Funky stuff

I spent most of Monday hobbling about and heat packing all my achey areas.
The kids just did chores and played.
It really was a non event sorta day.

As we travel around town these days Azzan gathers up all the free pamphlets and brochures.
He stuffs them inside his jumper and looks almost furtive clutching them to his chest as he walks through the shops!
He brings them home and spend ages cutting out pictures and making books.
He writes little stories beside them.
It is great to see it all happening – his creativity. reading and writing developing so independently.

We were having problems with our inside toilet – it was leaking – badly.
Tim spent all day trying to sort out the problem.
He dug up the septic tank to see if there was a blockage.
Real pain

I had a massive melt down during the morning during and after a call from someone who thinks she wields power in WINZ.
Thankfully I have a wonderful case manager now so I called her up and cried on her shoulder.
She is so lovely and supportive and helpful and after my meltdown with someone who was not at all in the above categories, she talked me through to what happens next.
I know I am being ambiguous but I really cannot spill all the personal stuff here.
Just enough to say I am not holding my breath but I am being ever hopeful of a positive result.

I was trying to get paper work sorted in the study but was just too sore to concentrate for long so not a lot else got accomplished.
I went to bed after lunch for a rest.

When I was in town last week I had to return a torch for Tim to Mitre 10 as it was broken.
So the kids and I had a fossick around their sales bins and found a few interesting items.
As well as that I found a few pieces of really funky china which I decided I really liked.

Mum had given me a Mitre 10 gift card for Christmas and I had not used it so I decided it was time to.
I bought the items in the pictures below.
They are now gracing my lounge in a very colourful fashion.
Nice to have some crazy colours around on these bleak days and they will give me something cheerful to remind me of my Mum – especially on the days when I am missing her the most.
The vase is quite large and will lend itself to a dried arrangement or just standing alone.

I think these are sposed to be a milk jug and sugar bowl on a biscuit plate.
But I love them just as ornamentals.

I know they are not everyone’s cup of tea, so to speak, but I like them cuz they are bright and crazy and funky.

Conor & John, our Irish lads, arrived back just before dinner bringing Sophie from Lakes District with them.
They are here just for a few days to say hello and goodbye before heading back to Ireland.
Nice to have their smiling faces around once again.

Today is Tuesday – already!
I am seriously not ready for Tuesday and it is almost over.
I am still achey but not as bad as yesterday thankfully.
Have been trying to get things moving in the office but seem to have these massive piles of paper that require phone calls and then the person at the other end is unavailable so I have to relocate the paper work until they get back to me – if they do!
So I do a paper shuffle all day – it is terribly depressing.
No wonder I resort to chocolate
Now I have a headache from it all.

Tim had the guys digging out the septic tank this morning – we now have a functioning inside toilet.
Nice
Sophie, with the help of Mahalia & Azzan for some of the time, cut up heaps of ripe pears and kiwi fruit and made 2 batches of chutney for me.
It is now all cooked and looking delectable, cooling in lots of jars on the bench.
The kitchen was alive with the aroma of it all bubbling away for most of the arvo.
Shanni wasn’t impressed and went and hid in Sylvania!
I must admit that when I was young I hated it when Mum made tomato sauce etc.
The smell of the cooking vinegar just turned me right off!
I have gotten used to it now.

Anson and the guys went for a drive to Elaine Bay to get some fuel tonight.
Nathan cooked dinner – roast pork.
I don’t eat pork so I am just waiting for my fish fingers to cook.
Sad eh
I would’ve had scallops but Tim put them all in the freezer!

Sunday – a day out on the sea – part 2

It was very dark by the time we got to pick up the net.
The wind and tide were working against us and the net was quite close to the rocks so Tim was being very cautious.
Anson had several goes at picking up the buoy but it kept slipping away.
He finally got it and began pulling the net in.

Then it got tangled around his legs so there was a moment of drama.
Not a good look to have lines or ropes tangled around your body – you can end up getting dragged over the side very quickly.

 Glen dumped his fishing line in a hurry and zipped over to help.

Got it all on board.
It had a good haul of fish.
It took ages to pull them all out of the net.

A good bin full and most of them very edible.

And a nice amount of scallops to bring home too.

It was around 7pm by the time we got back.
We unloaded and I got the children fed and off to bed.
They weren’t that hungry which was good.
Tim cooked up a few pans of fish.

