Central Plateau, North Island

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

Friday, 28 March 2014

How long will the miracle last?


Hugh is home, and relatively pain-free. On Wednesday a young lady doctor explained the MRI results, very technical, and outlined the next step. Steroid injections in the spine, at L4/5 andL5/S1, that was done yesterday morning, I drove over late yesterday afternoon,  he is SO happy to be home,  and  he had a relatively pain free night, slept so well.

This injection is called in the surgeon’s words a “ quick-fix”, can last 6 months, 5 years, or not at all. Surgery is not an option for whatever the problem is right now.

On a whimsical note, I learnt a new acronym yesterday. I had heard of FIFA, but did you know there is a …..

“ BIBA”,              yes truly, it  translates to

“ Brought in by Ambulance”, why did I have to Google it to find the answer??

I  have so many  heartfelt thanks  for all your words, caring thoughts, hugs and prayers,they have meant so much these last few  days or weeks , and may it all be reciprocated in  ample amount  if you  are ever  in need .


Hills with late afternoon sun at Piropiro

Quotation of the day, by Friedrich Nietzsche,

“ True friendship is seen through the heart, not through the eyes”

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 24 March 2014

Update on ….Not One, But Two


Life carries on regardless, and what we have in our life right now is nothing compared to the grief of  the  families of the passengers on the missing plane, the lives lost in the mudslide in Snohomish County, Washington.

Hugh has had a  day with  a little less pain, thanks to medication given regularly, and I  am sure,  in ample doses. His MRI is on the urgent list, and possibly tonight, or tomorrow. The room is full, the whole ward extra busy, physio has visited, also the Orthopaedic surgeon.

Home is very quiet, and even though Hugh is not a talkative man, I miss his words.

Thanks you all for such caring, uplifting and supportive words. I have read every one of your posts, and enjoy the news, weather, on-going canine ventures and more.Even more snow in some places. When I am a little/ a bit/ well, I  need to be quite a lot more relaxed and less worried, will comment on your blogs again.

Felicity May 2012

Felicity is quiet company at night.

Tonight there were those few minutes of  glorious colour in the western sky.

March sunset

Quotation of the day. from Vera Nazarian,                                                The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration


Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter. The one of us who finds the strength to get up first, must help the other.”

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Not One but Two. arrived in Night’s Darkness


Here in NZ we have a most wonderful St John Ambulance Service. The older vehicles are slowly being replaced with these new ones. a new design, interior fittings  streamlined to a superior standard,  yellow and green instead of white. Photos courtesy of the internet.

St John, Yellow Ambulance Shoot, Mt Wellington, Thursday 8th August 2013. Photo: Shane Wenzlick St John Ambulance #2

Hugh has had back pain, usually called , for want of a better term “ Sciatica”. Over the last 6 months we have had doctor’s visit, hospital visits, trips by ambulance, and each time have been told, you are on the waiting list, this is “ non-urgent”, you can walk with crutches, you are discharged.

Saturday evening, the pain escalated beyond the scale of “  Where is it from 1 to 10?”, Way past 10, so another call to the medics on wheels, David, at least I think that was his name, duly arrived,  lots of pain  relief, I phoned a close friend, as I realised we needed more than 2 of us to move him to a stretcher. Next thing, more flashing lights and Ambulance #2 arrived, 3 paramedics, so  off we went, David was directed to another emergency some 2 hours away, , 2 lovely ladies in the back with Hugh, one super careful driver up front. A long night, and at last, those wonderful words, “ you will be admitted”. This was decided about 11.45, we went to the ward about 2.15.

Tomorrow ( Monday ) will be a MRI, if it can be squeezed in, and X-Rays.  Another night on the Lazy-Boy chair, I am so grateful for this, caring staff ready to provide tea, coffee, or Milo  at any hour, and  they  asked if I would like some breakfast this morning about 7.30.

Kevin, with his silver chariot, arrived at 11.30 to bring me home.

My comments might be few and  far between, ( Don’t worry, I’ll still find time to read all news from  NZ  and abroad) as I fit in visits, and all else that goes with this.Hugh will be there for several days, and we are hoping for not only a diagnosis, but for this to be dealt with.I am hoping he will be able to come home free from pain.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Build a fence at the top of the cliff, or place an ambulance below”

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 17 March 2014

Happy Birthday Ralph


17th March, a very special day for the Irish, those who have a 4 leaf clover in their hand, and for us, to celebrate a family birthday down south.

Ralph, have a great day, I  hope all those girls behaved themselves, no wild parties in the paddock or woolshed, and goodies have arrived in the mail.four-leaf-clover courtesy of internet

                              Some snow, and Irishmen on the deckirish snowmen on the farm May 2013 framed

                                   Taken in January 2009, during  a visit down south.

Some of the Girls on The Farm Down South

                                                            A bit of snow in 2013.


Ralph in wet weather gear #1


Some post-processing fun with Out of Bounds ( OOB)

                                     Ralph and his trusty mate.

Ralph and his dog OOB #2

Much love from us both, today and all year long.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Other things may change but we start and end with family”

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Night and Morning Skies


We  had spectacular skies the other night, ranging from softish pink to deepest red.

The next night, grey, smoky to steel, in a matter of minutes.

This morning the moon was right there, shining brilliance onto the lawn and trees. Nights with broken sleep, or very little sleep at all, means I am  awake very early, and this morning managed to get outside ( not cold at all), and see that moon behind our tall trees.

This was taken at 8.15 p.m. to the West,  the brilliant red faded fast.red sky at night #1

The next night, 15th March, 7.44 p.m. again looking to the West.

