Central Plateau, North Island

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

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Sunshine and Trees

morning sun on trees
The early morning sun touched the very top of this tree
and tipped the side of the English Elm.
Thousand of the Elm’s paper-case like flowers are flying everywhere.
Do not leave the door or car windows open. Instant work…
They float, then land. Pretty, pretty messy, pretty awful to clean up!!!
Now that is an oxymoron.

The Elm  Tree provides a huge canopy, and this one and the Chestnut Tree  will add
their graceful beauty to  the gardens and lawn when family  begin
to arrive next week.The seat underneath is asking for anyone to sit awhile, remember,
and celebrate Muriel's Life here with Tea and Cake.
English Elm tree in early sunlight

   No quilting to show, or even think about right now.
There will be time for that later, when our days are less busy, arrangements are finalised  and services have been held.  Hugh and I will need some time to adjust to being just us again.
.A friend commented “ A bit like Darby and Joan”.
Not sure if that can be taken as a compliment or not.
Quotation of the day from Samuel Johnson, 1709=1784
“True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends
but in their worth and choice”
Cheers from Jean

Saturday, 12 November 2011

A Cat and a Hen and some Owls.

Hen bag                  poppy keeping the chair warm
Somehow this week I managed to get the hen onto the fabric and sew at least
part of the bag.The “NEST” looks slightly better now she sits on it.
Poppy  chose to sit on my chair and wait for me, stubbornly still sitting there
when I try to find a small space to perch!!! Just like the owls below.
These owls took my fancy, maybe not as “softies’ but to applique onto a bag
or two. I love their eyes, and whatever way you look, they seem to be staring right at you.
Maybe they can see  even in the daylight.
I will never be a NIGHT OWL, always have been a FOWL, i.e. definitely a morning person.
I’m sure that’s why I like the owl patterns so much, they are the opposite to me,  and they do say “Opposites Attract”.
However in recent days I have not only risen with the birds but burnt many a late night candle as well. Phone calls, arrangements, times to collect family from airports, words that need to be checked, emailed off, re-sent again, and in-between some quiet moments to reflect.
Poppy  stays close, and snuggles up behind me, as she is , right now,keeping me company as though she knows about our sadness .How do cats know??? Her comfort is heart-warming.
Quotation of the day, from A Handbook of Proverbs
Friendships multiply joys and divide griefs.
Cheers from Jean

Friday, 11 November 2011

Cats and Views

Poppy arrived after she did not accept the new arrival at her home.
Just a short stroll down our driveway and here she is.
poppy 2006poppy with lamb 2007

here is Poppy hiding behind the lamb.
I prefer them running over the paddocks.
However Muriel loved her lambs, and they stayed.
Felicity seldom curled up on Muriel’s bed but here she is resting comfortably on one of the many hand knitted rugs, This  one was done for a cat, which one I am not sure, but when Finn had his knitted, there was a small “F’ sewn in, with a  different coloured wool in one corner.
Felicity with one eye open

The view from a friend’s farm is right across to the Central Plateau.  It snows here in the winter, sometimes as many as  25 good falls.
Barren country, and close to Waiouru Army Camp. On a quiet day you can hear the Army Guns as the troops assemble and get in some training.
The Central Plateau from high up

Kevin in the Tararuas  April 2011

    Kevin braved the cold and wet as He and Hugh went up Takapari Road, all metal and .often huge washouts on the way to the “ A Frame” a sturdy DOC hut almost at the top.
Felicity has this look most of  the time and is very much a
“ One Man Cat” and in our home that means Hugh.

