Saturday, January 25, 2014

From Mary Jo

Another winter storm, Rosey? We are in the midst of inversions with snow forecast for this afternoon. It has spit a bit of tiny kernels, no flakes yet. Another week of gray, freezing weather is in store. Wish it would warm up enough to snow... And, have finally acclimated. Fred, the cat, wears a fleece coat to sleep each night even though he is inside. We didn't tell him it is for a dog... Shed many tears this week as hospice is now involved in DH's care. Bittersweet times.. My worry was for naught as they've assumed so many problems. A CNA comes 3x weekly to bathe and dress him. That was very difficult as he is a foot taller than I am. A nurse comes 3x a week to check him. She reports to his primary doctor. His meds are all streamlined and provided. (He no longer takes many of them.) Equipment is provided as needed. Someone is on call and will come 24/7. That is the very best thing. His last 2:00 am fall left me trying bring him round ane assessing the damage. Knew he would not go to emergency if the paramedics came. Now it is solved. Someone will come immediately to help. He is having tiny strokes that determine how his arms work, if he can walk, his thinking processes... One day they are awful and he will sleep 20 of 24 hours. The next he is up and moving about most of the day. His attitude is super. He is thankful for everything at this stage. A quilt friend volunteered to sit here an hour each week, how great is that? The 4 grands are adults and live nearby so they will help, too. My 3 kids live 5-6 hours north and one works on the Bering Straits. They give moral support and can fly in if necessary. It will work out, have faith in that. Am working on a grief quilt that is different than those done previously. Before, I centered a large block with the person featured. Then surrounded it with small blocks showing 'snapshots' of their lives. This one is a processing quilt for the duration. Used blue/teal scraps from two grand's quilts to make 12 slabs, then cut them diagonally and placed them off kilter on the background which is a water fabric. At that point the working title was 'Coming apart at the seams'. It is changing and now has a peachy coral center. Will share more as it develops. Blessings, MaryJo

For those whose husband's may enjoy this or they, themselves I don't know if this will get you to where this link takes you. It's a low level flight with two aircraft flying low over Wales, etc. in jets. I have a friend who sends me these emails which I pass forward to J's computer and I had not opened this one but came down this morning to find it on J's computer and I got dizzy just watching how close the planes were to the ground and following the terrain. J said the pilots would be pulling 4 g's. I've pulled g's going upside down in J's glider and believe me, I don't know how anyone could talk while all that is going on. These pilots get trained for pulling g's etc. I'd be passing out by that time. It's a magnificent video, shot purposely for these flights. And I see in previewing this posting that I'm not able to form paragraphs. Sorry for the inconvenience of having this all run together. I've tried to add spaces to separate it sll. And we are in the midst of yet another winter storm. What a winter this has been so far. Not for the lighthearted, I can tell you. Rosey

Friday, January 24, 2014

I have a new best friend

His name is Bill, he works at our local computer repair shop. It's one of those very messy shops where they no doubt know where everything is. He has upped my gigabytes for me, which means my computer doesn't think for two minutes before doing somthing. I have had my computer for ten years now, my very own, bought by me and it's never been cleaned out but it had so many gremlins in it these past few weeks that it was time. I had two security systems on it, one put on by friend, Walter, whose wife died five years ago after being shot by a deer hunter. Walter, in his grieving, would come to talk to me all the time but as he's a pilot (retired Air Canada) and a designer and builder of planes in which his wife helped him, I knew nothing of what he spoke of...but he wanted me to have stuff on my computer that I disn't want to have and one was this other security system plus stuff he likes on his computer, like music, shows, etc. etc. I do not use my computer in that way as a form of entertainment as he does. Apparently, the two security systems were fighting each other, leaving me open with little security. One has been eliminated, his...I retain AVG which Jean in Mill Bay suggested and which I've had ever since. Bell Telephone, our landline and internet provider pulled the plug on our landline last Monday morning, making a terrible mistake in dealing with my computer line which has telephone services included...and in trying to lower our telephone bill which keeps going up, I decided to move it to a dry loop instead of a wet loop (one that includes telephone service). Instead, they pulled our main telephone line and J's computer is connected to this. We've been without a telephone and he, without a computer, since last Monday. He was in serious withdrawl. I think everything is back in working order but I ended up in tears talking to Bell this morning, in total frustration. Now, to my bank teller 'friend', he has decided to go to both Australia and New Zealand both and appreciated your postings, Fran and Marion, which he's reading over. When I find out where his trip goes and what it includes, I will let you both know on the board here. The wind is howling around the studio windows tonight. We are to expect 60 mile an hour winds, and snow overnight and tomorrow. It's been a stressful winter for many here in Ontario and the Maritimes, where Celia P lives and even out west, it's quite cold. Jean in Mill Bay was kind enough not to send pictures of daffodils growing, which should be happening on the west coast of Canada in February. Rosey, who is recovering from the week's events.

