Central Plateau, North Island

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

Thursday 26 December 2019

Santa gave me a new MacBook. !!!

Hello to all my friends, and so many thanks for the wishes for our Dani. She is home, no surgery, inconclusive is the verdict. however a watch and wait for now.
This morning, Boxing Day down here, all the sales start. And as I had been looking at a new laptop for some time, Hugh suggested we go shopping this morning. The usual mad crowds everywhere, but I went in with the product number, and all the details.
So this is a totally new way for me, lots to learn, no photos loaded yet, and Facebook didn't want to know me in my original name or email.
However the plus's are many, and in time I will master/ conquer this new wonder.
Quotation of the day, author unknown

Make the most of today, plan for tomorrow, 
and be thankful for the sunrise every morning

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday 24 December 2019

"Twas the Night Before Christmas

And all through the house, there was turmoil.
The  baking was done and packed up, the parcels were wrapped, the lawn was mown, Grandson called in to collect the gifts and baking to go North, then the phone rang.
Our grand-daughter is in hospital with suspected appendicitis.  Scans, blood tests, and admitted for observation!!! So we will all have a sleepless worrying night.
However, for many families, Santa will visit,  others will have tears as they have lost homes in Australia, loved ones in accidents,  and others not able to be together.
Down here I am so thankful for our  home, our friends, and all my wonderful blog friends so many miles away.
This blurry sunflower is bright and beautiful. 
I hope for you all, your day is also bright, full of love and happiness.
Season's Greetings to each one, with all Good Wishes for the New Year.

May 2020 be kind, may dreams come true, and friendships continue.

Quotation of the day ,from a friend

" Plan for tomorrow, live for today"

Greetings from Jean.

Friday 20 December 2019

I can see "The End " is in sight

At last the walls are all painted, waiting for a sunny day to get some photos.We have had rain and cold mornings and nights.
The sewing is almost all done, 3 shrugs/ponchos/ or some other new name have been done in a huge hurry and sent off to the far south, as  our younger daughter  recovers from shoulder surgery.
The flowers continue to bloom, some  were getting wind blown and had to be saved from the outside weather. We planted about 40 Gladioli, and they are all starting to bloom.

The Hollyhocks are still growing taller, another white one is in flower, and a beautiful pink has these gorgeous colours.

This tall one has white flowers, difficult to see against the grey sky.

There is a bee feeding on the pink forget-me-not.

A friend who lives in the Bay of Plenty grows Day Lilies, and some years ago I had this one, thought it was lost, and yesterday it had a huge bud.That wonderful deep colour.Burgundy maybe?

Then, just look at this, the dust sheets are off, the motor is ready to be wired up again, and the " Red Snappers" are waiting. I am hoping the sparky can alter the handles and have them at the needle end. If all fails, I will try the Bernina there, knowing I will be able to do only very small items.

We will have  a very quiet Christmas, one daughter has been up and gone home, the other will come down after New Year. I am hoping Grandson will take all the northern  parcels with him  on the 24th. Baking still to do, and the library needs a visit, time to put my feet up with a good book handy.

Quotation of the day, from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in 1877,

" The holiest of all holidays  are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart:
The secret anniversaries of the heart.

Greetings from Jean

Saturday 14 December 2019

I turned my back for a moment

And look what happened in the garden. Those tall Hollyhocks have bloomed
The most delicate white with a palest green centre in each petal, then the contrast as the deepest burgundy red showed its glory.

Nature shows the glorious shades, so beautiful.

These started off as tiny plants about 4 inches high, I had doubts that they would grow. Look at them now.

Inside  , a little more painting has been done, the long arm quilting frame is dusted off and ready for the electrician to come and tackle the handle wiring. I am excited to think I might actually get to try and use it soon.

Quotation of the day, from Charles  Stanley

" Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on what we're waiting for"

Greetings from Jean

Thursday 12 December 2019

The mess and the Garden

Life continues, Hugh's laptop is larger than mine so the keyboard is a challenge.