Sky at night #2

This morning, the moon shone so brightly, this is slightly west of direct North, at 4.30 a.m. Settings on my Cannon 550D… f3.5,  1/20 sec., 18mm.,  ISO 6400, remote shutter, using a beanbag balanced on the outdoor tall wood-box. Just too tired to set up the tripod!!!

Early morning sky

Later on the Eastern sky showed promises of a fine day, the cyclone has travelled south, we missed the rain, gale winds,  and had no damage, unlike Northland and Auckland areas.  It has gone down south, hope Josh and Mike have a calm flight home from Christchurch to Rotorua, The Oceania MTB  Championship races were held at Mt Hutt yesterday.

morning sky in the East, March 16th

We are having broken sleep and worrying days, Hugh has a spinal   problem , that has not been successfully diagnosed. Pain, that has become constant,  severe , and last Friday it was crippling both in severity and effect., he needed another ambulance trip to ED. Entonox,  then Morphine, I am hoping the arranged MRI ( a lovely lady doctor  who was very attentive and thorough) will happen very soon. He is using crutches almost all day now, so hard for an active outdoors man.We have had some/ just a few , laughs this last week, and are so thankful for hospital staff, friends, family, their love . Now, when I ring to tell them, the first answer is “ Is it his heart or back?”, relief  when not his heart, but the unseen and unknown is still scary.

Quotation of the day, from Yasunari Kawabata,

“ Palm of the Hand Stories”

The true joy of a moonlit night is something we no longer understand.

Only the men of old, when there were no lights, could understand the true joy of a moonlit night.”

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 10 March 2014

Update on Sleep and Heart


Hugh has been well since Thursday, but we realise that with this last episode, life has changed, specially in the “camping alone”  department. This will have a huge review in the coming weeks. Sleep, the lack of it, has a huge influence on daily activities. I am having an       “ afternoon snooze”   every day, and hope the pattern of a full night’s sleep will return soon .

Meantime we have so much to be thankful for. Your words, emails,  and more, I thank you so much, with all my heart,  this has helped me through  the worrying days , as Barb said,  we are one “ International family” , and this is so true.

I am thinking of the people on board the Malaysian Airlines plane, and all their families. Caring thoughts  for them all. no words are adequate for a  disaster like this.

Some photos of a friend’s flowers, and another friend’s little hen, maybe a few bright spots in a very sad and worrying week.

Heather's Hydrangea


Dahlia flower


Mary-Ann's   little hen

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“When you have friends, it is like flowers having sunshine”

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 7 March 2014

Beeps and whistles, all night long.


We had a slight hiccup last night,  we phoned Annette with Birthday Wishes, Hugh walked to the chair, and had chest pain, sudden, no warning at all.

The nitro spray eased it   only  slightly, so the usual Ambulance Call    “ 111” was made. A lovely lady Jo-Anne, arrived very quickly, set up her equipment, did Blood Pressure,  O2 sats, another puff under his tongue, and we made the decision that I would go in the ambulance as well.She was fairly sure Hugh was not having a heart attack, more than likely angina, but when it is like this, can be the pre-cursor for something more  serious.

Ron… I kept thinking of you all this time.

Admitted to ED, assessed, blood tests, lots more sticky patches for a more detailed ECG.  a lovely young   doctor from Scotland , and yes, he knows Cambuslang, south of Glasgow, where my Mum was born.

It’s a very small world indeed.

After midnight, Hugh was moved to a larger room, I was the very lucky recipient of the ONLY  lazyboy chair in ED. Did I look tired?stressed? old and grey? all of these??? More ECG printouts, more beeping of the machines, slowly the morning edged its way to daylight.Beeps to the left, to the right, moans and groans of a lady in pain all night long, and did I mention, I was in a room, maybe not a bedroom, but never-the-less a room, with 3 other men as well as Hugh??? All night long.

Finally about 7.45, the Scottish doctor arrived again, discharge form in hand,   diagnosis of angina,  …he has done a referral to the cardiologist, and to our GP. and strict instructions, if this happens again, this is what you do!!! So reassuring to know that I was right to call the ambulance, and decide to go to hospital.

Kevin, our wonderful friend, when I rang him before we left in the ambulance,  to ask if he would come and bring us home, said YES, and any time, no matter if at 2 a.m.

At 8.30 a.m. he arrived, a silver chariot, doors opened, and we were  chauffeured home .

A very quiet day today, family and friends to ring, and some much needed sleep.

The night sky had a special enchantment tonight .I have so much to be thankful for.

A view to the west

westerly view from the front lawn

A view to the north.

a smidgen of the moon tonight

Quotation of the day  author unknown

“You can’t always wait for the perfect moment ,           it might never arrive .”

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow


Yesterday, the sky in the late afternoon, looking to the west

late afternoon sky in the west

Today, rain,  misty, cool, and grey skies.

rainy afternoon

Next year’s firewood, growing taller every month.

Next year's firewood

The wood box is full, kindling all split, and  our first fire for this year, summer has gone, autumn lasted such a short while, and today is  very wintery.  I  do like this  room, cosy in the winter, windows all open in the summer, super natural light for sewing, a good book to read, coffee on hand, laptop and next sewing project   on my desk,  perfect bliss.

Winter fire in March

Let the rain fall, the wind blow, we are so cosy inside,  tomorrow a birthday for our older daughter. The year she was born, it was summer right up until May, I can remember wearing cotton frocks for so many months.Where is this “ Global Warming”?

Happy Birthday Annette, we love you so much, enjoy your day with Mike, Josh and Danielle, all our loving  wishes  for  you, laughter,  love, sunshine and happiness,  tomorrow,  and every day .

Happy Birthday  Annette

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Cherish your family and your friends”

Greetings from Jean