Mum’s last night.

Lesley Marian Gardiner
18.11.1930 – 26.4.2010

I slept fitfully during the night in a large recliner in Mum’s room.
I think I dozed off close to midnight – there was such a lot going on in my head it took a while to get to sleep.
Mum was sleeping very deeply.
I could hear her heavy rhythmic breathing.
I woke at 3am when the nurse came to check on Mum.
Couldn’t sleep so played on my laptop and read for an hour.
Finally at 4am I drifted back to sleep for an hour.
I was up and wandering around soon after 5am.
Got a cuppa and sat and read.
Around 6am I was suddenly aware that Mum’s breathing had changed.
I called the nurse.
She and I had chatted during the night.
She said to me – ‘remember the change I talked about? Well this is it.’
She suggested I get Ruth & Duncan to come in.
So they both arrived around 7am.
We had half an hour with Mum.
Duncan zipped back to his work to quickly organise the men for the day.

Ruth and I were just sitting with her and all of a sudden we were aware of quiet.
We both thought she had gone.
But she hadn’t.
I called Duncan to come fast.
We talked with her, held her hand, and she just very gently and quietly slipped away in the following moments.
It was 7:35am.
Duncan arrived a few minutes later.

I am so glad we were all able to be there with and for her.

After nearly 80 years of living a full and energetic life, the last 6+ of those years of battling Myeloma, her spirit went to the Lord and she was at peace.

We spent the rest of the day with her.
Family members came and went.
There were tears, memories, smiles, plans to make.

We finally met with Alan, the funeral director around 3pm.
He is such a lovely guy.
Am so pleased we were given advice to go with Cloudy Bay.

We then left him to take Mum and we left.
Ruth & I went to visit dear friends David & Noeline.
Then we all met up at Mum’s house and ordered in pizza for dinner.

I spent quite a while getting in touch with our Australian family members and organising their flights via our travel agent here.
Roni is a total angel.
She just took all the pressure off and got everything done for us.

I spent the night with my cousin Conny.
She has been and continues to be a tremendous help and support.

Tuesday was spent with the funeral director and minister getting things underway for the funeral.
It will be held on Saturday at 10:30 in the Church of the Nativity, Blenheim.
Mum will be at home on Friday for all to come visit and there will be paints and pens so anyone can decorate the coffin and leave messages an memories.

I drove home in the afternoon after I had done all I could.
I was really tired and distracted.
It had been raining and there was a lot of fog along the way so all in all it was rather a long trip home.

I have been busy ever since dealing with red tape, making phone calls, emails etc, getting things underway for Saturday, making sure all that should be informed are, getting children organised for their Thursday in town and just generally trying to get my home back into some semblance of order before I head off back to town again.

The children have been great during my absence, but they are still young and even though they think it’s okay to have chickens roosting on the shelf above my washing machine and boxes & vege crates all around the place, wee chickens cheeping away in a home made incubator etc etc, I really don’t!
I did throw a wee hissy fit this morning and got a major amount of mess cleaned up.

I have not managed to get out of my dressing gown at all today.
So right now I am going to go hop in the spa and collapse into bed.

Called to Mum’s bedside today

We had a busy morning on Saturday.
Tim & Kevin worked on getting the log splitter motor going.
It’s been a bit of a mission getting the new motor married onto it.
It has required a bit of lathing etc to get it connecting smoothly.
Nathan & Tim tried it out in the arvo and got a truck load of wood split up.
Great to have it functioning ok again.

Pauline cleaned up the hut and finished planting out the black current plants.
They had been sitting at the end of the vege garden for quite a while since Phillipa gave me the cuttings.
She & Heather dug over the area that the rhubarb came out of and added a heap of manure and then spaced them out more. Now they have lots more room, hopefully we will get some good crops.
Just got to get pea straw around them and water onto tem and they should be fine.

The children all pitched in and did a heap of room cleaning, vacuuming, kitchen and living room tidying etc. I managed to get a huge pile of washing through and on the line.
It didn’t totally dry as the weather changed in the afternoon.
Quite an impressive cloud bank began rolling in from the north bringing some much needed rain in the evening.

  Pauline & Kevin headed off after lunch.
It has been fun having them to stay.
They are both very bright and happy to have around.

I blobbed out in front of a movie in the afternoon.
Tim slept.
I told the kids to buzz off and do stuff away from me.
I needed some time out.
I watched ‘Riding in Cars With Boys.’

