Central Plateau, North Island

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

Thursday, 31 December 2020

The End of the Year 2020

 This has been a year  like no other, but blog friendships remain constant and true, as our distances across the  miles and oceans  are but a fraction of time as we write and talk.

I still have a lot, well, a massive pile of UFO to complete, and will wait until my eyes " Can See Clearly", as the song says. There have been  some wonderful quilt along blocks, some finished, the Tour Blocks of USA are continuing, and should finish in about July 2021.

I wish you all a Happy New Year, with health as it should be, families safe at their distance, and all doggies, cats, horses and fabric projects keeping you happy.

Here in the garden the flowers continue to show their glory.

Tall Hollyhocks and the lemon Lily tower above the other plants, standing a little to the right of our darling Moxy.

The white Hollyhock has the most delicate pink tinges.

These are so tall, and  will grow taller.Sheltered by our friends' garage, they have not needed stakes so far.

The Lily has about 30 buds, slowly unfolding.

Morning shadows as I ventured out earlier, we have birds in the one tall tree, and lots of orange Day Lilies scattered throughout, some will get dug up for friends soon.

Thank you all so much for your continued loving comments and words, our friendships cannot be described adequately, but if I try hard, words like " Unique, lasting, loyal, constant, true, caring and loving" come to mind.

May you all have a Happy New Year, with your families staying safe where-ever they live .

Quotation for today, author unknown, 

"Wishes for Health, Happiness and Memories filled with Love and Joy."

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 25 December 2020

25th December 2020

 Ans so the Christmas Day unfolded, with a  grey sky turning to blue and the sun rising in the East. The flowers in the garden continue to show their colours, and all is well.

I wish you all Season's Greetings, for a safe and Happy Christmas, travel restrictions mean so many of you will not have family visiting, but love travels across miles and oceans always.

The best present of all was given to me by a surgeon from Spokane, Washington. 2 weeks ago .  She is now at Whanganui Hospital in the Opthalmology Department The lovely lady looked into my eyes, and said I am on the list for cataract surgery. Probably within 3 to 4 months, so there is time for me to get all the fabric sorted, tidied up, and  prepare myself for  surgery. 

Thank you all so much for the continued friendship , this is something we all value, share, and treasure 

Quotation for today.

" May the gifts of Peace and Happiness be with you, wherever you live "

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 30 November 2020

QAL by the sea, in the year 2020

 This year there was another fantastic Quilt Along, By The Sea. We received a block each week, then after 4 blocks, had a link up party. The talented designers gave us some wonderful ideas along with their own colours, and now the grand finale has arrived. I have sailed up to the line at the last minute, rain today, more tomorrow so the photo is a little dark. My editing skills on the Macbook need some serious practice.

However, here is my rendition, with a look back at my Dad and his boat he built, " Lady Grae" a link to my Mum as her name was Grace but she was so often called Grae, the four corner blocks with ferns, reminding me of the NZ  fern logo so many of our sports people have on their uniforms, and the outer border, it reminded me of the Northern Lights, so a link to all my friends in the North

Quotation of the day

"Never leave anything until the last minute, that might be too late"

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Moxy's Story.

Thank you all so much from my heart for all your loving, caring and so thoughtful words. Moxy was such a vocal boy, and always told us when he was coming in, or going out, or just plain wanted a meal. A friend called in last Wednesday with these roses from her garden, we have shared our cats' lives and losses for some years now. Then on Friday his previous Mum called in, roses also from their garden.

 He has a long story that began in Australia in 2007, he was microchipped and registered at the Australian Animal Registry in August the same year. Soon, he was flown to New Zealand where he was a stud cat for 2 years or so. He HATED being kept in a crate, not sure how large it was, but maybe not much room to walk around,. He escaped several times, and when he was found, several miles away, the first owner said to the new ones, " You might as well keep him, I will have him castrated so you cannot use him  for breeding"

His new family moved to a country area ,  several miles from here, then back to our small township, and they are living 5 houses up the same street, just on the other side.

