Central Plateau, North Island

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

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Almost the end of 2021

 This week has seen children laugh with delight at presents, families separated with Covid isolation, others together, and for two of my overseas friends, a loss so  huge for each of them.

Carole, over at  From My Carolina Home shared  her loss of a very dearly loved cousin,

 and KB, over at Romping and Rolling in the Rockies lost her dearest Dad . 

At a time like this, words hardly seem to say enough.

The garden provides some beauty amongst the grief, as it is shared round the blog and Instagram and Facebook world.

The golden lily flowered as promised, here it is beside the Bird bath that Moxy so loved .

The tall Hollyhocks have delicate almost translucent petals, and reach for the sky. The plants range from some 5 foot to  maybe over 8 foot tall, one has reached the spouting on our friend's garage.The lily plants are almost as tall, and have so many buds on each stem, far surpassing the ones  there last year.

The petals have the late afternoon sun shining from the west.

Finally some words for us all , as at any time we may have loss and  grief in our lives. I cannot remember the author or where I found them.

" Love cannot be measured by its capacity , or held in your hand.

It will light your life in the darkest of times.

It will be that wonderful link between family, friends and pets.

Believe in yourself , for when you love, time is eternal.

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 25 December 2021

Christmas Greetings

 Hello to all my dear friends here in NZ and further away. 

I hope for you all, a day to be quiet, restful, enjoy time with family in reality or by Zoom or Facetime, or a phone call,  let there be peace in your hearts, and know that love and friendship spans the skies and oceans.

As once again this year the golden Lily blooms, this photo from last year tells me that the beauty will unfold  soon ,  today the buds are not quite open, but the two stems  are so much  taller, and in a few days will show all the glory of nature.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

" Let there be peace, love and happiness in your heart"

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Hacked, and hacked off!!

  The bad news is that my, well Hugh's Facebook account  that I use, has been hacked, seemingly I have made odd comments and there is something called US-AID that I might be raving on about. 

Two friends have contacted me, thanks so much for the alert,
and I am guessing you both realised it was NOT the real me. 

That isn't me, so in my own  Instagram and  Hugh's Facebook and anywhere else that I might post or comment, if you are not absolutely sure it is the real me, do not reply, or if there is a link, leave it and delete immediately.

I have changed passwords, and am sure my  side  is safe and secure.

I  an so sorry if anyone has received a message, believing it was from me, one friend wondered what got me so agitated!!!!! Maybe the words, " Raving on about" were used.

Meantime here is a photo from TeHihi Primary School, 1952, Standard 6, now called Form 2, the last year before High School. At least 3 of my friends have passed away, we were a happy bunch of pupils, life was safe, family homes were happy and secure, no mad cars, just a push bike or horse to get to school.

And with the 5th November this week, I remember our Guy Fawkes night there, a huge bonfire in the school horse paddock (  there were at least 6 horses, some with 2 on the back, one saddle, one bareback maybe  ), families arrived after milking the cows and dinner was finished, the fire was lit, and we were given sparklers. Now, I  look back and realise what a fun, safe,  and least expensive event this was for the 100 pupils and their families. I guess you can find me there in the photo . 

May, Carol, and Barry,  your laughter will always be  in our memories.

So the quotation for today should no doubt be

" If you are in doubt, leave it alone, and remember happy days of yesteryears"

Greetings from Jean.

p.s. Ginger Boy Boris has found a different smell at the letterbox, and for the first time ever,  jumped up and sat there tonight, trying to see if the slot at the front for the letters was large enough for a paw, or, worse still, his head to poke in and have a look. Needless to say he was hurried away immediately.

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Alternative Accommodation during Covid Lockdowns

 Down here, or just  anywhere here in New Zealand, different parts of our country are in different levels of lockdown  .Families have struggled to juggle working at home, with younger and older children doing lessons online,  making use of every available item to use as a desk, from the  kitchen table to the ironing board for a laptop support. Click and collect grocery shopping for some, small businesses struggling to stay afloat, masks and clicking your mobile phone as you enter any shop is the way for us all. QR codes are displayed at all front doors.

New homes are still being built, and one family looked at the brand new one, stained a lovely brown, but decided as it was too near a local cemetery, and quite secluded,  so they moved on and looked  elsewhere. Their new family would arrive very soon, so the pressure was on to find that new residence.

The Mum and Dad found one with a lovely garden, and if a strict lockdown happened, they would have a first class view of the street, seeing all the activity as people strolled by .

They settled in, and the twins will soon be able to look out the front window.

Meantime down south, the stray cat decided the hen house and warm feathers  were  a safe and secure home, and about 9 days ago, her family arrived. A friend wants two to be  hidden inside a handbag and flown up here, she chose a tabby and, naturally, the ginger boy. I am sure they will all stay south,  and be sure of safety and security, even for our feline friends.

