A fast jam packed trip to town

Shanni and I made our get away just before 8am.
I was a bit concerned about the road but it was fine the whole way.
There was a bit of frost along the way – white sheets of it actually.
But there was a lot of grit and gravel spread so I never hit any ice.
The temperatures were a lot milder too so all was good.

I was coming along the road above St Lawrence and the early morning sun shinning over on Deep Bay was so beautiful I had to stop for a photo.

And looking back to the north was a different early morning scene with D’Urvile Is and all the smaller islands in the distance.

A few miles on I just had to stop again to capture the view looking back through French Pass.

Shanni was commenting that if we kept stopping to take photos we would never get to town!

Tim had managed to fit Poppi’s large cage in the back but after we clanged and clattered up the hill from home and swooped around many corners I could see the poor bird couldn’t get comfy and was moving around the cage in a concerted effort not to be swung off his perch.
So I told Shanni he could come out for hte journey as long as he stayed on her side of the vehicle.
Which he did.

When we got to town we had a few jobs to run around doing.
Poppi came too.
Most of the time he was sitting on Shanni’s hat – it was so funny watching and listening to peoples reactions.

We had only 20mins to find Shanni some black boots.
And we did it.
She is pretty rapt too cuz they have heels!
Fancy my 11 year old wearing heels already.
(They are not high – just an inch)
She is just growing up way too fast.

We then spent an hour at the bank getting a few things sorted int he way of travel money etc.
After that we had to race up to catch Margaret and the girls.
They were heading to the skating rink for the afternoon with the home school group.
So we unloaded Poppi, managed to manouver the cage out – darned if I know how Tim got it in there – and then Shanni went with them to try roller skating for the first time.
Her verdict was – ‘It was heaps of fun, can I do it again please?’!!!

I went back into the city and gathered up some journals etc for the kids to scrapbook their trip in and then met David, Sasha & Nadia for lunch at Devilles.
It was a pleasant hour or so.
Then I spent the rest of the afternoon chasing around doing all the things I had to get done before the night meeting.
I was pretty happy to find a portable dvd player at The Warehouse for only $169 plus 3 free dvds.
That should help to entertain the kids on the plane.

My last call for the day was the hospice to visit Don & Kathy.
I got there just before 5pm.
But when I asked to see them the nurse suggested I go home and call Kathy.
So I hopped into the Safari and headed off out to Richmond to find her.
I spent a lovely hour with her and her son Matt from Melbourne.
Don had died in the early hours of the morning so I had missed seeing him.
But Tim had caught up with him last week and it was good to have time with Kathy before we head off.
A very emotional time but we know he is in the arms of Jesus now and we can just be so blessed we knew him and that he is now out of pain. He was in so much pain before.

I managed to literally fly back into Nelson and get to the conference about 15 mins before it began. Graham had met up with Margaret and Dave and they were waiting for me in the foyer.
Lots of material to view before going in

We spent the next couple of hours listening to Chuck Missler talk about strategic current events and how they relate to what was prophesied in the Bible.
It was great to hear him speak in person.
We have listened to him on the radio for years and have a lot of his teaching materials.
There was a most interesting Q&A session at the end.
It didn’t finish until 10:30pm.
I had to rush off to catch the supermarket before it closed at 11am.
I was starving cuz I had been too busy to eat dinner.

I got back tot he house to get Shanni, waited for the athers to arrive and then we headed off home soon after 11pm.
Shanni filled croissants for me as we drove.
I was so so hungry that I devoured them as fast as she could make them.
Picture her sitting with croissants, tomatoes, avocado, brie, capsicum and a creamy chilli spread on her knees.
Trying to cut, slice, spread as we drove along and then as we wound up and down and around the Wangamoas.
It was quite a feat but she did well.
I certainly appreciated her for doing it

She didn’t go to sleep until nearly an hour from home.
We got back just after 2am.
I was in bed by 3am.

Today I was a bit slow getting out of bed but with the help noise of Azzan & Mahalia’s high jinks I was up soon after 8am.

Nuana had cleaned Shanni & Azzan’s rooms yesterday and changed beds.
So today I changed our bed.
Managed to get our packing another step towards completion.
Did a heap of laundry.
Tim etc had gone out mussel working yesterday morning and then in the arvo he, Nate & Constantin had gone mustering.
Today they drenched sheep and then went up the hill after lunch to dig some fence post holes.
Constantin cleaned out the Safari for me while Tim had a meeting next door.
Nuana and I have begun packing the Safari now it is clean.

Mahalia & Azzan cleaned the bathroom.
They had a lot of fun and made a lot of wet mess.
They were both soaked when they had finished – for some reason unbeknownst to me they have to be inside the shower with the water running to actually clean it!!
So they stripped off and had a spa afterwards.
That increased the washing loads for me!

Shanni is missing Poppi
She left him with Grace last night.
Grace has an Alexandrine parrot and is going to be mother to Poppi while we are away.
She called up today and had a long talk and apparently talked whistled to Poppi over the phone.
It is going to be a long few weeks for her I think.
But I am sure the birdlife in Australia will side track her a bit

I was getting pretty shattered as the day came to a close.
Managed to get through dinner and then conned Shanni into giving me a massage.
While she was massaging my feet she was prattling away as per normal.
She asked ‘Why do people have hairy armpits?’
I was trying to get my head around answering that and mumbled something about protection etc to which she asked
‘How come we don’t have hair under our knee caps then?’

On that note I am really going to have to go die for a few hours.
My bed is calling me so loudly – I never saw it for long enough last night.