He was SO loved, and was named " Pat" as after being a crated stud cat, it took at least 2 years before they could pick him up or pat him, so it was PAT me if you can.He shared his home with other cats, and last Christmas his Mum and Dad were away for one night,. During that time some other animal came in, mauled one of the other cats badly, and Moxy fled. We did see  him wandering up and down our street, walking into gateways, coming to our back door, and we  wondered where he had lived. Many phone calls, internet and lost pet searches, but no luck at all. However  the local vet clinic had been notified, maybe his description was not matching their details.

Shortly after this he came in the back door, very cautious. He was hungry and so happy to have a feed. 

A few weeks later I took him to our vet clinic for a check up, as by this time he was sleeping inside. ' I don't suppose he has a microchip? "  I asked. The vet scanned him and sure enough, he did. A quick check up and the  registration number wasn't found in the New Zealand Registry.  I came home and did some research, looking at every registration site, and finally found his number, registered in August 2007, in Victoria.

Roll on another week or so, and one morning about 7 a.m. I walked up the street calling him, as he had wandered out. There he was with his previous Mum, she said " Are you calling your cat" Yes, I wondered where Moxy had gone. She replied " Well, actually he is our cat and we call him Pat" Oh dear, he should go home to you, and then she told me about the Christmas saga,. She thought he was too scared to go back and suggested we keep him. His Dad has since said " Well, I have never been dumped by a cat"!!!

He did go next door, and  loved our bird bath for a drink and almost a dip. Maybe his last photo in October.

On Tuesday afternoon, I saw him by our front gate, just sitting quietly. About 5 minutes later, I left the dinner cooking and looked down our drive.   I cannot describe my feelings, and thank you all so much again for caring, sharing our loss, and more.  Phone calls, emails and texts have all shown me how much  our family and my friends care, all over the world and here in NZ., Our friend Lance came and dug a grave, and Hugh has made a beautiful varnished name sign.

Life must continue, and after my Dad died, I had the honour of donating his bowling bag and set of outdoor bowls to the club he had been a member of for many years. The words I spoke went something like this...

 "Do not hide my name away, but speak of me with love,  continue to do what we once did together  and have memories of all our happy times."

Quotation of the day,

Memories are golden, store them safely, visit them every day, with joy and sadness mingled together.

Greetings from Jean .

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Moxy, July 2007_ 17th November 2020

 Late this afternoon we lost our darling Moxy, I found him lying by the side of our street. He  was probably hit by a car, no marks, and his little face looked like it always did.

Our home is so quiet, time will heal.

Meanwhile, I am well and thank you all so much for your words, emails, comments and inspiration to get me motivated again.

 I think the stent surgery  was really successful,  but I have taken longer to feel fit and confident to go walking again.

I have been doing some sewing, a Quilt Along with blocks featuring seaside scenes, and for all of you in USA, the  Around The Block, with each 6 inch block featuring something special from each state. This will take so many weeks, and  will no doubt get finished  well into next year. For each of these, the designers have given some outstanding and amazing designs,  The seaside blocks need to be assembled  by mid December,

Quotation for today, 

" Love unconditionally,  and  remember the  happiness of earlier days"

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Thank you, thank you all SO much

Hello friends, here in NZ and world wide.

