Friday, November 26, 2010

mining tragedy in NZ

The below just came through from Cathy Miller's blog. (The Singing Quilter). I'm sure she wouldn't mind someone forwarding it on so that the biggest number of people see it. I've been wondering what I could do and was pleased to have an address to send a block to:

There has been a new call, and I know that many people have already expressed support for it. After the horrible mine explosion in New Zealand, they are collecting hearts for quilts for the families of the men who died. This is a tangible and wonderful way to make a difference. Recipients of the hearts always talk about how helpful the support is for them in their time of grieving.For details on this project, and to follow the progress, the website is

Healing hearts are 6 1/2" squares of cream calico with some sort of heart on it. You can write your name, country, or any words of support on the block. You can make more than one. You can even make a whole quilt and send it along. Then send it/them to:

Shirley Goodwin
51 Charles St
Rangiora 7400
New Zealand


Well, Ive survived the hammer toe surgery. I checked in at the outpatient surgery center in Asheville and I recall very little of the time there. They gave me a good dose of Versed which wipes out memory so I don't even remember the IV insertion. The procedure was scheduled for 8 AM and I didn't see the surgeon that I can remember unti he stuck his head into my slot at the recovery area to see if I was alright. They my friend who took me there picked me up and we headed for home at 11:30. They used a local numbing process administered by seven shots around each ankle. I remember the first before I shut down. They discharged me as soon as feeling returned. I stayed with them until DB arrived Friday evening the day after the surgery. We come home to my place on Saturday. I'm confined to a walker with orders to limit weight bearing of 50%. Can someone please tell me how one measures that? The whole time I was gone to the quilt retreat the week before and with surgery the dogs were left home and two wonderful friends took turns feeding them.

DB is improving somewhat in the kitchen activities. I can't imagine how he has survived since DSIL died of Alzheimers two years ago. She was incapapable of fixing a meal for quite some time before that. Anyway, the combination of inactivity and overeating is have the usual result. DB and I are both suffering from tired backs so the theraband and dumbells are going to put into action today.

My heart goes out the loved ones of those heading to Iraq and Afganhistan and also to all our brave troops. The families of miners live in constant fear of cave-ins and explosions. The coal miners eithe die young from accidents or black lung if they survive the accidents.

Had a nice dinner with neighbors yesterday. Rocky was absent most of the day sampling the goodies at their house. We closed the dog door before we left to go down to dinner as all three dogs, including DB's huge Plott Hound, were safely home at that time.

I have some hopes of getting into the quilt room today or tomorrow. I can't stand to cut but I can sure start assembling the blocks for DD's way overdue wedding quilt.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Zealand Miners

Marion, I cannot imagine a worse death than being trapped beneath the earth knowing that it would be only a matter of time before life ended. The nation as a whole must be stunned although the risks the miners take every day with their jobs must be great. Such a beautiful land and such heartaches between this and the earthquakes.

Mary, nice to see you post and I, too, enjoyed the Guernsey Society book. It was a delightfully written book.

Kathi, I've looked up tryptophan as I was not familiar with it and what foods it was in. I hope to learn more about it and the effect it may have on dogs as I feed our dogs turkey several times a year.


Sadness in N.Z.

A second explosion at the mine yesterday, ended any hope of rescue and also makes recovery of bodies difficult.
It has been an incredibly frustrating week for all of those involved. The families wanting rescuers to go down into the mine, and the experts saying that the risk of another explosion was too great to do so. Mining is a risky business but I'm sure none of the men or their families expected it to end this way. Small rural communities, the whole world over, tend to pull together at times like this . There is a lot of support being offered. This time last week, those men went off to work, like on any other day. I guess we all need to make everyday count..



I did give the dogs about 2 bites each of the cooked turkey, just a bit as a treat.
They seem OK, but I wouldn't take a chance.
DH convinced me to throw away the rest of the white meat, which is a waste I know, but he didn't want food poision.
Tonight we are having chinese, then going to see "Burlesque" -don't know if I spelled it right, but the new movie with Cher. We watched Dancing with the stars last night, saw one dance from the new movie and loved the music, etc. As an aside, glad that Jennifer Gray won, can you believe she is 50?
It is supposed to be 79 or 80 today, time to turn the AC back on.
Sara in Fla.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Marion, I've been thinking about those miners! My heart goes out to their families and the miners themselves as they wait this out. May there be a very happy positive outcome.

Jean-Thanks for posting! When I feel tired and dreary over my dull life I can remember your post and be inspired. LOL I need to thin out my stash. If I come across cat fabrics would you be interested in me mailing them up for you to sew items for next year's event?

