Central Plateau, North Island

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

Thursday, 29 December 2022

Garden Flowers

 I am so thankful all my northern friends are safe after the snowstorm that has surpassed all others. So many have lost their lives, emergency services stretched to the max, and travel disrupted all over US and Canada.

Meantime down here, the garden has provided some lovely blooms. Recently our Doctor and the rest of the staff were given Lilies and Callas, along with some edible goodies.We are again so thankful for all the care they have given us , but during  this last year especially. I didn't get photos of their flowers, one bunch for each  , but the tall white lily continued to bloom. Then Google gave me handy hints to preserve Hollyhock flowers. It seems you cut the stems on a slant, then sear them. Hugh had his handy gas blow torch and did the task so quickly, but it also burnt the tinfoil dish I held them over, and his workbench has some marks too.

The mauve petunias have flowered so well, I need more to fill in the whole bed there.

And after some helpful advice from younger daughter, I added more foliage to the lilies  and here is the result. Nowhere near as beautiful as some of her displays. I need some floristry lessons !!!

These are all from her own garden, in the far south, I think this was one of her arrangements for a friend's husband's funeral.
Another display of a  southern floral arrangement, summer blooms from Otago. 

So we continue to the end of 2002, looking forward to 2023, hoping to get some unfinished "stuff" finished, given away, or discarded as in the too hard basket now.

Quotation of the day, from Rudyard Kipling,

" Gardens are not made by singing 
" Oh, how beautiful" , and sitting in the shade."

Greetings from Jean.

Sunday, 25 December 2022

Season's Greetings to you all

 The Christmas Season seems to be so different this year, summer here seems to be late in its arrival,  ,  and in the US and Canada, the storm has taken over everything, travel disrupted, plans cancelled, power outages, the last update was 1.5 million without power  in  Canada, with bad weather from B.C. to the Maritimes.

And while you will undoubtably have a very white Christmas, this morning we have a clear sky,  today with a temperature reaching 20C, or 68F.

The Golden Lilies with red hollyhocks showing in some places,  from earlier this year last summer.

And an archive photo of Hugh and myself on my birthday some years ago, July 25th, mid winter here,  we drove up from Ohakune to the southern side of Mt Ruapehu, where the Turoa ski field is.  This is just  to show all my friends in the North that we do get snow here, and I actually have been in it.

So this is to wish you all, my dear  friends here and far  away ,  a Joyous Christmas, stay safe, stay warm, or down here, enjoy the sunshine, sea or lake .

Quotation of the day, author unknown.

" Christmas is a season of great joy:
 a time for remembering the past and hoping for the future.
May the glorious message of peace and love
 fill you with joy  every day"

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 16 December 2022

While we were in Rotorua this happened

 We recently had a few days in Rotorua with our older daughter. Meantime at home the flowers bloomed victoriously !!!

Hollyhocks reached for the sky, translucent petals  .

Last year, this was the beauty , the same colour in this year's plants, all self sewn.

This year.!!!

The lilies that grow shorter and in pots all bloomed.

The the Japanese Iris flowered , I thought this was lost, the flowers do not last long but are so beautiful. 

The Rotorua  feline family, Ruby,  Wally, a possible Maine Coon, and Milo, a very recent ginger lad. Milo at the back, obviously, Ruby at the front, and Wally with his tail hanging over the deck.

The lawn needs mowing again,, the passionfruit vines have died, maybe the roots got waterlogged this spring, however we can always plant more.

Quotation of the day, author unknown,

Enjoy your home, it's always a joy to return.

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 5 December 2022

Pre-Loved Lily Sale.

 This has to be the best sale I have ever been to.

The NZ Bulb Nursery at Feilding had their lily bulb sale on Saturday, Hugh took the trailer and we arrived at about 7.30 a.m. I promised him a cafe breakfast afterwards, but we decided to go straight home, so today had a lovely morning tea at Whanganui. A small way to repay him, but did go shopping afterwards, to a BIG store.

The gates were to open at 8 a.m. by that time the cars were arriving so quickly, and when the gates were opened, the first lot of people rushed in, like it was a BIG store Boxing Day Sale.
I strolled in, according to my mature age, was given a sheet with flower colour photos, and names, and this was printed in a map form.

