Central Plateau, North Island

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

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Life in the Slow Lane!!!


Some visits to the Doctor, the X-Ray department, the physiotherapist, and another doctor, consensus is a sprained ligament in my right knee. By the time I finally get to see a specialist, in 6 to 8 weeks ( I have to remember there are 22 people ahead of me in the queue) it will either be better or NOT. So no driving or kneeling for a while yet.Just as well I can manage to sit at the sewing machine.

The Knee Brace!!!


The 150 Canadian Women blocks are so interesting,  and as well there is the Canada 150 Birthday Logo. I have sewed in random, not in the methodical #1 to #150, but have managed to do the difficult #30, the card block, and # 37, with freezer paper, and points that magically all lined up.

this is a little darker than the actual fabrics.

Blocks finished #37, #30,#35

Blocks 23,24,31,32,33,34 finished

Canada 150 logo Block E

There was a competition for the  Canada 150 Logo, and some dissension after the winner was chosen.  Some of the group have sewn this in colours, some in reds, and another did this and the Canada 100 Logo, on a bag, It was stunning. Mine will be in reds and purples, as white batik is not in my stash, and quite hard to find

Canada 150 Birthday Logo

Image result for Canada 100 birthday logo

Image result for canada 150 birthday logo

As a New Zealander, I feel very honoured and humbled to be accepted into the group, and to take part as a sewer and quilter  in this celebration. A tribute to all my friends throughout Canada.

Each week as I scan the weather in US and Canada, I realise how little I know about the snow, freezing rain, ice on the streets, Yaktracks on your boots, and roofs that have to be shovelled clear of snow!!! Maybe I  might just stay down here.But lately my Geography knowledge has improved beyond what I ever managed at High School.

This week, our daughter’s best man Stephen Allpress passed away ,  in Rotorua, and in Auckland,  my dear friend Jeanette, their best man also passed away. Life is fleeting and fragile.

Quotation of the day,  from Bob Perks ( copyright)…….


I wish you enough

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how grey the day may appear.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.


Greetings from Jean

Monday, 23 January 2017

Baby Bird and Little Blocks


Late yesterday Boris was on the lawn, paying much attention to a bird nest that had blown out of a tree. I wandered over, and it felt heavy, but sometimes nests do have a base of dirt and mud. Lots of white wool fleece inside, feathers and soft moss.  I left him, then a minute later huge squawking, and a baby bird trying so hard to hide, as the nest was slowly being untangled. A rescue, and brought it inside. I couldn’t identify it, and rang our local bird rescue lady, Dawn.

She arrived, and was so excited. This was a  Shining cuckoo chick, the first she had rescued. Altough there had been adult birds, not a baby.  So after a photo shoot, off they went, and today she is taking it with her to Massey University in Palmerston North, where you can study   with  a 5 year course for a Bachelor of Veterinary Science. The wee chick will get the once-over to make sure all is well and Dawn will give it heaps of TLC, and  round the clock feeding, until it is old enough to survive out in the open once again.


Shining Cuckoo baby #1Shining Cuckoo baby # 3 JPGShining Cuckoo baby # 2 JPGShining Cuckoo baby # 4 JPG

This is courtesy of the Internet , both the data and photo.

Shining cuckoos are brood parasites, laying their eggs singly in nests of grey warblers (mainland) and Chatham Island warblers. Eggs are laid mostly in November, after which the adult cuckoos take no further part in breeding. Young cuckoos are dependent on their foster-parents for several weeks after fledging.

The tiny Grey Warbler feeding the much larger Shining Cuckoo chick.

Grey Warbler feeding a Shining Cuckoo Chick.

The 150 Canadian  Women Blocks are progressing, I am a long way behind, but finding all  the information about these amazing women so humbling, and interesting.

150 Canadian Women blocks January 2017

A few more are finished,some of the group have chosen to use blue fabrics, others a variety of colours, and when I reach the #75, might switch to blues and greens.

150 CW., Blocks 18,19, 20, January 2017

We have rain, it is cold, the fire is lit, and this is our summer time. The family finally arrived in Vancouver, after an almost 3 hour delay on the runway with an engineering fault on the plane!!! 5Celsius over there, and one more flight to Kelowna.  A very long day or night!!!

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Electronic communication across

oceans and countries

gives us all that sense that

we are still so close to each other”

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Do not turn your back when working !!


The Birthday Celebrations continued, with the most delightful evening out, a yummy meal, at Bulls, and here we are. Thank you so much Jeanette, this was Hugh’s  birthday present , but we all enjoyed it so very much.

Jeanette, Kaz, Ralph, Hugh , then  I am on the very right. All prettied up!!!  Look carefully, as you might not recognise me further down the page!!!

Dinner out for Hugh's birthday

Jeanette left for home the next morning, a long 6 hour drive with extra time for stops along the way. It was so good to talk to her after she arrived safely back in Auckland. I am hoping she will have a short flight for her next visit and a longer stay down here.

