Finding my mojo…

Because I haven’t been sleeping terribly well.
Waking early etc.
I have been getting up early and trying to recover a bit of my mojo.
It has taken a while but I have enjoyed tinkering away.
I needed to make some engagement/wedding cards as there is a flood of them happening in the next few months and I like to have cards on hand so I am not stressing at the last minute.

This is just a few of what I have made.
Thought I would share some so you can see what I get up to in my spare time.

I asked Tim today if he would like to see what I had been doing.
So he dutifully said yes and proceeded to eye them all up one by one without too much comment.
Then he saw this one and asked what the straw things were for?
He couldn’t quite get the grasp of
‘That’s art Tim – you know? – balance and technique etc ‘!! 

He did admit that he was impressed at how I could take little bits of paper etc and make something creative out of them.
I had showed him how I used the corrugated card from around my skin care bottles, and chocolate liners etc as backgrounds.
I don’t throw anything away
Even the lovely wrapping paper from Starbucks – now that is just the best for backgrounds
See if you can find where I have used it??

I was jolted awake at 2am by an earthquake.
Magnitude 5.2
It was a good jolt, but I never felt the 2nd aftershock of magnitude 4.3 at 4am.

Tim & Yura went out to do some mussel work.
Dasha was getting a ride out with our neighbours Matt & Aaron, so I zipped her up the hill at 11:30am to meet them.
It was blowing so hard up there.
We barely had time to say a proper goodbye cuz the wind was just way too strong and we had to run between vehicles.

The mailboat arrived and the afternoon was spent just doing mail and getting dinner etc.
The kids did some school work.
I did some craft work and cooked dinner.

Tim & Yura spent the morning cleaning out the septic tank & grey water system.
There has been a problem for a while so hopefully Tim has managed to solve it now.
Jonathan from Malaysia arrived so after he had unpacked he and Jura did some water blasting.

Jura stayed on and cleaned the clearlight on the verandah roof
While Tim & Jonathan went up the hill to cut up the fallen trees.
Unfortunately they are over the bank so it is not worth while retrieving them for firewood.

Noel came around to work on his yacht and brought his daughter Shania to play with the girls.
They played in the Lego and when I reminded them that it was a beautiful day they all scarpered outside for a while.

Nathan cooked dinner.
Mutton chops, potatoes, creamed corn and stir fry veges.

We had a bit of an interesting night.
Without going into it – lets just say there was  battle of wills between a 13 yr old and a 52 year old


We woke to a reasonably calm day but the day was forecast to worsen.

Azzan & Shanni got out some mask and craft kits I had bought at Spotlight’s sale.
So they had the table covered in newspaper, glue and collage bits for most of the morning.
Don’t the masks look great

Tim made porridge around them and then Shanni made pancakes.
So breakfast extended from 8am to midday!

We had fellowship and then ate lunch in the mid afternoon!
Azzan has been wanting me to get his electronic alphabet game going.
Some of the letters would not work.
I passed the buck to the two IT guys.
So they pulled it to pieces and discovered that inside two of the main peices were broken.

So I said to chuck it away!
Azzan swooped on it with glee and proceeded to demolish it screw by screw.
‘Let’s see what inside here?’
‘I’m saving these screws for Daddy.’

The weather has worsened.
It is now pouring with rain and blowing and cold.
A good day to be tucked up inside by the fire – which is where I am going very soon.
It is too darned cold here in my study – brrrrr.

Thursday in the kitchen

On Thursday
I gave Dasha the choice of cooking or gardening.
She chose to cook.
Azzan’s ears pricked up and he asked excitedly if I had gotten some condensed milk in town.
Yes, I did.
So he found his recipe book for the pink mice and he and Dasha made those first.

They are actually very yummy – very sweet – mmmm

Then Dasha made a chocolate pumpkin cake and she and Shanni made chocolate biscuits.

After lunch Tim and Jura went out to cut up fallen trees.
It was Dasha’s last day so I suggested she went for a walk.
She walked around the track to Waterfall Bay, up the road to the top and back down our road.
It was incredibly windy but good training for her Wangapeka tramp she is planning.

