Central Plateau, North Island

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

Thursday, 25 October 2012

I Passed the exam!!!


weed eater fun

Photos courtesy of the internet.

The reality, as I struggled with that dreaded piece of machinery.  The weed-eater is so easy to start, but then it seemed to take off all by itself, the whirly bit at the lower edge crept closer to the wire, the stones, the concrete, and THEN, the  automatic water feeder!!! One whack, and the whole water  pipe piece flew away.

I was so lucky, no words from Hugh!!! so the first practical assignment is over.

Marks…A +  for effort, A + for appearance, C- for  workmanship !!! Jim, sorry no video today.!!

weed eater

Last week,  we went  to Palmerston North then on to Levin. Levana Textiles have an outlet store there, with garments, and FABRIC… The merino was there in bolts,so many shades, weights and textures. I selected, put some back, chose more and have started to sew some Christmas goodies  .This fabric is so soft, perfect for babies, toddlers, children and all us adults as well.

And in the garden, the lupins have a great variety of colours, and  one little lonely tulip has flowered so late. A Pink Parrot Tulip. It had fallen into the dirt after we had the water sprinkler on, so the petals have “ Fairy Dirt  Smudges”. The Dutch iris are in full bloom, gorgeous shades,  the smaller one is that gorgeous dusky mauve/purple with that golden splash in the centre.The Deep  Purple one must be a mutant, there are 2 blooms off the one stem .

last pink tulip

Dutch Iris flowers

Small Dutch Iris variety

Purple lupin Mauve lupinPink LupinMerino fabrics

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Friends are flowers that never fade in the fabric of life”

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 22 October 2012

Acronyms and a Hiccup


All medical terms seem to be in the “ acronym” form, and lately that is what has been a large part of Hugh’s life. And mine, as I consult with Google to decipher some of the mysteries surrounding the heart, the  stents, and more.

FUO. RCA. LAD,LMS,  LCx, DES  and so many more.

The FUO might well be a UFO, as his  extremely high fever is a total enigma. Nothing shows on blood tests, ultrasounds or X-Rays so far. he had another emergency trip by ambulance to the ever helpful ED at Wanganui Hospital, yesterday at dinnertime, and an overnight stay in their AAU ( Acute Assessment Unit).

Again my thanks must go to the staff, who would have had many patients there over the long weekend.As we left at midday today, the Rescue Helicopter was there on the heli-pad,which is right in the hospital grounds, I was hoping that there would not be another road accident with more fatalities.

In New Zealand Labour Day is a  public holiday on the 4th Monday of October, and commemorates the struggle for an eight-hour working day.It was first celebrated  in New Zealand on 28th October 1890.

Well, I can truly relate to the word “ Labour”, it entails firewood,  digging up the rows to plant potatoes, planting, lawn-mowing, and driving.but this will finish at some stage. Hooray!!! Listen over the internet for shouts of relief and happiness!!

This is the front of a bag I made, using McKenna Ryan’s pattern ,a gift to one of the assistants at our vet clinic, who was so caring one sad day.McKenna Ryan Rooster

The wall hanging  was done  in  one of Anna William’s classes,  “Print Magic “. The flower is a Tibouchina, and I was so  pleased, well, DELIGHTED, ( add  totally ecstatic,jumping for joy, even proud of my achievement) when it turned out so well. In those days I was a novice, and free motion quilting something I had not done before, so to be able to start and actually finish this was a real bonus in my quilting life.

Print Magic tibouchina flower

Wellington Harbour, 2011.This view appealed, for its simplicity, calm water,  and tall buildings keeping watch.Taken with my Canon Ixus.

Harbour serenity

Quotation of the day, author unknown.

“ As we sail through life, don’t avoid rough waters,

sail on because calm waters won’t make a skilful sailor”

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Boots in a Box and The Firemen

Calendar Men of NZ Firefighters

This Calendar is available at www.firemanscalendar.org.nz

One Dollar from each calendar  sold goes towards  the Child Cancer Foundation.

These men, all fire-fighters in real life, are  brave at all times,  not only when they fight fires, go to accidents , or attend all sorts of emergency call-outs, but when they agreed to be the superb models for  the 2013 calendar.

Now, the only question, where will I hang this??

In my computer/quilting room? where I  sit each morning…

In the kitchen? So I can admire the men as I cook dinner!!

In the hall so everyone can admire the men,all  12 of them??

I will decide on January 1st 2013.

