Central Plateau, North Island

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

Sunday 24 December 2017

The Tiniest Christmas Tree of All

We had pine trees standing tall, then they were felled, cut and split. How soon one goes from a beautiful green, upright, growing tree. to firewood that will give us so much warmth in the winter next year.Trees waiting

The heap of firewood

The pine cones remind me of my childhood,collecting them with Dad  driving the  tractor, throwing them onto the trailer, and then later in winter onto the open fire. Out here in the hot sun, they crackle and pop, and I wonder if the seeds will grow.

Pine cones

I cut a few small twigs off the Lawsoniana tree, and stuck them into a brass flower spike. A  few baubles, some red fancy fabric, a few parcels, and we are all set for the 25th.This must be a record for the tiniest tree for Christmas!!

And there at the left hand side is “ Doozy Lucy” a  cat given to us from Tonya, our darling Jeanette’s daughter, in memory of Jeanette. Lucy is a part of our lives now, thank you so much.

christmas tree so tiny, December 2017Jeanette on  the fence

This year seems to have flown by, with sadness for so many of my friends, here and overseas, joy for others, and for me, new friends,  new challenges, and a lot of UFO’s to finish.

January…The South Island and part of the North Island as seen from the International Space Station, We live about where the brown part is between the fins.

South Island and lower North Island as  seen  from International Space Station

February saw me with crutches and a knee brace, the final decision was maybe a small tear in a ligament.

The Knee Brace!!!

Some partial blocks, still waiting to be used.

Some part blocks #1

March and the daylight is getting shorter. Japanese anemones in early morning light.

Japanese Anenomes in early sunlight

April, and Josh was in the South Island for a field trip, with others from Victoria University. Lake Rotoiti, in the St Arnaud area. Well known for mosquitoes, as we met all their forefathers in 1986!!!

St Arnaud Lake Rotoiti Josh Lee

In April or so,I was one of the guest bloggers to do a tutorial. Hootie Owl was my choice, and since then one has flown to California on a bag for Rachael, and Inger has one as a small wall hanging. I could not send a parcel for R without including one for Inger as well. Inger knew that the parcel was sent, but hers was a surprise.

Applique owl

This was posted to California. This one too.

Rachel's Bag 2017

Inger's bag and owl wall hanging 2017

May saw the start of many frosts, fire lit at night, and our darling Ginger Boy happy to sleep inside at night.

Max asleep May 2017

In June, I finished the QAL with Sandra, at  mmm quilts ;This was a wonderful event, with sadness at the  end  when Sandra’s son in law tragically passed away.

Freefall quilt #2 among the winter grasses

July, I now have a short arm Gammill machine on a wooden Jarrah Frame.Some TLC to be done, here it is in our garage.

front view

August, goodies in the mail from Karen at Tuna  Quilts, travels and Eats. My name was picked out by random generator, and much later I read that Karen was so happy that international readers were included in the give-away. I use those long pins every time I sew or quilt!!!


Then Hugh had a disastrous fall, fractured the Acronium bone in his shoulder. Ambulance, a friend, and the wonderful volunteer fire  brigade all came to his rescue.No surgery, but he needed to be careful not to use his right arm for some time!!!

Fire Brigade, body board and Hugh, August 2017 #2

September, still not fully recovered, ( a small tear in muscles near  my ribs)  retail therapy is so healing. This pattern just happened to hop into my download files. I love it.

Elephant & I cropped

October, spring time, and the cherry blossoms hang down in their beautiful pinks. Pale to darker, so pretty

Cherry Blossom 2017 #4

November, the Wayward Transparency blocks are done, not joined, and I still need to decide if I will add a border. Yvonne over at Quilting Jetgirl  had a wonderful QAL, instructions galore so easy to follow, and a Facebook page where we shared and compared, helped and admired.

