Monday, August 30, 2010


The raspberries are breaking into leaf. Is spring here?
Last year as soon as the plum started to blossom the wind came and blew them all off so we still after two years have not had any plums off the tree
There has been 241% more rain this August than the average
It's rained every day in August.  When will it stop?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Four Seasons in One Day

The title of this post really fit the weather this Sunday.  I woke to the pouring rain and the disappointment that once again I'd be unable to garden.  It's official that this August is the wettest since records began.  By the time I'd managed to get out of bed and down some breakfast the sun had come out and it was warm enough to lose the sweatshirt.  I decided to go get wet.  I really wanted to build a raise bed to grow my carrots and peas in.  So I set to with my unhandy skills.

I think our household is missing a vital gene.  In fact if I didn't know better I'd say we were foreigners.  The great kiwi ability to DIY is definitely missing.  But I do own a rusty hammer and an equally rusty saw.  That was enough to knock together the required bed.  I then barrowed compost from the bottom of the chicken coop up the slope.  Lots and lots of barrow loads.  I was sweating buckets by the time I'd finished cleaning the chicken coop and filling the new bed.

I was covered in mud as I finished but boy was I happy I'd finally achieved something in the garden.  I collected the seeds to plant.  Garlic up the back amongst the black currants (yes I know it late for garlic but I'm going to give it a go), sugarsnap and climbing peas, carrots and a few strawberry plants.  Then the heavens opened at it started to hail.  I ignored the weather and got those seeds in.

After I finished the lightning and thunder started.  Then the rain, then the sun, then the rain, then the thunder and lightning, then the sun - actually I think you are getting the picture.  Four seasons in one day.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Eggs for all

I love my chickens.  They have such big personalities.  They provide me with hours of entertainment for very little care.  They are friendly and fun.  Best of all they produce eggs.

I'm a strange person to be getting excited over eggs.  I've always been allergic to eggs and can't stand the smell of them  cooking.  What these eggs represent for me is community.  My nine chickens keep four families in eggs nearly every week year round.  We probably use about eight eggs a week, Kathryn loves them.  One dozen goes every week to Irenee, Liam's amazingly wonderful teacher aide.  One dozen goes to either my or Craig's parents.  The remaining 1/2 dozen to dozen goes to either my grandparents or one of our neighbours.

Home grown eggs are very convented around here and appreciated by the recipients.  With the needed backlash against battery farmed chickens, people are always on the look out for free range eggs.  And ours are free to others.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rain, rain go away

 I am so sick of the rain.  It feels like it has rained for a month.  Actually there have only been about five days without rain over the last month.  The chicken run is boggy and I can't get the washing dry.

Dryer use is something in this house we could be more restrictive about.  I use the dryer about every second or third day.  I have a mobile drying rack, an extendable drying rack in the laundry and a rack suspended out over our stairwell.  It takes about two days for clothing to dry on the indoor racks.  I worry about the extra moisture the drying washing causes in my somewhat damp house.  I have been doing a bit of research on this and the amount of moisture drying washing indoors adds is a bit alarming.

I'm not sure of the alternative at this time of the year.  I don't have a hot water cupboard and if I hang it outdoors (weather permitted) then it is damp again by the time I get home for work. 

It something I'm still pondering.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Finally the rain stopped for half a day and I went outside to transplant the raspberry canes to the garden I had prepared several weeks ago with a heaping helping of chicken poo compost.

Look what I found hiding from autumn when these gardens were the pumpkin patch.



Those scrawny stick provided so many berries last year from their former position.  I hope they do well here.  They will be a lot easier to harvest in this position.  I just hope my helpers don't get them all first.

Never give up

Never give up seems to be Kathryn's internal mantra. 

This weekend is being taken up with the Bay of Plenty Swimming Championships.  Not much fun for the taxi drivers parents, but something she has trained hard to compete in.  Only over the last month it has all gone wrong for her and she is very dissappointed with her results.

A month ago she swam in a meet in Rotorua.  She had been complaining of a headache for about two days at this point.  She had a great meet, all her hard work at training was paying off (she swims about 10kms per week).  She not only got all personal bests, qualifing times for the Bay Champs, a first, second, third, fourth, fifth and six place in her heats, but she came second overall in her age group.  The very first time she has ever had an age group placing.

During the meet her blood sugars were out of control, super high one minute and crashing to lows the next.  By the following afternoon she was in a vicious cycle of highs and lows and feeling miserable.  I tried without sucess to contact the diabetes team at the hospital and by mid afternoon she rang me at work saying she couldn't move because of the pain in her head and stomach.  Off to the hospital we went.  And four hours later and two epidosdes of hypoglycemia in the hospital waiting room we were finally seen.  As none of the doctors or nurses at the hospital we were dealing with have every seen and insulin pump before all they wanted to talk about was the hypoglycemia.  We went home the next morning with nothing being resolved.  I was most unhappy with Kathryn's treatment and have put in a formal complaint.

We struggled through the week, swimming club, netball training, waterpolo training, school and a netball game.  She kept going despite pleas from her mother to stay home and take it easy.  We did get back better control of the diabetes but the headaches and stomach aches worsened.  After her netball match where she shot twenty two goals, she lay on the floor crying.  I'd had enough and took her back to emergancy.  They still weren't concerned at all and suggested we go home and increase the amount of panadol she was having.  I stayed put and insisted they do more tests - blood test normal (mostly), urine test - low level of infection, flu swab (later negative).  Go home they said.  No I said do more, there is something wrong with my daughter.  Luckily they listened and took more blood and a chest xray.  Oh they said she has once of the worst cases of pnumonia we have seen this winter.  I can't hear anything (she wasn't even coughing) but look at those xrays.  Another night in hospital and two weeks on antibiotics for you and shock horror no excersise for a week.  Kathryn was not impressed. 

As we left the hospital the next morning a nurse came running after us.  A specialist doctor needed to see us.  Guess what - the kid in the bed next to us was positive for H1N1.  Fabulous!
One day after the antibiotic finished - guess what - Kathryn got the flu.  But would she stay in bed - NO.

She completed a week of intensive sport education, waterpolo, netball and a very, very limited amount of swimming.  So we get to this weekend.  She's still sick, no getting around it, not doing well but turning up everyday (there are three) and trying her best.  One more swim tomorrow morning, waterpolo tomorrow evening and then away for five days on a sports camp.

She never gives up and never slows down.

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's been such a long time

It's been a very, very long time since I last posted.  Wow, how life has changed during that time.

My garden grows nothing of use to me.  It's a scrappy mess of weeds.  I feel like it reflects my heart.

I no longer have my beautiful dog and I miss him very much.

My mum will receive no more treatment for her cancer, she is now on palliative care only.

Kathryn has her pump.

Craig started a new job this week a year after he was made redundant.

Liam continues to grow and be himself despite anyone else's intentions.

I work full time and have lost sight of what makes me tick.

I have decided to start blogging again to help me reflect on the journey to find myself.  Much more is to follow.