August and the last of winter

This month, so far, has been my favorite I think (even though it’s less than a week in). It’s just been such a warm, sunny, productive, fun week.

Not only did we start planning out the design for the main part of the garden on the platform:
Untitled Untitled Untitled

BUT! We also purchased two wonderful trees that were delivered yesterday. We managed to get one of them planted today with the help of our new WWOOFer Edouard (who, by-the-way, made us croissants while we were out this morning).


UntitledLiquid Amber

UntitledThe planting begins.

UntitledTree in, sun setting, lovely.

On the cuddly side of life, Bootlace is starting to show his age of late, he’s even more of a warm snuggly cat then before (if that’s possible)



On the crafty side of life. I made Pip a Jack Frost costume (ala Rise of the Guardians):



This was all in honour of his school friends “Frozen” themed birthday party (’cause what’s a party without getting Jack Frost and Elsa together, I mean, really).
Even Craig got in on the action (thanks Sven)


Letti and Fiona have left us ūüė¶

But Paul and Patrick (German guys) have joined the family.

With their help, we now have a temporary front step that doesn’t topple over and a ramp for my new scooter and shelves for storage inside the new shed. They also tidied up the sight, storing away builder leftovers of wood and bits of plastic etc. Things are looking much more comfortable and organised around here these days.

May Update

Pip turned 5 this month and has officially started school! He’s super excited about it, I can’t believe he’s already learning to read on his first day!

 Untitled The two of us decorated his cake together – as per the order 9 months or so ago, it was a star cake with dots on the points.

Untitled A paty’s not a party without rainbow jelly.

UntitledHis other birthday requests were that people dressed as Super Heros and any gifts needed to be homemade – he ended up with some amazing things, like this rocket ship from Austen (seen riding in it with Emma).

UntitledNight out for the boys.

UntitledBeginning plans for the vegetable gardens.

On the other organised and productive side, we sorted out the little shed, installed some shelves and hanging spots for tools etc, much better space now.

Week in the Life – Day 07

Sunday is all about the market, but first I have to get these two out of bed, it’s just so hard when we are all so warm and snuggly.

The view from my bedroom window, one of the few things I do like about this current house.


One awake, one to go:


A moment of quiet contemplation:


Our pajama bundle as we hurry to get dressed and out the door.


This is what Sunday breakfast is all about, bratwurst



A little retail therapy


Freezing cold berry smoothie, so good, but so cold!


Just about my most favorite food in the world and one I have desperately missed getting a regular fix of since we moved to New Zealand, you do not know how happy I am now that they are available at my very own Sunday market. And, there good!


We did head over to the property for a while, I spent the first half hour or so resting in the car before being joined by William. The wind really picked upand we ended up heading back home by lunchtime. William watched Peter Pan (Disney classic), Craig worked, and I slept. The afternoon snooze was enough of a pick-me-up to get some chicken and potato wedges into the oven to roast for dinner with a yummy salad. Even William will now eat the some salad greens, it seems his favorite type of vegetable is that which is un-cooked (and even better is fresh picked from the garden).

We wound the evening down with a shower for William, Daddy was even so organised as to dry his hair.


The pile of clean washing still to be put away, it’ll keep.


The bookabag. We try to get to the library once a week, or fortnight and bring home about 14 books each visit. Reading stories before bed is a very important part of the evening routine, no matter how late it is.


Tonights toy of choice from the overflowing toy basket was Amigo. The story was “A New Home for a Pirate”.


Blissful bedtime and the end of the weekend and my Week in the life project.

Week in the Life – Day 06

The cat is curled up on my left, child sideways so he can stay in contact with both his parents, and daddy squished to the far right – all of them soundly sleeping as I lay in the rising light of the morning reading about flash fiction and scanning Facebook in bed. This is our start to the weekend.
In a few hours the boys will be off to an Atamai working bee and then the plan is to do more work on my little studio. This feels like the first weekend we’ve had in months. The promise of sunshine is the key.

When the boys finally wake, we have nursery rhymes in bed, mummy sticks to the classics, William creates stories of his own combination and daddy filks classics (generally involving moose).

Break in the working bee while Bob brings across the sheep to new grazing ground.


