Monday, January 31, 2011

Making a Quilt From Canteen Bandannas..

Thank you all for your comments. The weather here today is cooler and the creeks are still running high but otherwise everything is normal. Growth from all that extra rain is and will be, hard to keep up with...especially the weeds! I spent all afternoon yesterday weeding! Blah...lots more to do.
On Friday at our P and Q picnic ( which I didn't even get around to blogging about - nice catch up, but a small turn out, at the usual venue, which got chased off by weather just after lunch - again ) M came along with all the Canteen bandannas that have been donated so far. Back in November last year I blogged about this project which our group is taking on this year.
 I selected bandannas in black, white and blue. There were 4 blue, 3 black, 2 different white and one grey and black and white. Yesterday morning after looking at them all spread out on the floor for some time I decided how I could use them.
They were not all the same size or condition but I found I could after a good deal of squaring up cut 4 blocks  9.5 inches squares from each bandanna.These look good together but lack something - a splash of different colour. So I am adding some dark green and bright yellow squares. I aim to make  disappearing 9 patch blocks with the bright green and yellow as the centre patch ( which will then get cut up tiny at the next stage. )  I have these all ready to sew when I get the chance. They are not very thick or strong so will need  careful handling.
One or two members who already had the bandannas have made lovely little knee rug size quilts already. I think 4 might be finished. We are then donating them back to Canteen for young cancer patients.
My Dictionary tells me: bandanna or bandana : a large silk or cotton handkerchief or neckchief. ( from Hindi bandhnu - tie dyeing. )

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mother Nature Rules - part 2.

The second ( larger ) creek on our property runs from a spring high up the hillside behind us and down the valley through our land. For years we had a lovely water feature - a pond ( or dam or small lake. ) One night in March almost 2 years ago their was a landslide which rushed down the valley and filled our dam with mud, trees, rocks and debris of all sorts. It ripped out many of the trees we had planted along the way. A real eyesore. Gradually it has softened as things have rotted and wild plants have overgrown other areas and we just left it to solidify. There was no chance of digging it out again; the expense and logistics being impossible. Since then the small stream has meandered where it likes across the area that used to be the dam, then under our bridge and on down the gully on it's way eventually to the sea. The outfall which goes under the bridge and down a spillway has to be kept clear or it builds up behind causing flooding which could if left unattended wash the access track across the dam ( to the avocado blocks ) away.
 With yesterdays' high rainfall I feel Mother Nature might be trying to form a new dam for us.  Certainly the creek bed will be more clearly defined now. We'll see what happens.
The edge of the bridge is on the right with the water flowing out under it.

Under the bridge and down the spillway.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mother Nature Rules.

Mother nature certainly has the last say. Around here she keeps us on our toes. Last weekend we got 159 mls over 4 days most of it on 2 days.  Last night with the edge of Cyclone Wilma we got another 152 mls. That's a foot of rain in the last 10 days. I won't complain because north of us they really got hammered hard with landslips and  flooding. ( this is not of Australian proportions )
    On our property we have 2 usually small streams.( creeks ) They both have a large catchment area of the hills and the quarry park so when it rain hard as it did last night we know from bitter experience that we have to be on drain unblocking  ( culverts ) duty at first light.
 Sure enough first thing this morning water is running across block 1 kiwifruit block taking a detour from it's prescribed path. (This is the front creek. ) It drains into our property from the road and quarry above.
This is how it looked by 10 am after clearing. The water rushes down a concrete chute. Across the bottom is a metal grill to stop debris blocking the then underground waterway. It comes down this chute into a big round pipe, hits the side and takes a right hand turn into an underground piped waterway  which run underneath  the paddock and reemerges as a shallow creek which is piped under our driveway and then directly out of our property. It all used to be just an open stream but the erosion it was causing  made it unsafe to drive tractors or vehicle around this Kiwifruit block We had to threaten to sue the Local Council to get then to fix the erosion  and concrete the whole area. They did. Some years after that we then paid to have it all piped underground. ( we were scared a tractor would end up making the bank cave in ) Good move on our part.

This is the metal grill at the bottom of the concrete chute. It is to STOP Debris  ( branches, bark, small rocks,  old boots,  rubbish ) from the park behind us getting into and blocking the underground stream.

This is early this morning. The grill is partially blocked so the excess water starts coming across the paddock above  ground and under the kiwifruit to the right in this photo. It re enters the creek where ever it can.( anywhere around this garden area  or further down under the cherry trees.)

Here is R trying to unblock the grill. If it is a gentle flow the grill may be pulled upwards releasing anything in it . Here the water is too swift and dangerous.( there was swearing and of course when almost finished he got a gumboot full.)

