Friday 31st January

I got caught between the early musterers leaving at 6am and the ones who were leaving later so I never got my morning spa today.
I spent most of the morning in my dressing gown.
I was up and doing stuff but the shower never happened until closer to lunch time.
Anson took Sarah, Clemence & Johan out to chase sheep from Clay Point around to Rabbits Block.
The three German boys were leaving today.
Andrej was up early and after breakfast I gave him the cleaning stuff so he could clean up his room.
He took ages so am hoping he did a good job.
The other two boys didn’t seem in too much of a hurry.

Shoshannah is/was developing a head cold so wasn’t feeling too flash.
I finally caught up with Estelle and had a chat for a few minutes.
Seb as in town so I was fielding phone calls about stuff he was picking up and making appointments for Mahalia and discussing plumbing issues with Dave etc etc.

The mutterers returned for morning tea and then Clemence & Johan went off to split more wood and Sarah did some decobwebbing and concrete path sweeping down at The Cottage.

Saw this very large flash boat coming in past West Entry today.
Love to know something about it.
Managed to get this close up using my telephoto lens – not too bad for 3 miles away!

1:45pm and the boys were finally packed up and ready to leave.
Bye Andrej, Marlon & Tim 🙂
Mailboat arrived.
Lots of passengers but not a lot of mail.

Anson, Clemence & Johan came down for lunch after everyone else had finished.
Marah & Eden were visiting the work place and came and ate with them too which was lovely.
Eden helped me open the mail 🙂

Afterwards Marah enjoyed some lying in the sun time and Eden and I played on Photobooth.
She was actually much more smiley responsive when looking at herself in the mirror earlier!Photo on 31-01-14 at 2.24 PMPhoto on 31-01-14 at 2.27 PM #5Photo on 31-01-14 at 2.28 PM #4
And what is better than one Eden but two 🙂
Photo on 31-01-14 at 2.29 PM #2

They went off home for some nap time.
Anson took my ginormous pile of dirty washing back.
It is so frustrating not having a functioning washing machine :-/
I have to wait now until someone has room to take it out to town to see if it is fixable.
Then if it isn’t I have to start the researching process.
I guess it has done near on 10 years of pretty hard knacker.
But on advice from the Maytag folk, if it can be fixed it would be good to do that as it is one of the most reliable models they ever made apparently.

The wwoofers relaxed on the deck.
Sarah went swimming.
Mo was enjoying Johan for a pillow

I had taken some chicken thighs out and they were slowly cooking in the oven all afternoon.
I watched another German movie with English subtitles ‘Longing for New Zealand’ while I had a rest.
This time the stunning scenery was based around Te Aroha.

We were just about to serve up dinner when Sebastian arrived back with Mahalia.
So the others ate while I caught up on all of his news.
He has had an MRI scan done and the lady commented that she was amazed he was able to walk in there!
Apparently his disk is bulging very badly so now it is off back to the specialist to see what to do.
Please pray for a good outcome.

Anson wanted a full muster in the morning so everyone went off to bed at a reasonable time.
I stayed up a wee while longer and finished some things I was doing.

Thursday 30th January


I wasn’t sure what was happening re the wwoofers as everyone was asleep when I got home!
I woke at 6:20am and went out cautiously in my nighty to see if they had been through the kitchen.
Kettle was hot so yes they had and were gone already.
So I headed back to my room along the decking to get my towel and have a spa.
Then I realised I was being followed by Skip AND Andrej!
Whew! That was close!
He has slept in and missed the work train by about 20 minutes.
I sent him back to bed.
When the coast was clear I had a soak in the spa for a few minutes.

Then it was time to put on the bread and washing.
Both those two jobs proved to be my undoing today.
Firstly, I put on a load of washing and then heard it squealing very loudly and when I went to investigate there was a really hot burning smell so I turned it off fast.
Shoshannah told me that it happened to her the previous day.
Nice to know these things!
Then I made two loaves of bread in succession.
And both of them were total fizzers!
I made a third and it turned out fine, so I don’t know what I did wrong.

So began my long investigation into what might be wrong with the washing machine.
Made many calls.
The most helpful was the Maytag folk in Wellington.
Apparently my machine was purchased May 2004 so has done almost 10 years of hard slog.
My consideration is, do I spend money and get it going again, or is that pouring bad over good and I will have to end up purchasing a new one anyway.
Hardly any these days are not electronic which I don’t want.
The may tag lady said my model is a really good reliable one, apparently one of the best and if I can keep it going it would be the best option.
She gave me loads of scenarios, part prices and time involved in fixing each possibility.
But basically, when push comes to shove, I have to get it out to town somehow to get it assessed.
And that is easier said than done :-/

The wwoofers came in for a cuppa and slice.
Then Clemence & Johan split wood for a coupe of hours.
Sarah & Johan continued in the vege garden and the other two boys built a rock garden for me.
I am really pleased with their work, and now the job of planting it out.
P1030573 P1030574

I made a healthy platter of beetroot, capsicum, tomato, boiled eggs and avocado on fresh bread.
Took it to bed and watched the beginning of a movie.
It is called Paradise at the end of the world.
It is in German with English subtitles which is a bit weird as it is set in New Zealand.
I had just finished eating when I heard somebody creeping into my room.
I looked round and there was Marah & Eden.
It was lovely to see them.
Marah sat on the bed and I played with Eden and we talked.
Then Eden got busy on the floor chatting with Shoshannah who had just returned from a walk.
Marah had come round to get meat for dinner because Anson had been home and eaten the dinner she had prepared for his lunch – men!
Eden helped me prepare the stir fry while Marah went up to find the meat.
I gave her a piece of the end of the courgette, it was hard and good to chomp on.P1030567

Funny wee girl.

