kate5kiwis: March 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

Friday, March 30, 2007

Under The Tuscan Sun

No, not the movie.
The book. *kate grins at Rach*
I'm reading it to combat our suddenly wet weather.
Yes, it's the adventure of
another someone who moves to a foreign place and sets up house, una bella villa, aptly named Bramasole, from the words bramare, to yearn for, and sole, sun.

Reading these words, I feel like I am right there in Italy, in the sunshine (except that she's describing the night here, lol):

We shower and dress in fresh clothes. In the quiet twilight, we sit on the stone wall of the terrace and toast each other and the house with tumblers of the spicy prosecco, which seems like a liquid form of the air. We toast the cypress trees along the road and the white horse in the neighbour's field, the villa in the distance that was built for the visit of a pope. The olive pits we toss over the wall, hoping they will spring from the ground next year. Dinner is delicious. As the darkness comes, a barn owl flies over so close that we hear the whir of wings and, when it settles in the black locust, a strange cry that we take for a greeting. The Big Dipper hangs over the house, about to pour on the roof. The constellations pop out, clear as a star chart. When it is finally dark, we see that the Milky Way sweeps right over the house. I forget the stars, living in the ambient light of a city. Here they are all along, spangling and dense, falling and pulsating. We stare up until our necks ache. The Milky Way looks like a flung bolt of lace unfurling. Ed, because he likes to whisper, leans to my ear. "Still want to go home," he asks, "or can this be home?"

sunshine. stars. food. poetry. perfection.

... but what do the kiddos do to chase the clouds away??
in the pouring rain, S9 and his cool mate Zac have rigged up a diving-board out of an elaborate tower of balls and boogieboards:

*that's* airborne poetry.
pure rainbow perfection.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

it's raining again.

so i went to one of my fave poets for inspiration.
and i got it:

1. Moisturize your feet.
2. Visualize the future.
3. Rock the Casbah.

shareef may not like it, but i do.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

garden gnome WIP

(Work In Progress)
well, last week's brainstorm is coming to life.
here are some of The Extremely Talented Nush's ideas...
transforming this:
into something like this:

so: which one do we like?????
votes and suggestions/ideas please.....

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Clockmakers' Recycling Project

Our resident fiddle-de-dee and clock-lover, J11 and GD (GranDad) have been super busy and oh! so wonderfully creative all weekend, and look at what they've designed and made together:
This piece of oak used to be a cupboard door, which I'm guessing is originally from the collection of J11's Great Uncle Art or Uncle Bill. The brass attachments are from GD's rainy day box, and there's even a lock and key and hinges newly fitted in the door.
What a beautiful clock.
It's obvious to me that you two definitely have the family Cabinet Maker gene.

Monday, March 26, 2007

mouse's mouse

S9 and M5 aka Mickey Mouse have just rescued this little field mouse from The Lucy-Cat.
M5 would love to have it as a pet, but after a few minutes of mouse-running-up-our-arms-and-leaving-little-messes, we all decided to set it free: back to its home in the field-over-the-back-fence, while we distracted Lucy with cat-food, from a box.

Wide Awake Weekend !!!!!!!!!!!!

look at us, fleur: we're still the same as when we were twelve!!!
i love the essence of both of our journeys.
i love our twenty-five-year-friendship.
i loved all the coffees and late night sharing of hearts, and floating balloons with you this weekend.
i love our ENFP-ness and all the history we share. we're still the same. and different.
i'm really excited for you, writing your thesis!! you go girl.

(i'm less than poetic today, i need a few early nights, lol...)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Midsummer Night's Dream And All That Jazz

We love theatre. Especially Shakespeare. Hubby and I bought the dvd of A Midsummer Night's Dream in London, to commemorate our visit to the Globe last July.
Last night D17's school show of the same name opened, underneath our starry sky, complete with jazz band and *fever*...
Even though we sat in the front row, I wasn't close enough: I am still coveting a zoom lens.

Here are the fairies,

the entire cast,

and the famous Egeus, aka D17...

