Sunday a day out but a very sad start to our day

Last night we had decided that if the southerly hadn’t come through already that we would go out in the boat for the day.
It was flat calm when we woke so I got up early and made some muffins while Tim heated the water enough for my shower.


While all this was happening I became aware that something was not right with a friend of mine.
After some majorly concerning moments I heard absolutely gutting news.
Our friend Nick ( he taught our children piano with such exuberance and fun last year)  died at 1am today from a severe and acute asthma attack.
He was only 34.
He was away up in Tauranga doing a gig last night so it is doubly hard on his family not to have been able to be with him.
I called up Sally and cried with her over the phone.
It is so hard to comprehend that he has gone even though we know he is now in a wonderful place and breathing easy and freely.
Sally, Jackson & Kashana – our hearts and prayers are with you all.
We will all miss Nick so much.
He was such a cheeky, happy, bright light in all the lives he touched.

Our day was already planned so by 9:30am we were out the door and away up the bay to pick up Nuana.
It was flat calm, cold and overcast.
We headed out to West Entry and stopped to fish for our lunch.
This photo is looking back towards home.
For those of you unfamiliar to the area – our homestead is in the middle of the picture.

There were seals lazing on the point.


Azzan wasn’t interested in fishing.

He had brought along a stash of Geronimo Stilton books to read.




Tim, Nuana & Mahalia put their lines over and were soon pulling up blue cod.

Mahalia had two good sized ones on at once and really struggled to get them on board.

A great catch!


Cook Strait was a millpond.


Lunch!

Once we had our quota of blue cod we headed off towards Okoha.
We went past the back of Pohuenui.
Some of our older children have grubbed these blocks in past years and now they are all regressing as the current managers are not carrying on with the weeding.
Such a shame.


I chuckled when I found both children engrossed in their books.
They really do choose interesting reading positions


We spent an enjoyable couple of hours over lunch with Joy & Tony.
But they were heading to town and we needed to get home before it got too late.
It was getting quite cold so at 3pm we headed down to the boat.
It was firmly embedded on the hard !!

So we had to wait for a while for the tide to come in enough to move it.
We went for a wander and found Phil.
He had just come back from laying a possum poison line.
We chatted a while out of the cold wind.

Nuana & the children went down to the beach.

I found them there gathering sucker fish.

They had made a wee pond and were transporting them all in to it.
Azzan had ideas of taking them home but I assured him they really needed to stay on this beach and that we had enough of our own!

They were also having fun chasing and catching crabs,




Finally after about 40mins Tim got the boat free and we were able to wave good-bye to Phil and head home.
We went past a heap of seals sleeping on top of mussel floats.
They looked so funny.


I worked on my embroidery while we traveled.
I bought it several years ago in a fit of enthusiasm but hadn’t done much with it.
I am now getting lots done.
Quite fun to see it growing.


Just before dark there were some breaks in the clouds and we saw a slight bit of blue trying to break through.
Hopefully tomorrow!


While Tim & Nuana fished for some dinner we were being watched by a couple of shags.
They were so fast.
Every time I went to take a photo they would dive down after a fish.
When Tim did a quick turn about in the boat he created some waves and one of the shags went surfing!


We arrived back just on dark.
Nathan was phoning as I walked in the door so after catching up with him and Bri I put a quick dinner on.
We ate it while watching the last of the Dr Quinn movies.
Now it is bedtime.
It has been a long and emotional day.

A sunny Saturday

I woke quite early so snuck out of bed and spent some time cleaning my art desk.
It hasn’t seen me in a very long time so was in rather a mess.

At 6:30am a small boy staggered out with very blurry eyes asking if he could have a spa.
Apparently he couldn’t sleep either.
Then as soon as he had his dip he was at the study door asking me if he could pack his picnic lunch.
He and Mahalia were planning on taking a picnic up to their new huts.
I thought it was a tad early to be thinking of that but acquiesced to his wishes and told him to be very quiet and not wake Hali & Daddy and I would come out and help him in a mo.