Update on the letterbox home, a careful peek inside disclosed the TWO eggs so far, Mum and Dad  Starling had taken turns to line the box with straw and grass, and the mail lady carefully puts the mail in the front. I am hoping the babies do well, and learn to fly well before leaving their front seat residence.

Life continues, we are safe and well, our friends have not visited for ages, we haven't seen our family for ages, and have no idea what this Christmas will be like, Maybe 
by Zoom or Facetime,  like so many of you up North.

Quotation of the day, author unknown,

" When life changes, change yourself to adapt, and fly high above all adversity"

Greetings from Jean.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Good things take time

 Thank you all SO much for the lovely words and caring thoughts and messages. It is so good to be home, no stent needed, and the follow up might happen in due course. I am guessing I am not classed as an urgent case now.

Many years ago, in 2009, we were in the South Island, and visited the Catlins area. This is windswept from the colder south, and all the trees bend sideways. 

 There are these beautiful falls, a delight for any photographer. Back then I had a tiny Canon Ixus camera, and walked carefully across some slippery rocks for this photo.

The Purakaunui Falls are a favourite place for tourists, you walk along  a narrow  track through the trees, just off the main road.

While we were in that area, I was taken to a quilt fabric shop, and I chose some green fabrics. 

They have matured for over 12 years, and today I finally finished the bag I  started so many years ago. The Koru is a spiral shape based on the  unfurling silver fern, and on so many of New Zealand  rugby, hockey, netball  and other team jerseys, the Silver Fern is the symbol so often displayed there. There are 2 pockets inside, and it is SO roomy, perfect for a day out or a short holiday.

We have had some very cold days, non-stop rain, and the fire is still lit every evening.

Quotation of the day, from Tao Te Ching,

" Stay at the centre of the circle and let all things take their course"

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Guess What #3

 Good Morning

I am still in Wellington but came back to the motel late yesterday afternoon .

Yesterday's procedure went well but guess what??? There were no blockages, the original stent the same surgeon inserted last year is behaving as it should , and no new stents needed.

And best of all, he hopes  a cardiac specialist back home might have some new thoughts on reducing some of my medications .So I guess a letter with a new appointment will arrive very soon. 

We so enjoyed a takeaway dinner last night, grandson who is living down here joined us and we had some laughs over memories from years ago.

I didn't bring my camera and it takes ages for my phone photos to go by email here, so this is from the internet, a photo of Wellington Harbour.

This morning I am off to a shoe shop, fantastic range and good prices, then the compulsory stop at Fibre Flair in Waikanae on the way home, maybe some ombre for a new watercolour wall hanging, or some bright cottons to make beeswax covers.

Thanks to you all for  the encouraging and caring comments.It makes such a difference to know friends worldwide care.

Quotation of the day,

" Be thankful  for all the goodness  and love from family and friends "

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 16 September 2021

GuessWhat #2?

 Hello everyone,

my blogging has been sparse or non-existent. There have been a few hiccups, and I am off to Wellington Hospital again, driving down this time, and waiting at the front Main Entrance at 7.25 a.m. on Friday.

The same surgeon will see me, and from what I have been told,  some limited information,  and it wasn't any help for the nurse to tell me " You don't need to worry about that" there is either a narrowing inside the existing stent, or they will do a " Plus and Minus" test, where the pressure is assessed, not sure if this will be just in the LAD, where the original stent is. or other arteries. 

Not quite like outdoor plumbing where the pipes can be seen, taken out and replaced, I am hoping it will be an easy fix.

Weather wise, we have had rain, more rain, constant rain. The temperatures have been low at night, and some farmers have had huge lambing losses.  Well into the minus Celsius, and some places only reaching 1 C at about 10 a.m.

Covid restrictions continue,  positive cases are slowly lessening, hospital visitors will be severely restricted, after a patient in a ward with others had a very obvious conjugal visit, the curtains were closed, but one other patient said the "goings on" were very indicative of what was happening!!!!

Check out Sue's blog over at Kamo Lady to see the Teddy Bear comments!!!

There  is a wonderful fabric shop I can visit on the way home, hopefully that will be Saturday, a Shoe shop in Wellington has a massive sale, and as a reward on the way home, Otaki has many outlet shops with great bargains,. A bit like the jelly bean after an injection when you were a child.

Off to pack the last minute things into my bag,  maybe some photos tonight .

Quotation of the day, author unknown,

"Trust the trained professionals to do the difficult jobs"

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Guess what???

 Hi everyone,

Many thanks for all your good wishes, I have stored them away in a very safe place, as yesterday it was confirmed we had ONE case of the Delta Variant in Auckland , and at 6 p.m. were given the news that all of New Zealand was in Alert Level 4, Auckland and Coromandel for 7 days, the rest for 3 days, but that might all change.