Tomorrow is D day.
Have to get all packing etc completed by tomorrow night.

Busy busy busy….

Yesterday Tim and Constantin headed out to Clay Point to bulldoze a track.
Tim said that what he planned to do would make it easier to muster the sheep in future.
He came home after lunch time to get a  generator from Graham’s hut as the dozer had stalled.
Graham had headed out to Motueka for a few days to help a friend build her kitchen.
Tim didn’t get home till around 7pm.
It was dark and I was getting quite concerned.
But as per usual nothing was wrong, and he came in bright and cheery after a good day out on the hills, despite the frustrations of the dozer not going for a time.

Nuana cleaned the outside bathroom and wash house area in the morning.
Smells and looks lovely and fresh now
Then she and Mahalia got stuck into Hali’s bedroom after lunch.
I had realised in the morning that it was a total tip.
Hali had been stashing stuff under things and into boxes – no wonder she can never find clothes that I know she has!
It took a while but Nuana managed to get rid of several huge bags of rubbish.
It now looks very clean and tidy.

I have been tidying my study also.
Got rid of a heap of paper rubbish – continual paper  war goes on in here.
Drives me potty.
I file into various places and if after several months goes by and the paperwork hasn’t been dealt with it is either out of date or it doesn’t matter anyway so it gets binned!

I also spent most of the day getting my accounts up to date on the computer and all the important paper work filed so I can take it all out to the accountant on Monday.
It is time for gst and end of year accounts and I will be away when they are due to be filed.
So while I am away he is kindly going to do this months gst for me – oh how rapturous a feeling that is – no gst for me
The Great Escape!!

The bay was absolutely beautiful in the mid afternoon
The clouds were all layered and the bay was like a mill pond.

This morning there were three large dolphins cruising past my window.
I could look right down the steps from my office and see them.
It was magic.

Tim called the girls to come see but they were far too busy.
Shanni was wanting to give her birds a bit more protection from the cold and winds and I had suggested she could use the old bamboo blind that used to hang in the kitchen decades ago.
She decided today was a good day to hang it up so had Hali up on the roof holding it for her.

I cleaned out the book shelves in the office this morning and found a lot of school related books that I had been buying over past month. So they have been relocated to the school room.
I also keep a stash of books etc for bribary and corruption and for presents!
In amongst them was a chemistry box of things to do with Crystals.
Azzan swooped on it as soon as he poked his nose around the hall door.
 I think he has a nose for chemistry things.
He loves doing experiments.
He came into me the other morning -I was still in bed.
He asked me how I would feel about gong to Nelson everyday?
‘Well’, he said, ‘I want to go to science school and Nuana said I could go everyday if you will take me.’
Sure babe – I don’t mind driving 6 hours a day just for you!

Anyway, he got Nuana to help him with the instructions and when I caught up they were seeing what happens to the crystals in water

and lemonade

and then they made a crystal tree.

At midday –
‘Wow Mum! Look the crystals are beginning to grow already.’

Then 4 hours later –
It is so exciting when you actually can see a reaction and something has happened

Isn’t this just so super cool?

Shanni & Mahalia have tidied the Sylvanian’s and were having a birthday party for two for them this morning.

They have also been playing up in the attic with the Kelly’s and Barbie’s.
They are normally fairly quiet but at times it sounds like there are elephants up there!
At least they have gotten into the habit of shutting the trapdoor so the house heat doesn’t dissipate up there.
It is hard enough to heat the house without having to heat the attic too.

We have been on the final library book hunt.
I have finally finished reading ‘Cola’s Journey’ so if it can go back.
Incredible story – certainly opens your eyes to the plight of some of the war torn African children.
Nathan is frantically reading the last of his books.
Still cannot find a couple of them – bother it.
I was so hoping for a clean sweep before we go.

Shanni has been clearing out the creek by the tree house too and Azzan has re-found the tree house so there has been a bit of outside play oging on despite the rather cool weather.
It is still cold but not as cold as it was a few days ago.
Shanni & I are heading into Nelson tomorrow.
We will drop her baby into some friends who are going to look after it while we are away.
She is not terribly happy about leaving Poppi bit at least he will be in good hands.
I am going to hear Chuck Missler tomorrow night.
Didn’t think I was going as the tickets had all sold out but then a friend couldn’t go so he offered his to me just yesterday – thanks Herbie – love you

I have begun packing my clothes.
Well, I have them all in piles on my bed so I guess I realy should go pack them before it gets to be bed time and Tim chucks them off on to the floor!!

Please pray for my trip to town tomorrow – the roads are apparently very icy all the way –
I do not like ice

Weekending in the country……

Tim has been busy with a friend (Cat’s ex-boss)  over the past two days.
He and Noel have been getting the boat trailer ready to put Noel’s yacht on the beach so he can work on it.
They spent time Saturday doing that, Nathan has helped by climbing trees to cut away branches that were in the way. This morning Noel arrived bright and early with his yacht and Tim took the bulldozer around to pull the boat & trailer out of the water.

Shanni has more skinks in her skink farm and brought the biggest and smallest in to show us.
They both have names but I have forgotten them.
They were very quiet but as her hand and the room temperature warmed them up they became much more energetic and she had to do some quick catching!

We had a short Bible study today as Tim was late back and then visitors arrived.
But it was good – short and sweet
Tim was reading and talking about being aware of negative and ungodly influences and how they affect your spiritual life.