When I got out to the kitchen I found two young’uns getting their picnic organised.
Mahalia was awake already and was making bread so they would have fresh bread sandwiches.
Azzan had given up the idea of lunch and was busy making his breakfast

The picnic seemed to get postponed later and later as the morning progressed.
They got engrossed playing their new ClueFinders reading game.
I sat with them for a while to help with the ‘noun, verb & adjective’ game.
But Azzan was doing so well with it that I left them to play.

When it was Mahalia’s turn I sat with Azzan and began reading from his Apologia Human Anatomy book.
It is really interesting.
The first experiment he had to do was to take 2 apples and peel them.
Bury one in a mixture of baking soda and salt and leave the other in a bowl.
They have to stay there for a week and then he will gain an understanding of the Egyptian method of mummification I am guessing!
As we are short on apples we used one apple cut in half.
There was some debate as to whether this was a kosher thing to do to the experiment but I assured him it would work just as well to get the anticipated results.

After he had fixed his chainsaw Tim took the children out to pick up a load of firewood.
Wanda & Brent came to say goodbye at the same time so it was a mass exodus.
It was such a lovely sunny day.
The rooster was strutting along the top of the old gate – he appeared to be lording it over the duck!

A gorgeous cyclamen was blooming in a pot under Nathan’s steps.
It is such a lovely splash of colour.

Mahalia put Tinga out into the sun before she left.
He is finally back to his normal noisy aggressive self.
It has been sorta pleasant having him quiet and passive.
It is quite a shock to our eardrums to have him back to normal again

He enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air.
He is really getting into his water baths and fresh fruit again.
Makes such a mess about the place – I am very glad that we can get him outside for a while during the day now.

Tim and the children came back for a quick snack and then took the load of firewood over to Waterfall Bay.
They were on a promise of an ice cream if they helped load and unload.
They were in high spirits so it wasn’t too much bother to them.
It is great to have them back to normal too.
It has been a very subdued holidays with them and Tinga not being well.

Tim helped Nuana greet the fishing party.
They gave him a paua which he brought home and cooked up for my dinner.
It was delicious.
He eats the guts – I know they are only seaweed but I cannot bring myself to eat them.
I let him enjoy that part of it!!
This is the inside of the shell.
Isn’t it pretty?

This is a very interesting website with lots of info about the NZ paua.

We had a night at the movies while we ate our dinner.
We watched the Dr Quinn: The Movie.
It was really good.
Full of action and suspense.
Azzan was full of questions.
So it was a ‘question, pause, answer, go,’  ‘question, pause, answer, go’ movie night

Our week – 26 – 29 July

Tuesday 26 July

Was really cold.
I do not function when I am cold.
The fires just couldn’t seem to warm me up.
Tim spent the day working on the farm truck.
Brent & Wanda are staying in their campervan and we don’t see them till later in the morning.
Brent has CFS so has to pace himself.
I did some house and office work and then socialised with Wanda.
Later in the arvo Tim took Brent & Wanda and Mahalia out fishing.
They caught blue cod for dinner.
It was delicious.

Wednesday 27 July

Still cold but weather changing.
I had my early morning spa to warm up and read my book for a while.
It does help to warm the bones so I can begin my day feeling somewhat more motivated.
I had gst to do so moved the big heater into my study and hid in here for most of the day.
Managed to get it finished without too much stress.
Only one wee problem happened when I was paying.
I went and filed one of the payments under GAP (GST & Provisional Tax) instead of GST (Goods & Services Tax) – duh!
So I made a quick call to the IRD and got that sorted.
I don’t ever seem to be able to get it done without making at least one blunder
Tim & Brent have been opening gates, moving sheep and clearing fallen trees from the farm tracks this week.
Tim hadn’t realised that there were the trees down but thankfully the American family had found them while out walking as well as a slip which he has since cleared too.
After dinner Tim & I curled up by the fire and watched a few episodes of ‘Dr Quinn’.

