Welcome to tales of my stitching life, home, family and friends.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Rainbow Bridge

We have heavy hearts as we mourn the loss of our beloved Birman Muffy.  At 20 years of age, ill health meant that she was most uncomfortable, and seemed to be in pain.  So the decision was made to let her go, and she passed away peacefully at home in our arms.  Such a sad day, but we must remember she is not suffering any more.  After the vet took her tiny body away to be cremated, Robin and I stood entwined together, sobbing our hearts out.  She will be sadly missed, but we have 20 years of many happy memories to look back on.

One of our last photos of Muffy

“Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.  When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends.  All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor.  The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. Her bright eyes are intent. Her eager body quivers. Suddenly she begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, her legs carrying her faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.  Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....”

Author unknown...

The Rainbows Bridge Poem

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday Sewing

It’s been a late start to my sewing this week, we have been kept busy with a couple of medical appointments plus a lovely day out with friends too.  It’s UFO number 5’s turn  this week, which, of course, is my grand-daughters black and grey horse quilt.  Saturday afternoon was spent pinning several more rows together, and assembling some sashing strips.

All pinned up and ready to sew

And Sunday was spent stitching three rows together, and adding them to the three I had already assembled.  That’s the middle section done now – showcasing the embroidered horse heads amongst the nine patch blocks.  I’ll be adding extra rows of nine patch blocks to the top and bottom of this section.

Six rows stitched together

These beautiful embroideries of realistic horse breeds were purchased from King’s Treasures, a great on-line shop in the USA.  My requested embroidered blocks were speedily dispatched, and I think they are wonderful, and great value too.

I’m being careful not to overdo things too much, as my wound is still a little tender, and although healing well, there is the internal wound to consider too.    So I’ve called it a halt on the sewing today, and asked Robin to take over a couple of jobs today when I felt tired.  All help is gratefully received.

UFO number 5 is now packed away so I wonder what number I will get tomorrow when I roll the dice.  There are a couple of UFOs I really want to get on with, but as I’ve said before, I can’t cheat!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Welcome to the Sew Wots

The Sew Wots came calling today, so it was lovely to catch up with them again after a little break.  Several came bearing “Get Well” gifts too, so that was a lovely surprise.  Helen presented me with this lovely white orchid, and Carol gave me the pretty pink cyclamen and card.  Heather B was planning  ahead and  gave me two pots of soup – to eat for lunch or pop in the freezer, she said.  Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness, ladies.

Beautiful floral get-well gifts

The knitting needles were busy all morning.  Mary, Helen and Heather B showed that they had no trouble knitting and chatting together at the same time.  Rae was knitting as well, and Moira and Heather E were stitching away on their projects.

Mary, Helen and Heather B all busy knitting.

The Sew Wot ladies all took part in a mystery quilt challenge recently – except for me as I wanted to concentrate on getting my UFOs under control.  They brought them along for Show and Tell and what a variety there was.  Although everyone had used the same pattern, the individual choices of colour, fabric and borders really did make such a difference.

Mystery Quilts by Heather B and Carol

Rae’s Dinosaur mystery quilt

Moira used Kaffe Fassett fabrics and a different border technique



I just loved Mary’s version with the hand embroidered centre blocks

I had a little Show and Tell of my own and showed the ladies what I had done so far UFO number 5 – the lucky number dice roll this week.  With a couple of appointments to attend,  hopefully I’ll get a bit of spare time later in the week to work on this project.

The dice rolled around to UFO number 5 this week.

There was plenty of news to catch up on, morning tea to eat, knitting and stitching to do, and all too soon the morning came to an end.  It was so nice to be the hostess today.

Then later in the afternoon I had a visit from Sandra, former President of Town and Country Quilters.  I had stepped down from my quilt club committee duties at the AGM last month, and Sandra called around to present me with a Thank You gift for my time on committee, so that was a lovely surprise.

Thank you gift from the quilt club

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Gently does it

It’s been a matter of “gently does it” when I returned home from my overnight stay in hospital after my op last week.  Hospitals are so noisy, as I’m sure most of you know.  And you just manage to drop off to sleep when the night nurse arrives with their little torch and implements to do the obs, several times a night.  And just to keep us on our toes, our small ward of six overnight patients were awakened at 6.00am, up and dressed and moved to sit in a lounge.  We whiled away the next few hours on breakfast, meeting with our respective surgeons and waiting for our partners to arrive to take us home.  Our overnight beds were needed for the current day’s surgery patients.

So home I’ve been resting up, sitting in the Lazyboy chair (recliner), done a little knitting and caught up with some TV viewing which had been recorded and not yet watched.  I had two episodes Dr Thorne to savour and enjoy, written by the very talented Julian Fellows of Downton Abbey fame.

