Central Plateau, North Island

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

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Climbing the Mountain

 The treadmill test went ahead as scheduled, the one lady who attaches all the leads, does a test run while you lie VERY still, check the blood pressure, has been away ill for a few weeks, so I was very relieved to see her there this morning.

The picture on the wall is so similar to the photo I posted earlier of our Central Plateau Mountains.

So all wired up, I set off, A gentle stroll to start with. lots of encouragement, warnings to tell of any discomfort, pain, or being short of breath. I was told when the 3 minute arrived, could I carry on, Yes!! Then I was told only 46 seconds to go and it might get a little harder as they speeded it up. They did, again, many assurances that I was doing so well, was I OK? Can you keep going, Yes!! I kept on until 6 minutes had elapsed, and then it slowed down until I was stationary, stood there for a final ECG, not walking, recovered, and then met the Doctor in the adjacent room. I was thinking this would be so similar to the test last June,  a struggle to last even the 4 minutes, trying to stand tall, keep the paces longer, and to even breathe without gasping for air. Not so, today was so much easier, a huge relief to find that Everest had reduced its height for me today.

The ECG showed no changes, I did not get to fly to Wellington, could he see my HUGE smile? An increase in one tablet, call the ambulance if you do get any angina and the sub-lingual spray does not relieve the pain.To use a friend's quote " Home again, home again ,jiggity jig" 

This was on my birthday in July, some years ago,  on the way up to  Turoa, on the southern slopes of Mt  Ruapehu .


Hugh's Mum, who was always ready for an exciting trip or  scary adventure. This was up the slopes of Mt Tarawera,


Another view of Mt Ngauruhoe, from the Desert Road.


And this is the beautiful  Brunsvigia Josephinae, at our previous home, Here,  the buds are still unfolding. A South African genus, of 11 species of bulbs allied to the Belladonnas, It likes a hot, dry, summer,. full sun, and does not like being shifted. The candelabra can have up to 40 trumpets, one  year one of my bulbs had 30.

Thank you all so much for your loving and caring words and thoughts, they mean so much, and if any one of you is in a similar situation, you will then know the way that these support, bolster and give you the strength and will power to continue.

Quotation of the day,  from Oscar Wilde

"  Be yourself; everyone else is already taken"

Greetings from Jean


Monday, 3 May 2021

Some Bocks from the US tour

 I have joined in the " Round the Block, US tour" and each Sunday evening a new block from a new state in USA arrives by email. 

With each new block from a new designer, lots of information about the state, so a Geography lesson at the same time. The other photos eluded me when I tried to insert them.

Just in case you think we have not had snow at our home, here is our previous home in August 1997, the one and only snowfall I have seen, at any time and anywhere I have lived. It was magical.


A   fond memory from years ago, my Dad, myself and Tip the farm dog, as we sat on the foundation of the new hay barn at TeHihi, which was a 100acre farm , sold, and then cut into lifestyle blocks, expensive beyond what my Dad would never have thought possible This might have been about 1950 or so.



Here is the view of the Central Plateau, as I flew from Palmerston North to Auckland for a funeral.This was some years ago, and the view was stunning.
Mt Ngauruhoe, 2291 metres,  an active volcano, and Mt Tongariro,  1978 metres, we had passed Mt Ruapehu , 2797 metres, slightly to the south of these two,  where most of the North Island skiing is done. 


This  is the wall hanging I made for my dearest friend  Walter, when he was ill in Auckland Hospital. He was in HMS in WW2, and the staff hid the parcel until the morning of his birthday, then hung it in his room. After he died, his daughter sent it to the Felixstowe  Museum, where it is hung on the wall . The WW2 coastal Forces base was at Felixstowe , and this was where Walter was based,I consider that the highest honour of all in my lifetime.And naturally, the title for my blog was inspired by  the memory of Walter and how much the compass played  such an important part of every day as he patrolled the seas off the coastline of Europe and back to England.




The latest news at home, tomorrow, at long last, I have the treadmill test, and again, highly probable I will go to Wellington again, after another ambulance trip to ED. The scary angina continues to occur at random times, and the staff are getting used to me, one lady Doctor, said " I remember you from a few weeks ago" Pity I don't get any frequent Flyer points.
How do you tidy the quilting fabric, the scraps, bits of sewing started, and projects waiting, in 3 days? 
I hope there might be some time at home before the next flight.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

" Memories are timeless treasures of the Heart"

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

The choices...

