Friday, March 30, 2012

From Canada

I cannot take credit for this lovely daffodil but Jon Katz can on his website: where he generously does not put a copyright on top of his photography, which I've shared here before. While spring came to us a week or more ago, far too quickly and far too hot, it fooled Mother Nature into budding tree branches and with flowers peeking through the winter's soil, nature has slowed things down now to where it should be a month from now. Hopefully, the trees and bushes will go into remission and by the end of April when they should be coming out on the trees, the buds will have survived. We have one lone red tulip blooming in DH's 'found-em' garden. It's where every plant has been donated from a garden where friends are clearing out and his garden always looks great...full of weeds by late summer but even they are colorful.

It's great to hear so much news from 'down under'. Fran, I have been wondering about Shannon and whether his life and job will take him and his bride to North America and how, with the other boys in Melburne, living where you do, I find it interesting that you do not plan to move. Personally, I feel it's about one of the biggest mistakes parents can make in older age, to uproot themselves, leave a lifetime of friends behind to move nearer their children. I've seen it in my volunteer work in speaking to many seniors and one in particular, who moved a great distance to build a home on their daughter and son-in-law's country property only to find that their daughter & SIL now spend their winters in Florida. She is alone without friends; her husband now in longterm care. I know that each of us make choices and if it works out to be near our families, how lucky we are, but even being near our families means that often we don't see as much of them as we'd hoped. They live busy lives and if they have growing children, are even busier. Hard to know just what to do at times. Life is a series of passages from one space to another. For me, it's important to feel at home where I live and have some connection to it.

I am in the process of sewing 'boots'...not for wear but for show but even so, a bootmaker I am not. I am finding it very difficult trying to figure out how to do it and am now in the process of ripping out the bottom seam as I will cover this with an overlapping sole. Reinventing the wheel, as I go.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I agree only three weeks

Marion, it is so much fun being a Nana. I can imagine Fran becoming so excited and just quietly also Graham. I would love to see them when the news arrives. It was Cara's birthday party today Jo is just exhausted. I will catch up tomorrow and see how it went. By the way she will be four on the 4th next month I don't know why her party was today but no doubt I will be told. The grandparents are going on the weekend to morning tea, but her pressie hasn't arrived yet , a computer for littlies from USA. Last weekend her Dad went to get the eggs and he had 3 in each hand and asked Cara what did that make and her answer was eggs on toast. Fair enough he had to ask . Marion the way things are going it will be a one horse race . They are either so brave or so stupid to race especially round the Horn. We always go to see the boats in Auckland. Grant,no 1 son, quite often works on the big launches there. The very expensive ones, 1-2 million some of them. He has to sign a confi......tly, I have tried to write this many times and all of them my spell check just laughs at me. I have also looked in my dictionary and it isn't there but I am sure you will know what I mean. We went there when Fran and Graham were here and saw some of the big boats. Fran, do you remember the very large one on the outside of the wharf, with the TWO launches on the aft deck. Grant told me they were so the owner could choose whether he wanted to drive a large or small launch. What a choice!!! Marion again I saw you were thinking if you should relocate to help your daughter, no sooner have you become used to living here the children will move on. Think very carefully it is much harder to make friends as one gets older.You live in a fantastic part of NZ and quite frankly who would want to live in Auckland. Time to make my last coffee and read my book before bed. Goodnight. Bee in NZ

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Three weeks !

Fran, you'll be getting so excited ! When our first grandchild arrived, my sister sent me a badge saying "I thought my work was over and then I became a grandmother !! " very true but no complaints from here ! Let us know when the baby arrives so that we can share you pleasure.

The Volvo Ocean Race continues... Two of the six boats returned, damaged, to NZ, another is heading for Chile for repairs and Telefonica is heading for the Tierra del Fuego for repairs... the two leaders are still charging to the finish line . They still have to round the Horn and travel a further 3000 miles, so nothing is certain. My nephews wife, also a keen sailor, has done the race twice herself, so knows what it is like. No women do it now, the boats have changed and need more physical strength.

Cold and wet today, plenty of indoor jobs need attending to so I'd better make a start on some !