Shanni & Hali have been spending a lot of time cleaning up their Lego area this week.
When Seb comes home to get all of his things and his room is vacated I have told the girls they can use the floor space in there to spread the Lego out – that way I might get some more space in my school room!!

Nathan & Dasha were up to hi-jinks over dinner dishes.

We have been doing some school work at the kitchen table.
And the children have been doing some piano practice.
Not as much as I would like but at least some is better than nothing.

Azzan asked if we knew what an Australian Haka was like?
So he broke out into a demo –
Haka actions whilst singing/yelling Walzing Matilda!!

Town and after…..

I have just spent the past half an hour writing this entry and I just lost it all
so, due to the fact that I am really tired and my eyes are barely staying open this is going to be very abridged!

The children and I headed to Nelson yesterday morning.
We left before 6am so had a good start on the day.

We got a few things done and then went to Richmond for their first piano lessons with Nick.
Mahalia went first as she was going horse riding straight after.

However, the weather was against her and her lesson had to be canceled.
She was very disappointed but we have rescheduled for next week.

Sasha came to see us there, so we chatted down the back of the hall.
Nice to catch up with her and get the cd of family photos taken in Melbourne.

Azzan was next up – he was very chirpy and enjoyed his lesson.

He told me later that he thought it would be hard but it was easy peasy.

While Shanni had her lesson I zipped down the road to pick up Azzan’s new rabbit.
I hadn’t told him so it was a big surprise.
When he saw it he just giggled and giggled.
So we fitted it’s cage into the truck and headed back to the hall.

Nathan was into his lesson so we sat down the back and waited for him.

I used my invasive telephoto lens to get involved in their lessons

By the time they were all finished they were complaining of hunger.
So we went over to the mall and got sushi for lunch.
Seb met us there and took Nathan with him to suss out the movies.

I took the other 3 and went to the windscreen repair shop.
I swapped the truck for a wee Honda City.
I dropped the kids off at Chipmunks and then zipped around doing some jobs.
Met up with the boys at Briscoes.
Seb was moving into a flat and had just bought a 2nd hand queen sized bed.
He needed bedding for it.
We found everything he needed at Briscoes on sale – he got some really good bargains.

I dropped Nathan at the movies – he saw GI Joe.
Then it was time to have my blood test and take Shanni to the Dr.
She took a throat swab.
We will find out tomorrow if it is viral or bacterial.
She gave us antibiotics to bring home just in case.

I picked up Azzan & Mahalia, got the truck back with a nice new windscreen.
We zipped through the supermarket before meeting Nathan at the video hire shop.

Didn’t leave town till 6:30pm so it was a long day.
We had a wet foggy drive home.
But got back before the worst of it came through.
Not too long afterwards a humdinger of a lightening storm hit.

We woke this morning to no phone.
Some trees had fallen across the lines just up the hill.
It was fixed by mid afternoon.
The day was very very windy with willy-whirls zooming across the bay most of the day.
Quite spectacular.

Tim finished off the rabbit cage and then spent the rest of the day working on the motor bike.

The rabbit spent all morning exploring the living room.
He is a 4 year old mini lop and a bit fiesty as he hasn’t been handled much lately – it took Azzan a wee while to be confident with him.

I did some school work with the children this morning.
Mahalia seems to be coming down with something similar to Shanni.
I managed to convince her to go back to bed for a sleep.

I had my lunch in the sun in my craft corner and dozed off in my chair.
I wanted to go to bed but also wanted to talk to the Telecom technician about the phone lines and by the time he arrived it was too late.
Jura arrived before dinner.
He is also from Czech Rep.
So he and Dasha had a lot of talk about – in English

Dasha & I made a yummy self saucing berry pudding for dinner.
It was delicious.