Noel’s wife and daughters drove around to pick him up at lunch time.
The children had a great time playing while Shania & Jewels were here.
They did a silly mask parade through the living room in amongst a heap of other silly giggly stuff

The girls have been playing a lot in the attic over past days with their Barbie and Kelly dolls.
It seems to be rather cyclical – they have seasons of Sylvania, Attic, Lego , playhouse etc.
At the moment it is the Attic where they hide despite the low temperatures up there.

I have been busy sewing for the past three days.
Got through a huge pile of mending etc. Then last night made two nighties for the girls that had been cut out for a while. Mahalia’s had horses on it and Shanni’s had chickens – surprise, surprise!!
They are pretty happy to have them completed.

I also made a fleece top for me but after making it I tried it on and then gave it away to Shanni – it didn’t do me justice at all. Loved the style but it didn’t love me

I called up Tim’s cousin in Brisbane for a chat before dinner – was great to hear how life is for them over there.
They think it is cold cuz it is only 16’C!!

We watched about half of ‘Australia’ tonight.
But as it was 11pm already we have turned it off and will watch part 2 tomorrow.
It is sposed to be a drama – and yes, it sort of is. But it is also very funny.

I am reading an interesting book at the moment
It is called Cola’s Journey.
A story of a Sudenese boy who was forcibly recruited into the Sudan People’s Liberation Army.
After two years he excaped and then began his long long trek which ended up in Australia 14 years later.
I am just up to where he is in so called army training.
Worth reading to open your eyes to what is going on in Africa

I am now off to bed to read a few more pages before today turns into tomorrow.

A cold week.

We have had a very very cold week – for here.
I know it is all relative and that there are a lot of you who have it a lot colder.
But you are prepared and it is normal for you.
Here is is totally abnormal for us to get snow and it is years and years since we have had it so cold in June like this.
We woke to thick frost on the wharf on Wednesday.
Tim said I needed to get a photo as it was so unusual.

I ventured out very quickly onto the deck to get the photo and found the deck was all frosted up too.

And down on the lawn the lawnmowers sheep were looking longingly at me as if to ask if they could come in by the fire – please!

Meanwhile, inside we kept warm with the fires blazing.
Shanni got some paper and card out and proceeded to entertain the others by making a swan mobile.

Mahalia had gone out for a bike ride, crazy girl, and had come to grief.
She slipped on the icy concrete and put a biggish hole into her new tights and grazed/bruised her knee.
She was more worried about her knee – my first thought, I must admit, was for the tights that I had not long bought
She sat up at the table for ages with an ice pack on her knee while they all made masks and crowns.

Azzan loved his scary mask.

Graham came to visit and was showing Nathan how to do Sudoku and Shanni crowned them both but they were so engrossed that they never even acknowledged them!

Shanni came inside excitedly with this large piece of ice she had found on her chicken’s water container.

It was rather impressively thick.

I was rumaging in the freezer later on for something and found it lying in the top – it is now in smaller pieces scattered through the lovely clean freezer that Nuana spent ages de-icing the other day!

Tim and the guys did some sheep killing on Wed arvo. Then Tim packed up and headed off into Nelson.
He didn’t want to tackle the icy roads in the early morning.

Thursday it was jolly freezing.
I was up at 5:30am and got the fires blazing and finished getting my art swaps packed up ready to post away.
Then began the porridge saga!
Nathan had prepared the porridge the nigtht before so I cooked it on the woodfire.
He forgot which pot he had made it in and saw Tim’s normal pot in the sink and presumed it had all been eaten so he had something else for breakfast.
Then Shanni came out and didn’t think anyone had made porridge so she cooked up another pot full.
Normally they are the only two to eat it with Tim.
So by the time I caught up with it there were two pots of porridge cooked.
So after Shanni had eaten I combined them both and reheated it for my breakfast.
Then Nathan came in and had seconds, but there was still plenty left over.
The chickens benefited from that!

Shanni and Constantin cleaned out the chicken house.
He also fixed the tyres on Mahalia’s bike and swept out the concrete areas.
I got the sewing machines out and waded through a large pile of mending.
Nuana walked around the The Croft with Azzan to clean it as we had some surprise guests turn up a couple of days ago.
The girls have been outside building a hut despite the cold weather. They pop out for a while and do stuff and then come in and get warm and find food. They have also been playing games on the computer and trying to watch some videos and dvds. It has been rather frustrating for them though as the dvd remote has been damaged and they cannot fast forward etc to watch the series and as it is going to cost $40 to replace I am not happy – a new dvd player complete with remote is only $60

I have also been spending a lot of time planning the route of our trip and sussing out accommodation and things to see and do.
It is all taking shape now and looking like it will be a lot of fun.
Unfortunately we will be hitting school holidays but that cannot be avoided now.
When we made the decision as to what dates to go we were not aware of them.

Tim arrived home in time for dinner.
He had a reasonable report from the otolaryngologist.
He could not account for the pain Tim has been experiencing but he couldn’t find any infection.
So that was good.
In the meantime I have been chatting with our health provider and have a regime of things for him to take and also for us to take as an arsenal of protection against any lurgies we might come across in our travels.
Tim also popped in to the hospice to visit our friend Don.
So glad he did, a special time

Tim had just hopped into bed at 10pm when I recieved a text from Seb asking if Dad could please come and tow him as he was stuck in snow about 20mins from home.
Apparently the road was icy all the way in from Rai Valley and still a lot of snow around.
He had gotten stuck on the hill and just couldn’t get any traction.
So Tim got up and went to rescue his boy.
When they got home Seb consumed all of his dinner plus another plate full and was still looking around for more. Once his belly was full he was happy and he toddled off to bed.

