Central Plateau, North Island

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

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Day ONE of total Lockdown here in NZ.

Hello everyone, here in New Zealand we are now in what is called Lockdown, only essential services  are allowed to continue, and life as we knew it has ceased for at least 4 weeks. The Covid 19 cases continue to increase, almost all are with people returning from overseas. We cannot go for a drive anywhere, must have a valid reason, supermarkets and pharmacies limit the number of people in, at any one time, and everyone over 70  is advised not to go shopping for their own groceries.
So, meantime the sun continues to shine, with clouds in a blue sky. Taken from the front lawn.
The cats obey self isolation very well, Boris spends a lot of time by himself in a comfy chair on the back deck

Moxy, the new boy, gentle, affectionate, snuggly, is a dream. His story will come  later, as we are in a turmoil with self-isolation,   more cases every day, so far no-one in ICU, and no deaths.

The garden continues to bloom, late Cosmos, very bright Hollyhock,  and lots of Nerines in a bright red/pink.

The other Hollyhock have well and truly finished, and this one attracted some bumblebees. One flew in as I tried to focus on the one flower. 
Guess I need to save the seeds here too. They are so pretty.

I haven't managed to learn photo editing on the Macbook, guess with at least 4 weeks at home that will get a place in the queue. Curtains, a birthday present to make, thankfully I did get lots of threads, lots of batiks,( Yes, I know maybe too many ), What, did I hear someone say never too many fabrics, a pile of batting, interfacing, freezer paper, steam a seam or similar, and a pattern for a bag.
New Zealand is now so different to what we knew just last week, the frontline hospital  workers at all levels are  working extra hours, the supermarkets ditto, limiting the number of shoppers in at any one time, markers on the floor so they keep a distance,  our Doctor's surgery has the door locked, And when you arrive, have to give your name and they will call you in when ready.
So I leave you  with these thoughts.
Be so thankful for family, friends, faith, and as our Prime Minister says, every day,
Be Kind.
No quotation for today would fit in  with what is happening world  -wide, I read of the numbers of positive cases in each of your parts of the world, and so hope and pray with all my heart that you all, and your families and friends stay well.
Greetings from Jean.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Where Have I Been???

Good morning all friends,
the truth is I have not been anywhere, and with Covid 19 already here in NZ, will not be going anywhere meantime. Flying south is out, as we would have to go through  one international airport on the way, and who knows which overseas traveller might have been there too.
We are well,  and hope to stay that way. The garden has finished the summer flurry of Hollyhocks, zinnias, gerbera, and more, and bulbs are sorted for planting soon.
We have a new addition to our household, a Lilac Abyssinian boy, 12 years old, gentle, loving, and very vocal. He left his home just up the street when his Mum and Dad were away , and roamed the street looking for his new home.  He decided we would fit his requirements!!!Then one morning when I went out to look for him, he was walking down with his Mum. She explained the LONG story ( I am saving that for a day with photos ) and said they were happy if he lived with us.
Hugh had 2 nights in hospital recently, with very high blood pressure and what has been diagnosed  as Atrial Fibrillation. So new medication, some side effects, but so far he has been a lot better and no more episodes. Scary when the Blood Pressure is almost off the scale.
Son-in-Law has had a significant birthday,  no party as there would be more than 50 attending, and son-in-law up North might be working from home if their office is closed.
I had to visit the Vodafone shop the other day, and the staff are not allowed to handle any customer's phone. This meant 3 lengthy phone calls trying to transfer data and an old phone number to a new Samsung phone when t he new Sim card was a different size. When the last lady said she couldn't do it on the phone and I had to  visit a store, I replied " THIS is a nightmare" and told her why. Bingo, today they will do it by phone and Joyce will have this wonderful new phone working perfectly ( I hope).
Quotation of the day, author unknown,
"  Let nature with the sunrise and sunset be your entertainment right now"
Greetings from Jean.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

2020 begins today in NZ

Happy New Year to all my friends near and far.  We had a quiet night until midnight then neighbours set off rockets and crackers. Sydney celebrated to the tune of many dollars as more than many suffered, sheltered or braved the fires. My thoughts with everyone there in Australia.
Here, I finished a bag that will go back to Australia soon, made with the beautiful batiks from Dione over at Clever Chameleon.

Clever Chameleon is where you will find Dione, her news, and all the best things that will happen for them in 2020, including maybe another QAL.

I do not have the usual tree to hang a bag for the photo shoot, so this was the one in the front garden.