Marah took her off home to get the meat thawed and underway for dinner.
I talked some more with Anson and then thought I should get our dinner sorted.
Sarah & Andrej had already prepared the onions and carrots.
The girls had gone for a walk, Sarah for a swim.
It was getting on in the day and because Shoshannah had said she would put dinner on I left it so I could go rest.
But nothing was happening from her end and it was 5:30pm already so I got stuck into the kitchen.
I put together the mince, veges and tomatoes.
Went and got Shoshannah to help me.
Things were rather tense as I was so tired and frustrated at the lack of willing help.
She put on the rice, sorted the spinach and left.
Clemence & Johan came and washed up all the pots etc.
Then while I made a chocolate fudge self saucing pudding for dessert they wwoofers drooled over my recipe book, taking photos of the particular recipes they have enjoyed.
I got dinner on the table finally around 7pm.
They ate.
I was too tired to think about eating.
Later, after everything was all cleaned up and I had managed to finally make a successful loaf of bread – 2 previous ones went in the pigbin as they didn’t rise.
A pain when the supplies were running very low.
Had to resort to putting an overnight loaf in the breadmaker to catch up for tomorrow.
Then I went off to bed and watched the end of the movie.
It was great to see places and scenery I recognized around Bank Penninsula, including Decanter Bay which was part of the Menzies Bay area where Tim’s mother originated..
The film was made in German by Germans but set in NZ.
So it was subtitled in English.
A bit strange but still very watchable.
Even though I was so tired I was very restless and it took a while to fall asleep.

Wednesday 29th January

I was up soon after 4am.
Beat the alarm once again.
Was showered and ready to go by the time the guys and Shoshannah were having breakfast.
Shoshannah turned the hose on my windscreen as I went up drive just before 6am.
The trees have been dropping foliage all over the car.
Anson arrived just then so we had to do some maneuvering to get past each other
I listened to some more chapters of ‘Women of the Outback’ as I drove.
I had a list of things I wanted to get done as early as possible so was in town around 8:30am.
First stop, of course, was Starbucks.
Then I left 3 large bags at the opshop, picked up some stuff at Nelson Beauty Therapy, called into Prices Pharmacy and then over to U-Save Tyres to pick up some inner tubes for Anson.
The town stuff was all done so I drove over the hill to Muratai Motors.
Left my vehicle there and picked up a small courtesy car.
Colin was going to investigate the cause of the swaying/rocking motion that had been getting worse over the past weeks.
Called in to see Sally at Arrow Motels and picked up some parcels.
I was still feeling rather fragile from the previous days emotional upset.
Good to talk with Sally for a while.
Then it was off to pick up all the bulk grocery items from the wholesaler.
I had my list ticked off fairly quickly and and went through the checkout.
Packed the boxes myself to ensure they were done properly for the long trip home.
As I pushed the very weighty trolley away from the counter the sharp solid metal handle crushed the palm of my hand between it and the counter.
It left a deep puncture wound which began pouring blood everywhere – and was #*^@ sore!
The guy helping me load the gear into the car went off and got a plaster for me and then proceeded to very, very, painstakingly, slowly, unwrap it for me and then quickly stuck it on my hand – half missing the wound!
I just wanted to get out of there so squeezed a wad of tissue to stem the flow and finished loading.
Drove out to Richmond to do three quick jobs.
But typically the first job took way longer cuz the guy hadn’t done what I had preordered so I had to wait.
Was feeling rather rushed, hot and stressed by this point as I was meeting a friend at 11am.
Text her to say I was running a tad late and quickly squeezed the other two jobs in before heading to Crusoe’s Cafe to meet Errilyn who is home from Western Australia for a wee while.
Anat & Rami found me some ointment and another plaster, and put it on the right place this time, so I was all good.
I was really hungry so ordered some fish & chips for brunch followed by apple strudel and Errilyn had coffee and cake.
It was really good to sit and talk with someone who understands grief and doesn’t sit in judgement telling me what & when I should be feeling, and thinking I should be ‘over it’ by now.
I couldn’t control the tears, the switch had been bumped yesterday and my emotions were very raw and fragile.
Soon after midday and we had to leave.
Lots of hugs goodbye and I headed to Tahunani at 1pm.

