A stormy couple of days

I was up and busy Friday morning.
I always try and cut the kids some slack on the day after town as we are all tired.
Shanni was not coping terribly well.
Despite being very tired she did all of her jobs plus more, but when she was asked/expected by her older sister to do her brother’s jobs as well she cracked.
I found her crying in her room.
It is a hard time for the kids.
The younger ones love their older siblings but they often feel like they have too many ‘parents’ telling them what to do.
So I had to go into damage control mode

Anson was crutching sheep all morning.
Romain and Nathan were helping.
Tim & Julien were up the hill splitting up firewood.

The paddle from the breadmaker had disappeared over night so Tim couldn’t make any bread.
He asked me to try and find it when he left for work.
Normally it stays in the bucket and gets put back into the breadmaker.
But for some reason someone had taken it out of the bread and put it in a coffee cup amongst the dirty dishes.
I searched all the places it might have been put by people who wouldn’t know.
I cleaned out every kitchen drawer – good opportunity to clean and sort things so took the chance to biff out rubbish and excess equipment.
Searched all through the pots etc and then finally had a look in the pig scraps.
And there it was!!
We deduced that someone must have looked briefly in the cup and thought it a teabag and tipped it into the scraps.
When I told Tim later he admitted that it may have been him

Nathan & Anson had arrived back from their tailing job on Thursday afternoon.
Nathan was pleased with earning some wages but was pretty slacked off about the tax being taken off.
Welcome to the real world Nathan

Tim spotted this baby seal sunbathing on the mussel floats just out from the house.
Guess they would be lovely and warm and much smoother than rocks!

The mailboat arrived around 1pm.
Azzan was very happy to have the responsibility of taking the bag down.
I had a call from my doctor’s nurse to say my iron levels have plummeted – again.
The  ferritin 13 and haemoglobin 105.
That is the lowest they have been in 2 years.
Back in June I was celebrating the fact they had climbed to 22 & 126.
When things really hit the fan for me healthwise back in mid 2004 the levels were 3.5 and 100.
It has been an ongoing constant battle ever since
Oh well, back on to taking iron supplements twice a day and see if I can build up again.


A southerly storm is blowing through at present.
It has been really rough in the bay all day.
Cat & Leeann have to head across the Strait tomorrow morning to get back to work so we are praying it will die down over night.
The waves are really pounding in tonight.
Really hope that it will blow itself out while we sleep and it won’t be too rough for them.

I spent time with Azzan & Mahalia helping them with their piano practice this morning.
They are doing well

Cat was trying to put the plate rack back up  today.
There was quite a lot of shenanigans going on!
Every time she got the board in place Leeann would poke her in the ribs.
She eventually managed to get it level.

Leeann made dinner tonight.
On Cat’s request she made a steak & oyster pie.
She kept a few oysters back and fried them up for me cuz I don’t like venison.
While she was cooking I went to bed and had an arvo sleep.
I had quite a few things I needed to do but was to weary to think straight.
I was really tired and told everyone that I wasn’t getting up for anyone or anything unless the house was on fire!!
So I actually managed to get a few hours sleep.
Felt so much better when I got up just before dinner.

I took these photos tonight.
Doesn’t the kitchen look 100 times better than a few days ago??

Nathan & Cat sorting out some music on his laptop.

Tim & the French guys have gone around to watch rugby at Anson’s.
Cat & Leeann have headed off for an early night as they are leaving at 5am.
It takes around 10 hours to sail across the Strait and they have to be back by tomorrow night for work on Monday.

A relatively uneventful day in town

The alarm went off at 5am.
I was definitely not at all ready to wake up.
But I staggered out of bed and we all got ourselves dressed and into the Terrano and we were gone by 5:45am.
Had to stop off up the top to get Carina’s bags and then a quick stop at Anson’s for Shanni to find a library book she had lent him.
We had a delightfully quiet trip to town.
Got them in time to do a few jobs on the way to dropping the kids at riding by 9am.
The kids computer had died so I dropped that into Pete.
He got it all sussed very quickly.
It is an older iMac G3 so I am keeping it running by the skin of it’s teeth because I have so many educational kids games that will only play on it.
Our new iMacs are too new – crazy eh?