This morning Tim took Seb, Nuana & Constantin out to do mussel work.
It was sunny and relatively calm but still cold.
The children and I got busy in the kitchen and did a heap of food prep.
I also put through a heap of washing while busy in the kitchen.
I think Seb saves up all his dirty washing to bring home!!
Tim had a roast of mutton cooking away in the wood stove – a very good reason to keep the fire blazing all day
We did enough veges for 2 dinners and made lunch and Nathan made dessert.
It was a delicious Mocha Whip. He also made Lemon Sago – a favourite of ours which we all call Frogs Eggs.
Of course when I was serving it tonight the children were teasing Constantin about having Frogs Eggs and he was very very hesitant. He did have some but was quite nervous about it.
It took him a while to realise they were all joking

I was so tired by the time we had finished it all. I then spent some more time sussing acommodation etc on the net and making phone calls. I have been meeting some really lovely and helpful people during all this planning and finding out all sorts of new and interesting things.

The mailboat arrived this arvo and brought some more curricula for me to suss out for the children for next term. There wan’t too much mail today which was good. Sometimes it can take me all afternoon to sort it all out.
There was a wonderful surprise though. A box of goodies from Brooke & Max.
The children were all delighted to receive it and are now waiting to call them up for a chat. They so miss them.
Thanks heaps you guys.
I love the apron and the recipe book looks fun.

Well, it is the end of a cold week – it seems to have flown by so I cannot say it has been a long cold week.
But it feels like it.
Hopefully this cold snap will pass over soon.
Just had a quick look at the extended forecast and it is saying we will be haivng southerlies for another few days yet.

Oh well, I heading to my cosy bed now and will think about tomorrow tomorrow!

Snow – part 2 – Shanni’s photos :-)

Everyone was so excited about the snow.
The 2 little ones have only ever seen snow flakes coming down in the rain just a few weeks ago after Bri’s 21st.
The have always wanted to go play in snow.

So Tim said he would take them up the hill to play in it.
They were all rushing around like fleas in a bottle getting dressed up warmly.
The girls managed to find their ski gloves and Azzan jumped out of the spa so quick that I don’t think he had time to cool down.
Nurse Charlotte phoned me for a chat just as all the noise and bustle was going on. I think she soon realised that life was going pretty much as crazily as normal over here!

Shanni took all these photos below and said I can share them with you now as long as I credit her for them – thanks Shanni
The snow began about half way up the Bush Road.
For all of you who know the road intimately – at the Big Slip.

I thought this was a pretty cool photo with the snow on the fronds of the trees.

Near the top of the road.

This shows how thick it was just below the cattle yards.

This is so impressive.
We have NEVER had snow like this before.

Looking southwest out along the road to town.

And northeast towards the cattle yards and airstrip.

Tim commented that the snow was so much lower along further.
Shanni didn’t quite capture it.
It was nearly at sea level below the airstrip.

The airstrip!

Time to make snowballs!!

Tim kept his windows firmly closed against the attack!

The trailer made a great slide.

Hali and her snowball.

Hali, Azzan & Constantin on the skidder boards.

Shanni bought this snowball home to show me.

Watch out Constantin!

I stayed back and enjoyed the peace and quiet and warmth.
Somehow snow does not really appeal to me.
I have vivid recollections of biking through slushy cold wet snow in Christchurch many years ago – yuck!
Instead I curled up by the fire and read my book – delicious

They were all wet and cold when they returned but mostly happy.
Azzan was not too impressed cuz Shanni had thrown a snowball at him.
I suggested that was what snow was all about.
Then I spotted a large contusion on his forehead.
He said that was where the snowball had hit him.
No wonder he wasn’t too happy about it.
Tim’s comment – ‘I guess it must have had some cow manure in that one’

Azzan & Hali warmed up in the spa which ended up in blows. Tired kids I guess.
They were remonstrated with and Azzan told to get out.
Shanni took his place and I gave him his dinner and read him stories.
When Azzan was saying grace before his meal he prayed that there would be more snow tonight so he could use the skis that he had seen up in the rafters of the topsheds and ski down the roof of our house!!!!

Tim & Constantin went down to shear a few sheep which Tim had been wanting to get done all day.
Dinner was cooking nicely in the slow cooker so with a pot of rice and some yummy delicious home grown organic carrots and frozen peas we finally enjoyed a satisfyingly nutritious dinner once Tim arrived back inside.

I have unearthed the sewing machine so hopefully tomorrow I will get a spot of mending done and shorten my new pants.
Then I can get onto the rest of the packing.

It snowed – here!! Unbelievable!

Monday was pretty windy.
Tim ended up spending the morning out on the water with one of our mussel company guys, checking sizes and harvestablity of some of the lines.

After a late lunch he headed over the back of the farm to do some more fencing.
He didn’t get back until after dark.
Constantin from Germany arrived in around then and spent the afternoon discovering the place.

We never really got to school cuz I decided it was time to sort out clothes and find sleeping bags and carry bags/packs etc. I got a bit of a system going. Nathan first. He brought all his clothes downstairs and sorted them on the table, deciding what to take and what to wash etc. Then Shanni did hers. Man! The washing machine has not stopped going since we started. I keep finding clothes that have been hiding from the machine   Thankfully I also have a dryer so as we wash, we dry and then pack.