We are nearly at the end of Season 6.
What to do when it is finished???
They have all become such good friends

Thursday 28 July

I decided that now the tax was finished with – for at least this month, that I should have a go at getting some school work underway.
We dragged out the large box of project work that has been unfinished for far far too long.
Mahalia & Azzan’s Australian projects.
I spent time with Mahalia finding more photos for hers – thank goodness for this blog and Facebook – I didn’t have to go sorting through all the cd’s of photos to find the originals!!
We printed off several pages for her to use.
By this time Azzan had lost interest and it was lunch time so not a lot more got done.
Everyone had lunch while I was busy.
Meals around here this week have been a bit haphazard.
Due to several factors.
1 – I am usually cooking for vast numbers so when it is just us I tend to go on strike and we fend for ourselves and eat when & what we feel like.
2 – Brent & Wanda are gluten free so Wanda has been providing food for them and any meals have been pretty simple.
3 – I am on Weight Watchers so am trying really really hard this week while I am at home to not eat over my limit in points.
4 – I have been busy doing other stuff and have not been spending time in the kitchen.
5 – Tim & kids have been sick and the kids are not really back to eating properly yet – their tummies are still very picky.

A group fathers & sons arrived by boat to stay in The Cottage for a couple of nights.
The bay had been white most of the day but thankfully it calmed down by the time they arrived.

Tim, Brent & Nuana went out fishing .
I started making my lunch in the early arvo and then had a phone call to make.
I needed to call Angela and pick her brains about the science curriculum I am about to start using.
We had a really good talk.
By the time we finished it was 5pm and I still hadn’t eaten my lunch.
So I finished making it and then sat & watched ‘Dr Quinn’.
Wanda organised the veges for dinner and Tim cooked the fish.
As I had only just had lunch I did some other stuff and then washed the dinner dishes before crashing out with the kids to watch some more of Dr Quinn.
Tim watched some with us.
We didn’t end up heading off to bed till around 10pm.

Friday 29 July

It has been a really nice time having just two youngest at home.
Even though they have been sick it has been very relaxed – despite the gst
Because we have been having later nights everyone is sleeping in later int he mornings.
It is good not to have the pressure of having to be up to organise wwoofers so I am quite glad the 2 guys never arrived.
Although I am still annoyed that they didn’t have the manners to actually phone and tell us!

This morning we had visitors.
A very large pod of dolphins came leaping around Cape Horn, inside the mussel farm and over to our boat.





They circled it and then headed back the way they came.



I followed them and took heaps of photos on hi speed burst only to have them start leaping right up out of the water as soon as I turned off my camera and walked away.
They were still pretty impressive to watch anyway!

I was so wanting to get some school work done today but once again I got buried by paper work in the study.
I was feeling really down and depressed when I finally made it out to the kitchen just before midday.
I still had washing to hang out and breakfast to eat.
So the washing got dumped in the dryer – despite the fact it had been a good drying day outside.
And I ate my breakfast at midday and had lunch mid arvo while reading the mail and papers after the mailboat had been.
Wanda brought her travel diary in to show the kids what she had been doing around the South Island.
It has given me some ideas of what we can do in a few months when we take the children for a holiday.

The children were delighted to receive a couple of new ClueFinders cd’s so spent some time on the computer sussing them out.
The one they had really wanted was The Incredible Toy Store Adventure – but they found that a bit too hard yet.
The  Reading Adventures one was good.
It provoked a discussion at the table.
Azzan was saying he found the game a bit hard cuz they had to sort out the nouns and verbs etc.
So we had a chat about what they are and then what adjectives and adverbs are and how to tell them in a sentence.
He asked about he and she and they.
I started to say they were pronouns and he butted in saying he knew what they were –  ‘Protons.’!!!
I guess there is some similarities between science and english!!

Shanni text me to say she was home at Jesika’s and could Skype so I chatted with her for a while.
But when I went to find the children to come talk too, all I found was a wide open backdoor and fires almost out.
They had gone walking with the puppy.
So much for trying to keep the living room warm

The sunset was amazing tonight.
It was reflecting across the sky and the clouds were beautiful in a very threatening manner.
Maybe the forecast is correct – a storm is on its way.


Tim had a roast in the oven so I chucked a stirfry together.
I had already made a rice pudding so I made sure I had plenty of room left for that.
I absolutely LOVE the Moosewood Cookbook brown rice pudding

Once Tim had the children settled down for the night we watched the last episodes of Dr Quinn.
It has been a wonderful journey.
We have 2 of the movies to watch and then it is all done.
But I really feel I could sit and watch it all over again.

