Central Plateau, North Island

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

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Photos from my dear friend

 Today my dear friend sent me an email with these stunningly beautiful photos. She knows my days are busy, and her care, love, and prayers are always close.

Lioness and baby framed


 little birds flying framed

Are they mine,  Framed 

follow me framed 

Two of us together framed

This week, we had a visit to our G.P. hired crutches from the pharmacy, upped the pain medication, struggled to cope, and yesterday called the ambulance.  Three lovely people arrived  very quickly, gave Hugh comforting words, before they left, had  arranged to meet another ambulance so he could have morphine,  reassured me,  then we spent   several hours in E. D.,  more tablets, and  sent home,  Hugh  still not able to walk without help, with an appt. made to see the orthopaedic specialist. It cannot come soon enough.

My friends have rallied, and I give thanks for meals on wheels 2 nights in a row, Dennis, you are a trooper,  one whopping meat rissole, more than ample for us both!!! scrummy…Judith, soup that was a delicious meal all by itself, Joyce, meeting me in E.D. and then  taking me to the pharmacy, as I didn’t know the way. Messages on the phone,  and more phone calls, ( you will all know who I am silently mentioning),  offers of any help I might need, we indeed  are  so  thankful  .

Quotation for today,  author unknown;

“ When the power of love overcomes

the love of power, the world will know peace”

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 26 September 2013

San Francisco, we thank you


San Franciso from the Marin Headlands (framed)

Today was the final race for America’s Cup.

Oracle Team USA won, but to all of us in New Zealand, Dean Barker, Ray Davies, your team, and all the Team New Zealand members, you are truly the winners. You raced so well, with races snatched from you, winds too light,  winds too strong, and the expertise, technology and financial backing given to Oracle was all to their advantage.

These words from Dean Barker, before the Cup was presented to Oracle skipper James Spithill.

“ Firstly, I would like to thank the city of San Francisco for putting on what’s been the most amazing event, and  for  being such fantastic hosts.

You’ve made the team feel incredibly welcome here, and we are very thankful for that.

To Oracle, Amazing.”

Dean went on to thank all the team, the support crew, families and friends, and us back here for support throughout the whole campaign.

We look forward to greeting you all on your return to NZ, a huge welcome is waiting .


I,  too, and on behalf of all in New Zealand,  give many thanks to the San Francisco community, for the hospitality so generously  given to our New Zealand team, this has been continued for many months, and like so many here, we wished we would be able to reciprocate.Thank you all…


Our lives continue at slow pace, Hugh is in much pain, waiting to se an orthopod, meantime on tablets,(lots!!) ,  on crutches ( the walking stick is back in the cupboard), I have been promoted to driving the quad, and had a lesson in using the bandsaw!!! Wow, I didn’t clear the cut pieces of wood off the bandsaw table before I cut the next one, a lesson soon learnt very well, stern words from the man, as this can be dangerous.

I did say that I am ready to do almost anything I can, but do draw the  line at driving the Nissan 4WD, and towing the camping trailer as well, our larger vehicle is manual, and I so prefer an automatic gear change. This is so much easier after spinal surgery, and although my surgery  was many years ago, using a clutch is still too difficult for me.

So my blog might have few/not many/ NO  photos or words for  some days, as I try to manage the extra workload, and all the other jobs that I took for granted when Hugh was fit and well,  and the main thing in   providing lots and LOTS of TLC.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“     Life is like a camera…..

Focus on what’s important,

Capture the good times,

Develop from the negatives,

And if things don’t work out,

Take Another Shot”

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Our Day on Water and Land



Emirates Team New Zealand

Dean, tomorrow is another day, we are all right behind you, just wish we could have added some wind for that first race today.

Go, Emirates Team New Zealand!!!

Photo courtesy of the Internet.

At home, golden glowing sky was there for those few minutes,Leave the dinner on the stove, forget the mustard sauce, get your camera!!! In those few moments, I  looked at the stunning sky, then in an instant  those angled rays were all gone, and darkening blue took over the gold.

Golden glow #1


Golden Glow #3

Quotation of the day, from Horace

“ Remember when life’s path is steep to keep your mind even”

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 20 September 2013

Words for those further North


I think of all my dear friends in the Northern Hemisphere, your autumn in full swing, winter approaching, with colder days, snow, frozen water troughs, gardens frosted to solid  icicles, fires and central heating all ready to go, at the first really cold day or night.  Your  leaves  are turning  golden, the sun starts to rise later every day,   and temperatures fall, glorious colours in the sky as the crisp cold defines them brilliantly. Stay safe and warm in your winter, as we have spring blossoms, bulbs flowering,   and trees with new green leaves , buds and flowers.

