My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I’ve spent this afternoon thinking. In an abstract, distracted kinda way. Whilst aimlessly wandering around doing a little tidying, a little cooking, a little rejoicing that my daughter seems to be coming right after the last few days of vomiting.

How did I sleep through this?

It’s probably been brought on by the massive earthmoving endeavors of yesterday. They represented a major step forward in the development of this piece of land. It got me reflecting on what I actually want, where I want to head with my life, which, of course, has a lot to do with what I want to do with this block of land.

My husband owns one business and ½ owns another. The first business he bought as a one-man band operation and has built it up over the last six years to the point where he has put in a manager and stepped away. He now works in the other business and they are slowly building that one up. He periodically contemplates selling the first business, but vacillates because it gives him a decent drawing every week though it still causes him stress (admittedly a whole lot less now he has a manager). Now he is thinking about selling it again and using the profit towards a property of some description.

Stainless steel work my husband has done.

I am hesitant because it is the drawing that really has allowed me to resign from work myself. And I resigned in part to spend time on THIS property, planting an orchard, tending a large vege garden, raising animals and homemaking. Yet his plans for another block of land could either mean uprooting us from here, renting it out and starting again somewhere else, or running some sort of stock raising system that would see our weekends taken up with visiting and overseeing the other block.

However, new challenges always excite me. I think I’m very good at starting things, getting enthusiastic about things, but not necessarily following them through to the nitty gritty end. And I guess I’m a bit at that stage here. I have big plans for this place but the next few steps are hard work and I won’t really start to see rewards from here for a while. So it would be easy (in a way, because uprooting is never very easy) to be diverted by starting a new project.

I think just writing this is making me see it a whole lot clearer. I need to convince my husband that whether or not he sells his business, we need to get this place up and running before we move on or consider more challenges.

They're gorgeous when they're happy.

I was just having a little run back through some of my early posts when I began this blog. It seems like forever but I have only been blogging for seven months. And back then when I started, we weren’t even living out here. In seven months we have:

Converted a dirt-floored shed into a three bedroom house,
Finished renovating our old house and rented it out,
Moved 4 people, 2 dogs and 11 chooks from one house to the other,
Got used to using a long-drop for a loo,
Built a very large chicken run and figured out new systems of managing the chooks,
Built the fence foundations for a large vegetable garden,
Designed and organised for the building of a large shed extension and verandah,
Built a retaining wall for said shed foundation,
Bought 5 milk-fed calves and learned how to managed them (still learning!)
Sent a little boy off to school,
Planted trees, mowed paddocks, battled gorse, lugged horse poop around,
Made the decision for me to resign from paid work,
Had major earthworks done for the shed, vege garden and had a dam dug,
And all the while, done the other things that you do, like work, sleep, quilt, plan birthday parties, cook, nurse sick kids, walk dogs etc.

Hamilton Botanic Gardens. One day my place might look like this...

I guess what I’m trying to say to myself is, hey! Go easy, you’ve actually done quite a bit and even though you spend a bit of time wandering round aimlessly, you are still achieving things. Whilst you still have plenty to do to get this place to ‘dream lifestyle’ stage, packing it in and starting somewhere else is just going to put you back at square one, don’t give up now!

With that sorted out, I guess I need to look more closely at what I (or we!) want to achieve out here in the next wee while and do some step-by-step goal setting to help us get there. But I think I’ll save that for another post…..


  1. Hey sis - you have achieved the most amazing things in the last seven months. We sit over here in Perth and watch in awe - wishing we could be doing the same kind of things. We keep contemplating the move to a rural lifestyle - unfortunately not possible until the powers-that-be realise that an all computer based job does not need to be done from a central office - the internet and teleconferencing works just as well. Until then we'll just keep dreaming...

  2. As per above, I have to say.

    And my flippin' google reader thingo is still not showing new posts, hence me missing the odd one...

    You have achieved an enormous amount in 7 months. We however have still not managed to even upsize our house, let alone build a new one. And that's been on the cards for over 1 year now. Oh well, you get used to the kids bouncing off the walls, as today when it rains nearly all day. Except for when I took them to the farmers market hehe, we practically needed a boat and they had a ball.

    I'm rambling, perhaps I should use the phone more, d'ya think?!

  3. gotta get me skype! Thanks for your moral boosting thoughts sister dears and pass some rain our way would you?


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