We all loved Puck, and Bottom's antics.. and Helena (the girl in my dress) was superb.
The kids laughed and laughed when Thisbe popped his bosom (one of the balloons stuffed down his dress) during the sword fight.
The advertisement said:

One of Shakespeare's most popular comedies, combines love stories with quarrels, while dealing with relationship problems and the role of parents. Finally mercy triumphs over justice and the lover's celebrate by watching the local workmen perform, very badly, The Most Lamentable Comedy and Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisbe. This well know comedy with a new twist is set in a 1950's New York jazz club, featuring the BC Jazz Band.

and it really was all that (minus the apostrophe in "lovers").

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


i would *so* love to be the recipient of a mucking in or groundforce weekend, but as i am no mother teresa, and neither is there a fairy wielding a magic wand in the close vicinity, i've been doing The Great Big Garden Bash all by myself. well, with a little help from the resident muscle.
this morning, the inspired Nush popped past and over our espressos and cappuccinos we started the brainstorm for the petanque pit, or poo-poos pit (courtesy of The Outside Cat), as it is affectionately referred to.
we're thinking *mediterranean influence* in accordance with our style of house, with a koru path leading to a water fountain. *but* the catch is: everything has to be recycled: so cheap-as-chips.

"woah. talk about your fixer-upper.."
(guess the movie line)
watch this space.

i'm now off to don gardening gloves and finish annihilating the garden outside the garage door. full story and pix to follow.... in a week or two !!!!!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

carrot stew

These two Fat Little Rabbit Brothers have been very busy, making some carrot stew.
When D17 was about three, he acquired a teeny tiny version of the Tawny Scrawny Lion, complete with the little plastic lion, which has since run off into a nearby jungle (we can't find him anywhere).
We've made a few carrot stews in our time, and today S9 and M5 designed their own:
lentils, chorizo sausage, potatoes, capsicums (orange and green), silverbeet and courgettes (grated so you don't know they're there) from our very own garden, a couple of tins of tomatoes, and of course: c-a-r-r-o-t-s!!!!!!!
(all veggies were lovingly scrubbed and peeled and chopped by the Fat Rabbit Brothers)
.. and while it was cooking we read the story together, *again*.....
Once there was a tawny, scrawny, hungry lion who never could get enough to eat. He chased monkeys on Monday- kangaroos on Tuesday- zebras on Wednesday- bears on Thursday- camels on Friday- and on Saturday, elephants!
.. of course, after all that chef-ing, everyone is *sta-a-a-r-r-ving*...

Friday, March 16, 2007

fairy ride

Well, we do know how to spell *ferry*, but it's so much more fun to say *fairy*..
Today was the last of the summer ferry crossings from one side of our beautiful harbour to the other, and it was *free* all day...
(I can't believe I just wrote "last" and "summer" in the same sentence...)

The lads and I set out for the morning laden with all our stuff for sport and the beach, and parked the car in our little free spot on the waterfront.

Then we scooted to the fountain, turned left to the boat, and shimmied down the gangplank.

The captain was such a nice guy: he let all the kiddos have a turn steering the boat!!!!
J11 steered it under the *harbour bridge* on the way home... bravo, Charlie!!!!

I had a flashback to all the beautiful bridges we travelled under on the Thames River last July (*Kate blows kisses to the luscious Emma*!!!!!)

It was very windy on the way home out there on the water. I had another flashback to Friday afternoons when I was a kid, when we'd pack up all our stuff and row it out to my Uncle's boat,
Banyanda. I'd sit out by the backboard and watch the wake streaming out behind the boat as we cruised to Islington Harbour to spend the night, a gale force of salt wind blowing through my hair, and the feel of the boat chugging through the whitecaps, the smell of diesel in my nostrils.

I am so attached to the sea.
I think I was a mermaid in a previous life.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

refashioning: love the love hearts

*refashioning* seems quite the buzz this week:
today's creationing started with a heart pendant which was retrieved by my friend ang from a Christmas decoration (it's been done before, the-making-of-the-jewellery-from-the-christmas-deco's)...
and continued with a few more of *those* sparkly beads...

so while the kiddos were making a bit of a D.I.Y. dinner, i zoomah-loomah'd these up.
they just caught the last rays of the setting sun.
(do you have a red outfit, leighleigh??? just jokes, they're *mine* lol)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

sunshine. storms. sparkles. swirling thoughts.