Felicity on the wall in 2007
Our days are busy, with many arrangements, and today as Hugh sorted out some photos of his Mum, Poppy came in and slept on the carpet nearby.This is something she does not do,
maybe she realised he needed some comforting.The phone is busy, thank goodness for the modern wonders of email, broadband, and document editing at the touch of a button.
The families from overseas and the far south will arrive next weekend, and there will be tearful greetings.
Quotation of the day from Shakespeare,
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past.
Cheers from Jean

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Farewell , my Mum-in-Law

Last night Muriel, Hugh’s mum and my Mum-in-Law slipped quietly and peacefully   away on her final journey.
This photo is her with the flowers her  youngest brother, Robin, sent  on 27th April 2011.
She was 97 years old, and the flowers a wonderful surprise.
Robin was living in Sydney with his daughter Maree , and the florist delivered them to our door .
Maree, this was the best gift of all that day,Thank you again so much.
You had a good day, ate a great dinner, and at 7.30 the usual words, “ Yes, I’m ready for bed,I knew you would be coming”.
10 minutes later,  I held you in my arms, Hugh close by, and we  said goodbye.
Muriel and flowers 27 April 2011
But this was no ordinary occasion. You did it in such style!!!!.
The First Response St John Ambulance car came rushing in, John driving,  he was here  very soon after we dialled 111, closely followed by
Ruth, a single crew St John Ambulance .
But because Ruth was on her own, the Fire Brigade came as well, all lights flashing.!!!
2 men,with their fire protective clothing, hard hats and big boots, came rushing inside.
No fire, we are all safe. Thank you so much.
Joyce, with her calm presence, and loving arms,enfolded Hugh and me with such comfort.
By this time some names escaped me.
What were our neighbours wondering???
Then because our doctor lives in Wanganui, the next Ambulance came as well,
 in case they needed to sign forms.Another man and lady, again thank you so much,
 I didn’t get your names either.The care and support from all these was appreciated so very much, and maybe while all in their day and night's work, is special to those who need them, their help, their kind and calm words,their support, and their  being there.

The night slowly unfolded its dark wings, and we surrendered Muriel
                     to Peter’s and Anthony's care.
Today we wake to rain, strong winds and a very quiet home, nothing is the same.
Quotation of the day, from Kahlil Gibran
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth
you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Jean and Hugh

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Cleaning Results are Confirmed by Boss

Boss waiting                             Boy, did I need these dark glasses
The Courier arrived .Boss waited in the van, then his eyes  caught sight of the
sparkling white walls, clean windows and all else.
“ Pete, where are my glasses? I need them right now”
I am so happy to know that even Boss was dazzled by the results of my 7 days work!!!
Pete handed over the parcel, and guess what??? More cleaning gear,
Some replacement  vacuum cleaner bags.I might just leave them until later.
Thanks, Pete and Boss, for agreeing to be on THE NET.

Sewing  and quilting is on the back seat, I need to find some fabric more suitable for the cats.
nest on blue netting fabric      nest on paler background

I am  not sure about these  “Nests”, they do not look at all like the photos in the bookchoices for the hen

However with some choices for the chooks
they may be better when finished.

Quotation of the day from a friend
               We do not discover who we are by searching for ourselves,
 rather we create who we are by the daily choices we make.
Cheers from Jean

Monday, 7 November 2011

Skype from Osaka

This must be my day to do Skype calls, Kaori was another of the three Japanese students  who lived with their host families in Marton during 2002. She tells me she does not speak any  English over there, but her language is sooooo good. Kaori's Mum has a soap making business, and Kaori is designing a web page.I am waiting for another photo, this is courtesy of Facebook.I am sure a clearer photo will come very soon.A friend of hers has opened a Fish and Chip shop, with takeaways, and also pies. These are becoming popular there,  I have heard about others as well.
We have many happy memories of 2002, her host family are in Christchurch now, and I think were right in the earthquake affected area, with much liquefaction.( this has another spelling ).
Looking forward to more photos and calls from all over the world.
Quotation of the day, from Lord Alfred Tennyson
"He seems so far and yet so near"
Cheers from Jean

A Quilter’s Guide to Spring Cleaning

1. Allocate 7 days with no visitors or outings.This is compulsory.
darkest glasses
2. Put on dark glasses and look at walls,windows and ceilings.
Decide that all is OK  and  continue to sewing machine, looking at the chosen designs in the photos below.

