Chch had an earthquake – but we had a cyclone!!

There was no scheduled weeding today so I got the girls to de-cobweb the verandah.

Nathan got up on the roof with the hose and cleaned off all the skylights and guttering.
There was water going everywhere – I even found puddles in the study

Meanwhile inside Tim & Azzan were chilling out.
Azzan got the cards down and he and Tim played games.

Then cyclone ‘Anson’ arrived
He was in cleaning mode and he went for it.

He got Romain up into the workshop with him.

Soon Shanni & I were summoned.
He was into the meatsafe.
Stuff was being biffed out left right and centre.

Shanni was asked to go through all her stashed bird cages etc.
Anson went through her stuff.
Do you need this?
Want this?

Then I suggested she should give her aviary a good clean out.
I asked Leonie to help her.

I have been asking Tim to pick pears for days.
He has either been too busy or it has been too wet.
So today I prised him away from the card game and directed him to the orchard.
Much to Anson’s trepidation he got side tracked in the workshop ‘saving stuff’.  

Azzan & Anna climbed the tree and picked pears.
Carmen caught the ones that fell.

The girls peeled all the pears outside.

I was so incredibly tired I had to go have a lie down.
It wasn’t terribly long before Tim had to get me up again to send an email to the Nelson court.
The court case Tim has been summoned to on Friday is to be heard in Christchurch.
And of course the courthouse is in the central city.
There is a state of emergency and the city centre is cordoned off.
So Tim has been in touch with the Nelson courts and they are dealing with it all.
They have told us it is 100% sure of being postponed.
There is more important things going on that this stupid hearing!

After a brief rest I got up and tried to bottle a few of the pears the girls had cooked up.
I managed to successfully crack 3 of my large preserving jars.
I was not at all happy.
I did get 2 large jars and a smaller one done.
The rest of the pears I made into a fruit crumble for dessert.
Because Tim had gone mustering we had a little time up our sleeves so I decided to make zucchini fritters.
Anna cooked them.
They were very tasty.

Then Bri text to say she was at her in-laws place so I could call her.
It was really good to hear her voice and talk with her.
Their roof has been damaged but they have it weather proofed with tarps.
She has also asked if people could please NOT text or call her because they are trying to keep the phone lines free for emergency calls.
Excess texting and calls is jamming the communication systems.
She just wants everyone to know she is alright.

Tim arrived in so he carried on talking with her.
I had some more time to cook so I made muffins – date, bran & yoghurt.
Seb and his crew are coming in tomorrow morning to seed up a mussel line for us so I had to make them muffins tonight as I won’t be here in the morning to bake them for him.
Dinner was kingfish steaks in a coconut cream sauce. on brown rice, with carrot sticks and zucchinni fritters.
Rather delicious

Now it is late and I still have to go make Azzan’s lunch for tomorrow and find myself some clothes.
I will be taking the 3 children to Nelson in the morning.
Anson went to Nelson tonight and he will bring them all home tomorrow so I can stay an extra night.
I have several appointment on Friday.
I did manage to make a Drs appointment with the doctor I want to see this time.
I also got the good news that my blood tests came back with my Haemoglobin at 121 and Ferritin at 29 they are higher than they have been in months.
Actually my Ferritin levels haven’t been that high in years.
Must be doing something right!

Shocking news

Monday was a beautiful day.
Everyone went out grubbing weeds early.
I was up early working on paperwork for a court hearing Tim has to attend on Friday.
Shanni & Azzan slept in quite late.
With the very late dinners and even later nights they are getting these days I am happy for them to sleep in.
They have to get some sleep at one end of the night!
I was hanging out the washing and Azzan came out with this wee fella.
Isn’t he cute.

Carmen from Germany arrived in the afternoon.
Azzan took her swimming and entertained her for the rest of the day.

Shanni has decided to try going wheat free.
She has been getting quite lethargic and suffering a sore stomach and has noticed it is exacerbated when she eats wheat products.
I am very glad she is old enough to cook her own food
She made some gluten free scones and muffins for her and Tim.
While she was baking I got her to make a date loaf.
It turned out really nicely.
Everyone loved it.

Anson took everyone out possum hunting after dinner.
They got home around 11:30pm.
Wasn’t a brilliant night but they still manage to bring home four.

Tuesday morning they went out grubbing again.
It was a bit drizzly and overcast but they left anyway.
Anson was quite annoyed cuz he couldn’t wake Nathan.
He ended up leaving him behind.
By the time they got back it was precipitating quite heavily.
Romain went straight to sleep.
Tim went to bed.
Anson brought his washing around to do and ended up asleep on the sofa with Polly.