There were pallets with crates piled high, and a lot of customers seemed to know exactly what they wanted. Staff were so helpful. Photos courtesy of NZ Bulbs.

This was a screen shot of the time-lapse video, can you see the man with a brown jersey holding a crate high up? I think I am at the back of that lot of crates,White hair and dark purple jacket, but then, I could be mistaken as there were so many there.

  After I had chosen 14 crates, the young  gentleman and lady  staff members loaded them onto a trolley, manhandled that out to the road and loaded them into the trailer. The young couple  from near Hawkes Bay who had loaded their little car to the top...had already said they would help, as they knew how difficult it was to steer the trolley over the metal.

So we, and others, will have White Christmas, deep red, deep yellow, pale pink and deep pink flowers next season. I left the orange ones for everyone else. 

And... they have another sale in January. Hugh said, " No, once was enough" as he waited so patiently, a friend wants more, so we will go in her huge wagon.

Some stay here, some for my friend, and some  going to the far south next year, with a drop off to a new friend in Waimate.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

" You will miss the sale bargains if you stay safely at home"

Greetings from Jean.

Tuesday, 25 October 2022

Spring flowers

 The lawn has started to show lovely growth, not quite needing a cut every week, but looking good after winter. 

Spring flowers are adding some colour to the garden now.

Cream Bearded Iris, flowering early, a few pink Ixia, almost finished their display.The small lemon tree in the background is fruiting !!!

Moxie's daisy bush has started to give lots of pink flowers.

Purple Granny Bonnet showing through the Japanese Maple shrub.

Two Mauve and purple Cineraria plants.

The Rays of Hope wall hanging is coming along slowly, last week I found in a fabric shop two spools of black bias tape fusible, what a great way to do the stained glass strips. This is the  lower part, similar shorter sections  will be added to the top,  the strips are fused to the thin interfacing, then the black bias added and sewn down, even though it is fused, stitching makes a better finish, a gift for a friend who doesn't see my blog. I just have to figure out how to do the words, Faith,Hope, Love in applique and fuse them to the centre cross. Out of all my batik scraps, and they are in MASSIVE supply, the red was the only one I had trouble to find. The right hand block  has yellow topped pins still there. 

Here is the finished wall hanging, courtesy of the internet, a pattern from Carolyn Morris, if you Google her and the pattern, you will find the story behind this beautiful quilt.

Days continue to be warmer, the firewood is handy in case of a late cold night.

Thank you all SO much for comments after the quake, we are a long way from the epicentre, and no damage, here of further south. It was deep and out in the water off the top of the South Island.

Quotation of the day, from John F. Kennedy

" Change is the law of life.

And those who look only to the past and present are certain to miss the future"

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 14 October 2022

Early morning wake up jolt!!!

This morning just after 3 a.m . Boris leapt off our bed and raced to safety in the guest room. Next thing we had rumbles and a shake, the quake was centred over 160km  km in a straight line  from us, north west off French Pass, the channel between the mainland at the top of the South Island  and D'Urville Island. The deepest colour is where the quake was felt the strongest, then medium orange, palest was where it was felt lightly. The small circle in the blue is the centre of the quake. Courtesy of the Internet. 
According to Geonet New Zealand, the earthquake was  5.7 magnitude, a depth of 146 km, and 65 km northwest of French Pass. 

French Pass is the channel between D'Urville Island and the mainland, there is a whirlpool there, and the current races through.Treacherous waters, all boats need to be aware of the danger.

This is the road from Havelock, through Rai Valley, out past Elaine Bay, Waikawa Bay and finally there. Vehicles are warned of extreme gusts, and to be aware of this, many years ago  a van was blown off the road!!! There is a beach there, a jetty, and a small camping area.The small school, a one room building built in 1913, was  closed in 2006.
We stayed there in 1986, at the almost end of a year in the South Island with our caravan,  went for a few days, that turned into 3 wonderful weeks.A small community that welcomed us with such generosity. A meal with the then District nurse, Peggy Young and Alan, wild venison, so yummy,  the school pupils who came to my rescue to help pull down the caravan awning when a gale blew through,  while  Hugh was taken to D'Urville Island with a local man, on the mail run.

Memories to last my lifetime.

