Central Plateau, North Island

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

Sunday, 18 July 2021

I'm Off For A Short Holiday or Two!!

This is Lake Taupo, courtesy of the Internet. Next weekend we will travel up there, and have a night away, for my birthday, and catch up with daughters from North and South.

Lake Taupo is in the Caldera of the Taupo Volcano, is the largest lake by surface area in New Zealand,  238 square miles or 616 sq, kilometres,

For the Geologists, it is oligotrophic, with  these rivers flowing into it, Waitahanui, Tongariro and Tauranga Taupo. The  main outflow is the Waikato River at the northern end,  Lake Taupo  has a catchment area of 1,346 sq. miles or 3,487 sq. km.It is some 29 miles long ( 46km) and 21 miles wide  (33km) the maximum depth is 610 ft, or 186 metres.

The average July water temperature is  12Celsius, today it was 11.7C, in summer maybe 19 Celsius, If you fall into the 10 Celsius lake water  in winter , the sad fact is you will  not  usually survive over 2 hours, Hypothermia is the biggest threat. 

So I will not be swimming or even out on a boat or float plane. 


This will be so welcome, and provided the Desert Road through the Central Plateau is not closed with snow,  all will be good. 

This was taken in 2004, probably one of the first photos taken with my new Canon camera, we stopped on the side of the road, and a lovely helpful gentleman  travelling through there suggested some settings to get the best shot. From memory he was from the US, had that distinctive accent,  and he also had a Canon, just a model  or 2 up from mine, and a  wonderful  Telephoto lens.


My visit to my GP went well, the new medication is altered yet again, and there is referral to the Cardiac Team in Wellington Hospital who did the stent surgery last year.  The locum cardiac consultant from Auckland ( a blog friend knows his name and has probably met him!!)  was there the day I was in ED, perfect timing. how lucky could I be. It seems that I might need another angiography, and maybe a wire pressure test!! Yes, I had to Google that, and learn another new procedure.

So I might get a second short holiday, hope there isn't any drama for Hugh this time round, and as I know what  might be the outcome, can be so thankful that age is no barrier for surgery that will give me a longer life.
So some unfinished or partly started projects have been under the Bernina,  no pressure but to clear the sewing desk would be a good start.

We have had massive flooding in the South Island, nowhere near where we live,  people returning home for just a look  ( Many  are still in evacuation centres or with friends away from the flooded areas) are devastated, more than knee high water everywhere inside. one family, baby due in 2 weeks, have lost all the baby clothes and preparations.Another farmer moved his cattle to high ground, they panicked, and were all drowned. I hope insurance, family, friends in a position to help and Government assistance will all contribute. 

Quotation of the day, author unknown,

" Be thankful for strangers who help at the right time"

Greetings from Jean.

Friday, 9 July 2021

Friday's Good News Bulletin

 First of all, thank you, everyone, for all the loving messages, they have helped, I am sure of that. Distance is nothing when we blog, email or phone. I must remember to tell my Doctor that next week.

Our Doctor started Hugh on one more tablet that has been a miracle, pain level dropped almost dramatically, from Tuesday to today, he can use his right arm and hand and is  able to sleep so much easier.  My work load has lightened, no need to cut the meat and veges,  or help him get dressed, and he drove yesterday and seemed to be OK. As a treat for this, we visited a sportswear shop, the usual winter sale, and he has new fleece jackets. Very smart too for a  man his age!!!

My visit to our doctor, also yesterday, my blood pressure is now too low, so I have to monitor it morning and night,  take two readings two minutes apart, before meds in the morning and at least 30 minutes after coffee!!!  Maybe the one new tablet the hospital ordered can be dispensed with, discarded, not necessary, I live in hope. The angina has not returned, I am under strict orders not to exert myself, to stay warm and NOT to venture into the freezing wind again.My doctor was horrified to know I had dosed the concrete with a bleach then hosed it clean!!! I explained I felt fine, and it was only a small section of the driveway.Maybe now Hugh is better, by the end of next week I can stand and watch the water blaster do the job so much faster and easier.

I am calling this wall hanging " Rays of Hope" 

I saw this on the internet some time ago, and although it is usually a paper pattern, I was able to have it emailed as a PDF. This will be a long term project for a very special friend of ours who lives nearer to the Central Plateau and will be looking at snow today from her farm .Needless to say, this wonderful lady, a long time friend, is a minister, so this will be specially for her and her faith. And with my huge stash of batiks, ( Don't tell Hugh how much) I am sure I will have plenty to choose from.

 The other project, that I do finally have all the batiks for, is a pattern from Audrey Esarey over at Cotton and Bourbon. I have purple and blue, and this will be a virtual shared  wall hanging project  with a new blog friend in Alaska. This, too, will have to wait a while till my eye settles down and I see if new reading glasses are needed. Already I have an appointment for the 6 week check up with the surgeon.