Wellington Hospital has cancelled all elective surgery for today, and flights anywhere in New Zealand are all on hold meantime, you can fly home in the next 48 hours if in another part of NZ.

So I wisely and safely decided to phone and postpone my angiogram, and the booking clerk said it is possible that next week all elective surgery will also be cancelled.

Car rental was refunded, and Air New Zealand give a credit for all air fares.

So we are confined to our homes, essential travel only, i.e. medical appointment or food, I will do a phone conversation with my G.P. and  yesterday did a huge grocery shop, and had a haircut!!!

I think this photo was on the internet, but his cheeky smile and bright tail reminds us all, every cloud has a bright lining, not always silver, but colourful and reassuring.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

"Colour your days with rainbow shades, and the pot of gold might be  hidden somewhere "

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 16 August 2021

Do you see that photo???

Guess where I am going on Sunday? I had a phone call, your procedure is booked for Monday 23rd??  At 7.30 a.m.    August I asked? YES . It will be another angiogram , and if  it all goes like the one last June, I know how good the staff and Surgeons are  . So I have filled in the 6 page questionnaire,  ( had to buy a new Canon printer to do this as the older Brother one stopped working at this time, guess it was obeying Murphy's Law !!! ) answered the telephone admittance phone call this morning, family  will  help out with travel and home duties, ( we are so blessed with daughters who respond so willingly ) but meantime I had one more visit to our local hospital late Friday night with angina that did not resolve with the usual GTN spray.

Our ambulance service is the best, 2 lovely ladies, out in the pouring  rain and cold wind , nothing too much bother, ED staff as usual so caring, a comfy bed arranged at some ghastly early morning time, blood tests galore, ditto the ECG's, and discharged about 8 a.m.

The DR must think I exist on a tablet diet, as after consultation with the cardiac specialist who was again down from Auckland, they added yet another tablet, this will relax the heart muscles, lessen the chances of angina pain, but it will also lower your blood pressure.Dizzy, faint, and ulcers anywhere are some of the side effects. Oh, to be young and fit again.

So sewing and/or quilting is on the back burner, I am not tackling any new projects, other than to look at some fleece and think about trying a wet resist hat or bag!!!

will be in Wellington Sunday and Monday night, or even Tuesday if anything goes wrong or there is an emergency and I have to wait another day down there.

So, before I travel further south, I must thank you all for the wonderful birthday messages, it was a great weekend, saw a little snow through the mist and cloud, no meals to think about for TWO days, that was luxury.

Quotation of the day, from our  own Doctor  some years ago, 

" Any morning is a good one when you can put two feet onto the floor"

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 18 July 2021

I'm Off For A Short Holiday or Two!!

This is Lake Taupo, courtesy of the Internet. Next weekend we will travel up there, and have a night away, for my birthday, and catch up with daughters from North and South.

Lake Taupo is in the Caldera of the Taupo Volcano, is the largest lake by surface area in New Zealand,  238 square miles or 616 sq, kilometres,

For the Geologists, it is oligotrophic, with  these rivers flowing into it, Waitahanui, Tongariro and Tauranga Taupo. The  main outflow is the Waikato River at the northern end,  Lake Taupo  has a catchment area of 1,346 sq. miles or 3,487 sq. km.It is some 29 miles long ( 46km) and 21 miles wide  (33km) the maximum depth is 610 ft, or 186 metres.

The average July water temperature is  12Celsius, today it was 11.7C, in summer maybe 19 Celsius, If you fall into the 10 Celsius lake water  in winter , the sad fact is you will  not  usually survive over 2 hours, Hypothermia is the biggest threat. 

So I will not be swimming or even out on a boat or float plane. 

This will be so welcome, and provided the Desert Road through the Central Plateau is not closed with snow,  all will be good. 

This was taken in 2004, probably one of the first photos taken with my new Canon camera, we stopped on the side of the road, and a lovely helpful gentleman  travelling through there suggested some settings to get the best shot. From memory he was from the US, had that distinctive accent,  and he also had a Canon, just a model  or 2 up from mine, and a  wonderful  Telephoto lens.

My visit to my GP went well, the new medication is altered yet again, and there is referral to the Cardiac Team in Wellington Hospital who did the stent surgery last year.  The locum cardiac consultant from Auckland ( a blog friend knows his name and has probably met him!!)  was there the day I was in ED, perfect timing. how lucky could I be. It seems that I might need another angiography, and maybe a wire pressure test!! Yes, I had to Google that, and learn another new procedure.

So I might get a second short holiday, hope there isn't any drama for Hugh this time round, and as I know what  might be the outcome, can be so thankful that age is no barrier for surgery that will give me a longer life.
So some unfinished or partly started projects have been under the Bernina,  no pressure but to clear the sewing desk would be a good start.

