Saturday 23rd May

I had an early start to the day as needed to get the Nissan in to get its tyres replaced.
Seb was also up early, Carl called by and collected him as they had groomsmen duties to perform.
I dropped my car off and then whizzed over to Tahunanui.
Had coffee with a friend and then headed back home around 10am.
Mahalia had gone off shopping with Phoebe & Sapphie.
I wasn’t here long before I got a call to say my Nissan was all done.
Nathan & Mira were heading into town so they dropped me off.
I am not a great passenger so it was a fairly fraught trip :-/
Back home, emotions had plummeted.
Feeling rather sad and sorry of myself which resulted in a few tears.

The girls arrived back from their shopping trip and quickly got ready for the wedding.
Both had pretty new dresses to wear.
Mahalia dressed Sapphie while Phoebe got herself prettied up.
Couldnt let them out the door without a quick photo session.
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I showed Phoebe how to find the venue on google maps as she had not been there before and they were off.
I heard Caspian doing his guard dog act and saw Shannie hoisting her bike over the puppy fence.
David & Sasha had come into Tahunanui so she biked back from there.
After her late night at the birthday party and the ride home she was rather tired.
We had a quick clean up of the house.
I was still feeling really down.
Hopped into the shower at 2pm to try and wash away the blues.
Had just managed to get myself dressed and made up when I heard voices in the kitchen.
Good timing!
Martin & Sylvia had just picked up cousin Gill and her eldest son David from the airport.
It was lovely to met them both.
Its been 19 years since we met Gill during our 9 week North Island trip with 6 kids in a landrover and caravan.
They came to meet Nathan, Shoshannah & Mahalia who were briefly & unusually all back at the house together at the same time.
Had a chat for half an hour and then they went back to Martin & Sylvia’s for a while.
I drove out to Richmond and popped into pick up something from Margaret.
Then back to Stoke by 4pm to help set up the hall for the 2nd of our Nelson VanAid quiz nights.
I worked alongside the others to get the hall all ready to go.
Then at 5:45pm I got a call from Azzan saying they were back so I whizzed out to get him.
He had been out to Takaka on a caving expedition with Cat & Leeann and was fair buzzing with the excitement of it all.
He was also wanting to come to dinner with me and meet his cousins so we really happy when I was able to pick him up.
We arrived at East Street Cafe around and had enough time to freshen up before Martin, Sylvia, Gill & David arrived.
We had a delightful evening.
Great food, wonderful wait staff, good company, and exceptional entertainment from Azzan 🙂
We finally left around 9pm.
Venturing out into a rather chilly, almost icy evening so we didn’t muck about outside.
Back home to a deliciously warm fire.
Phoebe & Sapphie were back from the wedding as it was ‘no children after 5pm’, and the girls were all watching a movie together.
I had managed to turn my emotional switch from Blue to Orange so the day ended happily 🙂

