Friday, January 30, 2009

Rushed Trip.

There has been all together too much death and too many funerals around here lately.
Here are some photos of a very rushed trip we had to take down through the Central North Island to Palmerston North - a trip of 5 hours each way. We had to go to a young 35 year old relation's farewell. ( motor cycle accident ).
Ever thoughtful of my blog and the fact that some of you in other parts of the world love to see different parts of the country I spent time hanging out the car window trying to get photos. We did stop a few times.We quite surprised ourselves by the speed with which we were able to make this journey.
We came in from work on Wednesday and picked up the newspaper at 5.15 pm. Saw the time of the funeral next morning at 11am ; both rushed through the shower, threw some clothes and gear in a case and had left here in less than an hour.We stopped at Taupo for some dinner( only half an hour ) and I took the photos of a beautiful red sky sunset looking across Lake Taupo towards the mountains , from our table in the restaurant. No more photos that evening as it was dark - we arrived very tired at 11.45 pm and booked into a hotel.
Next day,after the funeral we made a few calls on rellies before making the return trip and arriving home at 10.15 pm. The last 6 photos were on the return trip and show the mountains that stand in the middle of the North Island of NZ in Tongariro National Park. The country side around the mountains is desert and the road is called the Desert Road and is very different from most green grassy parts of the country. Mt. Ngauruhoe is the cone shaped mountain and Mt Ruapehu the larger snow tipped one. Mt Tonagiro was not visible.The last 2 pictures are Lake Taupo looking from the Southern end this time.
We were only away from home for 28 hours but fitted a lot into that time. I saw lots of rellies including my sister who I hadn't seen in person for a while. One of the other calls afterwards was to my 85 year old Aunt. I just couldn't be in her city and not visit - no matter how pressed for time we were. I am glad we made time as she was delighted to see us( and accept the 6 avos I threw into a bag to take).She is getting frail but her mind is still sharp. One never knows when they just might not be there.My favourite Auntie - my late mum's younger sister.
Today we were 2 quite tired orchard workers - we might be getting too long in the tooth for that sort of rushing around. DH drove all the way even though we could have shared it; he loves driving - fine by me. (He also goes faster for that sort of journey ) Let's hope that is all the dying for a while!( needless to say - no sewing for the last few days.)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Happier Saturday.

Just some of the yummy veges from the garden. I can't walk past the wee yellow tomatoes without popping one in my mouth.
Yesterday was our 1st P & Q meeting for 2009. There were only 24 there cause it's still Summer holidays for many folk. We had a lovely shared lunch and then at 2 pm 14 of us went to the Funeral of out member Marie - who we were staggered to learn she was in her 90 th year.( she must have been the eldest in our group ) We will miss her smiling positive presence!. A new person turned up to join and paid her sub - she is already a serious quilter, so we are maintaining numbers. I look forward to a busy year with these friends; we have lots planned. I may get less done at the meetings sewing wise but I don't mind someone has to organise.
Today we are having a much needed catch up mow and clean day. Yeah!
It is a still, sunny, beautiful day here in BOP, NZ.
This evening we are going out with 3 relations. ( 2 from out of town )One we really like the other 2 are hard to take, but I was delighted when the suggestion was made to eat out - saves me the job and it is simply ages since we have been in a restaurant.
* answer - As far as I know dragonflies do NO damage at all - only eat other small insects - that's good. BUT if they get any bigger it could be scary!

Friday, January 23, 2009


A beautiful twilight visitor in my garden. The biggest I have ever seen. ( about 15 cms wing tip to wing tip )( click to enlarge ).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Moving Forward.

I was very touched by all the kind comments. Thank you all very much. After a few days I am now able to talk about Inky without going to pieces BUT we both are still doing habit things - thinking he will be at the door, or needing feeding. A matter of us retraining ourselves.

Unfortunately that was followed closely by finding out that one of the older members of my P & Q Group died yesterday. Marie was a special lady and I will miss her friendship.
A little progress has been made sewing the feathers for the Jewelled Bird. It appears to be puckering the fabric a bit but all the gold fabric around the outside will later be cut away so may not show so badly.
Every few days I am picking a small number of blueberries, off 2 small bushes, so might buy another couple since they have proved to be happy growing where they are planted.
I'm not exactly sure how high an elephants eye is ( depends where he is holding his head )but our corn is high and ready and juicy and yummy! ( Forgot to get a picture - still can and will show another day.)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The End Came very Suddenly.