as much as i hate to say it, the temperature is dropping slightly in The Sunny Bay, and the wind is picking up. R13 and i couldn't resist these beads when we were camping @ coromandel over the summer:
and a couple of weeks ago i made mine into a l-o-n-g necklace in which (yep, here comes the symbolism) each bead is like one day, and strung together, they make My Beautiful Life.
some days are sparklier than others.
last night, snuggled up in bed, i read nearly half of my newest book (sourced for me by the gorgeous nush) Slice of Heaven: A Family on the Move, in which a growing NZ family travels the globe, daring to have dreams, and turning them into reality. now with five kids in tow. unconventional. courageous.
don't panic, we are not packing up to go to France just yet....

a little book-snippet, which amuses me:
Susan was a perfect hostess, and her parents charming people, but it seemed that no one actually knew how to cook - most unusual in an Italian household. Somehow it fell to me to produce something at short notice for the twelve or so guests who had appeared as the dinner hour approached. Armed with a simple local recipe, and with advice being offered from every angle at once, I embraced the task, and about an hour later a risotto alla milanese was served, which seemed to satisfy the diners.
Important: it should be noted that the making of a risotto, as any chef worthy of the name will tell you, is an artform that demands constant attention, not just from the person preparing the dish, but from any available audience. In the absence of dinner guests or other persons in the kitchen, it is wise to talk to oneself, and preferably to the risotto, encouraging it gently to finished perfection...

*kate breathes a sigh of relief that there are kindred spirits at large, and goes and puts on the sparkly-summer-days beads*

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

bravo charlie boy

J11 aka *Charlie* has a brave new blog:
he would *love* some visitors (and comments, lol)
click here and hop on over:
(yep, he's a whizz with the nato phonetic alphabet)

Monday, March 12, 2007

re-fashioning: katie's little creative moment

in the midst of our crazy weekend with a ton of gorgeous kids and sleepovers, my friend nikki and i had a coffee moment in town while the teenage girls shopped themselves crazy..
and as we mooched past the shop windows on the way to meet the girlies, i spotted this: it's a red napkin ring, with heart beads!!!!
i immediately thought: *bracelet*

so i bought two: and unwired one... and this is what i made:

a necklace and a bracelet: the heart beads are holding hands with some pink pearls from the depths of my jewellery-suitcase.
and then i made another bracelet to layer it with.
it's like having little fairies whispering around my wrist!!!!!
(which is good, cos the temperature has dropped and the sky has come over all cloudy today. so i am staying inside with my sunshine-feeling.)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

more mafia madness

Last night the neighbourhood rang with cries of "fettuccine.. lamborghini... ferrari... belladonna.... " as half a million teens arrived for yet another mafia night... it was l-o-a-d-s of loud loud fun.. helped along by half a dozen bottles of sugar-filled-fizzy-drink and a ton of popcorn.
Of course there was mass hysteria over the very creative "deaths" of various mafia and citizens: ground into flour and made into bread and fed to the ducks.. fed to the sharks... put into a potato
soufflé for the president.. suffocated in the tub of popcorn...
It seems like there's a bit of a food theme going on here:
and yes, we even ate pannacotta: so italian...
all yelling: Viva La Mafia!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

sew freaky

2 days ago i got a frantic email request from D17's school show producer...
Hi there, Stranger! Just wondering if your sewing machine is willing to jump into action and sew a fairy dress or two for us?
(no, D17 is *not* a fairy. he's not even "Boy Waiting at Bus Stop")
i immediately thought, *sure* (i mean, how hard can that be??) and oh. my. gosh. i had quite the freakout when two *ball* dresses arrived. i can sew a straight line on my 1950's machine (which sews forwards and backwards) but... ball dresses?????
sew... i made a frantic phone call to the lovely louise who dropped everything and brought her machine over, and patiently pinned a zip in and cut out straps etc. and i sewed and pressed and gathered (all in the right places lol) and look!!!! here is the first one:
(mwah to my resident model)

i am *really* freaking about the second dress though, it's fuschia stretch velvet. i wish we still lived just up the road from auntie mim...

