Hello, Hello! This post has been a LOOOONG time in the making due to an extra-ordinary schedule that is not forgiving. We weren’t sure when (or if) this post would ever get out…
Soooo of course, as you would expect from us, in the midst of the craziness of this insane-roller-coaster-life we live, we’ve tripped into a sensible solution. You see, it seems that an “average pod” was, well, average… and appears fate would have us bust through our comfort zone once again and go beyond… yep… baby number nine a brewing. This would seem to add MORE to the plate and make it even less possible to fit blogging into the mix, but in an unexpected turn, Mama finds herself hitting a wall she has not known before and is reduced to…… askingforhelp…… sheesh! LOTS of it. Not easy. And she’s not very good at it yet; but seems this new little Pea is going to push her into better ‘asking’ performance pretty quick. SO, Mama (aka head blog-writer) is spending a little more time than usual with her feet up in Supervisory Mode and finds that adding a bit of writing to her position makes her feel a whole lot more… well… normal. Hard to move from juggling 25 items at a time down to just a few. Seems a waste of talent and ability don’t you think?
SO…. Here… Finally… is the long overdue introduction to our new home. We’re SO happy you’ve stopped by to see it!
After almost two years of camping, we have moved into a proper home with running water, toilets and a washing machine–Yippy!!!
Our new stomping ground is 20 minutes north of Christchurch New Zealand and 5 minutes west of the South Pacific Ocean (and beaches!) where we have the privilege of looking after ‘Goodwin Cottage’ and its 16 acre farm.
Come along for a quick tour!
Welcome to Goodwin Cottage!
Affectionately named after its owners who are currently on their own adventure in Zimbabwe Africa.
Quick preview… to the left is the kids-wing of the house; centered is the main-living or family quarters; out front is a nice big flat grass covered yard great for games of all sorts; heading off to the far right (beyond this photo) is a garage, extra storage space and a shed with extra living quarters (currently occupied by the two eldest boys of the Goodwin family… what a pleasure to have them here with us!); beyond that are the gardens and chicken coop; and past those you’ll find rest of the acreage, which is composed of 3 large paddocks and a long area of wooded “forrest”; a creek runs along the entire southern boundary making the location feel extra friendly.
We’ll begin our tour on the outside… where we love to spend most of our time…
A “Fower!” for you.
The yard has lots of flower varieties to enjoy and to pick.
Here is one of the many lovely bouquets that have graced our table. (I think Faith made this one.)
On the right side of the house is an ample outdoor mud-room (where you see the big chest freezer). On the left of this photo along the house is an herb garden that we planted when we first arrived. This photo was taken in January and as I write in March the herbs have grown at least 10 times as big. It is a fantastic and easy to access herb bed–we love it!
Then of course, the star of this photo, little Miss Betsy Pollyanna holding one of our three kittens… this one is Dakota… the other two are Montana and Moose (notice a theme?).
Also, a tidbit for those who weren’t aware, New Zealand, being located in the southern hemisphere, has seasons opposite to those of the States (northern hemisphere and where we originate) so all the photos on this post, which were taken between January and March, took place in the SUMMER.
Heading out of the yard and toward the garden………….. Dusty found these old gates on the property and hung them to close off the yard when necessary, i.e. to keep adventurous Peas contained. That was the idea anyway, but we have yet to close it entirely off. We are quite safe out here, and the smaller Peas hardly have need to leave the yard as there is plenty of space to play and adventure inside its boundary. Here you can see the garage and part of the shed where the Goodwin Boys are staying.
On to the garden… beans, peas, pumpkins, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, radishes, potatoes, rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, and a LEMON TREE (I’ve dreamed of one of these!!)… it’s only about 2 feet high, but is chock full of about 20 lemons. We planted much of the garden when we arrived at the end of December and now in mid-March all the beds are busting their seems. We are currently picking peas, lettuce and tomatoes. Fun fact about New Zealand is that the spring/summer growing season is MUCH longer than what we had in South Dakota USA allowing for TWO summer plantings and harvests. We moved here just in time for the second growing season, and look forward to planting our first crop of Winter Veg soon! Never have we done that before!
Beginnings of the pumpkin patch. These were planted by the Goodwins previous to our arrival and were looking like this when we arrived. Thanks guys!
The lettuce garden starting off. Dusty and I are often out in the dark of the morning picking fresh lettuce to pack in his lunch for the day. Yum!
Growing fruit, veggies, and “Peas” 🙂 … Betsy with some fresh berries.
Only a few make it back to the house each day (one for the bucket one for the mouth). But after a while, those few add up and eventually we are able to make something super-yummy like strawberry cake or strawberry-apricot crumble.
Another fruit harvest turned Yum… Three jars of plum jam from the backyard cherry-plum tree. These plums also made a lovely pie! Tasted almost like tart cherries… Delish!
A few of our chooks (chickens) that faithfully provide us with eggs, as long as we faithfully feed them and clean their coop (which we do).
We LOVE having chickens and farm-fresh eggs!