Then it was back into town.
Said goodbye to Carina at the Info Centre and rocked up to the hairdressers for my 10am fringe cut.
I was getting rather wool blind so was glad to take advantage of their free fringe cut offer.
Shanni explored Toyworld while I got some bank stuff done.
We had time for a quick look around Mariposa.
Shanni loves the clothes there too.
I took her to piano and sat in the Terrano eating my fallafel while waiting for Chrissy to arrive with Hali & Azzan.
They arrived and had their lunch.
When Shanni was finished I left M&A there and took Shanni to speech.
Zipped back to Mariposa to meet Chrissy.
I had seen a dress there I thought might be okay to wear to Bri & Nick’s wedding.
However it looked awful on so I left it and bought 2 other summer tops instead.
Might have to have a look in Christchurch for a ‘mother of the bride’ dress.
Then again, might have to get off my butt and loose the 5 kgs I have just put back on then I might find something I feel good in

I picked up the 3 children and then dropped Shanni at clarinet, the other two at gymnastics.
Had time to pop into town and get myself a frappacino before picking up Shanni and getting her to gym.
I had about 40mins chatting with Chrissy and Margaret before having to zip the kids to dance and Shanni & I to chiropractor.
I took the first appointment and left Shanni there so I could go and pick up M&A.
Leeann was waiting there for me.
She had hitched a ride out with Graham the day before.
We loaded her stuff into the car and then went to watch Azzan dance.
When it was time to leave I realised I had locked my keys in the car
Leeann was able to get my spare key and unlock it so no drama.
I whizzed into Medlab and had a blood test then we picked up Shanni.
Leeann took the kids off to pick up their computer while I had my massage therapy.
My shoulder was really bad and very sore so I was very grateful for that massage.
Leeann took the kids to the playground at Tahunanui while they waited for me.
Then we zipped around the supermarket and grabbed a few things to eat on the way home.
Had a good drive back home.
The kids played at Okiwi Bay for 10mins and then watched a movie.
We got back home at 10pm and after unpacking the Terrano, had a quick dinner which I had left prepared.

Wednesday stuff.

Wednesday was a glorious day.
Tim took the troops over to Waterfall for a working bee.
Cat & Leeann went over to cut up all the venison and pork they had brought back from D’Urville.

I asked Shanni to take my camera and get a photo of Carina and she came back with dozens of the house and garden!!
I eliminated down to these pix below.
Mahalia finished cleaning the front of the house.
Looks all sparkly and ready for summer now.

The garden is getting over run by weeds so I asked Carina to attack them.
They are pretty easy to pull as we spread pea straw over all the garden before the winter.
And the weeds are creepy things so look bad and cover lots of space but don’t take much to get out.

A cute wee miniature manuka in full flower.

Meanwhile, I was inside making more food.
Mahalia had asked for lasagne so she helped me make it.

We love lots of veges in our lasagne.
I added heaps of raw silverbeet under the layers of pasta.
It cooks down well and makes it so much more yummier.
I also made cauliflower in a coconut cream sauce and roast veges plus a large carrot cake to keep the troops happy while I was in town.

 Cat spent the arvo making the new shelves.

The bench slab in place.

Looking betterer and betterer

I was absolutely exhausted by lunch time.
I needed to go and have a sleep so went and lay down.
Had only been there for half an hour when Graham arrived.
He hasn’t been home for a while so I got up to see him and gave him some lunch.
When he left I went back to bed.
Then an hour or so later I got a phone call that Tim got me up to take.
I was feeling so grotty.
My head was not in a good place.
I was trying to get dinner on.
It is quite hard when there are so many people coming and going in our house.
I can’t deal with people when I am feeling like this.
I tend to go very intro.
I have been a bit suspicious that my iron levels have gone down.
I have been having a few personal issues lately which have all been contributing to that.
Haven’t had a blood test for a few months so mentally scheduled one.
Glen & Tik just got back from Thailand and came over to say hullo.