   Thank you all for your caring words and encouragement, they are so special and I so appreciate every one, they mean so much, sent across the land or ocean.

 Yesterday we set off early, arrived to do banking for a friend before the hospital appointment.

I thought there would be 3 choices, not looking for any other option at all. 

#1 Find nothing, so send me home

#2 Find something trivial, monitor my heart, and send me home

#3 Find something drastic, and fly me to Wellington for another angiogram

I didn't factor in the phone call.. " This is Outpatients Dept. I am so sorry but your 10 a,m, appointment has been cancelled"  The one lady who does all the ECG lead attachments, stands beside you, encourages you to stand closer, walk with longer strides, was sick again. 

However this morning another phone call, and I am off again next Tuesday.

Photos are somewhere in the air, between my phone and my laptop, with the bonus I scored yesterday. some more batiks for the colourwash project. After all, every raindrop has a silver lining, and this was the best of all, as they had purples and blues.

Quotation of the day.  from Dr Seuss

" Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment

until it becomes a memory"

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 26 April 2021

After A LONG absence.....

 Hello everyone, and so many thanks for your many loving and caring words. I so appreciate every one, and do apologise for not posting the lack of progress sooner. 

My eyes? I am still waiting, the time frame of 4 months was not correct, my pre-surgery assessment gave me the wrong month. my surgeon was on holiday, and maybe still is until the end of April, so it might be May. Meantime, my vision is rapidly declining,  scenery flashes by in a total blur, road signs are not clear, luckily Hugh is an amazing driver and takes me to the grocery supermarket, library, and clothes shops, not to mention waiting so patiently as I peruse for a long time the quilting fabrics.

So not much happening in the sewing and quilting department.

Further to that. I might, a slight possibility, have another trip to Wellington, some angina episodes, the trusty guys and gals in green, arriving at 1 a.m.  2 weeks ago,  doing an ECG, then a LOOONG silence, reading the printout. " This tells me you are having a heart attack, but I think it is wrong, let's do another one  " Luckily the second one, as I sat at the dining table, was better, toddled off, and had more tests etc in the ED. Discharged by lunchtime, with a referral for a treadmill test.

That is tomorrow, and by 11 a.m. I should know what is happening. 

The garden is flourishing with some bulbs shooting up, rogue sunflowers blooming,  bearded iris flowering, and my much loved Brunsvigia Josephinae has buds.hopefully a photo will follow in about 5 days time, with the candelabra of some 20 heads of bright pink  flowers

The wall hanging is. " Monet's Hexagon"  ( the pattern is from another long time friend when we both lived at Lake Tarawera many years ago, and she is now near Christchurch) and was finished some time ago, and sent to a lovely room mate I met last June. Viv has very limited speech or mobility, but was so loving, supportive, encouraging, and gave me the most rapturous welcome when I was flown back after 2 days in Wellington.  The note I sent, said to Viv, this is so you will always have sunshine every day. Viv, you spoke with your eyes, your expressions and the one handed signal, as one or another grumpy room-mate complained. And the ONE word, I did try to suggest that "Fudge "was a good alternative.



I will try and give an update after tomorrow, the  hard slog, or slow climb to  the top of My Everest, as I am told to keep my head up and look at the superb photo of the Central Plateau Mountains on the wall in front.

And I have 2 projects to look forward to,  this one is for a friend , I do not think she looks at my blog, but will not share any more details yet, the pattern is  patiently waiting, , I need to visit our local printer and get them to print at a larger format, No fabrics are chosen yet, but batiks will be the #1 for this beauty.
The second one is a wall hanging, Colourwash, by  the lovely talented designer at Cotton and bourbon, Audrey Esarey. This, too might have a long wait until at least one eye can see a whole lot better. Audrey is on Instagram too, hop to her and see the many designs there. This will also have batiks, and my new blog friend in Alaska will join in.
Winter is nigh, mornings are cool, we light the fire late afternoons now, and with all the medication I am on, the cold feels freezing, even when it is at least 15 Celsius. Other friends on the same tablets , also tell me the cold is colder!!!
I so enjoy seeing the world through your eyes, photos and words, as most of you in the North are venturing into spring or an early summer. Here, we are closer to winter ,the wood shed is full, and soup is in the freezer.

