The past few days have revolved around shearing and the weather.
Friday we were preparing for shearing.
Mustering etc.
Anson and Seb’s friend Lyall shore a few sheep in the afternoon to get the numbers knocked back a bit as rain was forecast for Saturday.

I helped Anson draft up the sheep after dinner while Tim put the children to bed.
I really enjoyed doing it too.
It is years since I have had the opportunity to actually get out and help physically.
I am normally inside doing the cooking or accounts etc.

Saturday shearing began at the same time as the rain.
So Gary, Caleb & Anson shore the shed full and Tim had to release the ewes that didn’t fit in the shed back out onto the hill.
Shanni  had  made enough buns the night before that there were enough left over to fill with tuna and salad She also made ginger gems.
I was very proud of her efforts.She did really well.

After lunch they had shorn all the dry sheep and lambs so they all went out scalloping.
I watched a movie ‘The Sinking of the Rainbow Warrior.
It was really good.
I grew up with the basic knowledge of what happened so it was good to get more of the background.

Sunday we were up early and drove over the hill to Waterfall Bay by 8:30 to watch the rugby game between All Blacks and France at Marseille
Man! Was it an excellent game.
I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Such a clean fast flowing game.
No ructions until right at the very end.
We won 39-12

We got back home and did a quick change of vehicles, grabbed the dogs and drove up to the airstrip so the guys could muster the sheep back in for another go at shearing.

Mount Taranaki was showing it’s head so vividly across the Cook Strait.
A forecast of approaching stormy weather.
But it is easy to forget that fact in the excitement of seeing it so clearly

Isn’t it beautiful?
I love the Maori legend about it.

I dropped the musterers off and then came home again.

Anson telling Martin & Alois what to do & where to go.

Tim and Shanni heading off down the hill.

Mahalia waiting in the truck for me to stop taking photos

After lunch everyone had a fairly restful time.
It was such a beautiful day.
Alois went off walking.
I helped Anson bring in the ewes again and draft them up.
We managed to get most of the 550 in the shed but had to leave 40-50 outside.
We didn’t get in to dinner until around 8pm.
Tim had cooked up some scallops for dinner and had most of the troops fed which was great.
I could quite get used to this swapping of roles – sometimes

Monday the shearers were back.
The rain was also approaching again.
It came in just a little bit too fast though and didn’t give the guys enough time to shear a few to make room for the ones outside.
There was some very fast juggling in the woolshed pens but a few of the sheep were still rather damp when they were shorn.

They got them all finished by afternoon smoko so had a leisurely cuppa round the kitchen table.
The rain has been coming down steadily most of the day.
Our new wwoofers David & Katie from Colorado USA arrived and got their car stuck not too far from the house.

I was so tired and feeling a bit grumpy today.
After lunch I lay down with the children and watched ‘Phar Lap‘.
It was a great story about an amazing horse.
So tragic though.

Mahalia helped me to make Apple Jam roll for dessert tonight.
I haven’t made it in years.
It was really good.
Must include it in my ‘recipes to make more often’ list!!

We are off to Nelson tomorrow.
It is pouring down still so I am rather apprehensive about the road.

I know there has been heaps other things to tell.
Like Azzan’s dances and songs and teasing of his brothers etc but I can’t recall too much detail right now so I am going to go to bed.

This weeks catch up of events.

This was the sunset reflecting on an amazing cloud bank across the bay on Monday night.

Tuesday was our normal busy day in town.
Anson came with me, and a trailer load of sheep and a dog.
We dropped off the sheep at Rai Valley.
Then Anson picked up his truck from the garage and took Bear to the vet.
The abscess had burst during the night so the vet checked him over and put in a drain.
Anson was able to bring him home that night.
The children had music lessons in Richmond.
I zipped Nathan & Shanni back into Nelson for another sewing lesson.
Mahalia had a riding lesson at Brightwater.
Azzan & I popped out to Wakefield to wish Chrissy a happy birthday.
Picked Mahalia up again at 1pm.
Went back to the city doing several jobs along the way.
N&S had met up with Martin from Denmark – our new wwoofer.
Anson picked up Martin & Shoshannah and headed off home.
While Azzan was at dancing I picked up stuff at Placemakers and then I dropped N at Taekwondo.
Went back for Azzan and then he and Mahalia helped me do the grocery shopping before picking Nathan up and heading home.