After dinner the 3 wwoofers said goodbye as Carina was leaving with the kids and me early the next morning.

An unexpected day of renovations

Tim had finally conceded that my 30 year old benchline oven was actually not terribly economical anymore.
I am heart broken to be doing away with my ceramic hobs and self cleaning oven.
But the thought of having a thermowave oven is very, very appealing.
So when I was able to get this 2nd hand reconditioned one I thought it was a pretty good idea.

I had asked Cat if she thought she would be able to install it for me while she was home.
She said she would.
After breakfast today Tim took the guys out working on the hills this morning.
Then Cat attacked the kitchen.
I wasn’t fast enough to get a photo of my old faithful workhorse before it was shifted.
Here it is on the first phase of it’s journey out the door.

Cat & Leeann stripping out all the gear.

Where it used to sit.
The frame work was built when Cat was a toddler.
It is very fitting that she is the one demolishing it.
I have vivid memories of her following her Daddy around helping him with the hammer and nails.
She was doing her apprenticeship way back then!
After a quick consult it was decided to rip out all the shelving around the oven and fridge and start again.

The kids were asked to come wash walls in preparation for painting.
Shanni wasn’t really into doing a lot today.
So she did a bit of a swipe around with the sponge and then left the other two to it.

Then Leeann bogged up all the holes.

Cat doing the high parts

Carina sanded it all once it was dry.

I don’t pay the kids for chores.
But they both are wanting to save up at the moment.
Shanni is working towards a new camera and Mahalia towards her trip to Australia.
So they were offered a paying job – cleaning all the moss off the front of the house.
Shanni was not in a working mood and spent most of the arvo reclining with her book.
Mahalia got into it with great gusto and did a brilliant job.

Azzan peeled the spuds for dinner.

Cat managed to make the last of ‘the’ green paint spin out to cover the wall.
I bought some a few years back to paint our bedroom.
The guy at the shop worked out what I would need.
He sold me 20L!
It has since covered several bedrooms and the lounge.
Just as well I like the colour!!
It tones nicely with the pale yellow on the other walls.
Cat is going to suss out some more creamy yellow paint to repaint the rest of the walls when she comes home next time
Nothing like a new coat of paint to freshen the place up.

Cat cutting up the shelving.

Leeann & Mahalia sanding the new bench.

Nothing like an impromptu renovation.
More pics tomorrow as it is a work in progress.

I had a large pot of turkey bones that has been cooking away since Sunday.
Carina stripped the meat off the bones this morning.
Then I used the electric wok to cook up carrots, onions, celery and leeks to add to the stock and made a huge pot of turkey broth.
It looks luscious and rich.
Tim had also taken pumpkin soup from the freezer.
So I heated that in the wok too.
Between the wok and the wood stove I was able to cook quite happily without the electric stove.

After I finished that I made more cards in between doing banking etc.
So my day was full and busy too as I revolved around the building.

Labour Day

Monday morning was quite busy.
Tim went around to Waterfall as the guests were leaving.

Cat took Leeann & Sebastian out in Windflower for a mornings diving.
Anson waited for Roger to arrive at 9am so he could help him load the generator onto the boat.
I got Julien & Romain to stack fire wood in the shed and bring down a few barrow fulls of wood to the house.
Carina hung out washing and did dishes etc.
Then once Anson was ready he took them over to Waterfall Bay.
Tim had a line up of jobs for them.
Carina cleaned the Lodge.
Romain mowed the lawns.
Julien sanded and painted some of the buildings that Tim wanted to tidy up.
Chrissy, Russell, Azzan, Joel & Shoshannah walked around the track.
They helped with some of the cleaning too.
They drove back with Anson and he stopped to show them the very large tree in the bush just below the road.
The children had a great time climbing all the vines on it.