Thank you all so very much from my  heart, my repaired and working heart, for all your loving, caring, thoughtful words .emails, and phone calls.
They have boosted me, and given me the assurance that love does conquer all.
I was talking to our son-in-law this week, he had a heart attack on 25th April, and has a stent in the same LAD,. I said I thought a few days at home and I would be bouncing back better than ever, like a spring chicken,BUT, that didn't happen. He is a whole lot younger, and he said the same.
So we are both taking one day at a time.
This was the view when I bravely looked out the window as we neared Wellington, on 19th June,  probably somewhere along the Kapiti coastline.
Before this it was mostly clouds.
The lovely young lady I met in the same room at Wellington went home to Nelson, and as I do, I wanted to post her something hand made. But she said " I don't need a little something Jean, your friendship is ample" However I like research, and should have been a detective or sleuth. I knew  that they lived south of Nelson, and the  type of business, so after consulting Yellow Pages, phoned the first one on the list.
"Hello, I am Jean in the North Island, This might be a really wild goose chase " Paul said, tell me. So I did.
How could I be so lucky to hit the jackpot first time, Kaz's partner's sister worked there. So now I had an address to post off the secret surprise. I sorted out some goodies from the " Spare Parts" department,  Fleece hat and matching neck warmers, mitts, phone charger holders for the staff, where Paul was so helpful, and off it went.
Then I got the phone call, 
"Jean, Corey came home and told me I had a present, and the others all got one too, Thank you SO, much, I am so spoilt "
Next thing, I see photos on Facebook of them all, but the funniest part was the banner beneath the desk at their work place.
" IMPORTANT, no claims after installation"
I had to laugh, does this apply to a heart valve transplant or a stent!!!

Just to add to the local drama, at the weekend I developed a constant cough, sore throat and mild fever. So arranged for a Covid Test. Let me tell you all, the swab  down your nose is no fun, the strong taste, the stinging of  whatever is used as a fixing agent, it was ghastly.
28 hours later, a phone call, negative result.Huge sigh of relief all round.

Next weekend I can now celebrate my 80th birthday ( How did that happen ) , a very small gathering at home, family can now arrive safely, and I can blow out some candles.
I think of how life can change in a flash, and how we share and care, I am so grateful 

The quote for today comes from Jake Bailey, the gallant student who faced a massive challenge  in 2015,   and underwent aggressive treatment for Stage 4 Burkitt non-Hodgkin's lymphona.
He was  Head Boy at Christchurch Boys High School, and came to the prize-giving in a wheelchair. He has written a book, is a public motivational speaker, and gives us all a huge lesson in life and how to face adversity  at the highest  level.

"So be gallant, be great, be gracious and 
be grateful for the opportunities that you have"

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

The week that went like this

Hello everyone,
I am home, recuperating, taking each day slowly, contrary to what I had thought would be the way after an angiogram and stent surgery. Come home, bounce out of bed, do some sewing, and be running to the mail box.Not so, but each day is getting easier. This was a good way to lose 5 kg, not where I want it to drop off, but never the  less, maybe a help for my heart.
Life is a slower pace, bruising still there, but I am so thankful for all the care and specialist treatment I have had.

Lots of medical detail,  and DRAMA,   if you are squeamish, skip to the end.

What I thought would be another one day trip to hospital turned out to be a 9 day stay,  a plane trip to Wellington hospital, and more.
 They told me last Friday at 7.30 a.m. I would be flown to Wellington, do NOT eat or drink anything from now on, the flight nurse ( who has done more than 500 medi flights) came in, made sure all the paper work was ready, and off I went in wheel chair through the ED, to the ambulance bay, to go to the airport.
This photo, courtesy of the Internet, of Wellington Regional Hospital.

Hugh and older daughter came to see me off.
The flight was calm, Wellington  airport wet and very windy, another ambulance trip to the hospital there, and settled into a cardiac ward.
IV lines checked, ECG and blood tests done again,  the scary consent form signed, as all the possibles are explained, the registrar said I didn't need to see the next lot of possibles,  after the words, Angiogram, then PCI  ( Percutaneous Coronary Intervention) but they were a bypass, and a blood transfusion.  I read them, we discussed them, and then off to the cath lab. Nursing staff stayed with me all the time, so reassuring.
Another photo courtesy of the internet, a Catheterisation Lab.

Into the theatre, surgeon asked if I had any questions, then explained the procedure.
Lots of meds into the line, including Midazolam, and more. My right arm was secured to an "outrigger splint" swabbed,  tied down to secure it, and the local then the catheter inserted.  Odd sensations as they threaded it all up through the artery, topped me up with pain relief, a lot of discussion about the placement,, the stent, the size,  more sensations,  more pain relief, then a while later a wriggle in my arm as the catheter was removed. I was awake the whole time, but the large monitor was down by my legs and I could only get a sideways view of the artery with the dye in.

