Azzan got loose with my camera on Monday!

Monday 31st October 
A glorious day again.
I woke early and made cards for an hour or too.
Then after breakfast…..
I was stuck in the study all day.
I was determined to make some clearance.
Just so tired of the paper war.
It is a continuous battle.
I did make a lot of progress but by 4 o’clockish I was absolutely exhausted.
I collapsed on the couch and watched a couple of episodes of Midsomer Murders.
I just needed some complete brain release.

I was so pleased with the kids.
Shanni especially did a brilliant job of cleaning the house and cooking lunch and dinner for us.
Mahalia cleaned the bathroom & her bedroom.
Azzan vacuumed the lounge, tidied up the outdoor footwear and cleaned his room.

Tim & Gavin worked on the wharf and shed all day.
Tim is on a mission so is going for it!!

Azzan wanted to use my camera so I let him take it.
Then he came in wanting to take a photo of a bumble bee so I showed him how to use macro.
After I deleted a heap of randoms and blurry pics here is what was left.
I thought he did really well and had some really interesting perspectives on life here.

Sunny Sunday

Sunday was a glorious day.
Just perfect for relaxing.
The temperatures were way up there.
Well over 20’C – in fact more like 25’C at least.
Languishing weather.

The cats found the perfect spot.
No wonder my grass always looks rather squished

Sandy, Barry & Andrew went boating & fishing.
They were leaving after lunch and then the call of the fish lured them back into the dinghy again.

Gavin went out to do some mussel harvesting with Noel.
The children went swimming with him before he left.

I did the necessary chores and then relaxed in the sun.
Went to bed for a rest with my book in the arvo.
Tim joined me later on and had a snooze.
I got up then and made some cards.

Azzan found an old pair of reading glasses and decided to try looking nerdish!

He succeeded

Nathan cooked.
It was nice not to have to think about dinner.
Dinner was extremely late again.
Sometimes I really hate the daylight saving and long evenings.
The kids get so tired.
Come to that – so do we

I’m reading a book at present called ‘Catherine Wheels’.
It is really slow and depressing.
But I keep reading in the hopes that something positive is going to happen.
It hasn’t yet

A lovely calm day at home

Just as I was sending kids off to bed last night I got a call from some folks who were coming to stay for the weekend in The Cottage.
I had totally forgotten they were coming so I was very glad to get half an hours warning!!
I sent Nathan down to light the fire and make the place a bit more welcoming.

It was 9:30pm when they finally arrived.
Tim was so tired he went off to shower and go to bed.
Nathan & Gavin got them sorted and we all headed off to bed.

This morning we woke to a mirror calm bay.
In fact it stayed like this all day.

Tim and Gavin worked on the wharf all day.
It was perfect weather for it.

Shanni went off fishing in her dinghy this morning and came back with a nice catch of assorted varieties.
She cooked them up for lunch.

I did some One Day School with Azzan on the computer.
That went quite well but I can see we will have to do it in short small chunks.

Sandy, Gavin & Andrew came up to say hullo and had a cuppa with me.
(We met Sandy when she cut Tim’s hair back in September.
We got on really well and invited her and Barry down to visit.)
The guys went down to  meet up with Tim.
After lunch Sandy got my hair cutting scissors into action.
She is a hairdresser and barber with 30 years under her belt.
She is also Welsh and a real hard case lady!!
Her visit was well timed cuz both boys had been asking me for a haircut.
Tim to stop for a pose

and a cuddle!

After lunch Shanni took Sandy, Barry & Andrew out fishing for a few hours.
The tales told tonight sound as if they had a rather hilarious time.
They caught fish and tangled lines and had lots of laughs

Tonight the bay was still calm, the temperatures warm and despite the late-ish hour the beach was still very inviting.
Mahalia & Azzan were around playing on the rocks.
Gavin & Barry talking on the wharf while Tim is rowing in.

Azzan & Gavin went for a swim.
Gavin was in first and waiting underneath for Azzan to jump.
It was so funny listening to Azzan trying to talk himself into jumping.
He was worried it would be cold.

Finally he jumped.

That’s Gavin’s splash under the wharf!!

Apparently it was quite pleasant.

But Azzan did make a beeline to the spa to warm up afterwards.
Mahalia soaked in there with him too.