Since then it has been busy here with the guys doing more fencing, mustering etc.
The weather has been incredibly windy and warm.
Photos do not do the windyness of the bay justice but this was taken on Wednesday morning when the bay was well ruffled with white caps and the sea was lapping the beach loudly.

Since then the wind has risen in intensity and doors keep slamming, papers go flying etc etc.

Shanni made smoothies the other day – they were delicious.

The children have set up the verandah as a veterinary surgery and have been ‘operating’ on the cats.
Mo puts up with so much!
Azzan had a needleless syringe and was ‘injecting’ him.

Jynx had his tail bandage cuz it was broken – apparently!

Mo was a lot more docile and was bandaged allover.

He was okay until he tried to get up and walk and then he kept on staggering and falling over.
The girls were in hysterics over his antics.

He appeared disdainfully unamused 

The girls have been busy sewing heaps of clothes for the dolls this week.
Today they were busy making houses for their Barbie & Kelly dolls.
They tied boxes together and cut windows and doors.

Of course Poppi was right in the midst of it all.

The guys have been working long days with more approaching as we are shearing over the weekend.
So Tim gave the wwoofers most of the middle of the day off.
The three of them headed off in the kayaks with life jackets on.
They were gone for hours.
The wind got much stronger and was screaming into Te Kopi.
We were wondering where they had gotten to.
Then we saw two of them clambering around the rocks with their kayak paddles.
Apparently Toad, the Chinese guy who cannot swim, fell out of his kayak in the middle of the bay and was in a right panic.
Alois, our French guy, is a trained life guard and had stayed relatively close to him.
He managed to save him and get him onto his kayak and then went and retrieved the upturned one.
They managed to get across the bay to Wood Beach.
Toad stayed put there.
He was so scared he would not get back onto the kayak.
The other two battled the wind and got to the other side of Cape Horn and left the kayaks there and walked home around the rocks in bare feet.
They were rather battle weary when they arrived.

Seb had arrived home by this time so he and his friend Lyall went over in the dinghy and rescued Toad and the kayaks.
He was ever so pleased to see them!!

Tonight Tim had cooked a big roast of mutton.
I made a stir fry of veges, creamed corn and roast potatoes.
We had a delicious dinner in honour of Seb’s birthday.
I hadn’t made him an actual b’day cake so we used the cake Jenny had made for me.
The candle would not stay lit.
Seb was ‘See Mum, I told you that 19 wasn’t a b’day to make a fuss over. Even the candle won’t stay alight for me!

Azzan was in top gear tonight and was being extremely entertaining.
He loves to be a comic – esp towards his big brothers.

I spent all morning making 2 large cheesecakes for Seb.
He does not like desserts.
Except that is – cheesecake.
I made an extra one for him to take back to work with him.
He loves them for breakfast

The guys all went mustering after dinner.
I put the two wee ones to bed and am so tired I am about to fall into bed myself.

Hapy Birthday Sebastian.

It is Sebastian’s 19th birthday today.
Happy Birthday to our special young man
He is away working on the mussel boat in Golden Bay this week so we won’t get to celebrate with him until next weekend.
Seb – I’m making you your favourite – cheesecake!!

Here he is (2nd from left) with his 5 older & 1 younger siblings at Jesika’s 30th in August.
I really like this photo

The past few days have been busy with work of many and varied sorts.
The girls have been busy wee beavers at the sewing machine.
Shanni has undertaken to teach Mahalia how to use it so Mahalia is now overjoyed she can also create clothes for her dolls.

Shanni has also been doing a lot of work in the vege garden.
We will be eating well this summer by the look of it
The men have been continuing their fencing work up the hills.
Tim has been doing a lot of long days on the bulldozer preparing the fence line.
I am preferring not too know where it precisely is as it all sounds a little too steep and scary for me!
Anson has been doing his possum trap line plus he goes out most nights possum shooting.
He is getting so many now that they can’t cope with all the possums for dog tucker.
So they have been gutting them to fit more in the freezer.
It is a good revenue earner for him too which is his main reason for doing it.
Or is it that he is missing his night life so is having to create some excitement in his life out here in the sticks

Nathan and Anson continue their sparring matches.
They are like a couple of young bucks competing to see who is going to remain at the top of the order.
Mostly it is friendly but every now and then it gets a bit too intense for my liking

I don’t think Nathan will be at the bottom for too much longer though.