Had an hour up my sleeve so went back to see Sally and to freshen up.
Had another good d&m, no-one else there so good time to talk.
By the time I got back to the funeral house the carpark was full, so I had to juggle back in to the busy traffic and park next door.
The place was packed, I managed to get a seat in the side room.
There were many arriving after me who had to stand.
Could still see the podium and with the speakers working we could all hear well.
It was a lovely send off for our special friend.
Julie as such a lovely lady, full of fun, love, and life.
We will surely miss her smiling face.
I wasn’t coping terribly well afterwards.
There were so many people that I knew from the now, the past and the long ago.
Some were easy to be with and others not so.
And I was there on my own :-/
It is the first funeral I have been to since Tim died and it brought everything all back.

I finally had to leave as it was 4:40pm and I needed to go see if my vehicle was ready.
So! It appears that someone, and I think I now know who, changed a tyre and used the back left suspension/steering thingee to jack the car up on instead of the chassis just behind it.
Over the months of driving it has just gotten more and more bent and twisted causing the vehicle to rock and sway.
Thankfully Colin found me a 2nd hand part today so I could bring it home.
Needless to say it is driving beautifully again!

Zipped off into the city and fueled up, dropped of library dvds, and got the groceries.
Then met up with Sasha & David at Hangar 58 for dinner.
Nathan was on duty and was in very fine fettle.
Trying out all his best smoothest sales pitches on us 😉
He is actually very good at it!
It was good to sit and talk and laugh 🙂

All of a sudden I realized it was 9pm.
We were sitting in the courtyard and it was still very light.
A cool evening breeze had pick dup so Nathan brought us girls some blankets to wrap in.
Finally 9:30pm and I was dragging myself out of the restaurant, took ages to say goodbye to David and Sasha and reluctantly headed off home.
I was incredibly tired.
The past days emotional upheaval had just about wrecked me.
But with only a couple of stops along the way I was able to get home safely.
I stopped off to leave some lovely yellow lilies and balloons for Timmy.
It was 12:30am when I walked in the door.
Despite being so tired I never got to sleep until about 2am.
A very l–o–n–g day.

Tuesday 28th January

I woke just before 5:30am.
Everyone except Azzan were soon eating breakfast.
Anson arrived round and went off to get the boat, he zipped up to Waterfall Bay to pick up the dinghy while the others all got themselves ready and down to the wharf.
It was a gloriously clear calm morning.
Love this photo of the silhouettes on the wharf waiting for the boat.P1030522
He was soon back and by 6:30am they were steaming out of the bay.
Heading around the back of the farm for a day of fishing, weeding and hopefully some fun.
P1030523   P1030529

I gathered up my book and had a spa.
Until this happened and it became too bright to read!
P1030532  P1030533  P1030537
Gorgeous morning 🙂
So peaceful, tranquil.
The only noise was Tinga squawking from his cage and the cicadas singing their morning chorus.

I went off for a wander around the place with my notepad.
Made notes of all the things that I could see needed doing so I have a list for the wwoofers when they get bored 😉
The bumble bees were very busy, I could hear them drumming away all over the garden.
This is our wonderful forest – right at my back door and yet I hardly ever go in there.

Got back inside and found Azzan in the spa.
We had a quiet morning doing not a lot and then made a special ‘just for two’ brunch.
We ate our eggs & salmon on avocado toast with grilled cheese on tomatoes and capsicum whilst playing Chicken Feet and drinking herb tea.
Dave, Nicky & John came to visit during the afternoon.
I was just sorting out the boat insurance.
Not dealing with that very well as the brokers were changing us to a new company and were wanting all sorts of technical information that I didn’t know, before 4pm.
I finally got to speak to the lady involved and got it sorted.
Sat and chatted with Dave & Nicky for a while.
The day was going reasonably smoothly and then I got a phone call from a local reporter.
She was calling to let me know they had the Coroner’s report on Tim’s accident and were going to be printing their report of it in tomorrows paper!
It came right out of left field and sent me reeling.
I was extremely upset about it and after several minutes managed to ask her to email me a copy of what she was writing before she published it.
She was calling because the paper knew they had upset us immensely by publishing Tim’s death before we were contacted and notified, and she wanted to warn me that they were printing this report tomorrow.
While waiting I called up Victim Support.
Due to my tears I was unable to deal with this myself so she said she would make some calls and see if this was something I could stop or not.
The reporter was very lovely, I did feel sorry for her as it was her first job at doing this and she was upset that she had upset me.
VS came back after speaking to many people including the Coroner who had written the report and said that I can not stop them printing it.
It is apparently public domain.
So I went back to the reporter and asked if she could please hold off printing it for a day so I could correct the mistakes she had made and thanked her for taking the time to call me and warn me.
I was still in a very emotional state when the troops all arrived back.
It was so hard to cover up my distress in front of strangers and try to put on a smile and act as if nothing has happened.
I was glad of Nicola & Dave’s quiet support and understanding.