Nathan had several cotton shirts which needed ironing. I told him I would teach him how to press his shirts. ‘What?’ he looked at me with an incredulous expression. Explanation – press means to iron – ‘Well, why didn’t you say so then?’ I showed him how to do one and then let him go for it. He was very proud to be learning some more bachelor skills.

The girls got stuck in and cleaned out Hali’s room looking for clothes and then as promised they did Azzan’s room – seeing as it was they who had been playing in there over past days and had created quite a mess. In so doing they managed to find a heap of his clothes which had been stuffed under his bunk – they all went through the wash too!

Today I managed to get their clothes all finished and began on Mahalia’s and then Azzan’s. Nathan helped by sorting the washing. He was folding Azzan’s clothes when he found a t-shirt which used to be his about 7 years ago! So he had to try it on of course and then ham it up

Shanni disappeared outside this morning and came in proudly with her carrot thinnings
We ate them for dinner tonight – they were delicious.

Today Tim & Constantin mustered the 2-tooths and then went over the back to do some more fencing.
The weather packed in and by the time they got home at lunch time it was freezing cold and raining. Tim said it was actually snowing up the top

The bay had closed right in but as the cloud began to life we started realising increduously how low the snow had fallen
Azzan was in the spa when we realised the snow was way down low just across the bay on Pohuenui.

I went outside to take some more photos and realised that it was also falling on the hill just above our house

and above Waterfall Bay

As the rain slowly cleared and the cloud began to lift we could see the extent of it.

It was also right down into Big Gulley and along West Entry Point on Te Kopi.

Then the late afternoon sun came out and it looked so beautiful.

Another three days have passed….

This was the view at the top of the hill on Thursday when I went to find Tim.
The islands were almost mystical in the misty fog – beautiful.

I keep forgetting to say also, that Peg’s 3 remaining puppies died.
Not too sure why – maybe no milk being winter an all.
But the men think they might try mating her again in the summer months.

The kids computer packed a wobbly on Thursday so I have to get it out to town and get it looked at.
In the meantime Nathan & Shanni are in withdrawals from their emails and Facebook
Poor darlings

Friday was still wet.
Ivo headed out on the mailboat.
Before he left he unloaded a truck full of firewood for Tim and then helped Tim to unload a fireplace for The Cottage.
Nuana & Nathan cleaned the wwoofers hut and remade all the beds so it is already for the next person to arrive on Monday.

Nuana has been a tremendous help.
She just quietly goes about doing things around here.
She does dishes, sweeps and vacuums everyday and has even washed my floor!
She spent Saturday morning cleaning out one of the freezers.
She helped me prepare a heap of food as well.
I had a huge cook up and made several different dishes and soups.
So lots to put in the freezer.

Last night Tim & Nathan watched ‘Dark Knight’ the 2nd Batman movie with Heath Ledger in it.
I worked away at my collaborative art pages and watched with one eye.
Crazy movie!
It was good though cuz they watched it on Nathan’s small screened laptop – not too overpowering

I stayed in bed late-ish this morning and finished my book.
I have several new Karen Kingsbury novels which I find very good to blob out to.

The girls turned up this morning dressed in their ‘twin’ gear.
Every now and then they decide to get it all on and be the same.

I thought they looked particularly cute today

We had fellowship this morning – well, it was very late this morning so didn’t finish till around 2pm
It was good though.
Had some really good Bible readings, discussions and interesting talks.

Cat called from Paraparaumu where she was helping my uncle & aunt raise a totem pole (originally from New Guinea) in front of their house.
She has all the lifting gear via her work so was able to assist.
It was huge – about 400kgs and 4m tall.
So a marathon effort.
It was nice to have a catch up chat with her.

Lunch was late.
Tim had been fixing bikes so he and the kids headed up the hill to do some biking etc as soon as they had finished.
I ate mine with my book in front of the fire.

Then I chatted with Emma on the phone for a while and worked some more on my art pages.
Figured I had time to make another call and spent an enjoyable time catching up with my friend Mhairi – I haven’t seen or talked to her in over 2 years so we had a lot to catch up on.
By then it was dinner time.
We had an easy Sunday dinner while we watched an old movie called ‘Wrestling with God‘.
It is about Alexander Campbell.
A very interesting movie which made us delve into our encyclopaedias to find out more about him.

Well, I have to hit the hay for now.
Got a busy couple of weeks.
I have a mental list of all I need to do which I should put into writing soon so I don’t forget anything.

Wow! Nearly a week…….

It is 6 days since I blogged.
I am struggling to remember what has happened over that time.

I have some photos that Shanni took while I was in town last week of them out on the hills with Dad so I will pop them in here while I am thinking hard as to actually what happened since then!!!

I love this photo – Shanni has captured a wonderful perspective here.

The three children made a bed in the back of the truck to cuddle up in and keep cosy.

Tim lit a fire for the children to play with and keep warm by while he and Ivo were fencing.

The weekend?
Tim said he worked as normal on Saturday.
He has been getting a lot of fencing jobs tidied up.
Sunday was a cruisy doing nothing day.
Nuana arrived Sunday arvo.
Nice to have her back again
I had hired ‘Babel‘ so Tim and I watched it on Fri & Sat nights.
It was a very intriguing movie.