A very White NZ Monday

We woke this morning to news bulletins about snow storms in many parts of New Zealand.
It was down to sea level in places it has hardly been before.
Motueka, Nelson & Mapua!
Christchurch.
Kaikoura, Rai Valley.
The bottom of the South Island was pretty much iced up.
Snow was blocking so many roads and people were being warned about black ice and not to go out unless it was absolutely imperative.
The snow was moving up the North Island as well.
I spent some time looking at all the photos on the news and Facebook.
It was amazing.
We had no snow here – could only see a light dusting across the bay on Mt Stokes.
And yet on either side of us, not too far away it was thick as!!

We have had the fires blazing to try and keep warm.
And the heaters going to.
I wallowed in the spa with my book for a while.
Tim played cards with Azzan.
Nuana arrived around quite early.
She was a great help.
Folded all the washing and then got The Cottage all ready for me.
I got all the accounts filed at long last.
I have the gst to do and it has to be done in the next couple of days but I have been busy, away and totally  not at all in the mood to do them.
After I got all the invoices filed I then spent some time clearing out junk and rubbish in the study.
Filed some more papers.
Am now making room to begin the actually gst attack!!
Maybe tomorrow might do it.

The sun is coming back very quickly now.
It was on the deck today.
Azzan decided to go downothe wharf and sunbathe.
He took a towel and several books.
He wasn’t down there long.
I found him huddled up on the sofa trying to warm up by the fire.
He was blue!
His comment – ‘There was lots of light but it was all cold‘!

While I was busy in the study I asked Azzan to peel the potatoes for dinner.
I was intending to boil & mash them.
He came to me and told me he had them all cut up for crispy baked potatoes and had already put fresh rosemary and mixed herbs on them.
He was so proud that he had got them all ready on his own and only needed Mahalia to help him get them into the oven.
They were so delicious too

Tonight Brent & Wanda arrived in their campervan.
They have been doing a tiki tour around the South Island for 3 months and are now on their way home.
It is a few years since they were last here so it was a lovely evening catching up with them.
I was also expecting 2 wwoofers but they never arrived.
Never even phoned which I thought was pretty darned rude.
Esp as I had dinner ready for them.

So apart from all the excitement and news of the snow nothing major happened here today.

Tinga

Tinga is recovering well after his hot water bath.
He is today beginning to squawk and be demanding as he ever used to be.
Mahalia let him drink from her glass and he made a really good shower out of it!!

You can see him in action in this movie.

July 22 – 24th

Friday


This is the view I woke to.
Fresh snow all along the Nelson ranges.
Glistening in the early morning sun.
Glorious!

I was up and away from the house nice and early.
So easy when there is only me to get ready!
I had a couple of things I had to do before my 9:30am appointment with the chiropractor.
Haven’t been to see him for many many months due to me and him being busy.
He was running late as usual despite the morning still being early.
So once I finally got in to see him and he sorted out my shoulder etc I was runny really late for my 10am appointment at Nelson Beauty Therapy.
Bedelia was great though and did when she could with the time we had available.
From there I went over to Victory Square Cafe and met up with Margaret for Devonshire Tea.
We had a delightful couple of hours chatting.
Not too often that we are both child free
I was waiting to hear from the lawyer as to when I could pick up the house key so was in a bit of  a limbo state.
I had the Terrano full of things to unload and I wanted to go look at a wee fridge but couldn’t get it in my already full vehicle.
So Margaret suggested I park up and then she would take me in her van.
So we trundled on out to Stoke and had a look at the fridge.
It was perfect.
We loaded it in the back of her van and headed back to town.
I took the Terrano and went to do a few more jobs.
While i was getting groceries I got word to say I could go pick up the key.
I got that and headed off to the house.
Phoebe & her family were not yet in town so I unloaded all the stuff I had brought out to make their stay a bit more comfortable.
Then Margaret and the girls brought the fridge out.
We unloaded that and then Phoebe, Nicky, Madi & Jasper, John & Max arrived.
Just after Margaret left Rose & Graham arrived with the trailer full of furniture they had taken out from home on Sunday.
We unloaded that and they had a we look see before leaving.
Thanks so much to you all for your help – I really appreciated being able to get all the things out and into the house,
They did make it seem so much more homely.

