kate5kiwis: April 2007


“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” — Mitsugi Saotome

Saturday, April 28, 2007

i'm special, so special...

i just had a mamma's afternoon out (sans kids).

i walked in to the beauty therapist's room and was greeted with fresh white towels, lilting music, a faint scent of jasmine, and an hour later i walked out with legs waxed, eyebrows shaped like catherine zeta jones' (oh how i covet those brows) and eyelashes dyed blue-black, thanks to a voucher from a bride.

as i approached the car, i realised that i was humming that song in my head.

but wait, there's more: i went s-h-o-p-p-i-n-g. can't have a mamma's day out without a trophy or two: to celebrate the day, i found this divine french provincial candle for my dining table, and a few fake olives (sounds naff, but they look yummy: i am trying to persuade M5 not to take a bite... remind you of any wax apples, Dad??)
at a third of their original price, to stack up on the plate that we bought last weekend to commemorate our anniversary.

it's all very autumn, yet with a hint of sunshine.

i think i could get used to this lifestyle...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Tall and The Short of it

there's rather a hilarious and topsy turvy afternoon happening here:
S9 and M5 have decided to swap clothes and identities and become S5 and M9... and are insisting on being called the same... it's making my brain go squiffy.

oh, i love your sense of humour..
and your humourous nonsense !!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

fence fixer upper

the ole family adage is: "measure twice, cut once..." and that's just what The Lads have been doing..
lots of banging and measuring and banging and back-patting and measuring and banging and sawing (and measuring) are going on out in the back yard today.
they are cutting off the top half of the back fence so that we can see the sheep when we pop outside for an espresso on the deck.

Men At Work:
hubby and S9
(who really hasn't seen austin powers,
but does a great dr. evil impersonation),

hubby (i'm bringing sexy back) and D17
and there are the sheep,
grazing peacefully
under the apple trees.

no sheep-gazing for M5 though,
he's discovered his newest party trick:
walking along the entire fence-top!!!

"Breathe, just breathe.." (guess the movie line)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Daisies are like
sunshine on the ground.
-Drew Barrymore

Monday, April 23, 2007

we're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo... how about you, you, you... you can come too, too, too.... 'cos we're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo !!!

that's my fave childhood zoo song.
and my fave childhood zoo joke is:
Dad: i hope you're wearing your hat.
Kate: why?
Dad: so we don't get you confused with the monkeys and leave you at the zoo.
(cue: laugh now)

of course, we all *loved* the monkeys: we even went back for a second visit !!! and we made all the "oooo ooooo eeeeee eeeeeeeee" noises and chose our favourite monkey etc...
but look!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

at this Zany Zebra,

Gorgeous Giraffes,

(isn't he beautiful?? i finally worked out the *camera zoom* today - oh, alright, S9 told me - after two years of "hang on, i need to move closer" photos. at least i'm admitting that.)

and Reclining Rhinos....

(yes, we played "in my grandmother's suitcase" and all sorts of other ABC memory-games on the one-and-a-half hour car trip home!!)

there's something about the African animals which make my heart sing.
J11 aka Charlie has posted more pics at his brave blog.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


yes, i know what you're thinking: that title is an oxymoron.
and that icon looks rather like *The Thinking Alien Award*

but *kate thumbs her nose at ya*
i've been nominated by sarah:
"for home educating, gorgeous jewelry design, and all around cleverness."

so now, because i have all this time on my hands and Blogging is becoming somewhat of an addiction (*kate grins at Dad*), i get to pat five people on the back.
i think i'll go with five fellow kiwis, *all* of whom i know In Real Life. so, in no particular order, i nominate:

rach of intricate simplicity, cos you really are a deep thinker, and you articulate yourself so well. you do make me think girl, and i appreciate your invitations to unpeel my onion layers on so many levels.

jess of oh my! because you are a wonderful mommy of four-under-four, and can still find time for your sewing machine amongst all the trampoline sprinkles and
monday late afternoon icecreams.

karen of random thoughts because you are still in total contact with your mind, even though you insist you aren't; you are an art history expert and designer-extraordinaire, and you inspire me to look at life from a beautiful angle.

laura of arohanui cos you are another sparkle-freak and i love your latest wedding jewellery. you! girl, have inspired me to open up shop.

deb of the gorgeous debbie because of Your Beautiful Camera, and your zany family fun nights, and in honour of our Fabulous Friday Beach Days and français *trois air kisses* greeting: mwah, mwah, mwah....

and cheatingly, cos i've already had my five... in memoriam, leighleigh, in the hope that you will puh-leeze rediscover your muse.