Autumn trees at our place, June 2011Autumn trees 

Some words from John Keats,

one of my dear friend Walter’s favourite poets 

To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
      Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
   With fruit the vines that

round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
      To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
      For Summer has o'er-brimm'd

their clammy cells.

Quotation of the day, from Jim Bishop

“ Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons”

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Early Morning



This  morning, cool, calm, and fine, colours from grey to red to blue  showed early in our Eastern Sky.

Very early morning sky

 This morning's sky

The colours almost fading

Quotation of the day, from Molière

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it”

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

How Old Are You???


This last week I have felt “ VERY AGED”, and am very  slowly recovering to full mobility. Tonight it is Hugh’s turn to struggle with back pain, so with sleep abandoned for some time, I turned to “ Ugly Hedgehog” for some evening entertainment.

One member sent in this link.Simply enter your birth dates, and it will tell you in days or years  your age and the day of the week you were born.

Last night the sky had the most glorious colours, but in an instant they were gone, and I missed the best part. The deeper golden glow had faded and in a few moments was gone completely.

I think of all those in Colorado with the severe devastating flooding, and wonder if they see the sky at night, and sun in the daytime, and how they all are.I cannot imagine the scope of this disaster, and know from my blog friends that repairs to roads,let alone homes and businesses, will take months, and for some, years. A lifetime of memories, belongings, and a family home gone in an instant.

And naturally my thoughts are with “ Team New Zealand” and all others in San Francisco, as we are into the maybe final stages of

“ America’s Cup”.

Excitement, sheer panic, dismay at  a loss, disgust at Tweets, and hopes that all crews stay safe, and  show good sportsmanship, as we wait for the next races on Wednesday.


September sky #2

September sky #3

Quotation of the day, from Henry Kissinger

“In crises the most daring course is often safest”

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Saturday’s Updates


My many heartfelt thanks for all lovely comments, wishes for improvement, hugs,prayers and loving thoughts.

Slowly, slowly

I have left the walking stick in the cupboard, and have progressed from a slow shuffle to a slow walk, actually lifting up each foot, and can feel the floor under my feet, Scary stuff when there is no feeling, and the Doctor keeps saying,  “ Tell me when you feel anything”,  long silences until he prodded the other leg, then “ Yes, and Yes, and Yes again” then back to the bad side, and more silence.

The staff, Doctors, Nurses ( One lovely young lady from Southern Colorado), and all  other people there are so good,and gave  me the very best care I could wish for.And as always, St John Ambulance came to my rescue straight away.

No new photos for today, so I have dragged some   from the archives!!

In 2007, we went to a Quilt Show in Palmerston North,  all photos taken with my older Canon Ixus, so the focus and lighting is not the best. Some of my favourites.This venue displayed them to their very best, and inspired each of us to strive harder, enjoy others’ stunning quilting and handwork, and accept our own work at whatever level it may be. Sorry there are no personal details. This was in previous days well before my blog began.

Quilt show #3

The one below, if I recall correctly, also won the Bernina Award, if anyone was there, please correct me if this is wrong.

Best of show 2007


 Quilt show,2007

Quilt show 2007 #2

Quotation of the day,  from William Shakespeare

“ Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast”

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Two Old Crocks, Gimps, or any other title that fits!!!

walking sticks 
Urban Dictionary: gimp


(1) a derogatory term for someone that is disabled or has a medical problem that results in physical impairment.


I’m not sure if my disability is a flare up of the L5-S1 surgery years ago, or a recent muscle strain. Whatever, very painful, walking almost impossible, housework ditto!!! I managed to prop my walking stick against the wall just long enough to snap a photo.

And to add to the catastrophe, Hugh also needs a stick, he has problems with his spine, conservative treatment for a few weeks, and if no  improvement, will need to see what the Doctor has up his sleeve, I hope it is voluminous and has the capacity for anything that will heal, cure the pain, and get my man back to normal.Two very  grumpy people, not able to help each-other much at all!!!

So no new photos today, or maybe for a week or so while we both struggle to regain our mobility!!!

The western sky from our front lawn, taken late afternoon in July 2013.

Western sky with storm clouds


Night sky on April 1st, lens hood framing.This was taken from our front door.

April 1st night sky with lens hood to frame it

Quotation of the day, from an elderly relative,

“ You do not miss the water until the well runs dry”

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 9 September 2013

Not My Photo!!!


I am a member of the “ Ugly Hedgehog” photography forum, and every so often , well probably quite often, there is one photo published that is outstanding.