Inky ( Incubus Feline Honeyfield) died suddenly at 4.30 pm today Saturday 17 th January 2009.
As those of you who visit here know, Inky had been unwell, but was improving daily so the sudden end was a shock for us. His last day with us was a happy one for him. His appetite had improved ( without ever taking the tablets! ) He had had several small meals earlier today ( cheese, cat biscuits, toast with avo even his first small helping of his normal cat food ) and was following me around. Mid morning he lay in the sun in the family room and I brushed him for about 15 minutes which he loved He later spent the afternoon asleep on our bed. DH was at the computer when he heard him being sick ( just a tiny bit ). He then went out the ranch slider door ( while I cleaned the carpet ) and about 2 minutes later we heard 2 awful noises from him and there he was lying dead.
We have buried him in the flower garden where there was a space beside the new lemon tree amongst the flowers. His parents are both very shocked cause we thought he was getting better.Maybe his heart gave out or he had a seizure - I'm not sure ;but the end was swift.I have spent time collecting his things together; unopened food to go to our young ones in Hamilton who have cats. We have lovely memories of (this anti social to most people till he got to trust you ) little wild boy who adopted us to be his parents nearly 13 years ago.His favourite toy - an ear plug which he could pick up in his paw and kill.
Absolutely no more cats for me. ( we have our previous cat Hacksaw here under a rose bush and the dogs from the farm under a Puriri tree ) We can now have the carpet cleaned or perhaps renewed before to long as almost all the stains are his work. Now if we want to go away over night or for the weekend we can go without asking anyone to come and feed him. ( so it is just Darby and Joan now ! ) The first brandy hasn't helped I think I'll have a second!
RIP Inky Boy.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Inky says....

Inky says, "Thank you everybody . You have been kind to my Mum and she frets about me a lot and doesn't sleep if I am sick."
"Hi Bella and your 3 mates....miaow back."
"My Mum is trying to make me eat and drink and I don't feel like it. She puts chocolate smelling medicine on my paw and I have to lick it off. She gave me some ice cream like that too. She is trying ALL the things you people suggested but not the chicken livers or pate yet. Mostly I turn my nose up and move away, but to keep her happy when she stands me in front of my water bowl I lick for 30 seconds ; just because she won't let up! On Wednesday when she forced me to eat a little pork ( sweet and sour ) I vomited it and my medicine back on the carpet....but have been good since."
"I am now very slim! My Dad has gone down to the Vet this morning for more medicine and some appetite simulant...what?....tablets - you're kidding!"
"I'm keeping them busy anyway."
"My Mum says people called Meggie and Loulee and Julz and Julia, Andrea and Paula, Leanne and Gudrun, and a Yankee Quilter and Lynda and Julie q all are worried about must be that computer things friends, cause I don't remember you all but I like the fuss.
I'm not going for a big, big sleep ...not today anyway. My mum is very relieved about that. "
Signed Inky ( Incubus, feline )

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Good and Bad.

The bad news is Inky ( 12 3/4 yrs ) our cat is very sick.( he featured here last May when he hurt his leg ).He hasn't eaten properly since last Thursday and was getting more an more stressed with laboured breathing and doing his usual things of trying to hide outside where we couldn't find him ( a sure sign he is sick )wet or fine. By yesterday he was so weak we had to act. He hates cages and car travel and has a dickey heart so we didn't want to make things worse. DH went down to find out about a new Vet clinic opened in Te Puna just 3 kms away. They said YES they would make a house call! Wow....that's very good. R asked the vet to bring a strong enough dose in case he needed putting to sleep but she also came with antibiotic paste and anti flam which she gave him plus 2 injections of plasma under the skin to get some fluid into him. She advised giving him till Friday to make an improvement or.......Try and get him to drink and eat anything at all 5 or 6 times a day. The anti biotics is chocolate flavoured...that gave me an idea, as he would lick it off his front paw. I tried him later with a piece of dark chocolate and he licked it till it was almost all gone. Chocolate for a cat????? How weird. He then licked up a tiny amount of mashed avocado which he loves and has with his breakfast normally. Today I got him to eat some tiny, tiny bits of tasty cheese. ( any type of cat food - forget it ) we now have a very emaciated cat with expensive tastes...but his doctor did say give him what ever he will take.
The verdict about what is wrong with him...could be any number of things......he won't tell me...but I know he is breathing with huge effort. At least having taken some action , however expensive, I slept better last night. ( he is our only and last pet - I get too stressed when they are sick....but the last 2 cats have adopted us not the other way around! ) Obviously I'll keep you posted about him.
Now the good part! Today for 4 hours DH was left in charge of sick cat ( but failed to get him to eat anything! ) because I had our P & Q Group's annual picnic. About 22 of our ladies sat around doing hand sewing talking and eating. It was held at Kulim Park on the harbour edge and we had a lovely view of Mt. Maunganui and several small yachts and seabirds.It was beautifully sunny to start with but by 1 pm clouds came across and a breeze started to make us too cold, so we gradually departed for home. I was back in time to do some fruit work - then we got rained on a bit ; now it is bright sun again....but I've knocked off now for the day .
I have made some progress with the jewelled bird and decided how I will stitch the feathers on, most of which are now cut out .
If anyone knows anything else peculiar that cats like ( and can lick )please let me know.....caviar perhaps.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Just a Few Feathers.

