Goodbye to 2009

Wednesday
There was a good wind so  Cat, Leeann, Grace, Christian & Johnny took off sailing in Alibi.
Tim followed a bit later in 88 South with the rest of the troops.
Seb & I stayed back.
I was in a real quandry as to go or not but as it was such an impulsive decision I felt too rushed and opted to stay back.
I thought I would have plenty of time to get lots done & to have a rest.
But that didn’t happen.

I received several long phone calls which wiped out the rest of the morning.
I cooked up some over ripe peaches and made a peach & apple crumble for dessert.
Also made curried sausages – which actually took ages to make due to all the interruptions.
I had several visitors and the mailboat.
Seb spent the morning cleaning his car and then slept on the couch before leaving for town in the early arvo.
After the mailboat left I thought I would sit down and have a peaceful lunch and finish watching ‘Rain of the Children‘.
But after more phone calls and visitors I saw the boat heading home so I gave up

They had had a good day out at the Chetwode Islands.
It was quite rough though so they never had their picnic on a beach.
Just cooked up fish on board and then came home.
They were putting up a good lot of spray as they came into the bay so it must’ve been a lot rougher out in the Strait.

Thursday

Began as a beautiful sunny day but soon the clouds closed in and it got rather cool and windy.
Christian spent the morning weed eating the lawns – good job done – Thanks Christian
We had visitors arrive by boat.
Thought it was Cottage guests but it turned out to be Andrew, Lizzie & Tim,  & a friend.
Lindsey, Simon & Jonathon went off fishing and left the others here.
Cat took them and Leeann off to look for oysters.

Over the past week there has been a fluctuating population of around 25 young folk between 14 and 35 plus 4 younger and of course us 6-8 ‘oldies’.
There has been gravitation between various accommodation sites, beach, boats and the food.
At meal times it has felt rather busy in the kitchen but in between times there is often no one to be seen!
It has been good

Last night we had our last dinner of 2009.
For dessert we got the chocolate fountain going.
I had promised Christian we would while he was here as he had been rather disappointed not have experienced it while down for Tim’s 60th
So after Nathan had got the chocolate melted and into the machine and I had chopped up bowls of fruit I held back the wee hoards and told Christian to go for it!

Then it was all on!

Little people dipping and dunking fruit

chocolate everywhere, on the bench, running down chins and on licky fingers

The older ones had gathered up driftwood for a bonfire.
But when they went down after dinner they realised they had miscalculated the tide and it had washed the wood all away!
So they decided to all go possum hunting instead while they waited for the tide to go out.
That was a fizzer too as it was too windy for possums to be out.
So they came back and chilled out in Anson’s room.

Nicola, Erica & I watched ‘Persuasion’.
Maddie and Amy watched it with us cuz ‘the big kids were just being boring’!
I had watched it a couple of nights ago but really enjoyed seeing it a 2nd time.
I was glad I had already seen it as I slept through a good part of it
We spent the last 30mins of 2009 having a cuppa with Tim, Dave & Adrian.
Tim looked at the kitchen clock and announced it was midnight so we all wished each other a Happy New Year and headed off to our respective beds.
When Tim and I finally got to the bedroom we realised that it was actually only 12:09 and the kitchen clock was fast.
Oh well! Never mind.
We have just formulated another timezone to add to the Grenwich listings

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The weather over the past days has been so changeable.
Sunday was very overcast, misty, murky & breezy although still quite warm.
Cat took a team out sailing in the morning and never got back home again till nearly 9pm.
They sailed right out to the end of the Chetwode Islands and fished.
Cooked up a feast out there and still brought a heap back home.

The rest of us had fellowship and socialised and rested.
Nuana arrived in.
She had driven all the way up from Manapouri to surprise her parents for a few days.

Monday was glorious.
Clear and sunny.
Anson went out early in the PL3 with Alan, Eare, Nuana & Mike.
They came home with 14 grouper.
You can imagine what happy campers they all were
Here are a few of them.
Anson was heading out to work so loaded a heap into a chilly bin for his friends.

We enjoyed grouper steaks for dinner – the absolute best way to eat grouper!

The children spent most of the day in and around the water.
They had the kayaks out.
The Whiteman family have arrived and are staying in the Croft so there are another 4 young folk to add to the dynamics here.
Azzan enjoyed entertaining in the spa after the swimming.