Southern Hospitality at its very best.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

" Earthquakes are an unpredictable hazard"

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 4 October 2022

Weather warnings for both Islands

 The following is courtesy of the Internet, with Niwa( National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research)  giving dire predictions and warnings. 


Niwa is warning there would be a real hypothermia risk for people and livestock from an icy cold snap forecast to move up the country.

Nearly all eastern and southern lowland areas of the South Island will have an “effective temperature” between -5C and -10C around 1am Thursday, the agency is forecasting.

The effective temperature includes factors that contribute to how the temperature feels to a warm bodied creature. So along with the normal air temperature, that can also include wind chill and humidity.

A pulse of freezing air is due to spread over the country in the next two days, starting from the south on Tuesday evening. It brings with it the chance of heavy snowfalls to sea level in some parts of the South Island, and the possibility of some snowfalls in the lower North Island, including a chance of snow in downtown Wellington.


We live in the North Island, in the lower half, so snow might just travel around, or it might send some flurries our way. 
 We have stocked up the firewood, looked out some late season thermal gear, and will wrap up warmly, if we dare to venture outdoors.

This was in the far south, one May,  a very early heavy  snowfall.

Quotation of the day, author unknown,

Weather the storm and sunshine will brighten your day"

Greetings from Jean.

Friday, 9 September 2022

Queen Elizabeth

 Today we received the news that our much loved, admired and respected Queen Elizabeth had passed away. 

Her family will grieve, but they must be so thankful that she had lived a full and long life.

I so value the card sent to us for our 60th Wedding anniversary, this was the photo on that card.

This is how so many will remember her, gracious, smiling, our Queen .

Quotation of the day, from the Queen's  21st birthday broadcast, 

 from Cape Town, South Africa, 21st April 1947.

" I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, 

shall be devoted to your service

 and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong "

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Something New

 The  last week was a short holiday, just 3 days, all meals provided and excellent care every hour of the day and night,

Thursday I had angina again, after months of no episodes, then Friday, at the supermarket ( One cheery Doctor suggested it might be the price of food that brought it on)!!! So had to resort to the sublingual spray right there, find a chair, leave Hugh to struggle with the 2 trolleys full  !!!  Home, and further pain,  and rapid heart beat.Off in the green and yellow courtesy car, with two lovely ambulance officers taking great care of me.

Two nights in ED, it was so crowded, all staff run off their feet,  and seen by various staff, doctors, blood taken, and the X-Ray machine brought into the cubicle. New tablets, and home on Sunday. The care I was given, as was the same to  all the others, was outstanding. My thanks in huge amounts to all in the ED at Whanganui Hospital.

The quilting has taken a back seat lately, and I thought a new project ( not that I don't have so many to finish) might tempt some enthusiasm.I have a little booklet a friend made years ago, and with a stationery voucher, managed to find some card, paper, and today some linen thread.

The inside papers, that will be sorted into sections of   12 pages with assorted colours , all A5 size, so one A4 sheet will do  2 double pages. I have a super duper guillotine to cut them accurately.

Then the outer cover papers, slightly heavier weight.
Then the binding, I struggled to find the same method on Google, but finally found it at veterokforbooks, a lovely lady in Finland, and a handy tutorial and diagram for threading the sections.

Here you can see the different coloured pages, and the darker grey covers.

So wish me luck, I hope this  ends up like the elephant motto.

Quotation of the day,  slightly edited  for publication. 

from the same friend who sent me the above words,

" Be careful whose toes you tread on today, 

they might belong to your boss tomorrow"

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 9 July 2022

The Finishing Line. !!!

 At last I can focus on my laptop, and see letters more clearly. New glasses  left side lenses will make this even better in about 6 weeks.

Thursday began with a very early breakfast, who wants to eat Sultana Bran and have a smidgen of coffee at 6.a.m.? It was a very wet windy start, and we decided to leave home at 6.45 a.m. giving plenty of time in case of road problems.  Just one lot of road works , so we arrived before the 7.30 scheduled time. 

Into the Day Surgery Unit, all particulars taken, and into the room with the Lazyboy chairs, red non slip socks, a blue   hairnet, and of all colours, a yellow plastic cape with long sleeves.  This goes on over your own clothes. By this time the eye drops had really worked and everything  was a blur.

