Saturday 30th November

I was very grateful that I had set my alarm as I would’ve slept through, so tired!
But I was up and in the shower at 4:45am.
Woke kids at 5am as they were going mustering with Anson.
They had time to breakfast and Alex had time to change her bed and we were still in the car and heading out the drive before 6am.
Did well peoples 🙂
Stopped to drop kids off at Anson’s.
They got the muster done before the rain set in which was great.
Alex discovered what wind strengths we can get when she got out to open the gate at the top of the hill!
Using one of Tim’s expressions – ‘It was blowing it’s nuts off up there’!!
We had a non eventful drive with lots of time to chat which was ‘brilliant’ – to quote Alex 🙂
Arrived in Nelson and whizzed through the first 4 jobs on the list – return the library book, drop off Alex’s bag at hostel, visit Starbucks and drop papers off to Andrea.
Then we whizzed round to Tahunanui and left the car at Muratai Motors to have some work done on it while I am away.
John picked us up which was great as it was beginning to rain.
Sally lent us her car and we went off to have breakfast at Crusoes.
It was lovely to be able to stop and relax for an hour, enjoy good food and great company before taking Alex back into the city.
Had to say our farewells until we meet again – sooner than later I hope!!
Then back to Arrow Motels to relax for an hour.
John took me to the airport at 1:30pm.
The day was very blustery and there were flights being cancelled.
Thankfully mine wasn’t.
The airport area was really busy with people coming to the open day celebrating 75 years of the airport.
Nathan had been for a flight on the DC3’s final flights over Nelson.
I had been texting him through the morning as he had wanted me to go with him on the flight but it clashed with my flight to Auckland so I had to give it a miss unfortunately.
But he had a great time with his work mates 🙂

Our flight was late landing in Auckland.
We had a very bumpy approach, it was a very hold your breath & grab your seat few moments.
Probably one of the yuckiest landings into Auckland I have experienced so far.
Didn’t realize how quiet the plane had become during the approach until the wheels touched the tarmac and then everyone began talking again!
So I wasn’t the only one praying 😉

Mat, Sunni & Lily picked me up.
Lily had just had a feed and was cuddled up contentedly with Sunni while they waited for me.
Cute wee bundle has grown so much since I left last month.IMG_4599
We drove across the city and called into visit Wilf & Diane for a wee while.
Ulterior motive to the visit was to pick up bedding for me.
Sunni & Mat have recently moved into their own house so are still furnishing it.
Lily having a cuddle with her Granddad Wilf.
Such a strong resemblance 🙂
It was getting late when we finally got back to the house.
They have found themselves a lovely spot in Point Chevalier.
We unpacked and got sorted, had a drink and nibbles while Mat took Tank’s friend Condo back home.
Lily is nearly 2 months now and is just adorable.
Sunni showed me her neck strengthening exercises 🙂
I had lots of cuddle time while Sunni & Mat busy preparing dinner.
Lily has a bit of a restless time in the evenings so we went for a walk around the garden to check out the plants and then took some selfies 🙂IMG_4613
I’m not as proficient with that aspect of the iPhone so Sunni took some more 🙂IMG_4618IMG_4625
By 10pm she was very ready for bed – as were we all!
Night Lily xxxxxx
I am sleeping in a cute wee granny flat at the bottom of the garden.
It is just a few metres walk along the boardwalk from the kitchen deck, close but yet lovely and private.
Despite the motorway being so close it is so quiet and peaceful here.
Wonderful spot.
Am looking forward to exploring the area with Sunniva & Lily this week.
And be warned – there will most probably be a lot of Lily photos coming – I have to make up for lost time 😉

Friday 29th November

It took me a while to get to sleep last night, bed just seemed too empty.
I finally cried myself to sleep.
Then I was woken at 2:30am by Jynx scratching at my bedside.
Darned cat should’ve been outside.
I got up to let him out my door but he took off into the living room and wouldn’t go out any doors except the fartherest one by the pantry :-/
Contrary critter!
Read for a short time until I fell asleep again.
Then up before 7am, into the spa and then made a couple more cards.
Butterfly birthday001