Phoebe showed her family around as it was their first time of seeing it.
We chatted a while and then Nicky took the boys to go find some food.
I left to get groceries.
I was undecided as to what I was going to do.
I had planned to stay over night but felt I wasn’t really needed any more so got myself a hamburger for tea and left town.
I popped in to say goodbye to Nicky first so didn’t end up leaving until about 9:20pm.
I got home at midnight.
It was a pretty cold, windy, wild night out.
I unpacked what I needed and crept into bed.
No-one heard me and Tim didn’t even realise I was home til around 4am!!

Saturday

The children were really happy to see me home.
They hadn’t expected me till Sat night.
We unpacked and got the groceries sorted.
It was cold and they were still not feeling great so we had a quiet day.
I played Monopoly Deal with Azzan using the new pack I had brought home.
I just had to take this photo as proof that I won – twice!!!
Actually I was still winning in this shot and Azzan was not terribly happy with me but as he wins 98% of the time I thought it was pretty darn good


The American family were still there.
Unfortunately there wasn’t much they could help with due to the weather.
Jeff was helping Tim with clearing the road that was blocked by all the fallen trees several storms ago!
The girls helped Mahalia to clean out the chicken house and the avairy which she was very grateful for.
I made a delicious macaroni cheese for dinner.
It had veges & bacon and lots of cheese and was very, very tasty!
I also made a lemon meringue pie.
It was really good


After dinner we all played cards.

Jeff, Catherine & Larry.

Mary opted out of cards and helped do the dishes.

It was a fun night – we were sad as it was their last night with us.

Sunday

The wind had dropped right away so it was calm enough for the water taxi to come and pick up the Lacksens.
We had a quick photo session before they hopped on board and headed back out to their campervan.


We crashed out on the sofa for the rest of the day and watched copious amounts of ‘Dr Quinn’ for the rest of the day.
Even Tim watched a few episodes!
It was a nice relaxing day.
Just what we all needed.


Azzan was not well still and was wandering about aimlessly.
When I gave him some jobs to do he collapsed in a wee heap.
So I sent him off to bed for a rest.
When we were about to have dinner I went to find him.
He was sound asleep.
Most unusual for him so he really must have needed it.
He got up and had a drink of water and went back to bed again.
Tim went to bed around 9:30am.
A few moments later I heard a strange noise.
It sounded like Tim was outside moving the farm truck.
I thought it was the beginning of an earthquake but there was no jolt.
However I found out later it was a 5.1 quake centred not too far north of us but 120km deep and it was felt right throughout New Zealand!
Mahalia & I watched some more of the series and fell into bed around 10:30pm.



19th July – 21st July

Tuesday

It was the most gorgeously calm day.
The bay was like a mirror.


Mahalia & Azzan helped me get the house cleaned up.
We zipped about and got lots done.
Azzan decided to move his bed which meant his room turned into a tip again!
Mahalia helped him when she could.
She shook her head sadly when I asked if she had managed to get him to through anything out.
Apparently everything we very much needed

I made some very delicious lemon muffins.
Our American wwoofers arrived by water taxi at 10:30am.
A family of 6 – 4 children ages 20, 18, 17 & 15.
They got settled into The Cottage and then came up for tea and muffins and a get to know each other session.
That took a couple of hours.
They are a really lovely family from Georgia.

About 1pm we decided we should have lunch so they went back to The Cottage and I fed Tim and the kids.
Then afterwards the guys helped Tim with some wharf building.


I spent all afternoon cooking.
I was wanting to get as much done as possible because I knew I was heading to town Thursday and Mahalia would have to take over for me.
I made a pot of vege soup, 2 large fish pies, a beef casserole in the slow cooker, a large meatdish full of mince casserole, butterscotch self-saucing pudding, cut up carrots and onions to go into the casseroles and also extras for other meals, stuffed marrow, made leeks in a white sauce, cut up pumpkins for several meals and peeled potatoes.