emails, etc

Marion, email received, thanks so much, and duly replied to.

Mmm what a great idea. A group get-together in NZ.  Nice to dream eh. vbg

This is the only site I can tell at the moment! Found out yesterday that DS #2 is to be a father for the second time (or fourth if you include the step children, which we all do) in July.  Am waiting for them to let our other sons know before I can mention it anywhere else.

I messaged DS's partner and congratulated her. Then asked what colour she'd like in the baby quilt, which I've started already haha. She wrote back and said they're not finding out this time what sex; could it be something neutral.  THEN she said, "It's almost worthwhile having babies just to get your quilts." Wasn't that nice!

Have a good weekend, everyone.  Keep warm (or cool, depending on where you live).

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Z.

I think we should plan a quilt trip to N.Z. We could all meet up in Los Angeles or Hawaii and go together. Husbands could come along. About a year a go I saw a PBS or travel show about someone hiking in N.Z. and it looked just beautiful! A very long way from the East coast of USA, however. I have the two red,black and white quilts for the 2 oldest grand sons finally finished, and will mail them to No. Dakota tomorrow. I think they are having below zero temps again next week. Sara in Fla. where it will be 25 here tonight. Burrrr

Friday in NZ.

A lovely morning here and I am off to the local Farmers Market.  These have become popular over the last few years and are a great place to meet up with the locals, as well as a great place to get fresh produce.

Yesterday DH and I went for a walk along the beach (half an hour from here) We were the only ones there as it was a very windy (but warm) day.  I came home with sand in my hair, but enjoyed the  walk  !  Our dog enjoys it but I did worry about the drifting sand getting into her eyes, she's very close to the ground !  (she's Beagle for those who don't know !)  I did take photos ofcourse, with the intention of sharing them with you all but I can't remember how to post them.. I'll have to think about that one !!!

DH went for a lovely flight  with our flying neighbour Pam, last week. She was celebrating 50 yrs since she first went solo ! Quite an acheivement at the time,  she was still a teenager..

Fran ,I think we have solved our problems.  Hope so any way !!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's anybody's guess

Rosey, there's no way of saying whether there will still be bushfires in March.  I sincerely hope not! Sydney should be safe if he just visits there,  Coastal Queensland too, especially further north but then there's the chance of cyclones (sigh).  Let us know what he decides - enquiring minds and all that vbg


Ah Rosey, I love New Zealand.  It's a world in itself and as Marion says, very beautiful.  If the lad hasn't a huge amount of time I'd say go for it and come back to Australia another time.  If he thinks he has enough time, maybe a trip to Sydney? That's where most tourists head.  Just remind him that it's not the 'be all and end all' of what Australia is all about, even though Sydneysiders might think it is vbg
Oh, and tell him that the NZ and Australian accents aren't the same haha.

Marion, just emailed you back. Have you looked in your JUNK folder?  Some email providers put unrecognised addresses in there, although why it shouldn't recognise me is something else.  Is there a way of getting in touch with your provider and asking them what you can do?

Off to start the day after an early phone call!


