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Cathedral Cove


Today we were planning on visiting Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula. We were looking at the map while we were on our way and noticed that Cathedral Cove was just 10 minutes more of a drive, so we decided to do both!

It was a great day. We spent about three hours walking out, looking around and walking back to the car. Great views, sore legs and hungry tummies were what we earned today. And to top it all off, just as the sun set, we made it to the hot water beach. We dug a hole and enjoyed a hot bath on the beach, with the cold waves catching us only a few times.

Boy loved it, and Girl wasn’t so sure. But both will sleep well tonight.

We are enjoying our time with Jessica, who is with us for a month. It will be sad to see her go.

Here are a few photos of today:

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Below are the latest three blog posts from my friend visiting from Wisconsin. We have seen glow worms, mountain views and campfires. Now, onward to hot water beach!

https://jemstotz.wordpress.com/2018/08/28/jessicas-kiwi-adventure-ep-2-acclimatization/

https://jemstotz.wordpress.com/2018/08/31/jessicas-kiwi-adventure-ep-3-were-in-a-bus/

https://jemstotz.wordpress.com/2018/09/03/jessicas-kiwi-adventure-ep-4-night-lights/

Kiwi roadtrip Ep. 1


My friend has come to visit me from the USA for a month. She’s blogging along the way, so instead of writing my own posts, I thought I would share hers. She’s got great thoughts and photos. We are having a lovely time. Enjoy! 🙂

https://jemstotz.wordpress.com/2018/08/26/jessicas-kiwi-adventure-ep-1/


We’ve come a long way in the last few months. Darren has had a bit more time off work and we’ve been able to afford a few more things. We’ve had a few realizations (again) about what kind of things we actually need, in contrast to what we think we want based on what others have, or the fact opinion that it’s important.

One of these needs was a smaller, but more engergy efficient fridge. I kinda just realized one afternoon on a whim, that I could do with less space. So, we had a look online and the perfect fridge was on sale, so we bought it. Providential timing I like to believe.

We also decided that having permanent beds for Boy and Girl was more important than extra pantry and kitchen bench space. Thus, the bunks.

Darren finished putting in the fire he made as well as the fire guard. He also started work on the drawers for under the top bunk, which will hold cultery. We have decided at this point that bins under the couch and bunks will suffice for real drawers.

Solar power has been set up, if only minimally. We plan to add on to it later. We have purchased a porta potti for the future toilet/shower room.

I bought a few rugs to make the floor a bit warmer, and made some curtains for the kids bunks. Wow, it really is starting to feel homey in here… we just need to get some water hooked up and I think we will be ready to move in!

This weekend we are taking the bus up into the ranges to help out at a camp that’s doing a work bee. I finished tidying up and packing this afternoon and thought it was a perfect time to get some decent photos without dirt and tools lying around. I’m getting excited now!


My husband once said to me, “I’m glad you’re not afraid of work”. I took great pride in hearing that. And yet there I was, stomping around in my gumboots trying to find the mini tractor and trailer so I could get a load of wood for our empty wood pile by the bus.

I was very irritated and bothered because the trailer was full of grass and needed be emptied. Also, because it was really hard for me to reverse the trailer into a good spot to load wood from the bulk wood pile. And, because I would also need to back it up to our woodpile near the bus, only to then unload it with a baby on my back and a two and a half year old helping not helping.

For some reason I felt that this job was too hard, and not fit for me to do. It was real work and I’d have no help. I’d done it once before for the same reason. Darren is usually at work when it’s a good time to do it. Yet my irritation raged because I was forced into doing it again.

It’s getting colder at nights and we need the fire. Many people in New Zealand heat their homes this way. It’s a lovely feeling, sitting in front of the warm glow, cocooned in from the elements. But, along with this privilege of being comfortable and warm comes work.

I said a prayer for help. Not for help doing the wood, but for help with my attitude. I believed that I was being a cry baby. I was having an internal tantrum because I grew up a soft city girl and didn’t want to struggle with this job.

My prayer was answered. My attitude slowly softened and melted. “This is what it’s about. Whoever is able and free does this kind of work. Living in the country means learning to look after yourself without being pampered. Learning to reverse the trailer without help is a badge to be worn. I can be proud of this rather than wounded.”

I was almost finished unloading the wood and taking a rest when I stopped to watched Boy run down the hill to the tree swing. He was yelling back to me, “That was fun Mummy!” It was a beautiful, still, sunny, Autumn day. Perfect. Nothing to complain about. This was an opportunity to be outside with my children, an opportunity to grow my confidence, my patience, my skills.

Sure, I would prefer if Darren did it. If he had time, he would do it. But if he did, I’d really feel better if I was helping him, so we could at least spend his time free working together. And if I was helping him, I’d be doing much of the same work that I was doing now. My irritation was unfounded. I wish I would have at first not balked at the job but lived up to the compliment, “I’m glad you’re not afraid of work”.

I’m a bit better at backing that trailer now… Give me a few more years and I’ll be a pro… Maybe.


We get whole wheat in bulk for the whole year and then grind it in our mill when we need it. Fresh flour can go rancid in a few months, so store bought flour has the germ removed, even wholemeal or whole wheat flour. They make white flour and add some bran back in and then call it ‘whole’. Truly whole flour will say stoneground on the label.

Some people will say they can’t stand whole wheat bread. I think that’s because they’ve tasted it when it’s gone rancid. It has a very strong and bitter taste that you can’t ignore. Fresh flour just tastes good!

We got our mill as a wedding present from Darren’s parents. Our model is called the Hawos Billy 100. It was made in Germany. We love it as it’s very simple to use and can be used to make any flour from grains and even dry legumes like peas. I think you have to be cautious though, as foods with lots of oils will clog the stone. You can see the Hawos website by clicking here.

The above photo shows about how much I make at one time. Those two containers will make around 12-15 loaves of bread. This can last anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months, depending on how often I bake.

The quality of flour and bread is amazing… I really encourage you to go for it if you are considering getting a mill of your own. You get many more nutrients as well when it’s fresh, as vitamins break down as flour ages.


These things are awesome… Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! Asparagus rolls are a traditional finger food found at pretty much all gatherings here in New Zealand. I had never heard of such a thing or tried anything similar before moving to here.

Soft bread with the crusts cut off, spread with mayo, place canned asparagus at the corner and roll it up. Yum! Asparagus Rolls! Try it try it!!! And let me know what you think.

Do you have any recipes like this in your part of the world? I’d love to hear about them.

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