A day in our bay

I have been waking around 4am for the past week.
Then I lie there thinking of all the things I could get up and do, tossing and turning, and then eventually fall back asleep.
But yesterday morning by 5:30am I decided I would get up.
So I snuck out quietly and made myself a hot grapefruit & honey drink.
While waiting for the jug to boil I cleared away the previous nights dishes.
Then I pottered away in my craft corner for a while.
When I decided to open the curtains at 6:40am this is the scene that greeted me.

10 mins later when I was soaking in the spa the morning was beginning to waken

20 mins later the dawn had broken and the clouds were becoming more visable

By 9am it was daylight, the bay still and calm and mirrorlike.

It was a beautiful day – Jynx & Mo were preening out in their favourite spot.

I love watching the clouds move and form around the hills across the bay – they are always changing and always giving us hints of what is to come.

An hour later Jynx & Mo were still in the same spot – though by now they were sleeping soundly and barely opened an eye to watch me as I approached.
What a life!
Beats me how they can be comfortable there  – the board is only about 4″ wide!

While Tim was preparing breakfast some dolphins came to visit.
Dasha left her porridge and zipped out in the kayak to see them.

She was totally blown away – coming from Czech Rep it was a real treat for her to see them up so close.
Later in the day she saw seals and then Nathan took her down to the woolshed to see the penguins.
What a day she had.
She went off to bed shaking her head in wonder

Tim, Nathan & Dasha went out with Noel to seed a mussel line for an hour or two.
Then after lunch Tim had a nana nap.
Nathan pottered away at the rabbit cage.
Shanni made biscuits – they were rather tasty too.
After dinner I was reading by the fire at 8:30pm and found myself nodding over my book.
So I popped myself into bed.

Today we got into some school work.
Nathan did some maths and then went out to do more to the rabbit cage.
Shanni did her travel journal and sorted photos.
Mahalia raced through her work book and did some reading.
Azzan did he reading and finished his work book.
He was so happy to get his prize!
He was having problems with forming his letters properly and understanding ‘why’ I want him to write them the right way.
So I wrote out the alphabet and tried to show him how letters come in families – breaking them up into the way they are formed.
He must be very visual because as I made each ‘family’ a different colour he clicked and straight away grabbed the pencils from me and proceeded to draw houses and put each family in their own houses.

It was fun and I think he is getting the idea now he can see the reason behind doing it properly.

Tim & Nathan spent most of the afternoon trying to get the rabbit cage finished.
Hopefully it will no be escape proof so the critter will not be cat food!

The kids and I are off to Nelson early tomorrow.
I have a list that is way way too long for just a one day trip
But, we will do what we can and what doesn’t get down can wait till next time!
We are taking Anson’s truck so we can get the windscreen replaced.
I will have a wee curtesy town car to zip around in – nice

We have been home exactly a week!!

Thankfully the weather has begun to warm up a bit.
I have found the past few days so cold that I just couldn’t function properly.
But now it is warming up I am beginning to thaw and get enthusiastic about things again.

We didn’t do a lot on Friday re school work.
Shanni is still in recovery so I am not pushing her.
Nathan is doing some on his own and the other two have done quite a lot of educational play and computer work.
Azzan is really enjoying copying words from books and gets so excited when we can read what he has written.
Shanni has been able to do her aviary work but did delegate her chickens to Mahalia – so she must’ve been sick   – she is usually very possessive about all her birds.

I have been doing a lot of planning and scheming since I got home.
Tim’s 60th birthday is one – am planning a bbq party on the 19th Sept – but haven’t informed him about it yet!! Have been trying to spread the word to all far and wide – if any of you want to come then please let me know

I have now committed myself to going to Nelson most Tuesdays.
I have found a piano teacher so they are all going to take lessons.
Last night I managed to get horse riding lessons for Mahalia – she is going to be over the moon when I tell her
I still have to sort out dance classes for the boys – not too sure if that will fit into the day or not.
Have to wait until this coming week to suss that one.
Am thinking also that swimming could slot in there somewhere as we approach the summer.
I have gotten the older children swimming lessons when they were young but these four have missed out so far.