 A short while in recovery, lots more patients there, maybe they had a similar procedure, A wrist band that is inflated to stop any arterial bleed is round my wrist, And that cut off all circulation,  a very sore hand and thumb, Gradually over several hours, the air is very slowly released, and a dressing covers the small hole.
One overnight stay, then flown back to Whanganui in the dark. The small plane is in a hangar, and the ambulance transfer is all done inside out of more rain and wind.
I need to be on anti-clotting medication for 12 months, so even if my name comes up for cataract surgery, CANNOT contemplate that at all. The stent was the longest used, into my Left Anterior Descending artery, the one that supplies the blood to the left front  side of my heart, and I  was  told that the longer the stent, the more likelihood of clots. I promised to be so good, and never stop taking all the meds I have to. This was an expensive undertaking, in a private hospital here about $25,000 all up including flights and procedures. Luckily mine was all  paid for by the government. One friend, a bright spark, said I have used up all her taxes , for this to be done!!!
In both hospitals I had great room mates, one dear young lady in Wellington, was there after a valve transplant, she was flown back to Nelson, and WOW, sent me a txt to say my plane was on the way, even before the staff had come to inform me. News travels fast between flight nurses, when you ask about another patient  plane transfer. Thanks so much Kaz, that was reassuring to know I would fly back that night.And equally glad to know you had arrived and were in Nelson Hospital.

I came home Sunday, and after the days away, the welcome from Moxy was so loving

 BUT, the real DRAMA  was on the Friday as I was leaving in the wheelchair,  the area was getting crowded, with another patient, two ambulance people, flight nurse,Hugh and daughter, so he stepped back out  of the way and fell. All ED staff came running, I am not sure how many checked him, getting him into another wheelchair, flight nurse telling me I had to go, all crying.
There is nothing  quite like this to take your mind off a flight in a small twin prop plane, specially when you do not like flying at  all, in any size plane.  A good cry once we were in the air,  then a stern talk to myself, Hugh will be OK, the air is calm, the pilot and co-pilot are so experienced,  and I did look out the window to see the sea and coastline as we neared Wellington.
So I left, Hugh had a CT brain scan , then total body Xrays. Thank goodness no bones were broken, but  so much bruising, 2 haematomas, and massive pain.
We hope to have district nurse, ACC help for showering and getting dressed, and  more, he is in a bad way, and not able to do much for himself, far less help me.
But, we are so thankful it was not worse.
I still ache where the catheter was inserted, but6no angina, lots of new meds, and so thankful both daughters have been here, looked after Hugh while I was away, and me now I am home One from Rotorua has gone home, the other from the far south will fly back tomorrow.
Friends have rallied round, housework done, firewood all stacked by the back verandah, laundry done too, how can you say thank-you in an adequate way.

Quotation of the day,

I cannot find any words that say it better than this, with a seagull perching to oversea the water and sunset view. and so many thanks again for you all who have travelled with me on this journey, shared your love and prayers, and rejoiced at the outcome.

greetings from Jean.

Friday, 19 June 2020

All done

Hi everyone  the cardiac  surgery  is done.one LONG stent in my left anterior descending  artery. Bit hard to type on my phone. It went well
 Compression  on my right wrist.have to be careful not to do anything with that arm for a few days. Will update  more tomorrow  meantime greetings  to all ,
.. Jean

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Here until I get my wings!!!