Yes, it is spectacularly beautiful here.  I  live in the Sth Island so know it better than the Nth Island.  When we have overseas visitors we drive from here (East coast) over to the West Coast easilly, in a day.  We then drive south to the glaciers, back over the mountains to the lakes and then drive north, back home again ,all in four days.  If the weather is right the views and the countryside look amazing.   Further south is Queenstown,  it's a tourist spot with lots of things to do (Bungee jumping , white river rafting etc) At the top of the Sth Island we have,the Marlboorough Sounds (fiords) It's another beautiful area too.  You can travel south from the Nth Island on a ferry to the Sth Island (or fly ofcourse..)   We travel to the Nth Island to visit family but we haven't done much exploring up there (it's on the bucket list...)   Thats where you'll find the boiling mud , the bigger cities (Auckland (the city of sails),and Wellington, (the capital ) and more people !  The top of the Island is sub tropical, we had a lovely holiday up there one year, and found it an interesting and beautiful place to visit.   What more can I say ?  Go to the NZ tourist web site. That will no doubt be illustrated with lots of mouth watering photos...

Now I must try to find Frans emails, We are thinking that they may have been directed to a folder and that the folder is hiding somewhere...!


New Zealand

You two are so funny, each has said what they admire about each other's countries but I'm not hearing much about New Zealand, which I understand is very beautiful. Will the fires interfere with tourist travel, Fran, do you think...what's your feeling on that...and Marion, for young man of 26, which country do you suggest he visit. I have friends who toured NZ last year and said it was spectacularly beautiful along the coastline... I'll let this young lad have the info. Rosey

New Zealand...

Fran has covered it all very well.  I would think it depends upon the time the traveler has available to him.  In NZ you have a great variety in a small area.  It's quite possible to cover both Islands in two weeks. March is a good time to come, we usually have settled weather then and it is early autumn.

  I love Australia, the cities are big and exciting (compared with NZ cities !) the outback is HUGE and so different.  Something very special about seeing the kangaroos,camels and horses out there in the wild.  We went in the winter when there was less chance of coming across snakes !! We drove from Melbourne up to Alice Springs and then across to Brisbane.  A fantastic trip covering 8,000 K. You need plenty of time to do it well.

There are good web pages on both countries.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Travelling down under

Rosey, there are so many places to go and things to do over here, much like in North America. It really depends what the lad likes doing, and whether he wants to do a tour or just travel around by himself. As Marion will tell you, it ranges from sub-tropical in the north of the North Island of NZ to pretty cold at the bottom tip of the Sth Island, even in March (beginning of our Autumn).  If he's able to do both islands he'd see a huge variety of places and things. Good for someone who is fit and likes extreme sports.  We really enjoyed learning about the Maori culture there. Probably a bus tour would be best to see and do a good range of things there.
Australia, on the other hand, is so huge that he would have to choose just a few places to go.  The north once again is very tropical (Darwin NT, Great Barrier Reef Qld). They do have cyclones still once in a while at that time of year.  He could go to the Centre (Uluru/Ayers Rock, Alice Springs, etc) if he's interested in geology and our indigenous culture.  Tasmania should be cool by then and much like the Sth Island of NZ in landscape, climate, etc.  Lots of history there - especially re convicts, old buildings, etc. Some good walks in the mountains and forests.  If he'd rather see the Big Cities I'd have to say Sydney and Melbourne, or Brisbane if he doesn't mind the humidity still. They're not that far from each other but all different. Canberra, the country's capital, is inland between Sydney and Melbourne and has some interesting museums, etc.  Many places along the eastern and SE seaboard are good for surfing if he's into that.  Perth is pretty vibrant but it's way over on the west coast and a couple of extra days' travel there and back.  Adelaide is the gateway to the Barossa Valley (wines), Flinders Ranges (trekking, geology) and Kangaroo Island (native fauna). But in March it's also hosting the Adelaide Festival of Arts, WOMADelaide (music and dance) and the Adelaide Intl Guitar Festival, all overlapping each other. Autumn is usually the best time of year there too - not as hot (usually a dry heat) but hasn't cooled down too much yet either.
Hope that helps!