We had whitebait fritters for dinner.
Well, Tim & I did.
The kids don’t like them so I wasn’t going to waste them on them.
They had boring old venison steak and were very happy with that!
The children and I watched another Hilary Duff movie ‘Raise Your Voice’ while we ate dinner.

Tim had a very sore back so crashed out on our bed.
Nathan & Shanni did the dishes.
Then when I went to look for the little ones to tuck them into bed I found them all up on Shanni’s bed.
Azzan was reading to her.
He was very excited that he could read ‘Go Dog Go’

Mahalia told me very excitedly that he could read the Dr Seuss books easier than some of his other reading books and that she was very happy to help him read them.
I love helpful big sisters
Just as well we still have a good collection of his books.
I have also just found this wonderful interactive Seussville site.

Tim & I had a spa once they were all tucked into bed.
That helped his back heaps.

This morning was the first morning in ages that we had no extras in the house and didnt have to get up for any particular reason.
It was rather nice.
I was just chilling and thinking I might make the kids pancakes.
But then I got a call from the resthome saying that Mum was not at all well and that I should come out.
So I zoomed through the shower.
Threw what clothes etc together that I might need and was gone soon after 10am.
Left the family with instructions on what needed to be done.
Stopped off to see Anson and then was on my way.
I hit thick fog for a lot of the trip.
Got to Blenheim around 1pm.

Duncan & Sylvie had come in as soon as I called them and sat with Mum all morning.
Ruth arrived just before me.
We have all been here since then.
Mum is in a lot of pain so they have applied a ‘patch‘ which is suppose to help but they are also topping it up with morphine regularly.

I went outside this evening and saw this beautiful cloud formation with the sun streaming through.
So lovely.

The nurses and attendants are all lovely – very caring and gentle.
They gave the others a roast pork lunch and then tonight they brought Ruth & I a lovey tray of sandwiches and fruit for dinner.
Duncan & Sylvie left before dinner cuz Duncan has work tomorrow,
We have been in constant contact with our two bros in Aust and all the other extended family.
Everyone is being very supportive.
Ruth has gone back to Mum’s house to sleep for a while so I am camped up here in her room.
She has been very restless so they have upped her morphine to try and control the pain she is ahaving in her legs. Seems to be working at the moment as she is sleeping more soundly.

She wakes whenever anyone talks to her and is quite lucid.
Just extremely tired and sleepy from the medication.
She told me when I arrived that she is ready to go.
So we all pray that it won’t take too long.

I am off to make myself more comfortable for the night.
Will update tomorrow.
Thanks everyone for support and prayers.
We appreciate them, your messages and you all 

Term 2 has begun


Well, even though I was here alone I still got up early.
I worked in the study for several hours.
Didn’t want to go out to the kitchen too early and disturb Tinga cuz I knew once he was awake he would be wanting out of his cage and I would be mother.

I finally went out and rescued him.
We had an interesting day.
He was very good.
I let him sit on the kitchen bench and gave him some fresh pineapple and silverbeet.
He played/ate some of that.
I went off to do things and when I returned he was over on the couch by the fire.
He had hopped/splatted down and walked across to where he wanted to be.

He did that several times throughout the day.
I did get him outside in the sun for a while too which gave me a break from his inquisitve beak and claws.
He likes to eat my necklace and examine my hair etc which I actually don’t enjoy.

I watched a movie while I ate lunch.
It was a thriller so best watched during the daylight hours

I made a few cards in the afternoon.
In between ushering the pup back up to it’s quarters.
It was being rather naughty and pushing the gate open and getting out.
One trip down here I was in the study working and she appeared at my door.
Needless to say she didn’t get a very positive response from me!

The campers didn’t get home till 7pm.
It was dark so they left most of their gear on the boat to unload in daylight hours.
The children got showered and off to bed.
They had all had a wonderful time.

Cat caught this grand daddy of a crayfish and used my bathroom scales to weigh it.
It was just under 3kg (6.6 pounds)

Cat story was that she nearly drowned getting the crayfish for me!
She was determined to get him but she couldn’t get into the hole he was hiding in without taking off her bc and regulator.
When she got him out it sounded like he fought like the Kraken.
He got a good grip on her crutch and put a hole in her drysuit.
Somehow it got past onto Leeann and proceeded to put up a good fight with her and gripped her arm so it lost several of its legs in the process!!