Friday, March 09, 2007

*singing* uh oh.. they love her because... she tunes in her own way...

with *five* wanna-be-guitar-players in the house, it seems that i spend most of my time *tuning* guitars instead of playing...
but, hey... it's a ton of fun jammin' together.. and now we can all play snippets from april sun in cuba, hotel california, various chilis pieces...
and it's an *all sing* moment...
when the kooks come on the radio.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

budgie snugglers

not to be confused with *budgie-smugglers* (with a *m*)
... real lads wear the full boardies around here, thanks.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

sweet little angels for my sweet angel-girl

this little *angel quilt* is for you, R13.
i've finally finished it...
(while you were zzzzzzzzzzzz)

i started sewing it about eight years ago, when you were just a little-big-girl, and your favourite thing to do was dressing-up, and you slept in the littlest bedroom with duck-egg-blue walls and a frilly austrian blind made from calico and edged with blue-and-white gingham.

i thought i'd better finish it pronto...
you have angels watching over you, my girl.
"For He will give His angels charge
concerning you,

to guard you in all your ways."
Psalm 91:11

all my love to you, today and always
mwah X
PS in the morning i'm going to ask you if you'd like a few mother-of-pearl buttons sewn on, from my collection...

Monday, March 05, 2007

mosaic munchies

we had our biannual-garden-binge in the weekend:
well, i mostly pointed and cheered *well done* etc, and D17 and Hubby worked out their biceps-es: digging, weeding and removing triffids.
and then i decided to finish *five* little mosaic tiles that i started last year:

we *love* this little guy, and we think he looks so cute munching his way along our front path...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Triathletes

Today was The Day!!!!
My First Triathlon.
300 metre swim. 10 km bike ride.
3.5 km run (er, walk/run)
Hubby sent me a text just prior to the start:
swim like a dolphin,
ride like the wind,

run like a lioness...
and we did. we finished.
woo hoo for katie and lexi!!!!!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Mister Bugman

(**warning** very scary creepy crawlies ahead...)
I get so much excitement when I meet adults who still have such a joy of learning and passing it on.
The other day, we went to see Ruud Kleinpaste (The Bugman) here in The Sunny Bay. He let his three pet wetas (George, Dorothy aka dot@dot.com, and Betty) crawl all over his face!!!
OOPS!!! Ruud got pooped on by the weta. Nope, he didn't flick it off... instead he passed the poop around with great excitement to be sniffed etc
and then.... (this is the really scary part) Ruud passed the **wetas** around with all sorts of dialogue about how they tell what the weather is gonna be like (pop their derrières out of the tree and sense it on their back-feelers..) etc.
J11 was brave enough to hold one...
(photo credits: Deb, with huge love)

Friday, March 02, 2007

*party party party*

There's a global party goin' on:

I know what I said about this blog bein'
just for me'n'mine, but...

someone said *party* and... being such an
extrovert, I couldn't resist the invitation.

If ya fancy a boogie and wanna join
The Ultimate Blog Party too..
just click the party-link on the sidebar...

*drum roll*
and now for the intro's:
I'm Kate !!!
*three air kisses*
I love my gorgeous Hubby.
My kids are D17, R13, J11, S9, M5...
yep, four lads and a girlie-girl (that's the five kiwis).
We make our home in The Sunny Bay of Plenty,
in New Zealand.

I love to create stuff, make jewellery, hang with friends, go to the beach, drink fine wine and eat
good food... i have a love affair with all things french, and espressos, and my three youngest boys teach me at home, lol. I also love to party.

But that's not all.... the rest is blogged somewhere here... it's our beautiful life.
I'm lookin' forward to meeting you and yours !!!!!
mwah X

Thursday, March 01, 2007

He's got the wobbly magic......

There's an exquisite book in our library about learning to ride a bike. It has captivating illustrations, where the reader instantly feels the emotions of the author as he tries and tries to ride his two-wheeler bike. It's provided many an encouragement to our own fledgling wanna-be riders over the years. The Boy (with baby teeth) tries all different places and people to help him to Do It Self, and almost gives up. But on the last page, he discovers... he has *the magic* in him!!!

Yesterday morning, we performed a quick-garage-clean-up and M5 discovered that his bike trainer wheels were still removed from the last time he attempted the bicycle balancing act.
So, with a bit of cajoling, he decided that he'd give it another go, patiently attended by S9, pushing, behind the bike...
Repeating S9's mantra, "I *can* do it, I *can* do it..."

Let us see how Squirt does, flying solo...

Whoa! That was so cool!
Hey, Dad! Did you see that? Did you see me?
Did you see what I did?

You totally rock, Squirt.
So gimme some Fin. Noggin. D-u-d-e!!!!!