I have been working away at the accounts.
Because I have been so busy I have not done any filing for 4 months now.
So I had quite a big job getting all the new financial years accounts into order before I began the gst.
I had the kitchen table covered and have had to juggle meals around my files.
It is all done now and I am just waiting for the accountant to check it over to see if I have made any gross errors before I file it with the IRD.

It has been cloudy and overcast here – no sun to be seen.
Just low heavy clouds.
Threatening to rain but coming to nothing.
After such lovely hot days we are all beginning to hang out for the sun again.

We had a really good long catch up call with Cat in Perth on Sunday.
She is looking forward to coming home on the 14th Dec.
She has a good long summer holiday planned.
I got to chat with Bri too.
She has been busy working at the youth prison and is nearly finished her studies for the year.
The children are all busy doing their own thing these days that days and even weeks can go by before we get to hear news.
So we really enjoy to have these catch up sessions

We are off to Nelson again in the morning.
This time Anson is coming with me so he can pick up his truck.
We also have to take his dog to the vet as it has grown a very large lump on his side.
Hopefully it won’t be anything too yucky.

It is now 8pm and I am about to go put the children to bed – I’m trying to snuggle them down early cuz of their early rise in the morning.
The days are so long now that it is still quite light at 8 or even 9pm
Hard to get them off to sleep.
The men haven’t yet come in for dinner.
Sometimes I really hate these long long daylight days!

Friday at home

Even though I wasn’t going to town yesterday I still had to be up soon after 5 to wake up the travelers.
This is the sight that greeted me when I opened the curtains.
I do so love our morning skies.

Shanni was very unhappy to be going  
She totally dislikes going to town unless it is imperative.
But Anson and Nathan were up and rearing to go so Tim jollied her out the door.
She and Nathan were going to an art class and then Anson was taking them over to Blenheim to see Gran and sell possum fur.

Tim went up the hill to check Anson’s possum traps for him.
I hopped into the spa for a quick soak and then got into the morning.
After breakfast Tim was heading up the hill fencing but got an emergency call from Waterfall bay to come sort out the septic system as it was blocked.
So he and the guys zipped up there in the dinghy.
The boys helped in the garden while Tim sorted the problem.

I made tomato soup and baby sat Poppi.
He was so funny.
First he sat on my shoulder.
But he wanted to play with my necklace.
I zipped up my vest so he went for the zipper tag instead and ended up swining on it as it opened downwards.
I had enough by then so put him on the bench.
He played around there for a while.
I went outside and forgot him while I hung out the washing.
When I returned he had climbed over things and found my wee dish of vitamin/mineral capsules and had pecked some open and spread them around the place.
I did a wee panic and hoped that there was nothing in them that would harm him.
Then he hopped inside my glass jug and went round and round in circles in it for quite a while before hopping out again.

I gave him some parsley stalks which were pecked, eaten and bits spread all over the place.
He really is a messy wee critter.

He then hopped down onto the floor and was wandering aorund for a while.
I last saw him under the table and then he vanished.
I went looking and finally called Mahalia announcing ‘Bird on the loose!’
She came to help look for him and we found him sitting on top of the hand towel rail in the kitchen.
He must have climbed up the towels while I wasn’t looking.

Mahalia took him away and looked after him in her room for the rest of the morning.

The guys came back for lunch.
I was trying to get my accounts filed so had to do a quick table clearance.
Tomato soup was delicious.

After lunch the guys went up the hill fencing as planned.
I made up several batches of humus and the children washed all the dishes.
The kitchen looked like they had been having a water/bubble fight by the time they had finished.
But they did them!
I was going to do the accounts but was really weary so sat and watched a movie with the children.
‘Touching Wild Horses’.
It was really good.
Azzan had commented to me when he watched it the other day that it had made him cry

Dinner was relatively easy, Tim had already taken a chickpea casserole out of the freezer so I added rice and sausages to it and made custard to go with the leftover chocolate pudding.

Anson, Nathan & Shoshannah arrived home just as we were cleaning up so we found food for them.
Shanni was full of the cute wee newborn kittens that she had seen at Aunty Ruth’s.
She was so busy telling me about them as soon as she walked in the door I barely got a hullo out of her.
Quite a different countenance from the morning!

