Central Plateau, North Island

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

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Christmas Greetings

 

From Sunrise to Sunset, and all in between.

Many Good Wishes to all my friends, have wonderful days with family, and  friends, and I send you so many thanks for your love, care, good wishes and support, specially over the last few months. Last night, Santa arrived about 10 p.m. I had visited Trade Me,  Hugh needed a mobility scooter. I sent a message, Wit replied, he said he would deliver( what a wonderful couple they are), we drove up town to the money machine, stopped on the way by a police squad doing breath checks!!!.  The car and trailer arrived,  the scooter  is wonderful, a life-saver in so many ways . Thanks Wit and Roxanne, so very  much. That was yesterday in a nutshell.

sunrise  Dec 17th. 5.50 a.m.

 

house from the front lawn

 

house  from the back lawn

Let it snow, they said, It did, August 2011

house at 7.10 a.m aug 15th 2011

Trees , not a  single one inside  this year, I have left the decorations to nature, The English Elm Tree,  green leaves, branches sloping down, a canopy for shade.

Elm tree  Christmas Day 2014

December 2014 collageSunset colours

Christmas Day here, fine, some  sunshine, a quiet day together, I reflect on the year that has been, and have hopes for 2015 to bring health and happiness all round, with Peace and Joy to everyone.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ The greatest gift you ever receive is not found in a shop or under the tree.

It is  found in the hearts of your family and  true friends”

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Raindrops on Blossoms

 

We had rain overnight, grey skies again this morning, a smidgeon of sunshine peeping through the clouds.

Jim, up North in Nova Scotia,  we do have sunshine, but this year  it is having an extended holiday.

Yesterday we reached 30 Celsius, way too  hot for outside work. This morning grey clouds scattered their way across the morning, with a peep of sunshine coming in when I returned to the Easterly view.

Raindrops on pink Alstromeria flowers

This is looking to the East, not a glimmer of sun yet.

morning sky in grey and white

over to the Western side, much the same.

morning sky in the West in December

Back to the East, and a glimmer of light shining through the clouds.

Here comes the sun

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ When the wind blows at gale force, hurl the sails,

ride out the storm,

and reach calmer water in due course”

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Do you play a good hand of cards??

 

This morning there was again glorious colour at sunrise. No-one else  nearby to see me wander out in dressing gown and gumboots, so quiet and peaceful, soon at 5.30 a.m.

sunrise  Dec 17th, 5.45 a.m.sunrise  Dec 17th. 5.50 a.m.

sunrise , almost 6 a.m. and a sliver of moon #2

The sky, those colours, and the quietness gave me some sense of peace, after 2 troubling days. Hugh is  again, or continuing to have severe pain from  his spinal problems.Monday was a  blur, Tuesday off to hospital by ambulance. This time, I guess I looked tired, exhausted, I was both, well and truly…. and played the card of despair!!No need to embellish,  or tell  a lie, or even turn on the tears… just told them how it is, and it is getting too hard, for both of us.   Before they could see me deal out another hand, it was all arranged. Second opinion here, another one through our GP at a different hospital. Fresh eyes, different ideas, maybe we will get  some very straight answers. The doctors we saw made the decision quickly, all was done quite some time  before we left,   and the nursing staff were  very caring, and  thoughtful … I cannot tolerate a Doctor who will not tell the truth, and  dodges the answers so carefully.

The wisp of colour floating by

Christmas will be here next week, I am not ready for guests, presents are not ready, baking has not been done,  but after The Sydney Siege and the Pakistan slaughter, our troubles are so small .I cannot understand any of this, and wonder what the world has done to deserve  these atrocities.

Quotation of the day, by Jean de La Fontaine

Sadness flies away on the wings of time.