They had had a good day, were all very tired and had a lovely lot of fish to fillet for dinner.
I cooked up the moki and a few cod and some paua – yum 🙂
It took ages so we never got to eat until after 7pm.
Nicky & Azzan had peeled potatoes which we roasted.
Nicky vacuumed through the house for me and scrubbed my pantry floor.
So appreciated that Nicola – thanks so much.
Dave did a bit of an appraisal of the guttering and chimneys and appears to be making plans to do some repairs & maintenance for me – happy dance 🙂
The kids all went off swimming and spa pooling.
So it took a while to prise John out and ready to head over to Waterfall Bay with them.

Everyone was very tired so dinner went down quietly and quickly.
Johan, Clemence & Sarah did the wash-up and I got things sussed for tomorrow.
Anson will take three & Shoshannah up the hill and Mahalia will take three to Waterfall Bay.
And I am off to town for the day to say a last goodbye to our dear friend Julie.

Monday 27th January

Woke at 5am, gave up trying to sleep at 6am and had a spa whilst chatting to a special friend in the US on Facebook messenger.
Love that iPhone app 🙂

Anson wanted the crew ready for work at 8am so I was up and had breakfast out for them.
He was running a bit late so they were hanging around waiting :-/
Marlon & Tim were set to graveling the paths.
They look heaps better now 🙂
Anson & Johan fixed the wood splitter and once it was all done Johan got to work splitting wood.
I got Sarah & Andrej to remove the small tree in front of the aviary, demolish the concrete and tidy up the area.
It was quite major to begin with as Andrej doesn’t have the skills or strength to know how to tackle such a job.
But he tried his best and that was the main thing.
I showed him how to dig the earth away from inside and then smash the concrete from that angle instead of just pounding away on the outer edge and getting nowhere.
I got Anson to come and apply some muscle and get the process started and then they were away.
The small tree had very tough entwined roots so took quite a lot of joint effort to remove.
Mahalia went out and helped them too.
Good to see her getting into it willingly without being prompted 🙂
So now we have several bins of plants to sort through and plant around the place!
Another job for another day.

Clemence set to work in the rock garden, pruning & weeding.
Whatever she does is always done with a cheerful smiling countenance  🙂
Morning tea – My chocolate, carrot and cherry cake was a big hit 🙂
This is a very small piece of the original – it made a humungous cake!
I have managed to squirrel half of it in tot he freezer for another day 😉
Afterwards the Tim & Marlon went up to help Johan with the wood and the others carried on with their respective chores.
Sarah & Mahalia took the blackboy peach trees  that Bri had sent up with Nick to the orchard and sorted out where to plant them while Andrej got a barrow of sheep manure.
After they had them in the ground I got them to reuse some of the old aviary timbers and netting and build small fences around each tree – very necessary structures to protect them from invading stock.
Andrej was finding it quite difficult to achieve what I was wanting.
He came down many times with other ideas of what he should do but finally got it all done with the help of Johan.

Somewhere in the midst of all this there was lunch – soup and bread and left over desserts.
I spent some time in the kitchen.
Made a sweet & sour sausage casserole for another night.
Anson had plans to go out in the boat for the day tomorrow so I was keeping the breadmaker cranking along to get a few loaves in reserve plus keep up with their usual breakfast and lunch intake.
It is probably going to go into shock at being used so much.
When it is just me and the kids we only make about one loaf a week!
And now I am making at least 3 a day.

Shoshannah, Prisca & Mahalia went off for a walk with Marah & Eden.
The wwoofers all went back to work for a couple more hours.
Sarah peeled potatoes and got them ready to roast before she headed outside.
Once everyone was gone I decided to make myself a decent lunch.
I have been so busy feeding everyone else that I have not been eating properly for a while.
I fried up some wiener schnitzel, and boiled a couple of small potatoes.
While they were cooking I made a ginormous salad.
Took it all and watched ‘Miranda‘ while I ate and rested.
Decided I needed to find out first hand what she was all about as I have been hearing several quotes over and over for days from Shoshannah which for some reason have tickled her fancy 🙂
I must admit I was laughing along – she is very funny.

Azzan was feeling somewhat frustrated with the girls, esp Mahalia.
He was bemoaning the fact that he is the only boy in the house.
I tried to console him by saying that I was the only girl in my family for quite  awhile.
He responded with a gut wrenching reply,
‘Yes, but you had your Mum.’
He is missing his Dad so much but doesn’t say a lot.
It just periodically surfaces briefly :-/

Got up feeling somewhat restored so got to cooking.
Mixed up 3 batches of flapjack and while the oven was hot I made a Mega Mud Puddle Cake for dessert.
While I was cooking Azzan was sitting at the table.
He was so entertaining.
Just wish I could’ve recorded him but he wouldn’t let me.
He was practicing being a radio announcer.
He was doing a ‘Fact of the day, day, day’ for his new radio station.
He says it is going to be called VocalFM cuz it is a cool name with a cool sound 🙂
He was working really hard at not using ‘um’ and reducing the use of a foreign accent.
Which seems to come naturally to him when he is ‘broadcasting’. 🙂
Anyway, I just want to go on record and say that I think he is pretty darn good and if at 11 years of age he can carry off the show I am sure he has a good future in broadcasting!

