Friday 28th February

Had a quick spa this morning sometime before 8am but missed out on the bathroom so ended up in the study talking through the window to Anson clad in must my towel.
You didn’t really need to hear that did you?
But just wanted to point out that even in a house with 2 bathrooms and only 3 kids I still cannot get in there when I want to!
Finally managed to get in and complete my ablutions and find some clothes.
Anson & Shoshannah were on tenter hooks, they were sposed to be heading off on a three day hunting trip with Jonny but at last minute it all fell through.
The countryside is just so dangerously tinder dry at present that the forest owners are not happy about letting anyone in.
This is one of my favourite dressings which I buy when I am in Auckland from Sabato.
Took a pic to send to Genevieve to show her what it is and Mahalia decided she needed to model it 🙂
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I had time to do some banking and then Merv & Dean arrived in their boat to pick me up.
We shot along to Waterfall Bay to see Seb & Phoebe.
Much easier and more pleasant route than driving over the hill.
Had a very enjoyable pow wow together, talking business and other stuff.
I got some Sapphire cuddles, she went to sleep on my shoulder and then slept on in her buggy despite Dean’s very loud explosive laughter 🙂
She woke just before we were leaving.
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The district nurse arrived as we were about to walk out the door.
It was lovely to meet her.
She weighted and measured Sapphire – she is 9 weeks and is now 7.64kg (16.84lbs)
Plus she’s grown another 2cm in length = 63cm.
Growing like a wee mushroom!

The guys dropped me back home in time for the mailboat.
I helped Anson & Shoshannah move his table into Azzan’s room.
We are storing it for a while to give Anson & Marah more room in their wee house.
Mahalia cleaned The Cottage and Azzan did some cleaning up around the house.
I somehow do not think as much got done as I had put on his list – come to that, I wonder if he even read his list!

Spent the arvo doing mail and paying bills and organizing mail etc.
Trying to simplify things for when I am not here.
I have things to do, places to go and people to see 🙂
The nurse came over to visit Marah & Eden and then popped around to visit me.
Went for a wander up the hill to her car with her.
She is lovely – the girls are very blessed to have her come to them.

Mahalia & Azzan made salmon & kumara fritters for dinner.
Azzan arranged beautiful salads on our plates.
He wanted to make them as healthily as he could.
It was very tasty with interesting flavor combinations.
Shredded lettuce, carrot sticks, boiled eggs with crystalized ginger and shredded almonds on top.
There was a lot of tomfoolery and craziness going on all the while they were making dinner.
We sat in my bed and watched ‘Life as We Know it’.

Had a long chat with Phillipa after the kids went off to bed.
Then chatted with Jesika after they arrived in Kalgoorlie.
Nice to know they shave reached their destination and not been bowled over by roos or camels, or run over by the huge 4 length road trains!!
Pretty lethal that desert 😉

Day 3 for Jesika & Evan.
Eucla – Kalgoorlie.
Jut a short hop today – approx 900kms in 13 hours!
Jesika drove this stretch today – bet that was booorrrrriiiiing!
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Thursday 27th February

Had a very lazy day today.
Not much to talk about really.
Just decided I didn’t need to do anything so I didn’t.
Was good.
Spent most of the day laying on my bed watching ‘The Mentalist’.
Did get outside at one point and planted a tree we had been given a few weeks ago.
Hadn’t really been able to decide where to put it but finally figured it had to be put in the ground so put it in the new garden where the aviary used to be and hope that it doesn’t grow too huge!

Shoshannah made dinner – Pad Thai with grilled chicken. Very yummy.

I saw this poem today.
Really spoke for me.

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

~ Jane Kenyon

This blog also came to me at the right time.
Stone Cold Grief.
I can really vouch for that need to be in control.
When everything in your life is so out of control you really desperatly need to have control of the small things and when you lose that it tips you over the edge.
I have experienced that so many times but didn’t recognize it until recently.

Jesika and Evan have safely traveled their Day 2 across the Nullabor.
Port Augusta – Eucla –  954.8 kms in 14 hrs.
After seeing her photos of the Bunda Cliffs it makes my feet itch to get over there to see them too!
They look absolutely amazingly breathtaking.

Wednesday 26th February

Just another day.
Kids and I did normal morning stuff, dishes, washing, floors, mail etc.
Michael came down to see us and then walked up to visit Tim.
Not an easy walk as it is the first time up to the grave site for him.
Jesika & Evan left early this morning for their journey across the Nullibor.
This is them all loaded up and leaving at 5:30am on the first stage of the trip.
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Jesika was sending me messages along the way so I was able to track them on Google maps.
They drove via Bordertown and then up through the Borossa Valley to Port Augusta.
A much prettier route than traveling through Adelaide city but still a very long day.
***I have just been messaged to say they have arrived safely in Port Augusta.
1037.7kms in 15.5hours – what a mission.
And that is just Day One!