Just before it got put in the pot!

The fighting claws were huge.

They also caught this humungous moki.
I don’t think he got weighed.

They also bought home 4 deer. Nathan shot one and Leeann the other 3.
So there is venison for Africa at present.
Our freezers are all full and everyone is getting very tired of eating it.
Azzan did suggest that no-one goes hunting for a few months


The new school term has begun so we were in the Terrano and off to town again.
We were able to leave an hour later than usual as there was no music lessons.
It was a very full day with heaps of driving back and forth from Nelson to Brightwater and around the city.
I left Nathan in Richmond at the library.
Then took the other 3 out to Edencourt for riding.
Then I sped back into the city for my dentist appointment.
I had lost the front half of a near front tooth so needed to get that dealt with.
After that I had time to zip into Starbucks for a frappacino.
I noticed they were advertising Raspberry & White Chocolate frappacinos so asked if they were coffee based. I don’t like the cream based drinks – make me feel sick.
‘No, not usually but lets experiment,’ the girl said.
So she made up a small drink for me to try.
It was delicious so she made me a ‘Venti Coffee-based Raspberry & White Chocolate frappacino with no whip’ and said she would name it after me
So while sipping my new deliciously yummy drink I zoomed back to Brightwater to pick up the children at 1pm.
Callum & Olivia were chuckling over Azzan’s antics.
Shanni was riding a different horse so she could learn to jump.
Mahalia has been riding for about half a year now and Callum was getting her ready to do a higher jump.
He got her all set and ready to go when he all of a sudden saw Azzan lining up behind her ready to follow her over the big jump on his little horse
No worries from that kid!!
Needless to say Callum managed to stop him – but probably not for too long I reckon!

We picked up Nathan from Kip McGrath on our way through Richmond.
I had quite a long list of things to do for Tim & Anson and managed to tee everything up like clockwork and get everything done as I travelled between lessons.

I dropped the children off at gymnastics and hurried to my chiropractic appointment.
It was all good until the very end when he tried to manipulate my neck.
The muscles were pretty tight and I came out of his room in a lot of pain, feeling sick and on the verge of tears.
I then went to visit Scott and had an intensive half hour neck, shoulder and back massage which helped get things sorted again.
Chrissy had taken my crew from gym to dancing and music as I couldn’t get back to them in time.
I did few jobs and got to dancing just in time to talk to Azzan’s teacher.
She said Azzan is very enthusiastic and helps motivate all the little girls
I was still feeling yuck when I met up with Chrissy at dancing so she gave me some Nurofen which helped immensely.
I am all good now thankfully.
The muscles were just being over protective from the tweaking.
I picked up all the crew and we went up to the hospital to visit Jenny.
She has just had a knee replacement.
She and David were delighted to see us.
We chatted a bit and then left her to have her dinner.
We got some food from the supermarket and headed home.

Tim and the guys were fencing all morning.
Heather cleaned up the hut and got packed.
She and Pauline dug more manure.
Pauline carried on working in the garden after Heather left.
The black currants now have a new home and room to breath.
I did multitudes of washing – thankfully it was a good day for drying it.

I was planning on getting some school work done today but everyone has just been way too busy.
Nathan & Cat were finishing off the steps up to his room.
I must get some photos tomorrow – looks great.
Shanni & Azzan have spent a lot of time cleaning bedrooms today.
Nathan is also having a huge clean out – there is clothes and furniture and toys being brought down and distributed. Azzan is the happy recipient of a large box of toy soldiers that Nathan has collected over the past few years.
Cat thought he should have some more boy toys!

Mahalia has a sick chicken.
So she has it in a box above the kitchen stove to keep it warm and is feeding it with a syringe.
Not sure if it will survive but she is giving it her best shot.

Today was a day of leavings.
Alexandre left on the mailboat.
Then Cat, Leeann & Heather sailed off in Alibi.
They are heading to Mana and staying the night at Port Gore.

Heather, Pauline & Alexandre just before Nathan zipped him up to waterfall to catch the mailboat.

So we were back to a small family tonight.
Only Kevin & Pauline here and after tea they went off to watch rugby with Anson.