Back to the yard we go…
A long-view of the back yard with eating area, grill and clothes line in view. To the far left down the bank is a nice sized creek (Saltwater Creek) that runs year-round and holds some very nice trout (not for eating… we like to watch them too much) and eels (that the boys try to bate and spear because the eels eat the young trout).
Here’s a shot of the amazing swing in our backyard (this was here before we arrived). It swings out over the creek and the Peas have hours of fun on it.
Rounding the back of the house to the far side (by the kids-wing) is a grape arbor that Dusty built. When we moved here in December we found a pile of tangled up, but very healthy looking grape-vines, which Dusty meticulously untangled. He then used some old wooden gates found on the property and whipped up this stunning sitting area! The gardens around the Japanese Maple were built using old bricks that the kids dug up in the yard. And the old building behind the arbor is an old tractor shed where is housed… yes… a little red tractor… so we can feel like we’re really farmin’.
And finally we come to the TRAMPOLINE… this year’s second best Christmas present (the first was moving into the house… We moved in on Christmas Day! What a great day that was for our family!!)
Now on to the house…
We’ll start with the kids wing, which is part of the original homestead, we’re guessing early 1900’s…
He is in HEAVEN with a space of his own for the very first time.
Adjoining Lloyd’s room is the big-girl room for Betsy, Faith and Aspen… We were gifted one of the princess headboards you see, and soon after found the other two on Trademe (New Zealand’s version of Craig’s list) for $10… Fun find!! And a perfect fit.
Kaleb and Wyatt share this space. Big bro on top (of course) and little bro waiting for the day he can trump Ted and finally score the top-bunk.
Next comes the School Room. We have three homeshooling (Lloyd, Kaleb and Betsy) two pretending they are (Wyatt and Nalia) two attending the local country school (Faith and Aspen) and one baby to round it all out (Teddy). This room gets plenty of traffic and serves many purposes.
Moving from the kids-wing to the main living quarters…
The hallway joining the kids wing (original house) with the rest of the house (addition probably built in the … ummm … I don’t know when this was built…). Anyway… the shelves in this hallway make a perfect pantry. Love it!
First thing you’ll see coming into the family wing is the art wall, which is constantly changing as you would imagine.
Heart-beat of the home (at least ours) and a place of sanity for Mom. This is where most of her creative expression happens.
We’ve opted to forego a dishwasher as we have seen such beautiful fruit come from the Peas doing dishes together. Although they wouldn’t choose the job on their own, the kids do a marvelous job! And the songs and jokes pouring forth from the kitchen during dish time is priceless.
An in-house laundry room! After almost two years of dragging laundry to and fro during our camping days, one of the most luxurious parts of our home is the laundry room… and our magnificent washing machine!! You can just see a glimpse of the amazing contraption in the front right of the photo… high capacity, top loading, no center spindle (so we can wash even large duvets!) and high-efficiency or regular wash options… PLUS hot water… oh me oh my… you’ve stolen my heart! How lucky we are! Our cloth diapers have never been happier.
Just had to throw this one in… isn’t she a beauty! (far right)
Also worth noting, we have a changing table to the left of the sink. Feeling pretty organized…. seems to be a place for everything. Aaahhhh….
Lounge (Living Room)…
Complete with old style record player picked up at a garage sale (So fun!), and lovely wood burning stove. This stove heats the entire house as well as our hot water (when a fire is burning that is). There are ducts and a fan that help push heat from the lounge to other parts of the house.
Upstairs in the Loft is where the rest of us lay our heads. A lovely sunlit room of sanctuary. Will note here that most of our furnishings and beds were given to us and the few that we purchased we found for pennies on Trademe. What a treasure hunt we had! One of my favorite finds was my nursing chair (seen beyond the writing desk) with matching chair (other corner) and couch (prominently in front) that fit perfectly into this Master Suite.
Nalia and Ted also sleep in this room… Nalia in the “big-girl-bed” on the floor, Ted in the black travel cot and Nalia’s babies sleep in the bassinet… so far are all of them are named “Teddy-bear”.
Balcony off the Master Bedroom…
more garage sale finds make this a great morning-coffee bistro or evening-nightcap lounge.
One of the many beautiful views from the balcony. This view looks over the neighboring paddock where the dairy farmer across the creek grazes his Jersy’s from time to time. We have been lucky enough to access some of the fresh milk from his dairy and are having fun learning about the benefits of raw-milk (more on that later).
Whew! Almost there! One last shot to leave you with….
Our final destination on today’s tour of Goodwin Cottage and Farm is with Dusty and the Peas at the rope-swing. Dusty cleaned the area and “risked his life” to hang this rope at one of several good swimming holes on the property. The older Peas and Dad spent many hot summer afternoons cooling off right here.
Wowee… We made it! Are you still with us?
I’m so glad we were finally able to get this out to you. And so glad you took the time to join us for a tour!
Best to you all as you carry on with your own wonderful adventures!
With Love and Gratitude,
Dusty Tica and the Peas