This is looking down into the  big pipe when the grill ( top left )is still blocked.. This is where one would end up if the grill wasn't in place....... then you would be sucked under ground for about 75 metres. (certainly one would drown )

These are the flowering cherry trees beside the driveway. This shows water draining from the kiwifruit block and down a small drain under the driveway. Not the main drain.
This is why we have to listen to weather forecasts; heed warnings and NEVER leave our property without someone being in charge of drain unblocking if there is heavy rain. On my own I would struggle to cope but have done in the past. I know when to call for help of strong male friends. Neighbours are useless and cannot be left to mind it for us, because they are not generally speaking farmers or country folk who have some know how. ( townies )
Right that is the little story of the front small creek. Next post I will tell about the bigger back creek the one that used to flow into our dam ( pond, little lake ) before the landslide almost 2 years ago. 
I think orbweb spider might have drowned last night he is missing this morning.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

By the Wayside.

The sun is back today. The truck had an early appointment at the garage. The Husband had an early appointment at the Drs, so I am the taxi driver between those 2 places. That's fine I will walk a circuit I do from time to time, while I wait. It takes me down some newly built up residental streets, across a swamp and back along different streets. I pass my favourite Pukeko sign, but see mainly Paradise Ducks.
 Several dog owners are also enjoying an early morning exercise with their little 4 legged friends, whose noses are  to the ground enjoying the freshly washed wayside.
 When I get back at 9.30 it is already too hot for such activities.
Last Sunday we ventured out across the Kaimai Ranges to Hamilton despite the foul weather. Never in 34 years of using the road over the Kaimais have I seen flooding across the road. Visibility was down to less then 20 metres, which is more normal as the ranges often have their heads in the clouds. It was like that there and back.The Wairoa River was at an all time high as the Ruahihi Dam  at McLaren's Falls had to let water go up stream. Many of the river flats were flooded. ( It is all gone again now )
 It was a murky day for taking photos but we pulled up beside this fence as I had been meaning to take this photo for ages. The children at Te Poi School all have their self portraits hanging on the fence. I love seeing this.


Picking our own vegetables is a daily task now but they taste so fresh and crisp. Unfortunately there are 8 more lettuces all at their peak...salads , salads, salads!
 The last few peas, loads of beans and lots of tomatoes. The capsciums had to come off green as the plants are carrying so many smaller ones that need to size up. The courgettes didn't get in the photo. Passionvine hoppers are all over everything unfortunately. I am killing them when I can.
 Back to work now.
Happy Australia Day to my friends across the ditch!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Quilt Top Finished.

The rain started shortly after lunch yesterday and hasn't let up since. We had 80 mls in the rain gauge this morning and another 20 since then. So I took the opportunity for some "my time." I added the final black borders to my variation on a Bento Box quilt. It is  generous single bed size and I am delighted with the lovely batik colours  with the black and white. I may have stretched the outside 2 borders just a tad: I hope not.Next question . "Am I going to quilt it myself?" I haven't yet decided.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Yummy Vegetables.

With Summer comes yummy vegetables to eat from our garden. This corn is so young and sweet. We are having a cob daily till it is all gone.( lemon pepper seasoning on it is nice, maybe even butter ) 2 minutes and 20 seconds unwrapped in the microwave. ( could be eaten raw when this young and succulent.)
All 5 varieties of tomatoes we are growing are now ripening.   9 plants in total.  Left to right; .Kakanui ( haven't grown this one  before ) : Roma a long pendulous shape; in front my     Yellow Cherry. At the back -  Big Beef.    On the right -  Money Maker. I like them all!
This is a very popular salad around here. I grew the lettuce and we grew the walnuts but had to buy the pear and the creamy blue cheese. Do you like Blue Cheese?  It goes so well with these ingredients.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Knitting Not Sewing.

A real change in the weather today. Misty, showery, low visability, but still quite warm. So, NO Kiwifruit work today.( far too wet and drippy, the light would be poor too ) Instead, cleaning, making foccacia bread, writing letters and sewing up the booties I have been knitting in the evenings lately. I've been too tired to sew so have sat watching Australian Flood news on SKY News and knitting to keep awake. The booties are for my niece who is expecting her 3rd daughter next month. 
 I am lucky to have 3 lovely nieces.I laughed when I saw the price I paid for that knitting booklet was 22cents....patterns are still good. Many little feet have been covered with booties from that or 2 even older books I have. ( they are a tad tatty now )
* Leanne I sent the bulbs today so you should get them tomorrow or Thursday.
* Sal the photos didn't come back this time so hope you have them now.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Helpful Orbweb.

This helpful orbweb spider has made a lovely web just outside the back door. It hangs from the spouting right down to a Jade plant in a pot below. It is catching and eating passionvine hoppers ( amongst other insects ), so it can stay as a new worker around here. Thanks spider, we will try and not break your web by walking too close.
This nasturtium is the first flower out from the Wedding seeds ( all the guests were given )I planted in late October after my Niece's wedding.It is almost red, rather than orange. I might include some in a salad. I hope the other plants from the mix flower too as where i have them is a bit shadey.
Leanne you would appreciate this. Almost every part we grew ourselves.
J and V we are practising vegetarian meals. R made his Autumn Tart which he has added to so it has a really thick filling of tomatoes and onion. He has put some chopped bacon and feta on top ( the bacon could be left off ) It is really yummy and should have a generous filling we both think. We can't say we grew the pastry or the bacon and feta but everything else on the plate we grew. I love that! ( also had strawberries from my patch set in red jelly for dessert )

Here is the mystery photo in total. As it is very warm here R's brew frothed up and out the overflow. This is a beer brew . Yeast works really well with the warm temperature - good for bread making too.
 So the answer was yeasty froth!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Recent Photos.