The lovely surgeon visited each of us in turn as we waited.  Next thing, I was wheeled off into the theatre. An additional 5 theatre staff I think, position your head on the rest, get it fastened tightly so you cannot move,  and a tube with oxygen and air under the blanket, blood pressure cuff and oxygen meter on one finger. Then the anaesthetic drops started. A second lot, then some pain.By this time I should have not been able to feel anything.More drops, I could feel them on my eye.Then another type, 2 lots, and total numbness!!

My surgeon talked quietly as she said what was happening, a small slit, then a hum, then a bit later, " That's half the cataract out " . Did I mention that she is from Spokane, Washington ?? We were all so fortunate to be seen by her before an  extended leave to see family. A little later, with some water dropped in, more humming,  and looking at the light all the time, orange and yellow blur,  I was ready for the new lens to be implanted. 

I didn't know that the lens had little "wings" guess there is a proper technical term for the side pieces, and each eye has to be measured in width, height and also depth before the lens is made.

The cut had to be sealed, then all done. The theatre table was titled, so it sat me up.Warm blanket, back to recover with coffee and biscuits.

Lots of instructions, and home with 2 lots of drops.  No bending, no sleeping on that side, no lifting anything heavy , so I have abandoned our bed and am sleeping on the sofa in the lounge, where I cannot turn onto my left side. Even our cat Boris knows something is strange, 

Friday, I returned to the Opthalmology Clinic to have my eye checked, and behold!! The pressure is too high, so another type of drop for 3 days.

NOW, I am only the second person in 18 years that my surgeon said that type of local anaesthetic didn't work.How odd is that!!! So if I need anything else in either eye, Lidocaine is the #1 and only choice. 

Next check up in 4 to 6 weeks, by which time I should have my full driver's Licence posted to me.

New left lenses in both distance and reading glasses in 6 weeks, then Hooray, I will be back to sewing again.

Whanganui Hospital, your Day Theatre staff , from the front door and all others, are all truly wonderful, so caring, For those in the theatre that I did not see, a huge thank you. 

Quotation of the day, author unknown

 " You do not miss the  water until the well runs dry" 

Greetings from Jean.

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

I leapt over the penultimate hurdle!!!

 Hi Folks, I am not sure what happens in other countries, but in New Zealand when you turn 80, you have to have a medical examination,  every two years, an eye test, and at our surgery, also a cognitive, memory and recognition test.

So today was the day. It began with me being given a name and address, yes, it was here in NZ, repeat 3 times, and remember it after about 15 minutes.

Then draw a clock and the time at 5.10. Identify 6 road traffic signs. Name the day, date month and year.

Then list as many animals as you can in one minute.  I astounded both the practice nurse and our GP with some weird and wonderful overseas animals ,.  Needless to say, after the minute was over, I remembered  a lot more.

But I passed 30/30. Hooray!!!

Blood pressure, weight, and all good for the next part of the process, off to the local Automobile Association for a photo that is put onto your licence card. I was issued a temporary paper one.

Then the ultimate part of this journey, second cataract surgery on Thursday.After that,  a few weeks healing time, there should be no stopping me with photography, at the moment I struggle to focus the lens correctly.Quilting, I am hoping all the seams will line up effortlessly.Well, maybe that is hoping for a bit too much.

So no photos today, but  belated best wishes for  all USA 4th July Celebrations.And more for those friends in Canada for 1st July.

Quotation of the day. author unknown

" Celebrate today, as tomorrow it will be left behind 

and a new day will be dawning"

Greetings from Jean,.

Thursday, 30 June 2022

30th June, 1997, and 25 years later

 Thanks to you all for the love and care and words. I am improving at long last, and by next Thursday should be good for a half hour cataract surgery.

Today is our Grandson's birthday, , born on a very wet, stormy, ferociously windy day.

Today is sunny and warm after a cool start.

Moving right along to the last few years, Victoria University, Bachelor of Science,  then  a Master of Science with First Class Honours, employed with WSP in Wellington, and enjoying the mountains, rivers, and treks up to the snow.

Hoping you have a wonderful day.Josh, we are so proud of you and it is an honour to be called Nanny and Poppa.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

" The memories we have with our family are everything"

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 5 June 2022

When a Shingle is not Shingles

 Firstly, thank you all so much for your lovely comments, caring words  and prayers.

The weeks have passed, and the pain increased.No new blisters, in fact, not one single blister.