I went to bed for a rest this arvo.
Watched The Lovely Bones.
Then got up and made dinner.
Decided to make Lemon Meringue Pie.
It was delicious.
I invited the Cottage folk to join us for dessert.
It was a big hit.
There was much craziness and laughter.
Mind you when Sandy is around everything is fun

A week’s worth of update!!

Monday 24th October

I was getting a bit concerned as to the condition of Waterfall Bay gardens because the spring weather has really activated the plant growth around here.
So Tim took the 3 wwoofers & Shanni over to work for the day.
The girls weeded the gardens.
Shanni checked out the shop products, can’t have outdated stock on the shelves.
Tim cleaned up the bird mess on the decks and organised nets to prevent them from returning there.
Gavin mowed lawns.
Apparently there are a few of our neighbour’s ewes and lambs there which Tim assures me are doing a good job of keeping the place under control.
Personally I am really worried about the damage they may be doing.
But being of the male variety Tim is happy with their pruning abilities cuz it saves him work 

They cleaned up the vege garden and Shanni brought home there radish plants.
Most impressive aren’t they?
She’s in there under them somewhere!

There was also a large bucket of silver beet, some rhubarb and parsley.
Most of the silver beet leaves were huge!

Needless to say, we had a good feed of it for dinner that night.

Gavin has been weedeating the orchard and around the vege garden when he gets some spare moments so the place is starting to look nice and tidy.
He and Tim have been doing stock work, mussel work and woolshed & wharf building throughout the week.

Tuesday 25th October

Maren finished weeding the last of the front rock garden.
Marie weeded the rhubarb patch.
Then Shanni set them alight in the vege garden.

I had quite a bad day.
Not too sure why yet but I am starting to see a pattern.
Tuesdays seem to be not good days for/to me.
I was also really tired and achey.
I was feeling completely overwhelmed.
But I am making progress.
I didn’t totally lose the plot like I usually do, I just had a tearful breakdown at some stage through the day when things got too much for me.
Then I moved on.

Tim and Gavin worked on the mussel harvester most of the afternoon.
We had dinner earlier cuz they weren’t expecting to be in till late-ish – and they weren’t.

Wednesday 26th October

The girls finished weeding the vege garden.
The weather forecast was for a heavy band of rain to come over in the afternoon so we were wanting to get the outdoor jobs done asap.
It arrived right on target.
Tim was delighted.
It was a really good steady rain.
Enough to cancel mussel harvesting.
Shanni cooked all morning.
She made heaps of mushroom & silverbeet frittata and some gluten free brownie.

We had Dean & Merv come to visit in the morning by boat.
We sat and discussed business with them for a couple of hours.
I was busy trying to clear the paper piles in the study and get ready for town.
Had to gather up all Anson’s accounts to take to the accountant.
That was one good decision I had made – not to try and get them done.
It would’ve totally stressed me out so I asked/told the accountants to sort them this time.
Next time he will be home and he can start learning how to do them himself.
I also spent some time having a look around Azzan’s site for his Online One Day School programme.
He was busy and not interested when I was doing it but I thought it would be good to try and get a handle on it all before he gets in there.
It really looks interesting so I do hope he enjoyes it.
It will stretch him which is what he is needing and wanting.

Then Simon & Das arrived by car in the pouring rain and fog.
They did get lost but finally turned up in the late arvo.
They were also coming to talk business.
I let Tim discuss most of it and just stayed on the periphery.

We had a very tasty dinner.
I made a mega mud puddle cake but it didn’t turn out that great.
Still edible though and enjoyed, so that is the main thing.
Said good bye to Marie & Maren as we were leaving before they would be up in the morning, then chatted with Sally on the phone for a while before heading off to bed.
I was really tired.

Thursday 27th October
I was up early.
Gathered up Nathan & Shanni and left at 6am for a day in Nelson.
We had a scheduled day with some appointments.
Nathan was measured for his suit for the wedding then he went to NMIT and spent the day there as a ‘Student for the Day’ with the Social Working class.
He really enjoyed it.
Could be some interesting possibilities there for him in the future.

