A bit of everything

We've started feeding Molly the goat banana peels, result of which is that she's hanging out in our yard almost 24/7. Okay, maybe not 24/7 - but it's still a good chunk of time. And result of that is that her kids hang out here, too =).

A goat standing on a gate. Not cool. (For the gate, anyway.)

Otherwise it's pretty quiet on our New Zealand front. Summer's here, Christmas holidays are also, it's warm and we've got strawberries and, you know, summer's here.

Time for window washing.

Little one was ill for the better part of last week, so it was nights of interrupted sleep for everyone involved, crying because of bitter antibiotics, doctors, and also quiet moments watching "Mary and Max".

I love those two.

Feeling down

A friend asked a few days ago if I had PND - post-natal depression - after my son was born. I said I was never diagnosed as such, but looking back on it now, I think I did.

And now something has happened over the past few days. I mean, it's been building for several weeks now, slowly creeping up. I've just as slowly started doing something about it - looking into university studies or possible jobs to take up. I've tried to be kind to myself, and take it easy. But for some reason the past two or three days I've felt like it's gone... SMACK! BANG!

Yesterday I picked up a book I thought would help or at least be an interesting read, Mothers Matter Too by Jenny Phillips. I've gotten only, oh, I don't know, maybe a third into it, but I was on the verge of tears through the whole time I was reading it. One after another I was nodding my head and admitting to myself that yep, I struggle with this, and yup, I don't enjoy doing that, and Jenny Phillips was sort of patting me on my shoulder and saying: I know what it's like. I've been there, too. And it's natural you're feeling this way. There's been a lot of stress in your life lately and it is showing. 

So whether it's depression or whether I'm being neurotic or simply bored out of my wits or whatever, I'm trying to figure out what to do about it and find a way to actually DO something about it before I put any more stress on my husband because I'm not being very kind to him at the moment.

I feel... clueless. I really want to fix this, but I don't know how.

A little apprehensive

I woke up this morning to an indistinct feeling of anxiety and as I've gone about my morning routines I have further recognized it as something I've felt before. It's what it felt like a few months into motherhood when there were be plenty of things to do but few things of actual interest, and I am so not going down that road again. SO not going.

Oh, and this craving for sugar, sugar, sugar? Not good. Another warning sign.

It's there for a reason

I used to wonder why people left their shopping trolleys smack bang in the middle of the aisle so to make sure NO ONE could get past in any direction, and now I know. It's because they had little children sitting in their trolleys.

I'm one of those people now. And if you frickin' move my trolley closer to the shelving I will frickin' smack you, because my Kid reaches for raisins, soda boxes, toothbrushes, chocolates - whatever is within reach - and I end up with a bunch of surprises once I get to checkout. So do. not. move. my. trolley.


Tuesday musings

There's a bunch of buckets laid out underneath where our waterspout leaks. I haven't got round to fixing it yet, but I also hate the idea of wasting rainwater (especially given that we're on watertanks), so I've set up a way to collect at least some of it.

Usually that part of the yard is off-limits to a certain 1-year-old, but as I was carrying some internal doors to a storage place underneath the house I let him follow and he quickly located the water containers.

The rest is history.

Oh, thanks, dad, for this handful of sawdust.

I'm gonna stick it all in my water and let it float happily.


Another thing happened that evening - I went up our hill for sunset time and...prayed.

I don't know what your definition to "pray" is. I know what Oxford Dictionary says, it's "address a solemn request or expression of thanks to a deity or other object of worship"

I went up, sat down low amongst the grass and offered ample thanks for a life I'm living.

Thank you for this wonderful evening. 
Thank you for taking care of my family.
Thank you my health and letting me do all these things I do with my wonderful, able body.
Thank you for time I've had.

"What have you been up to?" he asked when I returned. "Oh, not much, just a walk up the hill." 

I don't pray openly. Never have. Even calling it "pray" openly is awkward.

