Being a teenager's Mum.

I think I've figured out how to keep the teenager happy and stay sane. Every other night after tea bake muffins for the school lunches, banana and chocolate chip are popular.
Several nights a weeks get all the kids into the car just as the moon is coming up and pick the teen up from sport. Let the littlies out to run around in the dark on the soccor pitch as the frost begins to settle. ( That will stop them fighting in the car while we wait)
Finally on Friday night let all the mates come over to hook their lap tops together to play games and eat you out of house and home. At 2am remind them they have sport in the morning and maybe should sleep. Next day when sport is finished feed the stragglers. Then to avoid looking at all the computers, wires, junk food, sleeping bags and smelly but lovely boys in your lounge room - go out to the garden, plant garlic, prune the plum tree and weave a fence.


Felt flowers

Think I have got "french knots" sussed now with this wee consignment of brooches for a local craft co-operative shop.
Have had my head buried in soppy novels since last post. Trying to avoid thinking at the moment. Too much going on, trying to figure out direction, passion and priorities. Well life actually.
Will be sure to let you know if I figure it out.


Garden notes June, updated

As we approach midwinter I was amazed to find a green pepper in the tunnel house today. Note to self: plant more into tunnel house in late summer. Moon calender says good for planting so put peas in for spring. Looking longingly at the raspberry canes, they're due for a good pruning. More garlic needs to go in at solstice. Amazing winter weather, no rain for about 6 weeks since girl drowned in Motueka river. Very surprised local Iwi didn't place a tapu on fishing, or bless the river.

Need to complete pruning of fruit trees over next 4-6 weeks. Would like to give stone fruit a copper spray, their productivity was very average last year.

In response to comment: As I understand it, copper is an acceptable organic alternative to dangerous pesticides, used for about a century. It is used as a fungicide on fruit trees. Last summer I had quite a bit of leaf curl in two of my peach trees and the fruit went on to develop brown rot. It has been suggested to me that copper spray might help while the trees are dormant and then again at first sign of bud movement. Other strategies I've tried are under planting with garlic and spraying with dilute seaweed. I picked off alot of the leaf curl and burned it and am also raking up the leaves and shrivelled brown fruit now they have fallen off. If I was choosing trees again I would go for older varieties which have more resistance to disease. My seedling "black boy" peaches didn't suffer at all. Please leave a comment if you have any ideas/strategies about brown rot in stone fruit. Also I'm living in fear of silver leaf, which I think slowly kills fruit trees. I suspect a greengage I bought last winter has been showing signs of it. (silvery looking leaves) If it appears this spring I shall have to take out the tree I think so it doesn't spread to my other trees.



I really must learn to use my camera properly so I might be able to capture how beautiful the light is. These photos don't do our midwinter sunrise justice but I wanted to post some. We got up early and drove to Ruby bay for sunrise, it occured to me that most of the sunrises I've witnessed have been here on this beach. We camped here alot when I was a child so it's a very special spot for me. I've sat here desperate in tears, round a fire with friends and sometimes just to contemplate life. My older children have seen sunrise here before but it was very exciting for the littlies. We looked for the seven sisters. I'm certain I found them but all the stars looked bright to me. We talked about why I'd dragged them out of bed so early and we made an offering. For awhile we snuggled in our blankets and drank hot milo then listened to the birds waking up while looking for toggles at the high tide mark. As a youngster I walked alone alot following the river through the bush, saying hello to fantails, moreporks, lizards and water rats. I use to stop and talk to a giant totara and ran screaming at my Dad when he started chainsawing down a Kahikatia for firewood. Thismorning reminded me I miss it.

Found this to refer to for fishing and planting.


Garden notes June 08

Got a big bale of pea straw for mulching. Half the garlic is planted. By traditional moon calenders the moon is not right but I'm experimenting this year with planting it at Matariki which is Maori new Year. You can read more about it here. The kids and I are getting up early tomorrow to see if we can spot the seven sisters constellation at the beach. I don't even know where to look but it seems like a fun way to greet the New Year. I want to see for myself if the constellation is bright because it signals a good growing season and I may have to rely on my garden this year more than ever.


Well it seems I've been ruffling feathers again at work. Apparently my friends have known for years that I thrive on conflict but it's only really dawned on me in the last six months or so. I'm sure I'm not trying to make waves but maybe I'm a bit addicted to it. "Hi I'm Gilly and I'm a **** stirrer" I like to think that I stand up for a just cause, equality,integrity, honesty and what I believe in, does it matter if I enjoy debate/always think I'm right?

I shall spend a few days meditating on it while in the garden. I'm not all that great at self reflection but I don't really want to make people prickly.