Hello everyone, I am so heartened by all your loving and caring words,thoughts and prayers.
The treadmill test went well, I didn't have to climb Mt Everest, just a small hill. Nothing remarkable showed, at least that is what I thought, but an ECG later in the ward was positive for whatever they are looking for. So I will be flown to Wellington for an angiogram when the cardiac team and theatre can fit me in.
Meantime I am not allowed to go home,and am so thankful for all the wonderful care.
How things change, on Saturday thought I would go home later that day.
I tried to save a pic of the bigger regional hospital but that failed.
Thank goodness for an iPad in here.
I am slowly catching up with all your news both here in NZ and way up north.

So we, the 4 ladies in this room,have decided we have tunnel vision after 2 days. Apart from medications ,dr visits,nurses rounds,I can look out the window and see through the clouds the mountain,same one in my header photo.
Quotation of the day
" like a block of good cheese taking time to mature, all things happen in their own order"
Greetings from Jean.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Same place,nothing new.

hello everyone,thank you all for words of care,love and encouragement. The angina has gone for today,maybe the words"treadmill stress test" have scared it off, or the fact that I have out on a warm singlet under the very spacious open air gown and baggy panama pants.meds have been altered and added to, again, the tummy jabs are finished for now. The lovely consultant said if the ECG under stress shows nothing,they will send me home,If there are changes, I will go to Wellington,maybe an angiogram. I miss my fabric to look at,my machine to sew a few stitches, and am so humbled by you all by who care so much.Hugh is coping OK, I think,cats are missing me, close by friends are offering help galore.
Again, no pics to share, if I get familiar with an iPad might master the next process.
Meantime, I rest as told,m will run as fast as I can and see what's next.
Quotation of the day... from our GP a while ago...

Be thankful for every morning you put two feet on the floor

Greetings from Jean..

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Guess where I am??

Today started early  with an ambulance  trip to ED, and then things went very fast. I am now in a medical ward and will go to Wellington Hospital  for an angiogram,maybe fly down.will keep you updated or get Hugh  to do a post!! That is one thing I haven't  suggested yet,but have been throwing out the odd suggestion... dishwasher  washing  machine etc. So far my heart is behaving itself in here but all hooked  up to wireless monitors. Thank you all so much for  the comments the other day.typing this on my phone  so if there are any errors, please  excuse them. Greetings from Jean.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

And so the days continue

I look at the world news, and cannot understand how the violence can carry on.We all hate what is happening, and the way to cope is to combine with love and friendship.
A while ago I saw a lovely wall hanging over at    Kathleen McMusing 's blog, and she very kindly sent me the pattern. I made one, and  now I have seen another one in different colours, will do it all over again.Later on, when life is somewhat back to normal. 
This was fun to do and even more so when it was all stitched. Thanks so much Kathleen for sharing your " Mountains" with us.
Meantime on the home front,  Sunday was a re-run of Friday, again very high blood pressure, and our trusty local ambulance arrived in THREE minutes. Two delightful men in green, and off  I went  in the green and yellow ambulance . This time the doctors decided to keep me in overnight, I shared a room first with a tiny  lady, a dear soul of 99, very deaf, and in so much pain after a fall, ribs not good, they transferred her to a ward that could give more care about 8 p.m. then the next lady arrived, 99 also, blind and deaf, and so thankful for all the staff did. A night filled with regular blood pressure checks, and  Monday morning a visit from the specialist on the  next rung up the ladder. It seems that he thinks there may be changes  ( More calcification maybe) in two arteries, so has scheduled a nuclear scan. This is a lengthy process, dye into a vein, wait, then have a resting scan,  then wait, then a stress exercise, and then the radioactive isotope goes in, while you pedal, go on the treadmill, or they give you a shot of  Dobutamine, that makes your heart race!!! All the time the ECG shows what is happening. BUT,  no coffee for the day before or on that day, no tea either.
So I was told to take the next two weeks slowly, not a problem as the changes in my meds have dropped the blood pressure to my boots!! A check up with my GP, and see how I go.
I am thankful for what our daughter calls " The Army" who arrive regularly, housework now all done as I sit and watch, kitchen cleaned,  another top-up  of firewood arrived this morning and two more friends with willing hands and strong bodies will stack that away. One  more photo, my addled brain cannot edit and straighten a totally crooked pic of the wood!!! 