I had a chat on the phone with Mum this arvo.
She is getting frailer by the day.
Ruth & Sylvia took her to the park yesterday for lunch.
She enjoyed that but gets very tired from any exertion.
Her legs are not co-operating now and she is having to use a wheel chair and have two nurses to help her to the bathroom etc.
She has lost a lot of weight – only 43kgs now.
I found out yesterday that her internet connection was going to take much longer to be reconnected and so I called up to see what was happening.
Got no help at all so voiced my displeasure at their slow service.
An hour or so later after searching for a complaints number on the website I called back again and got a more helpful person.
He said he would go to the technicians and appeal to them for some faster service.
So we shall see.
If nothing happens then Mum won’t be reconnected to the internet until the 28th.
If they decide to be nice then it will be sooner.

Tim & I have just watched ‘Mongol’.
I must say that after reading all the books about Genghis Khan I was extremely disappointed in the movie.
It was really weird and not in any way remotely like the real story.
Glad I only hired the dvd.
So, if you haven’t seen this movie – don’t bother 

All sorts……….

Graham delivered a LARGE bin of beans and a LARGE bin of corn on Friday.
So Saturday we had to tackle them both.
I got the girls going on the beans.
It looked like it was going to be a monumental task.

So Tinga helped out

He was very funny.
I was just hoping the hygiene police weren’t going to pay a visit.
Shanni assured me that it was alright cuz they were going to be frozen and then well cooked before we ate them
He was determined not to let go of the side of the bowl when Heather was tipping them into the other.
The men made the mistake of coming in for morning tea!!
It was all hands on deck.
Because they helped we got them all done in record time.
Thanks guys

While the beans were being processed I was cooking the corn in the oven and also preparing dinner.
Mahalia & Azzan shucked the corn once it had cooled down.
Then before lunch Heather sliced it all off the cobs.
Once again the guys made the mistake of coming into the kitchen expecting lunch before we were ready so got roped into helping finish the cutting and bagging the corn kernels.

After lunch I suggested to Heather that she might like to go kayaking.
She didn’t argue.
The men were working on the wharf all arvo.
There is a lot of fiddly things to be done while we wait for the 8m beams and decking to be cut, dried and transported to & fro the treatment plant.

Anson has jouined a rubgy league team in Nelson so he headed off bright and early to go get pummeled.
He got back around 8:30pm and has been complianing of sore body parts ever since.
His team won the game so I spose it was worth the torture

Saturday night we invited the Colleen & Steve and their three kids up for dinner.
The kids had several board games spread over the floor before we ate.

I had stuffed and baked a huge moki.
Made ratatouille from all the veges Graham brought in plus creamed corn and rice.


Heather & Alexandre packed a snack and went for an all day hike around the farm, down to Waterfall Bay and back around the track.
 The Older family packed up and joined us for fellowship.
Graham also came over.
He is house sitting still so we don’t see as much of him as normal.
The Older’s had to leave at midday.
We had a pretty relaxed day after that.

The Interislander ferry steamed past twice as it headed up the Pelorus Sound and then back again.
We were joking with François that it was coming to pick him up so he didn’t have to bother driving all the way to Picton on Monday
It doesn’t normaly come over this side of the Sounds but once in a blue moon we see it come past on a special sightseeing trip.

François went home with Graham cuz he was getting a ride out to Rai Valley with him at 5am Monday morning.
Pauline & Kevin, our new French wwoofers arrived just in time for dinner.


Heather & Pauline helped me with a bit of housework and then spent the rest of the day digging manure from under the wooshed and then building a new rhubarb bed and spliting and shifting the rhubarb that has been sadly neglected for the past 30 years.
Hopefully it will like it’s new accommodation and flourish merrily cuz we LOVE rhubarb.

The guys did a variety of tasks through the day.
Tim was trying to get the new motor to connect with the log splitter.
Glen & Kevin were helping but it wasn’t happening.
Cat is building a deck extension at her hut so Nathan & Alexandre helped her.
Anson has his possum line going again so that keeps him busy each morning.
I know he was doing other stuff in morning too but I can’t remember what it was??
I did school work with all the children at the kitchen table while I was busy doing other things so could keep a tab on them.

After dinner Cat & Leann took Nathan & the 4 wwoofers out possum hunting.
Tim & I actually got an early night.


This morning we discovered Leeann had shot a young stag on our airstrip.
Apparently it was grazing amongst the llamas and they never batted an eyelid when she shot the deer.
In fact after it dropped they came right over to investigate.
Crazy animals!
She was a very happy girl this morning.
I took this pic and then left her to the job of skinning it.

