Central Plateau, North Island

Central Plateau, North Island
View from a friend's farm

Monday, 23 October 2017

Spring Glory is still here

Some of the daffs are still flowering,tulip buds unfolding, Sparaxis, wisteria ( forgot to get a photo of the delicate mauve blossoms)blue forget-me-not everywhere, grass is growing, and the weeds think it is time to show us how they thrive!!!

this one started as the palest bulb, and turned into deep pink.

The pale pink tulip turned deeper

There are several this shade, but none as frilly.

Frilly as it likes

Tulips, forget-me-not and red Sparaxis in the lower right. The pale pink at the very back is the same one in the first photo.tulips, Blue forget-me-not and sparaxis.

There are 5 bulbs of these daffs, the others have faded, two are still so delicate and beautiful

Daffodils, the last to bloom

The English Elm has pale leaves and loaded with   flowers on every branch and twig.

elm tree  in October

These are the pale flowers, that dry to an almost transparent casing, and blow everywhere in even the slightest breeze.

Elm Tree Flowers

The Weeping Silver Pear tree is so delicate, and really pretty.

Weeping Silver Pear, 2017

I emptied the  rain gauge into the pond and Boris thought he might jump in after he heard the splash.

Boris, on the bridge over the pond

I am slowly healing, and remind myself to NEVER help lift a can of petrol ever again. Hugh’s shoulder is  back to normal, he has had the pre-op check up at Whanganui Hospital last Thursday.  and tomorrow, bright and early, has  cataract surgery. The first one 2 years ago went well, so I hope this will be the same. Same surgeon, back form the UK for a very busy catch up of 6 months appointments. The only drawback to this , is he cannot drive for about 3 weeks. I might just see if there is a “chauffeur” available.I will be open to all offers, overseas applicants can  also apply, food and board for free, air travel is your own expense!!! Please email for job specifications!!!!

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Flowers are silent friends

that give beauty unasked”

Greetings from Jean.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Sunshine, after so much Rain.

The flowers have blossomed, in spite of so much rain. Tulips,Bearded Iris, Dutch Iris, Cherry Blossom, and Gladiolus Nanus,. and more.

The are……….    !!!!!!!!     …….. Photos Galore!!!!Tulip #3Tulip #2Tulip #1Tulip #9Tulip #8Tulip #6 and pink bluebells

Tulip #8Tulip #4

Tulip #9

One side of the driveway, deeper pink and upright,  the paler blossoms below are on the other side, and are so beautiful and droop their branches so delicately.

Cherry Blossom 2017 #1Cherry Blossom 2017 #2Cherry Blossom 2017 #3Cherry Blossom 2017 #4Bearded Iris #1

Dutch Iris 2017

Violets, lupins, tulips and Dutch Iris.

Ixia and Gladiolus Nanus are two of my favourites, right after

the Tulips.

.Ixia, 2017Pink Ixia, my favourite

The Gladiolus Nanus were lost somewhere last year, this year in a tub, and saved. They are graceful and delicate.

Gladiolus Nanus 2017

Hugh and I continue to heal, he is a long way ahead of me, but we are  both so thankful for all the help we are receiving. The firewood is slowly getting cut and split, many thanks to friends.

I am so thankful for a safer place to live, wonderful friends, calmer weather, and my blog friends closer here in NZ  and far away. Amidst all the tragedy, hurricanes, snow storms, shootings, and the ongoing famine and war, we all must try to find beauty and peace, in the blue skies, the green grass, the flowers, and trees, whatever season we live in.    Autumn colours in the North, spring flowers down south.

The quilting machine is still languishing in the garage, our Fix-it  man ( aka super-duper sewing machine mechanic) is still in Tasmania after a new grandchild arrived. It will get attended too in time, meanwhile I have a Christmas block QAL, and Yvonne’s transparency quilt ,  (fabrics chosen, starting in some days to come ) to enjoy.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“A Rainbow

     is a promise of sunshine after rain,

        of calm after storms,

             of joy after sadness,

                 of peace after pain,

                     of love after loss.”