Drove over to Waterfall Bay at midday.
Shoshannah relieved Phoebe of the baby so her arms were free.
Kids and I whizzed around and helped Phoebe get some stuff done.
Anson & Marah arrived with Eden.
We got the wee girls sorted with their aunts and uncle so the 5 of us could have an uninterrupted meeting.
Sat and talked for several hours.
First time for a business meeting, but not the last.
Was good to make the time to communicate and make plans.
Our lives get so busy just living that we have to force the time to stop and touch base.

It was most exciting to see this grey heron land on the chimney.
Apparently there have been quite a few coming in, it is the first I have seen in ages.
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Shoshannah took Eden walking in the buggy to get her to sleep.
It worked.
She was quite dewey eyed and cuddly when she woke up.
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Sapphire had a feed and then slept through the rest of the meeting.
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This is apparently her waking up face.
It had me laughing so hard!
Sort of slightly incongruous with her tee shirt eh? 😉
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I had taken over a pasta bake from my freezer which we heated up for lunch.
My three were all being rather wilting on the sofas when not needed any more for babysitting duties.
Mahalia cleaned the Lodge and I put several loads of washing through and the kids and I hung it all out.
Anson wanted to get back to kill some sheep so they left once we had finished up.
Shoshannah went back with them to help with the kill.
I was planning to leave soon after but got side tracked.
Went for a wander to talk with Ritchie.
He was conditioning ropes so showed me their system and the ‘new’ forklift which I am pleased to hear is making life so much easier for them.
Seb was in the workshop inventing a rope measuring machine.
He was failing fast and needed to get to bed so I didn’t hold him up.
Just praying that the powers that be will get moving and he will get into the spinal specialist real soon.
I chatted some more with Phoebe.
The kids and I finally left and got home around 6pm.
Mahalia went up to water Olly and the orchard.
It is so dry here at present, all the leaves are falling off the fruit trees.
Decided to have a quick and easy dinner so we made rice paper rolls.
It was fun and the kids loved them.
We filled them with slices of capsicum, grated carrot, fired onion, guacamole and salmon.
Watched some of The Mentalist and then the kids all headed off to bed.

Tuesday 25th February

Lovely morning for a spa today.
The weather has cooled down a lot, we are still getting very hot sunny days and it is incredibly dry, but the air temp is cooler.

Shoshannah is determined to get her Firearms Safety course done so was working away it most of the morning.
I spent all morning buried in more paper work.
Had to scan heaps of forms and then email them all off to the right people.
Some need references and others need endorsements, it is never plain and simple!
Filling out the forms brought me to tears when I had to write only my name as the parent.
It has always been Tim & me, me & Tim.
It’s the same when I sign greeting cards – feels totally wrong only putting my name there 😦

Michael arrived around midday.
He’s come to hang out with Anson for a couple of days before heading off to Sydney on his adventure.
Caught up with him briefly as I was heading out the door.
I had to be over at Waterfall Bay by 1:30pm to drive some guests up the hill as they didn’t have a 4WD vehicle and Seb was not home.
I grabbed a quick sandwich as I was leaving.
Each time I went to step out the door I got caught by phone calls.
Finally Azzan & I were away.
Shoshannah hitched a lift to Marah’s so we stopped off to drop off some things to her.
Eden was playing on the floor – cute wee girl was spreading her food everywhere and getting into the cupboards.
Left Shoshannah there and drove over the hill.
Sapphire was asleep in the buggy.
I caught up with Phoebe while Azzan brought in the washing.
Then we loaded the guests’ gear in and whizzed them up the hill to their car.
I was back home in no time.
Felt totally wiped out so went and lay down for a rest.
Azzan came in for a cuddle.
He was crying, missing his Daddy.
I side tracked him off to do some science experiments.
He had some fun doing them.
Mahalia went up to see Olly and give him a wash down.
She is now sporting a bruised arm from banging into him.
The kids cooked dinner.
Mahalia experimented with aubergine and fried up wiener schnitzel and a vege stir fry.
Shoshannah boiled up some potatoes for her and me.
It was a very tasty dinner 🙂

In amongst all of this every day stuff I am sussing out a few things towards our road trip planning.
We are on count down!!

Monday 24th February

Lay in the spa and watched  a session of The Mentalist.
Then….

A day of paperwork.

So many changes afoot.
One thing sparks the need to do another.