Friday 22nd May

I had to take Azzan to his 9:45am appointment so we headed off, running a tad late-ish and somehow he never got any breakfast.
I dropped him off to get a Tank smoothie while I went on ahead.
While he was busy with Shane I did several jobs.
Talked to Jane and got things kicked along again re the farm.
I’ve been putting a lot of stuff in the too hard basket and just burying my head for a while so I don’t have to deal with it all.
But I have to get things sorted.
They’re not going to sort themselves :-/
Picked up Azzan and then went and got Shanni’s prescriptions filled.
Azzan ran in and pick dup his dvd from Sarah-Jane on the way past SASH and then we were back home again.
He was desperately trying to get some food sorted when his cycling tutor arrived early.
He had a quick munch, learned about the importance of oiling his bike chain, getting the seat to the right height etc, and then they were off.
They arrived back an hour later and he was buzzing.
So good to see him getting his confidence restored and enjoying his bike again, and even more than before.
Bruce gave me a list of essential things to get for his bike and told us that Azzan had the potential to be a fantastic mountain biker.
I spent some time catching up on paper work, business stuff and banking.
It was so bright and sunny in my bedroom I sat on my bed to soak up some Vit D while trying to focus on the job.
I tend to put off doing the office work because it is too stressful and if I can’t focus properly I know I will make mistakes.
So have to find a quiet spot and more than a few moments spare to be able to do it.
Seb & Phoebe were in town getting the vehicle fixed and getting organised for Bud’s wedding.
Seb is one of the groomsmen.
Phoebe & Sapphie came to stay for a while. Sapphie was getting rather weary.
I was amused as to the intense concentration this usually busy wee buzzy bee had for the music.
She was sitting on my bedroom rug while we were all talking above her, so focused, and every now and then would do a wee bottom dance, glance up at us, and then go back to her video.
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Phoebe gave her a feed and settled her to sleep.
Then leaving her in Mahalia’s tender care we raced into town to try and sort out some bank stuff.
Discovered it is nigh impossible to open a bank account unless they have more ID from you than you can possibly have.
It makes me wonder how someone who is homeless, jobless, etc can ever get ahead, or how they can even have a bank account to receive their govt payments??
And hey!! We want to give you our money!
Crazy!  :-/
A passport is not acceptable.
A drivers licence in your maiden name is unacceptable – opps, funny how things we use daily we forget to update.
I remember my mother being pulled up by a traffic office when I was in my teens and only then realising her drivers licence was still in her maiden name!!
Proof of address, sorta easy, but in an age when everything is electronic not a lot of mail is posted.
But no, it is even harder, proof of physical address is required.
And that is one thing I have battled with for the past 36 years – welcome to my world Phoebe 😉
How can you get proof of our physical address when nothing is ever posted to you at that address because if it were then you would never receive it????
Frustrating to the absolute max.
Especially when it is 5pm on a Friday evening.
Oh well, at least in amongst it all she gets to have her licence updated 😉
And maybe next visit to town she might just find a bank who will accept that she does exist!
In amongst all of this I was directing Azzan down the street to the bus station where he was meeting Shoshannah who was biking down as she needed to take her bike out to Richmond.
They found each other and she began teaching him how to use the buses.
It is the first time he has ever used the bus service.
Never needed to so when he wanted to get out to David & Sasha’s tonight  figured it was a good time to start.
He is off on an adventure with Cat & Leeann tomorrow and is very excited 🙂
We seriously needed sustenance by the time we had gotten mentally confused by all the requirements so grabbed some Starbucks and then came back home via the AA where we found out the info required to update a certain drivers licence.
Decided to make a big pot of pumpkin & potato soup for dinner.
I added fried onions and grated zucchini, chickpeas, garlic, garam masala, – it was a delicious start to our winter soup making.
Had it with fresh buns.
See arrived back so we sent him down the street with Mahalia to get some hot chips to add to the meal.
He was so weary he asked if he could drive there 😉
But Mahalia bounced along behind him and they managed to walk the 120m.
They took forever to arrive back – they shop was busy but sounds like the order got a bit lost in the proceedings.
I shoulda just phoned it through first – will remember next time!
A friend arrived and enjoyed dinner with us then we went off for drinks at the Sprig & Fern.
Lovely to catch up, it’s been a while.
It was a chilly evening out but rather lovely walking under the clear evening skies.

Thursday 21st May

A damp start to the day.
A bit of rain forecast but it was soon b own over.
I dropped Mahalia off at class and headed on out to Richmond.

Sasha needed to get into the hospital for some hydrotherapy so I was her taxi this morning.
On the way I picked up Shanni’s laptop which Ross had thankfully been able to dry out and resurrect after she split some liquid on it last week.
Then Sasha lay on my back seat as it was too uncomfortable for her to sit up, and we zipped back into the hospital.
Dropped her off and popped back home for half an hour.
The boys were getting themselves up  and breakfasted.
I left Azzan getting things done.
He was okay about being left to do things because Nathan was home too.
I grabbed a mocha and filled bun from The Bakers and went back to the hospital to pick up Sasha.
Treatment had been beneficial so that was great.
We zipped back to Richmond and I left her to go rest up and drove back into Nelson.
Had 10minutes up my sleeve to stopped off to sort out some new tyres for the Nissan.
Nice to chat with Dave again.
He has always looked after us and since Tim has gone he has been extra helpful and caring.
Really appreciate the extra mile.
Then I zipped to Founders to meet Jana for lunch.
We had decided to try somewhere new and were not disappointed.
Cannot believe the place was not crowded.
The food was really good.
I ordered the small nachos and was presented with this huge plate full.
It oak me ages to finally do it justice and empty the bowl.
Thoroughly recommend the place 🙂
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We managed to successfully fill in the better part of 2 hours eating and talking.
Then Jana came back home with me to suss out my new abode.