Quotation of the day from Dolly Parton

" The way I see it, if you want the rainbow,
you gotta put up with the rain"

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 5 March 2021

The Early Morning Alarm went off at 2.27 a.m. N Z time

 This morning there have been a series of strong to severe earthquakes in the South Pacific Ocean area. The first one was 105 km off the northern East Coast,  7.1 in magnitude, and there were over 50,000 reports, from mild to severe. It was classed as severe. We heard the rumble, then the shaking, that seemed to go for nearly a minute. No damage for us. In other places shelves rattled and the bottles fell, pictures rattled, dogs sounded the alarm for their owners before the shaking began.

Then at 6.41 a.m. a second quake off Raoul Island, 7.4 in magnitude, and this was followed by a 8.1 quake at 8.28 a.m. near the Kermadec Islands,  The East Coast, coastline area that extended for many kilometres , part of the top West Coast coastline as well,  were in Tsunami alert, sirens blared and many hundreds of homes were evacuated as a precaution. Long lines of cars, as people went to an inland higher area.

Finally, after a few larger surge waves, and several hours,  the all clear let them return to home.


We live slightly below where the New Zealand map finishes, but friends further north were alerted and phone alarms went off frequently.

Raoul Island has no-one living there at the moment, and it is a base for a weather and radio station. The station has been empty since March 2020 ,and last week a Navy vessel was due to take a crew out, but this was cancelled because of the Covid 19 alert level changes in Auckland.

It is, from our home, according to Mr Google, 1346 km  from our home and 1100 km or 680 miles from our North Island.

In other news, I have finally had a pre surgery assessment, height, weight, blood pressure and so many health questions. The good news, I am so happy, cataract surgery will be on a Tuesday morning before the end of March. So I am watching the mail for a letter, or hoping the phone will ring very soon.My right eye, this time, and they cannot tell me when my left eye will have the same surgery.However, this is a start.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

" Head to the hills, this might save your life"

Greetings from Jean.











Saturday, 13 February 2021

I can Post some photos now


 I have been slowly completing the series of the US Tour , around the Block, as we receive a new design each Sunday evening.

The latest was a bonus, with Washington DC, and also the Virgin Islands. Did I realise how little/scant/ almost non-existing my geography was of the US and surrounding islands?  To add to this information another blog friend in Canada is doing a series on the Arctic area, so   all the new info is absorbed and saved.

Here is the Washington DC block, It has not been stitched down,  more on that reason later.


Then the Virgin Islands' block, I used some fabric that was in my stash and the palm tree tops had come from Dione in Australia, some of a set of batik strips. 

Then, Becca from Pretty Piney Quilts, had posted a Daddy Hex design, and I just couldn't resist trying this. It was going to be a wall hanging, in tradition with the origins of those blocks, but decided to have it as a large pocket on the outside of a bag for grand-daughter, who is on her way to University for her second year. I loved the colours, and the design, so have started a second one for a friend of Dani's Mum.  The meanings for each motif are so interesting,  I was so relieved when the parcel arrived in Rotorua yesterday,  along with some other goodies packed inside. 

The best news of all, I have a pre-surgery appointment for my cataracts,  on 4th March, and this is to see if I am fit and well. I assured the patient scheduling lady I will be VERY well, and this means the surgery will be in March,  I am assuming, as they do not wait too many weeks after the first appointment, in case your health deteriorates!!! I have a lovely surgeon from Spokane, Washington, who is  a delight to speak to,  I am so fortunate to be having the surgery and  to have this lady looking after my eye.
Quotation of the day, author unknown,

" Be thankful for small things, and the  larger ones will happen  too"

Greetings from Jean


Thursday, 21 January 2021

Unity, loyalty, standing together.

 This morning I watched the inauguration ceremony of the 46th President of the United States of America,

 A ceremony like no other,  Joe Biden,  a speech from his heart, Kamala Harris sworn in as Vice President, previous presidents in attendance, a cold raw morning as roads were closed, National Guards by the thousands keeping watch, the temperature dropping, snow hovering,  our reporter Anna Burns Francis reporting from a distance.

I hope so much that this will be the start of a peaceful country for all my friends in the North, the end of riots,  racial discrimination, shootings, and you can all have days with safety, security, and much more . that should be the right of every person.

8 Celsius there, we have the same or less down here,  but with a warm heart I wish all of you in US happiness, safety, good health and more as the start of the next 4 years unfolds.

Quotation of the day,

" Lend a helping hand, accept a helping hand"

Greetings from Jean