So  late last Tuesday evening, I gathered my usual hospital gear, including the large  crossword puzzle book. Crawled, well, walked with great difficulty to Hugh and said " Ring the ambulance" The wonderful men in green arrived, gave me what they call the " Green Whistle" , a  combination of Methoxyflurane, in a volatile liquid for inhalation. Hold your lips to the tube top, breathe in, then out.Several times, and I felt able to walk with a trusty man either side.

Back to the ED, more blood tests, ECG's, X-Rays, and that wonderful IV pain relief.

The same Doctor saw me , and he said there  was no appearance of a shingles rash. 

Lots of painful examinations, and the conclusion, Costochondritis, inflammation of the rib cartilage

Home the next morning, with more pain relief, and a determination  not to try and make Roman Blinds by leaning over the fabric on the floor for 3 days in a row. And this could last, maybe another 2 weeks. So if my comments are scarce or non-existent, I will, for sure,  have eagerly read all your news.

 There is nothing exciting to write about, or even a single photo to show.Life continues, at a slower pace, the fire is lit, a friend stacked enough firewood for a week on the verandah, and TV is on, we have been watching the Queen's Jubilee Celebrations.

Quotation of the day, from William Arthur Ward,

" The pessimist complains about the wind; The optimist expects it to change;

The realist adjusts the sails . "

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

X-Rays and CT Scans

 The last week has seen me laid low, intense pain in my ribs and round the back at armpit level. Finally after one day and night of it overtaking anything I had before, rang the trusty ambulance crew. They were in total agreement, off to hospital, after putting in an IV line, and dosing me up with Fentanyl and anti nausea meds. Blood pressure was too high,  but not because of any heart trouble.

Admitted overnight after a chest X-Ray,  more pain relief that only just reduced it a  little, Monday morning,  thought I would be on my way home, then an unexpected  sentence, " You are off for a CT scan", thought it would just be for my kidneys, but when the DR came back, said he was very relieved to tell me the Aorta was fine,, no ballooning and diameter was normal also my kidneys were good as well.P hew, what a relief, as in the scanner, I thought it was targeting more than kidney level, back and forth, hold your breath, breath normally lots of times,  maybe they didn't want to tell me until the results came in. 

The diagnosis as this moment is that I have shingles., the DR could see one 

" vesicle'  and today maybe  there are 2 more..

So if I don't leave any comments, it isn't that I haven't read and kept up with all your news, just too painful to use my right hand and arm .

And as I think no post is OK without at least one photo, here is the Begonia keeping Moxy's grave company.

Quotation of the day from J M Barrie

" Not in doing what you like,
but in liking what you do
is the secret to happiness" 

Greetings from Jean.

Saturday, 30 April 2022

Anzac Day remembered in 2021


I saw this on Jocelyn's blog this morning,  you will find her here      ,     and wondered how I had missed seeing it here in new Zealand. Newfoundlanders were the only North Americans to fight with our New Zealanders and the Australians at Gallipoli. The Royal Newfoundland Regiment marks this event each year, and in 2021, the bands of both forces, one in Newfoundland , and one here in new Zealand, linked up together to make an outstanding  video. The piece is " Invercargill", a march composed by Alex Lithgow, and named after his home town , the most southern city here in NZ.

Here is the link to watch and listen to the combined bands perform. Modern  internet miracles transform our lives across the oceans. 

I had to swipe, then open the link,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7qXd_izbyw .

Photo courtesy of the Internet,  The New Zealand Army Band, taken at  forecourt of Parliament, Wellington, at the swearing  in ceremony of the Governor General Sir Jerry  Mateparae, 31st August 2011. 

And an image of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Band. Courtesy of the Internet.

Life continues slowly, no visitors, no going out, a walk to the mailbox is getting easier. and friends and family  continue to phone, and do a grocery shop for us. Day 6 yesterday, symptoms still lingering, but this morning I am hoping for a better day.  Hugh has been the main chef, and excelled himself each night with dinner served, pots rinsed, I am so thankful, grateful, and relieved that he has been able to do this, if left to me it might be a banana and yoghurt!!!!

And this morning, after 8 days ,  coffee actually tasted like it should, even though that delicious aroma was absent .