I left Shanni at Katherine’s and they went to clarinet lessons together.
Shanni stayed with the Winnington’s until I picked her up around 5pm.
At 1:30pm I shot out to Richmond and enjoyed a delicious lunch in the sun with Sally the the kids at Ambrosia.
It was such a gorgeous day.
The temperatures were sposed to hit 17’C and I am sure they did and more.
In fact it was still 14’C when we left town at 7pm.

After lunch Sally helped me sort out some new glasses frames at SpecSavers then left me to sort out the finite details.
Even there they are crazily expensive but at least I get a spare pair for free – gotta be some bonus eh?
I popped into Pak’n’Save to get some groceries but ended up leaving with very little.
I totally hate shopping there and the prices are not actually that cheap.
So I headed back towards town.
Stopped off to see Estelle for half an hour.
Nice to sit and chat in peace and quiet.
And it was also nice not to have the pressure of running around after 4 of the kids.
The two older ones are at a stage now that they can walk to lessons and get to a lot of their appointments without my assistance.

Then at 5pm I picked up Shanni and Nathan – he had been waiting at the library.
Whizzed into The Warehouse and Countdown, fueled up the Terrano and then stopped in to see Seb &Phoebe on the way out of town.
Phoebe is so excited about getting the garden under control and has some lovely ideas to create privacy for them.
It will be hard when both of them have been used to country living, to now be sandwiched with neighbours breathing over the back fences!!
Nathan heated up a frozen pizza I had bought and ate it while chatting to his big bro.
We finally left there at 8pm.
Nathan drove over to Rai Valley and then I drove the rest of the way.
I got a real bad stomach ache and ended up being up until 1am with it.

Marie & Maren left a few hours after we did to continue their travels in NZ.
While we were away Mahalia & Azzan carried on tidying up the school room.
Mahalia is doing a brilliant job of sorting all the toys.

Friday 28th October
A bit of a slow day today.
It has rained off an on all day.
I lazed in the spa for a while with my book.
Finally finished it.
It is a large trilogy of stories by Tracie Paterson which I have been enjoying over the past week.

I am really tired and so is Shanni.
I have managed to get her to go to bed for an arvo rest.
As soon as I have finished this update I am going to find my bed too.

We unpacked the Terrano and sorted out all the groceries etc.
I cleaned out the fridge drawer.
Also started sorting out my clothes.
Am trying to get them into the drawers and wardrobe but not having much luck.
My energy levels sorta peter out before I get too far with the job

Azzan found the box of Polly Pockets so got them out and organised baths for all the dolls.

Who says dolls are not for boys.
He gets lots of fun from them too.

The mailboat came.
Brought a lovely gift for me from Alex in IK.
Series One of ‘Downton Abbey’ – I am so looking forward to kicking back and enjoying this series.
Thanks so much Alex
Looking forward to your return to NZ in Oct – maybe Series 2 will be out then

Tim & Gavin went up to Waterfall Bay in the boat before spending an hour or so doing some mussel work.
After lunch it was precipitating lightly so they worked in the woolshed and around the wharf.
Tim is working on the steps of the wharf now so is nutting out how he is going to build them.
He brought the barge over for a work platform.

This arvo Mahalia & Azzan watched ‘Eregon’.
Shanni went to bed with the dvd player and watched some more of ‘Little House on the Prairie’.
Nathan gave the kitchen a good sweep for me.
He spent some time trying to update his computer but lucked out and is going to have to seek some help.
He is also having a chilled out day.
Dinner will be very easy tonight.
Eggs & chips and salad 

Happy 16th Birthday Nathan :-)

23rd October 1990.
We were blessed with the arrival of a cute wee man right here at home.
And now 16 years later we are celebrating Nathan’s birthday..

His day was fairly relaxed as he was in recovery from camp.
I made a large pot of macaroni cheese for lunch as a special treat.
Then dinner!

After the main course which was devoured with great gusto I brought out the cake.
A carrot cake.
Very delicious.

Happy Birthday Nathan 

Trying to blow out the candles.
6 + 10 = 16
but only 11 candles to blow.

Some were relighting so Nathan extinguished them with wet fingers.
Then there was soot all over the cake and his fingers – nice one Nate

Pressie time.
A watch and a defensive driving course from Ma & Pa.
He likes the watch

And some smellies.
Can’t have a blokes birthday without smellies can we?

