Central Plateau, North Island

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

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Once We Were Five


I am trying  so hard to accept that Poppy has gone, reality is cruel to the extreme, tears come so easily, the unknown is the worst of losing any pet.

Felicity looks, sits on the step and waits at her usual time after 4 p.m. looks in my wardrobe, under the bed, and any other place that might be a hidey hole for Poppy. Our family has suddenly shrunk to one, our matriarch, Felicity. Born late December,  1998, a silver tabby, short legs, thick fur, and a bushy tail,  she is now   14 plus, always a solemn girl, definitely a one man’s cat .

Felicity so comfy

Next to arrive at our home was Finn, in 2002, he and Mayumi were such good mates,The morning she was leaving, he hid, YES, really hid, until there were only a few minutes before we left to meet the bus. There he was, under the hydrangea bushes.  She picked him up, and he snuggled into her head, tears flowed down her face as she said goodbye. When Mayumi visited, in 2011, I showed her Finn’s grave.  We stood together, remembering the year of 2002, happy times.Here he is, Christmas Day, 2004, playing with paper and ribbon.


Finn December 2004

Toto arrived, and  we added another girl to the feline family, affectionate, cuddly, pale grey/blue. Her brother Oscar died when such a wee kitten, she always had weepy eyes after an accident when she collided into a wall. December 2008, ill for about a week, our lovely vet Dave helped her to the bridge.

I have always liked this photo  so much, she sat so quietly amid  the flowers, grassy bushes were her favourite, run, pounce, flip up and over,  and play in the fronds.

Toto May 2008 

Tom crept into our lives, arriving late at night, a quiet feed at the biscuit tin,then departing just as silently,This continued for several months, we thought our own were extra hungry!!! Then one night, there were 2 ginger boys waiting.He was the perfect gentleman, waited till the others had had a meal, never had a fight, not even a claw out at all.  He was the original peripatetic cat, here for a few days or longer, then away for some days or a week or two, Arriving back, raucous cries from the cat door to our bedroom, a huge flop on the carpet, and loud  purring. One of us would get up and give him a much needed feed. In the morning he  might be on our bed, or by the fire, or on my sewing table. 6th  April, 2011, he left early that morning, and we don’t know where he went, maybe to the other home we were so sure he had.  Be happy Tom, wherever you are. The late afternoon sun shone on his  deep ginger coat.


tom, February 2011

And now to Poppy, our wee girl who has left for places unknown. Tall legs, tabby with ginger threaded through, a real battler in life. We shared so much together, last year as the vet visits  in May took their toll, fur degloved off a hind leg,  surgery late one  Sunday night ( yes, after hours fee as well),  dressings twice a week. a cat cage for each visit, trips in the car, not one part of this was happy at all.I had tears one day at the vet’s, as I left her there for another operation . I hope for a miracle, but after 3 weeks, accept she might have found the Rainbow Bridge,Was the gate open for her? Did Finn and Toto meet her with joy? I accepted their deaths with sadness, grief, and tears, but closure was there.

Was Tom calling her, when  she left on 6th  April?…. 2 years to the day, maybe he is there waiting too at the bridge,What a greeting she would have been given, if she arrived.

Acceptance at our loss will come at some stage,meanwhile I look at her photos, and see  the happiness we had together.

Poppy in the garden

Quotation of the day, from Patrick Overton

“ When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown,

 you must believe that one of two things will happen.

There will be something solid for you to stand  upon,

or you will be taught to fly”

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 25 April 2013

We Will Remember Them

Anzac Day

Anzac Day, 25th April, 2013

Today is a day of national remembrance, remembering and commemorating all Australians and New Zealanders who served, and died in all wars, their contribution, suffering and sacrifice.

Dawn services are held throughout the country, veterans,  dignitaries, those in the armed forces,  families, and young people attend.

Auckland, the morning dawned with a fine sky,  Wellington, a clear sky, Christchurch, clear and cool, Dunedin, raining and cooler.There will be services held in so many smaller towns , for those who served this is a very special day, uniforms and medals are worn, stories told, families are  there to support the older ones . Not only here in New Zealand but throughout the world, so many have, and continue to give their  lives , to defend  their or another country from an enemy.