*so* here are the rules:

1. If you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. Optional: Proudly display the "Thinking Blogger Award" with a link to the post that you wrote.

oh, the thinks you can think...

(and in case you're interested, the Original Thinking Blogger is here.)

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I wonder, can you see us, hear us?
I'm still thankful for your wonderful life.
Thankful that you wandered into mine.
You walked before. Now we walk on.
Wandering, wondering,

Thursday, April 19, 2007

DIY pumpkin carriage

to be honest, kids' morning telly is not my fave, but it's kinda in the *educational* category, at a stretch. we've been caught out before, and this morning it was another *make your own* demonstration which grabbed M5's attention: he got really excited about making a PUMPKIN CARRIAGE for his fave teddy bears..

"It's easy, Mum, all you do is cut open a lid on the pumpkin and scrape it out, and then my bears can ride in it..."

i often masquerade as a fairy, but sheesh... my magic wand wouldn't work on this one. so we compromised with an icecream container and two cardboard wheels..

and look>>> it f-l-i-e-s !!!!!!!!!

*with a wave of my magic wand, your troubles will soon be gone... with a flick of the wrist and just a flash, you'll land a prince with a ton of cash* (movie line)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

summer lovin'

while you were sleeping...
(on the other side of the world)
i made this necklace for you, sarah and lizard:
it's inspired by *summer*..
sand, surf, paua, pearls, sunshine...

and then i made this cutie for you, barb:

ok. i think i've just about got jewellery-making out of my system, lol.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

P-i-i-i-i-i-G-S in S-P-A-A-A-A-C-E.. or a spaced-out Piggy.. or...

when i was a little girl, my brother and i (and mum and dad) spent many hilarious moments watching kermit-the-frog's antics and laughing at fozzie bear's jokes. hubby recently told me that jim henson modelled animal on mick fleetwood. now there's a giggle.....
so: imagine my glee when i nicked/found this today:
and it was no surpise to discover that i'm:

You Are Miss Piggy

A total princess and diva, you're totally in charge - even if people don't know it.
You want to be loved, adored, and worshiped. And you won't settle for anything less.
You're going to be a total star, and you won't let any of the "little people" get in your way.
Just remember, piggy, never eat more than you can lift!

i'll try to remember that great advice.

"It's time to play the music......
It's time to light the lights.....
It's time to meet the Muppets on the
Muppet Show tonight...

which Muppet are you???
go on, take the test...

actually, my faves are the two old geezers watching the show from The Gods, and who comment at the end,
"What do you think of it so far?"

Monday, April 16, 2007

desk tag

ok, seeing as i promised design-a-mouse-chick..
and the last tag i did was a book meme last july..

**as i don't have a desk (but i do have my beady eye on mum and dad's fabulous oak bureau, lol!!), i've found another unsuspecting area** i give you:

the dining room table:
currently covered in beads'n'bits, a lit candle and brooke fraser playing for atmosphere, the latest U2 acquisition, and a book on wholefoods, the two parisian candles that we finally lit on our anniversary yesterday, a teapot from my gran and some white tea in a cup (but i'm heading for the espresso machine in a mo), and a wrapped present from moi to moi (i always get my purchases gift-wrapped cos then it's twice the fun).. it's a white grooved
little square plate that i found on special in the weekend(!) to replace the gorgeous red-and-blue koru plate that i got from rach *yes i cried as it fell to the floor last week*, and the *to do* list for today, which is busy burying itself and being forgotten as i gather my mojo and make the necklaces.

ok, i'm off: the kiddos have put the chilis on and are all queueing up for the pooter :o) so i'm not tagging anyone in particular except for barb who tagged me for the book meme lol, but if ya wanna do it, it's yours X

Sunday, April 15, 2007

happy anniversary baby

*singing* we went to somerset cottage, and everything was absolutely perfect.
you had the lamb shortloin, followed by a chocolate nemesis: decadent mousse cake with chocolate extras.
i indulged in the eye fillet steak and a creme caramel with citrus peel and a citrus-infused light caramel sauce.
well, actually, we kept reaching across the table and sharing food-bites, interspersed with sips of berry-bodied merlot.

that's all i have to say about that.