The girls de-cobwebbed the hall way and sorted a few books out for me.

I was in bed when the news of the earthquake in Christchurch came over the radio within minutes of it happening.
I spent the rest of the afternoon glued to the radio and internet news.
It was horrific watching it all unfold.
It just got worse and worse.
When I saw this video I just broke down and wept.
This is Christchurch people.
Our main city.
Our beautiful garden city.
I lived there for 3 years before I was married.
I visit there several times a year.
I have a child living there.
I have friends and family there.
I was so incredibly worried for them all.
But the phones lines were either out or jammed so it was next to impossible to get through to anyone.
I finally got a text from Bri to say she was ok.
Throughout the rest of the day we  heard news of most people via texts or Facebook.
No matter how negative folk are about FB it is a huge blessing in a time like this.

After dinner I went around to Anson’s to watch the news on TV.
I stayed there for 3 hours.
It was just so horrendously sad.

This site has photos of some before and after views.

Sunday and paua for dinner :-)

We had a really nice leisurely Sunday.
I was up at 5am – couldn’t sleep so decided to make a card or three.
Finished one I began a week or so back and managed to make 2 more.
Then it was time for a shower and hullo world!

Despite the sun it was a cooler sort of day due to the light southerly puffing in the bay.
The young folk went swimming.
Azzan got caught out though – he came up expecting a spa but I was doing the chemical thing and you cannot use it till around an hour after the last additives are in.
And I never finished putting them all in till late arvo.
A hot shower had to suffice today.

We had fellowship just before lunch.
Alan left for town and took Louis with him.
Numbers are decreasing.
I was planning on popping over the hill to pay a birthday visit to my friend & neighbour.
Happy Birthday Sandra
But by the time I managed to actually speak with her she was about to head out to town.
So that kaiboshed that plan.
I had just enough reserves in my energy levels to make the trip today too
Not to worry – I am sure we will tee up another day.

Spent ages tonight talking with Mahalia and Jesika on Skype later this arvo.
Well, it felt like ages cuz Azzan & Mahalia held the floor for a long time.

Shanni & Glenn went paua diving over the back with the 3 wwoofers.
Azzan wanted to go swimming but then discovered they were gone.
He got all funny about not feeling safe swimming on his own despite Tim being down at the beach.
Then after his chat with Mahalia he merrily took off down to the beach and had his swim!!

It was about 7:30pm when they fisherfolk arrived back.
They were all wet and cold.
But they had paua so that was great.

While Tim fried it up for dinner Romain boiled up some sea snail things that he had found.

He is used to eating snails so knew exactly how to get them out of the shell.

He proclaimed them to be not as nice as the ones he gets at home in France.
Leonie tried one but spat it out very quickly and announced it to be disgusting

The girls were having fun with the cats eyes from the snail shells.
Nathan told them that the poor people would use them on the dead folks eye instead of coins.
So of course they had to give it a go

It was very tricky trying to keep them in place.

We had dinner very late tonight.
Just finished cleaning up and getting Azzan off to bed when Anson came around at 10pm to sort out work for tomorrow.
He helped Anna feed the puppy.
He’s not that keen on the ‘nappy’ part of the feeding process

Friday/Saturday at our place

Anson took the girls and Romain out grubbing weeds at 6:30am on Friday morning.
Tim set Louis afloat on a kayak and pointed him in the direction of Waterfall Bay.
The bay was glassy calm.
Louis was very concerned that he not get his leg wet so we taped a plastic bag around it.
He made it up there fine and spent the day helping Glen.

Nathan fed Polly.
She is taking a bottle now.

Anson called up a vet to have a chat about her as we were unsure on milk dosage now she is getting bigger.
He said she should be wormed as well to give her a better start.
So Graham bought some worm tablets in for her.
We had to weigh her to see how much to give her.
We popped her in my kitchen scales.
She weighed somewhere around 515 grams so a 1/4 tablet was sufficient for now.

Azzan was counting the hours until the mailboat came.
He knew that there would be some library books in the mail that we had ordered online.
He was so incredibly excited to get 2 large packages.
We unpacked them and then he took a box full of to his room to begin a reading marathon.
I hardly saw him for the rest of the day.

Anson took Glen, Graham & Romain out fishing at dinner time.
No grouper.

Cat has been asked to write an account of her Mt Cook climb for a NZ home schooling magazine.
I had done the spell and grammar checks on her initial story which she wrote in the morning.
We then spent quite a long time after dinner on the phone getting the article completed.
An Israeli couple arrived while I was busy so I never got to meet them till this morning.