Property maintenance was on the list, so out came the weed-eater, or weed-whacker, or whipper-snipper, depending where you live. Long grass in difficult places was quickly down to ground level, and all is looking great.Then the fence railings, a bit grimy, so out came the water-blaster. Hugh cannot manage to stand for very long, so I donned gloves and a hat, and started. I didn’t know he had the camera ready!!!

Next time, I will NEVER turn my back!!!

Jean waterblasting #2


Jean waterblasting the fence railings

Jean waterblasting #3

It looks so shiny and clean.

One of my blog friends, Joanne, has  very interesting words today.

  She found a blog a while ago called “ word365”  when you choose a word to use through the year, to turn to, to use  and to be guided by.

  I gave  my own choices much serious consideration, and after weighing up so many possibilities,  decided on Keep”.

I will keep hope in my heart, keep family and friends close in my thoughts, and try so hard to keep only what I need,  I will only keep positive thoughts, and keep on giving thanks for so  much goodness and happiness  in my life every day.

Finally, I thank each one of you who sent Hugh a birthday greeting . He was so thrilled and really appreciated and enjoyed every one. 80,  there are so many good reasons to celebrate, to be thankful, and to keep on living each day as a bonus, never to be taken for granted.

And , finally, again, thank you all for loving and caring messages and words for me, I am keeping well, new tablets are working so far, and I am so happy to have my feet on the floor at home  every morning.

Quotation of the day , from Omar Khayyam

“ Be happy for this moment .

This moment is your life”

Greetings from Jean.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

A Birthday Surprise with a Difference


Earlier this year I found that Jenn from

                    Country Cottage Reflections 

would have a “significant” birthday on 26th December. As so often happens, those days are mingled into Christmas Day, and the special day gets left out. I thought I might make Jenn “ a little something” and post it over.  Subterfuge again entered the equation.

But then came the difficulties. This was to be a surprise…. so  I needed to find Caitlin’s email address,  ( Jenn’s daughter) , that was the first hurdle, finally found her husband’s email but this was a government one!!! Sent it off and waited, and waited. Finally  Jean-Luc checked his private emails, and Caitlin replied, and things were starting to go to plan.

Boris and a scarf

Boris checked out the scarf, and it was cosy and warm, but not quite long enough!!!

Joyce did some beautiful embroidery on the pocket of a folder for pages and pencils and crayons for Jenn’s drawing when she is out and about.

Jenn's folio folder  and scarf

I found out  that Jenn had an iPad, and her bag has a padded pocket inside for this, another pocket, and ties at the top.

Jenn's bag inside


Jenn's birthday goodies

Then I found that the birthday  lunch and party was postponed until today NZ time, as freezing rain turned the roads into slick ice.  I woke at 3.30 a.m. checked the time in Ontario, and wondered if anyone was online? No, so after a while went back to bed.After all, plenty of sleep must be good for my heart!!! I missed Caitlin’s reply by one minute. Never mind, when I woke next time, there is another message, and we were good to go at 2.30 p.m. Canada time in Ottawa. Some setting up with Skype, then an iPad contact to be added, and it was all action.

Do you have any idea how magical it was to see Jenn, and her family, then watch as she opened the parcels? This is what makes blog friendships so special.

Happy Birthday all over again, dear Jenn, and Caitlin and Jean-Luc, Isabelle and Josephine,  thanks so much for your part in all of this. Jo, I found out about your birthday just too late to send something off, so  at the end of 2017, it will be your turn.

Many, many thanks for everyone’s lovely caring words for me,  I treasure  them all , and to know you care from  close to home and so far away,  is very special to me . I am trying to go slow,  I treat  each day as a special one, and hope to see a specialist very soon.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Life is full of surprises,

the future is not set in stone”

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Season’s Greetings to All


As 2016 comes to a close, I wish you all every happiness, much love, lots of laughter, and days filled with good health.

I have been so thankful for all your lovely caring words, comments, emails and prayers over the past few weeks.

Did you know that Santa has headlights on his sleigh? They shone down through the sky, onto the ambulance, as it whisked me  off to hospital, and as midnight struck in clock  towers, he travelled overhead. But on the way across the world, he stopped off with some goodies. Red batiks, for the “ 150 Canadian Women Quilt-along”.There they were, waiting when I came home this morning. This was another visit with the yet undiagnosed chest pain, I have been moved up  the list and now should see  a specialist very soon, and then have a  visit to another larger hospital for tests. Staff  wore  Santa hats, Reindeer antlers, and the breakfast was wonderful. For one wonderful nurse, this was the first time she had been in ED on Christmas Day, and ditto for me.  As we drove back though the front gate, home  looked truly wonderful.


Santa dropped these off this morning

More goodies were waiting, among them this fabulous piece. I can see something wonderful to be made with all those words, from round and about the far south . Thanks so much, Ann and Russell.