We have had massive flooding in the South Island, nowhere near where we live,  people returning home for just a look  ( Many  are still in evacuation centres or with friends away from the flooded areas) are devastated, more than knee high water everywhere inside. one family, baby due in 2 weeks, have lost all the baby clothes and preparations.Another farmer moved his cattle to high ground, they panicked, and were all drowned. I hope insurance, family, friends in a position to help and Government assistance will all contribute. 

Quotation of the day, author unknown,

" Be thankful for strangers who help at the right time"

Greetings from Jean.

Friday, 9 July 2021

Friday's Good News Bulletin

 First of all, thank you, everyone, for all the loving messages, they have helped, I am sure of that. Distance is nothing when we blog, email or phone. I must remember to tell my Doctor that next week.

Our Doctor started Hugh on one more tablet that has been a miracle, pain level dropped almost dramatically, from Tuesday to today, he can use his right arm and hand and is  able to sleep so much easier.  My work load has lightened, no need to cut the meat and veges,  or help him get dressed, and he drove yesterday and seemed to be OK. As a treat for this, we visited a sportswear shop, the usual winter sale, and he has new fleece jackets. Very smart too for a  man his age!!!

My visit to our doctor, also yesterday, my blood pressure is now too low, so I have to monitor it morning and night,  take two readings two minutes apart, before meds in the morning and at least 30 minutes after coffee!!!  Maybe the one new tablet the hospital ordered can be dispensed with, discarded, not necessary, I live in hope. The angina has not returned, I am under strict orders not to exert myself, to stay warm and NOT to venture into the freezing wind again.My doctor was horrified to know I had dosed the concrete with a bleach then hosed it clean!!! I explained I felt fine, and it was only a small section of the driveway.Maybe now Hugh is better, by the end of next week I can stand and watch the water blaster do the job so much faster and easier.

I am calling this wall hanging " Rays of Hope" 

I saw this on the internet some time ago, and although it is usually a paper pattern, I was able to have it emailed as a PDF. This will be a long term project for a very special friend of ours who lives nearer to the Central Plateau and will be looking at snow today from her farm .Needless to say, this wonderful lady, a long time friend, is a minister, so this will be specially for her and her faith. And with my huge stash of batiks, ( Don't tell Hugh how much) I am sure I will have plenty to choose from.

 The other project, that I do finally have all the batiks for, is a pattern from Audrey Esarey over at Cotton and Bourbon. I have purple and blue, and this will be a virtual shared  wall hanging project  with a new blog friend in Alaska. This, too, will have to wait a while till my eye settles down and I see if new reading glasses are needed. Already I have an appointment for the 6 week check up with the surgeon.

Flue shot, all done
Shingles vaccine, all done. 
Covid vaccinations, all booked for the end of August for #1 and in September #2.

The cold spell continues, freezing in the far south, more snow north of us, and the fire keeps us warm night and day.

Quotation of the day from Alexander Dumas

All human wisdom is summed up in two words,

wait and hope"

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

The Positive and the Negative

 Good morning,

Some sewing has been done, after my eye had settled down. The blocks for the US tour continue, some have been saved for a lot later on.Paper piecing on a 6.5 inch block is for the good eyes and nimble fingers.

Here is the Bison , for Wyoming,  from Kathryn LeBlanc at Dragonfly's Quilting Design Studio .

As this was reverse applique. Mr Blue Bison made an appearance too. I am saving him for a pocket on a bag later in the year.

I seems that after the perfect cataract surgery, there can be a condition called either positive or negative dysphotopsia.

In the positive case, flashes of light appear, and in the negative, there is a crescent shaped dark shadow at the outer edge. Maybe 15% have this, and I am one of them. It might vanish after weeks or months.

Just like a horse blinder, but I have seen those in  all sorts of styles.

Meantime, our older daughter went home, younger one and older will be both here for my birthday in a few weeks, but I might put that on hold.

The short version,     Hugh has shingles, I had angina!!! 

The longer version is below. 