Firstly – Jesika’s news.
To quote her announcement –
“ SO! Our next adventure is about to take off!! 
We will be leaving our humble home in Melbourne and driving across the Nullabor in our trusty new steed with all our worldly possessions in tow ALL the way to Perth where we will be making our new home!! We are shipping out before dawn on Wednesday and excitedly travelling to a whole new chapter of adventures, beaches, sun, sand dunes and heaps more!
And here is proof of the action.
It’s all most exciting – somewhere else to add to our holiday destinations 🙂
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Then Shoshannah’s news.
She has decided she really wants to go to school.
It is too hard for her here now.
And a face to face learning opportunity will be good.
I’m okay with it as she is coming up 17 and I have managed to get her thus far.
Now it is her time to start the wing spreading, the climb out of the cocoon.
Over the past few days I have been doing lots of homework in preparation for this to happen.
Today I have spent all day filling in forms.
Enrollment forms, boarding allowance applications, etc etc
I have made lots of phone calls to get more info on how to present that into.
Nothing is easy or straight forward!

Anson came to visit.
He had been around his possum traps, they are catching a lot at present which is wonderful.
He and Jesika were going to do a currency swap so he checked his Australian bank account online for the first time since he came home.
As he hardly ever uses his Aust card here in NZ plus he has no computer, he hasn’t bothered to check the account.
We found heaps of mysterious withdrawals from weird places and a very depleted balance.
He called up the bank in Australia and had a long talk with someone who then put him on hold for ages and finally he got to talk to the fraud squad.
The withdrawals have been happening for a year now, just 3 or 4 semi smallish amounts each month, very cunning, very sneaky, but over time they have added up to a lot.
Then we had to email all those places to ask if they know anything about the withdrawals and if we have not heard from them in 7 days then the fraud squad can activate an inquiry.
Well guess what we found?
Every website & contact email addresses was very very similar.
So I am figuring that we will most probably never hear a peep from any of them.
In the meantime his account has been frozen so they can’t touch anymore of his hard earned  money.
A really good warning to you all – keep an eye on your bank accounts.
There’s some rotten scumbags out there who are very happy to part you from your hard earned savings :-/

Sebastian drove over with Mahalia.
She had cleaned the Lodge for/with Phoebe today and Seb had papers to pick up.
More paperwork re his back.
Another warning to you all out there – make sure you know exactly what your insurance will be covering and get all the fishhooks sorted before you pay any premiums.
We were under an understanding re ours and now find we were not told about something very important.
Needless to say I am furious.
All the red tape involved with getting help and assistance for him is ridiculous.
And the time it is taking is crazy considering the amount of pain he is constantly experiencing.
Just hope they get things kicked into action real soon, it’s been going on for over 5 months now.
Far too long to live with that amount of pain and for his body to deal with the high dosages of pain killers  he has to take to manage it.

So picture the kitchen table with Shoshannah trying to study her Firearms Safety course at one end, me at the other trying to get all the forms sorted, and in amongst this Azzan is supposed to be doing some English and  Maths.
Only problem is he is wanting my help and attention.
But my attention is divided – being sliced up too many ways!
Because I cannot give it to him 100% he is off on his exercise tangents or throwing a wobbly because he can’t do it and I can’t help him right when he needs me to.
He is up off his seat hoola hooping, then skipping, then using ‘7’ app on my phone, then on the treadmill going flat out.
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He is just non stop!
Then Mahalia arrives and adds her stuff to the equation.
She is supposed to be doing maths & harp.
The harp practice happened but that’s about it!
My head is swirling.
Everyone is hungry.
Shoshannah makes herself some lunch and then heads off to bed for a sleep.
She is very tired and her eyes are playing up badly.
Mahalia prepares all the additives for me and then I create some omeletes for the three of us.
We eat them in my bed and watch the final of Mentalist Season 3.

Then it is back to the paperwork.
Azzan got the washing in, folded it and put it away.
Mahalia did some dishes.
Shoshannah lit the fire to heat up the water.
She also did a check through the curriculum handbook and marked off all the subjects she is interested in.
Tomorrow we will address those and narrow the field.

The other news of the day is that Nathan passed his Full Drivers License test.
Fantastic Nathan!!
Well done, now a fully legal driver 🙂

Shoshannah made herself some dinner and headed off to bed early.
Mahalia & Azzan prepared dinner for the three of us.
Boiled potatoes & carrots with steamed broccoli and cocktail sausages in a creamy tomato sauce.
Very tasty.
We cuddled up on my bed again and watched some more of The Mentalist.
Now it is late and time to shut shop.
It is very night time quiet here, a bit creaky and a bit spooky.
There are noises from outside – just large bugs flying to the lights and banging around on the skylights etc, cat meowing outside the door, moths dive-bombing the windows….

