Working hard on holiday 
I ended up taking only two days off altogether, although I left my emails set to tell everyone I was going to be out until September. Meanwhile, I ignored everything and just worked on a little project that I had wanted to do for a long time. It helped me to recover quite a bit. Bronwyn seems to be coping better this week too, although that may be due to having me more available. I did a few trips moving children around. I was discussing it with our pastor this morning too, and he made the comment that he felt under pressure too! So while he worries about us, I'll worry about him...

Planted all twenty trees. They're only tiny things barely a foot tall, but with a little care they should be fine. I think I now have the experience to raise their life expectancy somewhat. It's also quite relaxing to go off in the afternoon and check up on them.

But the major task I completed this week was to strip the grass off my driveway. Now I can clearly see the patches of concrete and the patches that are just stones and clay. I used a small bag of mortar to fill in some holes, but when I feel more energetic I'll get 50kg of concrete and try to smooth it out a bit. It probably needs a lot more than that, but it will be enough to seal off the weeds.

Two strips of roofing iron have appeared in our garden. I presume Bronwyn's dad is about to repair the roof, but hasn't mentioned it so far. Perhaps they need to be seasoned for a while. Not sure that iron needs to be seasoned, however.

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Need a break 
Both of us needed a break this week. Bronwyn wanted to go off for a weekend's respite care this weekend, but couldn't get through to her normal place. Meanwhile, I've been suffering from depression too this week. But as a result, I've got next week off. So I'm feeling better already. Hope I don't get too bored.

Planted ten little trees yesterday, and ten more to go. But we had a lot of rain this morning, and everything is really wet, so I'll leave the others for the time being. I've also started archaeological work on our driveway. Bronwyn's dad swears there's concrete under the grass, but we don't believe him. So I'm stripping off the grass to see how much there is.

Spent a while on the roof today. We've got a minor leak, and we wanted to try and trace it. Some of the roofing iron is rusting a bit, and needs replacing. We also cleared out the gutters, so the water ends up in the tank and not down the kitchen wall.

We currently have a lake extending about 80 metres across the paddock, and up to the drive. I might go down and check the pipe under the drive, since there's no water on the other side!

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Turning around 
We've had quite a lot happen lately, and I didn't get to add an entry last week. Bronwyn has been really struggling, and we've had her case workers over several times to look after her. But we've had a lot of help from the church. A friend is trying to organise another home group, and wanted Bronwyn to come along. Bronwyn isn't up to going to the main church meetings, because she can't handle all the people. But she misses the old ladies group we used to have. So she was interested in another one starting.

So our friend organised another couple to come in and look after the children for the evening. They also did a lot of cleaning, which really helps me since I've struggled to keep the floor clear let alone clean. I guess there was a bit of spiritual opposition, if you understand the phrase, in terms of Bronwyn's mental state as all of this was being planned.

Wednesday went really smoothly. The house is considerably cleaner and tidier, and I've been able to get a lot more useful things done. This weekend, Rachael has been down the road at a childrens' camp - her first time. She had a whale of a time, and we had 40 hours of peace!

The deck still isn't finished. The wall still has holes. I guess I need to use my extra free time to do some carpentry, as long as I can find timber to match our 90 year old weather boards.

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More stormy weather 
It's been a very wet and windy week. We've now had three storms pass across the north island in 7 days. A number of roads were flooded, although I haven't seen too many trees down. The trampoline hasn't moved since I anchored it to buried logs, but the legs are now pointing in a slightly unusual direction. The driveway by the house is looking like a cart track.

Fortunately Bronwyn's dad managed to finish the front deck last week, but there's still a bit of woodwork to do, and some holes in the walls. They don't make the same weather boards any more (and haven't for about 30 years) so I'm not sure how he's going to fix it. But it needed doing. There was a board by the front steps covering the worst part. It had been there for ten years, and was beginning to collapse as well. At least we don't risk falling through the hole every time we leave by the front door any more.

Sarah has been ill with tonsillitis this week, and had to go to the doctor's twice. She had a fever, and headaches, and a blocked up nose. Still not quite right, but a lot more lively now. Rachael looks tired, but now she's able to read, she tends to stay up late reading the Famous Five books. Bronwyn bought her Anne of Green Gables, and I got her The Hobbit. Reading is one of her strengths. Teamwork and co-operation isn't!

I tidied Rachael's room. It's the first time since she was two, i.e. since we moved to New Zealand. For once, the floor is clear from wall to wall, and everything is in its place. I removed masses of junk, and transferred a lot of stuff to Sarah's room, and the spare room. Looks quite empty now. I preserved everything appropriate for an eight year old. She's left the fairy wings stage, and has moved onto Disney Channel and trendy pre-teen mannerisms. Unfortunately for her, the smart comments don't work round here!

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Stormy weather 
We had a major storm sweep over the North Island this week, and apparently there's another one on its way later in the week. The river is rather full, and all the low lying paddocks are flooded. I was tempted to take a canoe down, but I don't think it would fit in the car. There were some quite high winds, and two trees are down on the road nearby. We nearly lost power a couple of times, but the phones are fine. I think they've been repaired enough in the last couple of years to last a while.

Rachael took a mini-surfboard down the drive, and attempted to surf a large puddle. She came back rather cold and wet!

I've begun to tidy Rachael's room. It'll be a long term project. I've decided that if I can do a little bit each day, it might get there eventually. Rachael's main problem is that she's got far too much stuff in there, so it's largely a matter of sorting out what to throw away, give to Sarah or put in a box in the spare room. Sarah now has quite a pile of stuff in her room, but at least it's still tidy...

Took the car for a warrant (an MOT) last weekend. It failed due to a headlamp. I wiggled the wires, and the light came back on, so they took the thing back through and passed it. Still considering when to buy a new one. The old one still goes well, once it's moving...

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