The girls returned and when I had finished baking Shoshannah made up a batch of wheat free flapjack.
Some of the wwoofers were having cups of tea so I gave them some flapjack to try – went down very well.
They were browsing the old wwoofers photo books so I joined them, put my feet up for a few minutes and and had a mug of caramel latte and the last piece of carrot cake.
Discovered Sarah had given her instep a nasty blow sometime earlier and has quite a swollen bruise so I got her to ice it several times throughout the evening.

Everyone enjoyed the beef casserole which I served with roast potatoes and stir fried courgette & broccoli.
I didn’t eat dinner as I was still full from my lunch, so I cleaned up the kitchen and washed pots.
Put the flapjack into containers
If I don’t then it all gets eaten so fast as it is just so more-ish!

Began getting food etc ready for the troops picnic lunch.
Then served up the dessert – it was a hit, they loved it.
And after Shoshannah put some aside for tomorrows lunch this is all that was left!
Azzan is enjoying playing games with some of the wwoofers.
After dinner he played Chicken feet with Clemence, Johan & Sarah.

Shoshannah packed up some more stuff into chilly bags for tomorrow.
Everyone headed off to bed but Azzan lost his iPod so there was no peace for me as he paced the house trying to find it.
I was busy doing my stuff so left him to it.
Concentration was quite difficult as he was moaning to me every few seconds that it wasn’t anywhere!
It was about 10:30pm when I was just about to get up in desperation and help with the search when he appeared at the door with it in his hand.
He had found it in his rubbish bin!!
Thankfully it was soon all quiet as he joined the sleeping masses.
I went through the food bags and repacked and added some things to them.

While waiting for the bread to finish baking I sliced up a loaf ready for breakfast and used the two fresh crusts for my supper.
Spread them with avocado, salmon & tomato.
They were delicious 🙂
Seems no one here at present eats the crusts of the bread.
I hate throwing them out but I don’t eat hardly any bread myself except for the very rare occasional late night feast 😉
Watched some more of Miranda and then to got the loaf of bread out at 11pm.
I hate to put bread on over night as there have been too many fires started with bread makers not turning off once they are finished, but decided tonight I would risk it, so put one on and set it for 5:30am.
Off to bed and crashed out somewhere around 1am.

Sunday 26th January

Even though I was very late to sleep I woke up around 6am.
The sky was just beginning to waken and there were very dramatic narrow strips of red showing through the clouds.
I quietly went through the house in search of my camera.
Found it and began recording the amazing dawn colors breaking over the eastern hills.
In just a matter of minutes it went from this
I hopped into the spa to enjoy the last few moments of it.
Only to be rudely interrupted by a cheeky weka who found I had left the kitchen door open and was coming in for a very unwelcome visit.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this impudent fowl, they are definitely most unwanted inside your house.
If startled they will dart all around trying to escape by climbing through closed glass, race about everywhere you do not want them, generally evading the open doors and in the process  they leave behind a very smelly excretion calling card.
I bounced out of the spa and raced through the front door and headed it off before it could go too far.
Made sure the doors were shut firmly and then got myself dried and dressed.
Crept out quietly and made myself comfortable in my art corner.
Seems the only time in the day that I can have some peace to be creative is when everyone else is sleeping.

Got chatting with my special friend in the US who I haven’t heard from in ages so that took up some of my time.
Then Shoshannah got up and lit the fire and made pancakes.
I made some bread and then somewhere the day began to disappear.
I managed to do a couple of small art exercises while talking with Sandra.
Then I raided the freezer and got out some soup to thaw for lunch.

Anson & Marah arrived back just as the rain began to set in.
Eden & Marah waited here while Anson put the boat on the mooring.
Snuggles with mummy 🙂
P1030462  P1030463
P1030471  P1030470
Somebody kept on pulling my camera cord just as I was taking the photos!P1030469
Eden has some pretty terrific abs.
While Anson put the wood splitter and quad bike in the shed the girls brought all their gear up from the woodshed to his truck for them.

I talked to Sarah and discovered she likes board games so went to tell Azzan who was still in bed playing on his laptop.
He was out of bed in a flash choosing Atlas Adventures to play.
Soon Johan & Clemence were joining in.
Trying to gather up library books and cds is a bit of a mission but I think we nearly have them all.P1030490
I was planning to do some artwork but ended up spending quite a long time working on the photo book I am making of Bri & Nick’s wedding photos.
The rain came in very heavy over the middle of the day.
I took some soup out of the freezer so lunch was pretty easy.
Had a lie down mid arvo and watched ‘Breakfast Club’.
Azzan had hired it from the library so I thought I should check it out.
I was actually quite impressed with it.
Very good themes of not judging others by appearances.

Azzan, Mahalia & Sarah watched ‘Black Sheep’.
The rest of the evening was filled with stupid baaaa jokes!