Marion .

Sunday, March 25, 2012

This and that too

We’ve been away, down in Adelaide for DH to have an op on his shoulder. Doc decided to postpone it for 3 months or so to see if it gets better on its own. We’ll see. We also swapped cars with DS#2 whose first child (partner’s third and our first grandchild) is due within the next 3 weeks. No hope of getting 3 car-seats in the back of their little 3 door/4 seater. They now have our 5 seater station wagon. DH now has a bad hip and sore bottom from driving home for 4+ hours without cruise control. The pedal’s at a different angle too, I found on the first time I drove. We’ll trade it in on our ‘perfect retirement vehicle’ sooner than later, I’m thinking.

JOLEEN: Hope your show went well over the weekend!

SARA: I still get confused with the shorthand for your US states. Had to look MO up on Google Earth. Sounds as if you had a full 5 days up there! I feel for your DD and her pain, and for you as her mother who must be feeling it almost as much.

JILL: We’re over your way in November. Maybe we’ll get to see you again.

BEE: Where do Dave and Janna have their batch? What a shame you didn’t bump into Marion while you were down at the Viaduct.

MARION: I bet your nephew’s wife hopes this will be his last time in that race too! She must be on tenterhooks all the time that he’s out at sea, especially when it’s the more dangerous parts, such as the Southern Ocean. How long will it take for them to get to Brazil? They DO get to see a lot of the world, at least…….both sailors and the families who can follow them around. Glad you got to spend some time with them.

DS#1 and partner are moving to Melbourne (1200 km away) over the next couple of months. We’ll have 2 sons living there now, but we have no intention of following them over. I feel it in my bones that at least DS#3 will move to the US or Canada sometime in the future, after finishing his PhD. DDIL misses her mum. Adelaide, however, might be a different story, and DS#2 would appreciate it, I know…….. Hard decisions to make, eh Marion.

ROSEYP: How are you? Hope all is well? You’ve been silent for too long.

Off to start the day. Have a baby quilt to sandwich and machine quilt!

Home again...

after an action packed few days in Auckland. Bee, I wish I'd known that you were going to see the boats off in Auckland ! We were there (along with thousands of others !) It was quite a sight wasn't it ? My nephew is on Telefonica, they are struggling in the Southern Ocean at the moment. It's been very tough out there. Huge waves, risk of ice-burgs, damage to the boats etc. Two of the boats have returned to Auckland because of damage and Camper is heading for Sth America for repairs (which is why they are off the pace ) Telefonica has taken it's foot of the pedal too, as they are doing repairs to their boat, while trying to sail through the ocean. The boats need to be in good condition to safely get around The Horn. Why do they do it ?

We had a great time in Auckland , my nephew and his wife and children were very generous with their time .. They all drove over to DD#2's home one evening to spend time with us and we joined them for dinner one night in the city. My nephew was looking super- fit, even after the long and difficult leg from China. He showed us the small for so many men and such big seas... I do hope this will be the last time he does the race (it's his fifth time !) His wife is now back in France (where they live) I wonder what the two little ones (5 and 2 1/2yrs)think of it all
They won't be going to Brazil for the next stop-over, but hope to go to Miami when the boats get there.

Auckland was considerably warmer than Christchurch and left us wondering if maybe we should move up there. It would certainly be a help to DD who lives a very busy life, juggling the needs of her three teen-aged children, a full time job and the running of the home.... Her DH is a good provider but is away a lot , which makes a heavy load for DD. All three of the children are involved in sports, so there is a lot of running around to be done. Not a good idea to chase your children though, they may not stay there forever and we would miss our friends..

Cool autumn days here, very pretty with the leaves changing colour, but a bit early , especially as we had such a poor summer.

Off to put the washing out ! Have a good week.

Hiddy Ho

Nice to see some posts.
I don't feel like I have very much going on in my life so I'm glad
that some of you do. Branson sounds like a fun vacation Sara.
Sorry they were hit so terribly by weather.
Glad you can spend some time with your daughter, her pain is
probably one she carries alone much of the time.