When we came here a year ago, there was NO garden at all , 2 maples, one lime tree, one lemonade tree, bare dirt at the front, and a cherry tree by a palm.
added loads of soil and compost and mix, put in an edging and now it is showing so much colour. The lily has multiple heads, and the hollyhocks at the back are about 8 foot tall.

The tall tree was there, but now has Dianthus at the front, Foxgloves, Lychnis, Gaura, and other small plants to fill it all in.

It was a  bit difficult to get the light  and shadow right,  but there are tall pink forgetmeot,Watsonia, more Lychnis, some lobelia, and gladioli just starting to bloom

This is the most beautiful flower right now, a Japanese Iris, a  plant gifted from a new friend, and has already had 3 stems with 5 blooms.

No post would be complete without the ginger Boris making an appearance. He has coped fairly well with the move, but does stray over the street.

I will not spoil the garden views with photos of all the  dust covers and paint pots, they can wait until tomorrow

Meantime, thank you all SO much for the lovely comments, it is so good to be back, I think the 
year of moving, adjusting, and having workmen doing alterations and more took its toll. 

There is one wall in the lounge to paint, it has been filled with whatever the painter slaps on then sands off, the primer coat is on, and next will be a lovely grey. Half Alabaster, a Resene colour, and we have used that in the other lounge and the hall

Quotation of the day, author unknown

" Look beyond the rain and see the rainbow"

Greetings from Jean,

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Where have I been???

Hello friends across the world. 

I am still here, but life was busy, then my laptop ran into some  minor, then huge problems, the mess and  dust overwhelmed me, so I took a wee holiday.

I am now using Hugh's laptop so no photos today, I will  load some very soon.
The painter is almost all done, he has one room, walls and skirting boards, one last coat on skirting boards in the hall, and a lovely clean palish grey is wonderful after mustard wallpaper. White trims all through, and I need to pick some new curtains.
However!!!!! We looked at fabric and the one I really liked was so expensive, ending up over $2000 for the fabric, about $800 for the lining. So we are looking again, and maybe in March when the kitchen will be tackled, they can be finalised.
I have been reading all your news, snow, ice, cold days and nights, then here in NZ, flowers blooming, rivers flooding, and yesterday a tragedy as White Island had a massive eruption. Many there were tourists and the tour guides and operators,  so far  the outlook for those who survived is not good, I cannot  imagine the horror as it happened so quickly.

I have some sewing to finish before Christmas, 3 bags that will be going back to Australia for a friends daughter and his 2 sons. 

Thank you for all your enquiries, we are both well,  I will see how long I can cope with Hugh's bigger laptop. the keyboard is larger than mine, and a MacBook Air or Pro might be a late Christmas present,
Do many of you  use blogger on an iMac, or MacBook? I will need to consult the IT man in our family when he is on holiday.
Quotation of the Day, author unknown

When you want a rainbow in your life, listen to the rainfall first

Greetings from Jean.

Thursday 8 August 2019

It must be time, the Builder Said.....

Today the storage shelves were installed, a wall hanging or two have adorned the wall and the big cabinet, and already the shelves are filling up with plastic bins.
This is how it was, divided off from what was a bedroom , on the other side , this way from the broom is a short hall, with the freezer and a new cabinet for linen. At the far end, on the other side, is a half bathroom with a toilet, vanity, and storage in what was the wardrobe.
Both bathrooms have new windows, aluminium frames with  double glazed heavy duty glass,  retro fitted into the  original wooden frames. They are fantastic!!!