Ever since Azzan’s cycle accident he has lost confidence and would not tackle biking anywhere.
So in desperation I began googling for help.
I found this website which directed me to Marty who I have been corresponding with for several days.
Today he had a tutor sorted to begin lessons with Azzan.
Because of the rain it was postponed till this arvo.
Bruce had arrived a few minutes before I got back home and he was already helping Azzan with getting his bike types pumped up to the right compression.
Then after we introduced ourselves he took him off to Neale Park to get him going.
Before they left Azzan wouldn’t even consider biking out the gate.
But an hour later they arrived back and he was a different kid.
I am so thrilled with the confidence boost this is having already.

As Jana was leaving Rob arrived.
So we sat at the table and talked over some business.
He went off to check out a few things and I collapsed on my bed.
Nathan took Azzan to Kip McGrath and thankfully was able to pick him up later as I was exhausted.
Mahalia cooked dinner.
She made roast potato and camera cubes and a greek salad.
The stupid oven took forever to cook so we didn’t eat until way after 6pm.
Shanni was really tired.
She has a huge work day on Thursdays so is ready for collapesville when she gets home.
Plus she is having some health hassles which upset her in many ways.
So she is never too late from going to bed.
We had a good talk and some big hugs.
I hate not being able to fix my girl  and make her all better 😦
It is so darned hard being a mother sometimes – actually a lot of times :-/
But as I told my dear friend Wendy tonight – the best thing we can do for our children’s mother is to love her.
So I will be gentle on myself tonight 😉

Mahalia went across the street and babysat for an hour after dinner.
Nathan cleaned up most of the dinner dishes and then relaxed in the lounge.
Mira was at work.
I was trying to get some paperwork done but gave up and went to bed.

Wednesday 20th May

I was expecting Graham before 8am so was up early and moving the cars out of the way in preparation for the arrival of his trailer.
He backed it in and parked it in front of my nicely cleaned out woodshed.
All ready for the boys to unload during the day 🙂
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I am ever so grateful to Graham & Anson for keeping my wood supplies up.
We are keeping ever so warm in the house now the days are getting cooler.
It was a cool day so I dragged out of the back of my winter drawer a thick wooden cardigan I had knitted years ago.
Somethings are worth keeping, they come back into fashion if you hold on to them long enough 😉
Caspian is enjoying running about the yard now I have the safety fence up inside the gate/
But when the guys were unloading the wood he parked up under the drawbar.
Must’ve thought it was the safest place!
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I had a few things to do so headed off and left them to it.
Popped into SASH to suss out some work information.
Shared chocolates with Sarah-Jane while we talked 😉
Picked up a new set of drawers for Shanni’s bathroom from Warehouse Stationery’s sale in the hopes that it will help keep the place tidier.
Then off to meet Mahalia during her lunch break.
Picked up some baked spuds for our lunch cuz we were both starving hungry.
Then to Hannah’s to try on boots.
So jealous cuz Mahalia was able to fit the boots I really liked but didn’t fit 😉
Came out with a pair each so all was good.
Then to Lighting Plus, but found nothing that we liked.
Dropped her back at NMIT and I headed out to Lighting Direct to pick up a light for Mahalia’s bedroom that we had found online.
Decided I had enough time to buzz on out to Wakatu Estate to check out McCrae’s for some outdoor screens I had seen them advertising.
Got the quote booked and then headed back to the airport.
Stopped in briefly at Tile Direct but found nothing I liked.
Parked up at the airport beside this hot number.
I know which car Mahalia would prefer I drove back home 😉
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Soon the travellers arrived to check in.
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Once they had gotten their bags checked in they were free to ‘do coffee’.
Our last coffee date for a wee while.
It’been brief but it’s been cool to catch up again with you both again.
Love you heaps & look forward to seeing you in the hopefully not too distant future  xxxxx
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Amy & Aviah had driven them here and Terence took a few minutes off work to come say goodbye too.
So we had to take some last minute family photos cuz it will be a while before Grandpers and Grandma will be back from Canada again.
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I left them to say their last farewells before they boarded, and drove back home.