Today we went to Wanganui for Hugh’s visit to his GP. Our Doctor was blunt,and said how lucky Hugh is to be alive. I did not try to read “ between the lines” but he made very sure I knew the drill if it happens again, and how to do CPR. Scary words,as he then went on to say what activities are restricted, or not allowed at all.No bike-riding to get fit, no walking up hills, no heavy lifting, no driving for another week,so all in all nothing that will cause his heart to work harder.I am not sure how long this has to be “OBEYED”,

Hugh is finding some of it hard to not do.

So I have ordered in large quantities, patience, love, care, kind words, ears that listen to words unspoken, time to be there for him, bravery if needed,hugs and reassurance that all will be OK.

Before this visit we had been to Kathmandu, and I have been saving my birthday money until I found the right gift, this is a combined present from our daughters.

There they were, red and black, with that comfy warm  neoprene sort-of-material lining, non-skid soles, and so easy to put on and pull off !!!

My new Gumboots!!!

My New Gumboots!!

Quotation of the day from Helen Keller

“ I would rather walk with a friend in the  dark, than alone in the light”

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Lessons and Thanks


I must start with my thanks for your comments, emails and words of support,love ,hugs,and care,  and more,  to me and to Hugh.They mean so much, and now that  I am on the receiving  end,  I  realise how very much. For the first time since last Tuesday,  I had tears as I read your lovely words.  To  you all, so  far  away, and those closer here in NZ, friendships through blogger, I value you so much.

Today I had a lesson in using the  ride-on mower. Hugh is allowed to sit on it to mow the lawn, but not lift up the grass catcher, or anything else heavy. I listened carefully, did one round, and forgot  how to slow it down and stop first the mower blades then the motor. Luckily he was waiting.!!! His mower is like this, all automatic, so how could I make any mistakes???

Courtesy of the InternetHusqvarna Ride-OnMower

Next lesson will be the dreaded “ Weed Eater” or Whipper Snipper. I hate them, they are heavy, need to be turned with mighty strength, and make my shoulders ache.!!! Meantime I can use our self-drive mower, do I smile like this girl??? Courtesy of the Internet.

lawn mowing

Next week I am hoping I can look at the last few months blocks for the FMQ 2012 Challenge. I realise how much I have been outside lately, and quilting has been put aside. Quilters around the world have posted some truly beautiful, intricate blocks, that for me would take years to  achieve. So it is time for the Bernina to be in use every day. I found some gloves in the $2 shop in Rotorua, with gripper dots on the palms and fingers, they make it so much easier.

The Clown Appliqué is one of my favourites, ( I did this  some time ago) and can be done in so many colour selections. He might go onto the front of a bag very soon.And the gloves, well I have seen clowns that do wear large white gloves !!!

clown applique quilting gloves

Quotation of the day from an unknown author

The greener grass over the fence will not  be seen

when the snow falls”

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 15 October 2012

Air Ambulance,Cardiac surgery, and more


Air Ambulance NZ Healthy heart angiogram

Photos courtesy of the Internet.

Last Tuesday morning my life changed in a flash. Hugh had a heart attack, at home, sitting in the  room where I do my quilting and blogging. A phone call to the emergency service, in NZ we dial “ 111”,  and are asked if we want “ Fire, Ambulance or Police??”  ,      they were here so quickly, and he was taken to Wanganui Hospital. X-Rays, blood tests,  admission to a medical ward  then a transfer to Critical Care Unit through the night. Much consultation between doctors, many  phone calls, and he was flown by the Fixed wing Air Ambulance to Wellington Hospital for cardiac surgery. All is well, he is home, and we adjust to life on a different scale.

I am the chief driver, well  ,the  only driver for 2 weeks,( there will be lots of supervision from the passenger!!!) and there are other restrictions in place.  I am so very grateful to all the staff, both medical and non-medical in both hospitals,  the lovely man  on the phone switchboard, Dr  Chad Saunders  who is here in NZ for a while,  he is from Lafayette. yes KB, not far from your place, the rest of his team,  the surgeons and all others in the theatre at  Wellington, who no doubt do these procedures  many,  many times, but for us, this was a first.A special thanks must go to the staff and Doctors at Wanganui Hospital in the Emergency Department,  who cared for Hugh, and also for me so well,they made sure I was looked after, told of everything that was happening, would be done, and why. A cup of coffee,  a chair for me right by Hugh’s bed,was there anyone they could  phone for me,no doubt everyday for them, but  their care and thoughtfulness was so appreciated, needed, and accepted .

Our family  came , long distances for them both,  and I am so thankful for their love and support, and for being here with their “Mum”,   taking  me to Wellington, and much more, and  I wondered how do others who are  totally alone cope  at times like this.My thoughts go to all those who do not have such a good outcome,and carry on through life without their man.My eyes look at each day with  different lenses .Coloured with thankfulness and clouded with tears.