Not much happening in this house but that's okay. It's been a busy year, it's the start of a busy time so a few days of restfulness will be enjoyed. I'm not reading anything great at the moment. Two books that I loved this past year were "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society" (which was fantastic) and "Prayers for Sale" by Sandra Dallas. My mother was born in a small community on Pike's Peak in Colorado. She always loved the years her family had lived there. This book helped me understand how she felt.

Wishing everyone in the US a wonderful Thanksgiving and a wonderful day/week to everyone else as well. :-)

Mary in Oregon

No, no, no, Sara

Do NOT feed turkey leftovers to the dogs!!! The tryptophan in the turkey is toxic to dogs. We lost a Golden Retriever to leftover turkey.

BTW, Turkey does freeze well and can be brought out and used in soups and casseroles later on in the winter. I know you do not get as cold as we do, but a pot of turkey noodle soup always seems good when the weather cools.


Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

By Helen Simonson, her first novel and a very good one at that. I know you'll enjoy it, Marion. I'm not half way through it yet and it's on a very short loan from the library, being a new book so I'm thinking that I will purchase a copy of it. It's a book with many nuances and I can't do it justice by skim reading it.

And Jean...well, she's a human dynamo. She's really an attractive sixty-something with enough energy to fuel three people instead of just one. However, that said, I'm still hiding under a bush until she reads this. OOOPS, I had to go back in and edit this...we don't give out the age of a lady, do we........okay, Rosey, go back under the bush.....

We have one more day of good weather and then...boom...winter is to happen.

Sara, your grands must be very excited about the prospect of snow coming into their young lives.


Goodmorning and happy Thanksgiving to US people

I am recovering from our early Thanksgiving dinner, which was Sunday evening.
We had 5 others here, 7 were invited but the wife fell down her stairs and broke her foot. (another reason to live in a 1 story house after you are 50)
Too much turkey leftover, couldn't give it all away. I don't think it will freeze, so it may go to the dogs.
Last night I called DD, got one of the DGS's on the phone who said it was snowing and they were expecting snow for 2 more days. I went out in shorts and T shirt yesterday, and would do the same today, but going to a birthday lunch.
I am in awe of those who have such high energy levels! When I attempt to do more than I should I get sick, or just grumpy.
The next project is a Christmas party, which I have put off a week, until Dec. 13th. It will be a "birthday party for Jesus" where people are asked to bring diapers for our preg. center. DH and I are giving a crib this year.
Where is JANE in NC? Did you get your feet operated on? My GF who fell had a really hard time, as she is also a heart patient, and had to get permission from the heart Dr. to have the foot surgery. It finally all came together Fri. now she has a pump attached which circulates ice water around the foot. I guess to help keep the swelling down.
Good to hear from people who don't normally post.
Going to be selfish this week and make myself a sweat outfit. JoAnn's has fleece on sale for $4.00 a yard, so got some aqua blue yesterday and pattern, and hope to get it cut out today.
After the birthday lunch, which I don't have a gift for.
OK, off to have ham & eggs for breakfast!
Sara in Fla. --- who is glad she isn't flying anywhere.


Jane, just reading about your life made me feel exhausted but welcome back anyway, ignore Rosey's comments, she's really pleased to hear from you too ! I hope you enjoyed your afternoon of self indulgence , you certainly deserved it ! Some people have a measure of stamina which escapes me (!) I had a neighbour like that once, a busy farmers wife, mother of six children and always the first to offer help in the community or in a friends homes.. A good friend to have and a special lady.

I have just had a phone call from the Library to say that the book (Major Pettigrews last stand) is there, waiting for me to pick it up. I am impressed. When I asked for it on Monday (yesterday) they told me that it was at one of the other libraries .( There are three, covering a wide rural area. ) I didn't expect it to be here so soon. I will pick it up tomorrow. I'm a great fan of the library and borrow three books most weeks.(no wonder there's not a lot of quilting done around here..)

DH thinks we should upgrade my car...I hate change . If it was left to me, I would drive the one I've got until it would refuse to move. Fortunately, it's not up to me. He's very good at keeping my car road worthy and full of fuel. I'm one of the very few who has never had to fill her own car (Terter was another one...are you there Terter ? It would be nice to hear from you again) I'm not sure whether I should be flattered or insulted ! Does he think it's all beyond me I wonder...?

Google is still reading my mail. After my last post when "Christmas" got a mention, twice, up flashed an Ad about Christmas presents.... Wonder what this post will generate ?


Sunday, November 21, 2010

"you asked for it, part 2"

Okay, did we mention that Jean is really 84...that makes her energy even more

Rosey (who is hiding under a bush until this passes)

You asked for it!