Mahalia & Asher stayed back and played here.
I spent the few hours I had to myself making cards.
I am really enjoying having my art corner all clean & tidy again.
It is most conducive to activating my creative spirit

They all arrived back for a late lunch.
When Seb arrived back he was pretty keen to pack and up and head to town before it got too late.
He has to start work very early in the morning so likes to be organised and in bed not too late.
Chrissy & Russell packed up but didn’t end up leaving until after 5pm.
Anson & Nathan were picked up at the wharf by the neighbours across the way.
They have a weeks work tailing lambs for them.
Nathan was really keen to go as he has a goal now to save for a big trip he is planning with Jesika next year.
He was mentally adding up the proposed amount of days and hours of work and multiplying it by his expected hourly wages and I could see the dollar signs flashing in his eyes
He is also hoping for a lot of summer work with Anson too to help achieve his goal.

Dinner was very quiet and easy.
There were only 10 of us.
We had fresh fish that Cat & co had caught.
I made mashed potatoes & parsley, coleslaw and a stir fry to go with it.
We also had rhubarb & apple crumble with ice cream.
The bay was really pretty.
So calm that the sunset was reflecting in the eastern sky and onto the bay.

I had a soak in the spa with Tim and then finished reading my book.
It is a fantastic story.
How an uppity cat helped heal a family
by Helen Brown.
Chrissy had lent it to me weeks ago.
I have always enjoyed Helen’s columns.
She has such a way with words.
This is the first actual book of hers I have read.
It is so brutally honest.
You laugh with her and cry with her.
I thoroughly recommend it.

After lunch Tim went to Bush Inn to help Roger load up the generator.
It had burnt out and needed to be taken back to town to be fixed.

By the time he got back it was getting quite late in the day but he had promised to take the kids up the hill skidder boarding.
He ended up with 9 from 8 years to 24 years!!
They all had a ball.

While they were away Chrissy & I had a play with the Cuttlebug and then collapsed in front of a dvd of Bill Bailey.

Shanni took some brilliant photos and she has generously allowed me to use a few.

Here’s Nathan skidding along behind in his boots!

Yari upending off his board.

There was a lot of hi-jinks going on.
The boys found some very fresh cow pats which they took great delight in throwing about!

They had a lot of fun and were very excited and full of it all when they arrived back.
I didn’t have to do anything for dinner.
Just ate left overs.
Then everyone crashed out.
No after dinner socialising this time

Nathan’s 15th Birthday party

While the others were occupied with spoils of the hunt, I spent all morning getting food ready for lunch.
I made Persian couscous, an Indonesian brown rice salad, hot potatoes with garlic butter, lettuce salad, garlic bread.

Tim carved up the turkey.
It had cooked beautifully the evening before.
Everyone who ate it said it was tender and delicious.
A few of us couldn’t face it for various reasons along it’s chain of demise – Chrissy, Cat & myself to name but three

Of course Nick & Yari were totally helpful while we were getting ready for lunch – not!
Life is so exhausting when you are 15 and 16!!

We had lots of pre lunch nibbles.
Nuts & raisins, chips, Doritos, carrot sticks and lots of different dips.

We weren’t too sure whether to welcome this mystery guest or not??

We waited for Louisa & Roger to arrive back from tiki touring in their boat.
They arrived back around 2pm.
Just in time for Sunday lunch!
No sense in rushing the day.

  Most ate outside as it was a beautiful day.

Then a bit later we managed to squeeze in some dessert.
Nathan didn’t want a cake.
He just asked if I would make gallons of Ambrosia!!
I did make a cake.
It was a new recipe.
Jo Seager’s Big Chocolate Birthday Cake.
It was delicious.
A mixture of chocolate, cocoa and sour cream so an interesting texture.
Iced with chocolate.
It was so rich that it defied decoration.

Nathan was very happy with the quantity of Ambrosia.
I used 3 litres of cream and 3 litres of yogurt to make it!!

The card made him smile.
It actually sings ‘Happy Birthday to Nathan’

Nathan didn’t get a huge pile of pressies this year cuz he got a brand spanking new cell phone of his very own!!

I also gave him a funny drinking glass with a sparkling LED light in the bottom and a book all about knives throughout the ages and the world.