Monday morning Tim took Nuana, Ivo & Nathan out mustering.
With the help of the children we packed our overnight bags and got organised so we were ready to leave as soon as they got home.
We were gone before lunch.
Had a pretty easy trip out to Nelson and did a few jobs.
I dropped Nathan off at the motel and headed out to Richmond to do some more things and then onto Brightwater to meet up with a guy who Shanni was buying some birds from.
It was getting dusk by the time we found his place but we were able to see most of his birds.
The children loved the golden pheasants and a particuarly friendly blue Indian Ringneck parrot.
We chatted for a while and then exchanged some dollars for a pair of Red Rump parrots.
They are rather lovely – the male esp is a hue of bright colours.

We dropped off some stuff at Estelle’s on our way back to the motel.
Nathan had warmed up the casserole.
We unloaded the Safari and found Mahalia had left her bag at home – great
I left the children watching ‘Virginia’s Run‘ for a 2nd time.
It is a great movie and they love it so much they want me to buy it for them.

Nathan cooked the kumaras and gave the children their dinner while I zipped across to the nearest supermarket to get things she needed.
Actually managed to find a lovely warm pair of purple pjs there which will fit her for ages.
So she was delighted.
I also bought some apricot danish and yoghurt for dessert so they devoured that and then I got them snuggled into bed.
I popped over to visit John & Sally and came back to find Azzan was still percolating extremely well.
So he got a brisk telling off and was told to snuggle down fast – or else

I watched the news and then hopped into my cosy bed and read my book for a while.
My book was certainly far more interesting than the news!!

We woke to rain on Tuesday morning.
I snuggled in my bed and read my book for a while but then I had to face the world.
So while the children had breakfast I showered and then we packed up the car and cleaned up the motel.
It was a bit of a harrowing morning.
The car kept fogging up, the rain was heavy enough to be annoying.
The children were quite exciteable – mainly the two youngest!

Last week I had ordered a large parcel of school books to be delivered to the motel while I was there but they hadn’t arrived.
So I called and found they hadn’t been sent from Auckland till Monday – bother it!
I zipped around to the courier office and found they wouldn’t be in Nelson till Wed.
I then paid another $5 to have them redirected to Havelock and hoped like anything the system would get them there by Friday morning.

I had updated my phone last week and Nathan had gotten his number put on my old phone but to his distress it wasn’t working so that meant a call on my phone to the sales girl to get it sorted.
He did that while I drove over the hill to the city.
Then into The Warehouse to find a jacket for Mahalia and pants for Shanni.
She is growing so much that all of her pants are inches above her ankles.
Got what we needed and was at the checkout when I discovered my wallet was not in my bag
Nathan went out to the car to look for it.
He took ages.
I went to look for him while the checkout lady served customers queueing up behind me.
Nathan was sauntering back as if he had all the time in the world!
Paid for them and then loaded the kids back into the car.
By this time I realised I had 3 hours before Mahalia & Azzan needed to be at their appointments.
3 hours in the car with two wee dynamites!!
So I called my friend Jo and arranged to drop them off at Chipmunks.
She is the manager there & they think she is wonderful cuz she looks out for them and feeds them hot chips etc
I think she is wonderful too

Then I dropped Nathan off in town so he could hang out in Whitcoulls.
Anywhere with books and he is happy.
I did suggest the library but he is totally unimpressed with the Nelson library so Whitcoulls suffices.

Got Shanni to her opthamologist appointment,
That went very smoothly.
She still has the Thygeson’s’s Keratitis but it is not bothering her as much so he doesn’t want to see her for another 9 months unless anything untoward happens.

We finished that appointment so quickly we had time to go looking for a wedding present for Ido & Dana in Israel. The wedding I always said I wanted to go to, and they get married this month and I am not going to be there – never mind – ‘next year in Jerusalem’

Nathan met Shanni & me at the Info Centre cafe for a quick lunch.
He wandered off for another browse in town and I dropped Shanni at the dentist.
I just had time to whiz into ‘Max’ to see if my coat had arrived yet.
It had, I tried it on and it was just right.
At last!
Then I went to pay for it and the sales lady casually commented that –
‘as from today all the coats are reduced to $139.’
The full price was $249.
I couldn’t believe it.
After all this time and after all the mucking around to get it I was so totally blessed and blown away.
It was totally worth the wait!!!

Whizzed back to Chipmunks and picked up the kids.
Then to the dentists.
The four of them were all scheduled to see the hygienist and then Hali had her check with the dentist.
It took ages and we were all so tired when we left.
But they all got good reports which was wonderful.
I had promised Azzan he could go to the $2 Shop seeing as he had been so good.
But once we got there he couldn’t decide what he wanted.
He circled the shop for so long debating with himself as to the worth, durability and longevity of each article that took his fancy.
Finally, finally, I had had enough and he made a desperate decision.
It was a dragon baby hatching out of an egg – which I had persuaded him right at the beginning not to choose.
Oh, if only I had not then we would’ve been outa there in minutes

After that it was a fast trip through the supermarket to get food for dinner and then we were homeward bound.
Nathan made sandwiches for us from french bread, garlic butter, roast chicken and tomatoes.
They were delicious.

We had a quick side track to Pelorus Bridge to pick up a sleeping bag my sister had collected for me.
It had been getting fixed in Blenheim.
The drive home was very very foggy.

Yesterday I cleaned out the fridges – it is amazing how much leftover food gets stashed over a few days.
It all got devoured for lunch by the gannets.
I also managed to get food prepared for several meals.
Switched on the slow cooker and it has been working hard for the past two days.
Oh! I love that thing

Soon after 4pm I hopped into the Safari and drove to meet up with my neighbours.
I picked up Jo & Pauline at St Laurence and then Sandra at Hurutini and we talked our way around the windy, wet and very foggy roads to French Pass.