necessities      old ladder
3.Look   again with reading glasses and reconsider the job .Assemble the gear, 
Mop, cleaning liquid, toothbrush for those hard to reach places.
Old ladder, and chair, to stand on, or sit, when resting.
Make sure your nitrolingual spray is handy.
If you have any pain in chest,left arm or jaw stop and use spray.
If this does not ease the pain, call husband, if he does not hear your
trembling voice, dial 111 ,  if the pain subsides, rest, awhile, then continue
with the work.
lang handled mopnitrolingual spray
4.Begin with a plan,clean for one hour, have a 5 minute break, and continue.
things are looking good, continue carefully.
5.Same as the day before, but the timing has changed.
Clean for 40 minutes, have a 15 minute break, and do not do any work after 1 p.m.
6.You are now into day 5.  Work for 30 minutes, stop for 15 minutes, making sure your feet and legs are elevated.Apply Deep Heat,Voltaren  or other ointment suitable for inflamed areas  if you are having any pain ANYWHERE.
7. Day 6. Work for 5 minutes, take a lengthy break, at this stage you will need more frequent breaks. They can be up to an hour long, do not feel as though you have to continue without them. After all, rests are therapeutic, and necessary.
Send the man out for replacements for the brush, and have crutches ready for legs in case
those shin splints come back again.
replacements     waiting for when the legs collapse
8.DAY 7. The work is finished. Don the  dark glasses again, preserving your eyesight from the extra white dazzle from walls, ceilings, and window frames.
Sit back, congratulate yourself, and look up YELLOW PAGES, and make a booking for a commercial cleaner for next year.
I am a fan of cats in wall hangings or runners, this took my fancy. The birds and some branches have to be drawn on with pen, that will test my ability to trace  finely.
cats waiting

Next are the hens. The nests are made with cotton threads, or shredded ends of fabric,sprinkle them onto fusible web, lay organza ribbon on top and fuse.
Peel off the paper and fuse to the chosen fabric, chicken wire pattern used here
 gatherings for the other henshens runner

If you would like these patterns please email me and I will copy and email back to you.
My day started with a Skype call to Jeanette in Auckland.
We talked about the Church celebrations, our dear Jocelyn, and others we knew in the  1950’s.
Now spread far and wide, but with Internet magic,
 can  keep in touch with such ease.
Quotation of the day, from Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790
“ Necessity never made a good bargain”

Cheers from Jean

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Flowers,Feathers, and Foliage

McKenna Ryan cat pattern                  
mcKenna Ryan Roosters and chicks

McKenna Ryan designs these wonderful patterns, among so many others.
The Rooster on the bag is  “ Proud Papa” watching the three eggs. The bag was a gift to a wonderful vet assistant the day we said goodbye to Finn.She went out of her way to ease the sadness. I hope the bag was put into good use when the young lady went overseas.
The motto of being a rooster and the cautionary tale is
‘There is a fine line between ruling the ROOST and becoming a feather duster!!!”

Rooster bag                                 

The ruffled red poppy managed to stay intact after wind and rain. The other stems lay flattened under the weight of unopened flowers and wet leaves.
Ruffled red poppy
The Ajuga is almost under the Winter Sweet tree, and seems to thrive in the partial shade
I was given this Bletilla when we lived near Katikati, and it has the best flowers ever this year. Probably because it has been left in the pot for some years now, they do not like to be moved. It is also known as the Chinese Ground Orchid .
Ajuga leaves in shadeBletilla Striata or Chinese Ground Orchid

Yesterday the far South was again battered with gale winds, snow, and the resulting
power failure, vege plants that will not survive after several inches of snow  overnight.
Thankfully the lambs are older now, and should be fine.
This weekend was the  Anglican parish of Clevedon’s 150 year anniversary.
Jeanette sent me this photo, St James Church , Ardmore ,  and we both remembered our dearest friend Jocelyn.
She has been gone 42 years now, and her service was held in this very church
in May 1969.
Dear Jocelyn, we grieve, we have sadness, and we have wonderful memories
of our days together at Papakura High School.
Quotation of the day by Carl Gustav Jung

“ The word ‘happiness’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”