This is looking in from the hallway door, I have the Tibouchina flower wall hanging temporarily there, I hope to find a larger one and have it up permanently. On the large cabinet on the front left side,  another wall hanging, from Sandra over at mmm quilts

The shelves  are heavy duty white melamine, and I LOVE it all so much . Those holes where the uprights are screwed in for extra holding, have been filled and tomorrow get sanded and painted.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes, and enquiries if I am AOK. Life has been busier then I could have imagined, and between the plumber, who was here on Tuesday to install a wonderful new tub, like this one, courtesy of the internet, the lino man who laid new vinyl in the laundry, and out to the front door, the painter, who is very particular, and the builder, I have been too involved to post anything here. I have left comments and caught up with the news here and on Facebook. Some sad news  from the Northern friends in N.S. as Jim farewells his Dad today, Thursday down here, tomorrow on Thursday, Canada time.  Another friend has a family member not well, so my thoughts are and have been flying up to you all.
 Quotation of the day, author unknown

 "True friends are like stars, they are always there even when the sky is so dark "
Greetings from Jean

Sunday 23 June 2019

The Beothuk Flimsy Saga

 The Beothuk Quilt along hosted by Sandra has been a smashing success, if you go to her pages and see the parade, there are stunning quilts, blocks and flimsies  there.

This morning all I had to do was one final  border seam, then we had a power cut for THREE hours. However my darling man hooked up the generator, ran a long lead and bingo, I managed to sail in under the finishing line.  Here are some stars and the flimsy.

Nothing is in the right order, but this is one more superb QAL from Sandra, Read her words and see where the original Beothuk idea came from.
Meantime, I can relax, have a coffee, and sit by the fire. Grey skies, a ginger cat on the bed, and the garden looks great, alterations coming up the home straight, just the laundry and hall to be done now. 

Quotation of the day, from C.S. Lewis
" You are never too old to set a new goal 
or to dream a new dream"
Greetings from Jean

Monday 10 June 2019

Snippets from Home and from a Friend

Quite a long time ago, a wonderful friend  lived opposite us in the Bay of Plenty. She had a great sense of humour, still does, and occasionally would send me some lines.
Last year she flew, from Townsville, to Brisbane, to NZ, and had a few days with us. We laughed, and cried when she went back. Next year, 2020, will be her next visit, but… you know who.. gave me this a long time ago.
I, the willing, having been lead by the knowing,
 into doing the impossible, for the ungrateful,
and having done so much for so long with so little
am now highly qualified to do anything with
absolutely nothing.
Meantime, the alterations are almost all done, the dust has settled nicely over everything in every room. New curtains are waiting, china and books need a thorough clean, and my fabric rests  in a wonderful jumble on the settee. The towels are on a big chair, the bookcase has more plumbing essentials, but we can see the end is coming closer!!
The two bears have gone south and are hanging on the wall. Thanks Dione  at Clever Chameleon for the inspiration, the others are waiting to be made into a quilt, that will also go to join these ones

I am waiting, not patiently at all, to get fabric and all else nicely arranged in the storage room. It should be all painted and finished  on Friday.
Quotation of the day, from Marie Kondo
“ Life truly begins
after you have put your house in order”

Greetings from Jean.

Thursday 16 May 2019

A Day to Remember

As Grandparents we have  so many memories of the little ones, the day they are  born, the first steps, maybe kindergarten, holidays with us, growing up, school, then University.
But nothing prepared me for the elation, joy and pride as our grandson graduated with a Bachelor of Science.
 Photos to come as soon as they are forwarded on.
Thanks to the Victoria University live view link, we were able to see Josh walk onto the stage, and receive his " Piece of Paper"as so many call it. That scroll is so important , and we hope he continues with the Master's years as well as he has done for the last 3 years.
At home the mess continues, Gib stoppers have been and finished, WooHoo, the wet floor shower might get vinyl and floor and walls done at the weekend. No more walking along the footpath to our wonderful neighbours for a shower!!! Painting starts next week, and then the storage room shelves will be built and filled ( To Capacity)!!!
I  truly sympathise with anyone that is in the throes of renovations!!!