The perfume of Golden Splendour lily has been filling the air.
Finally the first tomato got picked. ( a big fatty, wouldn't win a prize )( slow start with them this year. )

                                          Red sky at night just recently.

                                                        But what is this?
Like other bloggers have said, it is very hard to get to sleep after watching  on TV all the flood devastation in Australia..The magnitude of the problem is difficult to comprehend.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

3 in a Row.

We have had 3 days off in a row( from orchard work.) I could really get to like that. Yesterday we went to visit friends from Taranaki who were up staying at Waihi Beach. We went and had lovely lunch together then took a walk along the beach. There were very few people using such a wide expanse of beautiful beach. ( many having gone back to city jobs ) We paddled - the water was warm. We should have gone for a swim. Still the beachcombing walk was lovely. Sea biscuits and pointy turban shells being the main washed up items. Just wide flat beach on a hot sunny day. Sand between my toes felt good.Here are R and R and M walking into the distance.
                                          Looking out to sea; there is Mayor Island.
 Now today it's back to orchard work, doing extra time to try and catch up. I feel refreshed and ready to cope.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Something Borrowed, Something Blue.

Something Blue was not a garter or an hankerchief but the bride's shoes....mostly hidden; but revealed here for the camera.( fabulous shoes! )
                                                  I love covered buttons.

Now not many weddings have the rings flown in by model aeroplane by the 11 year old nephew (on the right.) Oh, well done!
                                                               The year of the rabbit.
After dark the lighting was lovely all around the gardens as well as inside.

Flowers  today were lovely. I am so glad to say the NZ weather excelled itself. There was a shower of rain at about 10.30 last night but by then it didn't matter . Today was fabulous too for the aftermatch function. This weekend was every bit as magical as I imagined it would be.
Sal would you get my email address off my profile and send me yours so I can email you some photos, of the wonderful weekend. Eventually you will get to see lots as everyone had cameras, as well as the official photographer..

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning.....

Oh, what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day.....etc.( although very humid )  It needs to stay that way PLEASE. Today there is to be a wedding at 4.30 pm. We are going...... how lovely is that. ( 2 weddings in 11 weeks - most unusal for us ) I will report back Sal as I know you would so like to be here .( I think it is going to be really hot weather like you had ! ) The 2 young people getting married today have been living in the snowy UK and are to return there, so it must seem very hot for them. A  "Kiwi girl, " is always a Kiwi girl, no matter where she lives. She is going to be a stunning bride, as she has always been lovely looking. ( and I have known her since before she was born.) Such a happy celebration. ( please stay fine weather ! )
In today's mail we got a late card from the lovelies in London. Such a delightful drawing / print.
Last evening just before knocking off time for me we had a very heavy shower of rain. The garden is so glad for it and it is such a time saver when we don't have to water things. Everything gets some moisture too, not just the things we decide to water. Rain in suitable amounts is such a blessing. ( So sorry my friends in Queensland, too much is devastating ! )
My lettuces with rain still on the leaves.

 R has 9 tomatoes plants, all different sorts that are just starting to colour up.They are looking so promising.

Someone asked what are we reading at the moment. I am reading "Alias Grace, " by Margaret Atwood. I am glad to say I am really enjoying it. The previous book I read by this canadian writer I did not care for, so I am glad I tried another. Anyone else read this?

Monday, January 03, 2011

2011 Starting Out Hot.

I have had both days over the weekend away from kiwifruit vines. We have both spent time in the garden. ( it needed it ) During the middle of the day it is too hot so yesterday I put 2 borders on this quilt. A narrow black then a 2.5" coloured one.

 It is a rainbow effect with the colour merging into the next colour as it progesses around the edge. I am very pleased with how that looks. Just a wider black border to add now.

Roger worked in this part of the vege garden; looks so much better now. There are Agria potatoes on the right, then capsicums.The last of the peas at the front with beans behind them not yet up, then courgettes at 2 stages with young onions behind all thinned. Corn behind them then tomatoes with some silverbeet in the front left. ( peas did not do well this Summer )
 ( the agria spuds have white flowers; the Heather ones down the paddock have purple flowers. I didn't know potato flowers shut up at night and opened again each day. )
My strawberries are doing SO well. I picked lots . Some were rotten from all that rain but there were plenty of good ones too. Do they look more in a bowl or lined up for inspection in rows?

 Back to the kiwifruit this afternoon, at least it's in the shade.
 Thanks for your comments and info about diaries. Some good ideas there.