Dinner was heating in the wood stove all afternoon.
I had mixed the two left over dishes of mince, beans, tomatoes and vegetables.
We had it with Basmati rice, corn chips and coleslaw.
I made a very large bowl of Java Cream sago which we had for dessert with canned peaches.
A perfectly easy meal for a Sunday night.
The conversation was based around Azzan’s discussion of various movies etc.
We were talking about Miranda and some commented that they couldn’t see her doing anything except comedy.
To which I responded, ‘Have you seen Call the Midwife? She is brilliant as the actress in there’
Mahalia said there was no way she was watching a series showing babies being born.
Azzan quick as lightening said he loved it and that the best part was when the mothers were giving birth..…
and he demonstrated holding on tight and pushing down with a very loud grunting noise!!!
He then calmly disappeared off to play on my iPhone on the sofa.
None of us knew where to look but within seconds we all dissolved into laughter 🙂

Azzan prepared me a pot of herb tea….
 and sat me down with my feet up on the sofa and proceeded to give me a lovely foot massage.

Shoshannah is going through her clothes tonight and Mahalia is coming out modeling the chuck outs, asking if this or that looks alright.
Well, I don’t think anything could not look right on this chick!
Love this dress – she was working the dress and the weights at the same time – total crack up 🙂
Well, my massage is over so I should probably head off to bed now.
Weather is sposed to be clear so we will be splitting the wwoofers into two teams.
Anson is taking three of the guys with him to muster and grub weeds and Shoshannah & I will have the other 3 to do some planting of trees, plants, and some other gardening.

Saturday 25th January

I had a good sleep and woke around 6:30am.
Shoshannah had told the wwoofers that breakfast was at precisely 8:05am so they could all sleep in a bit.
But some of them didn’t understand and thought they had to start work then!
So they were up waiting for breakfast before she was awake.
She soon had things under control and I headed to the shower.

Clemence & Johan went up to start the log splitter as they were keen to spend the day splitting wood.
But they came down soon after because the handle had broken off the pull start cord and the cord had retracted right inside.
Anson is away.
I called up Seb but he couldn’t come help me as he was too dosed up on pain meds and was out of it.
I was feeling so frustrated with helplessness, I was in tears.
Shoshannah gave them another job to do – weeding and cleaning up the orchard.

In the meantime Marlon, Tim & Andrej got stuck into demolishing the old aviary.
First they had to dig out all the plants in front of it.
We have them binned up for replanting elsewhere.P1030396

Sarah got busy helping me.
She swept the entire kitchen, pantry, washhouse and backdoor areas.
Then hung out several loads of washing before helping me in the kitchen.
I spent the morning cooking again.
Called Phillipa for some advice and ended up chatting for a while.
Made a ginormous chocolate carrot & cherry cake.
Then a fish pie for dinner.
Had a few leftovers so fried up some onions & bacon and threw in the black beans, brown rice, baked beans and tomatoes in and cooked them up with garlic Moroccan spice and paprika.
I had bought some emergency quiches at the supermarket in the half price bin so heated one for lunch.

It was quite hot outside but the boys persevered and got the aviary down by lunch time.
They were very good about saving nails and sorting the netting and timber.

I had lunch all ready for the wwoofers and just before they were due to come in the kids swooped like a pack of hungry seagulls.
I had to make another coleslaw and heat up another quiche!

The kids all went off swimming, Andrej joined in the fun.


I was talking to Sandra on the phone when Roger popped in for a visit.
I was having a very emotional day and barely managing to hold back tears.
We had a cuppa and piece of carrot cake and a good chat about their recent southern holiday.
I was picking his brains as I am planning to take the kids on a road trip soon.
It was a good distraction for me.
The kids all came up and jumped in to the spa.
It was overflowing with 7 in there.
Then they were back in the sea and when it came for the 3pm curfew Roger had imposed on Oliver & Madeline the girls were back in the spa.
Oliver was dressed and ready to go on time but Madeline was being a wee princess and refusing to get out of the spa!!
So Roger turned the hose on her 🙂
The kids said their farewells very reluctantly.

I lay down and had a rest and watched ‘Rust’.
I had begun watching it last night but was too tired so turned it off.
It was a really good story.
I loved watching the special features later and seeing how it had all been created.
Mahalia brought out her huge bag of nail polishes and painted Prisca’s nails.
Azzan finished watching ‘The Ultimate Gift’.
He loves that movie.
The pigeons are a bit confused about their home being removed and were checking out the rubble.
Shoshannah got the three guys to clean up the mess later in the arvo.
One of them was a bit shirty about it.
Just because one of them started a bit late this morning because he couldn’t find his glasses, the other thought they shouldn’t have to do as much work this afternoon.
I am finding their behavior to be a bit school boyish, rather tedious actually.
If they are big enough to travel the globe then they should be man enough to have some tolerance for others.

Shoshannah made Mega Mu Puddle Cake for dessert but got confused between Baking Soda and baking Powder so it had quite a different texture to normal but everyone enjoyed it all the same.
She also made a cheesecake that she can eat using all sorts of different ingredients.
Looks delicious but is still setting in fridge so guess we will sample it tomorrow.