Quotation of the day, from Eleanor Roosevelt

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"

Greetings from Jean

Thursday 25 April 2019

We Will Remember Them

25th April, 2019, Anzac Day.

They shall not grow old,  as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Fabric Everywhere, by the metre!!! Or Three Bags Full!!!

On Easter Monday my favourite store for Merino Fabric, at Levin, had a 20% discount. I checked their Facebook page, and rushed out to Hugh.
" Do you want to go to Levin this morning" Yes, that's fine." Good, I want to get some merino for your winter tops."
A while later, after I looked at every possible fabric there, we came home with a huge bag full. Photos another day.
Meantime Sandra over at https://www.mmmquilts.com/2019/04/beothuk-star-qal-cutting.html ( How do I change  the link to your blog name on Blogger, Sandra, I could do it so easily  on Open  Live Writer)) is running another wonderful QAL, The Beothuk Star. Hop over to the link and find out how wonderful this is going to be. We have options for fabric choices, and it is easy to follow along, no rushing at all.
A while ago I was the lucky recipient of some fab Island Batik fabrics from Dione over in Oz, after her man chose my comment out of many. Those strips have been on display and I look and rearrange so often.
I have chosen 4 strips in greens, a turquoise, a pale green for the background, and a stunning multi coloured green, purple, teal and black for the POP colour. If the background fabric doesn't stretch enough, I have a floral one to add for the border. The background looks  very   pale here, it is really a tad deeper shade of pale sea green. And the turquoise is slightly deeper. We, well I, have made new Indian Cotton full length curtains for our bedroom, and this will be perfect on the bed.

The plumbers and builders will be back on Monday, to start more alterations. Paint samples adorn the kitchen table, vinyl samples lie on the carpet in the lounge, and the plumbing goodies will arrive this week, and I hope will get stored outside meantime.
Just to  add to the confusion, Stephanie Jacobson has a BOM ongoing, I have found some more batik to make more HST, and the blocks will be a distraction from the mess and noise.
Quotation of the day, author unknown

" True friends are like beautiful fabrics, treasure them,
 and keep  them close in your heart and  eyes ."
Greetings from Jean.

Saturday 20 April 2019

The Mess of Alterations

We are in a mess, no ceilings in places, walls out, doors off, one replaced, and carpet taken up, so I can see the Rimu floorboards. They would have been laid in about 1951.
The two builders work so well together, laughing, chattering and discussing the finer points of all carpentry matters. We had a folding platform with a drop-saw on the back lawn, lots of power tools all the same brand and using the same batteries, and then along came the new one, a power screw  driver . I was fascinated with this, so easy to use.
" Do you want to try it"...No thanks, it looked very dangerous. Their one was a similar one to the Internet photo below.  I guess it will be used once the gib board goes onto the framing.This is what will be the storage room, with shelves on the left hand side.

Hitachi Cordless Collated Screw Driver 18v (Bare Tool)

  The smaller bathroom is taking shape, wiring is in place and it too will get lined, painted, an, can you imagine  a toilet for over $1000, not even a heated seat at that  price,   We left it there!!!
This is a view from the hall, of what is a short hall, and the door into the smaller bathroom.The windows will be replaced with safety glass, and it will be obscure at the lower half!!!

Vanity units come in all shades, styles, and sizes, white seemed to be popular and will not date.
Meantime the gardens are looking good, veges are growing, and the flowers continue to show lovely colour. Nicotiana, the Impatiens at the back continues to show off those bright pink blooms, and slightly to the right the Dianthus continue all round the edge to the front gate.

The white Gaura is delicate, and the Maple transplanted so well, it has grown so much.

Petunias show off in bright pink, and other shades further along, Day Lily leaves look good, and the Gossamer Grasses are slowly taking place.

The Nerines are almost finished, and bulbs, freesias, and other green spikes are starting to show.
Spring will give us a garden full of colour.
Thank you for all your lovely words after the Christchurch tragedy. A lot of families are struggling to manage, and I am hoping the quilts will comfort them.