Cheers from Jean

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

My Different Names

Yesterday there were some pics of me in my younger days, When I started being known as Jean I had some confusion, after so many years as “Nan” This is when I was a foundation pupil at Papakura High School. Those were such good years,looking at my smile
 I am sure I enjoyed the study, maybe not so much the exams, definitely not sport,
 I failed to do basketball, as it was called then, hockey a disaster, gymnastics more so,
I dreaded that, I couldn’t swing on a bar, do a jump,or anything else even remotely
looking like gym. We had wonderful teachers, who installed in us their own passion for the subject, no wonder maths was my favourite, Mr Miller was a whizz at teaching us.
Names at PHS  1955

Those days were left behind, I studied Pharmacy, going to night class at Otahuhu College 3 nights a week, after work.
Then in 1962, Hugh and I were married at Papakura East Presbyterian Church, Rev.Lewis Wilson was the minister at the service, and here he is welcoming my Dad and me.The last photo as Jean  Appleby. Next thing I know, there I am married, a new surname and a man by my side.
The captions on the photos are in my Dad's writing, and taken from his photo album.
My cousin Judith is behind, with Trevor Shelley, then Pat and Des, and Janet (Norman) was our flower girl.She lives in Perth now, and on one of their visits I showed her the photos when she was there that day.Phil enjoyed seeing Janet's photo when she was 9 years or so.


Last photo as a single girl 1962First Photo as Mrs McK

Formal portrait of Mrs A J McK Feb 1962

Walter always called me Nancy J, and here I am when he came to stay with us in 2002.
The roses were spectacular that year, a legacy of Yvonne’s choices, and the care she gave them over the years
So names of many kinds,over the years, all special at their own time.

Quotation of the day, one of Walter’s favourites.
From Romeo and Juliet , by William Shakespeare.

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Cheers from Jean
Nancy J taken by Walter  Nov 2002

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Occasions and Dresses

Nan and calf  TeHihi
At this time of the year,Calf Club Days are held at Primary Schools throughout the country.
For many weeks, each year, when I was aged 7 to 11 or so, the regime was to first choose  your calf, and mine was always a Friesian,train it to wear a halter,  and do many hours of walking practice.From  memory, we had to walk the calf around a ring, it may have been a square, stop at the corner, maybe do some backward steps, then continue.The  Club Day morning was always so busy, combing the tail,polishing the hooves, and the final moment of excitement, a little fear maybe, and then your turn.
This looks like I was about 9 or 10, by the cowshed,  with long plaits, and the ribbons on the calf , they  were thick felt, and the colours were either gold,blue and red? For First,Second or Third place. The letters were printed on, and I kept all the ribbons for many many years.
About 25 years!!!Why did I throw them out??So when I read of local pets and calf days, there are manygood memories. The judges wore white coats, and my Dad went on to qualify as one of the judges,and maybe also at the Franklin A & P show, where I went as well.
The primary School was Te Hihi School,
“ Character, Kindness and Courtesy”
Those words are still there today.
Now, this shows how long I keep some things.!!! Look at the dress with the smocking.
It has been carefully put away for  well over 60 years !!!
Then look at the photo below .WOW.Yes, that is me,wearing this same  dress.
I am sure my Mum did not have  a smocking machine, and I think the lines were
done with dots from carbon paper.This would have been about 1948 or so.
..Dress from 1940'ssmocking on the frontThere are domes at the back, a long sash, and there were fancy buttons, no longer
to be found. Now this would have been sewn on a Singer Treadle machine.
Do  check out those FRECKLES !!! This would have been not long before I went to Pukekohe High School,. Just before I started there as a 3rd former in 1953, I decided to get those plaits cut off.
More photos to come another day, with an even older dress that is here safely stored away.And photos of when it was worn

Smocked dress, NanIn those days I was called “ Nan”
and that stayed until I went to High School, and I chose Jean, the second of my christian names
,Anna was after my paternal grandmother
and Jean after Jeannie, my Mum’s mother.

Quotation of the day from Abraham Lincoln

“ The best thing about the future is
that it comes one day at a time”

Cheers from Jean

Freckles in summer TeHihi about 1949