I almost invariably get face patting while I'm on the computer.
I'm a sitting duck! She's like a Yo-yo, I put her down she right back up.
We do this at night too & she's been stricken from the bedroom, but she
must keep vigil & seems to know when the door doesn't latch.

It's quilt show season for us. Joleen, what a nice article on your show.
I'm going to suggest your challenge for ours next yr, that is so cute!
So we have 3 shows in a row, Portland, Vancouver and the Portland burb, Milwaukie, this
past weekend & the next two. Have to save my pennies, bought some awesome
taupes yesterday, they are yummy.

We are in low personnel mode at work & I've been working way too much. Don't
think things will change soon so I'm not looking forward to gardening season, thinking
of ways to simply. I'm trying to sew a couple hours right when I get home, really helps
me decompress.

Already been to the BIG dog park this morning. It's called Thousand Acres, sits on slough
area off a river out side Portland, it's dog heaven! We ran into a group of about 50 people & dogs. A guy told us they are from the internet group that meets at dog friendly areas. He said
they are so big they had to split into 2 groups. I wondered if it was for singles? That would be cool. Course Alex got filthy & has had to have a bath now, his day is over!

Keep posting everyone, we need you (I know I do) Love, Jill

back home from Branson, MO

We arrived home late last night, after 5 days in Branson. We saw 5 shows, 2 great ones, and 3 just ok. The weather there was stormy, lots of rain, some sun, but chilly. Thankfully I took the windbreaker, could have used another pair of long pants. We did go antique shopping for 2 days, off and on. Ozark, MO had some great antique stores, I bought a single bed "dresden plate" design in good condition for $50.00. The back is pink, and doesn't look worn, the binding is a bit worn, but overall it was a good buy. DH found a pool cue in a pawn shop, he talked the man down to $50.00 for a "Name" cue. Don't remember what the name is. Lots of driving. We went to one cave, where a jeep takes a wagon full of people through the cave. Buck Owen sang there on an underground stage, which was a popular spot during the 20's. Interesting history lesson, fun, and very different from Florida.
There had been some tornado damage to the town, lots of buildings destroyed, some of the theaters gone, or roof damage. The one big quilt store in town was in a strip-mall that was totally destroyed. We found the other place they had moved to, but they were not open for business.
Andy Williams's theater was the nicest place, the "Haygoods" were the best performers. A family of brothers and 1 sister, good voices, all played many instruments. Lots of talent in the town. Also, no bad language, which is what makes it popular for families I guess. In the late spring and summer there are most likely lots of vacationers at the nearby lakes, lots of boat places.
I can't imagine boating in the ocean over long distances. More nerve and guts than I would ever have. But, if one grew up doing that it must seem normal to them.
Today is for resting up and doing laundry. Easter is just around the corner, and DD and her clan will be arriving for a week visit on April 12th. They are in need of sun and some grand mom, and beach time I think. She is still grieving over the loss of her daughter placed for adoption. I don't think she has any close girlfriends there in her rural place that she can vent to.
OK, nap time for me.
Sara in Fla.

this and that

these days I only seem to have a little to say.I seem to be out of touch with my lot , some are away, Jo has Cara's 4th birthday on the 4th next month, Dave and Janna are running back and forth to their bach taking stuff there for winter. I did go down to the Viaduct to see the yachts before they left on their 5th leg of the race. WE always go to see them ,Auckland is a big boat city , I think I am right in saying the boats per capita make us the largest water city in the world. Everyone either has or used have a boat. Marion, your nephew will be having a horrendous time of racing, the weather is awful and those boats are so small to be in the Southern Ocean.Which is he on,not Camper I hope, they are so slow. The nights are drawing in and my furry family are going to bed quite early. Unfortunately they also arise early and want their brekkie. I am not amused by being awoken by a cat patting my face as I know after a few pats the claws come out. I did shut her down the hall but she rattled the door all night. My cats are always in at night as we have too many birds and skinks around and I don't like having half dead creatures to put out.She has 2 bells on her collar which helps control her hunting . Must go and have my shower and then bed. Hugs to all, Bee in NZ