My thoughts are with each one of you when life is not easy, illness hovers, and a loved pet is not well.

I hope that each day, you will find some  sunshine,   some  laughter and a heap of love.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

" A garden with flowers and greenery is like a heart full of love"

Greetings from Jean.

Thursday 4 April 2019

Our Days Continue as Usual

Thank you all SO much for your loving words, and thoughts. Christchurch is not the same, and for those families, the change is huge. There has been a massive response to the request for Healing Heart Blocks. From all those furthest places to nearby, they are arriving daily.  I have sewn a quilt top in greens, some  other blocks in 4 patch and  multi colours that will be able to alternate heart blocks, and be for the first responders and others who have played a major part, both on that day and since then.

The top with multi coloured hearts was sewn a while ago, waiting for the right time. These will go over to Ashurst this week to add to those already there at Angels in Gumboots.

The Love with a twist from Dione is going along well, they are admittedly still on the baking paper, but are all looking happy.

The alterations for the storage  room and bathroom are going ahead well, today the builder and window men will arrive at 7.30 a.m. Hope it is a little warmer, we were 9C in the sheltered porch earlier. So many choices, lino, wall paint, toilets? How do you choose one of those without looking and trying??? Guess I will just have to be brave and sit on each one in the plumbing store!!! I am not asking Hugh to try before we buy!!!

So I have been a little busy, just not on the blog,  my motivation needs to be boosted. And Sandra over at Musings of a Menopausal Melon is starting a new QAL, I cannot resist as I looked at the stunning Island Batik strips that arrived from Dione. Purples and greens in shades and depth of colour,all I need is the paler background fabric.

Quotation of the day,  from Lewis Carroll

" If you don't know where you are going,
any road will get you there"

Greetings from Jean

Friday 15 March 2019

Thank you, thank you.

I was truly overwhelmed by all your loving and caring words for Felicity. I read them over again many times. Also those who left words on my Facebook page, the same. Love and care know no distances.

Sammy’s Mum and Dad are down south right now for an Austin vintage rally. I will load a photo of him when they come back.

Meantime, safe, quiet, peaceful New Zealand has been shaken to the very centre of all our hearts with a terrorist attack.

Two Mosques in Christchurch, the people there shortly after midday, in prayer, were attacked by terrorists. At the moment, there are 40 dead, more  that  are seriously injured, the city was in lockdown for about 5 hours.

There were also 2 vehicles with attached IED devises.. These were disarmed, and I pay tribute to all our police staff, ambulance staff, the public hospital, and traffic officers.There will be many more who played a huge part  to help and save people in today’s massive tragedy.

I have several quilting and sewing projects on the go, the last Bear was sewn,  the  Love with a Twist animals are slowly taking place.The garden has some more flowers and shrubs, and colour brightens the front fence line.

I send all my thoughts,prayers and hope to those in Christchurch.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Tomorrow is not promised, love your family

and  friends , tell them these words

and appreciate today”

Greetings from Jean.

Tuesday 12 February 2019

Felicity, December 1998 to February 2019

Our   so much loved Silver Tabby  Felicity, slipped away in my arms at the Vet Clinic. They were amazed at her age, during her life she has seen others arrive, leave, move off somewhere  else, and now just Boris is left to play by himself.
 This was in June 2018, maybe one of the last photos at our previous home.

occasionally she walked with us to the woodshed, this was quite a way for her short legs. We always thought she was a little overweight, but once at a cattery we realised that compared with other cats, she just had very short legs.

When in amongst the trees, there were plenty of autumn leaves to play in, and this was her favourite bathroom area.  The place had to be " Just Right" and careful selection was made, often moving several times to find the right spot. Serious stuff, and then she always scampered back to the house.