Tim and Anson took out all the troops at 6:30am again today.
I stayed in bed till 8am and watched some more of Middlemarch.
George Elliot had some really interesting observations of characters in her stories.
I am really enjoying getting to know her.

Shanni & Azzan slept in late.
In fact I never saw Azzan until midday.
He proudly told me that he had read 14 books already!

Louis stayed back and helped me in the kitchen with dinner prep.
He peeled spuds and kumara and veges for the casserole.
Did I ever say how much I love my slow cooker
I made a Red Salad for lunch.
It is delicious – contains red cabbage, red onion, beetroot, orange, parsley.
I got everything done and made lemon muffins for morning tea.
All of a sudden I felt really yuck.
Headache hit and I felt quite nauseous.
I hadn’t yet had breakfast so I made a fresh fruit salad.
That helped somewhat.
I was going to go lie down for a while but Anatoliy and Yaara came to meet me and have a chat before they left.
Unfortunately it was just a short stay for them.
They were wishing they could stay longer but they had already booked the ferry to Wellington.
They were on their honeymoon
His family emigrated to Israel from Ukraine when he was 16 and her family originated from Yemen.
Don’t you just love her hair? It was gloriously long and ringlety.

After they left I took my lunch and went to bed for a wee while.
Watched the end of Middlemarch and then tried to sleep.

They all got back from from grubbing weeds at midday.
Tim put the ’88 South’ up on the trailer at high tide and spent several hours water blasting the bottom of it.
Romain & Louis gave him a hand which made the job a lot easier.

Tim and the guys spent time later this arvo putting in a wharf fender while the tide was low.
It is full moon at present so the tides are dropping very low which works well for this job.

I made a butterscotch pudding for dessert tonight.
While it was finishing cooking Romain & Louis did the dishes.

Louis said he couldn’t smile while doing dishes (not too sure if it is because he doesn’t like doing them or if it is because of his need to concentrate on his work) so I found the wee poem we used to have by the sink for him.

Thank God for dirty dishes;
They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
We’re eating very well
With home, health, and happiness,
I shouldn’t want to fuss;
By the stack of evidence,
God’s been very good to us.

Tim, Azzan & the girls played a game of Monopoly Deal after dinner.
Polly got into the midst of the game!

She is very cute.
Her eyes are beginning to open now she is in her 3rd week.

And no! She will not be on the table or in my scales for too much longer.
She is after all a dog in the making and I don’t allow dogs inside my house.

Tim has gone to Anson’s tonight with the 4 wwoofers to watch rugby.
Yes, the season has begun again

Shanni & Azzan are getting themselves off to bed and I will be following closely behind.

First town day of Term 1

I was up and in the shower at 5am.
Were all packed into the Safari at 6am so had a good start to the day.
I was grateful we did leave early as I ended up with a lot to do.
The Safari actually was good to drive, it does hold the road much better that the Terrano, and I didn’t forget I had a clutch – well, maybe just once

Nathan had made cheese toasties for him & Matt.
He gave some to Matt to eat on the way out with the condition that he did not chuck up, cuz he had taken a lot of time and effort to make them.
Well, about 15mins from Rai Valley Nathan, who was sitting behind me urgently requested me to stop.
He then proceeded to get out of the Safari in a hurry and ‘chucked up’.
Needless to say he got some ribbing over it

We stopped at Rai Valley and let out our 3 passengers.
They were all intending to hitch hike to their destinations.
I took this farewell photo of Diklar and Shar.

But didn’t bother to take one of Matthew as Shanni had taken several including this one when they were out fishing.

The car was much lighter without the 3 passengers and all their bags

We got to Nelson just on 9am.
I let Shanni go shopping with Nathan.
She needed some shorts.
There is heaps of sales on so I thought they could go search for a couple of hours.
Good sibling bonding time.
According to Nathan Shanni went into EVERY clothing shop in the city.
He sat outside and just moved seats when she moved shops.
And here was me thinking he might help her with the choosing

I took the Safari for it’s WoF.
They did it straight away for me so I just waited.
I had planned to pop away and get some things done.
It all went smoothly so Azzan & I were soon zipping off to cross several more jobs off my list.
We had to go to the wholesalers, and then drive all the way out to 3 Brother’s Corner to pick up stuff for Tim & Anson.
I was pushing it for time so called up the kids and got them to start walking to meet me.
I picked them up and we went to find Shanni’s new speech teacher.
We were saddened last week to get word that her previous teacher is too ill to continue.
There is a dearth of speech teachers in Nelson so we were very lucky to get her into Gaelynne.
She is not taking any more pupils.
Shanni really enjoyed her lesson.
It was a getting to know you one for starters.
I zipped back into the city centre to cross another job off my list.
Left Nathan to post mail for me.
Went back and collected Shanni.