We ate one of the fish pies for dinner with carrots sticks and mashed potatoes and the pudding.
The extra pie went into the freezer for another day
It is always hard to gauge what new folks appetites are going to be so I like to over cater to be on the safe side.
It never goes to waste!

We had a lovely evening playing talking and the kids plays cards with Mahalia & Azzan.
They went to bed much later than normal because they were having so much fun.

Wednesday

Azzan was vomiting most of the day so he stayed fairly quiet.
Mahalia was also very quiet but she didn’t start vomiting until later in the evening.
It seems that young Levi was rather generous with his tummy bug before he left
Azzan really didn’t know what to do with himself.
I wanted him to lie quietly but he was very restless.
I did manage to get them both off to bed before we had dinner although that’s when the bug hit Mahalia and she was back and forth to the bathroom.
Thankfully they both slept through the night and woke feeling somewhat better in the morning.

The girls spent some time weeding the flower garden.
The men worked on the wharf.
I made a large carrot cake and a fruit crumble – both would last for deserts for several nights.
I had the large dish mince casserole in the outside fridge on the bottom shelf.
Decided to put the beef casserole in there too as it wasn’t going to be used for another day.
When I put it in the shelf collapsed and the container crashed down on the other one and that shelf collapsed too.
I managed to catch it all but lost quite a bit of the beef casserole.
I held it all up and yelled for Mahalia to come and help me.
We cleaned up and saved what we could.
She took parts of the fridge inside to wash them.
I got the high pressure hose and opened up the wash house doors and water blasted the mess!!
Cleaned out the fridge and then proceeded to clean down all the concrete outside the back door.
It took a while.
I needed to stay out of the kitchen!!
Mahalia had cleaned the fridge shelves by the time I got back inside.
I then repacked the inside fridge and put everything in there – it has stronger shelving.
That was a drama I really didn’t need
My day had been going pretty good till then.

Just before this all happened Tim took the wwoofers out fishing.
So for dinner, instead of the roast beef I was cooking, we had fresh blue cod.
It was delicious.
We had it with roast potatoes and pumpkin, stuffed marrow and leeks in white sauce.
All the veges except the spuds, were new to the Americans!
They enjoyed them all immensely.
It was a much quieter meal without our two.



Thursday


The weather has taken a turn for the worse again.
It is cold and very windy.
Azzan & Mahalia were feeling a bit better this morning.
They enjoyed flat lemonade – still not much appetite.

I packed up for town.
Tim changed the filter on the Terrano.
Once he was finished I loaded up with some stuff for Phoebe & Seb’s house and left soon after 11am.
It was a very windy trip out.
I caught some very strong gusts on the ridge tops.
Nelson wasn’t quite so bad and it was a bit warmer.
I dropped my gear off at the house and then took the Terrano out to the auto transmission guys so they could check out what was causing my gears to malfunction.
I picked up Nuana’s car to use while they were doing that.
I only managed to get a couple of jobs done out in Richmond before they called me up to say they couldn’t fix the problem and I would have to take it to an auto electrician.
So I took Nuana’s car back and picked up the Terrano and buzzed back into town.
Got the library books sorted and then headed to my 4pm appointment with my counselor.
That went okay, I have a lot of stuff to process and am really trying to work things through.
Today I felt like I didn’t make a lot of progress, slightly frustrated.
Maybe it’s time I had a change?


I went back into the city centre from there.
Just had time to dash into Farmers and catch the toy sale.
We needed a new set of Monopoly Deal as ours is getting very worn out.
They were such a good price I bought two packs plus a couple other card games that looked fun.
They are selling for $20 a pack in Paper Plus & I go them for $6.99 in the sale – too good a bargain t miss!!
Sasha biked in to meet me.
She pulled her bike to bits and chucked it on the back seat.
We went and spent a couple of hours over dinner at Plan B.
The food was good and the company was great
After we had eaten our fill and talked enough I took Sasha back home and left stuff in their freezer before coming back to the house to sleep.
I am all by myself tonight.

It is really nice to have some quiet time just on my own.

I talked to Tim and heard that Mahalia did a brilliant job with dinner.
She got all the vegetables cooked in time and the casserole heated.
Apparently the carrot cake was a hit and dinner went very smoothly.
She is becoming a great asset in the kitchen