I'm not a Jesus girl; I don't belong to any, uhm, organised religion, I don't follow anyone. Who it is you pray to, then? you might ask and I'd probably say: to the world, mostly. 

I don't know what it is, but I feel it there. Feels good. 

Crazy head-lifting character

You may have seen this already, but in case you haven't - Melbourne Metro has released a rather unconventional safety video which has gone absolutely, mind-blowingly viral.

I love it, absolutely love it. Two favorite characters? The one who sells his kidneys on the internet and another one who "teaches himself to fly".

Which brings me to why I'm writing.

You see, I put a patch on my son's pants. Nothing major, just a piece of denim across the knees. It worked, sort of, but I realised the fabric underneath would just keep on ripping unless I stitched it onto the patch above. I don't know what the technical term is, but sort of like applique?

But I didn't want it to be ugly. I could've put two or three stitching lines across the patch, and it would've worked, but it would've been uncool. And I didn't want uncool.

And what happened then was... "Wait a second, I could stitch on that crazy head-lifting character!"

And so I did. And it's by no means pretty, but heck - I've got a crazy head-lifting character on my son's pants.

I think I know what I'll take up in today's craft group I plan on attending. I'll find a way to get a pretty character onto my own pants. Colorful and all.


Things that speak stories

I was lifting things off the spare bedroom's floor to gain access to do some vacuuming, when I looked around me and had this thought that almost everything in this room speaks stories to me. I paused and looked closer.

And wondered why.

I thought: maybe it's a sign that I've spent way too much time in this house now that I'm on parental leave and we've recently moved and so some things still need sorting through, but... nah, I don't actually think so. Most of this stuff I've had way longer than that.

Then I thought it's because most of this stuff is homemade or home-repaired or otherwise DIY-ed, and it's probably a valid point.

But then I also thought that maybe - maybe - it's because I've got this thing with stuff I own, where if I haven't used something for a while (or can't realistically foresee using it soon, and getting joy out of using it) - I pass it on. Simple as that. Second-hand store, TradeMe, a neighbor, whatever - if I'm not using it, I want it gone. Things that sit around weigh me down.

It's a bit of a joke in this family, this "stuff" stuff.

You see, my husband is a bit of a squirrel in a sense that he's constantly putting things aside in case we "need them later" and doesn't really do "letting go" in a way I do. (And you'd think I'm the one with ex-Soviet country upbringing?) We're a bit like opposite ends of an alphabet like that: he's pretty good at not buying, though if we already own something he's bad at letting it go; I'm better at letting go, though not that good at restraining from buying unless it's ghastly, which is most of the time, so we're still pretty sweet. Compared to an average woman, if there is such a thing, I'm probably, say, 5th percentile. I think.

Whoa, I got way sidetracked... What was I saying?

Oh, yeah, things.

I was looking at the things in the spare bedroom and had this idea how I could put a few labels on a photo and that in itself would tell a story about ME - about why I have certain things and not the others and what I like and.. Well, you get the point.

And although I've now used up a lot this enthusiasm by putting way too many words on a computer screen and not really remembering why I thought it was such a great idea to begin with, I'll give it a go anyway. Because I'm stubborn like that.

So, shall we?

This photo is not a photo of a well groomed set-for-unexpected-guests-come-on-in-anytime-you-like spare bedroom - it's a photo of a room people actually live in. Plus, technically speaking it's not even a bedroom - we haven't got a bed in it yet. But I'll call it a bedroom anyway.

It's full of stuff we don't intend on keeping here, because we're renovating our lounge and furniture has to go somewhere for time being.

There's a map of (a part of) Alaska I dragged with me all the way from Skagway to Estonia, to all homes I lived in whilst studying, to New Zealand - again, to all homes I lived in whilst in Wanaka, which is... four.

It's uneven from many years of storage and travelling, not that pretty if you happened to ask my husband for his opinion =), and... it's great. I love it.