Quotation of the day, from Herbert Hoover ,

" Freedom is the open window through which pours 

the sunlight of the human spirit and  human dignity "

Greetings from Jean.


Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Saying Thank You never seems to be enough

 Thank you all for the loving and caring comments.

Day 5, still not feeling any better, hoping each day  there will be some improvement.

However, on Monday 25th our Anzac Day, Hugh tested Positive. So he has to isolate for 7 days,

In New Zealand we have an online site, that you fill in with your own personal details, called " My Health Account"  .Then enter the test results, this gives those who collect all the data the numbers for Covid Positive people, and the area they live in. I can now understand how so many families struggled to do this, those not familiar with online or internet , those with families not living close by who could help.

To brighten this post, here is the deep yellow Day Lily, that seems to flower almost all year long. A friend who lived near us at Katikati said they were indestructible.  Kathy grew so many colours there, all in organised rows, so many to choose from,   and I remember watching Murray machete the roots to divide the plants after flowering was done. " Ming Porcelain" was my favourite, a delicate almost translucent pale apricot.I hope it continues to flower at our previous home. 

Quotation of the day, author unknown

 "Flowers are friends in the Garden of Life"

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 25 April 2022

25th April 2022

Anzac Day, 25th April, 2022, New Zealand.

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.

Sunday, 24 April 2022

How Did This Happen????

 We have all been so careful,  wearing masks, hand washing, avoiding crowded places. Scanning in, checking our phones to see if a Covid alert has been entered. 

This morning at 4 a.m. I woke, and thought " Oh No ", dragged myself to the bathroom and found the box of Covid Rapid Tests. I didn't need to wait long before the first red line, then the second, showed.

I am a Positive Covid Case, so I went online to My Health Account and followed all the details. We all need to isolate until 1st May,  7 days from yesterday when I had one symptom, but didn't link the tiredness to Covid,  and no visitors, or doing anything energetic. I am so thankful our friends visited before this . The website told me to consider myself infectious from 21st April.

As soon as I had entered my result, was given  instructions, and had to enter more information.I can now understand how some people struggled with this side of Covid.

I am so thankful for a wonderful friend who collected the grocery list and shopped for some essentials.

So I might not be doing anything much at all, other than resting.Any quilting will have to wait, Henry, consider yourself lucky to be strutting earlier!!!

Quotation of the day , original words...

"When you wish to be a hermit, beware,  it might happen all by itself".

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 17 April 2022

The day has arrived for Henry to make his debut

  As I wrote a few days ago, I answered a post, and was accepted to be a pattern tester. The design had to stay a secret until Friday, and now Lesley over at berry_birdy has shown the pattern Henry can make his appearance.

Dresden Points, something totally new to me, I had to Google them to make sure I would be able to do this. There are a few of us who were testers, we shared suggestions, helpful ideas, and progress photos. I needed help to add my photo to the group, and was given the " How to do this"  so promptly, in spite of the time difference, as we are in various locations, Netherlands, USA, Washington, and more, 

 and as soon as the last one is posted, there will be a parade of the whole flock.

 Interesting facts I found as I  searched for rooster photos, Roosters are territorial,  and look at their hens as " Theirs" . Also the comb and wattle are large and bright to attract the ladies.And the men don't have a specific name for their group, just a flock, like hens and chickens. 

He was going to be a wall hanging, but now will be the front of either a VERY large bag or a square fabric, also large, box, for anything to be stored in.
Keep watching for the final parade.
Here is a photo from long ago, Calf Club Day at TeHihi Primary School. I had a huge black rooster, my Dad built a little cart and the doll sat there, towed round.  This might have been in 1947 or 1948, summer time, no shoes, I still had short hair, and in the background other pupils, I recently phoned one classmate and we shared many memories of the farming families and more. Lambs, calves, decorated vehicles, usually a bike with crepe paper wound round the spokes,. The calves were judged, and those who won a top ribbon went on to be entered
 in the Franklin A&P show at Pukekohe. 
This was a large event with cows,  all breeds, bulls,  with a ring in their nose,  a rope attached either side, and two men leading them into the judging ring , horses including  Clydesdales  . then the sheep, ewes and rams , all competing for top place.

Meantime, Easter Greetings to you all, I hope your days are sunny, rainy if needed, and health and happiness prevail.

