Central Plateau, North Island

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

Thursday, 31 December 2020

The End of the Year 2020

 This has been a year  like no other, but blog friendships remain constant and true, as our distances across the  miles and oceans  are but a fraction of time as we write and talk.

I still have a lot, well, a massive pile of UFO to complete, and will wait until my eyes " Can See Clearly", as the song says. There have been  some wonderful quilt along blocks, some finished, the Tour Blocks of USA are continuing, and should finish in about July 2021.

I wish you all a Happy New Year, with health as it should be, families safe at their distance, and all doggies, cats, horses and fabric projects keeping you happy.

Here in the garden the flowers continue to show their glory.

Tall Hollyhocks and the lemon Lily tower above the other plants, standing a little to the right of our darling Moxy.

The white Hollyhock has the most delicate pink tinges.

These are so tall, and  will grow taller.Sheltered by our friends' garage, they have not needed stakes so far.

The Lily has about 30 buds, slowly unfolding.

Morning shadows as I ventured out earlier, we have birds in the one tall tree, and lots of orange Day Lilies scattered throughout, some will get dug up for friends soon.

Thank you all so much for your continued loving comments and words, our friendships cannot be described adequately, but if I try hard, words like " Unique, lasting, loyal, constant, true, caring and loving" come to mind.

May you all have a Happy New Year, with your families staying safe where-ever they live .

Quotation for today, author unknown, 

"Wishes for Health, Happiness and Memories filled with Love and Joy."

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 25 December 2020

25th December 2020

 Ans so the Christmas Day unfolded, with a  grey sky turning to blue and the sun rising in the East. The flowers in the garden continue to show their colours, and all is well.

I wish you all Season's Greetings, for a safe and Happy Christmas, travel restrictions mean so many of you will not have family visiting, but love travels across miles and oceans always.

The best present of all was given to me by a surgeon from Spokane, Washington. 2 weeks ago .  She is now at Whanganui Hospital in the Opthalmology Department The lovely lady looked into my eyes, and said I am on the list for cataract surgery. Probably within 3 to 4 months, so there is time for me to get all the fabric sorted, tidied up, and  prepare myself for  surgery. 

Thank you all so much for the continued friendship , this is something we all value, share, and treasure 

Quotation for today.

" May the gifts of Peace and Happiness be with you, wherever you live "

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 30 November 2020

QAL by the sea, in the year 2020

 This year there was another fantastic Quilt Along, By The Sea. We received a block each week, then after 4 blocks, had a link up party. The talented designers gave us some wonderful ideas along with their own colours, and now the grand finale has arrived. I have sailed up to the line at the last minute, rain today, more tomorrow so the photo is a little dark. My editing skills on the Macbook need some serious practice.

However, here is my rendition, with a look back at my Dad and his boat he built, " Lady Grae" a link to my Mum as her name was Grace but she was so often called Grae, the four corner blocks with ferns, reminding me of the NZ  fern logo so many of our sports people have on their uniforms, and the outer border, it reminded me of the Northern Lights, so a link to all my friends in the North

Quotation of the day

"Never leave anything until the last minute, that might be too late"

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Moxy's Story.

Thank you all so much from my heart for all your loving, caring and so thoughtful words. Moxy was such a vocal boy, and always told us when he was coming in, or going out, or just plain wanted a meal. A friend called in last Wednesday with these roses from her garden, we have shared our cats' lives and losses for some years now. Then on Friday his previous Mum called in, roses also from their garden.

 He has a long story that began in Australia in 2007, he was microchipped and registered at the Australian Animal Registry in August the same year. Soon, he was flown to New Zealand where he was a stud cat for 2 years or so. He HATED being kept in a crate, not sure how large it was, but maybe not much room to walk around,. He escaped several times, and when he was found, several miles away, the first owner said to the new ones, " You might as well keep him, I will have him castrated so you cannot use him  for breeding"

His new family moved to a country area ,  several miles from here, then back to our small township, and they are living 5 houses up the same street, just on the other side.

He was SO loved, and was named " Pat" as after being a crated stud cat, it took at least 2 years before they could pick him up or pat him, so it was PAT me if you can.He shared his home with other cats, and last Christmas his Mum and Dad were away for one night,. During that time some other animal came in, mauled one of the other cats badly, and Moxy fled. We did see  him wandering up and down our street, walking into gateways, coming to our back door, and we  wondered where he had lived. Many phone calls, internet and lost pet searches, but no luck at all. However  the local vet clinic had been notified, maybe his description was not matching their details.

Shortly after this he came in the back door, very cautious. He was hungry and so happy to have a feed. 

A few weeks later I took him to our vet clinic for a check up, as by this time he was sleeping inside. ' I don't suppose he has a microchip? "  I asked. The vet scanned him and sure enough, he did. A quick check up and the  registration number wasn't found in the New Zealand Registry.  I came home and did some research, looking at every registration site, and finally found his number, registered in August 2007, in Victoria.