A question for Marion & Fran

Now, this is a picture of J. in his new snowblowing snowsuit, new fur hat, woolen ski mask, all set for this winter we're having, photo taken a few years ago.  Pretty scary eh!  (Canadian's say 'eh', Americans say 'huh' !!) 

Fran in Australia, Marion in New Zealand, I have a young 'friend' bank teller who is going on holiday in March, either to Australia or to New Zealand.  With the fires in Australia and the hot weather, I'm suggesting New Zealand, he's not sure which country he'll choose.  He's gone to a travel agency to look at both possibilities.  I'm wondering in the month of March what either country might offer and at any time, what either country would offer.  Just curious.

My computor fix-it will be delayed a day as our landline is now out (no telephone service and J. without a connection to the internet, for some reason, likely because I've had a second line in here, I'm okay, as I must be operating still on this second line, which I'm told once high speed goes into a house, two lines (one to override the telephone line) are not necessary.  Thus, tomorrow will be spent waiting for the telephone repair man and the computer will wait to Wed. to visit the computer hospital.
Rosey and it's very, very cold here in Southern Ontario, Canada...

Wow !

What a nice surprise to see so many photos and posts  !

 Love the quilt Fran, I have made several "I Spy" quilts myself,  for all the same reasons !   Different pattern though and I prefer yours, so may make one like that next time (I could work out the details but you could save me the bother (vbg)and send them to me !!!...and   no, I didn't receive your email and photos...I've just checked back..)

Yes, we do have shipping containers in the city, They are colourful and bright and work very well as specialist shops. There are only a few of them and the novelty has somewhat worn off .  They are near to our premium Department Store, which itself came through the quakes reasonably well,  and gives us some incentive for visitng the city.

There's a BuskersFestival in town this week. It's a annual event and a lot of fun.

Off to get the photos of the surprise party printed this morning.  I'm old fashioned I know, but I do like photos in albums, and not just on the computer !

Have a good day.


Rosey - My DS added something called Ad Block, I believe, which prevents the pop-ups and makes me happy. That is the annoying part of this computer use. My DD says well if you use their free services they have to pay for them somehow. Well, these companies do have huge profits so I'd like to know when they've earned enough. DS will help on occasion with my irritations with the way my computer behaves. For a long time he refused because my computer was over 10 years old. Once I updated by buying myself a laptop he advised me and set it all up for me. It seems it's not enough for me to accept and use technology but I must keep up to date on it. DS is annoyed by my lack of correct terminology - never mind that I can't always recall words or names I have had in my vocabulary for half a century. Anyway, make a list like you would for the doctor and ask your computer geeks to do what they can. I must admit it took 3 of the younger generations to look at how my Facebook page appeared and to get it to where I could use it easier. Funny thing was once I pitted the talents of one against the other I got better results. LOL

Marioin - I read an article which featured shops in Christchurch, I believe, that were created from shipping containers. One was even two story. I thought it was an amazing concept for maybe what was quick rehabilitation of shops and a new effort in recycling. I believe there was some creative activity of that sort after hurricane Katrina. It just seems like nature is so tenuous now days. It has been cold here in the Midwest but the extremes from day to day and the weather guessers are what frustrate me the most. As long as I get a little sunshine now and then I can survive the winter. I believe the heat like in Australia now is harder for me. In spite of all that I truly enjoy the changing seasons, just looking for a better balance and less extremes. I've tried to do my part over the years for our planet but not everyone is on board with that.

That's all the posts I have gotten through now so I'll be back to comment when I get through more posts. Its been fun to see all the activity here.

Down Under heat wave

Fran  - We've been hearing about your heat wave on our news up here, and how awful it is.   I even saw an internet news story about how the heat is killing bats.    One of my sisters and her DH is currently on a cruise Down Under and no doubt they will tell me about it, too.  And they left overnight temps of  -3F°/-20 C°  here they day before they left home.   Their cruise began in New Zealand ten days ago,  Melbourne and Sydney are their final ports by the end of this week.   I can't wait to hear about it.

