Central Plateau, North Island

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

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The South Island Beckoned

On Monday morning  19th February, Hugh and I set off for a holiday in  the South Island, a drive of over 2 hours, a ferry crossing across Cook Straight, just over 3 hours, then more driving over 2-3 days of about  800 km.

I am a  CALM sea girl,and was quite apprehensive about the crossing. Cook Straight is notorious for  rough seas, and with the tail end of Cyclone Gita arriving near New Zealand, thought this might mean a bit of a jobble.We boarded,amid cars, vans, utes, huge trucks and horse trucks or floats. It was so noisy down below. Above, everyone settled in, babies in arms, toddlers, tourists and then us locals. We left Wellington Harbour,  and were on our way to Picton. I sat and looked out the window for a while,then found a double seat, and curled up for a much needed sleep.I woke when we entered Tory Channel. A bit like the children who ask “ Are we there yet?” I was amazed that I slept almost all the way, it was SOOO calm!!!

Cook Straight map

Image result for Tory Channel Photos

A rush to get all the passengers and vehicles off, a 45 minute turn-around, and back it went to Wellington. We tootled off to Diane’s place just off this map, and to  below  where Blenheim is shown. Tuesday morning ( today)  set off for Kaikoura. Not too far out of town, road signs, men in orange jackets…..and traffic was diverted to a stop.The southern road was closed, the tail end of Cyclone Gita was arriving, and  huge waves would possible,or probably wash over the coastal road.

Meantime,some shopping,I didn’t find a fabric shop, and the heavy rain was not attractive at all. Some new waterproof mid height boots a real necessity!!! Look at them, so comfy, and maybe at the moment more necessary than batiks.And they were on sale!!!

Salomon X Ultra 2 Mid GTX Women's Hiking Boots

All photos courtesy of the Internet, I took my little Canon Ixus on the ferry, and after a few photos, it told me “ Memory Card is Full”,I transferred the photos  to my laptop  before we left, and forgot to delete them on the card. So after today, can use the heavier Canon  and get some touristy scenes to share.

If the road is open tomorrow, we  will slowly make our way south.If not, will catch up on news from around the blogging  friendship scenes.

Quotation of the day, by Franklin D Roosevelt

“ Calm seas never made a good  sailor”

Greetings from Jean.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Celebrate, a New Kid on the Block , and a few finishes!!!

It was late afternoon, when I remembered the date. 17th February, 1962. Our wedding Anniversary is today. I need to find a photo, but the only one I had on file was my Mum on that day. her outfit was cornflower blue,  and cream, a jacket and skirt, one of the very few bought ones, We both made all our own clothes back then.

Grace, My mum on our  wedding day, 1962

So the day is almost over, and we have a new kid here, Pale,pale cream and slight ginger, the friendliest stray ever!!!  He has been wandering back and forth for a while, we think, but last Sunday morning came in the front door at 6 a.m. ,made friends with everyone, and has been a full time lodger since. He is very defensive around the food  bowl, which makes us think he has been  abandoned, and living on the streets!!! I would like you to meet  Basil Brush.!!!Basil Brush #2 Feb 2018

Basil Brush #4 Feb  2018

The Two B’s,Boris and Basil!!! Boris has only made friends with one other stray, so we wonder is this his half-brother?

Basil & Boris Feb 2018

On the sewing machine, a few finishes. Blue Ted, is done, another Red Ted waiting to have the applique stitching done.

Blue Ted February 2018

I joined another group, YES, crazy I know with all else going on, but I could not resist.Here is January kitty, named “ Pinky Purple”!!!

January little cat applique

And I said Goodbye to Foxy#2,  as she flew northwards. Foxy #1 is living here, waiting for the other two mates ( cut out but not sewn up yet) to join him.

Here they are, sitting in their own chairs, so friendly to each other.

Two little foxes sitting in their chairs

I am thinking of all the students, parents and families whose lives have been altered forever after the shooting at the High School in Parkland, Florida.How would any parent,friend, brother or sister or grandparent  cope with that, a massive loss that no-one else could ever understand. For any  of us with a teenager, younger child , grandson or grand-daughter ,niece or nephew, or teacher at any school, we can be so thankful for each day that they arrive home safely.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Half of my heart lives in Heaven”

Greetings from Jean.

Monday, 5 February 2018

The Purples a Blowin’ In The Wind

The Wayward Transparency QAL started way back in August 2017., I was tempted, and fell in head first. Knowing Yvonne’s super quilting designs, I knew this would be another stunner. Here is the first post that gave us all enthusiasm beyond boundaries to join in.


We chose fabrics, according to the light, medium and dark  tones suggested, some of us were savvy enough to take a photo in the fabric shop, and change it to Black and White, this gives a wonderful idea of how good the contrast would be. YES, I chose 2 different shades, green and mauve/purple. The PURPLES won the first vote. Greens are waiting  .

wayward transparency new fabrics

wayward transparency new fabrics. B&W

Gradually  we all made choices, the Facebook group was a huge success, and we all “Oohed and Ahhed” over the  fabrics shown. The first cutting instructions  were given, and in October and November piecing directions made this go together so easily, yes even for me it went without a hitch. Finishing post went up in December, and the final link up is this week. Thanks so much Yvonne, for a totally fantastic QAL.There are finished quilts, flimsies, other layouts, and every one is a beauty.