Quotation of the day, from  J.M.Barrie,

" Not in doing what you like, but in liking what you do is the secret of happiness"

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 14 April 2022

Nothing Much Happening down here

 Hello all blog friends near and far,

Nothing exciting has been happening, I had what I thought were Covid symptoms, almost EVERY one, stayed home for ages, did the RAT tests, and each one was negative.

Finally after much phoning and getting frustrated, Hugh drove me to the next town, the drive-in clinic out at the racecourse  no hesitation to give me the PCR test, results back next day and it was negative.

However my Doctor tells me all that does is to verify I was not infectious at that time.

So today I go and have my Cataract pre -surgery anaesthetic appointment, check weight?? ( OK)  Height??  ( shrinking!!) and blood pressure  ( Okay too) and all medications, ( all blood pressure meds have been discontinued, Hooray )  and then say " You are fit and well " and hopefully the surgery will be within 3 weeks.

I saw on a website a few weeks ago someone was asking for  pattern testers. Well, I haven't ventured into this before so thought " Let's give it a go" .It was different to anything I have done before, a group of 5 of us from all over the world quickly became friends and offered suggestions, help, and lots more. It is still a secret until Friday Northern time!!!

Meantime our Daylight Saving has ended, the mornings are already so dark, and a lot cooler, so the firewood box is full and kindling ready.

Quotation of the day from Khalil Gibran

 " If you reveal your secrets to the wind,

 you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees"

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 17 March 2022

March 17th, A special Day

 St Patrick's Day, March 17th, Celebrated world wide for many reasons. 

But to have a Birthday on that day is extra special. 

Many Happy Birthday Wishes, Ralph, from all of us up North. 

Closer to home, in our hearts, but a lot further in distance,  in Otago, is our son-in-law, Ralph. We met him for the first time on TV, with Miriama Kamo and Paul Hobbs, a 20/20 documentary  called " Dogged Determination" , filmed on the farm down south and at the dog trials there. Up to that time, we knew someone was somewhere, but WHO???!!!

This is at an Outdoor Concert, in Otago, in 2009. 

In 2020 the Waitahuna Collie Club held a surprise party, but the real reason was to honour  three former Club Presidents with Life Membership

Ralph Brown with Rogue, then Roger Tweed with Strike and his brother John Tweed with Merv.

Together they had contributed 110 years of combined service. Families and friends had gathered, and then the men thought this was a little more than an ordinary evening when even extended family members were there.

 Dogs have always been a huge part of Ralph's life, and he  has participated in many sheep dog trials.  Indeed, that was where he met Kaz, when he was travelling to the North Island for an event. I think he managed to visit  on the return journey to Otago, not sure where the dog stayed!!!

That Irish Pub in Picton , the beginning of their life together.

The next photo was my attempt at trying  OOB, or Out Of Bounds Photoshop editing.

Ralph with one of his earlier dogs.

Life in Otago is  tough in the winter, guess the thought of a wet snowy paw on your face is not so welcome.

There was an early heavy snowfall that winter, but it didn't deter the Irish Snowmen from enjoying a drink or two on the verandah.

Fast forward to March 3rd, 2018.The day we had all been waiting for, their wedding  on the farm. 

A  wonderful day, typical southern hospitality, and although we knew only the family, everyone else recognised us as parents of the bride. I contributed as standing in for the " Father of the Bride Speech" Hugh was reluctant to stand up there, so I carefully  worded  and then printed out a short version. I have been told I talk like I write, LOTS, so thought I should carefully limit my time. The night before the wedding, Ralph's brother  Andrew read it and replied " I think you can embellish this quite a bit more" So I did ; The Best Man enlightened us with many highlights from over the years, then it was the Groom's turn.
Ralph gave the most amazing speech, with all of us laughing so much. 

Needless to say, we are so happy that on the 17th March,  on your birthday, you will  celebrate in true Southern Style,

I think the day is taken up with the local Sheep Dog Trial preparations for the coming weekend, but I did hear a whisper of some beers, and more at the end of the day . 
Enjoy the day Ralph, maybe another year when Covid-free travel is safer, we can join you  in the Far South .
Quotation of the day , author unknown,

" Families are the compass that guides us.
They are the inspiration to reach great heights, 
and our comfort when we occasionally falter."

Greetings from Jean.