I spent all morning baking.
I began with a huge carrot cake as I had carrots that were desperately needing to be used.
Then I decided to have a go at making some Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from ‘Deceptively Delicious‘.
Instead of pureed zuchini I used carrot in them.
The first batch disappeared very quickly so we made 6 batches in all.
Lizzie helped me make them but it still took till lunch time to get them all through the oven.
I put a heap into the freezer as we just had way too many to eat at once.

I was about to sit down and eat my lunch when my darling friend Emma text me for help.
I called her and then spent the next half an hour online making air plane bookings for her girls to get to horse camp in Rotorua.
I was so thrilled to learn about it because I can see it as something Mahalia would love to do in the future.
Amber & Holly are going to be instructing at the next camp so will suss it all out for me.

I managed to have a rest doze in the arvo which was good as I was really tired.

Cat took a crew out sailing – it certainly was a lovely day for it.
One day I might get to go for a trip out when there are not so many people in the queue.

Azzan found this lovely butterfly and has been keeping it in a jar.
He thought it needed some pollen so went and picked some of my pretty flowers – once again with no stems!
But it is fading fast so he is rather sad about that but not sad enough to let it go.

Bri & her friend Christine arrived up from Christchurch last night.
They left after Bri finished work so she was glad of Christine’s assistance with the driving as she was rather weary.
I have been quite tired and was sleeping soundly this morning when the phone went at 6:30am.
Anson!
He had left his wallet at home and was wanting me to get it out to him with Nuana today.
I text her and then staggered back to bed and slept for a while longer.
I didn’t make it into the shower until around 10am.
So finally had breakfast at 11:30am.
It was one of those slow days for me.
Everyone is in holiday mode so I may as well be too.
I went back to bed and watched ‘Once‘.
I love the song from that movie – so cool.

The rest of the day has cruised by.
The young folk have been playing chess and Settlers of Catan etc.
Everytime I walk through the living room there are groups scattered about the floor.
They make for a very happy bunch – all contented to just be enjoying each others company 
Lizzie has been cutting hair this arvo – there was quite a queue.
Nathan & Azzan got theirs tidied up which was great.
Tim went over to Waterfall Bay to deliver milk & bread for the shop and took Lizzie & Paul with him.
They walked back through the bush track.
Nicky & Erica, walked around to Waterfall after lunch and Glen walked back with them.
So we sat and chatted with him for a while.

Shanni has lots of babies at the moment.
One chook has hatched 4 eggs and another has hatched 2 today.
They are very cute.
She also has a few baby budgies and a baby cockatiel.
Her garden is beginning to produce – we have been enjoying some fresh lettuce and brocolli and the butter beans are nearly ready to pick

We had a delicious roast turkey for dinner and Cat made pumpkin pies for dessert.
I had saved enough points up today so I could enjoy a slice of pie

It is a lovely clear calm evening and Cat has taken another crew out sailing.
Bri was hankering to be on a boat!

My two bros – Murray & Duncan have driven to Christchurch today to spend time with Mum while they wait for our other bro Hamish to fly in from Western Australia on Thursday.
Ruth drove back home today.
Mum finishes her treatment tomorrow morning and is to be flown back to Blenheim tomorrow.
Apparently to the local hospital so they can assess her before she goes home.

Recapping the past few days

On Wednesday Sally & Nick walked around to Waterfall Bay with all the children.
Shanni took all the following photos.
I really love this one.

They sat in the sun on the beach and enjoyed their ice creams.

Mahalia & Kashana played on the swings – chatting non stop as per usual!

Azzan clowning it after his play on the slide.

They were there when the mailboat called in and Jenny asked if they could have a ride home.
So they all hopped on board.


I thought this was a cute photo of Azzan & Jackson.

They were all so excited when they came in.
My younger children have never been on the mailboat before so it was a huge thrill for them.
Esp Azzan. He was overjoyed at the wee ride up the bay.
You would’ve thought he had never been on a boat before!!

Tim told the kids he would take them skidder boarding soon.
Then he disappeared off and had a sleep for part of the afternoon.
The children eventually gave up waiting and went off to play in Pine Huts.
They finally all went up the hill in the late arvo/early evening and had a great time.