Wayward Transparency points

I am so proud of those joins, seams all lined up as they should.

I have added a pale border, and the binding will be probably pale with the dark fabric as a wider flange. This has to wait until we come back from the South Island festivities.

Here it is pinned up, balancing carefully on 2 chairs!!! after some heavy rain overnight.

Wayward Transparency outdoors after rain

This is my favourite!!! Stretched out, under Hugh’s Dad’s Weeping Silver Pear Tree, my “ Go To “ Place for quilt pics. A bit of a breeze, and dappled sunlight shining on the lawn.

Purples #1

Late afternoon sun gave that stained glass look, hung between the framework for the   Honeysuckle.

Purples #4

Purples #2

Here it is between the little gusts of wind.I have to be patient and wait for the short/medium  arm Gammill machine to be re-wired, and have some serious practice first, then this might be top o’ the list!!

Thanks again Yvonne, for this adventure, with a lot of fun and happiness galore all the way along.

Quotation of the day,from Henry Ford.

“ Coming together is a Beginning.

Keeping together is Progress.

Working together is Success”

Greetings from Jean.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Foxy’s Friends and a Blue Moon

Some of you have written wonderful words about Foxy.And other things too. Thank you so much.

He is from a pattern in a Homespun Magazine, and was  designed by Anthea Christian. This time  I printed the  pattern pieces out, and pasted them onto thin card, cut very exactly on the lines,  A  lot easier than a  pattern paper by itself. He has 3 friends in the wings, all in various stages of disarray!!! One is flying North very soon,another going south, and maybe one will keep Foxy #1 company. Friends of Foxy waiting in the wings!!!

The little purple torch at the back was the one I took outside early this morning,so I could see the dials if I wanted to change my camera settings. I did venture out at 2  a.m. !!! YES, the mad lady, but it was too cloudy for a good photo, but the crescent I saw was indeed red. Later, at about 6 a.m. fortified with a cup of coffee, and still  in jamas and sheepskin slippers, wandered over the lawn. propped the camera on our wood box, then went to the street. A truck , a car, and a van all drove past, I was hoping in the semi- dark they might not see me. I used a bean bag I had made a while ago, a neighbours wooden fence paling, and managed to get a sort of decent shot or two.

This was from our front doorway, shining through our firewood trees.

1st Feb  Blue Moon 6 a.m.

Then I was out on the  edge of the street!!!

1st Feb Blue Moon #2

1st Feb Blue Moon #3

Nothing spectacular at all,but I can at least say I did see the “Moon Trifecta” this morning.

Blue Ted will be here when US arrives at the 1st February. Hurry up, your northerners!!! I long to have the whole collection done.

And in case you wondered, I am back to proper coffee!! Hooray for that, but the Myoscan will not be until mid-February when a specialist is available to be present. No doubt a big back-log too.In the meantime I am waiting, and had another short visit to hospital very early  Monday a.m. It is a trifle scary when angina pain lingers and does not subside with a sub-lingual spray repeated.  The blood tests are negative, this time I really think the Dr was hoping for a positive Troponin test, so I could be admitted and sent off for something to be done.I am so grateful for the wonderful ambulance men, or ladies,  one man ( single crew)  this time, the E.D.  staff,  and then….. there are the other patients who have been admitted for one night, one lady moaned and complained about everything.  I know she was ill, as we all are who are admitted to the “ Acute Assessment Unit” The other was a darling  wee thing, so apologetic when she needed staff to come.I am so positive neither will read this.

Guess in all  places we meet the grateful and the ungrateful. I hope I am one of the former.

Some places in New Zealand have had gale winds, huge rainfall, extreme damage to properties and buildings, we missed it all.After days of up to 33C, there will be a little sprinkle of snow in the far south.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ You do not miss the water till the well runs dry”

Greetings from Jean.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

The Fastest Fox Of All

I drafted the pattern pieces on Friday, cut a few parts out, Saturday, sewed some together, and today Foxy is all done. He went on an adventure in the garden, had a wee game with Boris,and maybe, just maybe, might have a lady friend join him later this week.

“ I sat on the table, quite a good view from here”

Foxy #1

“ Maybe a better one from the small shrub”

Foxy #2

“ This is it, high in the hedge, I can see to the front gate now”  

Foxy #3

“ Oh, the best of all, sitting in the shade under Hugh’s Dad’s Memorial  Weeping Silver Pear Tree” A special place for all photo shoots, so I am sure this will look great”Foxy under Hugh's Dad's memorial tree.

“ Time for a game with Boris, I hope he plays nicely!! I know he can be a bit rough at times! Oopsy, over I fall”

Foxy and Boris together

oops!! He fell over.Poor Foxy!!