Last week Hugh had to visit the hospital, with a severely painful rash on his right arm and shoulder. A friend drove us there,  we waited and waited. Finally a triage nurse called him in, touched where the sore shoulder was, maybe a tendon injury???  She didn't look at the rash. Wait to see a doctor. We had waited until 12 noon, I walked out into the freezing wind to let our friend know that there would be an even longer wait, and had an angina attack.  Used my spray, Anne suggested that she drive me the short way back to the main ED doorway, or ring the  bell at the ambulance bay!!! I said I was Ok and walked back. Sat down by Hugh, and started to shake and had more pain. I looked at the receptionist, said " I have chest pain" .In almost indecent haste, there were 3 nurses, a wheel chair, and I was whisked off to ED. Hugh was left by himself. Sent my friend a txt, she came in a little later and went to the desk, and asked would Hugh be next!! He was,  finally at about 2 p.m. The Dr took one look and said " You have shingles " Second opinion from another Dr. " Yes ". So no wonder the pain was so bad. They went home, I stayed, the usual X-Ray. 2 blood tests,  one ECG and another.  the lovely Dr told be that there was a cardiac consultant there, so handy, they consulted, I had the option to stay and be flown to Wellington  on  Wednesday, or start one more tablet and wait for them to confer with the team in Wellington who operated and did the stent surgery  last June. I opted to go home, they thought I should stay overnight, then just before 9 p.m. said there were no empty beds, sent me home in a taxi.The delightful driver and I chatted, he made the trip so much happier.

I know how fast life can change, my Colorado friends can agree to that, so I am going slowly, avoiding cold winds outside, and nurturing Hugh as best I can.

Thank you all so much for the encouraging and caring comments, so appreciated, the phone calls and emails  as well,  have all helped to make recovery an easier and certain process.Friendships across the phone lines and skies are a certain part of our lives , as travel might not be possible for so many of us.

Quotation of the day, author unknown,

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

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 25 June 2021

Pinks and Blues

Good Morning everyone,
Many  thanks  to you all so much for the good wishes for yesterday. The equipment was in A1 working order, and the surgery went well, my surgeon was happy with the result and told me 2 hours later it had started to heal over already. The funny part was when she was using what I guess was a laser to disintegrate the clouded lens, the noise was like a tiny animal moaning , on and off, And all I could see were  pink and blue bright lights.  On the way home, even with extra dark goggles on, there was a purple star shining when I looked out the window!!!

So Onward and upward from now on, and I hope my left eye will get the wonderful new lens sooner rather than later .  My eyesight is still  blurry, I have this little plastic shield to wear all day today, and at night for a while longer, and if outside and it is windy. A post surgery check up in 4 to 6 weeks, then new lenses in my glasses, and I should be good for some serious sewing and quilting. I have 2 exciting projects to start, both with some favourite batiks,  so at the weekend might just have a play with them, arranging  them in the colours and seeing if I need to alter any.

Meantime, 2 hours south of us in Wellington, a visitor from Sydney arrived last Friday, visited so many places, flew back on Monday and then  tested positive for Covid 19. So the city is now in Alert Level 2, masks, distancing,  gatherings limited to 100, ( conferences, weddings, funerals and more) others in isolation after staying at the same hotel,  and some working from home. One person can cause so much disturbance, we are hoping no-one in that city will be infected. Tests galore, new testing stations are overrun with so many queuing up,  I am hoping that our grandson and friends stay safe down there.

Quotation of the day,  by William Shakespeare

" Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none"

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Definitely the Ayes and the Eye!!!

 No photos today, I have had the much anticipated phone call to confirm my cataract surgery is on schedule, be there at 8 a.m. second on the list, so barring another equipment failure, I should be AOK this time.

Thank you, everyone for the good wishes, caring thoughts and prayers, phone calls and emails. They are so appreciated, and knowing you care is a huge boost to my spirits.

The weather is definitely in winter mode,  we had an almost frost this morning, but sunny the rest of the day. Tomorrow morning  my favourite weather app, "ynr" tells me we will drop to 2 Celsius, so the down jacket will have a trip out.

Dinner, roast chicken, 3 roast veges, green beans ( need  my greens for tomorrow) and bread and butter pudding, I made 2, one went next door to our wonderful friends, Lance did a WHOOP of delight!!! 

So I hope I can see to do an update on Friday. Meantime , to all my friends north and south,

The Quotation of the day is

" Be thankful for every friend and all your family, 

diamonds and gold cannot compare"

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 4 June 2021

The Ayes and the Nays

 Down south, the flooding has ceased for the time being, and the  massive cleanup has to begin.For many, the mess, the devastation, loss of fences, grass, winter feed, no water for stock or their home, no power, no roads in or out , they literally do NOT know where to begin.A massive Government help is truly needed.

Back up here in the North, there is snow that is looking like a good ski season. After last year, with loss of income from overseas tourists, this will be so welcome.

Our Central Plateau, maybe taken in 2004,  from the Eastern side  along  the Desert Road.

Home news,  One Nay for the 8th, one Aye for the 24th....my eye surgery has been postponed until 24th June, a cold, cough, and that dreaded herpes have put kaput to next week's date with the surgeon. However I do not have to go to the very end of the queue. And I am hoping there will not be another equipment breakdown.  3 weeks will fly by. 

I need to look out the dark goggles, just wish I was as young as this photo some years ago, taken in Australia when we were on holiday to visit Hugh's brother and s-in-law. Queensland at its very best. 