Sunday morning – the hunters return

I was quite relieved to wake and see the Windflower sitting on the mooring,
They had sailed into the bay just on midnight.
There had been a mix up with communications hence them being home 5 hours later than they planned.
Anson & Romain had been out hunting.
They had returned to their campsite.
Anson had told Romain he was going out to look for some deer he had spotted.
Romain was too tired so he stayed back.
Anson told him to go to the beach to meet Cat & Leeann.
But between a language breakdown and over sleeping, by the time he woke, packed up and gotten back to the beach, the yacht was sailing out of the bay.
The girls were sailing along the coast further to pick up the guys from a prearranged place.
Poor Romain watched the boat sail away and didn’t know what to do
He did the right thing.
He stayed put.
By the time girls picked up Anson they realised that it would take them at least 4 hours to punch back against the tide to go get Romain and even then they weren’t sure if he would still be there or if he might have tried to find them.
So Leeann left Anson & Cat to catch a few fish while she ran back for 1.5hours and thankfully found him.
She also had some food for him so he was doubly happy to see her
They eventually got back to the boat and headed back home.
There was a lot of sleeping from the crew on the return trip!!

They stayed on board for the night and then came to the wharf in the morning to unload.
Cat & Leeann had shot 5 deer.
Anson had got 1 pig.
He wasn’t terribly impressed

Azzan & Asher hopped on board and they headed off to Waterfall to put the animals into the chiller.

Anson getting ready to jump on board Alibi.

Cat’s 2 yachts.
Windflower & Alibi.

Tim was still at Waterfall so he helped them to hang the meat before coming back home.

We finally managed to round up all the troops by around 11am and had fellowship with Russell, Chrissy and boys and the 3 wwoofers.

Saturday’s fishing trip

Alan let me use a few of his photos from their fishing trip on Saturday.

Seb has recently done a diving course so he was keen to go out for a dive.
Here he is all kitted out and getting ready to go down under the sea to see what he could see!!

Mahalia baiting up her hook.

Well done Nathan – 3 in one go!

Nathan hopped off and went ashore to explore a waterfall so Alan gave him his camera.
He got a few lovely shots while up there.


Nathan is 15 today!!!

Cat, Anson, Leeann & Romain had gone to D’Urville Island on Thursday for a few days hunting and fishing.
Tim took Julien out to do some fencing and firewood Friday morning.
I spent the morning in between other things putting through many loads of washing.
It was such a beautiful day that I really enjoyed hanging it all out on the line myself.

After the dishes were done I offered Carina a challenge.
Azzan & Mahalia’s bedrooms!!
She took a look, then a big swallow….
and accepted the challenge.

She helped Azzan get his room sorted.
It wasn’t too bad so didn’t take long.

Mahalia’s room however was a different story.
Hers looked tidy from the door.
But once you began looking into corners, under the bed, on top of the bunk, under the table…
You soon realised it was a huge ‘organised’ mess.

They worked away all morning.
I was really pleased to see boxes of rubbish coming out the door.
Then Mahalia decided it was finished.
So I went to check.
Not up to standard yet.
There was still a lot of corners to dig out.
She then got stuck in herself and I ended up getting Nathan to take away more boxes of stuff.
I did give her some eggs on toast in the middle of it all as she was getting very tired and needed a major carb & protein boost.

Seb arrived in with Nick around lunch time.
He hasn’t been home in a while so it was nice to see him.
It is Labour weekend here in NZ so everyone gets Monday as a holiday.
He was pretty whacked so disappeared off to Anson’s and slept the arvo away.

After lunch Tim & Julien went over to Waterfall Bay to take firewood and get the Lodge ready for a fishing party.
I did some baking.
Made a big chocolate birthday cake from Jo Seagar’s book for Nathan.
Then I flipped through a few more pages in the book and found a cappacino and date slice.
I just had the right amount of coffee & chicory essence to make a double batch so I made that too.

The guys got back in time for dinner.
After dinner Tim went straight to bed to get a few hours sleep.
Russell, Chrissy and boys arrived about 8:30pm.
Chrissy & Russell helped me trial the cappacino & date slice.
It is delicious!!
Julien was having fun with one of Shanni’s cute wee furry babys.