Got back in to the kitchen early.
I needed to get things organized enough for me to be happy to leave Mahalia in charge of feeding the shearers.
It is a big ask for her, she’s only 13.5 and is very capable, but it is a big job to have things all prepared and ready on time throughout the days.
That is why I am doing all the prep work now.
I cut up the bacon & egg pies and the cake and put them in the freezer.
Everything is labeled well for her – with some instructions written on as well to be sure 😉
I then decided to make some more things just to make sure there was enough.
So I put a curried beef casserole on to cook in the slow cooker and made up a curried sausages & egg casserole too.
Made a carrot cake, potato salad, and then a layered aubergine stack for our dinner tonight.
Managed to intersperse some office work and phone calls with Ross in between all of this.
Gave me a chance to sit for a few moments 😉

Mahalia went off to find Olly, who I had seen with his backside in the garden gate early this morning!!
She took him for a short ride with Alex accompanying them.
Shoshannah planted out some flower plants and did some other gardening.
Even though she does not want to do the vege garden anymore she cannot help herself – she wants to get the vege plants in the right places, so is replanting a few of them 😉
Alex helped with vege prep, and fed the pigs and folded washing.
Her last day here so she was taking lots of photos and enjoying the moments until she returns.

Anson was out mustering and getting stock work done reading for shearing.
He was pretty hot and tired when he stopped by later in the day.
Finally Seb & Carl got a good day in for doing some mussel work.
It was indeed a glorious day, wind came up later in the afternoon.

The mailboat arrived just after the kids decided to go swimming.
It was a glorious day and Azzan had been champing at the bit to get down there.
He was very good though and worked all morning to have his bedroom incredibly tidy – all finished in fact!!
I looked out just in time to see Azzan leap off the wharf as the mailboat approached.
Thankful Jim was taking care and looking out for him as they got to the wharf.
Nothing like a native water boy to entertain the tourists 🙂P1010500
Mahalia took the opportunity to do soak in some Vitamin D.P1010501 P1010502

I had been waiting all day for Anson to come by and cut up the mutton so I could get a roast in the oven.
He literally dropped it in around 3pm 🙂P1010503
I got it in the oven asap and it is still roasting away there through tonight.
Should be lovely and tender tomorrow.

We had our dinner 7pm – Shoshannah made a delicious salad which we had with the aubergine stack.
Then I made some butter icing for the carrot cake and we had some for dessert.
It was really good.
One of the best carrot cakes I have made!
This is my head chef taking selfless while we were watching Mama Mia and eating dinner 🙂
I sat with her after dinner and went through the food list and we made up a menu.
She is all set to go, so now we just have to wait for the weather to settle and the shearers to arrive.
It is now after 10pm.
I am finally getting through everything done that needs to be done.
Just have to go pack my bags as I am leaving early tomorrow with Alex.

Thursday 28th November

It rained all day today.
So good 🙂
I enjoyed a spa just after 6am with the rain falling on my shoulders – lovely.
Then made a few cards for an hour or so before having not just one but two bowls of porridge for breakfast.
I usually don’t manage to get to breakfast until much later, but I must have known that my day was going to be too busy to stop so I needed the extra nourishment to begin with today.
I began by raiding the freezer and then working out what meals I could create.
Anson has organized the shearers to arrive tonight – but actually because of the rain they will be delayed until the sheep dry.
As I am not going to be here during shearing now I am leaving Mahalia in charge of feeding the crew.
So to make it easier for her I am precooking & freezing loads of food for her to thaw and heat as needed.
Once I got started the kitchen turned into total chaos.
It was organized chaos as I did have a plan.
But as I was making many things at once it was pretty crazy for a few hours.
I had Alex and Shoshannah helping me.
Mahalia prepared some of the smoko and breakfast things and delivered them to The Cottage and woodshed.
Azzan helped in many directions, getting wood, doing dishes – like huge loads of pots and pans etc, he was a brilliant and very entertaining help.
This was the bench to begin with – I just wish I had taken some photos a bit later on as there was no bench top to be seen and in some places it was 3 stories high!!
But as Alex just commented – we were a bit busy to be taking photos just then 😉
Alex did the pumpkin, peeled potatoes, carrots & onions, succeeded in cutting herself while trying to cut potatoes with the knife upside down – the things some people do to get out of work 😉P1010475
I made a chicken and olive casserole for our dinner.
Anson came round to cut up the muttons so I got some mutton bones to add to the beef casserole I was making in the slow cooker.
Seb & Carl came in for a visit – nice to have some visitors on such a grotty day.