Nathan was cooking dinner tonight and he was in full flight when I arrived.
He had changed from his original menu and was now creating home made do-it-yourself hamburgers.
He even had a wonderful vegetarian option and a dairy free Shanni option so we all ate extremely well.
Mahalia had rowing so arrived back exhausted but exhilarated.
Shanni was off having a driving lesson after school.
David & Sasha arrived after work.
Sasha was looking a lot better after her change in medication, but still in a lot of pain and discomfort.
After dinner he checked out the bedroom lights that needed fitting.
They need some extra bits and pieces so he will return to do the job later.
Nathan had excelled and had made a delicious pie with ice cream for dessert.
Shanni was in bed by 8pm so I was trying to keep the noise down in the kitchen.
We were all really weary so D&S headed off home soon after.

Tuesday 19th May

Today I actually spent pretty much the whole day at home!
Wow! Amazing.
Still can’t remember what I managed to achieve by being here apart from posting some mail.
Azzan wanted to go for a walk so he walked up the street with me to hold the puppy while I sorted the parcels I was posting.
Then I brought Caspian home and Azzan carried on up to the top of the Centre of NZ.
Mira got stuck in and cleaned the bathroom and vacuum the house.

I was about to leave the house just after 3pm.
Hurriedly filled a wrap for Mahalia after she text asking for food.
Then whizzed down and dropped off Azzan & the wrap at Kip McGrath.
Took the opportunity to go suss out some lighting and check out the sale at Warehouse Stationary before picking Azzan up again.
Their tutor was very happy with them both, especially Mahalia tonight as she has achieved spectacularly well.
I was presented with a folder of her work and a certificate of achievement.
Very proud of her 🙂
Dropped Azzan off at the house and then drove off for an hour of ‘me’ time.
Checked out Hannahs and tried on winter boots.
Need something flattish and waterproof for winter.
Found a pair I liked so put them on hold till tomorrow.
Then grabbed a raspberry mocha from Starbucks just as they were closing – nice that they know me still even though I don’t frequent their doors so much these days.
Chatted on the phone with Sasha while I waited for Mahalia.
Back to the house for dinner.
Just a small family tonight as Shanni was staying in Richmond and Nathan was at his German lessons.

Mira cooked dinner tonight.
She made a vegetarian lasagne.
It was delicious.
There must’ve been something in the sauce though!  😉
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Monday 18th May

Wow! Today was the windiest day ever!!
It was autumns temperatures so dressed accordingly.
Bright orange pants got pulled out from the back of the drawer and were donned along with my funky multi coloured boots.
Sometimes the show needs some brightening eh?
Managed to fit in a work debrief on phone with Sylv before my shower.
Had been too busy & tired to do it yesterday.
I had totally forgotten I had a 9:45am counselling appointment until just before 9am.
I was about to cruise off out the door, possibly walk the dog at the same time, and wander up to SASH to hand in my paper work.
However, that changed to rush mode, jump in the car, leaving instructions with Mahalia, and out the gate.
Raced in to drop the papers off, just had time to go pick up a Tank smoothie.
Not my regular – he is getting to know me and was about to make my Carribean, but I was in need of a Mega green smoothie this morning as no time for breakfast.
Then arrived at counselling 10 mins early so had time to sit and chill. Had a good hour there.
Always good to toss things around and learn more about myself and how I tick and how I can manage better.
Back home to find Phoebe upended inside her car cleaning it out ready to sell.
Such a tragic state of affairs, having to sell her baby 😦
Azzan was inside entertaining Sapphie.
He loves his wee nieces and is so good with them.
I was trying to get some things done in the kitchen but was called to the hallway to see this. Such fun 🙂
Hard not too keep clicking the camera when you have such cuteness in front of you!
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I went off to do the grocery shopping and swap over some vacuum bags that we had been given wrongly when I bought the cleaner.
Back home doing enough to unload and get ready to leave again.
See came home and put his wee girl to sleep in the lounge.
It was really cute, Sapphie asleep on one sofa and Phoebe asleep on the other.
Mahalia went off to see Sophie and then on to rowing.
Seb had a look see in my car and found some more gadgets I didn’t know were there.
I had to run to meet Shanni so raced out the gate leaving them to pack up and head home.
Met Shanni at the Loveday Clinic and we had her second appointment with Dr Cindy de Villiers.
I could only stay for half the appointment.
It was good to get her results and hear what Cindy thought.
Its a bit hard when you sometimes have to get worse before you get better.
I guess thats what detoxing is all about.
Zipped up to Starbucks and got myself a raspberry mocha and then raced down to the SASH business meeting.
I had only just started at the last one so I was more into it this time.
Felt more comfortable about asking questions and getting involved.
We finished sometime before 8pm. Sarah-Jane had made scones and I was starving so I scoffed one and took one home to eat with my dinner.
Very yummy they were too 🙂
Out the door and back home. Shanni had made Pad Thai so I dished up a bowl full, it was delicious with the tuna spread she had made to go with it.
Took a while to settle and sort kids, but I eventually got myself off to bed and ate my dinner while catching up on the days events on Campbell Live.