Seb & Phoebe gave him their pressie – a cool western mug & voucher.
(Not too sure which of my wee darlings took this photo but I thought it was cute )

Plus a gold dollar.
Makes a nice badge

And the box is fun to play with!!

Hope your year ahead is very blessed Natey Joel.
Love you heaps

Go the All Blacks!!!!!

Saturday 22nd Oct

Nathan & Shannie caught the 7:30am bus from Waipara on Saturday morning.
It was a wettish sort of day.
Just the right kind of day for traveling.
They had had a brilliant week at camp and were very tired so happy to sleep the journey away.

Tim was in Nelson.
He spent the morning buzzing about getting the jobs on his list done.
He picked up Mahalia in the late morning and went through to Rai Valley to pick up the kids.
The bus was held up in Blenheim for half an hour so they had quite a long wait.

At home here the wwoofers were in action.
Despite the precipitation they headed out into the garden.
Gavin weeded with the girls for a while.
He had other jobs to do but it got too wet.
Maren took a break when the rain set in and cleaned out one of my linen cupboards.
Always good to have them tidied

Tim arrived back home in the late arvo.
Seb & Phoebe got here around the same time.
They all unpacked and got sorted.

Sunday 23rd Oct

Seb & Phoebe went out in the dinghy for the day.
It was flat calm although low cloud and overcast and it came in with a light drizzle during the middle of the day.

Gavin & the girls peeled a heap of carrots for me first.
I am so over the carrots of today.
Whatever they do to them is disgusting.
They just do not keep.
They are cleaned with something which seems to make them go all slimy very quickly and then the moisture turns to rot.
It is very yuck and I hate it.
Am trying to talk Shanni into growing more carrots.
Trouble is we don’t have enough space or length of growing season to supply us with enough.

Marie & Maren did some weeding in the front rock garden and have almost finished it now.
I made a card for Nathan’s birthday.
Got dinner underway.
Tim cooked a roast of mutton in the wood stove and a pot roast of pork in the slow cooker.
I did mashed carrots with parsley, baked pumpkin and boiled potatoes.
I had made a carrot cake on Saturday so iced it for dessert.

We had an enjoyable birthday dinner for Nathan.
(see next entry for pics)

Then we put the children to bed and headed off around to the Croft to watch the final match of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
It was All Blacks vs French.
Christine & Les drove in to Bush Inn in the arvo so they walked around to watch it with us.
It was the most intense 80 minutes.
Nail biting, gut wrenching, just had to watch and hope and hope and pray!
The French really rose to the occasion and fought valiantly.
The All Blacks had to really work hard.
But the night was finally won by the All Blacks – by 1 point!
NZ 8 – France 7
The Webb Ellis trophy is New Zealand’s again – first time in 24 years
The whole country went mad with excitement.
Auckland streets were alive in celebration.

What a buzz to try and sleep on!!

A slice of creativity

I have been pottering away at making some cards over the past few days.
Just done a little every now and then as I have felt the urge and energy to create.

I made this one for Nathan’s 16th birthday.

And the rest I was just cruising around playing with Cuttlebug backgrounds and some new stamps.
Well, sorta new. I have actually had them for ages but they have been sitting unused due to my creative drought.

And this one was a boring card that I didn’t like and had been sitting in my pile for so long.
I had refused to give it to anyone cuz I just didn’t like it.
Then someone suggested I pull it to pieces and add some colour etc.
I did that and am much happier with it.

Fantasically warm Friday

Today was so incredibly warm.
Everytime I went outside it felt so balmy.
Such crazy weather these days but we make the most of the delicious warmth while we have it..

The girls spent their day weeding the rock garden.
I went down to pick some comfrey and told them they looked like a couple of garden gnomes perched in the rock beds

I couldn’t find any later transport out for Lily so she had to leave with Tim today.
Mahalia pleaded to go out with them and stay with Lily for the night.
I told Hali she could go as long as her room was cleaned up first.
They went out mustering with Tim & Gavin first and then came back to pack up their gear.

Azzan was really peaky this morning, unhappy cuz the girls had pulled his blankets off him when he really wanted to stay in bed,and not feeling much like eating.
I prodded his appetite by making him poached eggs for breakfast.
He loved that,

Once I had the washing on and Azzan sorted I shot up the hill to help Tim load Seb’s stuff on the truck.
I managed to get as much on as possible to make it easier for Seb when he comes to get the rest.