(movie line)

Friday, April 13, 2007

kiwi chick goes global

i am so excited. today i've been out collecting all manner of crystal beads, pearls, paua, organza ribbon, blue wire, and the most gorgeous catches.. and i'm about to find my muse and make two necklaces: one for the absolutely fabulous sarah, aka marvellous mouse, and one for the lovely lizard, from our art blog.

in turn, sarah's making me a *verrrry frrrrench* handbag:
this fabric is *so* me: pink, chocolate, cream, paris!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and liz is making me a lino cut print, sketched here,

(mother and baby)
print soon to be revealed.
i'm so excited. the jumping, skipping, twirling sort.
but i'm resisting getting the jewellery pliers out until monday:
cos this weekend hubby and i are celebrating our eighteenth wedding anniversary !!!!!!!!!!
*woot woot*

Thursday, April 12, 2007

comfort food

it is feeling like the start of autumn. today was a bit rainy and definitely cooler: a perfect day for reading my book and writing my favourite parts in my journal. my eyes popped when i read this ... i laughed and laughed, cos our family is "the very same" (obscure movie line), minus the scuppernongs and pecans:

We poured so much energy into the kitchen because a dominant gene in my family is the cooking gene. No matter what occasion, what crisis, the women I grew up among could flat out hold forth in the kitchen from delicate timbales and pressed chicken to steaming cauldrons of Brunswick stew. In summer, my mother and our cook, Willie Bell, went into marathons of putting up tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, stirring vats of scuppernongs for jelly. By early December they had made brandied cakes and shelled mountains of pecans for roasting. Never was our kitchen without tins of brownies and icebox cookies...
At one meal we already were talking about the next.

and i've discovered a recipe here for delish caramelised onions on bruschetta, which i have been searching for ever since nik made it for one of our get-togethers a few months ago (and while copying it down i have been practising saying "brouss-kettah" properly). so simple.

Red Peppers (or Onions) Melted With Balsamic Vinegar:
Seed and slice 4 peppers thinly and cook slowly in a little olive oil and a quarter of a cup of balsamic vinegar until very soft, about an hour. Stir occasionally; peppers should almost "melt". Season with salt and pepper. Add oil and balsamic vinegar once or twice if they look dry. Run under the grill about 25 rounds of bread sprinkled with olive oil. Rub a clove of garlic over each piece. Spoon peppers onto bread and serve warm. Try the same method with thinly sliced onions, adding a teaspoon of brown sugar to the balsamic and letting the onions slowly caramelise. Both versions of this are rich accompaniments for roast chicken. Leftovers are good on pasta or polenta with cheese- or grilled eggplant, very savoury sandwiches can be made quickly.

buono appetito.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


yeah, i'm not really a *red* girl.
so when i rescued a pearl necklace from auntie mim's throw-out pile, and nikki had given me some clear pink cut glass beads, there was simply no question.

sparkly sunshine days:
refashion the heart:

it's much more *me*. although i may change my mind in the heart of winter...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

thoozthie's flying visit

The original Fat Tummy Girls at the beach, waving to the rest of the Hoggies across the sea. See, we have such an instant connection. Music, Food, Surf. I can't believe that we're reading the same book!!!!! We'll buy villas in Tuscany when we're fifty. All our kiddos adore you and yours. Gosh that smoked salmon was divine, perfect Sangiovese, melon, grapes, pistachios, espressos and cappuccinos with choc beans, toasting absent friends, the Best Eggs Benny in the Sunny Sunny Bay. D17's exclamation at your tinkling toot toot-toot-toot-toot (just like mine), departing: "Gosh, Mum, she is so blonde!!"
Yep, most definitely kindred spirits. Here's to the next reunion.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Like a child at rest on his Daddy's knee, I have stilled my soul completely.

When Hubby and I were first married and I was growing D17 in my belly, we lived in a little apartment in the centre of Mount Eden, and we listened to these words... over and over, spilling into our souls, washing over our unity, like monks chanting a liturgy.

Then our beautiful kids started arriving, and we spent our end-of-day moments watching as they stilled their souls, falling asleep on Daddy's knee; personal sanctuary, haven from the big busy world.