 And this one was sitting in the daisy bush.It has 2 inside pockets, one padded for the iPad or other  IT item later on

The hollyhocks continue to grow, and we have one new colour, a deeper pink.
And the first plant has a few beautiful blooms still lingering

 They look the same but the larger bloom was paler to begin with.
Some Gladioli have braved their crowded  planting and shown glorious shades.

 I need to learn the photo editing on this, guess it will happen in time.
Meantime, I hope for each of you, hopes and dreams will happen as w
shed for, and health, and happiness are with you in abundance.

Quotation of the day, none better than  one of the favourites of my dear friend Walter,
from Lord Alfred Tennyson ....' Ulysses"

" To  strive to seek, to find, and not to yield"

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Santa gave me a new MacBook. !!!

Hello to all my friends, and so many thanks for the wishes for our Dani. She is home, no surgery, inconclusive is the verdict. however a watch and wait for now.
This morning, Boxing Day down here, all the sales start. And as I had been looking at a new laptop for some time, Hugh suggested we go shopping this morning. The usual mad crowds everywhere, but I went in with the product number, and all the details.
So this is a totally new way for me, lots to learn, no photos loaded yet, and Facebook didn't want to know me in my original name or email.
However the plus's are many, and in time I will master/ conquer this new wonder.
Quotation of the day, author unknown

Make the most of today, plan for tomorrow, 
and be thankful for the sunrise every morning

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

"Twas the Night Before Christmas

And all through the house, there was turmoil.
The  baking was done and packed up, the parcels were wrapped, the lawn was mown, Grandson called in to collect the gifts and baking to go North, then the phone rang.
Our grand-daughter is in hospital with suspected appendicitis.  Scans, blood tests, and admitted for observation!!! So we will all have a sleepless worrying night.
However, for many families, Santa will visit,  others will have tears as they have lost homes in Australia, loved ones in accidents,  and others not able to be together.
Down here I am so thankful for our  home, our friends, and all my wonderful blog friends so many miles away.
This blurry sunflower is bright and beautiful. 
I hope for you all, your day is also bright, full of love and happiness.
Season's Greetings to each one, with all Good Wishes for the New Year.

May 2020 be kind, may dreams come true, and friendships continue.

Quotation of the day ,from a friend

" Plan for tomorrow, live for today"

Greetings from Jean.

Friday, 20 December 2019

I can see "The End " is in sight

At last the walls are all painted, waiting for a sunny day to get some photos.We have had rain and cold mornings and nights.
The sewing is almost all done, 3 shrugs/ponchos/ or some other new name have been done in a huge hurry and sent off to the far south, as  our younger daughter  recovers from shoulder surgery.
The flowers continue to bloom, some  were getting wind blown and had to be saved from the outside weather. We planted about 40 Gladioli, and they are all starting to bloom.

The Hollyhocks are still growing taller, another white one is in flower, and a beautiful pink has these gorgeous colours.

This tall one has white flowers, difficult to see against the grey sky.

There is a bee feeding on the pink forget-me-not.

A friend who lives in the Bay of Plenty grows Day Lilies, and some years ago I had this one, thought it was lost, and yesterday it had a huge bud.That wonderful deep colour.Burgundy maybe?

Then, just look at this, the dust sheets are off, the motor is ready to be wired up again, and the " Red Snappers" are waiting. I am hoping the sparky can alter the handles and have them at the needle end. If all fails, I will try the Bernina there, knowing I will be able to do only very small items.

We will have  a very quiet Christmas, one daughter has been up and gone home, the other will come down after New Year. I am hoping Grandson will take all the northern  parcels with him  on the 24th. Baking still to do, and the library needs a visit, time to put my feet up with a good book handy.

Quotation of the day, from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in 1877,

" The holiest of all holidays  are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart:
The secret anniversaries of the heart.

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 14 December 2019

I turned my back for a moment

And look what happened in the garden. Those tall Hollyhocks have bloomed
The most delicate white with a palest green centre in each petal, then the contrast as the deepest burgundy red showed its glory.

Nature shows the glorious shades, so beautiful.

These started off as tiny plants about 4 inches high, I had doubts that they would grow. Look at them now.

Inside  , a little more painting has been done, the long arm quilting frame is dusted off and ready for the electrician to come and tackle the handle wiring. I am excited to think I might actually get to try and use it soon.

Quotation of the day, from Charles  Stanley

" Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on what we're waiting for"

Greetings from Jean