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Days as They Are

 

I am never sure what a day will bring, and morning arrives far too early.Early for me has been about 5.30 or 6 a.m. but for some time  now it has begun  at 4.a.m. or so.Hugh wakes,  the crutches go clickety-clack up the hall, coffee is made and the fire lit. ( a fire in December, we are already starting to use next winter’s wood, so more trees will be felled very soon!!!)  And friends near us are also still having a fire,  they are struggling to find December is so cool !!!The last time we  visited the hospital I asked, very politely and quietly,  if they could replace these ones with some that do not click!! The nurse just looked at me, as if I had asked for diamonds!!! I’m sure she doesn’t listen to it all day!!! She gave Hugh a new set, and they both click now.

On a bright note… a very bright note,( not to mention  very expensive),… we went shopping on Monday, and Hugh has the Rolls Royce model of a Lazy-Boy chair.I tried to take a photo, but  with so many windows there was too much light. And, guess what, both Felicity and Ginger Boy have found it to be so  comfy. So you can sit, rock, recline,or sleep, Photo courtesy of the Internet.

Grand Courtland recliner

Some flowers taken in previous years to brighten the days of those further North, I see many of you have winter cold,  with snow falling as I write.

Golden Day Lily

First Day Lily October 2013

Bearded Iris Bud

Bearded  Iris Bud

Golden Lachenalia

Golden Lachenalia #1

Japanese Iris

Japanese iris framed

Apricot Day Lily

Apricot Day Lily

Deep Purple Bearded Iris

Deep purple bearded Iris

Bletilla  Striata, delicate and dainty

Bletilla bulb October 2013

Quotation of the day by Doe Zantamata

“ Taking time to do nothing

often brings everything into perspective”

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Where did the trail of petals lead?

 

Jennifer of Cottage Country Reflection, here, asked me to post some flower photos. I ventured out in the cold wind late this afternoon. Some deep purple lupins, a hosta with large leaves that delicate shade of almost turquoise, and a tall foxglove.

Lupins in purple

 

Hosta leaves

Deep mauve foxglove

White rhododendron

This white Rhododendron has enormous flowers, blowing off in the wind. It is at the very front of the lawn. Later on, after dinner, a shower, and with Jamas and dressing gown on, I looked out to see a trail of blossom curving a pathway over the lawn. Blown, maybe, to where the lawn was mown in the curve. Or was it the path laid out for the fairies to visit, and play under those flowers?This was 8.43 p.m.  a freezing wind coming from Tongariro, Ohakune, or straight off the snow there.I wondered if our nearby neighbours saw the crazy lady out there, walking to a different place, to get the best view!!!

A trail of Rhodo flowers leading to the tree.

I hope these bring some floral brightness to all friends in the North, Jennifer, it will be a long time till our fish pond freezes over.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“Plant the garden of your life

with friendship’s lovely flowers”

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 24 November 2014

The sunshine arrived, with a gentle breeze

 

Our day started out cool, Hugh lit the fire, coffee was made, and then the  three of us went to Palmerston North. Shopping, a parcel sent south via Post Haste Couriers, ( Birthday is in December)lunch at a cafe, a family visit for Joyce, and home.

I don’t have the wonderful settings for a quilt photo shoot, like Josée ,  here, in  Montreal, Canada , just look at her quilt hanging by the trees, with snow underneath, and scroll down for some more exciting patterns or tutorials,   but  if you think laying a quilt on ice is the perfect spot,  visit Kathy  at Tamarack Shack  ,  right here, on the ice, scroll down until you find” this is Phyl`s Hot Flashes quilt” , The microwave bowl holder pattern comes from Kathy, and I have some waiting for gifts soon. Photos of those another day.

The six coasters  ( from yesterday’s blog) do make up very quickly, and the larger mat had iron on Pellon, then a reinforcement with another layer of iron –on interfacing, I inserted this before I  made sure the back seams closed right up. Vintage jug and sugar bowl, from  my Mum and Dad, well over 70 years old,  a set of 6 teaspoons, probably about 50 years old, and a larger jug from Joyce to complete the set.

coasters and  a mat for jugs #2

The  wall hanging was done in a class with Merle, who was so generous with her time, talent and expertise. We used “ Sulky’ wash away,  and from memory,  one layer, then layers of wool, thread, ribbon, and more assorted bits and pieces, and another of Sulky on top. stitch,  and stitch and stitch, making sure the  thread  will hold those delicate pieces together,  the fine ribbon, fleece, fancy cording, and more.