Thank you all so much for your so caring words and loving thoughts.They mean so much. As our breakfast girl said on  the  morning Television Broadcast, returning to work after her unborn baby died , all the comments on Facebook and Instagram meant so much to know so many cared and shared their own story, 
" Love conquers all"
Quotation of the day, from my autograph album, written by a friend in December 1953

 " Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
Kindness in another's trouble,
Courage in your own" 

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 30 May 2020

What have I been doing lately????

 The days seem to whizz by, and now we have some restrictions lifted, can venture out further. We had a day trip to Taupo, some 3 plus hours north, and while Hugh was at the hobby shop, I strolled across the street to the Bernina shop that had some new to me batiks.After all, a gal can always do with more.

Sandra over at  mmm quilts has given us another fantastic quilt along. this year it is called " Centred" and that is what we all need to focus on, wherever we live.
My flimsy is done, and when I started this, had a totally different colour selection. However the dark fabric ran out, so I decided on the current teals and blues.
This is not as Sandra had hers, the darker teal  strips dividing off the outer blocks was to be white, but I didn't have anything pale enough, so chose to go the other way.
This is the first lot I did, and maybe one day will add to them and have a second "Centred".
I do like blues and greens, but the pink is a good change.
Then, as you need to have another project on the go, I have this dinky pattern, called  " Online Company"
My little friends have to have their antennae added, and some eyes, but it is fun.
Then a while ago, I read about a legacy blog hop as a tribute to a wonderful lady, Paula Budinger. There were quilts made, donated, stories told, and a place for a comment. Then, my name was chosen to receive a quilt pattern of my choice from Joanne up at  Canuck Quilter Designs.After some hesitation, I picked " Eclipse Sky" and have some batiks laid out already. Thank you to all those who donated quilts, who donated to the giveaways, and who told their memory of Paula. 
Friday, a hiccup in my day, it started off as usual, coffee, emails, blog, then put a load  of laundry in the machine. Then it all went south in a hurry, chest pain, not able to breathe, blood pressure so high, , you know when the systolic is over 200, and the diastolic over 100, things are NOT good at all, so off in the ambulance to ED. The usual ECG, blood tests, nothing to eat or drink, second blood test, and a small dose of morphine as the pain persisted, then a jab in my tummy of ( new to me )   Clexane, to prevent a clot maybe. I think by then they were looking at a heart attack and maybe a transfer to Wellington, not saying much!!!However the BP came down, I felt slightly better, and was allowed to come home, still in PJ's and dressing gown ( Hugh had come over, brought his lunch but no clothes for me!!!) I had to go into the pharmacy in that attractive get-up, to explain the new meds, as the DR altered the dose after it was faxed.
All is good today, the sun is shining, I am going very slowly, BP is behaving, and coffee never tasted so good.
Quotation of the day, author unknown

" You don't miss the water until the well runs dry"

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Centred , near the end of a lockdown

We are nearing the end, maybe ,of a total lockdown,  a move to a lower alert level,  and some shops are gearing up to be open to the public again.  Real coffee, fabrics??? Clothes maybe, and able to drive further than our own very local area.
Meantime, I have been busy with the next set of blocks for the Centred Quiltalong with Sandra over at mmmquilts
The blocks and quilt  Sandra has done is in blues, and is stunning.

This yearly event is always wonderful, and no exception even with the virus hovering, lockdowns in so many places, and there will be more joining in  once they can go and get the fabrics they need. I used what I had here, and my batiks have again been so lovely to sew up.The gaps will be filled with the  final 4 blocks, I placed the deep teal strips to see if that suited, as white was not in my stash, and too pale against my palest strips.