I got Heather & Pauline organised to dig more sheep manure and have set them the task of getting the vege garden beds dug over, manured and covered in pea straw for the winter.
We can only get some beds done at present though cuz Shanni is still harvesting carrots, silverbeet, and marrows.
I managed to convince her it was time to pull out the broccolli plants so we can get that bed done too.
We are going to build an asparagus bed and a berry garden while we are at it.

I started getting dinner ready.
Curried sausages & eggs.

Then it was announced that the weather was good so they were all going to go to D’Urville Island this arvo.

It was all go then to get stuff done before they left.
Cat took Pauline with her and they zipped over to Graham’s to pick up a truck load of fruit and veges and Cat’s new compressor.
Glen also whizzed around the road to a neighbours to do some lathwork on part of the wood splitter motor.
Tim, Anson and the guys went fencing.
I loaded food into the chilly bins for them to take.
They took all the curry plus rice I had pre-cooked for them.
I managed to get some school work done with Azzan & Mahalia amongst all of this.
Azzan is doing really well.
I just have to try and be more consistant with him.
He is reading/understanding more and more words.
In fact he is more capable of reading than he realises at this point.
Azzan wasn’t going to go camping but just before they left he changed his mind.

They all had a quick lunch and were gone before 2pm.
I waved them away quite happily.
Looking forward to some peace and quiet.

I have been making some cards this afternoon.
I have also been left holding the baby.
Tinga was happy in his cage for most of the time but I got hime out while I prepared my dinner.
I am not really into bird cuddles like Shanni is so I sat him on the kitchen bench and he massacred some silverbeet and capsicum.
Then I gave him a peanut in the shell for a treat and popped him back in his cage.
He was soon snuggling into his bed so I covered him up for the night.

Then while I ate my dinner I watched 2 movies.
I’ve Loved You So Long

They were both really good.
Quite sad in places and thought provoking.
I found myself crying at one point during ‘Greta’.

As I was up before 5am today I am very ready to head off to bed now.
Am looking forward to at least a morning to myself tomorrow

Friday at our place.

I had just typed up this whole entry and somehow it disappeared in front of my eyes
So here is an abridged version.

I got a photo of Tanguy & François after breakfast before the men went off to work.
Tanguy was leaving on the mailboat.
François is rather happy with his red sox!!

Tim was back on the bulldozer today.
He is a bulldozer fiend.
When he get on he is gone for hours and creates havoc!

We have 4 sponsored children so I got the children to write letters to them all today.
Azzan & Mahalia spent ages drawing pictures and decorating them with stickers.
I have a large collection just for this purpose.
It is one thing that we are allowed to send them in the mail.
Our children live in Mexico, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso & India so it is a wee geography lesson each time we talk about them.
They are also similar ages to the girls which makes it more relative too.

Tinga was being very funny.
He was doing summersaults & flips on Shanni’s pencil

The Olders went over to Waterfall Bay so took Tanguy with them.
It was a lot less stressful knowing he was already there to catch the mailboat.
Anson did arrive at the wharf in the dinghy just as the mailboat was steaming into the bay.
So he zoomed up and picked up our two new wwoofers.
Heather from Alaska and Alexandre from France.

Shanni is being rather crazy at present.
She takes great pleasure in being noisy and blonde.
I love her individuality.
But sometimes the incessant, unnecessary noise and stupidity gets on my wick majorly.
Mahalia commented this arvo that Shanni had obviously taken an excess of happy and blonde pills today!!

After lunch they went for a walk with Shanni to take Tim some food.
Anson & François went over to Pukatea to help Graham and brought back a load of firewood plus some corn & beans which we will have to process tomorrow.

I made a yummy beef casserole today.
I used the left over fluid from last night corned beef.
It gave it a very delicious flavour.
We ate it with new potatoes and fresh bread & butter.
Dessert was freshly stewed pears with coconut custard.
Simple but extremely delicious.

I have just put the children to bed.
The adults have gone to Anson’s to watch rugby.
I have the house to myself so am going to go finish watching the movie I started last night.

Catching up on this week

I didn’t sleep a lot on Sunday night.
Too much swirling around in my head.
So I was wide awake when Dave & Michele got up at 6am to head off to work.