The link comes to my email inbox each evening about 9.15 p.m

Last night the one that captured me in such a special way  was

“ Canada Goose” taken by Cliff Hope of  Toronto

  I emailed him, asking if I would be able to have his photo on my blog. He said “ YES”, the hugest generous “YES”  and I am overjoyed to be able to show you all this stunning photo. The quote  below says it all about his generosity,

Thanks so very much Cliff. this was indeed from  your  heart.

If you ever travel to NZ, please come and stay with us, I would be honoured to meet you, and your lovely wife Millie .

The link to Cliff’s website is below.


Canada Goose, credited to Cliff Hope, Toronto, Canada

Quotation of the day,  from Kahlil Gibran,

“ You give but little when you give of your possessions.

It is when you give of yourself that you truly give”

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Glorious Colours


Spring in all its beauty has sprung, and the blossoms keep on showing those deep rich colours as only rhododendrons do.

This week’s challenge, “ Fill the Frame”

Fill the Frame Rhodo 

Rhodo in pink

The first Hoop Petticoat  Daffodil is flowering. Narcissus Bulbocodium, the bulbs a gift from a dear friend many years ago.I  grow them in wooden barrows, so the bulbs stay safe and do not ever get lost.

Hoop petticoat daffodil

The freesias, white, and in another box, deep red, send that fragrant perfume  across the garden as I walk past.Who could resist one mor

Quotation of the day, from Chanakya

“ The fragrance of flowers spreads

only in the direction of the wind.

But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction”

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Driving Home


Monday dawned fine, the air was cool, the sky was clear, and all was good for home  travel.

The Central Plateau was stunning, as late spring snow covered the tops of all the three mountains.

Mt Ruapehu, 2797 m altitude, (9177 feet)  where most of the North Island skiing is held, had some cloud skimming across the top.

I did some processing, and here it is in sepia tones, reminiscent of the early 1900’s before colour photography  progressed to how it is  today .

Sepia Central Plateau

Mount Ngauruhoe , 2291 m . (7516 feet)  also had some cloud, and Mount Tongariro,  1978 m (6490 feet) the northernmost, had some steam coming from the vent on the very northern side, obscured as we drove further south.There wasn’t any safe place to stop for photos ,  we waited till we reached a wide pull off area.

Large parts  of  the lower areas are covered with tussock grass , and there are larger areas of volcanic  rock , where nothing grows. This area can get up to/ or more than 270 ground frosts a year, with  altitudes of 600m and up to 100m, asl, (2000 ft, to 3,3000 ft), The land is mostly uninhabited, apart from Waiouru, where the Waiouru Military Camp is based, 163,000 acres, or 63,000 hectares of barren land, used for the camp base, and  military training,

Mt Ngauruhoe and tussock grass

The night sky showed prospects of a fine day on Tuesday, with frosts, deep red clouds against grey/blue.

Night sky in the West, September 2013

This morning was zero Celsius at 6 a.m.!!! Fire lit, coffee ready, and warmer clothes before I venture outside.The sun’s rays  started to show across the lawn, and lit up the green conifer tree. And the little parrot tulip had very slight frosting , barely visible in the photo,  on the pink petals.

Morning frost in September 

Parrot tulip

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Good things might be 'round the next corner, so keep on walking”

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Northern travel


We are having  a night at Rotorua, a very welcome visit to our family, photo catch up time, and also to collect the next item for my  Diploma study. A computer desk, from Trade Me. Super size, room for my sewing machine in the hard drive compartment, 3 drawers, and a keyboard tray perfect for my laptop when I need to do some fabric cutting. Lucky Me !!!

First stop was coffee break, at a shady place along the Desert Road. It had been showery for some time, and a  very cool breeze.

Here is the man, with his very original covered in trailer. I have shown it in old fashioned print colour, reminiscent of the olden days. We had coffee sitting inside, snug out of all cold wind and rain that was almost sleet,

Hugh's trailer 

The tree is a “ Lucerne tree” grown specially for the Wood Pigeons, they feed off the  flowers and leaf buds. The Kereru feathers shine.

NZ Kereru at Rotorua

My challenge for this week was to take a photo in “ Bokeh”, this is the blur or the aesthetic quality of the blur in out-of-focus areas of an image. So the twigs and buds needed not to be in focus. I leant over the deck railing, and the magnolia buds were there waiting.

Magnolia bud

George had his eyes on the pigeon, but it was too fast!! He isn’t the best when scaling trees, and getting down is always difficult. After looking carefully, he clambered down slowly.

George leaping

Quotation of the day from Albert Einstein

“ Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land  of life”

Greetings from Jean