I still have that wonderful  Burke and Wills 100% pure leather hat, with the instructions, do not wash, bleach, etc. When we flew home, Hugh and I were chosen for a random drug test at Brisbane Airport, the inspector ran the wand round the inside of my hat, then asked Hugh to take off his sandals, and did the same to them. Then he took out the detector card, ran it through the machine, and waved us through.Phew, why did he ever think we would be importing anything illegal, at our age,???

Nothing exciting happening, the fire keeps us cosy morning and night, some sewing, but that is getting to the  impossible stage, I have 2 friends overseas who,I  hope, will wait patiently for this goodies to arrive,Sewing for myself is OK if the seams are not straight or points matching, but for friends, it must be a whole lot better.Roll on the 24th for the right eye only, left eye date to come later. 

A BRAG,,, Grandson has finished his Master of Science with the thesis handed in, and he has passed with .... DRUM ROLL.!!!!!!

1st Class Honours.

Josh, we are so proud of you. beginning  work with a  global engineering consulting  firm  in  Wellington  in March, ,  doing all the interviews online late  last year .  

How wonderful that pay packet would be after 5 years of living on a student loan allowance.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

It never hurts your eyesight to look on the bright side  of life

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 31 May 2021

Massive Flooding in the South Island , New Zealand.

    This photo is courtesy of the Internet,  supplied to TVNZ, and shows what lengths we Kiwis take to keep our animals safe in the  1 in 100 year flood.
Milo, the miniature horse warming up by the fire, near Little River, Christchurch
The widespread deluge, coming down from the hills  on the West towards  the eastern side of the South Island, has destroyed bridges, closed roads, people, pets and animals have either been evacuated or moved to higher ground.

All Photos courtesy of the Internet
Rain Radar map at 1.15 p.m. today

Photo below are  courtesy of Simon Werthmuller of Rakaia Helicopters, showing the deluge that has flooded  the land and the bridge , this is Double Hill Run Road, heading up  towards the Rakaia Gorge,  following the Western fork of the Rakaia River towards Lake Coleridge.

Redcliffs Bridge, photo courtesy of Simon Werthmuller, Rakaia Helicopters, showing some of the damage to Redcliffs Bridge and the surrounding area.

Back here, in the North Island, a good distance from all the above, we have a little rain, maybe more will follow, but our thoughts are with all those who have had to battle severe conditions to save stock, move animals,  pack belongings, and spend a night and maybe more in  a marae, or a friend's or family member's home. Civil Defence, the NZ Army, Volunteers, local council and more have all rallied to assist. Farmers with their huge tractors, men with jet boats, helicopters with lines to save a man clinging to a tree, I am hoping everyone will be safe and secure in a warm place tonight.

Quotation of the day,  author unknown,  

Your horse will always be one of your family.

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Words from my friend Jenn ' Home again, home again, jiggity jig"

 Hi Folks

 I arrived bright and early at the day theatre reception, was taken in, all things checked out, and the drop regime began.  2 sets of drops every 5 minutes,  then make sure my blood pressure was OK ( A bit higher than normal but stinging drops can cause that).

I was taken into the next area, found a lovely Lazy Boy Chair, given the red non slip socks, a button at the back gown and a white robe, then a warm blanket.

Then wait. Usually you do see the previous patients wheeled back, complete with a patch over the offending eye. 

Not one appeared. There were 5 more of us waiting. this did seem to be a very long time waiting, as usually each patient is taken down, and back in about 30 minutes. By this time at least  4 others should have been attended to.

FINALLY, a tall good looking man came to me, said he was one of Dr Eiseman's team, and the news was, there had been an equipment fault, and all the following cataract surgeries were cancelled, I almost laughed, one lady almost cried, one lovely lady did a little dance.

Then one lady returned, I am guessing she was in theatre for a very long time, and had her surgery the old fashioned way, maybe they had already began and had to continue. I am so thankful that I was not there at that time. 

I phoned Hugh to give him the news !!!!!!! was his reply. I was given a new date of 8th June. 

However Annette and I did manage to get in some shopping after the three of us had a lovely lunch.

No photos, my eye is  still so dilated anything is still a huge blur.

Thank you , every one for caring and sending love, messages and hopes.

Quotation of the day from Robert Burns, 

" The Best-laid schemes of mice and men Go oft awry"

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day!!!

 A quote from Macbeth!! This is going back to maybe 1955, when I was a High School.

However, my tomorrow, all going according to schedule, will  see me in the Day Theatre for cataract surgery. I am hoping that the Cyber Attack at Waikato Hospital will not cause any delays down here,  that hospital has had to cancel some surgeries, not  answer to the ransom ? Undisclosed? Supposedly this happened when an email attachment was opened.So all their computers and phones were not working.