Then wash the Sulky layer off, and lay flat to dry.  Last week, this was unearthed from storage ( this means I  dragged it out of the PHD pile), and stitched it  onto a backing,  bound it, and made a hanging sleeve. Voila, #1 is finished.

Wall hanging in fleece and thread #1

The I Spy quilt was started so long ago,  the first day I came home so proud of my progress, then I was shown a block, and the Kiwi was upside down, well some blocks did end up sideways, but to have our National Icon the wrong way, No-No. so I unpicked across a whole row, and was much happier with it corrected. This block is in the centre, 3rd row down. So this too was reluctantly dragged out of the box, and Joyce sewed in all loose threads, sewed the binding at the back, and Voila, #2 is one.

 

I Spy quilt right way up

The cats in a square, that too was started ages ago, I am too ashamed to say how long, but at least 4 or more years. Loose threads galore, as the cat squares were appliqued on with clear thread, and that  is so hard to find, then thread into a needle, and sew through. Joyce worked her magic again, then the binding, and Voila #3. Now she has asked for another project to finish, so maybe  I can  start something new and we will call it “ The J&J work of Art” .

Cats in a quilt

3 little cats in a row

Quotation of the day, from  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 23 November 2014

I Ordered Sunshine for the Photo Shoot, but…..

 

I have wanted to get some GOOD photos of the finished projects, and  we have had grey, cloudy days, until today, but I was sewing all day.

I have been following the Blogathon, the Canadian Quilters have put on a great show, with photos, tutorials, links, and so many more members than I can  visit in a day.Best of all,  well not quite, as the quilts and bags and wall hangings take First Place!!…the maps showing  where each quilter lived, and then details of the area, population!!! number of lakes!!! and much more. I have been fascinated by photos of quilts, laid out on the snow or ice,  hanging in trees with snow underneath.

 

Sandy of Upstairs Hobby Room,… here … had this tutorial for coasters, so I made 6, then added a larger one, different design, loosely based on the pattern from Linda at   razzledazzlequilter.  …     to be posted South tomorrow. There is a birthday down there on 4th December, and I wanted something else to go in the box. Sandy, thanks so much for your email, this hop has been so enjoyable.

So, with no photos taken today, here are a few from August 2011, when we had the one and only snowfall at our home  since we came here in 2001. well, there was a little more falling on the next day. Buffalo people, dream about this minuscule amount, I phoned Son-in-law, on the farm down south, and boasted about our few inches, he laughed, they had 8 inches, and more was falling , icicles off the roof,  I stood outside so early in the morning and felt the flakes fall on my face, I walked so carefully, to not leave big footprints all over ,when I turned round to take some photos.

Later that week, Hugh and his brother Des ventured into the Ruahine Range, where there was a lot more snow than  at our home.

Some of you may have seen these before, but here they are again.

Our home, 7.10 a.m. August 2011, you can see the tracks left after Hugh had taken the quad and trailer, to fill the wood box by the left side doorway.

house at 7.10 a.m aug 15th 2011

Taken from the front door looking to the driveway and front gates.

driveway in  august

This was as far as the quad bike could go, too deep, turn around was  just past this area.

Snow on Takapari Road, 2011

Ruahine Range snow, on Takapari Road.

Ruahine ranges snow Aug 2011

The  outdoor table, before the fingerprint. And after, one finger had to poke at the lower left edge!!!

Someone had to make sure it really  was snow

outside table at 5.10 a.m. aug 15th5.10 a.m. August 15th, 2011, one fingerprint.

Here is snow on the farm down south. May 2013. And like those of my blog friends  in US or Canada,  south of Dunedin in Otago,  they are used to having falls like this every winter.

farm from front 28th May framed

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“Gray skies are just clouds passing over.”