Morning sunshine with coffee and croissant in what will be our kitchen.




Snippets of time to read


William’s off to play with friends across the way while Craig works diligently on my studio:


It’s the little things that can bring us joy and make us smile:


Evening in bed playing with photos thus far for the project:

Day 06 screen grab

Week in the life – Day 05

William was a little unconvinced about returning to school after a week away, but as soon as we got inside and he saw the other kids about to start their morning activity he was off and into it.

Catching Stars


We headed home via the house site, bit of a treat to go up in the scissor lift whilst talking to my big sister and admiring the view.


Kilt shadows


The working morning begins


And more meetings


We returned to the house site at the end of the afternoon to be greeted with the last part of the main house frame – our lounge room. All the bones are complete. I just remembered a conversation from yesterday with William how I mentioned the frame was the houses bonesand he took it further with the windows would be the eyes, the door the mouth and when the wrap it with the paper, that will be the muscles and the wood on the outside will be the skin.



I’m so in love with this house.


A wonderful end to the day with salmon, mashed potatoes, salad and a glass of wine (for Craig at least)


That was our Friday.

Week in the Life – Day 03


Morning snuggles in bed.

Today was one of those days when you think things will be fine, but they end up spiraling down hill very very fast but then you are rescued and it’s ok.

Today I’m grateful for friends who come when you call them in tears because you’ve suddenly realised that you can’t manage this day alone after all. Also for play-doh that makes a great, easy distraction I can just manage to do to pass the time before help returns.




Backyardigans on the iPad while mummy lays down again


Lunch delivery


Me for the rest of the day


while Craig worked away from home and William disappeared to neighbours. At around 2pm I got an update that said he wouldn’t be coming home for dinner, he had other plans. So day that was too hard to manage resulted in one I didn’t have to manage. William returned in time for a story and bed and Craig returned to a dark and sleep filled house many hours later.

Favorite Moment:

Watching William try to brush my teeth with his little tongue moving from side to side and up and down as he concentrated on the task at hand.

Week in the Life – Day 02

Things are looking better for this weeks weather:

* Watching farmer Bob bring down the sheep from the top paddock with the help of his dog Tess.

* We rescued a bird from the fireplace before getting it going. William was very concerned about the bird and delighted when it finally flew free out the window – much too busy to take photos, pity. I had to smile later as Craig attempted to start the fire (after cleaning out all the soot the bird freed from the chimney)and William kept going on about Daddy meltingegg sand how he wished he wouldn’t do it – turns out Craig was using egg cartons to light the fire.


* That at least my new diagnosis may have a little relief attached to them, but they are still mostly untreatable and don’t change a great deal for me really.


* For glorious sunrises seen through cracks in the curtain at 6am

* Phone calls (on the drink bottle lid phone) from Ranger Juney calling Super Hedgehog and Cover Boy to action

* Good manners from my 4 year old, like “excuse me please Mummy”, “your welcome” and “may I please be excused from the table”

* Brownies and strawberry cheesecake for morning tea after doctors visits.


* Spontanious songs

* “I’m not William today, I’m hedgehog boy”

* “I never imagined I would ever own something like that.” Craig returning to our house, currently being assembled on site.

* The boys constructing a cereal ox space craft before bed

Favorite Moment:

* Watchng William and Little One play with a ring from the milk bottle over breakfast.

* Listening to William’s concern for the poor bird and joint family effort to get it first out of the fireplace where it had wedged itself and then away from a startled cat suddenly awoken by a crash on the window above his head and finally convincing it to fly outside to freedom.

* Lying in bed feeling exhausted with a small child, himself with a raging fever, singing nursery rhymes together and laughing through the worst.

The jigsaw puzzle that is our house frame:



Week in the life – Day 01

This week I’ve embarked on a “Week in the life” project. Eventually the words and photos will come together as a printed scrapbook, but for now I’m holding them here to keep them safe.

I really wanted to do this project this week, because it is the week our house frame is going to be put up. It’s been four years in the dreaming and planning. Four house site changes, only to return to the original site. Two completed house plans submitted to Council. An island move and three houses lived in.


Today begins the WitL project:


The weather forecast isn’t looking auspicious for the house buildand I’m nervous.


