Friday, June 29, 2012

You've Got Mail.

You've Got mail are lovely words to hear aren't they ( really liked that Film too! ) When R came into the house yesterday morning he said, " It looks like you have got 2 proper letters." ( Not business ones ). Sure enough, I did have - lucky me.
 Now email are wonderful for a whole other reason but sometimes actual hand written ones are delightful. Both were special for different reasons. One was from my only sister who doesn't have email, ( moan) so handwrites her letters; the other was very shaky and written by my friend D ( remember I made her a little quilt to take to hospital ) from Hamilton Hospital where she has been having treatment in isolation for the past 2 weeks. No visitors at all, so none of her quilting friends could visit her. Hopefully by the sound of it she may have turned the corner in her treatment and is slowly starting to feel stronger again. She was allowed out of bed to sit in a lazyboy chair  in the sun in the day room. She said on the back, "If you get this letter it means I have managed to make it all the way to the desk to post it to you." ( sniff, sniff )
 if you have good health as I do, don't ever take it for granted. Enjoy every day in every way you can.
 R has been trying to cut one chainsaw tank full of petrol a day. The pile for next Winter is growing! ( this will dry till then and be put through the splitter ). That's gum from some of those big trees that were dropped recently.
We got an email reminding us to take part in the" NZ Bird Survey" again this year. If you are interested check it out. 
 My coffee machine was quickly repaired, very soon after I wrote the previous post. Yea! ( only cost NZ $10 too! )
 What have you got planned for this weekend? Something good I hope - I have!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Charity Quilts.

My little quilt I have made to go the to the Ruel Foundation in the Philippines is complete.

 It is in this pile of 9 quilts and 3 feeders ( from our P and Q group ) to be handed to my neighbour who works in the Office of the Foundation here in Tauranga. Some of the member of the church she goes to are going up to the Philippines to do voluntary work in July, so they will each tuck a few quilts in their baggage so they get delivered right to where they are intended for. When I looked at some of the photos on their website I can see they now have more space and the wee kids have things to look at and play with. I even spotted some quilts on the beds.


On Saturday our coffee machine decided it was worn out. Well part of it. The washer that sits under the round head ( sitting here on the drip tray ) where you engage the filter holder was perished and the machine started spraying coffee every where. We tried all sorts of first aid and CPR but no it's ......ered.     We think a new washer is available which will be cheaper than an entire new machine. Consequently it has been plunger coffee here for the last few days. R had to go into the city today so he will either order one or bring a new one back. As Deb in Lyttleton knows it is quite an essential piece of equipment - we have discussed coffee brands before. I am now drinking one she recommended. But the pursuit for the perfect brand of coffee continues. It never tastes quite as good as it smells.
The weather here today is very fickle. Gusting rain one minute sun the next; then back again. I have snuck out a couple of times to plant some bulbs and pick jelly guavas but not for long. So soup making and sewing with a little housework for good measure seems to be the order of the day.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

This Day a Year Ago.

This day a year ago we were up very early as the shuttle was picking us up at 6.30 am. By now we were on our way to Singapore and then UK.Gosh was that a year ago?
This day is also the shortest of the year, but I still seem to be getting plenty done. The weather has now stopped any further outside work today - it is just hosing down. Early mid morning and mid day the sun was out.
     Never mind I am quilting my little charity quilt quite happily inside with the fire going.
 So far I am stitching in the ditch securing the layers and working my way from the centre out. No tucks so far -  that's good. It is small and light so I might try something a bit adventurous ( for me ) in some of the smaller spaces.
 I am just finishing the last few pages of a book I have really enjoyed. A true story. Ida and Louise Cook are 2 amazing women, who loved opera and were responsible for saving the lives of 29 people before the beginning of the 2nd World War. 
 Ida Cook's actual job was writing first for a magazine then under the pen name of Mary Burchell.  She wrote about 150 romantic novels for Mills and Boon. During the blitz she was a night watchman in an East End of London under ground shelter. While there she noticed that many folk had beautiful quilts they were sleeping under. She found out these had been sent from America and were all very lovely and well made. ( well done those women in USA )( apparently they sent thousands of quilts )
 So making quilts for others ( Charity ) that you don't know has been happening quite a long time now.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Beautiful Mountains.