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 21 November 2014

Busy Days, and garden delights

 

We have been extra busy lately, and not even shovelling snow, or doing firewood. Some half finished projects are now all done, our wonderful dearest friend Joyce has come to live with us, and her fingers have been so busy. More photos when I can hang the quilts outside without the wind blowing a gale. I unearthed 2 small quilts, then  2 wall hangings, done in a class some years ago, with thread, fleece, and wash-away Sulky. I free -motion  stitched the first one, with a darning foot and dropped feed dogs. THEN, I stitched my left finger. Shock, blood galore, tried to stop it, compression so tight… walked out to Hugh and asked for a needle and thread. 45 minutes later, it was OK, Phew, what a relief!!!

The garden is producing strawberries  in huge amounts, at least 20 each day.

strawberry beds in Hugh's Garden

strawberries . 20 a day

Mother Starling has so many trips to the birdies’ supermarket, fly out, then back to the house, and all over again, all day. I hope she gets to sleep well at night.Lots of noise as she perches outside, then wriggles in to feed them. She was squawking in the Cherry Tree, waiting till I moved away.

Mother Starling

Out of the three boxes, 2 are very old, one is new, she chose the oldest one, maybe easier to fly onto the perch.She waits, her home is the right hand side one.

Waiting on the empty house

 

All babies are fed

I have been following the huge snowfalls, and find this all too hard to imagine, beyond anything we see down here.

Stay safe and warm, dear friends,please do not shovel snow,push a car or snow  plough, drive on roads where travel is banned, or leave home without 57 layers on!!!

“     Courtesy of Google….BBC News‎ - 4 hours ago

The US states of New York, New Hampshire and Michigan have been hit by heavy snowfall .…..”

Quotation of the day, by Thomas Haynes Bayly

Oh! where do fairies hide their heads,
When snow lies on the hills,
When frost has spoiled their mossy beds,
And crystallized their rills?

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

I Heard it Coming

 

This morning I ventured outside, for a brief walk.The noise started in our trees, unusual, loud and shrill. Screaming from the rooftops of our neighbours’ homes, through the tall trees still standing,  then suddenly it arrived,

Hail, freezingly cold, sharp and lingering for some time. The temperature dropped, and it has stayed coolish all day.The fire is lit, we are cosy and warm, and as these words  say, from Robert Browning,

from Pippa Passes

    The year's at the spring
    And day's at the morn;
    Morning's at seven;
    The hillside's dew-pearled;
    The lark's on the wing;
    The snail's on the thorn:
    God's in His heaven—
    All's right with the world!

Hugh’s vege garden, with pipes, bird netting and hail on  the newly composted beds

Hail on the vege garden

This bearded Iris is sheltered under a tree, but was still battered.

Sheltered from the hail

The lonely single Californian Poppy drooped its head to shelter those petals,  there are  more to flower another day.

Hail and the single Eschscholzia californica

No better place to be all night and most of the morning, a fleece rug on the settee, warmth from the fire overnight, and breakfast waiting in the kitchen. Security and comfort.

My comfy bed

 

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Whether it is or whether it isn’t,

the weather will be whatever it is that day”

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 3 November 2014

A Visitor who walked in the stream

 

Today I heard an odd noise, like water rushing over stones so loudly,  and so fast, it was moving the stones, but  I knew there wasn’t  enough much water for that to be happening.   I  looked, and there was a stray sheep, who was making all this noise as it walked up the stream. The water would have been at least a foot high, and further up, about 2 feet in places.

By the time I was out there with my camera, it had walked further, and climbed up the bank on the other side. A few photos, then I wandered past the bearded Iris.

Next time I looked, it had vanished. Just as well, as Hugh had threatened it with something nasty if it came near HIS vegetable garden!!!

So  here are a few pics from today. Overnight rain was  still on the  petals.

Stray sheep that came up the streamsmall bronze and purple bearded iris

 

Mauve bearded Iris in November

Deep purple bearded Iris

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ The Purple Flower commands its own Majesty”

Greetings from Jean