It's still happening.
M5 clutching *beddy*, intricately woven into his person; Hubby taking a moment to instill a quietness of soul into his littlest boy.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

a brief moment in timbre

One of the biggest bones of contention between Hubby and me is that I dog-ear pages. All the time. I have tried bookmarks, but there are always quotes and little phrases that I want to go back to, and I consider that the million bookmarks will make more a mess of the spine than a quick page fold-over or two.
My latest favourite book, then, is rather dog-eared; and my latest favourite quote is this, written by the author who has now finished uncovering the beauty of her once-again inhabitable villa, and has gone venturing through the wild Tuscan countryside in ever increasing circles:

We walk along eerie arches and columns, partly excavated and looking quite abandoned. Those Etruscans are going to stay mysterious. What did they do here? An Art in the Park summer concert series? Strange rites? The guidebooks refer to this as a temple, and perhaps here in the center a wise person practiced haruspication, the art of divining by reading a sheep's liver. A bronze model of one was found near Piacenza, with the liver divided into sixteen parts. It is thought that the Etruscans similarly divided the sky, and that the way the liver was sectioned also determined the layout of Etruscan towns. Who knows? Perhaps the forerunner of talk shows held forth here or it was the market for seafood. In places such as Machu Picchu, Palenque, Mesa Verde, Stonehenge, and now here, I always have the odd and somber consciousness of how time peels off, how irretrievable the past really is, especially in these hot spots where you sense some matrix of the culture took place. We can't help but push our own interpretations on them. It's a deep wish of philosophers and poets to search for theories of eternal return and time past being time present. Bertrand Russell was closer when he said the universe was created five minutes ago. We can't recover the slightest gesture of those who chopped out this rock, not the placing of the first stone, the lighting of a fire to make lunch, the stirring of a pot, the sniffing of an underarm, the sigh after lovemaking, niente. We can walk here, the latest little dots on the time line. Knowing that, it always amazes me that I am intensely interested in how the map is folded, where the gas gauge is pointed, whether we have withdrawn enough cash, how everything matters intensely, even as it is disappearing.

Time. Souls. Culture.
Timbre. Sound-colour.

Contrarily, this morning held a moment for us which will be bookmarked in our memories. Mum (Granny) and I took J11 and S9 to a jazz workshop at the Jazz Festival which has been rocking our town this Easter Weekend. J11 got to play a piece on the grand piano, in front of the twenty-five-person audience, and a fabulous jazz pianist then showed him how to improvise the song. Later, Granny asked him how it felt to play on a grand piano. He thought for a few moments and then replied dreamily, "It felt like the piano was playing *me*."
S9 and I sat in on a guitar workshop, held by a rocker-turned-jazz-guitarist who completely captivated us by the number of notes he fitted into a second of time, and his fervent belief that all of life is improvisation.

For my aspiring musicians, those two paragraphs on life's pages are now marked by dog-ears.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

mirror image

hubby and brother andy: you two are four years apart, yet you're peas in a pod: i snapped ya yesterday, yarning in the sunshine on andy's back lawn.
you guys really know how to laugh.
we had a hilarious convo re: andy masquerading as hubby in front of a classroom of kiddos: think it'll work???

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Go! Go! Go! Jo Show

Last night was the final performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, and the whole cast, crew and choir were buzzing: I popped in to pick up R13 and snuck in on the post-show-speeches: standing ovations, kids going wild, what a wonderful buzz. Here are some of the gorgeous choir-girlz:

oh, and happy blogthday to me-e-e-ee:
it's been a whole year. and i'm still loving it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

more garden gnome makeover-ing

i am so *not* a natural gardener.. but really couldn't stand these triffids any longer.
hubby and D17 were wonderfully obliging and tore out all the old overgrown plants a couple of weeks ago.

today i have planted the new garden: i was originally going to go with roses and grasses, but opted for a more easy care, realistic option:
two tahitian pohutukawa trees (which flower *red* during winter, and grow to 1 metre) and three lavenders at the back, with an absolutely gorgeous curly-grass sprinkled amongst them. there are fourteen grasses, cos that's my birthday number lol, and five big plants, for the 5 kiddos. i'm going to pick up a bit of a shell collection next time we're at the beach, cos those scallop shells look a bit stark by themselves.
oh, and this is the latest on this space:

i am going through a camellia phase, so might plant some pink flowers along the fenced wall... or a climbing rose... or perhaps i'll make something funky to hang along it: or maybe i'll mosaic around a large mirror???
yes, i am getting visions of paua pieces/shells.

i'm sure my procrastination will be over soon>>> and i will actually *do it*: i already have one olive tree (free!!) and the rest of the cute little curly grasses from the front garden.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

creative energy

it occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that i really am a much nicer person when i find my muse and have a little creative moment every day.
when R13 was a little girl we used to *do hair* every morning, but as she's got older i'm not often invited to indulge.

this morning was different. she decided that she wanted a glam style for her school show's all-day dress rehearsal.

and *giggle*, now she matches the shoes she bought for herself yesterday: oh, yes, we do love the shoes.