Here is Hugh on the walkway, on the way to the Blyth Hut, a few years ago.

On the way to Blyth Hut

Quotation of the day,  an excerpt   from B  Alan Wallace

“ Life is a flash of lightning in the dark of night”

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Whisper became Reality


Last week Hugh suggested we had a day out for photographing some more of New Zealand landscapes.  We travelled towards the West, and visited Dawson Falls in Egmont National Park. Today the whisper was spoken in louder tones, the food packed,,fruit,milk and coffee  ( necessity for any day out) and gas stove in the wagon and off to the East, to the Tararua Wind Farm. This is set on  700 hectares of sheep and beef farming land, on the southern side of the Manawatu Gorge. A metal (gravel) road leads off the main highway, winding up through farmland, bush and scrub. At the top there are wide views to either side of the ridge. These turbines, 134 in total, produce an average annual output of 620,000 megawatts of power.

 three turbines

Turbines in the distance

We stopped for lunch at this corner, and as I looked back, I could see that some of the turbine blades had stopped, and the box at the top, the nacelle, had been turned so the blades faced the wind direction. They started again before I finished  my plunger coffee!!

The blades turn with a whooshing sound, and from a distance seem to be like the arms of graceful ballerinas.

This video might need double clicking to begin. We had a great day out in the hills,  not much traffic up there , some cyclists coming down a steepish part of the  gravel road,, sheep and lambs in the paddocks, and turbines turning. I have a greater respect for power, when I turn on the lights, the stove, and my Laptop.  Thanks to  Tararua Wind Farm.

Quotation of the day, from Jimmy Dean

  I can’t change the direction of the wind,

but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination”

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Love story of Mt Taranaki

 Many years ago, in the days when New Zealand was a very young country,Mt Taranaki stood in the centre of the North Island of New Zealand, a bold young man.Nearby were Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro. Taranaki fell in love with  pretty Mt Pihanga, and had  many battles with Mt Ngauruhoe to win her heart.

There was a very heated battle, and Ngauruhoe finally won. Taranaki was banished to the west, and made a lonely trek to the final place where he rests to this day. He left a  trail of tears, forming the Whanganui  River.

Mt Ngauruhoe, Tongariro National Park ,North Island, New Zealand

Mt Ngauruhoe

Mt Tongariro, Tongariro National Park, North Island( photo courtesy of the Internet)

 Mt Tongariro ash cloud 7th Aug 2012

Mt Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park,, North Island

Mt Ruapehu

Mt Taranaki, or Mt Egmont, Egmont National Park,North Island

Mt Taranaki

Quotation of the day, from Sir Edmund Hillary,

( Mt Everest, 29th May, 1953)

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves”

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

It is Back!!!

My Toshiba is back home, I need to reinstall some programs, and all will be back to normal.

My thanks to Jade  at Norman Ross, Palmerston North and the team at Maxtech Services.

No photos yet, they are still on the external HDD, but happiness is the word for today.

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 1 October 2012

Hills and Tarns and Falls

Last week Hugh went to the top of the Ruahine Range, this is a track that many quad and 4WD people use, it gets little maintenance at the far end, and minimal at the beginning.Not for the faint hearted at all. There had been a snowfall a  few days earlier , the highest part here is  1141 metres asl, not the highest in this range, there is a beaconed trig at 1735 metres.
Ruahine Range tarn
Snow on the leaves
Hugh was on his own, so did not venture  past the area in the second photo of the track.It is a very steep descent, and  one part where I would definitely stay on the ground or better still, at home!!!
Takapari Road trackWay past the A Frame
Yesterday we went to  Egmont National Park, where Mt Egmont is, ( Mt Taranaki), it is a cone shaped mountain, 2518 metres high. The snowline is at 1522 metres, as told to me by some trampers who had completed a 5 day circuit tramp around the  mountain, they had a GPS, so this was exact.!!! There are huts along the way, with a several hour tramp between.
We walked about 30 minutes to Dawson Falls, where the Kapuni Stream falls about 18  metres to the huge rocks below.The noise is loud, the spray splatters your face if you get too close, and the steps are steep.Today my leg muscles are aching!!!
Mt Egmont Sep 2012
Dawson Falls
Dawson Falls spray
All the above photos, courtesy of Hugh.
On the way down, there was a hollow under a huge tree, maybe shelter for the fairies on a cold day.Steps that were slippery, and stony places where the path was flat
A little hollowStony path down
Moss on the trees and rocks
Some steps
The misty effect make  these photos  seem like an old painting.
Sit on the branch
Misty water

Quotation of the day, author unknown
“ A strong man and a waterfall always channel their own path”
Greetings from Jean.