At the weekend, we travelled down to Marton for my only sister's birthday lunch. The mountains have never looked more magnificent. Travelling South from Lake Taupo you come to this area  called Tongariro National Park which has 3 main mountains in a group; the 2 seen here( above ) from the Desert Road are Mt. Ngauruhoe (2271 ' high- the pointy cone ) and the lower  part to the right is Mt. Tongariro( 1956') ( Mt Ruapehu is the the left of these 2. )

 Mt. Ruapehu (2797' the highest of the 3 )
 We knew as we approached there was going to be the clearest brightest view ever. We had already had to wash ice from the car windows and Taupo over night was really cold - but look what a fabulous day followed. I got very cold jumping out of the car to take photos so after the first few decided to take them through the front windscreen of the car ( faster too ).
All drivers were being very careful in the icy conditions.
 Some were maybe too careful  - For kilometre after kilometre a truck another car and us followed a small car doing barely 70 kilometres an hour. It did NOT pull over even when there was room to do so. Eventually to our delight the 2nd following car suddenly displayed flashing lights and a siren and pulled the slow car up. A very well disguised ( plain clothes ) cop car! 
 Nearer to Taihape the road was the most icy and we hit a small patch of black ice ( invisible ) that momentarily pushed the car sideways. We continued to be really careful. See here on the hills the valleys in between are icy - they were still like that on our return journey later that day.
 The early evening view of the mountains, on the return journey  was also amazing as the sky coloured ,a plane left a vapour trail and the snow stood out very brightly.
 We travelled 722 kilometres and arrived home safely at 8.15 pm. R drove the whole way - he likes to. I am happy being the photographer. ( these are just a few  of the many pictures I took.)  They all enlarge if you click on them.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I Love Vegetables.

I love veges, especially when I have grown them myself.Since we have had 2 very chilly ( for us ) mornings I decided I dig my first yams. I was delighted with the number and size - I had only found tiny ones when having a wee tickle earlier so when one came out weighing 85 grams I was pleased.
Yams (sometimes called Ocra in other places ) are right at the top of my favourites list.
 Some of my other veg got confused. The cauliflowers were planted right beside the sprouts ( which I don't usually try to grow ) and they must have thought they only had to grow to the same size as a brussel sprout. Needless to say I had to harvest these 4 all together to get a feed!
 If the caterpillars I have been removing digitally from the plants are an indicator of where tender and tasty food is  I think the wee caulis  will be yummy.
Today I am now  feeling a HUGH sense of relief...because early I went for my 3 hour dental procedure. Remember a few weeks ago I had a very expensive filling? Well that only lasted 9 days before breaking it had to be plan B. A crown. The dentist did a deal and said he would credit me the $ 677 if I let him remove an amalgam filling in the next tooth to the one being crowned. Of course I said yes...if it can all happen at the same time.
 I was let out for good behaviour after only 2 hours and 15 minutes, but am now $1,862.00 poorer. I am just gaining the feeling back and am feeling very hungry. The new  teeth feel so smooth - I hope I have no further worry with them. While I was at the dentist I was telling myself this is nothing think of poor D who is over in Waikato hospital having the chemo part of her treatment. I do so hope my quilting friend  is okay. 
On Tuesday the double glazed ranchsliders ordered months  ago were intsalled. I went to the city for the day. I knew I didn't want to listen to the skill saws removing the old ones . R was put in charge and had to help lift ; make coffee and lend tools etc. He had even started trying to clean up when I got back. The new ones look lovely but are not yet finished. Filler and some cover plates need to be added to make it airtight( so a tad drafty still ) . In the process because they didn't take them down one set of vertical blinds got damaged. I think grit from the angle grinder has got in them and 4 won't turn or slide that is the next thing to fix.
 While in the city I got lots of jobs done and some shopping that really had to be done and some that didn't as well!.

Leanne is having trouble with pukekos eating her veges. We have been having trouble too - since we picked all the kiwifruit ( one of their food sources ) they are now pulling out Spring bulbs throwing the tops down and eating the bulbs. War has been declared and there are now less. R is a fair shot.
Still on the subject of birds...yesterday I saw 2 tuis taking a bath together in the bird bath but both telling the other this is my bath you P... off. They go under the water at least 6 times. Must have been cold!  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Some Show and Tell Items.

 Thank you Thimbleanna;Jennifer; Fran├žois; Diane; Laurie: Nicky and Leanne for your Birthday Greetings. Above is me playing around with the camera while waiting for food to arrive at the table on Thursday night. It was a very large glass and I thought a bit difficult to drink from as it had to be tipped so far to get at the wine - I managed. I had a pleasant Birthday thank you everyone for cards, gifts, phone calls and email messages.

 We have started eating the sapotes and they are particularly juicy and tasty this year.
 They taste of smooth vanilla custard and are sometimes referred to as custard apples.
 On Friday at P and Q, we had a Quilt Journey and some Show and Tell.
 N made this tiny bright quilt for a wee tot in the Philippines . I bought home 9 quilts for the Ruel Foundation hospital in the Philippines . Mine is still to be added to the pile which I will deliver to them soon.. 
 M took 10 small bags made from bandannas to Canteen.
 This is the quilt D made from bandannas for Canteen.
She used quilt as you go so the back looked like this.