Roll on another week or so, and one morning about 7 a.m. I walked up the street calling him, as he had wandered out. There he was with his previous Mum, she said " Are you calling your cat" Yes, I wondered where Moxy had gone. She replied " Well, actually he is our cat and we call him Pat" Oh dear, he should go home to you, and then she told me about the Christmas saga,. She thought he was too scared to go back and suggested we keep him. His Dad has since said " Well, I have never been dumped by a cat"!!!

He did go next door, and  loved our bird bath for a drink and almost a dip. Maybe his last photo in October.

On Tuesday afternoon, I saw him by our front gate, just sitting quietly. About 5 minutes later, I left the dinner cooking and looked down our drive.   I cannot describe my feelings, and thank you all so much again for caring, sharing our loss, and more.  Phone calls, emails and texts have all shown me how much  our family and my friends care, all over the world and here in NZ., Our friend Lance came and dug a grave, and Hugh has made a beautiful varnished name sign.

Life must continue, and after my Dad died, I had the honour of donating his bowling bag and set of outdoor bowls to the club he had been a member of for many years. The words I spoke went something like this...

 "Do not hide my name away, but speak of me with love,  continue to do what we once did together  and have memories of all our happy times."

Quotation of the day,

Memories are golden, store them safely, visit them every day, with joy and sadness mingled together.

Greetings from Jean .

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Moxy, July 2007_ 17th November 2020

 Late this afternoon we lost our darling Moxy, I found him lying by the side of our street. He  was probably hit by a car, no marks, and his little face looked like it always did.

Our home is so quiet, time will heal.

Meanwhile, I am well and thank you all so much for your words, emails, comments and inspiration to get me motivated again.

 I think the stent surgery  was really successful,  but I have taken longer to feel fit and confident to go walking again.

I have been doing some sewing, a Quilt Along with blocks featuring seaside scenes, and for all of you in USA, the  Around The Block, with each 6 inch block featuring something special from each state. This will take so many weeks, and  will no doubt get finished  well into next year. For each of these, the designers have given some outstanding and amazing designs,  The seaside blocks need to be assembled  by mid December,

Quotation for today, 

" Love unconditionally,  and  remember the  happiness of earlier days"

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Thank you, thank you all SO much

Hello friends, here in NZ and world wide.

Thank you all so very much from my  heart, my repaired and working heart, for all your loving, caring, thoughtful words .emails, and phone calls.
They have boosted me, and given me the assurance that love does conquer all.
I was talking to our son-in-law this week, he had a heart attack on 25th April, and has a stent in the same LAD,. I said I thought a few days at home and I would be bouncing back better than ever, like a spring chicken,BUT, that didn't happen. He is a whole lot younger, and he said the same.
So we are both taking one day at a time.
This was the view when I bravely looked out the window as we neared Wellington, on 19th June,  probably somewhere along the Kapiti coastline.
Before this it was mostly clouds.
The lovely young lady I met in the same room at Wellington went home to Nelson, and as I do, I wanted to post her something hand made. But she said " I don't need a little something Jean, your friendship is ample" However I like research, and should have been a detective or sleuth. I knew  that they lived south of Nelson, and the  type of business, so after consulting Yellow Pages, phoned the first one on the list.
"Hello, I am Jean in the North Island, This might be a really wild goose chase " Paul said, tell me. So I did.
How could I be so lucky to hit the jackpot first time, Kaz's partner's sister worked there. So now I had an address to post off the secret surprise. I sorted out some goodies from the " Spare Parts" department,  Fleece hat and matching neck warmers, mitts, phone charger holders for the staff, where Paul was so helpful, and off it went.
Then I got the phone call, 
"Jean, Corey came home and told me I had a present, and the others all got one too, Thank you SO, much, I am so spoilt "
Next thing, I see photos on Facebook of them all, but the funniest part was the banner beneath the desk at their work place.
" IMPORTANT, no claims after installation"
I had to laugh, does this apply to a heart valve transplant or a stent!!!

Just to add to the local drama, at the weekend I developed a constant cough, sore throat and mild fever. So arranged for a Covid Test. Let me tell you all, the swab  down your nose is no fun, the strong taste, the stinging of  whatever is used as a fixing agent, it was ghastly.
28 hours later, a phone call, negative result.Huge sigh of relief all round.

Next weekend I can now celebrate my 80th birthday ( How did that happen ) , a very small gathering at home, family can now arrive safely, and I can blow out some candles.
I think of how life can change in a flash, and how we share and care, I am so grateful 

The quote for today comes from Jake Bailey, the gallant student who faced a massive challenge  in 2015,   and underwent aggressive treatment for Stage 4 Burkitt non-Hodgkin's lymphona.
He was  Head Boy at Christchurch Boys High School, and came to the prize-giving in a wheelchair. He has written a book, is a public motivational speaker, and gives us all a huge lesson in life and how to face adversity  at the highest  level.