Saturday was  a beautiful sunny day.
We have managed to get washing out on clothes line for a few days now which is wonderful.
Also have been able to have the doors open to let fresh air in – so nice.

Shanni & Dasha have been working away in the vege garden for the past couple of days.
Dasha has done most of it.
Shanni just works as much as her energy levels will allow.
Graham began the spring planting before we got home so Shanni is now all enthusiastic to get more seeds and plants in the ground.

I have delegated Nathan to resurrecting a rabbit cage from several old ones as Azzan has a rabbit arriving soon.
He doesn’t know it yet – big surprise for him

Mahalia cleaned the bathroom.
She is a brilliant wee cleaner – does a great job.
Here she is nearing the end of it – she even washing all the shampoo containers et al !!

I asked Azzan to wash the breakfast dishes.
He normally dries them.
He said he couldn’t wash them cuz Mahalia tells him that he doesn’t do it properly.
That’s the problem with big sisters
So I told him that there was no one around, only him and me and I was sure he could do a brilliant job if he tried.
So I washed a couple of the big pots and got them out of his way, added hot water and detergent to the sink and left him too it.
When I came back ages later he had done them all but there was a LOT of detergent gone from the bottle and the dishes were very very soapy.
He had washed them all by himself and the floor was not flooded – so great progress made!

I made toasties for lunch so everyone took them and their soup out onto the deck as it was so sunny.

Tim has been out fencing and just generaly doing land based farm activities while he can before the mussel harvesting begins again.
Dasha has spent her afternoons kayaking and walking.
I have been trying to get my office under control, taking a while!

We roasted huge garlic potato wedges for dinner and had them with beef casserole and beans.
They were delicious.

Every night since we arrived home the children have loaded the table with candles.
Tonight Mahalia set the table and Azzan found even more candles.
They were arranged with great particularity!!
Which caused a bit of grief when Nathan insisted on moving them around, even ever so slightly.
Azzan is such a perfectionist and was most unhappy at having his decorations moved.

And with the flash – it doesn’t seem quite so romantic does it?
Only trouble with candles is that they drip wax and wax is so fun to play with and get everywhere

Mahalia wanted to make dessert so she and Dasha made cupcakes before dinner.
Then after our main course they iced them.

I was feeling really tired and blobby after dinner so was in bed by 8:30pm.
One by one the kids came in to kiss me good night – a bit of role reversal.
Tim was having a bit of trouble getting them all rounded up and into bed.
They all seemed to be busy

I had dozed off when the phone woke me at 9:30pm.
It was finally the lady from the horse riding school – we had been playing phone tag all day.
She was so helpful and really wanted to work around us seeing as we are travelling so far.
So that was a pleasant note to go back to sleep on.

Well, I landed back running and now I have collapsed.

Monday, I turned my back on the 5 baskets of washing and we got straight into the school room.
We had a good sweep and clean out and then I read them a story I had picked up in Australia.
It’s a children’s picture book called ‘Are we there yet?
I was fascinated because even Nathan sat there listening attentively throughout the whole story.
Azzan was disappointed that we hadn’t been to some of the places the children in the book had been to.
As if 6300kms wasn’t far enough to travel in the 6 weeks!
I pointed out that we had to leave some places for next time

Then I began working with each child dragging photos from the 1774 I had taken and the 439 of Shanni’s.
I worked with each of the three youngest on their own over two days – letting them choose which photos they wanted to add to their journals. I cropped and altered the picture sizes to fit onto A4 photo paper – pringted them and then they cut them out and added them to their journals.
It is actually very, very time consuming and a major job for me amd after a while I was getting pretty sick of sitting in front of the computer.
I thought Nathan would be able to do his alone as he is quite computer savvy.
But when I caught up with him a few hours later I was rather dismayed to see how he had gone about it.
I was trying to be systematic and organise the photos chronologically – whereas he had just grabbed a few from anywhere that appealed to him and that was it
So I showed him what I was wanting in the hopes he would be a bit more productive with his time.