Here the weather has turned to well and truly Autumn, gale winds, torrential rain, snow further south, and the fire is doing its job to keep us all cosy and warm .

So, after the initial post-op time has been spent, I am hoping for miracles with my eyesight, the other eye also has a cataract, and goodness knows when that will get done, I have waited at least 18 months for this  in our local Public Hospital, the cost to get the surgery done privately is well over NZ $ 6000 per eye, including consultations and follow ups. And even though our GP did tell me " Jean, you are in your twilight years, just go private and pay" , I was so reluctant to do that.

Here is Boris, our one and only cat now, in what was called " Self Isolation" last year.

Quotation of the day from an elderly relative, but she may have found this in her quotation book.

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

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Climbing the Mountain

 The treadmill test went ahead as scheduled, the one lady who attaches all the leads, does a test run while you lie VERY still, check the blood pressure, has been away ill for a few weeks, so I was very relieved to see her there this morning.

The picture on the wall is so similar to the photo I posted earlier of our Central Plateau Mountains.

So all wired up, I set off, A gentle stroll to start with. lots of encouragement, warnings to tell of any discomfort, pain, or being short of breath. I was told when the 3 minute arrived, could I carry on, Yes!! Then I was told only 46 seconds to go and it might get a little harder as they speeded it up. They did, again, many assurances that I was doing so well, was I OK? Can you keep going, Yes!! I kept on until 6 minutes had elapsed, and then it slowed down until I was stationary, stood there for a final ECG, not walking, recovered, and then met the Doctor in the adjacent room. I was thinking this would be so similar to the test last June,  a struggle to last even the 4 minutes, trying to stand tall, keep the paces longer, and to even breathe without gasping for air. Not so, today was so much easier, a huge relief to find that Everest had reduced its height for me today.

The ECG showed no changes, I did not get to fly to Wellington, could he see my HUGE smile? An increase in one tablet, call the ambulance if you do get any angina and the sub-lingual spray does not relieve the pain.To use a friend's quote " Home again, home again ,jiggity jig" 

This was on my birthday in July, some years ago,  on the way up to  Turoa, on the southern slopes of Mt  Ruapehu .

Hugh's Mum, who was always ready for an exciting trip or  scary adventure. This was up the slopes of Mt Tarawera,

Another view of Mt Ngauruhoe, from the Desert Road.

And this is the beautiful  Brunsvigia Josephinae, at our previous home, Here,  the buds are still unfolding. A South African genus, of 11 species of bulbs allied to the Belladonnas, It likes a hot, dry, summer,. full sun, and does not like being shifted. The candelabra can have up to 40 trumpets, one  year one of my bulbs had 30.

Thank you all so much for your loving and caring words and thoughts, they mean so much, and if any one of you is in a similar situation, you will then know the way that these support, bolster and give you the strength and will power to continue.

Quotation of the day,  from Oscar Wilde

"  Be yourself; everyone else is already taken"

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 3 May 2021

Some Bocks from the US tour

 I have joined in the " Round the Block, US tour" and each Sunday evening a new block from a new state in USA arrives by email. 

With each new block from a new designer, lots of information about the state, so a Geography lesson at the same time. The other photos eluded me when I tried to insert them.

Just in case you think we have not had snow at our home, here is our previous home in August 1997, the one and only snowfall I have seen, at any time and anywhere I have lived. It was magical.

A   fond memory from years ago, my Dad, myself and Tip the farm dog, as we sat on the foundation of the new hay barn at TeHihi, which was a 100acre farm , sold, and then cut into lifestyle blocks, expensive beyond what my Dad would never have thought possible This might have been about 1950 or so.

Here is the view of the Central Plateau, as I flew from Palmerston North to Auckland for a funeral.This was some years ago, and the view was stunning.
Mt Ngauruhoe, 2291 metres,  an active volcano, and Mt Tongariro,  1978 metres, we had passed Mt Ruapehu , 2797 metres, slightly to the south of these two,  where most of the North Island skiing is done. 

This  is the wall hanging I made for my dearest friend  Walter, when he was ill in Auckland Hospital. He was in HMS in WW2, and the staff hid the parcel until the morning of his birthday, then hung it in his room. After he died, his daughter sent it to the Felixstowe  Museum, where it is hung on the wall . The WW2 coastal Forces base was at Felixstowe , and this was where Walter was based,I consider that the highest honour of all in my lifetime.And naturally, the title for my blog was inspired by  the memory of Walter and how much the compass played  such an important part of every day as he patrolled the seas off the coastline of Europe and back to England.