Winter ..... actually, while this is colder than what we've become accustomed to,  we really are having more of a more normal winter that we used to see for ages,  until the warmer ones of recent decades.  So naturally, we are all spoiled a bit and being reminded that we will *not* complain when the heat of summer arrives.

Back in December,  DH and I flew to Stockholm, Sweden for a wedding.  Our foreign exchange student, who lived with us fifteen years ago, got married.     We have stayed in contact and visited each other over the years, since then, and were so happy we could go to his wedding.  Sweden is having an unusually warm winter this year (go figure ...!)  and it was actually warmer in Stockholm than in Tennessee!

We stayed in a hotel that was close by to the wedding venue in Stockholm, and next to the heart of their shopping district.    DH and I passed this park that had an ice skating rink.  Even on a day with very light rain, people continued to skate!:

We also went to NK, a very famous and large department store  in Stockholm.  Their Christmas tree went up through the center of the store, and was approx. four or five stories tall!


We had a lovely time and were so happy that we made the trip.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ashlee's stars

Thanks RoseyP

Thanks for reminding us that it needs more than one or two to keep this site going. I would hate if it folded, even though I am one of the guilty ones who posts very seldom.  I will try to do better.

SARA: I bet you are really looking forward to that shower!  DH had one leg done quite a few years ago now - that was when they still stripped the veins.  Thankfully he hasn't had to have it done again.

ROSEY: Good luck with getting the computer 'fixed'.  A few computers ago we used to regularly 'clean up' the hard drive by pressing a button but we have an Apple now and that doesn't seem to happen.  I have never heard of dry and wet loops - will have to ask DB who is into that sort of thing. Loved the pic of your grand daughter in the snow.

MARY JO: Glad your part of the world is warming up. So sorry to hear about DH's slow deterioration.
It's years since I've been to the 'pictures' but am actually going to see Saving Mr Banks tomorrow evening with a group of old workmates.  When I mentioned it to DH he said he'd like to see The Book Thief so I'm booking that NEXT week for the 2 of us.  Interesting that both PL Travers (Mary Poppins) and the author of Book Thief were both Aussies.

LAURA: It DOES take a while to get used to DH being home after retirement.  Mine gets very restless if he stays home for any longer than 2-3 days. Quite often I just send him off to do the grocery shopping, which he's done for 30-odd years anyway.  He always comes home with more than we need at the time but I now have a big pantry after having the kitchen re-done recently so I just grin and bear it vbg  Luckily we have another, older computer in the house which I'm able to use when he's on here playing his games.  Thanks for posting your latest quilt picture!

MARION: It is so sad about Christchurch - it was such a beautiful city.  Sorry to hear about so many of your trees also.  Did you get my email and photos?

BEE: How is the packing coming along? I bet you are so looking forward to the move!

We are still recovering from 5 days in the mid 40s C when we stayed inside rather than go out into the oven-like atmosphere, except for venturing out for a quick trip to the shops twice. Each time a shop assistant asked why we would be out in the heat........I felt sorry for them having to, especially in one shop where the air con was hardly working.  Our pool would have been great to use except that it needed a big clean - it's now ready so we're waiting for the weather to heat up a bit more again. (I'm a woos when it comes to swimming in temps less than 30C).

I am on my 9th 'I Spy/ABC' quilt for a family baby. Rather than making a cute baby quilt I give them one which will last for 5-6 years or longer. I think the parents all just think "Oh, the teacher/librarian aunt" and accept them gracefully LOL  I'll try and post a pic of the last one I did.

We are off to Melbourne again in March.  We tend to make the trip over at least 2-3 times a year to catch up with DSs #1 and #3.  They've both promised to spend Christmas over here with us this year. Both will have finished studying and will be looking for work and that could be anywhere, and I mean ANYwhere!  S did tell me the other day that he's hoping to do PostDoc work.