It's got a mountain range my son's name comes from and a town I spent my first Alaskan summer in. There's a glacier on there where I spent my dog handling months and mountains I've only seen afar from. To me, it speaks unbounded memories and for that I am grateful.

Under the window there's a stash of rimu my husband's collected over the years. It speaks both of his enthusiasm for well crafted furniture and care for precious wood otherwise going to waste - and of New Zealand way of building.

A lot of this stuff is from demolished - sorry, deconstructed - buildings where my husband's worked over the years. Beams from above the windows, offcuts from planking, even cheap firewood (!) piles from Wanaka's recycling centre. (I mean, guys, we're talking rimu here.) Like, wow.

If he hadn't picked some of it up, maybe someone else would've, but some of it would've certainly gone to landfill; whereas now it sits in our spare bedroom waiting to be crafted into furniture, or toys maybe. Some of it already has been.

Then there's our sofa cover. I've probably shown it before.

It's where our old t-shirts go, and kitchen towels, and sewing offcuts, and breezy socks. Sure, it's still work in progress (and probably will remain so for a few years to come), but it speaks volumes in itself. I mean, I can probably still say where 95% of those materials originally came from, may it be our old favorite shirts or socks or whatever. It is only recently that we started getting free fabrics from second hand stores simply to keep the sofa cover going - we ran out of old clothes otherwise - but still, dude, how cool is that.

There's a notice board where I keep things I want to be reminded of. A few phone numbers, lottery tickets from lightbulb packages, a cute cutout from a paper, a post office address for courier deliveries, but also

* photo of my brother-in-law who we'd love to have here with us, and one day hopefully will,
* photo of myself back from when I was deeply, almost incurably happy - because I need reminding of that, also,
* list of things Dunedin NICU needs; and I'm not taking it off until we've actually gotten them some,
* and a quote from this weekend's funeral leaflet

If your mind can conceive it
Your heart can believe it
You can achieve it

Little one's awake. Off I go. Talk to you later!

Thoughts on a week gone past

It's been a long weekend.

I made a long roadtrip to Wanaka and back to farewell Dave who's been our chief through my three years at the dropzone. It was a lovely service. There was laughter, and there were tears, and rock music and lots of stories. Lots and lots of stories.

It was lovely to see Dave through the eyes of his friends who've been alongside him for way many more years than I've even been on this earth. It was apparent they loved him, and apparent there'd be a Dave shaped hole around these people for many more years to come. But although the circumstances - to put it shortly - sucked, I'm glad and grateful I've had a chance to know such a man.

I reflected on my own life on the way back from Wanaka - on how I've chosen to live such a distance from where I've come from, and how plain obvious it is there will be many a funeral, and wedding, and birth I won't be attending, for several reasons. Expense of flying to Europe and back one of them, of course, but also time, and commitments I'll be making here where my life is now.

I fit in well in New Zealand. Better than I ever did in Estonia anyway (though I'm still intrigued by Tasmania, which is an entirely different story I won't be dwelling on for the moment).

I'm glad I've made the move to New Zealand, and grateful for the family I have here and the freedom that comes with independence of this sort.

And yet, I'm sad for the friends and relations I've left behind. Not all the time, of course, but sometimes. I'm grateful for when they spare a thought for me, especially when they know I need one, and hopeful that they feel the same for me. It would great, of course, to actually be there when they celebrate their big occasions or grieve the tough ones, or simply want a hug. But I've made the decision to be here, for now anyway, and it's great. It works for me an that's what's important.

So today, if you can, spare a thought for my friend who we farewelled this weekend and live life abundantly. I love you all.


It was a lovely morning as I was driving towards the Southern Alps. There was a decent coating of fresh snow, and it smelled fresh, and I was reminded of why I like it here.

It's been a tough year, but I feel like we've crossed a crest here, with moving to Christchurch and all. I'm wondering whether to take up engineering studies, and what such a move would entail - not just for me, but for my family and our finances.

I've been very grateful today. Summer has arrived.