Just a few small feathers cut out ( not yet sewn down ) for the breast of the jewelled bird......and some hand pieced squares for another little basket.......that's all I have had time or energy for at night. NZ has been having some extreme heat! ( yes , I know it is cold and snowing in parts of the northern hemisphere but down under it is very hot and humid.)
When it is fine we are working hard at thinning the young Kiwifruit ( and it has been very fine ALL WEEK! ) phew! I collected some examples to show the reasons for throwing fruit on the ground to be mowed up. Firstly there are too many fruit for the vines to size up to export standard so the first to go are the ones that don't meet export grade because of their shape and size. If you enlarge the photo of the fruit ( by clicking ) you will be able to read the labels . The fruit at the bottom of the picture with the hayward mark ( a long stripe ) are the correct shape but are not allowed the line or protuberance ( beak ). Ideally all fruit should be that shape.....longer than they are wide ( like us ! ) and gently rounded on the edges ( also like us ). With all the fruit thrown down one has to be very careful about one's footing especially on a days for roller skating are now it is easy to give yourself a fright! The up side is the crop looks excellent - so I hope folk in the rest of the world will still buy and eat it even if time are hard in 2009! ( if it doesn't sell we don't get paid )
Do you like my maroon / wine coloured Eucomis. ( sometimes the green variety of these plants are called pineapple plants because of the appearance of the flower )The few wee pink cornflowers sit at their feet. I have several patches of plants in this colour as the carry on the colour theme from the Copper Beech tree and Aconium Schwarzkopf ( succulents )further along.( not much time or energy for gardening but I might get some today as I am NOT doing kiwifruit today )The vege garden is doing fine so we are eating beans , silver beet, potatoes, courgettes and tomatoes...all of which need picking every second day. The taste is worth it.( corn almost ready )
I now have a little more housework to do then I may decide how to spend the rest of my day...yeah!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Calendars and Diaries.

We seem to have calendars hung in almost every room in the house. We get given some from firms we deal with, which is very nice but for this year I bought a lovely artistic one ( at Calico Christmas ), because the photos delighted me. I think I will share them with you month by month. January is beautiful butterflies.(Calli core species ). The calendar is called "Exquisite Creatures" - The insect Art of Christopher Marley.
I also got myself an aesthetically pleasing ( to hold and look at ) Diary . Normally a small wee handbag size one or notebook serves my purpose, but, as this year I have added responsibilities I decided I better be really organised. I am the Vice President of our Patchwork and Quilters Group for 2009, and responsible for taking the Friday meetings twice a month. Also for attending Committee meetings.( I refused to agree to attending Tuesday night meetings as well, so the President is doing those - so we are job sharing. ) ( I'm in charge of Vice ! - LOL )We have about 100 members so some organisation is required.
The said Diary was made in NZ ( yes! ) and has a soft chamois leather feel cover. It has a wire spine and lots of extra pages ( that could be pulled out or used for lists. ) ( hope it helps ).
A few days ago I got to meet with Laurie, who now lives back in NZ. She called in while on her way to Athenree.She kindly gave me a wee gift she had made, a cute little pin cushion. ( as I have only one other it will get used.)Thank You Laurie. We intend to meet again when I go over to Ngongotahah to spend my voucher at Cottage Flair.
Gudrun, you asked," do we get a break now from the orchard?" . NO - if it is fine we have loads of fruit work to do over the next few weeks. ( we do not work in the rain - so get a little time out that way ) The Kiwifruit is growing really fast at this stage in their life and have to be thinned to a number that can get to be really big . We need to be everywhere at once!
Consequently I have not made huge progress with the Jewelled Bird. I have cut some feathers and know what to do next.( there is no hurry so that's okay ).I can see 2009 being a very, very busy year for me. Busy is good - right?