It was 11:15am by this time and Tim was anxious to get going.
I flew down to the house and made sandwiches for them for lunch and hurried the girls to get a move along.
They have no concept of time and I know that when Tim is on a mission we all have to move!

They were gone by 11:45am.
Gavin hopped in and went up the hill to help load the sheep on the trailer.
Tim was taking a load out to sell then going to pick up wharf timber from Motueka and then coming back to Nelson to drop off the girls and then have dinner and stay with Seb & Phoebe for the night.

Gavin & the girls finally came in for lunch around 2pm.
After lunch the girls and Azzan helped Gavin stack firewood in the shed while he chainsawed it.
Then they all got ready to go kayaking.
Azzan was adamant he was going in his own kayak.

He took off first in the yellow one.
Then Maren headed off around the wharf in the green one.
Gavin & Marie paddled under the wharf in the purple double kayak.

I was chuckling as I saw them head away.
It was quite breezy out in the bay so I had told Gavin to just stay in close to the shore and they would be fine.
He took my very literally and stuck very close to the shore all the way!

I sat in my rocker and ate my lunch and read my book in the sun.
It was so lovely and peaceful.
Around 5pm I went to get the washing in.
While I was at the clothesline Azzan arrived back very distressed wearing Gavin’s wind jacket.
Apparently the wind came up much stronger and they couldn’t get back around the point.
Then Azzan was tipped off his kayak by a wind gust.
The others rescued him and tied his kayak behind once they had managed to catch it.
He was quite scared and really upset because his backpack floated away and then sank.
They couldn’t find it.
They had to carry the kayaks up to the road and walk back.
Azzan was wet and cold and upset so I cuddled him and assured him that the backpack and clothes were all replaceable but he wasn’t and I was so very glad that they had rescued him for me.
He was still apologising when he came out of the shower.
Poor wee man through it was all his fault.
He felt he should’ve leaned the opposite way and then he wouldn’t have fallen in etc etc etc.

We sat and cuddled on the couch and read a book of his choice before dinner.
‘Lost Atlantis‘.
It is pretty meaty reading but he is totally fascinated by unexplained mysteries at present.
We had to get the atlas out to suss out where Plato said it was.
Also learned a new word.
Had to get the dictionary and look up suzerainty.
Any of you know the meaning of that one without checking your dictionaries first???

Gavin & the girls decided that as they were already wet they may as well go in for a swim.
First swimmers of our summer season!!
Marie waded in.

Gavin dived straight in but Skip refused to follow.
I guess there is only so much loyalty you can expect

Finally Maren jumped in but they were all out fairly quickly.
The water is not freezing but it certainly isn’t too warm yet.

We had dinner early.
I had a mutton casserole cooking all day so they ate that while we watched ‘Ice Age 3’.

I got Azzan off to bed and the others went to play cards.
I sat and watched ‘Four Christmases’ while I ate my dessert.

Shanni & Nathan are preparing to travel home tomorrow.
They sound like they have had a good week at camp but have pre-warned me that they are very tired!!!

Thursday already – where has the week gone too?

Maren & Marie spent the morning weeding the garden again.
They got the main bed finished before lunch.

Tim & Gavin worked on the trailer.
It needed some fixing done before Tim takes it to town tomorrow.

The little girls fished all morning.

I had to call them up for lunch around 2:30pm.
They finally ate yesterday’s lunch!!
Tim did suggest to them that the rolls would’ve been so much nicer eaten fresh

After lunch Tim took the wwoofers mustering.

Azzan made a few thank you cards.

He managed to make 2 before flagging.
He is very low in energy right now.

He just doesn’t want to do anything for long.
Mind you I feel the same way so can sympathise with him.

It is really lovely in the mid to late afternoon cuz the sun streams in through the windows at the back of the house.
I sat in my rocking chair by my art desk in the sun and read my book for  while.
I have been trying to make some cards too but am not feeling very prolific yet.

We had cold meat for dinner with a cheesey potato bake, mashed carrots with parsley, baked pumpkin and salad.

I watched a Midsomer Murder before going to bed.