I headed off to the spa and then to bed.
I was aching all over.
The main damage appears to be in my right pelvic/hip region from doing the splits and my shoulder.
But as my shoulder is an ongoing disaster area I am more conscious of the nether regions at present.

I sat in bed with heat packs on the affected areas and watched ‘Water’.
I was so tired I kept drifting off to sleep.
But I wanted to watch it cuz Cat had said it was good and I need to get it back to the library.
Really sad but well worth watching to enlighten our Western culture of the plight of the girls/women in India.

Despite my fall it was a lovely day out.

Sunday – a day out on the sea – part 1

Sunday was wet and grey.
We were all looking forward to a day out on the boat and visiting our friends Joy & Tony so despite the weather we headed off about 10am.
There was actually an ulterior motive – Joy is a JP and we needed some paperwork witnessed.
A good excuse to visit, not that we need one though.

On the way we went scalloping.
I took my book and read a while.
Just bought the latest Conn Iggulden book of the Genghis Khan series – ‘Empire of Silver’ so I was getting my head around all the names and happenings from the previous trilogy.
It has been a while since I read the last book.

We towed the dredges for a while and then Glen & Anson pulled them on board to see what we had caught.

Then it was all hands on deck to sort and send the undersized & unwanted back to the briney.

Azzan decided he wanted to try a raw scallop so Glen opened one for him.

Into the mouth with anticipation and a slight bit of trepidation.

‘I’m not too sure about this now. I want to spit it out but Anson keeps telling me to swallow it down’

He tried very hard to get it down but he was really struggling so I told him to spit it out.
Well, it was a lot more than a spit – total technicolour.
I don’t think it really agreed with him!

The scallops were a good size but the roe was very pale.
I thought they tasted fine once cooked, but the guys were complaining – never satisfy them eh?

After a 2nd tow Nathan & Anson pulled the dredges up again.
Azzan had recovered enough to pile the tow rope away neatly.

Azzan was collecting all the interesting things he found in the dredges.
It is fascinating what comes up from the bottom of the sea.
The hermit crabs were especially fun this trip.
I had never seen one out of it’s shell before.

This is his sea collection.

The hermit crab on the right was very suspicious and every time he got wind that I was there he would dart back into his shell.
Most entertaining.

We had about an hour of steaming to get to Joy & Tony’s so it was time to leave.
We went past the WW2 fort and gun emplacement.
It is actually directly opposite us but over 3 miles away so we can’t see it so well from home.
When I was in my teens our family camped in there during holidays.
My kids love going over there to visit and explore and some have camped in there too.
There is a tunnel that goes from the fort where the huge gun sat out to the right and above is the sniper/rifle building with only a narrow opening to see out.

Around the corner and the guys set a net in the hopes we would have some fish to take home later on.

Nathan spent most of his time up front reading – he had come on board with two very thick Wilbur Smith books so I guess he was less interested in fishing than some 

Mahalia had woken feeling unwell.
We were committed to going out and I couldn’t leave her at home alone.
So I filled a hottie and she snuggled up in her cuddly blanket and slept all the way over.

Just before we arrived at our destination I spotted Anson reclining down the back shucking a few scallops for lunch.
He looks so relaxed I wanted to take a photo.
I was so intent on sneaking up on him that I failed to notice the deck hose and got my shoes and sox totally soaked with cold salt water.
Of course he thought it was hilarious

When we arrived the guys tied the boat up to the wharf.
Shanni hopped off and walked away with her gear.
I couldn’t quite get enough leverage to climb so Tim gave me a small heave up.
Because Shanni had just gotten off and walked away without any bother I was caught totally unprepared by the extremely slippery wharf surface and my foot went scooting out sideways and the other leg caught the side of the wharf.
I sorta went down doing the splits and landed on my bad arm and shoulder.
I lay there totally shocked for a few moments.
Just couldn’t believe I had fallen – again
Tim said after he cried when he saw me go down.
Because of all the rain all our wooden deckings, ramps etc have built up greasy mossy surfaces.
We are very aware of our own ones here and have been using the concrete steps but just hadn’t thought of others being as bad

Then Glen and Azzan both climbed up and fell down behind me.
If I hadn’t been in so much pain It would’ve been funny.

I eventually got myself upright and managed to walk up the hill to the house.
The children were very caring and wanted to carry my bags and help me.
Azzan announced very loudly and clearly to Joy that Mum had fallen over.
So I got a big hug from her.

