Central Plateau, North Island

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

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.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

New Zealand, both North and South.

Recently our grandson was on a Field Trip to the Nelson Lakes and Golden Bay areas  near the top of the South Island. The students were doing this as part of their second year Science Degree at Victoria University.  He has very graciously given me the honour of posting some photos here.Thanks Josh,  these are just a few of them.

Farewell Spit, at the very top of the South Island.

Farewell Spit, South Island,New Zealand

Golden Bay area, South Island.

Golden Bay, South Island NZ.

Limestone Rock, Golden Bay area.

Limestone ,Golden Bay, South Island, NZ.

After a week in this area, they went to Lake Rotoiti, in the St Arnaud and Nelson Lakes National Park area, as the second part of the studies.

Nelson lakes area, South Island, NZ.Nelson Lakes, Swamp  before Glacial Moraine.

Mount Robert in the distance, Nelson Lakes area.

Mt Robert, Nelson Lakes, South Island, NZ

Lake Rotoiti, as I remember from way back in 1986, the most sand-flies ever  all lived there. They followed you everywhere, in huge swarms.Mt Robert is on the right hand side, under the vapour trail.

Lake Rotoiti, Mt Robert on RHS, under vapour trail.

Lake Rotoiti, South Island, NZ.St Arnaud  #3 Lake Rotoiti Josh Lee

Back to the North Island, views from above Wellington, looking south.

High above Wellington,proof that they both rode there.High above Wellington, Cook Straight way out to the right.

The swing bridge is near Makara Peak,where the wind turbines are.

Swing Bridge, Makara Peak, Wellington area, North Island,. NZ

And for map lovers like Louise.. Here is one for you,  Fundy Blue!!!

NZ map places and arrows

And, as  ( in my opinion)  this post should close with  some snow, here it is.

Mt Ngauruhoe, from the Desert Road.

Mt Ngauruhoe, from the Desert Road

Josh and Hugh, near the Desert Road, in 2004.

Josh & Hugh July 2004 #1

Quotation of the day,author unknown.

“There is always an island of opportunity

in whatever we do and wherever we go ”

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 31 July 2017

And the Cold came in from the South

New Zealanders have shivered in the recent cold snap, having  in some places the coldest day of the year.

Those further North have huddled up and moaned miserably about the 4C, or slightly more, while those down south ( they breed very hardy folk there)  tell them……..

“  Swallow a concrete  pill, harden up, and wear more merino”!!!

In the South Island, Tekapo in the Mackenzie District  managed to reach –0.4 Celsius on Saturday!!! This was after an overnight low of –10 C.

Tekapo photos courtesy of the Internet.

Lake Tekapo with frost, ice and snow. July 2017

Lake Tekapo, 29th July 2017

Hoar frost near  Tekapo in  a previous year.

frost at Tekapo

The frost we had seems very mild in comparison. Our front lawn.

Frost in July 2017

I found one more owl languishing in the pile of batik fabrics, he needs to be ironed onto the background, and I need to reply to  the rest of the lovely bloggers who left a comment. Ruru is doing well.

Quotation of the day, from Mark Twain, and I wonder where he was  when he wrote these words…

“Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer

we’d have frozen to death”

Greetings from Jean.


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Day 12, DRUM ROLL for everyone.

Yes, Day 12 has dawned, and down here, almost ended. This has been an amazing event, and so many have commented, no doubt pondered over which beautiful item they will make first.

Some  morning sunrise photos at our home, North Island,  in New Zealand,

morning reflection

sunrise 2nd September 2

And as we end the 12 days, some sunsets. This was at our home,but  this view is looking  at the sky to the East.

Eastern sky  in the evening.

We were staying on a friend’s farm, and this is at  1005 metres above sea level, and looking to the West.

Night sky at 1005 metres asl

And to finish the picture entries, here are Ginger Boy, a stray, and Boris, also a stray, who arrived on Mother’s Day in 2015, only a few weeks old.  I gave this the title “ Are you my Dad?”

Boris and Max  June 2015,are you my Dad

Today you can visit Christina here.

Christina's Handicrafts

I have already popped over and  do like both her projects, blue fabrics, my favourites. 

Next you will so enjoy a trip to meet Aby at


Yes, I have been to her pattern page and saved  the designs.

Now,some earlier  bloggers have been  even busier,  and here are  extra pages for you to enjoy.

Kathy is doing an extra   posting with something exciting for the   younger ones. Be sure to see the fun they had.

  Kathy's Kwilts and More

Then hop over and  visit  Karen and see that full stocking again, even more full this time.

Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats

Then Michele at Crayon Box Studio has more instructions.

Visit her  right here where black changes to blue!!!      click here

Wendy is at Pieceful Thoughts of my Quilting Life and she gives us  the instructions to make that beautiful JOY garland.

Visit her …..here

Carole  of From  My Carolina Home  has more for all of us.

Visit  her blog at this link.