I spent quite a while on the phone with several friends much to Anson’s chagrin.
He wanted to Facebook
I was sorting my accounts, watching the boys ‘fighting’, listening to accounts of the day, etc, while talking so multi tasking to the max.
He ended up going to bed and I finished my calls at 10 and then hurridly completed the filing of all the paperwork.
The rest is waiting for me today.
So I am off to find the shower now and then attack the gst.
Gotta get it done today!!

Mum’s b’day dinner

Mum also shares her b’day with her cousin Graeme.
So I asked  Nicole if she would mind babysitting so I could join Mum and Graeme and a few others at The Vines in Redwoodtown for a dinner celebration.

She popped over the river at 6pm and I left her to enjoy pizza with the children and get them off to bed.

We were at the restaurant before Graeme arrived.
When he came in and was taking stock of who was all there he spotted me and asked,
‘How is Paul?’
I laughed and told him to get his glasses on!
He took a lot of convincing that I was not Ruth.
Then he proceeded to tell me that I looked heaps better than when he last saw me.
He was digging himself such a big hole and he didn’t know when to stop digging!!
So I asked,
‘So do I look better than the last time you saw Ruth or the last time you saw Raewyn?’

Finally all 12 of us were there and we ordered and enjoyed a lovely meal.
Graeme’s daughter Diana and I were the youngest there so we sat and got to know each other better.
Quite cool being the youngest at a gathering when I am normally these days the oldest!

Jill had bought along some fancy cupcakes.
There were two candles.
There was a lot of discussion – mainly from Graeme – as to how they were each going to blow out their own candle without contaminating the other with their germs

Happy 79th Birthday Lesley.
Happy 68th Birthday Graeme.

We were not too late home which was good cuz we were both tired.
Nicole said the children were good but had tried to make the bedtime stories last longer to delay their sleeping time!

I was up early Thursday and had the beds made and everything packed in good time.
While Mum & the children had their breakfast….

I took photos of Mum’s b’day flowers.
They were all so pretty.

These were the ones her bro Lloyd gave to her at dinner.
You can see them standing in the beer mug on the table behind Mum & Graeme above.
Lloyd had asked his French wwoofer to gather some flowers from the garden for him – he was very impressed with how lovely they looked.

These flowers arrived at in the morning by courier from a friend of Mums.
The children had lots of fun arranging them in the vase.

When we got home from lunch this bouquet was sitting at the front door.
It is so pretty.

Another friend had also given Mum these roses.
They were getting a wee bit past it but still very beautiful and Azzan loved the way you can see them and the garden outside.

We gave Mum this big portrait of our family taken while we were in Melbourne.
We had fun choosing where it was going to go.
I moved various pictures around the living room until Mum was happy with the results

We were finally all loaded up and ready to go before 9am.
I had to negotiate the trailer
So picking up the ice creams was a longer process than usual.
Cuz I am out of practise with backing it I ended up driving right around the block to get back onto the main road again.
Then we spotted cherries for sale.
I was not in a place where I could safely stop so I kept my eyes open for another sign.
Saw another sign so turned off to find it.
It was right at the end of a no exit road so I had a lot of difficulty fun turning it around.
Got cherries – hellishly expensive but I wasn’t leaving empty handed after going all that far out of my way and then getting stuck with the trailer.
Got back on the road again.
Next stops were all in Havelock.
Ray loaded the trailer with rope, he directed my backing and turning around which made it easier.
I managed to find enough spaces along the main road to park up while I ran back and picked up the mail and got some pies from the Wakamarina Cafe.

Then it was another quick stop at Rai Valley.
According to Mahalia they make the BEST sausage rolls so she won’t eat them from anywhere else if she has a choice.

I let the children out for a run around the playground at Okiwi Bay but they were soon ready to get back in the car again.
Mahalia is beginning to weight bear on her foot but it is still very tender.
The day was very hot and the road dusty.
I was reminded how much I hate to drive home druing the day and why I much prefer driving in the evening or night.

We left the trailer at the top of the hill and went down to Waterfall bay to unload stuff.
Had a cool drink and chat with Jenny & David and then puddled off home.
Everyone was out working so we unloaded and then got dinner ready.
Alois & Toad went out kayaking.
Anson was busy getting ready for his trip to town today.
Graham was also loading up his trailer ready to head away too.
We managed to have dinner at 6:30pm.
I was pushing for an early eat cuz we were all tired.
It was very pleasant to climb into bed at 9:30pm after a relaxing soak in the spa with Tim.