We had a very enjoyable afternoon together.
Lunch was delicious.
Mahalia reclined on the sofa and began to eat a little before we went home.
Azzan was still in recovery from the scallop so wasn’t feeling like food till much later.
The guys all went off to suss out some new sheep drafting apparatus that Tony had.
It was getting quite late by the time the papers were signed, we had a quick afternoon tea before gathering our things and donning our rain jackets.
We were back on the boat around 5pm.
I made sure I took the wharf extremely carefully.

After a very wet night with thunder and lightening which we slept through,
we woke to this view.
It was quite ethereal.
The mist on the bay was lifting to reveal a large ship waiting to come into the harbour.
The morning light on the tidal mudflats was beautiful.

While I showered the two children packed and had breakfast.
We then loaded the car and headed into town to meet up with Megan, Olive & Zac.
We hadn’t met Zac yet so it was cool to meet the busy wee man.
He is just walking and doesn’t like to be contained for too long.
Unless of course he has food!!

Olive & Mahalia were just happy to colour in pictures.

Megan & I caught up in amongst the noise of kids and the busyness of Morrison St Cafe.
I think next time we might choose a place that is more child friendly.

The children had eaten breakfast but that did not stop Azzan from having a 2nd one.

After a delightful hour or so we parted company – saying goodbye till their next trip north or maybe if we venture south sometime.
We missed seeing Jon as he was off buying their new car – most exciting.

We then spent from midday till after 2pm at dance practise.
Seb & Bud came to chat cuz I had a cheesecake for Seb.
I have found the way to his heart – cheesecake

After dancing we went shopping for dance clothes.
Found everything we needed and then headed off home.

I had bought 2 new talking books for the kids.
They found them in Crackerjacks.
Ballet Stories by Naxos and a Hodder Children’s Classic production of Black Beauty.
So we listened to them on the way home.
We love the both these productions.
They have some excellent cds.

Got back around 8pm.
Managed to unpack the car before the rain hit again.

After everyone had gone to bed I gave Cat a call.
She is in Adelaide at the moment & there is a 2.5 hour time difference so it was a good time to phone here.
But we ended up talking till 12:30 our time so I was much later to bed than I had planned.
Not to worry – it was lovely to catch up as we hadn’t spoken for a couple of weeks.

Thursday and Friday in town

Tim woke at 5:30am and asked if I was planning to leave at 6am.
I was up with a jolt
I had set the alarm for 5:40am not 4:40am!
But as it was raining I decided not to panic too greatly as riding was probably not going to happen.
We managed to leave by 6:30.
Kids slept most of the way.
The rain had stopped by the time we got to Nelson but riding was off as it was still pretty wet.
So I took the kids to the Aquatic Centre instead.
Dropped Nathan at the library on the way as he doesn’t enjoy the chlorine.
Met Chrissy, Joel & Asher there,
The kids had a great time.

I left Mahalia & Azzan with Chrissy and her boys and took Shanni, picked up Nathan & Yari and hooned back into Nelson.
Dropped Nate off at Kip McGrath and then Shanni at speech.
Yari and I sat in the car and waited.
I caught up n some emailing and Yari did school work.
Then I zipped Shani down the road to the School of Music.
She had her first piano lesson with Liz.
I chatted with Anson there for a while.
He has damaged his thumb so had to go to Dr and Physio.
Then Chrissy and children arrived so we at lunch in the cars while waiting for Shanni.

Azzan had brought Asher a bag full of treasures so they sat on the edge of the pavement and ate their lunch and shared treasures, totally oblivious to any passers by.

After piano we zipped around the back streets and over to gymnastics.
Kids had a great hour there expending lots of energy.

Mahalia on the horse.
Good place for her

Azzan swinging with his feet in a bucket.

Azzan swinging his way along the bars.

Then they all played some games with a big colourful canvas.
Judging from the noise they all had a ball!

Chrissy dropped Nathan off at History and I took the others.
Shanni went to clarinet and singing and I took the other two to dancing.
They are full swing into organising the ‘Dance through the Decades‘ show so it was good to find out more details.
I have felt a bit detached as I haven’t been able to get to the sessions much lately.
There is another young lad, 5yr old George, who dances with Azzan.
I met his Mum and chatted about the boys costumes.
She has already got a lot of gear for George and Azzan.
I am very grateful for her help as I am a real novice at this mother of the dancer thingee.