This does look blurry, maybe my eyes are blurry too right now.
All is well, I might be brave and do an actual real life grocery shop this week, the online one is fine, but sometimes items are just not there, but in fact are on the shelves. Our local supermarket is very particular about sanitising trolley handles,  our hands when we go in and leave, no bags allowed, put everything into your trolley and then into the bags at your car. We are so thankful for every precaution we have to follow. 
Nothing exciting is happening, the cats stay healthy, and snuggle up close to the fire at night.
Quotation of the week, author unknown
" Long  distance is a  test of our true inner spirit,
resilience, loyalty and love"

Greetings from Jean.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Happenings since the first day of Lockdown

I look back at the weeks since March 17th, the last time I went out, apart from a visit to the Doctor for our Flu vaccinations. We are all coping in our own way the best we can, and down here in New Zealand, I think we are safer than many countries.
I didn't think I had achieved much at all, but can see some sewing has been finished.
A lot of fleece hats and merino neck warmers.
Some of these for family, and some to go further south where the winters are much colder than where we live.
Next on the list was new curtains, not a favourite task, and not the fabric I wanted, but as all material, furnishing and other places are shut, I used what I had. They
are lined, and will do meantime. Boris curled up on his red fleece blanket!!
Then along came the latest QAL with Sandra over at mmm quilts, where we can join in another wonderful yearly event. This year the quilt is named " Centred"  and we are up to the second set of blocks. I thought I had ample. well , a huge stash,  and plenty to choose from....
Blue batiks, there were 20 pieces, green, 14, colours, pink and purple,8, 6 mauve, and 3 large dark fabrics.

So how was it that I chose some teal colours,  with a dash of a multi yellow/orange for the highlight. The pieces were cut, and waited to mature for a week, then Block A started to take shape. Moxy had to be in the fun, and the well arranged pieces were all muddled up so quickly.

Next, we had Block B, and the whole picture was all falling into place perfectly.
Looking at Sandra's post, I can now see how we will put this together. Hop over to her on Instagram, and see the stunning arrangement in different colours. I am inspired to do another at the same time, using maybe 4 shades, and one main one for the centre. Again, so many thanks Sandra, this is always so much fun, we all need a heap of that right now.
We are well, somewhat constrained by the lockdown, and at Alert Level 3 with less restrictions, so many people are gathering too close, some have had parties, some have been cautioned, or arrested, and I made the ultimate sacrifice for anyone with special sewing scissors.
YES, I had to trim my hair at the front, and used my very favourite Mundial scissors. I fear they will not be the same again, and might just have to order another pair online.We do so much online n ow, internet banking, grocery orders, and buying what we need when those places are not open to the public.
But like all things, this too will pass. I see so many have been innovative, tidying, using scraps, designing and planning, and I hope you all stay safe and well.
Quotation of the day, author unknown
                                     " Home is a  refuge, 
                       the safe harbour where we can set the anchors, 
                      and hold fast to those in our families and friends ,
Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Day ONE of total Lockdown here in NZ.

Hello everyone, here in New Zealand we are now in what is called Lockdown, only essential services  are allowed to continue, and life as we knew it has ceased for at least 4 weeks. The Covid 19 cases continue to increase, almost all are with people returning from overseas. We cannot go for a drive anywhere, must have a valid reason, supermarkets and pharmacies limit the number of people in, at any one time, and everyone over 70  is advised not to go shopping for their own groceries.
So, meantime the sun continues to shine, with clouds in a blue sky. Taken from the front lawn.
The cats obey self isolation very well, Boris spends a lot of time by himself in a comfy chair on the back deck

Moxy, the new boy, gentle, affectionate, snuggly, is a dream. His story will come  later, as we are in a turmoil with self-isolation,   more cases every day, so far no-one in ICU, and no deaths.

The garden continues to bloom, late Cosmos, very bright Hollyhock,  and lots of Nerines in a bright red/pink.

The other Hollyhock have well and truly finished, and this one attracted some bumblebees. One flew in as I tried to focus on the one flower. 
Guess I need to save the seeds here too. They are so pretty.

