time.

They got rid of all the rubbish and swept it out and then rearranged their houses.
They have a couple of Sylvanian houses, the General Store,  the Ice Cream Parlour,  the School, Canal Boat, Car, Horse and Caravan etc and lots of families.
It is a great thing to keep adding on to.

But they also make other houses and shops from boxes and are very creative with stuff to provide furniture, books, etc for their wee creatures.
Hence the on going battle to keep it all tidy and clean.
When you are creating it is difficult to remember to use the rubbish bin!

Of course, Poppi had to be in there helping.

This is an small dolls house I picked up 2nd hand and it is a perfect size to use here.

I had told the children I had a surprise for them once they had everything all cleaned up.
Nothing like a bit of bribery and corruption
So once they were all done I got out a large box which had arrived in the mail on Friday.
I had been saving up some points for a while and finally had enough to buy this item.

Don’t you just love the expressions on their faces wonder and then as they realise what it is?

Willow Hall.

Hey! It has lights that work!!
Mahalia trying to work out how to fit the lights in place.

Willow Hall was quickly put into place on top of the box it came in.

Here is the new barrier in place.
Great to keep wee folk out and easier to keep clean and a bit more room for them to all move about in.

This wee alcove off the kitchen was once part of the verandah.
But we enclosed it when we renovated the kitchen about 25 years ago.
It was our first school room.
But we soon outgrew it so it has served many purposes since.

Bruce’s 50th b’day dinner

Bruce is turning 50 tomorrow.
So we made a birthday dinner for him last night.
He was so intent on his work that he never even noticed the children had painted him a birthday banner even though he was walking backwards and forwards under it during the afternoon.

We started out with chips and dip and fizzy drinks.
Azzan brought Bruce a parcel.
It was a wet soggy piece of b’day paper wrapped around some fresh mussels he had gotten off the raft when they were kayaking.
Sweet boy – loves to give.

We had a great feed.
Tim had cooked a roast of mutton and beef in the wood stove.

Kathy had made a large meatloaf and roast pumpkin & parsnip.
I had made cheesey creamed corn, silverbeet, garlic wedges.

We ate by candle light.


I made a carrot cake for The birthday boy.
Shanni was very restrained with the number of candles.

Then we had Tiramisu.
I hadn’t made it since Sunni & Ryan’s wedding.
It was SO good

After dinner Tim put Azzan & Hali to bed as it was 9pm already.
Then he and Bruce took the rest of the crew out possum hunting.

It was quite late by the time I had finished tidying up etc but I felt like winding down slowly.
So I put on ‘The Bucket List’.
I was only going to watch a bit of it until Tim came home.
But by the time he got back I was totally hooked into the story.
So I watched the whole movie and then loaded photos on here.
Then I think it was around 1:30am so crept into my nice warm bed and read my book for a while.