We woke to an   RNZAF helicopter made its way from  Ohakea Air Base, to Waiouru. The familiar thump-thump-thump of its rotors were clear, soon afterwards,  heavy rain fell for a few minutes.

Quotation of the day, Words  of Pericles, written well over two thousand years ago , in a place close to Gallipoli, Turkey.

“Each has won a glorious grave –

not that sepulchre of earth wherein they lie,

but the living tomb of everlasting remembrance

wherein their glory is enshrined.

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Fracking, or Hydraulic Fracturing in NZ


Not my usual post!!!

If you read the latest posts from Lori, at  “ The Skoog Farm Journal” you will see how one lady has made a stand against the practice of fracturing, ending with her being  put in jail. Sandra Steingraber, having a Doctorate in Biology from University of Michigan, and  Master’s Degree in English from  Illinois State University,  joined by 10 others, in March  they blockaded a gate to a gas compressor station , run by Missouri- based Inergy LLP. They were protesting  their opposition to Inergy’s  planned heavy industrialization of the Finger Lakes Region.

this is an area with vast wild life, and I can see the impact that fracking might have on the whole region.And indeed any country that might start or continue this practice without very real investigation with regard to safety and pollution .

You can  read Alyssa Johnson’s column in the  “ timesunion.com” with the heading.. and see what a wonderful area this is, and should stay safe and protected.

River Otters in the Finger Lakes.

Her blog is on my list “ Nature in a Nutshell”


Courtesy of the Internet, New Zealand Herald, February 28th, 2013.

Further to this interim report, Jan Wright has recently stated “ her office  required more specialist advice to complete the investigation, and she was unlikely to meet  her deadline of mid-2013”


The following has been taken from, with acknowledgement,

“ An interim report, Evaluating the environmental impacts of fracturing in New Zealand” , November 2012. From the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright.

This report is available on the internet, is 119 pages in length, and contains much detailed information.

Start of the report from the Internet


“”” Page 71…“”In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), the US Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT), and the University of Texas have all released reports on fracking in the last two years.189 These have generally been narrower in scope than their European counterparts. With the exception of the University of Texas report, all recommended improved transparency and data collection on fracking operations and their environmental impact.
The US EPA produced a scoping report last year on the potential impacts of fracking on sources of drinking water. The agency has also published a report on groundwater contamination in the town of Pavillion in Wyoming, concluding that it is likely that fracking operations caused the contamination of the local drinking water. The US EPA is now working on a big study on fracking due in 2014, and a
progress report will be released in late 2012.
The US Secretary of Energy Advisory Board report looked at how fracking could be done more safely. It recommended more information about fracking operations be provided, best practice be adopted, and more research and development into environmentally friendly techniques be done.

Page 113…Most substances used in fracking fluid in New Zealand are classed as hazardous under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act. Some of these chemicals can certainly be harmful, particularly when in concentrated form. Biocides are,
by definition, ecotoxic because that is their purpose. However, the chemicals are diluted when mixed into fracking fluid, and risk to the environment depends on many factors.”””


End of the  report from the Internet.

In NZ 55 sites have been detailed as used for this purpose, from 1989 to 2011, some have been more than once at the same site.

this is very different to my usual posts,

but I feel passionate about what should always be a “  Clean Green  New Zealand” and if this fracturing did continue, and on a larger scale, what is the future of our land, the environment, safety for future generations. My thanks to Lori for posting on her blog, we can all benefit from reading Sandra  Steingraber’s words, one brave lady not afraid to speak out and act for  what she so passionately believes in.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

Believe in yourself, be true to yourself, stand up for what you feel is right,speak the words, write the words, tell the world”