Greetings from Jean.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Dithering and Dallying!!!

These days I try hard to set my mind to do something really worthwhile, but in reality end up in bed with a hottie!!!

I need to decide on the fabrics to use in the next project,

Wayward Transparency  with Yvonne

I chose three, and then after they were all measured and cut, took a photo in B&W with my phone. Oh No, not enough contrast between light, medium and dark.Too late to change, a good lesson to learn, take a B&W photo first.

1st choice in colour1st choice in B&W

So off to find what I have here, second choice, grey marbled, green and a  darker one with blues, greens and almost black.

grey,green and dark choiceB&W, grey green and dark choice

Maybe sort of OK, but it did not say “YES, pick me!!”

Next is pale mauve, green and again the darker one. and this seems to be all right. Good contrast, and mauve in the green, picks up the pale mauve  in the lightest fabric.

last choice B&Wlast choice in colour

However we have some time before the cutting begins, so I can play, set them out all over again and ponder some more.

Our weather is so changeable, warmer days, then rain, AGAIN, and some wind. Down south lambing is going well, one  brave ewe had  FOUR baby lambs. They were all fostered out to be bottle fed by another family, one was very tiny, I hope he made the grade and survived.  No huge late season snow falls this year so far, the farmers will be elated to avoid that sleet and snow  with freezing wind.

For years, Hugh has said if we see a logging truck going past,” I just would like one of those logs to fall off at our place”. Well, last week a local man  had  a whole truck load for sale, I sent a txt, he replied, and bingo, they arrived. The huge truck reversed up to this spot, and even after some dry days the huge wheels sunk into the grass, look carefully and you can see the indentation. This was late afternoon, and not the best light for photos.

Truck load of logs #1Logs #2logs #3

We think there are 50!!!!!So all Hugh’s dreams came true. No stumps to clean out, no branches to trim, no scruffy stuff to burn, just cut into rounds and split. Thanks Ross, you will be very popular everywhere you go.

Hugh’s shoulder fracture is healing perfectly, no separation or displacement, he is driving again. My muscle sprain is still very painful, slightly improving, how we take good health and ability to do everything we want to, for granted.

I am slightly better and each day hope  to be able to do a bit more, Roller cutting is out for now,  but fabric can be patted, laid out and arranged again and again.

Thank you all so much for your caring comments, enquiries, and emails. I so appreciate every one, and if I have not replied to you in  person,  pain medication and all else dims the mind!!! At least that is what I believe.

Quotation of the day, from Nelson Mandela

“ May your choices reflect your hopes ,

not your fears”

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Home Again, Home again, Jiggity-Jig!!!!

I have borrowed those words from Jenn in Canada, as Jenn, you so often use these after a hospital visit, I thought they were very suitable for  our last few  weeks down here!!!

The weeks since my last post have been action packed, if you can interpret that to be “ Filled with Hospital visits, trips by ambulance, and more”.

Hugh’s shoulder is improving slowly, he can dress himself, almost drive, manage to sit on the ride on mower, and a little more. However through this, he had severe pain in his right knee,  not able to walk, so once more off in the green and gold chariot, aka Ambulance. Blood test, X-Ray, possible fracture NO, possible gout? Maybe, overnight stay and home the next day.

Front lawn area

Now, all mowers need petrol!!! The lawn needed mowing,  The 20 litre can  was filled at the garage, they lifted it into the wagon, and when we arrived home I had to help Hugh lift it onto the back tray on the quad bike!!! This is so he can take it to the other shed past the driveway. That was something we had done together dozens of times, but previously when his right arm was good!!! My ribs ached afterwards, the next day, so painful. The following Friday, my turn to get carried off on a stretcher,  then an  X-Ray, maybe a fractured rib, NO, maybe a chest wall muscle sprain? Not sure. Home with a whole heap of medication. Lots of explanations to the OT lady and the Social worker about how this was absolutely necessary. One of them suggested we leave the lawn until it was SO high, indicating with her hands at least 10 to 12 inches. Well, we would then make hay.I am guessing she has no idea at all about how large a 3 acre area is.