My life is not so much interesting as chaotic! LOL All the usual madness -- trustee for the old lady's estate, obedience classes for the rescued poodles, grandchildren to spend time with, gardens to manage, a 'retired' husband whose idea of fun is to go off to the Prairies for weeks on end seeding and harvesting and building very big barns -- but the big one is the feral cat rescue group that eats up my time.

I have a dozen cats who are citizens here plus 8 long term fosters. But my activities with the rescue group have expanded rather a lot and I spend the equivalent of a full time job doing whatever needs to be done. We have just finished our big annual fundraising event November 13th -- a one day craft fair and then a "spay-ghetti (& no balls) dinner" with live music, silent and live auctions and a very gourmet version of a spaghetti dinner. It was all very successful, but by the time I organized it, did sewing for the craft sale, baking and fudge making for the bake sale, and then a lot of cooking for a fine dinner for almost 100 people I was a Little exhausted!

I promised myself a few days of pure self-indulgence when it was over and all the loose ends tidied up and the money in the bank, but then DH suggested that his niece and her husband and baby should stay here for the weekend. Since the logistics of their visit made that the only reasonable thing to do, I abandoned the fantasy of reading a book in front of a wood fire and shampooed all the carpets and otherwise tried to get rid of the evidence of too many cats and kittens and too little housework in this house for a few months! They have left now and I took all the leftovers from the last few meals and made a big pot of soup, now simmering on the stove and smelling wonderful. I ate the leftover brownie from last night's dessert and am now lazing in front of the computer. The house is very quiet and very clean. Bliss!

I have not been getting much quilting done for a long time and had to miss a Retreat in early November, but I did a ton of sewing for the craft fair -- aprons, decorated tote bags and gift bags. With a few hours of sorting in the sewing room I should be able to go back to sewing things for me. I have a strong desire to finish some of the very long term UFOs I have accumulated. I do actually now have my huge Mile-a-Minute quilt on my bed and taught my quilt group how to make them. There are several interesting ones under construction as a result -- and I am going to gather as many little scraps of cat fabrics as I can and make one to raffle for the rescue next year.

I had decided to treat myself to the new Janome Horizon 7700 last month, but then my van needed a very expensive repair and my washing machine died, so the new machine will have to wait. When we built this house in /98 -99, we put in the best appliances we could find. The only one we still have is the dryer, which has been repaired once. Every other appliance has died a quick and nasty death as close to its tenth birthday as it could manage. And now they tell me the life expectancy of all my new appliances is five years or less. Remember washers and driers and fridges that lasted 20 years? There are some things about our modern economy I am not fond of. Built in obsolescence would be one...

And on that grumpy note, I will carry on with my lazy self-indulgent afternoon. Perhaps a cup of tea. Join me? :)

Hugs to all

Monday morning.

Thanks for that recommendation Rosey. I'm off to Rangiora this morning to post my Christmas mail to the UK. and had planned a visit to the library . I won't "hold my breath" as it was only published this year never know...! Seems early to be sending off the Christmas cards but with over two dozen to send it's worth my while to catch the cheaper rates. I enjoy this yearly contact with old friends but I do sometimes wonder at the sense of it all. It used to be that I would hope to see some of these folk on return trips to England, but I'm not too keen on those long flights any more and tend to only go for specific family reasons.. If I fail to send a card it will automatically be assumed that I have "popped my clogs" !!!

It would be so nice to hear from some of the former regulars. I always enjoyed Celia's quick wit , we felt as if we were part of her family at one stage and Jean's life was endlessly interesting , I miss their posts. I was wondering about others, (Seamstress Sally for one) I sometimes see their names on the quilt page. Maybe that's the trouble. Do we need two pages ?

No progress over at the mine. I can't imagine anything more distressing for family than this waiting. The volatile toxic gasses make it unsafe for rescuers evidently and there is a possibility of another explosion.


Winter reading

I have an 'in' with 'Marion the Librarian'...actually her name is Arlene and the only 'in' is that we share a love of mystery writers and in particular, Louise Penny (author of the Armand Gamache books). So when she recommends a book to me, I listen. The latest one, which I'm just into now and know I'll enjoy is called: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, a first novel by Helen Simonson published this year by Random House, ISBN978-1-4000-6893-7. The cover design by Caroline Cunningham is very clever. It takes place in England and Marion, you would enjoy the book, I think, having grown up there. And I love the simplicity and whimsy of your quilt which I hope people may appreciate for the work involved in the upcoming church auction. I can see your fine handstitching in the buttonhole stitch around the figures. It's really great to be able to put photos up on the site and while I've tried shaming CeliaP into posting, she's resisting my charms entirely; Jean in Mill Bay, we'd like to have an update on your rescue work...and others, please post. It's a livelier board for all that...not just us old regulars.