Azzan got loose with my camera.
Sarah did a lot of dishes today and still was smiling 🙂P1030432
Dinner went down well.
I had been a bit worried there wouldn’t be enough fish pie but there was a small amount leftover so all good.
They all are very appreciative of my cooking.
After dinner there are 6 wwoofers lining the bench waiting to wash & dry dishes.P1030447P1030454
Azzan was filming them.
I was sitting in the lounge and overheard the interviewing.
It was hilarious 🙂

It has been a hot, calm, glorious day.
Tonight is a lovely evening.
But there is a storm coming in the morning.

Azzan made me a some herb tea in my pretty new pot and served in on the matching tray with the mug.
Then he got me to lie on the sofa, turned on Leonard Cohen quietly, and had me drink my tea while he massaged my feet in the gloaming.
It was blissful 🙂

The kids have all gone off to bed now.
I am just waiting for the bread maker to finish cooking and then I can hit the pillow too.
Leonard is soothing my soul in the quietness of the evening with a thousand kisses deep.

Friday 24th January

Anson took the wwoofers out weeding at 6am again.
They arrived back around 10am.
Had some morning tea and then went wood splitting for a couple of hours before lunch.

I spent my day cooking for the myriads.
The perpetual food chain seems endless at present :-/

Mixed up three lots of focaccia bread, coleslaw, made two large pasta dishes which went into the freezer for another day,
Made a large mince, tomato & vegetable casserole.
Managed to find a few minutes to process a cherry, apricot & banana smoothie for my late breakfast.

Lunch was leftover curry & rice with coleslaw and cold pork.
The mailboat arrived bringing with it, Sarah from Ontario plus parcels.
Mahalia was ecstatic to get her unicorn onesie.
Azzan was over the moon to finally get his parcel from The Edge.
It contained a Bulletin magazine, two dvds – White House Down and Paranoia, a Bruno Mars cd, and lots of Thor stuff – book, pencil, rubber, ruler, drawing pad, note pad and 3D iPhone 5 cover & key chain.
Now all he needs wants is an iPhone 5 😉
And I was very pleased to meet Sarah as she is going to be my helper for a few weeks.
Azzan instantly greeted her with a big hug so she has past muster 🙂
It was very hot so after lunch was all cleaned up the kids went off swimming with Sarah.

I had a major headache coming on so went and lay down for a while.
Got up feeling heaps worse so resorted to some Panadine.
Didn’t help a lot.
Every time I bent over my head felt like it was about to explode.
I was nearly in tears with the pain.

Anson & Marah came round and headed off in the ’88 South’ for a couple of nights.
He has a days shearing over at Hopai tomorrow so Marah & Eden went along for the ride.

The focaccia bread had risen up huge so I finished it off and baked it in the oven with the stew.
We ate it with a brown rice – it was quite tasty.
Dessert was the remainder of the apple & kiwifruit crumble and hot custard.

I left them all to it and headed off to bed.
I was feeling so miserable with the pain.
It seems to be coming from my back & neck.
The kids gave me a bit of a massage but not enough to get on top of it entirely.
I was asleep by 9pm.

Thursday 23rd January

Last night Shoshannah put a roast of pork and mutton in the wood stove and cranked it up and left them cooking over night.
At 10pm I went to make sure the kids were all snuggled down.
The 4 younger kids all ended up on mattresses on the floor of the Sylvanian room.
They were watching movie which I suggested very strongly that they should turn off and watch in the morning as it was late.
I went off to bed and for the next wee while wished I had let them watch it as it would have been way quieter!!

I woke around 6am.
Anson was coming to pick up the wwoofers at 6am so at 6:12am it was all quiet and I thought everyone had gone so I went out to the kitchen to get a few things done.
I was just in my nighty so did a runner when I found they were still all at the back door :-/
Thankfully Anson appeared soon after and took them all away.
I had a spa, then topped up the water before doing a chemical run over the next couple of hours.
I put on a loaf of bread, made a carrot cake and an apple & kiwifruit crumble for tonights dessert.
No sign of kids and it was 8:30am.
They began wandering out soon after.
Shoshannah relit the wood stove to continue roasting of the meat for dinner.
The day was rather glorious so there was plans afoot to go enjoy it.
I managed to get some cleaning up done before they left though, with much threats and promises of dire destruction if the bedrooms were left in the states they were in.
Azzan, Oliver, Madeline & Mahalia managed to get all the mattresses and blankets away and the rooms reasonably ok and then they were off swimming.

Shoshannah & Prisca packed up lunch and then went kayaking for the morning.
Captain Skip went along for the ride 🙂
I made a white sauce to add to the pasta Shoshannah made yesterday, heated it through and cut up a coleslaw to eat with it for lunch.
The wwoofers arrived back around 11am and had some morning tea cake and then lunch.
It was so hot that Anson gave them a few hours off to rest or kayak.
It also gave him a chance to catch up on some other chores.
The kids came in and had lunch and then cleaned up all the dishes and did potatoes for dinner.
I cut up pumpkin to roast and made myself some lunch.
Azzan was quite taken with my ‘healthy lunch’ 🙂
I was so tired I went and lay on my bed and ate it while watching a movie.
The story was based on a novel by Rose Wilder Lane – ‘Young Pioneers’ Christmas’.
The story line was lovely but the filming was obviously quite old.
Just checked, the series came out in 1978!