Our mourning started at 6am with conversations about random topics with William and Mummy while Daddy slept on, oblivious. When 7am ticked around it was all hands on deck and out of bed.


Lunchboxes had to be packed, people getting dressed and apparently my legs getting cut off
before we headed out the door by 8am for breakfast at the bakery. We usually do this little outing closer to the end of the week unless we need to be in town early, like today.

I had a round of blood tests to grit my teeth through, you do not know how relieved I was that my favorite vampire (otherwise known as a phlebotomist) was in.


This meant a quick and an only mildly painful draining before we headed off again to complete a few more errands before heading of to pre-school.

A quick trip past the house site to see the roof frame had been assembled reading for the end of the week.
We all settled into our usual Monday work. Craig spent a day in skype meeting after skype meeting while I ended took a mid-morning rest with an audio book of Enders Game. Lunch and more meetings saw the early afternoon disappear. A small indulgence of homemade lemon syrup cake for afternoon tea went down a treat


before we received a phone call to collect a sick little boy.

When we arrived at pre-school, William was happily laying down on the couch with a cold flannel on his forehead, grinning up at us. He may have had a 39 degree temperature,


but the attention made up for any other discomforts it would seem.


The rest of the afternoon with was spent with Mummy & William curled up in bed watching cartoons.

None of us was 100% today. Some of us were feeling overwhelmed and others generally sick. The overall feeling and need for today was a strong desire to be together in our little family, loving and supporting each other as best we could.

Grateful: Today I’m grateful for a caring husband and father who does his best to tend to us with a smile and over flowing love.

Craig was grateful that his wife was “happy sick” all day.

Favorite Moment: William telling us all about his ‘favorite thing’ today over dinner. It was learning about simple machines. How convenient that he happened to have watched Sid the Science Kid episode about just that very thing this afternoon AND played with them at pre-school this morning too… hmmmm

Is something happening?

It’s been a long time between posts around here. Mostly it’s because it feels like nothing much is really happening for us. I’ve been more unwell then in the past year or so, or at least it feels that way. The looms have been seriously¬†under-utilised, cheese making has been non¬†existent and even knitting has been slow plodding. And yet, things have happened. I have woven a series of beautiful, colourful placemats, I just haven’t cut them apart, sewed them up or wet finished them. I’ve almost finished my first ever attempt at¬†fair isle¬†knitting, a vest that just needs me to finish off one sleeve¬†¬†edge and I’ve learnt the art of Kumihimo braiding, which is a lovely relaxing activity for making braids.

In recent weeks I’ve also started developing a passion for knitting machines, here is my new electronic Brother machine, a KH-930:

Knitting machine KH930I’m still figuring it all out and will start, today, doing a sort of beginners course from Diananatters. It’s really hard to fight that urge to instantly create a really real item right off. Playing around with a friends machines that I also have on hand, I have managed to produce a couple of beanies and a few infinity scarfs and I must content myself with these items for now and put my desire for a giant shawl with intricate lace patterns aside until I really understand the machine and the processes.

Now for the newer, and most exciting news of all, the thing we have been in limbo about for so long… that’s right, we have building consent!¬†Yes, you may dance and cheer and celebrate with pent up¬†excitement. It has really felt like this was never going to happen, what with various back and forths with council and contractors on certain aspects and then key people going on holidays during the process, delay delay, delay. But finally it is happening and we are set to start everything next week. Now by ¬†everything¬†I mean mess around with the site to poor the slab and setup the frame blah blah blah, but the truth is that we had managed to council to sign off on the traditional timber frame aspect of the build a few weeks ago and so the folks at Timberworks are actually about 2/3rds of the way through building it which is awesome.

By the end of this year, Atamai Village will have I think 8 houses finished. It will be sooo nice to be on THAT side of the hill this time next year. I’m so looking forward to being off the farm and really settling into our property and our life. We seem to put everything on hold living here, plodding along waiting for our ‘real life’ to start. It’s been hard to really do a great deal of work on the property while living on the opposite side of the hill, trying to fit that around my good days, Craig’s work and weekends of overtime and the needs of a four year old. All to be made a great deal easier once we are living on site.

Basically this was just a quick post to remind myself that this blog actually exists and I have things to write about if and when I can just find the time.