Mahalia’s session went on late so I took off and met Anson.
He had picked up Nate and Shanni for me after his physio appointment.
I unloaded a lot of gear into his truck and then Anson took the older two home with him.
I went back and got Mahalia then we had fun at The Warehouse for a wee while before coming back to the house to cook dinner.
I got the two kids off to bed quite early with pleas to please be very quiet in the morning.

I woke before 7am and spent a very quiet peaceful few hours in my bed working on the computer. and filling out forms.
I finally went downstairs at 8:30 and found the two of them lying in bed reading quietly.
Darling children
We made porridge and got sorted and left the house an hour later.
I had chiropractor and massage appointments.
The children were very good.
I let them take the portable dvd player and they watched a movie while I was busy.
My chiro remarked on what lovely kids they were all snuggled up there together on the couch in his waiting room.
From there we had time to pop into Starbucks for an early lunch drink and snack.
Met Rachel and her 4yr old Amy so they came upstairs with us and had a chat.
Haven’t seen her in so long, it was lovely to catch up.
Then it was time to head to Drs appointment.
Got that sorted and met Seb & Bud at the office.
Seb had had an accident on the boat on Tuesday and damaged his leg so needed to get it checked out.
Ended up talking with them in the carpark for about half an hour so I then had to move it very quickly to get the kids to riding and be back in the city for a 2pm appointment with WINZ.

I just made it with a minute to spare.
I was really praying that I would get a sympathetic case manager this time as in the past I have had some drop kicks who have not been at all helpful.
I couldn’t believe it when I realised the lady I was seeing knew where I lived.
Turns out she is the daughter of someone I know and the niece of one of our local neigbours.
Small world and real answer to prayer.
She was great.
Very helpful and supportive.
So now I am just waiting to see if our application for review is successful.
Please pray it will cuz if not then it has to go before a panel of 3 doctors and takes a lot more time and energy.

I had a few moments to check out the Manna Bookstore.
Found some cool resources for the kids.
Then I drove to Stoke and met Elizabeth at Squires Cafe.
We chatted over hot chocolates until Sally arrived with my two and Kashana.
She had collected mine from riding as I couldn’t get back in time.

I got a text from Callum saying the kids had done well at riding and I should give Azzan extra dessert tonight.
Apparently he didn’t realise that if you ride Bella correctly you do not need to be too aggressive in your movements and directions.
He discovered that Bella will canter if you do.
First time he had been at a canter on a horse
He stuck like glue on her back.
He told me that there was no way he was going to fall off so he hung on tight!!
And yes Callum – he got dessert – they bought frozen passionfruit cheesecake and devoured half of it tonight.

I got a couple of baskets of chips for us all to munch on as the day was disappearing and we all had  rumbly tummies.
Elizabeth had to leave but Sally & I stayed and chatted till nearly 6pm.
The children were very good.
Squires had a good supply of pens and colouring books to keep them busy.

We popped into Countdown next door to get something for dinner.
Discovered that Phillipa was in there too.
Good timing as I had stuff to give back to her.
So we whizzed around the aisles together talking as we quickly shopped.

Kids and I got back to the house about 7pm.
Had a quick dinner and then got them off to bed.
I am about to snuggle down for the night now too.
It is raining quite hard outside.
Glad it waited until we got home.

Monday recovering, Tues & Wed back into it again.

Anson was away shearing for the week.
He came home Monday evening by boat from a days shearing over at Pohenui and then repacked and hopped in his ute and headed out to town to shear up at Nelson Lakes.

Monday morning I had a bit of a laze and a late spa.
Then got the washing underway.
Always seems to be so much when we get home.
But getting it all down to a fine art now – should do after all this time!
It was a beautiful day so w managed to get a few loads on the line but then I got busy and the rest ended up in the dryer later in the day.
In between times I managed to update my blog with all the weekends happenings.

Eare decided to pack up and take Nuana home as she was not at all well.
It was a shame as they had both been looking forward to a weeks holiday before Nuana goes back south to work.

Tim and the children have been playing Chicken Feet several times a day.
It seems to have become a bit of a ritual – before breakfast, after diner, any other spare time!
It’s a great game cuz it includes all ages and stages and Azzan love it cuz he can ‘do it too’

But Mahalia got a bit bored with it so challenged her Dad to a game of Herd the Horses instead.

I am under instructions from my chiropractor to give my shoulder plenty of heat so I followed Tim out the door to have a late night spa. I was expecting it to be cold but was hit by rain – cold rain.
It was a bit of a shock as I hadn’t heard it start.
Nice to be in the hot spa after that though!!