Oliver, Madeline, Mahalia & Azzan went off in three kayaks and picked up a fourth from Waterfall Bay.
I was needing some sunshine so when Jesika messaged to say she could Skype I took the laptop out on the deck.
Only problem was the sun was so hot I had to keep moving around!
She was waiting on tenterhooks because Evan had been taken off to hospital in an ambulance early in the morning.
They were doing tests while she waited at home.
Looks like he might have the same problem as his mother-in-law – cholecystitus!
We chatted for a while and then Marah & Eden arrived so Jesika was able to see Eden playing which was lovely for her.

Shoshannah went off to do some chainsawing with Anson.
At 4pm the woofers went back to do some wood splitting.
I managed to get some of my Week 3 artwork started before I needed to get dinner finished.
Kids were all busy coming and going.
Deciding what to do tonight.
Finally Mahalia went off to sleepover at Bush Inn with Madeline & Oliver and Azzan stayed home.
He was so incredibly tired that he could barely function.
He took his dinner outside to eat and then I sent him off to bed.

I was trying to get dinner on the table for 6:15am.
I had to carve up the two roasts.
Something I have never had to do before because Tim always did it and I am not at all confident doing it.
Some of the wwoofers arrived in a bit early and were milling around watching me.
It was just way too stressful having them watching, I had to tell them to go away.
They all enjoyed their dinner which is great.
It is taking me all my energy to cater and entertain them.
They are pretty good and don’t hang around much after dinner.
But mealtimes are really hard, there is no conversation and I have not got the energy to try and talk with them.
Most times we have people here they all communicate but these five are just not connecting.
Shoshannah is bright and breezy which helps a little.

The wwoofers did all the dishes after I had rinsed and stacked them and delay with the leftovers.
Then they headed off to their cabins.
Shoshannah & Prisca took a second helping of dessert to bed and Azzan is already asleep.
It is only 8:30 and the evening is stretching out in front of me.
So quiet, empty and so very lonely.

Wednesday 22nd January

Anson came round at 6am and picked up the three wwoofers.
They spent the morning over the back grubbing weeds.
I didn’t wake till after 7am.
Spent the morning in bed.
No need to race out, and I was tired, and the water was not hot enough for a shower.
Spent a long time on the internet replying to all the lovely birthday messages that have been flowing in over the weekend.
Then I got up to do some business stuff in the study,  paid some bills, made some calls and sorted out some other bank stuff.
Spent ages on the phone with a very helpful guy at the BNZ call centre getting kids Kiwisaver stuff stuff sorted.
What a palaver!
Finally left him to get the last two things done and come back to me in next few days.

Azzan went round to Bush Inn.
He had made plans let night with Madeline and Oliver so was keen to get moving.
They met up and walked around to Waterfall Bay and visited Phoebe.

Shoshannah & Prisca made muffins and smoothie.
I was presented with a mug full – it was delicious.
They also made pasta for lunch.
The wwoofers came back for a late morning tea and then Anson took them out wood splitting and gathering up firewood for a couple of hours.

Seb & Ritchie spent the day out on Tardis catching up with mussel work.
Seb’s not able to do a lot so he has been showing Ritchie the ropes.

I finally got myself up and showered and confronted the kitchen mid afternoon.
The wwoofers were just having their lunch.
Shoshannah & Prisca had collapsed back into bed and were watching a movie.
So I began getting dinner ready.
Made a large pot of curried sausages and eggs with rice.
Then made a coconut self saucing pudding.

Two young German guys arrived.
Tim & Marlon looked a tad shell shocked after their drive in.
Shoshannah got them settled into the Cottage and then they came and had some lunch.
Not too much left of the day so told them to go relax and explore.
The day has been a bit over cast and misty, quiet cool.
No swimming on the agenda for them.

Azzan walked home from Waterfall Bay.
He was too tired to do anything so collapsed on his bed until the other three arrived back.
Mahalia had several parcels waiting for her.
The most important one was from Alex.
It took her a long time to unwrap it.
There were so many layers to carefully cut through and peel off!
P1030367 P1030368 P1030369 P1030370
Finally all was revealed.
A tablet and one happy girl 🙂
Thanks so much Alex she will enjoy it very muchly 🙂

I gave them some cookie cutters I had bought in town – the next thing I knew they were busy in the kitchen baking gingerbread.
I had planned on dinner at 6pm but they were still curating cookies at 6:20pm.
Andrew was playing helping them make the mess bake.
I got dinner finished while they cleaned up.
The four kids all went off for a late swim and spa.
I dished up dinner and they came up later and had theirs.

They convinced me to let Oliver & Madeline stay the night so I left them all to eat dinner, clean up the kitchen and get themselves ready for bed.
They are now putting mattresses on Azzan’s floor and supposed to be settling themselves down asap.
I am directly through the wall so can hear any nonsense!
I am incredibly tired tonight so if their is a peep out of them they are in trouble 😉