It is going to take a while but I want to keep a bit of momentum going so they will get their journals finished – I know what it is like to have things hanging – it gets very tedious and boring.

Tuesday morning we woke to this view.
Can’t say I saw anything to better it while away!

I am so enjoying being home and having my spa to soak in during the waking and closing of each day

I managed to fold all the washing and get it put away.
Shanni helped me but wasn’t too keen on the idea.
I was insisting on it all being folded properly & orderly and not in the haphazard fashion that was happening.
The other 3 were being designated other jobs to help clean floors and benches etc.
Funnily enough the more I get annoyed with Shanni the busier and more eager to please Mahalia gets
Shanni is normally really great – I should’ve realised that something was amiss.

Tim has been pottering about getting back into things again.
The wood stove was in pieces all over the kitchen – he has thankfully tidied that all up and it is now awaiting for Graham’s return to help fix it.
He and Nathan are hell bent on decimating some pigs which are digging up the back paddocks.
So they had to sight in the rifle yesterday.
Right outside my window on the deck of all places!

They have been out each evening now and have seen the pigs but have not been succesful yet.
The wind was blowing the wrong direction first – they are going to try again tonight.

Tuesday I was expecting a wwofer to arrive.
We have been communicating by email for a few weeks now.
He was hitch-hiking in after getting a ride to French Pass on Monday.
Later in the arvo there was a knock on the door and a young lady was standing on the doorstep saying ‘I’m Dasha’!
I said -‘I thought you were a guy’!!!
She also had been mistaken about me too – didn’t know my name and thought I was a guy.
So we had a good laugh
I was so greatful that ‘he’ had turned out to be ‘she’ – I have plenty for her to do around here!

Azzan had been wanting to watch ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ all day, and I had been putting him off cuz I wanted to watch it with him. I only saw a wee bit off it last time.
So we all watched it while waiting for the pig hunters to return.
It is rated PG because it is supposed to be scary.
But as Azzan said – ‘It is too silly and unreal for it to be scary‘!
And now I have seen it and laughed my way through it – I have to agree!!

I woke Wednesday morning after a very sleep disturbed night, feeling very yuck.
My head and body were aching.
I wallowed in the spa pool – it was nice in there but I still wasn’t feeling any better after that or a shower.
Shanni was not at all well either.
She tried to do some school work but was flagging fast.
She was very pale, with a sore throat and feeling cold.
So I popped her into bed mid-morning for a sleep.
I gave up on school and made kiwifruit, apple & chocolate chip muffins with Azzan.
They were delicious.
Had some and then I took myself off to bed for a nana nap.

Then when I woke up Azzan was not feeling very bright either.
He took himself off to my bed and slept for ages.

Dasha is from Czech Reb and is very bright and chatty and helpful.
She cleaned the Cotttage for me and then helped with dinner prep etc.

Today she has been busy cleaning around here – lots of sweeping and de-spider webbing etc.
I am so glad to have her here to help get the place feeling clean and happy again.

I have really been struggling to keep warm over the past few days – we have had a southerly blow through and the fire just has not been keeping the living area warm enough for me.
I was sitting right in front of the fire last night with Azzan.
He asked me – ‘Is there more people in the world than atoms?’
I told him that we were all made up of atoms so there was heaps more atoms than people.
He replied ‘That’s right, it is all just matter isn’t it?’
I asked how did he know about matter and atoms?
He said ‘Because I’m clever.
No flies on that boy eh??

Today we actually did some other school work.
Reading and math etc.
The kids really responded positively to doing it which was good.
I did a few more photos with some of them too.
I have been working away at clearing the backlog of mail and emails all week.
I think I am making progress – although my study is still looking like a bombshell has hit it.

I have to hop off here now cuz Shanni wants to check her emails.
It is a bit hard at the mo with only one computer.
Tim & I do not like this computer being used by others as it has all our business stuff on it and I am sunk without it.
So I am on the lookout for a replacement one for the living room or a new one for me – which will it be I wonder??

I know what I would like – says she as she dreams on……….