Todays word of the day was helpful to keep in mind 🙂
And beside my daily calendar resides this memory to Tim – thanks so much Conny for making this for me.
It sits on our kitchen windowsill.
I took out 3 containers of pumpkin that had been frozen with the skins on (not by me!!), cooked it up and then Alex removed all the skins.
It was a very tedious job and if anyone even thinks of freezing pumpkin like that again I will scream!
Actually, I have a funny feeling it was Tim that did it :-/
I pureed it and added coconut cream and spices.
Then boiled up carrots and onions and fried capsicum and added it along with tomato juice to the pumpkin.
Made up 12 litres of delicous soup.
Then I made a double mixture of flapjack slice and another of chocolate crackle slice.
Then I made large dishes of Cheesey Potato Bake, Easy Lasange, Apple & Kiwifruit Crumble, Apple & Plum Crumble and a humungous Chocolate cake.
All the above is now in the freezer along with some others that I made last week.
I do not think the shearers will be going hungry!
I was absolutely exhausted so took a break and ate my lunch.
Had a movie date with Shoshannah and watched ‘Love Comes Softly’ – the first in the series of the Janette Oke dvds.
After our rest I was able to tackle the bacon & egg pies.
Shoshannah had made the pastry for me earlier so it had sat well and was ready to roll.
Alex & Shoshannah helped with the preparation while I rolled out all the pasty and constructed them.
The new large wooden bench is fantastic for rolling out pastry on – makes it so easy.
I was feeling a bit sad that Tim wasn’t here to have his share of the pies.
He loved bacon & egg pie and I was never very confident about making it cuz I thought they were difficult to make.
So I hardly ever made them and since he has been gone I have made quite a few – sorta feel a bit bad about that really :-/
The day has been a real team effort – thanks team 🙂P1010477
Time for selfies and fun now the work is almost completed 🙂P1010478
Three baked bacon & egg pies and a very delicious pumpkin pie which we demolished for dessert.P1010493
Shoshannah was wanting to watch another of the Janette Oke dvds so we took our dinner into my bedroom and watched the second in the series.

It was 9pm before the kids cleaned up the dishes.
I didn’t want to come out to a pile in the morning so insisted they did them.
Alex took this lovely photo of Mahalia with her nail polish collection – cute photo 🙂
Alex having a goodnight cuddle with Jynx.20131128_085115
The rain has eased and there is a light southerly blowing tonight, the waves are rolling onto the beach a bit more gently tonight.
Maybe the sheep will dry enough to begin shearing on Saturday.
I am not worried.
The food is prepared and we are very thankful for the rain.

Wednesday 27th November

The rain finally came in while I was sitting in the spa reading sometime before 7am.
It has been great having the wonderful early summer heatwave, but actually this cooler snap is very pleasant.
We need the rain and it also means no sandflies – a major bonus cuz they have been driving us all nuts for the past few weeks.
It cleared enough for Anson to come get the troops to go mustering mid morning.
I went from spa to study and kept busy in here most of the day.
When Anson came round he did his phone business and then discussions with me through the window – sometimes I feel like a drive through!
Mahalia stayed back, still not 100%.
This is the sort of thing she enjoys doing 🙂
Minion nails!
I finally unearthed myself from the paperwork and went out to the kitchen for some breakfast and discovered not was 1:30pm!
Where on earth did the day go.
Skipped breakfast and had lunch instead.
Curled up on my bed and watched ‘Marriage Retreat’.
It was really funny, but had some good points to it.
Then back to the study for another round.
The musterers didn’t get home until very late in the afternoon.
Azzan did well, stuck at it the whole way this time.
Alex did 4 hours and then penned up in the truck – she was had-it!
Alex was feeling a tad chilly so Mahalia decked her out in her zebra onsie.
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We had an easy dinner.
I had already taken one of Sandra’s macaroni cheeses out and it was thawing int he wood stove all afternoon so we had that with salad and beetroot.
We all cuddled up in my bedroom and watched a movie of Azzan’s choice – ‘Clancy’.
It was very sad.
Azzan was curled up with me in bed and at one point I could feel him sobbing.
He had already watched the movie with his Dad several times.
I am doing a big clean out int he study now all the bills have been paid and papers filed.
I found a postcard that Tim’s cousins sent to me from Scotland.
It was lovely to get it with their message, but as I looked at the picture of The Royal Mile on the front I started feeling somewhat sad and the tears began welling up as I remembered the time Tim and I wandered up and down that street so happily 15 years ago.