Well, I need a shower and lunch before I get to a Dr's appointment in 45 minutes.  All the best to everyone.
Fran in SAus

Monday morning in NZ.

Thank you to those who have posted photos, they do brighten up the page. Well done Rosey, for coping with all the frustrations.  I have no idea how to post photos anymore. I don't even know where they are on the computer, the DH puts them on and makes it all look so difficult that I fear to try.

Lovely to hear from others this morning too.  Sorry about the sadness faced by some and the difficulties         faced by others. The weather, worldwide, has been extraordinary recently.  So very cold for our friends in America and Canada and unbelievably hot in parts of Australia.  Our summer hasn't been great, yesterday was our first hot day, 31deg. that was too much for me, can't imagine how they have managed in Australia where it's been up in the mid forties some days.

The main activity here is centered around the fallen trees. Some of you may remember that we lost between  three and four hundred trees in a fierce wind last Sept.  It blew through all of Canterbury and there are thousands of trees down so there is a lot of 'clearing up" to be done. Friends have helped us with some,  but the main "shelter belt" all fell on top of each other and it needs experienced men and big machinery to deal with that.

Had a busy week last week with two 'shared lunches" to go to, a day of visitors here from the city and a surpirise 70th bday party for a reluctant Bday girl !  All went well but it took a lot of "kitchen time' to get it all done.  Six of us arrived at the surprise party wearing Royal Masks ! DH and I were the Queen and Duke, then we had Camilla and Charles and Kate and William !  It was a great ice breaker.  The bday girl was still working in the garden when we all arrived and was suitably surprised !!  

I'm enjoying hearing about the films .  Since the earthquake (three years ago next month) I have seen very few. I'm not happy to go to the cinemas in the Shopping Malls and the few small cinemas are on the other side of town.  Hopefully we'll make more of an effort this coming winter .  Christchurch is a desolate place still, lots of empty sections, we are hoping to see some more encouragng signs of the rebuild this year. There are shops to visit, if you know where to look for them, and there are places of interest to go to, but any trip to the city makes us feel so sad, we tend to stay at home.

Better start my day !  Best wishes to all.

Sunday morning in the country

Let me share with you my experience in trying to get this photo uploaded (it's of our granddaughter's first ski lesson at the age of five, yesterday).  It took me seven tries to get it uploaded.  Google kept interfering with pop-ups wanting to know how they were doing.  Well....I told them, in no uncertain terms how they were doing and interfering with my posting here.  They thanked me for my feedback.  I hope they can't track me down.  It was nothing short of aggravating but when things get like that, it makes me all the more determined to do it.  So, I don't feel so peaceful and Sunday morning in the country any more.  I'm royally p*ssed off with Google interfering on my computer.  My computer is ten years old.  It is going into the shop next week for a general clean-out.  I hope my computer gurus can get rid of these darned pop-ups.  I've found in the past three days that blogs now have words highlighted and if my browser runs over them, up pops another ad.  At least my computer doesn't care if I swear at it.

So you see, whatever I was going to say, has been lost in my frustration with the internet and the peace of my Sunday morning, altered.  MaryJo, not an easy thing to go through, I'm sorry to read about your DH.  And Heather, kids seem to 'grow' up these days without the word 'committment' in their language skills...don't know if this has affected your guys or not, but what happened to longevity in a relationship/marriage...I see so many younger people coming into my B&B, not married, different girlfriends, one chap, three times coming in here.  I finally told him...don't come back unless you're with the same woman twice.  Your mother must want grandchildren.  What I wonder is that young people seem to get fed up, end relationships without thinking about the cost they're incurring..and then, money to live on afterward...not even thinking about their old age and how they're going to have money for that, because growing old is expensive unless you want to end up living in circumstances you'd never thought you'd live in.

So better end see, it doesn't take interesting news to come on can come on and express your views. 
Like me.
Rosey in Snowy Canada