We were entertained for the evening by Helen Molder starring in
A Vote for Cynthia
It was such fun.
She really is a wonderful actress and brilliant singer.
I will go to anything she is in because I know it will always be fantastic.

It was even foggier on the way home but that was okay cuz Jo was watching the road for me
I got back about 9:30pm.
Had a chat with Tim and piled off into bed.

Today it wasn’t raining so Tim & Ivo went up the hill fencing again.
I did school with the children.
After maths and reading etc we did a study on New South Wales.
Nuana did some experiments with Azzan so he was a happy chappie.
At midday I had to zip up the hill and get Tim and meet up with some folks and then go to Waterfall Bay for a few hours.
We got back home for lunch at about 2:30pm.
I was starving.
Nuana had made a wonderful fritatta.
It was delicious.
We chatted a while, then Tim headed off up the hill to sort out sheep.
I was pretty wiped out so I just chilled for the rest of the afternoon.
Got dinner sussed and now it is bedtime.
And it is raining – again.

A friendly time in town.

I enjoyed a leisurely trip to Nelson on Thursday morning.
Got away at 6:45am – bit later than norm for me, but I had no early appointments and it is better to be a bit later on the roads these days.
I have actually just been chatting with my neighbour Jo, who drove to town just after me and she hit ice going down into Okiwi Bay – so it was quite a miracle that I didn’t as I was just a few minutes in front of her.

I have had a coat on order at Max.
The first thing I did once I got to town was to go pick it up.
I have been using up the credit that I got there when shopping for Cat before the wedding – the clothes I had bought for her were not right so I had taken them back and they will only give credit.
The coat had been on order since I was last in Nelson cuz the size they had was too small.
It had arrived several weeks ago and was on hold for me.
The lady got it out of storage and gave it to me.
I thought I should just make sure about it and try it on.
I am so glad I did.
They had been sent a size 10 not a size 16 and no-one had checked.
I was so disappointed.
Anyway, the shop assistant said she would get onto the computer and see if there was one at any of the other branches around NZ.
She called me later on and said she had found one and it will be in store next week.
I am so happy cuz my only good warm coat is a hand me down which I inherited from Jesika and it is black and black is totally not me.
The one I am getting is a rust red – so warm and cosy

The coat will use up all the credit I have there which is good cuz I have been worried I would loose the vouchers somewhere along the way!!

Got my jobs done fairly quickly after that so buzzed on out to visit Estelle for an hour.
Then back into town to pick up stuff for Tim.
I arranged to met Heather for lunch at Smugglers at 1pm.
We had such a lovely time catching up – we haven’t seen anything of each other in almost years so we ate and talked and talked.
Finally I thought I should make tracks.
Heather asked me if I was going to call in to her place to pick up something we had been discussing.
I asked her what the time was.
She checked her watch and said it was 10 to.
’10 to what?’ I asked.
She looked again and gasped – ’10 to 4!’
Where did those 3 hours go to??
No wonder her family had been texting and asking where she was!!

I dropped her home and then headed out to Richmond to shop for the evening.
Dropped the chips and dips around at Ainsley’s and then went to David & Sasha’s to suss out our beds for the night.
Never having been to their new flat before and knowing they were away, I wanted to go there before dark.
I only just made it and then had a dickens of a job to locate the driveway, get a park and then had to figure out which of the houses up the alley was theirs.
The road was very busy and it was dusk and it was just across the road from a fish’n’chip shop, dairy and a tavern so heaps of traffic to dodge.
Finally figured it out and met their friend Lawrence who welcomed me.
I got sorted and changed and then Jillian arrived.
So we piled into her vehicle and zipped around the corner to Ainsley’s.

We had a wonderful night.
There was close on 20 of us home educating mothers.
Instead of going out to a restaurant this time we bought desserts and ordered in Indian take aways.
It was relaxing and cosy around Ainsley’s fire.
The night disappeared into food and chatter.
It was great.
By 11:30pm there were just 5 of us left.
So we decided we really should make tracks.
Jillian and I quickly dossed down at the flat and slept soundly till the phone went at 8am.

Friday we packed up and headed into Nelson and enjoyed breakfast together at Morrison St cafe.
Then Jillian and I had to part company and get our own chores finished so we could head home to our respective families.

I pottered about and did what I needed to do.
Picked up the children’s last two unit studies that were being bound.
They always look so good once that is done.
Finally I just had to pick up some orange thread and buttons for an art swap I am doing so I zipped into Spotlight on my way out of town.
I didn’t realize they were having a big sale.
I guess it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out cuz most shops are having huge sales at the moment

I found the bits I wanted plus a whole lot more.
But my best bargain was masks.
The children LOVE to make and decorate face masks.
I have been buying them at Spotlight for around $4.50 over past months.
Well, I found mask kits complete with all the embellishments which normally sell at $18.
They were all marked down to $4.00.
I was so rapt.
I got a pile of assorted ones and have stashed them for rainy days when the darlings need something extra to do

I was outa town by 3:45pm.
Once again an unheard of early time of departure for me.
Had a good drive home listening to Chuck Missler’s commentary and teaching on Zechariah on my iPod.

I met up with my neighbour Sandra who was parked on the side of the road.
Her back wheel nuts had come loose.
Not a good look – esp on our hilly roads.
She tightened them up and I followed her just to make sure she was okay.
She lives about 30 mins before our place so once I had followed her dust for an hour and knew she was okay I sped off home.
Got here and was welcomed by the children.