"So be gallant, be great, be gracious and 
be grateful for the opportunities that you have"

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

The week that went like this

Hello everyone,
I am home, recuperating, taking each day slowly, contrary to what I had thought would be the way after an angiogram and stent surgery. Come home, bounce out of bed, do some sewing, and be running to the mail box.Not so, but each day is getting easier. This was a good way to lose 5 kg, not where I want it to drop off, but never the  less, maybe a help for my heart.
Life is a slower pace, bruising still there, but I am so thankful for all the care and specialist treatment I have had.

Lots of medical detail,  and DRAMA,   if you are squeamish, skip to the end.

What I thought would be another one day trip to hospital turned out to be a 9 day stay,  a plane trip to Wellington hospital, and more.
 They told me last Friday at 7.30 a.m. I would be flown to Wellington, do NOT eat or drink anything from now on, the flight nurse ( who has done more than 500 medi flights) came in, made sure all the paper work was ready, and off I went in wheel chair through the ED, to the ambulance bay, to go to the airport.
This photo, courtesy of the Internet, of Wellington Regional Hospital.

Hugh and older daughter came to see me off.
The flight was calm, Wellington  airport wet and very windy, another ambulance trip to the hospital there, and settled into a cardiac ward.
IV lines checked, ECG and blood tests done again,  the scary consent form signed, as all the possibles are explained, the registrar said I didn't need to see the next lot of possibles,  after the words, Angiogram, then PCI  ( Percutaneous Coronary Intervention) but they were a bypass, and a blood transfusion.  I read them, we discussed them, and then off to the cath lab. Nursing staff stayed with me all the time, so reassuring.
Another photo courtesy of the internet, a Catheterisation Lab.

Into the theatre, surgeon asked if I had any questions, then explained the procedure.
Lots of meds into the line, including Midazolam, and more. My right arm was secured to an "outrigger splint" swabbed,  tied down to secure it, and the local then the catheter inserted.  Odd sensations as they threaded it all up through the artery, topped me up with pain relief, a lot of discussion about the placement,, the stent, the size,  more sensations,  more pain relief, then a while later a wriggle in my arm as the catheter was removed. I was awake the whole time, but the large monitor was down by my legs and I could only get a sideways view of the artery with the dye in.

 A short while in recovery, lots more patients there, maybe they had a similar procedure, A wrist band that is inflated to stop any arterial bleed is round my wrist, And that cut off all circulation,  a very sore hand and thumb, Gradually over several hours, the air is very slowly released, and a dressing covers the small hole.
One overnight stay, then flown back to Whanganui in the dark. The small plane is in a hangar, and the ambulance transfer is all done inside out of more rain and wind.
I need to be on anti-clotting medication for 12 months, so even if my name comes up for cataract surgery, CANNOT contemplate that at all. The stent was the longest used, into my Left Anterior Descending artery, the one that supplies the blood to the left front  side of my heart, and I  was  told that the longer the stent, the more likelihood of clots. I promised to be so good, and never stop taking all the meds I have to. This was an expensive undertaking, in a private hospital here about $25,000 all up including flights and procedures. Luckily mine was all  paid for by the government. One friend, a bright spark, said I have used up all her taxes , for this to be done!!!
In both hospitals I had great room mates, one dear young lady in Wellington, was there after a valve transplant, she was flown back to Nelson, and WOW, sent me a txt to say my plane was on the way, even before the staff had come to inform me. News travels fast between flight nurses, when you ask about another patient  plane transfer. Thanks so much Kaz, that was reassuring to know I would fly back that night.And equally glad to know you had arrived and were in Nelson Hospital.

I came home Sunday, and after the days away, the welcome from Moxy was so loving

 BUT, the real DRAMA  was on the Friday as I was leaving in the wheelchair,  the area was getting crowded, with another patient, two ambulance people, flight nurse,Hugh and daughter, so he stepped back out  of the way and fell. All ED staff came running, I am not sure how many checked him, getting him into another wheelchair, flight nurse telling me I had to go, all crying.
There is nothing  quite like this to take your mind off a flight in a small twin prop plane, specially when you do not like flying at  all, in any size plane.  A good cry once we were in the air,  then a stern talk to myself, Hugh will be OK, the air is calm, the pilot and co-pilot are so experienced,  and I did look out the window to see the sea and coastline as we neared Wellington.
So I left, Hugh had a CT brain scan , then total body Xrays. Thank goodness no bones were broken, but  so much bruising, 2 haematomas, and massive pain.
We hope to have district nurse, ACC help for showering and getting dressed, and  more, he is in a bad way, and not able to do much for himself, far less help me.
But, we are so thankful it was not worse.
I still ache where the catheter was inserted, but6no angina, lots of new meds, and so thankful both daughters have been here, looked after Hugh while I was away, and me now I am home One from Rotorua has gone home, the other from the far south will fly back tomorrow.
Friends have rallied round, housework done, firewood all stacked by the back verandah, laundry done too, how can you say thank-you in an adequate way.

Quotation of the day,

I cannot find any words that say it better than this, with a seagull perching to oversea the water and sunset view. and so many thanks again for you all who have travelled with me on this journey, shared your love and prayers, and rejoiced at the outcome.

greetings from Jean.