Jennifer can be found at her blog, The Inquiring Quilter,

and has given us some lovely ideas from previous years.

Hop into her blog right here.

Finally,  Jan at  The Colourful Fabriholic, has posted the  tutorial for that fabulous wall hanging Christmas tree.

Hop on to her blog and this will finish the

12 Days Of Christmas in July Blog Hop banner 

I have found the last 12 days to be exciting, fascinating, time consuming, challenging, and far-reaching as I read new posts, made new friends, and gathered so many wonderful ideas for later in the year.

A HUGE thank you to Sarah for all her hours behind the laptop, on the keyboard, sending and receiving emails, and through this,  being away for a family emergency. Thank you so much.

Quotation of the day,author unknown

“‘Believe in yourself

and so much more will be possible”

Greetings from Jean.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Day 11, 11 Pipers were Piping for the 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop

Well, here we are on the penultimate day of this wondrous event.

Sadly, two members  of the hop have had a heart-breaking loss of a family member and my heartfelt sympathy goes to Sarah and Meloney.

My Mum was born in Cambuslang, in Scotland, on 25th July, 1903,  and according to her birth certificate it was at #5, Smithfield Terrace, , words including “ father present”. That was what I think would have been called a miner’s row, and is no longer there.But no doubt my Nanny, my grandfather,  and their family often heard men piping for special occasions.

Photo courtesy of the internet, of  Main Street, Cambuslang  , circa 1904 .

Cambuslang,main street, circa 1904,.

The blog hoppers to visit today include  Anja over at

Anja Quilts

I hopped there, maybe a day early, and the first  fabric I see is tartan. How wonderful is that,so fitting to be there for the pipers. Call back later to see what magic she has for us.

Now travel to visit Judy here.


I am also a little early here , but the photos show some wonderful quilts, and so much more. I am calling back later.

Almost there, call into Jen here.

A Dream and a Stitch

She has been so busy, a new project, some gifts, and no doubt will also show us something we will all enjoy so much.

Can you believe that tomorrow, the 25th, is the last day of this fabulous stroll along a quilter’s street, across oceans, interstate and between countries?

For me, I have met so many wonderful quilters, saved quite a few…  maybe too many , projects for later in the year, and added some wonderful new  friends to my blog list. Then I found I also have some new followers, Thank you all so much for adding me to your list too. I am hoping you have all enjoyed this hop, and we will have one more day to gather up our fabrics , and find some last projects to add to our collection.

Quotation of the day,author unknown

“ Everyday there is beauty in everyday things,

enjoy every one every day.”

Greetings from Jean.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Day 10, I am recovering and the 10 Lords are Leaping!!!

12 Days Of Christmas in July Blog Hop banner

Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments on the owls who sat in session at Parliament. I am so overwhelmed by all your words, and hope that sooner or later I get to see some of your own owls . I have one picked out to go on a cushion cover for Joyce, and then I might have a  sit down and a  rest. I will reply to each one of you, within the next FIVE to SEVEN  days..  There is a birthday to celebrate on the 25th!!!  So I have allowed for extra recovery time.

After all, the older you are, the longer it takes, for everything!!!

As there should have been a lady dancing yesterday, but the owls took up so much room, here is one today. I was maybe  15, and my Dad had it in one of his photo albums, with the words  “ A Duty Dance, ? ” This was maybe 1955, and the Maxina among other  dances was in fashion then.  Solemn as could be!!!

Nancy J and her Dad, maybe 1955

A little later, he had this photo, titled” In Happy Mood” so probably not at the same place!!! I am on the left, then my Dad and then my Mum.

Nan, Eric and Grace Appleby, maybe 1955

Dad was a whizz with words, and wrote poems or tales for every auspicious occasion or event that required some input. My Mum was a seamstress, a dressmaker, and a sewer of everything,  and as long as I can remember, she sewed. Cow covers, canvas with leather straps, working clothes, school clothes and uniforms,  wedding gowns, and all else. The modern machines today would seem like an unimaginable dream to her.

So onwards to todays blogs to hop to and leave another comment.

You will meet Meloney, and I am staggered at her “ July to do List” but am sure there will be time allotted for the  blog hop post. Visit her here.

Mel's Quilting Blog

Next is Mel, and as I scrolled through her blog, found so much to marvel at, and you all need to do that and see some of the knitting, crocheting and applique !!! Wow, they are all superbly stunning. Visit Mel here at

Resourceful Momma

Last for today is  Cheryl. You might have already met her, with her other post, and so many great ideas and projects to store away for later in the year.  Tune in again for some more inspiration.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting

There has been a slight change in the date for the comment tally. Sarah  has been called away , a family member is   very ill, so   the date of the giveaway announcement and the winners  is now Friday 4th August instead of July  28th. I am sure we all send Sarah, her husband and all the family a heap of caring thoughts and more.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ The most important things in life

are not  things at all,

they are Family and Friends”

Greetings from Jean.