Tuesday I wallowed under a long hot shower.
When I eventually got to the kitchen it was deserted.
Deliciously peaceful.
But after a while they all reappeared so got roped into doing their chores.
I had Anson’s ATO co-ordinator arriving at midday so wanted to have the place looking slightly respectable.
Robyn arrived and we had a great time chatting while waiting for Tim.
He will be Anson’s assessor so she needed to go through what he has to do.
Anson is doing the Level 4 Sheep/Beef  certificate with ATO.

I chilled out in the arvo and watched ‘The Prince of Tides’ with Barbra Streisand as actor, producer and director.
She is amazing.
I found a 3 dvd set of her movies at the library a while back and figured it was time to watch them.
I was not disappointed.
After dinner I watched ‘For Pete’s Sake‘.
It was so funny.
Tim came in half way through in time to see Streisand’s character chasing rampaging cattle through the main streets of the city.
Worth a watch if you haven’t seen it already.

Wednesday we had our accountants coming to visit.
They gave up on trying to get Tim out to town and decided it was easier to come see him on the farm!
They arrived at 11am.
I made a batch of kiwifruit and chocolate chip muffins which the children hung around to get hot from the oven, then they disappeared off to play.
We had a good few hours discussing business.
Then after a quick lunch the guys took off.
Tim & Glen went out to do a spot of work and I hopped into bed for a rest.
I was feeling totally knackered after all the brainiac stuff.

I watched ‘The Way We Were’.
I had known of this story but never seen it.
Streisand sings the very poignant theme song.
I think I am going out have to search out a few more of her movies as I am really enjoying them.

The children got themselves packed for town.
They are getting pretty good at knowing what to take now so I don’t have to chase them up – too much!
I started cooking dinner at 5pm.
Glen arrived in with Tim and we ate at 7.
It was delicious.
I was getting a bit sick of roast veges.
Nice and easy but we had them for quite a few nights in a row.
So I made mashed carrot and parsnip, cauliflower cheese and diced potatoes with garlic butter.
We did have roast mutton – can’t escape the roast meat when you live on a farm and have a wood stove!

I tried to get myself all packed for town.
I had so much paper work to get together.
But I was too tired to actually do it so I grabbed it all and shoved in my briefcase to do later.
I set the alarm and crashed into bed.

Visiting seals and finally home.

Of course when we got to Ohau Point the children wanted to stop and go visit the baby seals.
Tim had not been there before so they wanted to take him to see them.
It has become more publicised now so there were heaps of cars parked there and lots of people coming and going.
But I was quite impressed cuz they were not being a nuisance to the seals and were actually quietly awed by them.

Azzan had to get as close as he could to them at the pool.
I thought he was join them in the water!

They clamber and swim up the river.
Some were fighting, making quite a noise.
Most were just intent on leaping and playing under the waterfall.

This one wanted to make friends with Mahalia.

When we got back to the car park I went across the road and found these two pups still on the beach.

This is the beach on the north side of the Ohau Point seal colony.
There are seals all along this part of the coast line.
Some of the first people to come to New Zealand after the arrival of the Maori were the sealers and whalers.
The killed seals to such an extent that they eventually were protected by government law.
Now the numbers are building up so much that they are becoming a nuisance but they are still protected.

The pups come in from the beach, under the road and the railway line

and make their way up the creek/river to the waterfall.

After this stop we headed north with no more stops until we had to fuel up in Blenheim.
The children were very tired and getting a bit scratchy.
Tim just wanted to get home so it was foot to the floor and homeward bound.
We stopped briefly to give Ruby my camera.
I had bought it 13 years ago just before Tim & I went to UK for our 20th wedding anniversary trip.
It was a fantastic SLR camera back then.
Very expensive with all the bells and whistles.
But it takes film and is not digital so sadly for the past few years it has been relegated to the shelf.
When I discovered my niece was studying photography I offered it to her.
I well remember the enjoyment of working in the darkroom when I was at college.
So hopefully it will now have a new lease of life and will give her as much enjoyment as it gave me when I first bought it.

We got home around 9pm.
Nuana was in bed sick.
Shanni had caught the same bug as the other kids and had passed it on.
Lovely child!
Eare had arrived and taken over baby sitting duties from Nuana so she could go to bed.

We unpacked the Safari and everyone gladly went off to bed.
It was the end of a lovely weekend.