The latest news at home, tomorrow, at long last, I have the treadmill test, and again, highly probable I will go to Wellington again, after another ambulance trip to ED. The scary angina continues to occur at random times, and the staff are getting used to me, one lady Doctor, said " I remember you from a few weeks ago" Pity I don't get any frequent Flyer points.
How do you tidy the quilting fabric, the scraps, bits of sewing started, and projects waiting, in 3 days? 
I hope there might be some time at home before the next flight.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

" Memories are timeless treasures of the Heart"

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

The choices...

   Thank you all for your caring words and encouragement, they are so special and I so appreciate every one, they mean so much, sent across the land or ocean.

 Yesterday we set off early, arrived to do banking for a friend before the hospital appointment.

I thought there would be 3 choices, not looking for any other option at all. 

#1 Find nothing, so send me home

#2 Find something trivial, monitor my heart, and send me home

#3 Find something drastic, and fly me to Wellington for another angiogram

I didn't factor in the phone call.. " This is Outpatients Dept. I am so sorry but your 10 a,m, appointment has been cancelled"  The one lady who does all the ECG lead attachments, stands beside you, encourages you to stand closer, walk with longer strides, was sick again. 

However this morning another phone call, and I am off again next Tuesday.

Photos are somewhere in the air, between my phone and my laptop, with the bonus I scored yesterday. some more batiks for the colourwash project. After all, every raindrop has a silver lining, and this was the best of all, as they had purples and blues.

Quotation of the day.  from Dr Seuss

" Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment

until it becomes a memory"

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 26 April 2021

After A LONG absence.....

 Hello everyone, and so many thanks for your many loving and caring words. I so appreciate every one, and do apologise for not posting the lack of progress sooner. 

My eyes? I am still waiting, the time frame of 4 months was not correct, my pre-surgery assessment gave me the wrong month. my surgeon was on holiday, and maybe still is until the end of April, so it might be May. Meantime, my vision is rapidly declining,  scenery flashes by in a total blur, road signs are not clear, luckily Hugh is an amazing driver and takes me to the grocery supermarket, library, and clothes shops, not to mention waiting so patiently as I peruse for a long time the quilting fabrics.

So not much happening in the sewing and quilting department.

Further to that. I might, a slight possibility, have another trip to Wellington, some angina episodes, the trusty guys and gals in green, arriving at 1 a.m.  2 weeks ago,  doing an ECG, then a LOOONG silence, reading the printout. " This tells me you are having a heart attack, but I think it is wrong, let's do another one  " Luckily the second one, as I sat at the dining table, was better, toddled off, and had more tests etc in the ED. Discharged by lunchtime, with a referral for a treadmill test.

That is tomorrow, and by 11 a.m. I should know what is happening. 

The garden is flourishing with some bulbs shooting up, rogue sunflowers blooming,  bearded iris flowering, and my much loved Brunsvigia Josephinae has buds.hopefully a photo will follow in about 5 days time, with the candelabra of some 20 heads of bright pink  flowers

The wall hanging is. " Monet's Hexagon"  ( the pattern is from another long time friend when we both lived at Lake Tarawera many years ago, and she is now near Christchurch) and was finished some time ago, and sent to a lovely room mate I met last June. Viv has very limited speech or mobility, but was so loving, supportive, encouraging, and gave me the most rapturous welcome when I was flown back after 2 days in Wellington.  The note I sent, said to Viv, this is so you will always have sunshine every day. Viv, you spoke with your eyes, your expressions and the one handed signal, as one or another grumpy room-mate complained. And the ONE word, I did try to suggest that "Fudge "was a good alternative.

I will try and give an update after tomorrow, the  hard slog, or slow climb to  the top of My Everest, as I am told to keep my head up and look at the superb photo of the Central Plateau Mountains on the wall in front.

And I have 2 projects to look forward to,  this one is for a friend , I do not think she looks at my blog, but will not share any more details yet, the pattern is  patiently waiting, , I need to visit our local printer and get them to print at a larger format, No fabrics are chosen yet, but batiks will be the #1 for this beauty.
The second one is a wall hanging, Colourwash, by  the lovely talented designer at Cotton and bourbon, Audrey Esarey. This, too might have a long wait until at least one eye can see a whole lot better. Audrey is on Instagram too, hop to her and see the many designs there. This will also have batiks, and my new blog friend in Alaska will join in.
Winter is nigh, mornings are cool, we light the fire late afternoons now, and with all the medication I am on, the cold feels freezing, even when it is at least 15 Celsius. Other friends on the same tablets , also tell me the cold is colder!!!
I so enjoy seeing the world through your eyes, photos and words, as most of you in the North are venturing into spring or an early summer. Here, we are closer to winter ,the wood shed is full, and soup is in the freezer.

Quotation of the day from Dolly Parton

" The way I see it, if you want the rainbow,
you gotta put up with the rain"

Greetings from Jean