Time I made a drink and headed off to bed.
Night all xxx

Sunday 23rd February

Slept in a tad after the late night.
Phillipa, Pat & Lydia were heading off to church so I packed and got myself moving.
Said our goodbyes as they played the ‘hunt for the car keys’ game!
Finally found and they were off.
I just had time to get myself down the road to Crusoes’s Cafe to meet up with Cat.
She arrived with Leeann & Sasha.
We have a lovely couple of hours catching up over some good food.
Well some of us did.
Cat & Leeann had decided to go on a juice fast that morning so they were drooling over our food.
Here they are with their empty glass mugs waiting for their herbal tea to brew.
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While they watched Sasha and I enjoyed our brunch 🙂
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Bit rough eh?
They were so desperate they ate the brewed herb/fruits from their teas 🙂

Me and my girl 🙂
She is on call and probably won’t get home this time onshore so it was really nice to be able to catch up with her before I came home.
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I had to zip into the city before 1pm to pick up some stuff for Anson so lots of hugs and we were off and away.

Got Anson’s stuff and then went back to Tahunanui to visit Sally.
She has recently had a major shoulder op so was good to see her feeling so much better already – be it a tad bored and frustrated with her confinement!
The weather had taken a change for the worse and it was really really windy.
I zipped back into the city and picked up the girls.
We went to The Warehouse, Countdown and United Videos to get last few things and then stopped at Z Fuel, Starbucks & Hangar 58 to fuel us up for our trip home.
Actually left town around 4pm – amazingly early for us.
Road is really rough at present and very dusty as there has been no rain in ages.
We stopped at Tim’s cairn to replace the flowers and found his boots and rocks falling down so we spent some time getting it sorted.
Went down to Waterfall Bay to drop off Mahalia and pick up Azzan.

Phoebe’s family were there en mass having dinner.
Caught up with Sapphire – she has grown so much in the few days since I last saw her!
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We finally left just on dark and stopped in to drop off Anson’s stuff.
Eden was asleep so we tippy toed in.
The kids just about put Marah through the roof as she was not expecting them and they loomed up out of the darkness and peered in through her kitchen window 🙂
Arrived home and unpacked the car.
We all needed to get off to bed.
Azzan came back out to see me.
He was upset.
His Daddy wasn’t here and he wanted him to be.
We had a cuddle and he shed a few tears before going back to bed.
It’s tough.

I recently found this poem on this blog site.
It says it all.

The Cure
by Albert Huffstickler
We think we get over things.
We don’t get over things.
Or say, we get over the measles
but not a broken heart.
We need to make that distinction.
That things that become part of our experience
never become less a part of our experience.
How can I say it?
The way to ‘get over’ a life is to die.
Short of that, you move with it,
let the pain be pain,
not in the hope that it will vanish
but in the faith that it will fit in,
find its place in the shape of things
and be then not any less pain but true to form.
Because anything natural has an inherent shape
and will flow towards it.
And a life is as natural as a leaf.
That’s what we’re looking for:
not the end of a thing but the shape of it.
Wisdom is seeing the shape of your life
without obliterating (getting over) a single
instant of it.

Saturday 22nd February

Woke at 7:30am.
All very quiet so I did some stuff on the computer and then got up and chatted with Phillipa for a while.
The clock was ticking along faster than I was so it soon got to be mid morning and I could see my time to get the things done in town fast disappearing.
Got myself showered and ready to face the day and was out the door around 11am.
Went to see Ross & Andrea to drop off some things.
Lovely to have a few moments to talk with Andrea before I had to leave at midday.
Met up with Sally at Sinful Coffee.
Never been there before, never even knew about it.
It is a really nice cafe – great food and apparently according to Sally, wonderful coffee.
I’m not sure if it was the heat, or that I was over hungry, or if it is just the emotional stress, but my stomach was not happy.
I was feeling quite sick and churned up.
Sally shouted me lunch – it was my birthday present – Thanks Sally it was a lovely gift 🙂
But the best present was to get to spend a couple of uninterrupted hours with you xxx
It was so good to talk with her and to be able to share so much.
The emotional turmoil is relentless at the moment and I ended up having a good cry on her shoulder.
It was after 2pm and I had to reluctantly leave.

Just had time to nip into a couple of shops to pick up some things I needed for the birthday present before heading back to the house to get ready.
I took Phillipa, Pat & Lydia in my car and we drove out to Motueka to join other friends and family in the celebration of Colin’s 60th birthday.
It was really nice to be able to be there but it was also really hard.
I was feeling wrung out emotionally and not up to too much talking.
Most folk respected that, but I did get cornered at one stage which was very difficult.
Some people just do not know when to back off and stop asking personal probing questions.
And right now I cannot deal with that.
I have a few close friends I can talk with about personal things, but it is just way too hard to go there with others.

Colin & Jillian have 10 children and  a number of grand kiddies – only 3 were not there.
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Happy BIrthday Colin 🙂
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We enjoyed a buffet bbq and then cake & dessert.
The girls all hopped into the spa and the boys hooned off playing games in the dark while the adults talked.
It was after 9:30pm when we left.
Got back and had coffee and buns which Phillipa’s Norwegian boarder had made.
Rather tasty and good comfort food to go to sleep on.