The children had prepared their own lunches so they ate in the car in between activities.
I met Nathan & Sasha at the museum soon after midday.
The children went to play in the sun on Cathedral hill while Sasha & I had lunch together.
It was fairly quick as I had to have Azzan at violin by 1pm.
Nathan walked Shanni to clarinet and then went to meet Yari at the library.

We sat in on the violin lesson.
It was fun.
John is a great teacher.
Really good with the children.
There are four 7 & 8 year olds learning together.
Azzan, Asher, Merrin & George.
Just a sweet wee class.
John is teaching them all the basics.
Names of all the violin parts.
Bow exercises to strengthen the fingers.

Positioning of the violin, balancing a ping pong ball on the strings is the fun game to get the violin at the correct angle.

I am sure Azzan is doing a million things incorrectly here!!

After violin I picked up Shanni from clarinet and dropped her and Azzan at gymnastics.
I had a doctors appointment to get to.
I arrived and discovered that the one doctor in the practise who I absolutely refuse to see was the only one on duty.
The receptionist knows I won’t see her, it is written in our records but obviously the practise nurse who took my booking had made a mistake.
I was so upset.
I just burst into tears and walked out.
It had taken me quite a while to psyche myself up to go for this appointment.
Now I have to reschedule for another time

I picked up Sasha, went and had my routine blood test and then dropped Nathan’s gym clothes to him.
I all of a sudden realised I had 1.5 hours free as Victoria was taking Azzan to dancing and Shanni was going op-shopping with Katherine.
Sasha & I went to Starbucks and sat and talked.
Sebastian joined us.
It was lovely to just sit and chat and catch up with them both.
I am so proud of Seb.
He is doing so well, he is goal setting and making positive plans for his future.
I caught up with Azzan at 4pm.
He was wanting to start jazz again but the only session available is Mahalia’s age group and he freaked a bit at going in with kids so much older.
So we left.

Romain had text me to say he was in Havelock so I suggested he could hitch hike to Nelson and come home with us instead of waiting for the mailboat the  next day.
He got a ride very quickly and was in Nelson soon after 5pm.

Azzan & I went and did the grocery shopping.
Nathan was hanging out with Seb and met us at the supermarket.
We shot up to get Shanni.
She was very happy with her 5 op-shop purchases – all garments on sale $1 each.
We then went to find Romain.
He was lying in the sun on a bench outside the Info Centre waiting patiently.
Loaded him & his gear in.
It was great to see him again.
He was equally happy to be coming ‘home’.

Shanni & I popped in to visit her previous speech teacher with a wee get well pressie.
Adele was delighted to see us.

We were out of town soon after 6pm.
Stopped at Okiwi Bay to eat some dinner.
The sandflies were very hungry so we didn’t stop for long.

I popped in to see Alan on the way past Cissy Bay.
Tim had left his hat and some bowls at Alan’s 80th.
It was lovely to have a few minutes to chat with him.

We finally got home at 9:30pm.
We had jokingly told Tim that we were bringing in a Slovakian hitch hiker so he was pleasantly surprised to see Romain

After unpacking, unwinding, having a late snack cuz I had the munchies from not having a decent dinner,
I soaked in the spa at midnight under the wonderful starry sky and brilliant bright full moon.

A three day catch up.

We have had rather busy domestic days this week.

The children have been doing their school work each morning.
Shanni & Azzan have also been practising piano, violin & clarinet.

Anna & Leonie have been very diligent about feeding the pup.
The take turns getting up during the night to keep the routine going.
Then they are still managing to make it to breakfast by 8am and start their work soon after.
They finished cleaning the Cottage, swept & tidied the washhouse.
They love to work outdoors so I get them outside as much as possible.
Today they mowed the back lawn using the hand mower.
They loved that – they had never seen one before.
They took turns and weeded the bank.

They sorted and cut up tomatoes.
Then they took the pears outside to peel and slice.

This afternoon they went over the hill with Anson & Matthew to load timber and firewood.
They want to stay on longer which is great.
We are enjoying their company.
They are very easy to have around and quietly helpful.

Anson arrived home on Tuesday with a French guy in tow.
He had picked Louis up on the way down the North Island and asked him if he would like to come wwoof for a few days.
He is a very pleasant guy who has been working on water purification contract in China & Japan for nearly 4 years.
Unfortunately his leg was badly cut from a rock fall on Tanna Island in Vanuatu.
He had to come to NZ to get proper medical treatment on it.