“ Oh well, there goes Boris to check out the goldfish! That’s my fun for today”

Boris looking for a goldfish #1Boris looking in the pond

The yellow lilies are almost all open, the first ones dying off, and the perfume as strong as ever.

Last of the yellow lilies

Thank you all again for your special words and thoughts. Go slow is the story every day, no running!! Skating !! Housework!! ( as if ) and no stress!!

Quotation of the day, author unknown

‘ Advice from a Fox.”

“Rely on your instincts, Have  a playful  spirit.

Find a cosy den.  Be Bright-eyed and Bushy -Tailed.

Be Light on Your Feet.

Have Good Scents”

Greetings from Jean.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Easy as is Easy Does

Like Lori, over at Skoog Farm Journal, you can visit here here at this link

Takin' it easy ,

  I am a bit the same.

Thank you all so much for your lovely thoughts,  caring wishes, prayers and loving words. Easy, I am trying to, but  nothing is so  simple, meals,laundry, and more still wait each day. Housework, that is more easily ignored!!! But I am doing OK. Still waiting to be on the short list for the scan, my referral has not been read by anyone yet!!!  I will not get stressed, and will wait patiently.

I have 3 lily bulbs planed in pots, they are perfumed, and magnificent.

The last gladioli have no buds yet, they were planted VERY late.

Lily buds waiting

Yellow Lily #3

Yellow Lily #1

One of the comments in my last post was from Louise at this link,

Standing into Danger .

The words  ,  in case you missed them, said

The bird's nest is beautiful. We work so hard to surround ourselves with security, and here there are all these little birds that surround themselves with bits of woven fluff and build their lives!

This is so true. Life is fleeting, sometimes too short, fragile, and needs to be lived each day to the fullest we can.

Meantime I went to the library, and in a Homespun Magazine from June 2015, was this Fox. He is a softy, lots of fiddly cutting out, but he said “ Make Me” so I am. How could anyone resist this little fellow?

When I was young, I had a soft plush rabbit with long legs, pale green, called Flopsy.This Fox might well be “ Flopsy Fox” a tribute to my days with Mum and Dad on the farm,   a calf each year for the school calf club day, a horse, then a bike to ride the mile and a half to primary school, pine trees for firewood, and a 6 bale cowshed. How times change. The farm is now very exclusive and expensive lifestyle blocks.

Magazine cover photo courtesy of the Internet.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ You are never too old for a Teddy Bear”

Greetings from Jean.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Purple is the colour

The Wayward Transparency blocks are together, I have added a border of the pale mauve, and it will wait to be quilted,  “ Join the queue”I said.

This was another wonderful design from Yvonne at

 Quilting Jetgirl,

and it was so apt that after I arranged the flimsy outdoors, a plane flew overhead. It all seemed to be just right. There have been some fantastic choices for the fabrics, the quilting has left me in total awe, and many thanks must go again to Yvonne, for this QAL, the suggestions, the superb pattern that all went together like a dream.Points matched, so did seams,and this will be  a family gift when  finished.

Wayward Transparency pointsWayward Transparency outdoors after rain

Wayward Transparency waiting

You will need to look at this with  very good eyes, no tele lens, and it was so high by the time it cleared the clouds.But the plane is there, a little to the right of the arrow head.

Plane flying Northwards

We have had some rain,some very hot days, for us 34.4 Celsius is a scorcher. Then some wind, and I found the littlest nest of all. Made with such care, lined with white fluff from the poplar trees, and the builder had carted that a fair way , at least 100 metres,I marvel at the workmanship.

I propped it in a tiny shrub, and have kept it as a reminder that in the whole world, there are designers and builders of all types, everywhere.

Inside the littlest nest #2the littlest nest of all #1

On Sunday, I had a  short holiday, another ambulance trip at 2.30 a.m. after angina pain did not ease up with my medication. I am so thankful for our ladies and men who come at all hours, arrange to have another more advanced paramedic meet us half way, more medication, the “jungle juice” stuff!! After some hours on the most uncomfortable narrow bed of all times, doctors finally arrived, blood tests done, troponin levels in both tests were negative, and I am scheduled for a Myoscan, where a small amount of a radionuclide is injected  and  this is taken up into the heart muscle.After exercise, ( can you see me on that treadmill)…pictures are taken with a gamma camera, that will show, at rest, what areas have not taken up the dye.

Or they might do this the other way around, photos first??

Then off I go to have a NO COFFEE lunch. Then another set of photos, to see if my heart absorbs the dye after some rest.

The best, it will show  something is not right, the worst, no COFFEE the day before or on the day. And if they find what they think they will, a trip to  Wellington for an angiogram and maybe stents.

I am optimistic,and so thankful for all the care and fast action.

Stress, rushing, hard work,and walking fast are all out for a while.Thank goodness the firewood is all done.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Be kind,

be thoughtful, be genuine,

but most of all, be thankful”

Greetings from Jean.