Then Sunday, the pain escalated into “ where is it on a scale of 1 to 10?” Off the scale, so back to hospital again. More pain meds, an overnight stay, and home to take life very slowly and carefully. The Dr said maybe 4 to 6 weeks for it to heal.

Through all of this, I keep thinking of Irma, my friend in Florida , how her barn cats are managing, and all those in Texas and other states nearby.Stay safe are the usual words, but they seem so insignificant right now.

Before this I had managed to finish Blocks #3 and #4 for the QAL. They are bright and so Christmassy!!!

Santa’s Belt,  there are so many lovely blocks, on the Facebook group page.  with belts, buckles, and a fat tummy as well.

Christmas Block #3

Then Christmas Decorations, again all the group members have made this in their own so special way. Each one a delight to see. The green is sparkly and glittery, as a Christmas tree would be.

Christmas Block #4

Meantime, before all this, I was in a quilt fabric shop,  looking, as we do, and found this panel of elephants.It just  hopped into my hands!!! Not the best photos, it is just too hard to  find a good place with plenty of light.

panel of elephants

Elephant #2My favourite Elephant

Then I found this on the net, and have seen it before.It, too, just landed in my patterns. Paper pieced, not my favourite way to do it, but I might try with freezer paper instead.

Elephant and I pattern photoElephant & I cropped

This will have to wait till all things are back to normal,  for now  I can look and dream.

Quotation of the day. author unknown

“ Always  fall asleep with a dream

and wake up with a purpose.”

Greetings from Jean.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

The Snowflake was so lucky to survive!!

I had wonderful plans to have the snowflake block all finished, applique all done, and batting ready.I joined in the QAL, thinking I would so easily manage a block or two.

Week one, block one, is from Vanda who lives in South Africa. Her words were …..

Without further ado, here is block 1. A snowflake, I just could not resist making a snowflake. You see where I live in South Africa our Christmas falls in summer. And I would absolutely love to see a snow white Christmas……

I picked out some fabrics, dithered around, and finally chose a deep midnight blue with gold stars. In the centre is our New Zealand icon, a Kiwi, and in real life only comes out at night.

“ Starry,starry night” came to my mind.

Snowflake choices #2snowflake choices #1

Snowflake #3

The applique was started,  the background is a little darker to show the variegated Madeira thread, and a slanted stitch #23  on my Bernina  QE 440.

Snowflake #4 showing applique thread colours

Then the plan all fell to pieces, My husband had a fall, catapulted himself about 6 feet, fell onto a step on his back. How life changes in a flash. Rang the ambulance, rang a friend, finally ambulance arrived, single crew, he rang the fire brigade, and  then they used a body board that slides in two halves underneath, to get him onto the stretcher and into the ambulance.  Off to hospital, after a lot of pain relief, 12 X-Rays, up to the ward, and CT scans the next day. He has what is called “ an undisplaced fracture” of the acromion, a small bone at the back of his right shoulder. No surgery needed as they called it “smashed” so it will heal all by itself, but will be months rather than weeks.  Hugh’s right arm is no good, he cannot use it at all, and there is pain and bruising in lots of other places. I have just read that Turtles also have this bone!!! I wonder how they manage if it gets smashed.

Here are the 4 men and one lady ( not all in the photo)  contemplating the best way to move my man!!! What a gallant lot they were, and I am so thankful for all the help we had.

Fire Brigade, body board and Hugh, August 2017 #2

So if I am off the radar, and do not leave comments or do a post now or then, I will be doing a whole lot of other things here.

Quotation of the day, from Robert Burns

“ The best laid plans of mice and men

often go awry”

Greetings from Jean.