Flue shot, all done
Shingles vaccine, all done. 
Covid vaccinations, all booked for the end of August for #1 and in September #2.

The cold spell continues, freezing in the far south, more snow north of us, and the fire keeps us warm night and day.

Quotation of the day from Alexander Dumas

All human wisdom is summed up in two words,

wait and hope"

Greetings from Jean






Tuesday, 6 July 2021

The Positive and the Negative

 Good morning,

Some sewing has been done, after my eye had settled down. The blocks for the US tour continue, some have been saved for a lot later on.Paper piecing on a 6.5 inch block is for the good eyes and nimble fingers.

Here is the Bison , for Wyoming,  from Kathryn LeBlanc at Dragonfly's Quilting Design Studio .


As this was reverse applique. Mr Blue Bison made an appearance too. I am saving him for a pocket on a bag later in the year.



I seems that after the perfect cataract surgery, there can be a condition called either positive or negative dysphotopsia.

In the positive case, flashes of light appear, and in the negative, there is a crescent shaped dark shadow at the outer edge. Maybe 15% have this, and I am one of them. It might vanish after weeks or months.

Just like a horse blinder, but I have seen those in  all sorts of styles.

Meantime, our older daughter went home, younger one and older will be both here for my birthday in a few weeks, but I might put that on hold.

The short version,     Hugh has shingles, I had angina!!! 

The longer version is below. 

Last week Hugh had to visit the hospital, with a severely painful rash on his right arm and shoulder. A friend drove us there,  we waited and waited. Finally a triage nurse called him in, touched where the sore shoulder was, maybe a tendon injury???  She didn't look at the rash. Wait to see a doctor. We had waited until 12 noon, I walked out into the freezing wind to let our friend know that there would be an even longer wait, and had an angina attack.  Used my spray, Anne suggested that she drive me the short way back to the main ED doorway, or ring the  bell at the ambulance bay!!! I said I was Ok and walked back. Sat down by Hugh, and started to shake and had more pain. I looked at the receptionist, said " I have chest pain" .In almost indecent haste, there were 3 nurses, a wheel chair, and I was whisked off to ED. Hugh was left by himself. Sent my friend a txt, she came in a little later and went to the desk, and asked would Hugh be next!! He was,  finally at about 2 p.m. The Dr took one look and said " You have shingles " Second opinion from another Dr. " Yes ". So no wonder the pain was so bad. They went home, I stayed, the usual X-Ray. 2 blood tests,  one ECG and another.  the lovely Dr told be that there was a cardiac consultant there, so handy, they consulted, I had the option to stay and be flown to Wellington  on  Wednesday, or start one more tablet and wait for them to confer with the team in Wellington who operated and did the stent surgery  last June. I opted to go home, they thought I should stay overnight, then just before 9 p.m. said there were no empty beds, sent me home in a taxi.The delightful driver and I chatted, he made the trip so much happier.

I know how fast life can change, my Colorado friends can agree to that, so I am going slowly, avoiding cold winds outside, and nurturing Hugh as best I can.

Thank you all so much for the encouraging and caring comments, so appreciated, the phone calls and emails  as well,  have all helped to make recovery an easier and certain process.Friendships across the phone lines and skies are a certain part of our lives , as travel might not be possible for so many of us.

Quotation of the day, author unknown,

" You don't miss the water until the well runs dry"

Greetings from Jean


Friday, 25 June 2021

Pinks and Blues

Good Morning everyone,
Many  thanks  to you all so much for the good wishes for yesterday. The equipment was in A1 working order, and the surgery went well, my surgeon was happy with the result and told me 2 hours later it had started to heal over already. The funny part was when she was using what I guess was a laser to disintegrate the clouded lens, the noise was like a tiny animal moaning , on and off, And all I could see were  pink and blue bright lights.  On the way home, even with extra dark goggles on, there was a purple star shining when I looked out the window!!!


So Onward and upward from now on, and I hope my left eye will get the wonderful new lens sooner rather than later .  My eyesight is still  blurry, I have this little plastic shield to wear all day today, and at night for a while longer, and if outside and it is windy. A post surgery check up in 4 to 6 weeks, then new lenses in my glasses, and I should be good for some serious sewing and quilting. I have 2 exciting projects to start, both with some favourite batiks,  so at the weekend might just have a play with them, arranging  them in the colours and seeing if I need to alter any.

Meantime, 2 hours south of us in Wellington, a visitor from Sydney arrived last Friday, visited so many places, flew back on Monday and then  tested positive for Covid 19. So the city is now in Alert Level 2, masks, distancing,  gatherings limited to 100, ( conferences, weddings, funerals and more) others in isolation after staying at the same hotel,  and some working from home. One person can cause so much disturbance, we are hoping no-one in that city will be infected. Tests galore, new testing stations are overrun with so many queuing up,  I am hoping that our grandson and friends stay safe down there.