I had thought the children would enjoy a bonfire on the beach one night.
So they cooked sausages and damper over the fire and also ate garlic bread I had made for them.
Azzan came up looking for some drinks.
I gave him a bottle of ginger beer and five plastic cups.
I chuckled when I saw this photo – most ingenious method of keeping them all upright on the beach.

For dessert they toasted marshmellows.
Tim ddn’t like the idea of the children being down there with the fire unattended.
So he took his dinner down and ate it with them.
He’s such a good daddy

After all that excitement Cat said she would take the children all possum hunting.
So they all donned their warm clothes and jackets as the evening was rather cool and they took off around 10pm.
We all went off to bed and I am glad we did cuz they didn’t get home till around 1pm.
Mahalia and Kashana went to sleep on the back of the truck.
Azzan told me that he and Leeann had some really good interesting talks and he filled me in on Orion’s Belt and other stars she had told him about.
While they were up on the hill they saw a young deer which Nathan shot with the .22.
He is quite delighted at now belonging to the ‘.22 club’!
Cat & Bri have also dropped deer with a .22.
Not really the norm so a good club to belong to apparently.

The intrepid hunters!!

Friday we all just chilled in the morning.
Tim had a few things to do but not much really happened.
We did contemplate a picnic but the day sorta disappeared plus we were waiting for Anson & Seb to arrive home.
Seb never made it till around 9pm but Anson turned up mid morning keen to go fishing.
So all the troops headed out fishing around midday.
Sally, Azzan & I made ourselves some lunch and watched ‘The Ultimate Gift’.
I have now seen it 3 times and I still enjoy it.
It is such a good movie.

The crew arrived home later in the arvo.
Jackson & Mahalia having fun introducing two blue cod.

There has been a pod of small dolphins in the bay this week.
They were in close and playing so Cat rowed Jackson & Kashana out to see them.
They were so excited cuz the dophins were so close and playful.


Cat has a waterproof camera so gets some great underwater shots.

Shanni rowed Azzan out in her wee dinghy and Mahalia kayaked.

 

Tim had to clear the chiller at Waterfall Bay of all the venison that was hanging in there before our guests arrived the today so he and several others ate an early dinner and headed off to process meat.

While they crew were all out fishing Sally got stuck into my bedroom.
She had been having nightmares about it so who was I to restrain her
It was in dire need of major help cuz my life over the past months has been so busy that my room has absolutely no attention.
I have been living out of the washing piles of clothes which had turned in to a major heap on the floor.
We had a great time.
I also managed to throw out quite a pile of clothes that I have not worn for a LONG time.
Azzan helped. He was especially helpful once it came time to dust and sort through a large amount of perfumes and toiletries.

He managed to squirrel several old perfumes which he now takes great pleasure in spraying at his big bros!

Today Sally & Nick packed up and headed off home.
It has been a lovely week and I am so glad they came down.
I was really not with it for the first few days but that didn’t stop them enjoying their holiday.
Shanni took this of me and Sally as they were leaving.

Azzan was chasing Seb around today and having a lot of fun teasing and then running.
The delight is in the catching I am thinking!

 
Anson chugged out fishing in the PL3 with Christian & Mike.
They came back with 2 grouper and a few other fish.
The grouper steak I had for dinner was delicious.

Anson asked Azzan tonight what he wanted for dinner.
As quick as a flash he replied
‘Your heart roasted on a stake’
Anson quickly retorted that he didn’t have a heart so he would go hungry!!

This is my lovely Blackberry Nip rose I bought last season.
It is planted at the back door and has the most delicious scent.

Cat took Alibi out for a sail this arvo.
The day had clouded over but there was a perfect wind to raise the sails in.

A few of the Wenborn family are coming to stay for this coming week.
James, Phoebe, Lizzie and her fiance Paul all arrived mid afternoon so they joined Cat, Seb & Christian for the sailing trip.

The rest of the family have just arrived so I had better go out and be sociable.