Sunday 17th May

I woke up at 2am, not the dozy only just awake and can roll over and go back to sleep waking, but the wide awake it must be morning time awakeness :-/
Got back to sleep around 4:30am.
Then was woken just after 7am by the pager.
That got me going.
Dressed and away by 7:30am.
No time for the planned morning shower today.
Mahalia was off to rowing at 9am so I left a note for Shanni to look out for Azzan and take care of Caspian.
She had everything under control and I got a text a bit later saying they were making pikelets.
As I had rushed off without time for breakfast I was rather envious.

I finally got back home around 11:30am.
I made myself some toast and a cup of herb tea, took 10 and wrote up my work notes.
The kids were keen to do something and as it was a lovely day we eventually got into gear and piled into the car with the puppy.
We went to the back beach – I hadn’t been there before so took directions from the kids.
It was a beautiful calm afternoon, the tide was way out so we walked almost to the end of the sand spit.
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Such a large expanse of beach for a little puppy 🙂
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Azzan had Caspian on the long rope so he could go exploring.
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Shanni took the lead on the way back.
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Reflections were so beautiful
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Caspian lived meeting all the other dogs – this young Scottish terrier was named Arthur – love it!
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We all brushed off the sand – no sand in my new car folks!
Then loaded onboard and headed out to Richmond.
Dropped Shanni’s water damaged laptop off for Ross to work his magic on.
While I was talking with Andrea, Mahalia asked Ross about a weird thing on her iPhone which resulted in more technical help.
Result was that due to an app she had downloaded but was no longer using, ‘someone’ had accessed her phone and was causing some problems.
So Ross got rid of the app completely and all is well again 🙂
Back home to leave Caspian and get ready to go out for an early dinner.
I was waiting in the car, Shanni jumped in, I was tooting for the others so they came belting out and leapt in the back.
Out the gate and around the corner and heard that neither of them was actually ready to leave so I went around the block and back home for a quick moment to allow Azzan to nip inside and put on his jeans.
Now he was ready so we left.
Still arrived a bit early so popped in to visit John & Sally for 15 minutes.
Nice to catch up briefly 🙂
Then back to Smugglers just after 5pm.
We all ordered our meals and then while waiting for them to be served our cell phones were banished from use and we sat and discussed the weeks meal planning.
I jotted down their ideas and ingredient requirements so we are one step ahead now.
The meals were all fantastic.
Azzan had the ribs.
He knew his order before we arrived.
He was hanging out for the ribs!
And enjoyed every last bit of them 🙂
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Mahalia had the vegetarian filo and pronounced it to be very delicious.
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Shoshannah took the longest to sort out her meal as she was quite restricted on what she could eat.
Finally decided on the Thai beef salad with a side of chips.
It went down well, just too much sauce which the staff said they would get the chef to moderate next time.
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And I was delighted to see the salmon filo meal was back not he menu so of course had to order that as it is always fantastic 🙂
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We had lots of fun, declined dessert as we had eaten well plus we were ordering from vouchers and were on a tight budget.
But returned home and devoured the leftover apple crumble from last night.
I headed off to bed really early and watched X Factor.
Fell asleep during the show but watched the end.
It is the 2nd to last night so getting very close to finding out the ultimate winner!!