Mum’s Birthday lunch

Wednesday was Mum’s 79th birthday.
Ruby arrived on the doorstep bright and early.
Then Sylvie arrived so I took her to Trents with me.
Dropped Ruby off at her friends on the way.
Sylvie and I had a big spend up on bulk products.
Then we went back to pick up Mum and the children.

We had booked to have lunch at Chequers Cafe.
My niece Nicole walked down to join us.
Two granddaughters looking similarly alike!

It was also Jan’s birthday so she came to lunch with us too.
The two birthday girls!!

Azzan was being his normal tickly kissy self and cousin Sam was the object of his attentions.
So after a while of tolerating his affections she decided it was time she got her own back with a big smoochie kiss session

Looks like he might of actually quite liked it?!

My bro Duncan left work for an hour and came to help celebrate too.

The staff played along and gave Mum a large wedge of chocolate cake with the obligatory birthday candle!

Happy Birthday Mum 

It was way too big a slice for her to eat on her own so we had to all help her

Granny & Nicole.

Azzan was trying out some of his Jackie Chan moves on Sam!!

Both my nieces, Nicole & Sam are heading over to Australia soon.
The kids don’t see a lot of each other but they will be missed.

Sam & Gran.

Gran with Sylvie & me, Nicole, Azzan & Mahalia.

It was a very pleasant couple of hours.
I took Mum & the kids to the library on the way home.
We always come out of there with way more books than I plan to!

We went back home to chill out for a while.
Sylvie & Sam came back after a while.
Sam stayed on for a cuppa.
Then she left and I headed off to the supermarket to get pizza for tea – Azzan’s request.
I had planned to go home but changed plans and decided to stay an extra night.

Tuesday in town

Our Tuesday in Nelson went quite smoothly.
Got to town in time enough to get a frappacino and pies for breaky and then get to Richmond well before 9:30am.
I dropped Nathan & Shanni off for their music lessons and zipped around to give Sally my Weaver curriculum folder. She is sussing curricula at the mo, as are quite a few of my friends, so it is good to share to they can look before they buy.

Picked up N&S and dropped A&M.
Zoomed back into Nelson and left N&S at their sewing lesson.
Then to the airport to pick up Alios from France – our new wwoofer.
He was content to just hang out with me for the rest of the day.
Nice lad.
Picked up the two littlies from music and went to get lunch at the mall.

When the other two were finished at sewing I took the girls up to spend the rest of the day with Katherine and Sophie.
That brightened Shanni’s countanence majorly

I had time to chill a while so the boys and I went to Starbucks and relaxed for half and hour while Alois went shopping.
Then I dropped Nathan back out at the Richmond library and took Azzan to dancing at Annesbrook.
Alois & I sat in on his lesson.
I was rather annoyed to see how much the little girls were playing up for their teacher.
They had basically been in school all day and were jiggley and not ready to settle and listen to her instructions.
If only they realised how much time they wasted in the lesson when they could be actually learning a heap more.
Azzan soon picked up the others behaviour so he got a good talking to after the class
I don’t pay money and go to all the effort of taking him out to town just for them to play up like that.
He got the message that there would be no more dancing classes if he didn’t behave!!

Nathan walked to taekwondo from the library so after dancing we sat and read another chapter of ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ and then got fish and chips for dinner just before picking up Nathan at 6pm.
I zoomed into Nelson and picked up the girls and we were out of the city well before 6:30.

We waited in Rai Valley for 10 mins for Anson.
Once he arrived he cleaned up all the remaining fish & chips and we swapped the trailer onto my Safari and he took Nathan, Shanni & Alois and headed back home.

We carried on to Blenheim.
I was getting rather weary by this time so was very glad to get to the wool store.
We waited a few minutes for Bob to come and unload the trailer and then I called into the supermarket to find some food.
The children were watching a dvd all the way from Rai so were nice and quiet.
We finaly got to Granny’s sometime after 9:30pm.
She had just got home herself.
I gave the children some more food.
Azzan just wanted breakfast type stuff!
Then after they were in bed I talked to Tim on the phone.
While talking Anson text me to say he had just got 2 flat tyres on the way home
I told Tim and he immediately headed off to go rescue them.

I got a text back from Anson at 12:15 saying they were all home and okay.

It was a l-o-n-g day.