Azzan was so excited to see Asher.
He got his sleeping bag disappeared down to sleep at The Cottage.
Yari, Nick & Nathan were sleeping upstairs in Nathan’s room.
I stayed up as I was waiting to hear from the Waterfall guests.
They were arriving quite late by boat.
I woke Tim at 11pm and he drove over to greet them when they arrived just after midnight.
He stayed the night there.
There was a lot of random thuds and noises resounding from Nathan’s room.
The boys were sposed to be sleeping but it certainly didn’t sound like it.
They were pretty excited to be together so the testosterone was on a major high
I eventually let them know they should be closing down around 12:30 and I then hit my pillow.

8am came around far too soon.
I really wasn’t feeling up to anything major.
I had told the 2 wwoofers not to come down till 8:30 because Tim wouldn’t be here, but they were both down early
I am not a breakfast person.
Tim does breakfast here.
So I chucked food on the table and got Mahalia to go have breakfast with them.
The other very random happening was that the 3 boys were up and running by 8am too.
Most unheard of for Nathan to be up without force on a normal morning after a normal nights sleep!!

He was pretty excited to be turning 15 today

Tim arrived over and was all ready to take Julien and get a mornings work done.
I got Carina to do a huge big present wrapping session.
I have been stockpiling gifts in my bedroom for up-and-coming birthdays & weddings.
She spent most of the morning getting them all wrapped for me.
The kids were playing up the hill.
Azzan came in upset cuz he didn’t like the rules Shanni had set up for the game.
He was trying to tell me all about it.
I suggested that it was great to have a big sister with an imagination who likes to create fun for them all.
And also pointed out that in 3 or 4 years time she would probably be leaving home and maybe he needed to appreciate her now.
But he just kept saying sadly,
It’s just getting to big.’
So he curled up in my bed and watched a dvd.

After lunch Tim took everyone out fishing.
Alan & Eare had arrived so they hopped on board too.
Carina went walking to Waterfall bay with Asher and Azzan.
They kept a protective eye on her.
She did slip and fall and has hurt her foot.
But we have been icing it and she has gone to bed with a pressure bandage on it.
So hopefully tomorrow it won’t be too bad.

Jesika had skyped Nathan for his birthday so all the kids and Seb ended up having a long talk.
They are busy planning a road trip in Western Australia mid next year.
Once they had gone fishing I got my turn.
We talked for ages which was really nice.

Chrissy stayed here and kept me company.
She washed all the lunch dishes for me while I was talking to Jesika.
It was 3pm by the time I cooked up my lunch.
Then we had a play with my new Cuttlebug and the embossing & cutting dies I had bought.

I was so weary that I decided to put my feet up and watch a dvd.
It was ‘Bill Bailey’s Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra with Anne Dudley and the BBC Concert Orchestra.’
It is so good.
Very funny but without you realising it, it is very educational
I only managed half an hour before we saw the ’88 South’ coming into the bay.
So I put on some rice and made a salad.
Chrissy said she would tackle the turkey and ice the birthday cake for me.
Neither of us was particularly keen on attacking the turkey.
The boys came in from the boat and I asked Nathan about de-legging it for me.
He said that I just needed to use a sharp knife.
I asked him to do it and he ran a mile!
Then Nick arrived in and was more than happy to deal to it for us.
He took the feet as a prize
The claws were moving in and out as he applied pressure on them.

 Russell arrived in so we asked him to wash it for us.
Then Chrissy filled it with stuffing and it has been cooking away all evening.

They had caught plenty of fish so we enjoyed fresh fried fish, salad and rice with mashed carrots & parsley for dinner.
Followed by Nathan’s choice of dessert,
Butterscotch Semolina!

The little boys are sleeping in their own places tonight.
The big boys are quiet.
Wonder what they are up to??
Tim has gone back over to stay at Waterfall.

Cat and crew have text to say they will be back around midnight.
I think I will just be leaving the light on and heading to bed.
I am totally had it tonight.

Due to the afternoon fishing trip and absence of older siblings we postponed Nathan’s b’day party till tomorrow.
He did question whether he needed to wait till then to get his presents.
But as he has gone off to bed I figure the suspense wont kill him