In 2012, there was a baby blackbird along the fence line, and finally Felicity plucked up enough courage to investigate. She came closer and closer, very curious, until it  cheeped, or maybe pecked her nose, She jumped back, and the little bird was safe.
  She was a true Sun Follower, and each day would find that sunny spot, moving round  to find the best spot. This was in 2011.
The last week or so, she has slept on our bed, a little nest between our pillows. Boris looked at the empty spot, muttered a few words , or meows, and walked away.  
When we went to the Vet Clinic, I was so worried, as all our ground here is like concrete, not suitable to dig a grave, and our friend's place is equally  hard. When we arrived, a couple came out, and in the back tray of their little van was the white box with " SAMMY " written on it. They were distraught, so I hugged this total stranger. I said " We are doing the same, but I am so worried about where we will bury Felicity? " Sue replied, " Would you like to come to our home and bury her with Sammy?"
Are you sure? Yes, said Andrew.
So we did, and their home is  where my dear friend Judith once lived. Andrew had dug a deep grave,  at least 5 feet, and just the right size, Sammy was lowered in on a strap, and then Felicity. The lovely neighbour handed over a spray of red roses ,and Hugh will make  a name plaque with both their names together.
Home is so quiet, and Boris will look for her for some time.
Toto, Finn, Poppy, Tom, Max and Basil would all be waiting for her, what a welcome.
Quotation of the day,author unknown

" I am waiting at the Rainbow Bridge for you"

Greetings from Jean.

Friday 1 February 2019

The "Ayes" have the vote

Or should that be " The Eyes"? I had a visit to our optometrist this week,and while waiting  I looked for some smart new frames. Found some that really suited, and in I went. The frames are staying right there, as he cannot upgrade my lens strength any more, the cataracts have taken over in full force. So a referral to the hospital for some eye surgery.BUT, there will probably, or more likely definitely be a wait.
 Meantime the draftsperson, who was a delightful lady, has come, and looked at the possible plans for a new bathroom and a huge storage walk in cupboard, more like a room longer than wider. Things are happening. Maybe not quite like this, but it will be spacious and practical.
 I did ask our plumber if a wet floor shower was really the way to go and he replied " Jean, you and Hugh are both old, get one"!!!  I suggested that he drove out the gateway quite quickly.  Photo courtesy of the Internet.

Image result for wet floor bathroom photos

We bought a new stove, Hooray, no more burnt biscuits or banana loaves that stayed so soggy in the middle, I gave them to a friend for her little piggies.
Some snow photos,of our home,a road a few hours away, and on the farm down south.
Snow on Takapari Road, Ruahine Ranges, August 2011

Our previous home in August 2011.Magical!!!
Down on the farm September 2010. This qualifies for a B&W photo!!

Snow down south  April 2015, at 7 a.m. 

I had to show my Northern friends that we do get snow down here, not as much as you have at the moment, I was amazed at the low temperatures, Aurora in Illinois, -33, are you coping OK up there?-15C at Rochester N.Y., Denver warming up at 6C, then down to Florida, a balmy 21C. We have a cooler day today, about  26C in the shade. After several days of 30cPlus, we are thankful.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

"Life is all about balance, like a good diet, variety  between work and rest is good"

Greetings from Jean.

Sunday 27 January 2019


The 400 error is still lingering and may have taken up permanent residence.  So I am now back to doing a post totally in Blogger format.
The garden has grown in leaps and bounds, well, with ute loads of compost and garden mix, plants and pots, and the lonely gossamer grass has some friends.

Dione over at The Clever Chameleon has started her " Love with a Twist" and the lovely balloon shapes quickly form a #1 Purple Poodle. I know the last 3 months of the Bears are still to be stitched, but they are on fabric and ready to go!!!
I am still deciding  the background fabric,pale or dark?

Now Blogger changes the font colour, insists on underlining the words, so I am almost in as big a muddle as having  no photos.
Never mind, photos or font colours, life continues happily.
Quotation of the day, author unknown

" Don't ignore all those problems,find a solution"

Greetings from Jean.