An update on Mum first though.
My bro Murray flew into Chch yesterday from Perth.
Our cousin Alvin & Vonnie met him at the aiport and took him to the hosp to see Mum.
She was delighted as she didnt know he was coming.
He was able to spend a couple of hours with her before being taken to the airport to continue his journey to Blenheim.
He is staying with Duncan for a few days for a bit of R&R.
They are thinking they will drive back to Chch to see Mum in a day or two and relieve Ruth while waiting for our younger bro Hamish to arrive over from Western Australia.
Then they will all head north.
Hopefully by then Mum will have finished her treatment and will be back home.
She has been getting lots of visitors.
The reports I have been getting is that she is okay, very weary.
Ruth has been able to take her out for walks. She got a wheelchair and took her along the Avon River yesterday and today they went to the Botanic Gardens and had a longer outing as Mum had no treatment today.
Despite the circumstances it is a nice time for Ruth to be able to spend with Mum.

We had all planned to be at Mum’s for Christmas Day.
On Wednesday everything was put on hold.
Everything was in limbo.
All our planning went out the window.
It was a weird feeling.
Not really knowing what we were all doing.
We are now planning to have our family day at Mum’s on the 3rd Jan.
This time it will mean that all 5 of her children will be there which will be lovely for her.
She was very disappointed not to have the Christmas she was wanting.
So hopefully it will be a better day next Sunday.

 

A whole weeks catch up!

This week has disappeared into an emotional bucket.
Saturday Tim took the guys grubbing thistles.
Then the weather was checked and checked again.
Looked like it was clearing and rain should move over by around 4pm.
So it was all hands on deck as we packed for a camping trip to D’Urville.
Shanni decided at the last moment that she would go if I would look after her birds.
Mahalia was back out in town with Kashana and her family.
So that left Azzan and me.
The campers all piled into the boat and headed off out of the bay mid afternoon.
We decided we were going to have a nice holiday while they were gone.
I certainly needed one.
We spent the next couple of days watching movies, eating and at Azzan’s request, doing school work.
It was luverly

This was Azzan’s request for breakfast one morning.
A salad sandwich. Everything in it Mummy except red onion.

The campers arrived back Monday evening with 5 deer and lots of fish.
They had had a great time.
Anson brought everything up in his truck to save a lot of lugging up the hill.

Mahalia also arrived home about then with Sally, Nick and the kids.
So it was all go there for a while.

Mum spent the weekend in the hospice to have a spot of R&R and get her meds sorted etc.
My s-i-l picked her up Monday and took her home,
Monday & Tuesday disappeared in a myriad of phone calls as we organised things to make it easier for her to remain at home.
Because of the Multiple Myeloma and the morphine increases Mum is no longer able to think quickly or clearly so takes a while to accept and deal with issues.
It is now around 5 1/2 years since her diagnosis and she has done really really well.
But it is now getting the better of her.
Over those couple of days there were many emotions, tears etc.
I was exhausted by the end of it all.

Tuesday was Leeann’s 29th birthday.
She and Nathan spent ALL day boning out the vension and cutting up meat.
Shanni & I made hamburger buns and prepared all the fillings.
Leeann made venison patties.
Then Maxime barbequed them.
Jeremie was chef’s assistant

Shanni & Monique were enjoying each others company.

I made a huge carrot cake for Leeann.
Happy Birthday Leeann – we are real glad you celebrated your b’day with us

The alarm went off at 4:45am Wednesday morning.
It was quite a struggle to raise myself out of bed
But I got up to say goodbye Maxime and Monique who were travelling out to Nelson with Tim & Nathan.
Anson was leaving for work soon after so I stayed up to see him.
By then it was too late to go back to bed so I had a spa and then the kids and I watched an episode of ‘Emily of New Moon’.
Then it was Jeremie’s turn to leave.
So all 3 wwoofers were gone.
Graham also left early Tuesday morning.
He is heading to Melbourne for a month.
Just a small family remained.

On Wednesday Ruth (my sister) took Mum through to Nelson for an MRI scan to see what was causing her swallowing difficulties.
We were all very concerned as to how she would cope with the 2 hour drive over the hills.
She managed with a few stops and a top up of pain killers.
Once the scan was done they found a spinal cord compression in the C2-T1 vertebrae.
In otherwords a tumour was growing rapidly in that area causing her to have difficulties swallowing food for the past few weeks and more recently her speech was being affected.
It was an acute situation so they flew her directly down to Christchurch hospital by air ambulance for radiotherapy. If left untreated it could cause paralysis.
Ruth went back home and packed gear for her and Mum and drove down to Chch last night to be with Mum.
The plan is now that she has radiotherapy today, Sat, Mon, Tues & Wed next week.
By then hopefully she will be well enough to come back home.