Busy days ahead so we are all off to bed now.
Sleeping to the music of the southerly waves crashing on the beach.

Tuesday 26th November

Woke at 3am and took a while to get back to sleep.
Shoshannah woke me at 8am with a phone call from Sebastian.
I was staggery tired.
The weather changed majorly today, we have had a small amount of rain.
The wind has changed around and a southerly is pounding the beach so no more rain for now despite the threatening clouds.
Talbot has made a wrought iron trim for my new bathroom vanity so he spent the morning getting them fitted on.
I love it.
I am going to leave it black until I hang the hooks back up and then see if I want it painted white.
Think it might look better white, but will sleep on it for a bit.P1010457
Anson brought his latest litter of pups around for a visit.
They are very cute.
Everyone was gaga over them 🙂
This is my favourite.
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Jan & Talbot left at midday so they could meet up with Josh & Kate at Rai Valley.
So there leave taking was a bit whirlwindish as they had originally planned to stay for lunch.

Shoshannah made buttered chicken for dinner but as it smelled so good she decided we would have it for lunch instead.
It was very tasty 🙂
Anson was working between he workshop & woodshed while he got the gates hung.
Marah & Eden came round for a walk so they all stayed for lunch.
Eden really reacts when she hears her Daddy’s voice.
They had lots of fun and chuckles after lunch.
This is my favourite photo 🙂P1010451
After lunch Marah took Eden home for a sleep and Alex, Shoshannah & Azzan went down to help Anson clean up all the leftover timber.
Once everyone had gone I had a rest.
Dinner was very simple – fried leftover mashed potato with cold corned beef and salad.
Had a phone chat with Phoebe.
She is really tired from the trip out to town and is counting down the days till their baby arrives.
Only 16 days till due date.
All is well, she is just big and tired.
Am hoping for her sake it does come a bit earlier.
I spent some time on the computer getting caught up on my blog as I was about 4 days behind.
I had run out of internet data several days ago and also I had just been too tired to be bothered.
I was so annoyed though as I lost several days even though I had been saving as I went.
I never actually saved them to the desktop – they flipped off somewhere into cyberspace so I had to start all over again.
Hence these past few days being a bit out of kilter.

Monday 25th November

Two years ago today we were celebrating the marriage of Sebastian & Phoebe.
Happy Anniversary to you both xxx
Two years!
Such a short time, but also such a long time – so much has happened in those years.
Some good stuff, but some damned hard stuff.
Please God, let the next two years be filled with positive and productive stuff 🙂

Mahalia is still not well.
She just cannot seem to throw off the cough she has had for weeks now.
I am filling her up with Vit C and SystemWell Immunity, she is doing tea tree inhalations and rubbing Vicks on herself to try and help her breath.
She doesn’t have a cold as such, just a disabling hacking cough which hits her suddenly & randomly when she is talking or eating.
Last night her throat was quite sore so I gave her some Disprin to gargle and swallow which helped for a while.P1010425P1010426
At least she could eat her dinner!
End of a long day.
I was tired and waiting for dinner to finish cooking so I could serve up when some random person clicked the camera.

Alex did all Mahalia’s bed making chores for her today so she could go back to bed.
I am trying to keep her quiet and resting.
Azzan came to me last night, quite concerned, asking if is was wise for Mahalia to be swimming while she was sick?
Very good question Azzan.
She finally conceded today that it probably was better if she stayed out of the water for a wee while.
Quite a difficult decision when you are part fish 😉

Ido & Adi were all packed up and ready to leave by 9:30am.
I took some last minute photos.
Because they are so small and Mahalia is tall there was some fun going on as they tried to fit themselves into the photo 🙂
Bent knees and tippytoes to even the heights!P1010433

Alex did Mahalia’s bed making chores for her so I could keep her resting inside.
It was a glorious day but the forecast was ominous.
Mahalia lay in Azzan’s bed and watched movies.
Azzan was supposed to be cleaning up his room but having his sister invading his space was quite off-putting so I sent her to her own room after lunch to allow him to get on with it!!
Any excuse thwarted I reckon 😉

Anson is continuing with the woodshed, it is pretty much all done now, he just has to swing the gates and get the last few things tidied up.
He has also been getting the pre shearing mustering underway as he can.
Alex brought me some dvd’s from the UK.
One is ‘The Paradise’ which I began watching while resting this afternoon.
It is really great – set back in the late 1800’s in a fledgling department store.
Really hope that TVNZ will screen it as it is a great period drama.
Definitely up there with Downton Abby – it just hasn’t had all the money poured into the marketing of it.
In fact I might go as far as to say it is better than Downton!!