Despite the late night the kids were up around 7am so they had breakfast while I showered and then we packed the car and headed off into Nelson.
I shot up 2 flights of stairs (oooh!! and did my leg muscles tell me that they were still not happy – but I was determined not to use the lift) for a 2min chat with the accountant and then got my breakfast at Starbucks and carried on over the hills to Blenheim.

I took the children to the library and got them sussed there.
Was a bit unhappy about leaving them unattended but as they know the place and love to hang out there they were quite happy to stay put upstairs and blob out among the books and computers.
I went down the street and spent an hour or so with Mum’s lawyer getting all the necessary paperwork for her Govt Subsidy application.

When I got back to pick up the children Azzan was playing on the computer and Mahalia was stretched out on the floor reading. They had a large pile of books to check out.
We were all starving by this time so we shot around the corner and met Sylvie at Checkers.
She had been enjoying a l-o-n-g massage so was all chilled out
We had fast lunch and then Sylvie took Mahalia off to do a few jobs and Azzan & I drove up to see Mum.
We spent the next 3 hours going over paper work, dealing with red tape and sorting phone, internet, insurances, tv, and everything else to do with her move from home.
Sylvie & Mahalia arrived a while later.
The children were so good.
It was a long 3 hours for them.
Mum’s room has a garden window and door leading out into a garden and lawn area.
So they spent a bit of time out there playing, doing handstands, and chatting with the gardener.
Mum was feeding them up on chocolates too.
I got Mahalia to get the dvd player from the car so they lay quietly on Granny’s bed for the last half an hour and watched a dvd.

Late in the arvo Sylvie reminded me I had to get back to the lawyers to pick up more papers.
So I shot off to do that before they shut.
Then back to Mum’s house to find more stuff I needed.
We blobbed there a while with Duncan & Sylvie.
It was getting late so I loaded the kids on board, called in to Domino’s and got pizza to eat on the way home.

The kids ate and then watched a movie as I drove.
It was after 10pm when we arrived home.
Tim & Shanni were in bed.

Tues – Thurs
have been busy days
recovery days
I have been trying to get all the paper work finished for Mum’s application.
It has taken quite a lot of time to get everything sorted.
I have desperately needed a nana nap but have not yet found time to have one

We have had the Older family staying in The Cottage this week so the children have been having a high time with their crew.
Pine Huts has been reopened and thoroughly enjoyed by all.
There has been kayaking, swimming, fishing, walking, talking etc by children and adults alike.
Azzan escorted the Older family to Waterfall Bay around the track and then back around the beach.
He was so tired when he got back he asked if he could go rest

Shanni has been doing a lot of mountain biking around the farm.
She is off out several times a day.
The girls have been playing in Sylvania.
All the children have been great with doing chores around the house.

Tuesday the rain came in and by night time we had a humdinger of a storm blowing.
Horisontal rain and wind pounding the windows.
The phone went out for a while.
A good night to go to bed early so we did.
I soaked in the spa first though with the wind whistling around my ears

Wednesday morning the dawn colours were absolutely amazing as they reflected on the bay.

Tim and the guys have been working on the wharf and getting a fence line ready.
Tim has also had the bulldozer out and has created a road for Anson to drive the 4wd on and pushed in a new fence line.

Tanguy & François had a change from farm stuff on Thurs arvo.
They sat out in the sunshine and peeled and cut up a large box of pears for me.

Colleen and I have talked school stuff, she has been having a good look thrugh my curricula.
I have been trying to think about what we are going to be doing at school next week.
I physically and emotionally haven’t don’t feel like I have had a holiday yet and school officially begins again in Monday

I have finally finished the 3rd book in the Genghis Khan series.
I was totally gutted that he was killed by a woman and not in battle.
Anyway, now I have to wait until Sept till the 4th book is produced.

I am sure there has been other things happening along the way to report but my memory banks are quite empty right now so I will finish here.

Sunday on the road again…..

We had a lot of road to cover on Sunday so were up and gone by 6:30.
Tim wandered out just before we left so I got some farewell pix.
I think he is trying to keep up with Leeann on the hairstyle stakes

Sunni is very taken with the cats.
She had them sleeping with her in the hut!
Mo proved to be a calmer sleeping companion than Jynx who along with a heavy dose of chocolate kept her awake most of the night

We had to stop to take photos along the way.
Sunni was wanting to share them with her friends back in the big smoke.
Mahalia began saying that if we kept stopping we would never get anywhere!!