They had been having a busy time outdoors with their Dad.
He has been getting fencing repairs done so just packs up a bit of a snack for the children and loads them on board the truck too.
They love it.

Unfortunately because I left my camera in my car and went with Jillian to our mothers’ evening I never got to take any photos to share this time.
I will have to get some off Ainsley!!

Catching up again….

The past days have gone past in a bit of a whirl.
It has been so cold – the main task of the day has been to keep the fires going so we can stay cosy.

The weekend was busy.
We had a journalist here doing an article on Tim & myself.
That was fun – interviews and lots of photos – be interesting to see the article when it gets into print.
She had to have photos too of course and the one day that she had to go out on the boat with Tim to get him doing his mussel work – of course was Sunday – and it was the roughest, coldest, southerly day we have had.
They were all very very happy to get back indoors by the fire and have hot drinks to warm up again.
We have had 3 real mean southerly blasts go through here in the past 3 weeks but this last one took the cake.
It was a real doozie!
It was freezing, the wind was really whipping up the bay something terrible.
Not usual for a southerly in here.
So it must’ve been a real bad one over on the east coast.
I did hear that the Interislander ferries were not sailing.

There was great excitement on Sunday morning cuz the chidlren discovered that Peg had whelped so they were up at her kennel with torches to try and see the wee puppies.
She had 9 all together but 3 died at birth.

Azzan was enjoying having his big bro home.
Seb wasn’t so sure about the crazy little bro that was sitting next to him at dinner
He was trying to ignore the antics….

If I just pretend he isn’t there he might just go away…

can’t help a small smile though – he is rather funny…..

love the eyes!

I love you Seb…………watch out Zani!

Big brother has had enough!!
Strangle, strangle, cough cough…..and then Azzan is back into it again!!!
He is irrepressible

Nathan & Ivo spent a morning in the vege garden and got it sorted for the winter.
Nathan was quite thrilled to bring down a large bucket of new potatoes and some very tasty carrots.

When they finished that I got Ivo to prune and tidy the steps and path from the house up past the garden.
The 3 youngest also got busy.
They started pruning around their playhouse and the creek.
They were so industrious.
It was cold but they didn’t seem to feel it cuz they were so busy cutting and dragging away the prunings.
Great job!

Tim had to head off to Nelson Monday night.
Before he left he got the chainsaw out and cut down several things on the bank that I had wanted removed for ages.
Then the next morning I was out in the garden before 7am.
I pruned all the dead dahlia’s and anything else that was rank and annoying me.

Then when Ivo had finished breakfast I set him alight outside to clear away all the mess Tim & I had made.
It took him all day!!

Monday was so very, very cold.
Seb cut up a sheep for Tim before he headed off back to town and work.
Tony, Phil & Joy came over by boat to see the puppies as they were choosing two of them.
Tim chose one for Anson and the other 3 were ‘dealt to’ as she had too many to feed.
It was a busy morning cuz the journalist was wanting Tim & I up the hill for photos, then she and her family were leaving and the others were arriving and then it was morning tea and chatting time and then they all left, and Seb & Oliver left and Tim was packing up to go to town.

Once Tim left I stopped to take a huge breath – phew!
So much for Queen’s Birthday being a holiday – for some maybe!!

It was so very very cold that we had the fires stoked.
Nathan noticed that the Megarad was smoking a tad so he hopped up on the roof to tap the flue and get rid of the resin build up.
Unfortunately it fell down and blocked the chimney and we got totally smoked out.
It was awful.
We had to open all the doors and windows despite the cold.
Then Nathan decided he needed to put the fire out so he doused it with some water.
It was then I heard a roaring in the flue.
I could see it was red hot and there was a fire in the chimney.
I flipped at that stage and tore outside.
There was smoke billowing out but no flames.
I called up Tim but he hadn’t arrived in Nelson yet.
So I made an emergency call to Graham and he was down the hill in minutes.
They emptied the fire out into metal buckets and left it on the back path.
The embers glowed for ages.

Then they had to lift out the double burning plate and let all the build up of resin and ash fall through into the firebox.
It was a very hot job but they got it done.
Checked out the ceiling tomake sure it was okay up there.

Then Graham pronounced it all okay and ready to relight.
So Nathan brought all the embers back in and we soon had a blazing fire going again – and a nice clean chimney!!!
What excitement – I certainly can do without that – especially when Timmy is away

Tim also took my computer out to town so it could pay a quick visit to my friendly and very helpful techie.
Being on dial-up it is far easier to get him to do all the updates – they take so long to do down here.
So I take it to visit him every few months just to keep it all up to date and ticking along.
I also had a major space problem – so to help in that area I spent quite some time loading files and photos onto cd’s.
That made a huge difference and means I don’t have to add any more GB’s just now.
It is so good having an iMac – I never have any major traumas with it.
No bugs or viruses!!
I so love my Apple

The children and I have brought all our school work out to the kitchen – it is much warmer.
We have been getitng into our Australian project.
Yesterday we watched a National Geographic movie about Australian Aborigines.
Today we were looking at gepgraphical features.
Also plodding away at Maths and English.
Nathan wrote a really good play today – I was really pleased with what he did.
We had quite a discussion with Nathan before school and then Shanni later on about attitudes.
Something seems to have sunk in, so that is good.

I am off to town in the morning.
It is time for this terms Mothers’ Night out.
Sounds like there will be a good group fo us this term.
Should be loads of fun.

Am off to pack a few glad rags – warm ones methinks!!