I haven't managed to learn photo editing on the Macbook, guess with at least 4 weeks at home that will get a place in the queue. Curtains, a birthday present to make, thankfully I did get lots of threads, lots of batiks,( Yes, I know maybe too many ), What, did I hear someone say never too many fabrics, a pile of batting, interfacing, freezer paper, steam a seam or similar, and a pattern for a bag.
New Zealand is now so different to what we knew just last week, the frontline hospital  workers at all levels are  working extra hours, the supermarkets ditto, limiting the number of shoppers in at any one time, markers on the floor so they keep a distance,  our Doctor's surgery has the door locked, And when you arrive, have to give your name and they will call you in when ready.
So I leave you  with these thoughts.
Be so thankful for family, friends, faith, and as our Prime Minister says, every day,
Be Kind.
No quotation for today would fit in  with what is happening world  -wide, I read of the numbers of positive cases in each of your parts of the world, and so hope and pray with all my heart that you all, and your families and friends stay well.
Greetings from Jean.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Where Have I Been???

Good morning all friends,
the truth is I have not been anywhere, and with Covid 19 already here in NZ, will not be going anywhere meantime. Flying south is out, as we would have to go through  one international airport on the way, and who knows which overseas traveller might have been there too.
We are well,  and hope to stay that way. The garden has finished the summer flurry of Hollyhocks, zinnias, gerbera, and more, and bulbs are sorted for planting soon.
We have a new addition to our household, a Lilac Abyssinian boy, 12 years old, gentle, loving, and very vocal. He left his home just up the street when his Mum and Dad were away , and roamed the street looking for his new home.  He decided we would fit his requirements!!!Then one morning when I went out to look for him, he was walking down with his Mum. She explained the LONG story ( I am saving that for a day with photos ) and said they were happy if he lived with us.
Hugh had 2 nights in hospital recently, with very high blood pressure and what has been diagnosed  as Atrial Fibrillation. So new medication, some side effects, but so far he has been a lot better and no more episodes. Scary when the Blood Pressure is almost off the scale.
Son-in-Law has had a significant birthday,  no party as there would be more than 50 attending, and son-in-law up North might be working from home if their office is closed.
I had to visit the Vodafone shop the other day, and the staff are not allowed to handle any customer's phone. This meant 3 lengthy phone calls trying to transfer data and an old phone number to a new Samsung phone when t he new Sim card was a different size. When the last lady said she couldn't do it on the phone and I had to  visit a store, I replied " THIS is a nightmare" and told her why. Bingo, today they will do it by phone and Joyce will have this wonderful new phone working perfectly ( I hope).
Quotation of the day, author unknown,
"  Let nature with the sunrise and sunset be your entertainment right now"
Greetings from Jean.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

2020 begins today in NZ

Happy New Year to all my friends near and far.  We had a quiet night until midnight then neighbours set off rockets and crackers. Sydney celebrated to the tune of many dollars as more than many suffered, sheltered or braved the fires. My thoughts with everyone there in Australia.
Here, I finished a bag that will go back to Australia soon, made with the beautiful batiks from Dione over at Clever Chameleon.

Clever Chameleon is where you will find Dione, her news, and all the best things that will happen for them in 2020, including maybe another QAL.

I do not have the usual tree to hang a bag for the photo shoot, so this was the one in the front garden.

 And this one was sitting in the daisy bush.It has 2 inside pockets, one padded for the iPad or other  IT item later on

The hollyhocks continue to grow, and we have one new colour, a deeper pink.
And the first plant has a few beautiful blooms still lingering

 They look the same but the larger bloom was paler to begin with.
Some Gladioli have braved their crowded  planting and shown glorious shades.

 I need to learn the photo editing on this, guess it will happen in time.
Meantime, I hope for each of you, hopes and dreams will happen as w
shed for, and health, and happiness are with you in abundance.

Quotation of the day, none better than  one of the favourites of my dear friend Walter,
from Lord Alfred Tennyson ....' Ulysses"

" To  strive to seek, to find, and not to yield"

Greetings from Jean