Diklar helped me in the kitchen to begin with
We had carrots to finish from the 20kg I bought when in Christchurch.
That took her a while.
Not that there was so many.
She is a very slow worker, and I discovered, does not have a great attitude towards work
She is also a vegetarian.
I have absolutely no problems with vegetarians – in fact Anna is one and I personally love vegetarian food.
But this young lass is a very choosey and fussy vegetarian.
All she eats is bread and potatoes.
She will not eat any veges.
Says she only eats fruit but then never does.
I have never in my life had someone so difficult in the house.
I am actually finding her attitude very energy sapping.

Shanni took her up to the garden to help weed but she just began pulling out the bean plants, despite Shanni showing her which were weeds.
So Tuesday I got her to scrub out kitchen cupboards.
I didn’t think much could go wrong there.
Well, maybe not

We decided Louis would be best not to tackle the hills straight off with his gammy leg so Tim took him & Diklar up to Waterfall Bay to help Glenn for the day today.

Shanni brought this rocket plant down from her garden.

Most impressive eh?
I have it in a bowl on the bench and it is being well used by Shar.
He attacks it most meals and has it with tomato and cucumber and bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Tim got Matthew & Shar to dig up the septic tank system as he wants to put in a new tank.

I have been waking by 5am every day and working non-stop in the kitchen and office and by lunch time I am totaled.
I have been trying to either rest or sleep in the afternoons.
Just means I am not getting much done except cook and organise people.
I wake up with so many great intentions of what I want to achieve for the day and then in a blink of an eye my day is filled and I am exhausted

Tomorrow I am taking the kids out for their first day of term in town.
It is a quieter day as there is no piano till next week.
But my list is getting longer each hour.
Matthew is coming out with me as he has to travel on.
But he is making plans to return before leaving NZ which will be great if it all works out.
I have also just discovered the Safari needs a WoF so I have room to take out the 2 Israelis too which is good.
Only problem is I am so used to driving the Terrano it is really hard to go back to the manual gear box.

So much for having a more relaxing day tomorrow!
I am off to pack up my stuff and get myself off to bed.


Sunday, swimming and scallops

The bay was glorious when I got up.

  The girls were up during the night and early to feed Polly.
She is doing okay.
Had an infected eye but swabbing it with tea tree oil seems to be helping that problem.
Realising that it is not just the feeding that the pup misses out on from her Mum.
It is all the licking etc.
The bitch’s licking apparently stimulates the internal workings and without that the pup doesn’t poo or wee easily.
So the girls are having to be ‘Mum’.
No they are not licking!
They are using wet wipes and stroking the pup after feeds.

I put the corn & tomato relish into jars.

Then cooked up the mustard pickle.
Didn’t taste too great – very sour and very thick so I added a cup more sugar and water.
Made it much more palatable.
Don’t think I will bother with that recipe again though.

We had fellowship in the late morning.
An interesting discussion about taking responsibility for your own actions and reactions and not blaming others.

After lunch Tim took everyone out in the boat.
It was the last day of the scallop season.
Shanni has allowed me to use the following photos.
She has great perspective so I love to share hers when I can.
Thanks Shanni

Here she is with Leonie and Anna.
They have been spending a lot of time in the water this week.

Relaxing with my book and a cuppa.
I think Azzan got loose with the camera

On the boat.
The kids went swimming.
Azzan has no fear of the deep at all.
On with the gear and over we go Trev!

What out girls you might catch a bigger fish than you planned!

Leonie, Anna & Matthew being towed behind the boat as it steams along.

Then it’s Azzan’s turn

Keeping warm

Pulling up the scallop dredge and doing the measure and count part of the process.

Dolphins performing on the way home.

Azzan choreographing a dance to ‘Titanic’

The girls reenacting Titanic!

While they were gone I sat back in my rocking chair with my feet up and watched the whole dvd set of Daniel Deronda by George Elliot.
It was brilliant.
Don’t know how that classic has eluded me all these years.

The fisher folk didn’t return until after 7pm.
An Israeli couple arrived just as they were steaming into the bay.
Due to a misunderstanding on the phone – language breakdown
they came a week earlier than I intended.
So this week I will have to try and find enough work to occupy 5 wwoofers.
I am very glad Graham is here, Glen needs some help and that Anson is due home on Tuesday!

Tim & I didn’t end up getting to bed until near 11pm.
It is so hard to get Azzan settled early enough these days with all the late arvo/evenings so I let him sleep as long as he can in the mornings.
He doesn’t like to have afternoon nana naps with his mothers so he has to have some catch up time.