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 22 April 2013

The Many Ways of Friendship

A friend sent me an email with so many wonderful photos of animals, all sizes, and kinds. A few of my favourites.
My bed is so comfy, and warm, your soft fur my pillow. I sleep.
young child and reindeer
I have called this a ‘ Snowy Owl” but wonder if in fact it is a  “ Barn Owl’, please correct me if either/neither is the right name.
Snowy owl on a brave dog
I didn’t  name this beautiful dog, and wonder is it a “ Samoyed”, and again will be so happy if anyone can correct me if that is not right.
Fawn and dog
Now with this one, I couldn’t find anything on Google, to let me safely name it,  then I found a “ Racoon”, is that right?
Do you have any food for me

This one totally stuns me, please name him .
Those tufts are real
No words needed, for this show of affection.
Friends together
Finally, today I received  a lovely email from my friend. She had read my blog and all the lovely comments for me about Poppy,and told me later on the phone  she realises how kind, thoughtful and so caring  you all are,  her words for me “ Don’t give up hope”. I try so hard.
Your wonderful words of comfort, care and love are read not only by me but by my friends here in NZ too, so appreciated.
Quotation of the day , courtesy of the Internet,
Framed bird quote


Greetings from Jean 


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Nature’s Glorious Shades


The other morning the sky showed these glorious colours,

“ North,South,East and West”

The Northern sky, from our front garden

Northern sky 1

The Southern sky, taken from almost the same spot, I turned round, and that colour was still there.

Southern sky 1

On the other side of our home, the first photo was almost startlingly beautiful.

One Eastern Sky, to uplift anyone’s day.

Eastern sky 1

Finally, all eyes turn to the West.

Western sky 1

This bulb was given to me by  a very dear friend, and I missed the first flowering.Here is the smaller one, still to open properly.

Brunsvigia framed

My most grateful thanks to you all, for your words of hope,comfort, love and care for Poppy and for me. I value your friendship so very much, always, but specially now. Without   these , my days  would be much harder, and as night falls, so do my tears, darkness covers the sky, those colours fade, and I look outside for one last moment .

Quotation of the day  from William Butler Yeats

“ Think where man’s glory most begins and ends,

and say my glory was I had such friends”

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Boston Marathon



These are words for all my friends in US, those who have run the marathon, have family  in the area, and those I do not know or will never meet.

I hope you are safe, I think of those injured, the families in total grief after one of theirs has died, the authorities rushing to make all buildings, airports, and roads secure, medical services on hand so quickly.

Here in New Zealand, “ Healing Hearts”,  are sewn, quilted, and the finished quilts  are   given to families in grief, sadness, or disaster times.

This heart comes, online, to  you all at this time.

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 15 April 2013

9 Days of Worry


I have struggled to put this into words, Poppy is missing. She went outside on Sunday 6th, in the afternoon, and did not come back for dinner that night.

That  gut wrenching, utterly sick feeling, heartache, and more.

I have called, walked, phoned everyone near and far, driven to other streets,  and last week she was at a farm, and then  she had been seen at another place,  a good distance from here. Yesterday another lady thought she had seen her on Sunday. It is so hard not to wonder, not to worry.

I hope, I cry, I   totally despair, I  wonder,I  try so hard not to imagine the worst, and  I wait . Not knowing is  the worst.We have lost Toto and Finn, but were able to say goodbye.

poppy 2006 

Poppy & lamb

Poppy on Purple

I cannot give up yet, but know as each day passes, the reality might need to be accepted.

Quotation of the day from  Alfred Tennyson

“ If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…

I  could walk through my garden forever”

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 7 April 2013

One Heart and a New Zealand Mountain


This is  a closer photo, cropped  from the original photo of the Black Powder Rifle, showing the inlaid heart, truly beautiful handwork.

If you look carefully, the initials ,


can be clearly seen , the S and M curve to meet at the top and lower edge, the K  between them.

The initials of the very fortunate family recipient.

Yes, a true labour of love, worked on  over two years, part  time,  as the regular daily employment allowed.

I have  passed on all very complimentary comments, and suggested he now read  them  for himself.!!!

butt end with carved detail,brass and silver inlay

The Central Plateau, North Island, taken from our friend’s place.Beautiful at all times of the year, in all seasons, but stunning when covered in snow.

Central Plateau framed

Quotation of the day, by John Mason

“As every  thread of gold is valuable,

so is every moment of time”

Greetings from Jean