Wayward Transparency blocks in mauve and purple

December, and  11 of the 12 blocks in the QAL, I  Wish You a Merry QAL

Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter had a fantastic 12 block QAL, with goodies to be given away, help if needed, and again a Facebook page to share and more.The last block was with Christmas Lights, I had to redo the hanging cord, but did really like the rick rack,That has another place to be used later on. on another project.

Block #12 with heavy rick rack

Then I found this lovely ribbon with words at the LQS.

The blocks have all been trimmed and need to be put together. On hold till after tomorrow.

Block #12, Christmas lights

Sunrise in December 2014, I wonder if we will get that glorious colour  tomorrow,

sunrise 4.26 a.m. on 7th December

I have had a wonderful blogging year, my posts have been sparse at times, but life intervenes.

Our families will be home, in Rotorua, as the grandies are working on 24th and 26th, very early starts at 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. and the family down south have others staying  with them , with Ann and the others,  it will be a very different time together  this Christmas without Russell,  there are  more wedding preparations going on,  and  we travel down in February, for celebrations and more in March.

I wish all my friends a Joyous Christmas, health, happiness, love and laughter.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ May Peace  be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through”

Greetings from Jean.

Friday 1 December 2017

Pigeon Post is winging love to Co. and a parcel to Ca.

The other day a pigeon hopped his merry way  slowly down our drive, past the trees, and into the glass-house. He was struggling with a very droopy wing.  he could not fly and finally I managed to capture him in a trout net, and he is happily living in the cat cage, in the spare bedroom, where it is cool and safe. On Monday we are taking him to Dawn, the local bird rescue lady. A good examination didn’t show any  bare bones,so he is an excellent  ambassador for a message and a parcel.Pigeon at our place December 2017

First job for him is to carry a message of love to Colorado, for R and his family as they wait for more results and possible treatment. KB, I am sending a   message  of love and hope, with so many caring thoughts for you all. R, you handsome fellow, those ears, the loving eyes, and your shining black coat, let all be well with you.

Next up, he has a heavier load as he takes a parcel to California. Inger, the bag is on its way!1 I thought it was fairly safe to post a photo here, Another R( not her full name)!!! is the recipient, I hope this will give her lots of happiness and good use. R loves animals and birds of all kinds, so the owl was a  good start, and the purple batik fabric has cats outlined in a golden colour.

Rachel's Bag 2017

Pockets inside for phone, goodies and an iPad.Pockets in Rachel's bag

One last photo before he flies away.

He is off to California for Rachel

We have been having very hot days,for us here in November. The firewood work is  tiring!!!  Friends helping make so much difference to the work-load.  I am sure that next winter, we will be so thankful.

the six pines

The last tree, #1 on the previous photo, did not fall the right way and landed in the stream. Along came Richard in the huge 32 ton digger, and in a matter of a minute or so,lifted it up and dumped it alongside #2.

Tree #1 in the stream

Richard in the 32 ton digger #1The digger jaws #3

This is actually the first tree felled, but #6 in my photo. Limbed, and cut into rounds, They are now split and heaved onto the pile to dry out over summer.

Tree #1, cut into rounds.

The thinner branches have all been trimmed and are saved for cutting into smaller pieces for the chip heater, it heats our hot water in winter, and the solar panels take over in summer.

We save the pinecones, the tiny branches are piled up waiting to go through the mulcher/shredder/chipper.. Nothing is wasted!!!

Pinecones, 2017smaller branches, 2017

tree trimmings waiting to be mulched

Hot days for us in November, 29.6 Celsius, and hotter at times. I think of my Northern  friends, preparing for winter, getting out the merino clothing, winter tyres on the vehicles, and furnaces switched on.

Christmas is approaching so fast, we will be home,and having a very quiet day, maybe visiting a friend at night. Our southern family will be staying home, the Northern  family  have our grandies working so many days before and after the 25th, so I think they will be home too. I might save some, just a few,  of those hundreds of pine cones( the photo showed a small amount gathered up so far) and add some tinsel for fun.

Quotation of the day,  by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“ Friendship is a sheltering tree”

Greetings from Jean