I spent all day preparing food for our end of year dinner.
Jenny, David & Glen came around from Waterfall Bay.
Sally, Nick, Kashana & Jackson joined us.
Tim & Nathan arrived home bringing Christian with them.
So we didn’t get to eat until around 8:30pm.
The food was great.
Leeann had bought a turkey and I made mashed carrots, garlic/rosemary roasted potatoes and beetroot, and Jenny bought over a salad.


Desert was tiramisu, Ambrosia and berries.
Delicious!!

It was also Kashana’s 9th b’day so Shanni made her an orange cake and decorated it with Hali’s horses.


Now – lets all blow together!!!

Our evening didn’t finish till way after 11pm.
I was on my way to bed just before midnight via a quick  Facebook check when Phillipa messaged me.
We ‘chatted’ a few minutes and then the next thing the phone went.
Phillipa had decided that seeing as we were both up and awake it was far simpler to talk!
I agreed and we chatted until 1:30am

Today has been a rather more crusy day.
There has been more phone calls and lots of texts as we get things sussed re Mum.
Tim had a good arvo sleep.
I watched the last episode of ‘Emily of New Moon’ while I ate my lunch.
The kids have been playing up in Pine Huts.
Leeann helped me cut up veges to make casseroles for my friends Jac & Paul who are going through a real hard time right now.
In between everything I have sat and socialised with Sally.
Now it is time to go finish dinner before Tim and the kids arrive back from skidder boarding up on the air strip.
Then maybe an early night might just be in order – maybe!

Sally is at present trying to find clean summer sheets in amongst all my chaos so I really must go help her before she becomes totally ambushed by my totally disorganised mess!!

Happy Birthday Cat xxxx

Today has been a busy day.
Tim & Jeremie (from France) went grubbing thistles this morning and then painted the boat hull after lunch.
Maxime has been weed eating the lawns.
Monique has been working away in the garden.
Cat & Leeann have turned up for meals – not too sure what they were doing but I do know Cat employed Azzan to help box squashing for a while.
She has been VERY busy since arriving home on Tuesday.
She and Leeann sailed over the Strait almost as soon as she landed back in NZ!
The living area has been completely changed around since I left for town
The workshop and meat safe have both been cleaned out thoroughly.

We have just celebrated Cat’s 27th birthday over dinner.
Nathan cooked most of the dinner.
I did a little bit towards it before going to have a lie down.
Shanni baked an orange cake.

I keep forgetting to buy b’day candles so hence only 1 tonight.

I played with my camera and took about 200 shots on fast so have just had fun culling them out to share.
Azzan’s facial expressions throughout the present opening were most descriptive and priceless!

Azzan had wrapped up a couple of things for her.


Then it was time to open Aunty Sandra’s present.
Big guesses who it was from and what was in it!!


I gave her a set of coffee mugs with cats all over them.
She loved them.
But as they are too big for the mug holders on her yacht she will have to buy a larger yacht to fit them

Happy Happy Birthday Cat.
It is great having you home with us again.
We love you heaps and heaps and hope your 28th year will be as exciting and interesting as the past years have been for you.
One thing about you my darling – we never know what is happening next!
Life surely is one big adventure for you.



Horse riding day

On Tuesday the girls went riding at Edencourt.
It was a beautiful day and they had a great time.
Callum took them down to the river.
Olivia took these photos on Shanni’s camera before they went down there.
It was a lovely finish to their riding year.

Blenheim with Mum & the boys

I was up at 6am Wednesday morning and had a chat with Tim on the phone while the children slept on and before Tim headed off out to work.
Herbie made an appearance around 7 so I got the girls moving.
Left the boys to sleep while we packed and repacked.
Then I shot down the hill to get veges and Herbie and the girls met me there and loaded them onto the truck so they could take them home for me.
Said farewell to them and headed back up to get the boys.
Didn’t take long to feed and pack them into the Safari.
We took a detour back out to Richmond to get some el cheapo carrots – $5.99 for a banana box full – I bought 3! As I have been paying around $2 a kilo I thought it was a pretty good bargain.