We got breakfast along the way and we managed to get to Blenheim in good time.
I dropped Sunni, Hali & Zani off to spend some time with Granny at Redwood before 10am.
She had moved in on Saturday so is still getting her room into order.
I left Sunni with my camera so these are a few of what were taken.

I met up with Duncan at Mum’s and we loaded the computer and desk into the car and onto the truck and took it up to the resthome.
I was very glad to have Duncan to help as the desk is rather large and heavy.
While Mum was having lunch we unloaded it and installed everything and got it up and running for her.
It was a good time to do it as all the ‘inmates’ were having lunch and we were able to trundle it through the hallways without running anyone over

We had to get back over the hill to Nelson so said our farewells and took off.
It was jolly hot and we were all in quite a sweat by this time so we stopped to fuel up the car and get ice creams and cold water for us.

2 hours later we met up with Seb at Starbucks and had an hour chilling with him.
He then took Sunni and Azzan, who would not be parted from her, to the airport.
Mahalia and I took the route over the hill and met them there.
We had a few minutes to catch up with Amy & Terence before they flew back to Palmerston North which was cool.

Then it was time to say goodbye to Seb as he was parked in a 2min stop over!!

Sunni’s flight was called so the wee ones strangled hugged her for the last time and we left her to board.

Some of the artwork at the airport.
Azzan had seen it before but Mahalia was suitably impressed.
a Drysdale made completely from horse shoes.

The kids hammed it up with some of the other art works as we were leaving.

We zipped back into town and got chinese take aways for lunch/dinner and took them to Margaret and Dave’s to eat. The kids played with Sophie & Katherine for an hour or so and then we drove down to the Nelson School of Music and sent a very enjoyable evening at ‘Oliver’.
It was extremely well done by the Nelson Youth Theatre.
The kids were enthralled.
Nancy had us all gripped with her rendition of ‘He needs me’.
Brilliant night

We spent the night at Dave & Michelle’s.
Thanks for the beds D&M – appreciate you both immensely

Saturday stuff

It has been very still and sunny here today.
The air temp is very cool so the fires were lit again and the winter clothes are being dragged out of the drawers.

Anson & Tanguy cut and gathered firewood this morning.
Tim & François worked on the wharf with Pat.
Cat & Sunni kick started me into sorting out more stuff.
The lego room is now the sewing room with an area for lego too.
Winter is a good time for lego to come out into the living room so we have an allocated area for that when the time arises.
At present the kids are busy doing other stuff.
Shanni spend a lot of her spare time out bike riding.

Anson was officially given the keys today!!
Tim let him take the ’88 South’ up to Manaroa so he could go to the hunting competition.

I grabbed a quick photo of him and Sunni before he headed out the door.

Anson got this 10 pointer stag for the competition last night.

It took him all his energies to get it home and then it took two to get it on the scales.

It weighed 250lb (113.5kilo)

He was one happy lad.
He got 2nd in the competition

Cat has not been too well today.
She appears to have got Shanni’s cold.
Mahalia has a runny nose too but Cat has copped it worse unfortunately.

Cat moved the telephone connection for me so we can have the computer and phone in a better corner of the living area.
Sunni sorted books and made mushroom stroganoff for dinner.
It was delicious.
When Jesika left she told me I had to get hooked into Skype.
So today I did.
I have just used it to chat with her and my cousin.
It is great
I can talk to people I normally wouldn’t/couldn’t.
Although you cannot walk around doing things at the same time as you are talking like you can on the cordless phone

I am trying to get organised to go to Blenheim & Nelson & back to Blenheim over the next two days.
Lots on and lots to do.

Where has summer gone?

It was very cold when we got up this morning.
The southerly air is so biting cod when there is not much wind blowing.
I was about to hop in the spa at 6 when Azzan came out and joined me.
He didn’t stay too long so I lay back and read my book till 7am.
When I got out I couldn’t find Azzan or Mahalia.
They had both gone up to visit Sunni well before 7am.
A little too early for her though.
But he did take her some toast and marmite for breakfast in bed so maybe he was forgiven

Shanni has not been feeling too good today and neither has François.
They both have headaches and sore throats.
Shanni has been blobbed out on the couch most of the day looking like death warmed up whereas François has kept working on the wharf.
Just stopping periodically to come up for a hot onion water drink.
My magic cure, he calls it!