C ( one of our newer members )  finished this quilt.She started making the blocks in  the 1980s!  She didn't know what to do with them, so put them away. Some of it is poly cotton. Someone in our group suggested she tried putting them together by quilt as you go and she was able to finish it.She got an extra loud round of applause cause we don't often have finishes after 25 years or more.

M told us of her Quilt Journey and showed us many lovely quilts. She got quite a surprise when she started collecting them from off the beds and walls and around her house - she had more than she thought -  here are just a couple.

 Over the weekend I have been to a meeting; shortened then hung  some new curtains for one of the spare rooms, done a little sewing on my wee quilt,  been for a walk; picked the last of the persimmons, watched a good game of rugby on TV ( NZ beat Ireland )- it was an exciting game, well played I thought. Also got rid of all my letters in a game of scrabble twice!
 I have about 30 photos of the tree felling but don't think I'll put them all up here!. Off to sew some more now. Hope your weekend has been restful but interesting.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Just a Little Older.

 Yesterday saw me cleaning up this lot - lovely for my compost.....many more to fall yet.
 The oak tree here is almost done. I mowed this lawn on Monday and this lot has fallen since. It is wonderful compost when mixed with grass in the catcher of the mower.
 I have been picking camellias for the vases lately. Here are the ones on the sideboard.
 On the other end of the sideboard are these lovely cards.
 As it is a special day for me I also got an early morning phone call from my very old Aunt. Having marvelled at the stamina of the Queen in the last few days, I realise  there are some wonderful role models out there for older woman. Luckily it only happens one number larger at a time.

 These are gum trees behind the house on the hill and quite close behind the shed roof. Some of them are being felled professionally today for firewood for next year.
 The first one from this group has just hit the ground with a huge bump - shook the house.
 I'm off now to take some photos.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Next Little Project.

This is how much I have completed on my next project. A quilt for a child's bed; to be donated to the  Ruel Foundation. I started in on Saturday, at our Charity Quilt In, using up as many parts and scraps as I could.
 Now I am making more of  these 4 patch blocks, didn't have quite enough; for the next border.

 Muriel was finishing this lovely blue quilt top off. ( made from left over blocks and scraps ) If she donates this I will be surprised it is so nice I think she should keep it.
 All blue quilts should wear red shoes don't you think?

 I just have to show this next photo. One of the ladies said, "Does anyone want anything from my scrap bag?."  You would have thought it was a Smith & Caughey  Sale. Ladies who don't need others' scraps grabbing bits of fabric. One even snacked a piece out of another's hand. Those of us not going through the scraps were killing ourselves laughing. I have never seen these girls behaving like that before. I did take another closer photo but it is just a blur of hands.
 The rest of the weekend seems to have been far too busy for a Holiday weekend - how does that happen? R is cooking dinner as he wanted to use up the last few aubergines he grew ( his fav ) , so I went out and mowed all the lawns. Now I feel tired, so better try and put my feet up for the rest of then day and pretend it was a holiday. ( Idid however get a lot of different things done.)
Walnut tally = 4,463

Friday, June 01, 2012

Every Last Stitch Done on "Selvage Fun."

Every last stitch is done.
Labelled too!
 The breeze early this morning made outdoor photography tricky, so I tried inside later. ( see how pretty the Luculia is in the background )
Sideways looks so different. I don't remember a quilt before that looks so different when viewed from different angles.( it almost strobes. )
 I have now ended up with more photos than I need and none quite to my liking. Where were my helpful extra hands when I need them, to hold it up straight for me?

 I have also been baking.
 2 nut cookies, using walnuts ( no surprise there ) and almonds .... very yummy. Next time I will try part ground almonds in place of some of the flour. I need to take something tasty to share with the ladies when we sew charity quilts tomorrow.

 I have also been in the garden. I took runners from my old strawberry plants( in the background ) and gave them a new bed in the foreground. When that parsley id finished some more can go in - couldn't bear to pull it out. ) R has since unscrewed the 4 screws and we shifted the frame to the new plot. ( The lid lifts off.) It's not to protect fruit at this stage but rather to stop any peacock, pukeko, pheasant, possum or other pest from pulling out the plants. With the chilly weather pests seem to be eating all sorts of strange things in my garden. The rat bait has been disappearing in the sheds like hot cakes. We know they are hanging around waiting for us to drop the odd shelled walnut or put out the shells with little bits or not good ones in.... easy food. I think we will win in the end.
 Tomorrow I am making charity quilts with the ladies - all day! That usually is fun.