Life before the easy times came along even with a recession

The dining table is set with the best blue and white china ready for the Sunday lunch. The children will be expected to be on their best behaviour and help mother with the serving. This is one of the beautifully done displays at the Matakohe Kauri Museum.

The Mother of the Bride seeing to the final touches

I remember asking my Grandmother who had grown up in the Northern Wairoa what it was like during those days. She told me just one thing out of all her stories of muddy roads, sinking boats and cooking on a woodburning stove, as the family home she was growing up in, went on a barge up the Northern Wairoa River to Mangawhare - where it remains today on River Road. She told me life then was very very hard. Money was very very tight and what little they did have they made do with. Nana and her sister Ellie would get up at 5 am and milk their parents dairy cows then walk several miles to school after they had put the milk into the separator, then finally had breakfast. They helped their mother with the laundry using a scrubbing board.

Thank Goodness for Automatic Washing Machines!

Nana told me we didn't truly know how lucky we were. I realise that now even with this recession the papers keep reporting on we truly are fortunate. I have the land to grow my own food, the chickens give us eggs each day, and eventually when River does calve we'll have our own milk supply as well. Meat will be coming shortly when the bull is put down and into our freezer. Later this year I'm going to go and learn how to do cheese and butter making then I won't have to pay $20 for a kilo of ordinary cheese anymore - I now have the luxury of time. Today I'm going to be planting more peas, beans and hopefully if and when I can find it some winter lettuce. Our garden is doing well. The chickens are now keeping well clear of the electric fence. Jayne from Our Great Southern Land put up a great post about Making do recipes. Worth a read.
They don't make wine like this anymore


  1. What a beautiful life you have, I just love your blog. Your stories make me wish I lived close to you and your family. Hugs and Love~~~Leslie

  2. Reminds me of the stories E used to tell. Thank ghod for toilet paper. I still hoard it just like she did. Nice post. Lorain

  3. Hi you two!

    Leslie - sometimes it has it's moments but overall we're really really happy here and that makes a big difference. I wish you were near us too. Hugs and love.Liz

    Lorain. Oh yes I remember when E used buy big 12 packs of toilet paper. I do the same thing. I HATE running out!LOL I enjoyed writing this post. Great when I found those photos again. I took them last year. Hope everything is going okay for you.

    Love and hugs

  4. ahh you've been out to one of my favourite places, the matakohe museum! I feel right at home there!

  5. Amy don't you just Love that place? So so cool!

  6. That looks like a great museum and thanks for the link, hope to add some more recipes soon :)
    What's this about automatic washing machines?
    I still do all my washing by hand...after 3 new machines carked it within an 18 mth period and the different repairmen wanted bajillions of $.
    So I use my trusty wash board, pure laundry soap and elbow grease lol. ;)

  7. Jayne those darned machines must have been lemons. Don't you hate that! Mine isn't giving me any trouble thank goodness. The last one I had was an Aussie Simpson and it lasted 20 years and even then when I gave it away to a local farmer for his grubby old cow covers and stuff it was still going. My Mum used to use a scrubbing board when she was first married. With my two minions and all their washing I'd have them on the scrubbing boards.LOL! Those recipes are really cool. Thanks heaps for posting them up. Awesome!

  8. This puts things in perspective!

    Toilet paper! Wouldn't want to be without that... it's how I get cloud effects in watercolour skies ... wash the sky paint on, fold a piece of toilet-paper to a nice point and dab into the colour to remove it for the defined edges, and use the rough edge for the fluffy cloud edge!

  9. Hi Raph,

    Toilet paper is brilliant for water colour. I use tissue paper (the cheap stuff) for mine. And water colour is my favourite paint medium and oils as well.


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