Kristina, Paul & Theo sailed in for a visit.
Kristina checked out all my curricula and resources while Theo played with Azzan.
Paul helped on the wharf along wth Tim, Pat and François.

Anson & Cat went out in ’88 South’ and did some mussel work this morning.

I have been so tired this arvo.
Dozed off when I was reading the papers after the mailboat came in.
First time it has been in here since we demolished the old wharf.

Cat went over to Puketea to help Graham fell some trees.
He had been to Nelson this morning and bought Tanguy from France back with him.
So when the tree felling was done Cat brought Tanguy home with her.

François packed up his gear and moved around to The Croft with Anson.
Tim saw his bags outside the back door and panicked because he thought he was leaving!!

Mahalia was a huge help this morning.
Azzan helped too, but she was the kingpin helper.
She helped get the caravan and hut ready for the next wwoofers.
There were beds to be made, duvet covers to put on and floors to sweep.
She was running back and forwards up and down the hill.
At least it got her warmed up

We have had both fires going for several days now.
It is getting really cold in the morning and evening – but last night was the coldest we have had so far.
Today was still and calm and sunny so we were able to enjoy a bit of warmth for a while.

I made a double batch of banana pikelets for morning tea/lunch.
They are so delicious with butter and honey.
I ate far too many of them.
Mind you Mahalia ate way more – wee gannet!!

I put a venison casserole in the slow cooker this morning.
So once the spuds were cooked in the pressure cooker and the broccoli & zucchini were stir fried in the wok. dinner was all ready.
I made an easy steamed pudding for dessert.
I am so going to have to stop cooking things I like.
I have eaten far too much today of things that don’t encourage weight loss

When I was serving dinner tonight I sat down and saw this beside me.
That bird is such a crack up!
Actually both birds are

Tinga snuggles down inside Shanni’s shirt like a wee possum.
He stayed there the whole time she was eating dinner.
Just popping his wee head up now and then for a look around.
As you can see, Shanni is now back in the land of the living.
Thank goodness!

Well, I am off to bed now.
For once I am going to get an early night.

Comings and goings

Wednesday I zipped back into Nelson to pick up Sunni from the airport.
I had booked a visit to the chiropractor and massage therapist first though.
They were very needed appointments after my harrowing walk on Monday.
My chiro did a foot scan before I left and has found out why my hips give me such a lot of pain.
He will talk to me on my next visit about what to do re my arches – or lack of!

I thought I would have a nice leisurely time to relax and socialise but ended up running flat out before and after the appointments and only just made it to the airport by 2pm.
Then found the plane was 20mins late so I sat and chilled in the car while I waited.

It had been really cold when I left home but by this time it had come out rather warm.
Sunni and I were both hungry so we went into the city to get some lunch at Cafe Affair.
It was rather nice to sit on outside under the umbrella, relax and talk over our food for a while before heading off home.

Everyone was thrilled to see Sunni.
She hasn’t been home in nearly 14 months.
We got home early enough that the young folk were still up and about.
Shanni had made pizza for dinner.
It was delicious.

Thursday morning Cat drove Jesika & Leeann to Blenheim.
So before they left we took a few photos.
Tinga was annoying Jynx which caused a bit of hilarity.
I had to just click away and hope I could get at least one photo with everyone looking in the same direction at the same time

Shanni is growing so fast – she is fitting Jesika’s clothes – note the tee shirt!
It says
I am blonde.
What’s your excuse?
It is a very fitting t-shirt for both my darlings but Jesika was gracious enough to donate it to a more worthy cause

Leeann had shot a deer up the hill the night before and Anson was chivalrous enough to skin it for her as she was in her town clothes.

The girls had a problem locating Tim so Jesika never got to say goodbye properly.
Not impressed
He had gone up the hill to get timber and was waiting for them to come past but they didn’t know and were looking around here and when he came down they were off looking along another road and they missed each other.

We had the fires cranked up cuz it was cold with the southerly still hanging around.
After raiding my bookcase Sunni crashed out on the couch for the day reading.
She alternated between reading and dozing.

Tracey & the children came around for a visit and lunch.
I baked some savoury pinwheels.
The men were working on the wharf all day so cruised on up and helped devoured them.
I made a chicken pie for dinner.
It was delicious.