Had to begin thinking about providing food for the masses – so tedious :-/
I put on a corned beef to cook all day in the slow cooker.
Azzan & Alex did potatoes and carrots, and steamed broccoli.
Jan & Talbot arrived just before dinner and brought in lots of fresh fruit so we had a delicious fresh fruit salad with ice cream for dessert.
Had another disturbing phone call about some mussel stuff that happened last year while our ex skipper was contracting from our barge.
Nothing I can do now, but just cements that we made the right decision to do without him.
Went to bed around 9:30pm and was watching some more of The Paradise when the phone rang.
My new phone in the study is incredibly quiet so I nearly missed the call.
It was Cat, good to hear from her as I hadn’t talked with her since she left Kordia.
We chatted for 15 minutes, great to hear her sounding so happy and adjusting to her new job.
Fell back into bed, but was too wired to sleep for ages.

Saturday 23rd November

Well, I did write quite a long account of the day but somehow it has gotten lost somewhere in the black hole of cyberspace.
Next time I will save it to desktop – should know better by know :-/

We had a leisurely start to the day.
The girls repacked the car and we headed off around 11am to go do a few things in Richmond before heading out to pick up Azzan near Wakefield.
The day was very hot – was glad we had packed light clothing.
He was all dressed up in his suit ready to go when we arrived at Russell & Chrissy’s.
He looks most dashing in his suit so I am very glad he enjoys wearing it.
The way he is growing he won’t fit it for long!
He wouldn’t take off his jacket all day even despite of the hot day!

We were seated ready for the 1pm start but there was an accident on the motorway which held up some guests so they delayed the proceedings by around 20minutes to allow them time to arrive.
My three were very patiently waiting in their finery.

The little people entered first.
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Then the girls dressed in the prettiest spring green colored dresses made by the grooms mother.P1010383 P1010384 P1010386 P1010387P1010389
I love this father daughter moment
It was a large wedding party.
Alan is renown for his clowning but he did manage to behave himself – most of the time 😉
Introducing Mr & Mrs Alan & Jo-ella Mohekey 🙂
Aviah was eyeing us over Amy’s shoulder – such a wee cutie.
Shoshannah took lots of photos and has kindly allowed me to use some of hers below.
After the ceremony she stayed back at the venue with her friend Rachel.
We had around 3 hours to fill in until the dinner.
Mahalia went off with Sophie and her family and Azzan and I went to do the last minute grocery shopping, fuel up the car and then had a cuppa with Pat & Phillipa.
P1250373  P1250420
The cake was made by Jo-ella’s sister – looked fantastic.

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Rachel, Shoshannah & Lucy were on one side of our table.
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Peter, Katherine & I were on the other.
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Azzan & Mahalia sat across the room with their friends.
Azzan came over to get a cuddle from Katherine
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And me!
I caught up with a few friends.
Hadn’t seen Suzy in many years so was nice to catch up with her.

The children & I had decided previously that we would drive home after the wedding so I was aiming to leave by 9pm.
However the speeches and dinner took a lot longer than I anticipated so we were still having dessert at 9pm.
They were also preparing for a barn dance which I hadn’t known about so it was with mixed feelings that we all left at 9:30pm.
Mira had picked up Alex from the airport at 6pm and dropped her at Hangar 58 for the evening.
Nathan looked after her well and she had a thoroughly enjoyable evening there.
We called by around 10pm and loaded her into the car.
Nathan made us smoothies to help us on our journey homeward.
I was so incredibly tired.
It was very difficult getting to Okiwi Bay and I was wondering how on earth I was going to drive all the way home.
But after a stop there and a stretch of the legs I was fine for the next hour and half.
We arrived home at 1am and fell straight into our beds.