Quotation of the day,  by William Shakespeare

" Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none"

Greetings from Jean



Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Definitely the Ayes and the Eye!!!

 No photos today, I have had the much anticipated phone call to confirm my cataract surgery is on schedule, be there at 8 a.m. second on the list, so barring another equipment failure, I should be AOK this time.

Thank you, everyone for the good wishes, caring thoughts and prayers, phone calls and emails. They are so appreciated, and knowing you care is a huge boost to my spirits.

The weather is definitely in winter mode,  we had an almost frost this morning, but sunny the rest of the day. Tomorrow morning  my favourite weather app, "ynr" tells me we will drop to 2 Celsius, so the down jacket will have a trip out.

Dinner, roast chicken, 3 roast veges, green beans ( need  my greens for tomorrow) and bread and butter pudding, I made 2, one went next door to our wonderful friends, Lance did a WHOOP of delight!!! 

So I hope I can see to do an update on Friday. Meantime , to all my friends north and south,

The Quotation of the day is

" Be thankful for every friend and all your family, 

diamonds and gold cannot compare"

Greetings from Jean


Friday, 4 June 2021

The Ayes and the Nays

 Down south, the flooding has ceased for the time being, and the  massive cleanup has to begin.For many, the mess, the devastation, loss of fences, grass, winter feed, no water for stock or their home, no power, no roads in or out , they literally do NOT know where to begin.A massive Government help is truly needed.

Back up here in the North, there is snow that is looking like a good ski season. After last year, with loss of income from overseas tourists, this will be so welcome.

Our Central Plateau, maybe taken in 2004,  from the Eastern side  along  the Desert Road.




Home news,  One Nay for the 8th, one Aye for the 24th....my eye surgery has been postponed until 24th June, a cold, cough, and that dreaded herpes have put kaput to next week's date with the surgeon. However I do not have to go to the very end of the queue. And I am hoping there will not be another equipment breakdown.  3 weeks will fly by. 

I need to look out the dark goggles, just wish I was as young as this photo some years ago, taken in Australia when we were on holiday to visit Hugh's brother and s-in-law. Queensland at its very best. 

I still have that wonderful  Burke and Wills 100% pure leather hat, with the instructions, do not wash, bleach, etc. When we flew home, Hugh and I were chosen for a random drug test at Brisbane Airport, the inspector ran the wand round the inside of my hat, then asked Hugh to take off his sandals, and did the same to them. Then he took out the detector card, ran it through the machine, and waved us through.Phew, why did he ever think we would be importing anything illegal, at our age,???


Nothing exciting happening, the fire keeps us cosy morning and night, some sewing, but that is getting to the  impossible stage, I have 2 friends overseas who,I  hope, will wait patiently for this goodies to arrive,Sewing for myself is OK if the seams are not straight or points matching, but for friends, it must be a whole lot better.Roll on the 24th for the right eye only, left eye date to come later. 

A BRAG,,, Grandson has finished his Master of Science with the thesis handed in, and he has passed with .... DRUM ROLL.!!!!!!

1st Class Honours.

Josh, we are so proud of you. beginning  work with a  global engineering consulting  firm  in  Wellington  in March, ,  doing all the interviews online late  last year .  

How wonderful that pay packet would be after 5 years of living on a student loan allowance.


Quotation of the day, author unknown

It never hurts your eyesight to look on the bright side  of life

Greetings from Jean


Monday, 31 May 2021

Massive Flooding in the South Island , New Zealand.

    This photo is courtesy of the Internet,  supplied to TVNZ, and shows what lengths we Kiwis take to keep our animals safe in the  1 in 100 year flood.
Milo, the miniature horse warming up by the fire, near Little River, Christchurch
The widespread deluge, coming down from the hills  on the West towards  the eastern side of the South Island, has destroyed bridges, closed roads, people, pets and animals have either been evacuated or moved to higher ground.

All Photos courtesy of the Internet
Rain Radar map at 1.15 p.m. today




Photo below are  courtesy of Simon Werthmuller of Rakaia Helicopters, showing the deluge that has flooded  the land and the bridge , this is Double Hill Run Road, heading up  towards the Rakaia Gorge,  following the Western fork of the Rakaia River towards Lake Coleridge.



Redcliffs Bridge, photo courtesy of Simon Werthmuller, Rakaia Helicopters, showing some of the damage to Redcliffs Bridge and the surrounding area.




Back here, in the North Island, a good distance from all the above, we have a little rain, maybe more will follow, but our thoughts are with all those who have had to battle severe conditions to save stock, move animals,  pack belongings, and spend a night and maybe more in  a marae, or a friend's or family member's home. Civil Defence, the NZ Army, Volunteers, local council and more have all rallied to assist. Farmers with their huge tractors, men with jet boats, helicopters with lines to save a man clinging to a tree, I am hoping everyone will be safe and secure in a warm place tonight.

Quotation of the day,  author unknown,  

Your horse will always be one of your family.

Greetings from Jean