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!!