Another Christmas gift from the Far South

My video failed badly, so here are a few pics from the year.Whakapapa slopes with Josh

Dani  on Joey Oct 2016,

Hugh and his plane October 2016

sunrise  in December 2014


last sunrise

Quotation, author unknown

“ Happiness always comes from within,

and it is found in the present moment

by making peace with the past

and looking forward to the future”

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 16 December 2016

A few more Very Quiet Days


My words here might be few and far between for a while.  I had another trip to hospital at 1.30 a.m. on Wednesday, after waking at 1 a.m. knowing something was amiss, and chest pain began. Then the shaking. not an earthquake for sure. Woke  Hugh, rang the ambulance, ,they must think I like those trips.  My blood pressure was so high, yet the ambulance paramedic wanted me to try and tell her what was wrong, when I could hardly breathe. Then  she wanted me to walk out to the green and yellow truck!!! I struggled,  with her on one side and Hugh the other, I tried so hard, with suggestions “ Keep your eyes open,  Keep Walking !!!” Over and over. Guess she might have been a bit scared I would collapse. Then I think I almost yelled, well it might be called a snappy retort… “ I’m Trying”!!! Truly, it was such a long way, or so it seemed.

St John Ambulance

Whanganui Hospital E.D. has the best staff, from the cleaning lady who sweeps around the bed so quietly, or leaves it until the curtain is open, the nurses,  3 were waiting when I arrived, to all the Doctors from bottom to top. My medication has been changed, once again,  and the new tablets lower my B.P. to the very bottom of the scale.  I  now have a referral to a cardiologist, but am classed as semi-urgent!!! So am off to my G.P. next week, hope another letter might hurry things along.

Sewing is taking a break, as is quilting, baking, and housework. Perhaps in the reverse order might have been a better way to list them.

I promise, I am still reading all your news, admiring the photos, of sunshine, cats, dogs, waterfalls, lakes and the snow.Love that snow, wherever it is.And even  if I have not left a comment, I will have read every word.

Here is a collection of photos  from 2014.

December 2014 collage


Quotation of the day, a Chinese Proverb,

The miracle is not to fly in the air,

or to walk on the water,

but to walk on the earth.

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 9 December 2016

Goodies and a short Holiday


On Wednesday I strolled slowly to the mail box, and there it was. An envelope all the way from Kingston, Ontario, Canada!! The 2017 Quilted Kitties Calendar arrived. This is a project to fund-raise for the Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project. I have been an admirer of Cheryl, Kate and their team for some time now, and this year supported their project with the  purchase of a calendar .Just a small panic at Kingston, as the post office told her postage to New Zealand would be $72!!!,Some checking up and it was altered to the original charge. Look at these photos of the delightful kitties in all their finery.

Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project Calandar 2017

And here is the page for December 2017. How delightful is that?

All the pages are designed and quilted by Cheryl. Visit her blog on the link below and see more of her drawings, cookies, and kitties.

December 2017 Quilted Kitties Calandar


This week, I had a short visit to hospital, a fast ride in the ambulance, after having the shakes, believe me ‘twas  like an earthquake in my body, then very high blood pressure. Two paramedics and a nurse, Lance didn’t want to stop when I suggested  ( not true, just a random thought ) that on the  straight stretch of the  road I might need a toilet stop !! “ You are out of luck, sunshine” was his reply. As always, the staff in the Emergency Department were so good, I was given the best care, numerous blood tests, and ECG  print outs. Transferred to a much better bed with all the buttons to push to get the most comfortable angles, at 11.30 p.m. , and maybe almost asleep when another Dr came in at 12.30 p.m. and told me the  second blood test was negative for cardiac enzymes and the chest X-Ray was all clear. Off to sleep, and the night staff started to do rounds at 5 a.m.  I am guessing that no-one there has heard the words   “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” !!  They could not find anything in all those tests to give a  positive diagnosis . So maybe there will be a trip to a bigger hospital soon for more extensive tests.

Here are the fabrics from Bryan Gaskin, but I am sure there will be another visit next week before he closes those door for the last time.

top left turquoise and navy  are the finest silk, 3 at the right are fine cotton, the others are lovely brights for bags.

An early Christmas parcel of goodies

Yesterday I made a huge effort, put on some  ‘glad rags”   and off we went to the Christmas Dinner for members of the Model Plane club Hugh has joined. About 30 there,  we met many of them for the first time, and were introduced as “ The Youngest Members”, not sure about the age, but definitely the shortest time there. A wonderful group of friendly men and ladies, but I did find out that there isn’t a lady  in the club who flies her own model plane, so I don’t need to  be sorry when I decide not to join in.

Quotation of the day, from Jake Bailey


“So be gallant, be great, be gracious,

and be grateful for the opportunities

that you have."

Greetings from Jean