Then we headed off towards Blenheim detouring to Starbucks for my morning fix
We arrived at Mum’s around 11am.
She was busy with her cleaning lady and Aunty Janet & Uncle George were also there so we unloaded stuff and spent a few hours in town doing some jobs.
Got my prescription sunnies ordered. Have not been wearing sunglasses for quite a while as I cannot see well enough to drive so it will be great to get them soon. Left the boys at the library and met Sam for a chat while she was spending gift vouchers during her lunch break.

Did a big grocery shop for our shop – actually did 3 big shops over the two days!
My visa card got totally hammered.
It’s that time of year when I have to get our wee shop stocked up for the summer sailors & tourists.
It was getting close to 4pm and we hadn’t had lunch and I was starving and drooping big time.
Frustrated also cuz Placemakers, my last port of call on the list, did not have the bits I had to get.
Asked the boys what they wanted for lunch and was going to zoom into Couplands and grab them a pie each when I saw KFC across the road. I remarked to the boys that ‘there is the new Kentucky Fried building Uncle Duncan just did’ – Azzan immediately saw Subway next door. So I parked between the two and was about to send Nate to KFC and take Azzan to Subway.
Then Azzan asked ‘What’s KFC, I’ve never had it’.
Well, poor neglected child.
Couldn’t have that now could we
So we ended up getting a box of KFC for the boys to share.
We really do not DO fast foods so this was quite a treat.

I finally got back to Mum’s and while the boys ate their KFC I made myself a salad with salmon.
Now I could think again.
I spent the next couple of hours going through Mum’s things with her and discussing her arrangements.
Now that’s all done she is much happier.

She is having major problems swallowing so I had popped some bananas and berries in her freezer earlier.
They were now frozen so I made her a smoothie with added honey, whey protein etc.
Very delicious and much easier for her to get down.
While she enjoyed that I made chicken burritos for dinner – yummy.

Thursday was a beautiful day.
We pottered about for awhile.
I shot off to do attack another supermarket and get Mum’s medication for her. Plus managed to get the bits I needed at Carters.
Got back in time to catch up with the hospice nurse.
She dressed Mum’s toe.
She had caught the nail on her pjs the other night and lifted it off
Coco also organised for Mum to go to the hospice today for a couple of nights R&R.
They will deal with her feet better up there and also get her meds sussed and do more assessments.

I asked Mum if she had been out on her scooter lately.
She hadn’t for several weeks as she has not been feeling great since she came off her medication.
So as it was such a beautiful day I suggested she might like to go to the park with the boys while I shot into to town to get her a new phone etc.
She was on that trusty steed and out the door faster than I could lock up the house!!
I passed her and Azzan zipping down the foorpath.

Nathan was wandering along behind at his own leisurely 14 year old pace.

Granny took these of Nathan enjoying being a big kid.

Zani & Granny loved this beautiful big tree.

Chattering away to Granny about all the wonderfull and interesting things they were seeing.

Doesn’t this make such a comfy seat?

The gorgeous rose gardens.

Zooming along……

What’s that up there Granny?

Seagulls are always such fun to chase.

Duck get away – Love this pic.

These rocks are made for walking
So that’s just what I’ll do….

Granny going cross country.

Azzan does so love beautiful things so he was in his element amongst the roses.

Granny had a lovely time out with the boys.

The photographer!

By the time I got back the afternoon was disappearing.
So it was a fast pack of the Safari.
Oh My!
Where’s it all going to go?
We had so much to fit in.
I managed to fit it all in although Azzan was squeezed into a tine wee corner.
He reckoned it was great though cuz the portable dvd player didn’t slide all over the place while I drove cuz he was packed in like a sandwich!

We also had to fit in two large chilly bins of ice creams for the shop!
We stopped for fresh cherries along the way and dinner food for the boys at Rai Valley.
I was so incredibly tired.
The drive in was quite a struggle physically.
I wasn’t sleepy.
Just my limbs were so tired and heavy.
We got to Waterfall Bay around 7pm.
So we just unpacked everything.
Left all the shop goods there for Jenny to sort and price and came on home.
We were here by 8pm.

We unpacked everything cuz we had frozen and chilled goods.
I had a small snack and a soak in the spa before bed.
Sinking into my pillow was rather delicious