With two lots of stitches from my lumpectomy I’m being careful not to to put any stress or strain on my right arm.  No beating rugs outside, (have I ever?) and Robin has taken over the bed making duties in the meantime.  And I found just the thing to take the pressure off my bruised and battered breast when I go to bed at night.  A lovely little satin cushion to slip between my arm and breast really makes a huge difference.  We called down to the local Cancer Society rooms and a couple of service organizations make and donate them for patients.  Take two, I was told, as they are different thicknesses.

Satin cushions to tuck under the arm in bed.

Many, many thanks to all of you who have sent good wishes and  messages of support – I truly appreciate each and every message, note, card, and phone call.  And tomorrow, being Monday, I’m very gently going to get that dice out and give it a gentle roll to see which UFO I can bring out of oblivion.  If I’m careful and don’t overdo things, I should be able to get a little sewing done. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Pink Ribbon Club

As most people know, the Pink Ribbon is the symbol of breast cancer.  Sadly, I am now a member of the pink ribbon club, receiving a diagnosis several weeks ago.  This is certainly not a club I sought to join, but I now join the ranks of all those other brave and courageous women to join in this particular battle.  I read that the risk of breast cancer increases as women age, with 75% of all cases occurring  in women over 50 years.

Image result for pink ribbon clip art free

Robin and I have been on holiday in our caravan over the last couple of weeks, trying to clear our heads as we waited for the surgery date to tick around.  Almost like a recuperation holiday in advance, we could say.   On Wednesday I go to have my lumpectomy surgery, with other treatment to follow.

The good news is that the lump is quite small and “very treatable”, I have been told.  On the other side, I had bowel cancer 10 years ago, so I am well aware of the challenges  of radiation and chemo treatments.

So please, wherever you may live, keep up with the mammograms.  Here in New Zealand at attaining the age of 69 they are no long free, but I am just grateful that I decided it was time to have another and we were happy to pay the cost.  If I had left it for another year or so, or not bothered at all, it could well be a different scenario several years down the track.  We must all take care of yourselves.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Happy Mother’s Day

It was  Mother’s Day here in New Zealand on Sunday – as this is how I spent mine.  We are away from home on a caravan holiday, currently staying in New Plymouth.

On Sunday morning, I was on laundry duties again.  Luckily there was a laundromat not too far away from where we were staying.  The machine was loaded up,  and finally, the bag full of clothes was washed, dried, and ready to take back to the caravan to fold and put away. Unlike living at home, no ironing gets done while we are away in the caravan.  Luckily I had my book with me to while away the time while everything was merrily spinning around.

Mother’s Day morning spent In yet another laundromat

Then in the afternoon we went to visit the wonderfully shaped Te Rewa Rewa Bridge.  This is a shared pedestrian and cycling bridge on the Coastal Walkway.  It has won numerous awards, including “Best Bridge in the World 2011”.  The weather was just perfect for a walk, nice and sunny, without any wind at all.

First glimpse of the bridge

Looking back, with Mt Egmont faintly framed through the clouds

Then in the evening, we ate out at Sun World Restaurant, a very popular Chinese buffet restaurant in the city.  Luckily we had thought to book a table, as the place was packed.  As it was Mother’s Day, there were lots of family groups all out enjoying themselves.

Mother’s Day Dinner at Sun World

My two children have differing views about Mother’s Day.  My daughter Nicky, currently in Lincoln, UK, sent a picture message through on Snap Chat, showing me, “This is your Mother’s Day present”.  I’ll get it when she returns home.    While son Michael thinks Mother’s Day is just a lot of material rubbish, and true to his views, I haven’t heard from him.  But never mind, I had a lovely day, and a great meal out in the evening.  Hope everyone else enjoyed their special day.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Have caravan–will travel

We’re on the road again, far from home, and having fun travelling and exploring.  Since our lovely experience of visiting the Chateau Tongariro, we travelled up to Hamilton, to get some caravan maintenance done.

We stayed at the most delightful place, straight out of “Happy Days” TV show, it seemed.   As we were allowed to park up for a couple of nights in the huge car park, it seemed only right and proper that we would order a couple of meals at their cafe, the Jukebox Diner.

Through these doors to the Jukebox Diner

The diner brought back memories of my early teen years, with staff are dressed to suit the period, paintings of singers from the 50s and 60s hung on the walls, and a life sized statue of Elvis in the corner.  The red seats with chrome legs (didn’t we have some like that when we were growing up?) and black and white checkerboard tiles really set the scene.  And just what did we order for lunch?  American hot dogs and ice cream sodas. Oh -  to be 15 again and rock’n’rolling the afternoon away at the local youth club!

Enjoying our lunch at the Jukebox Diner

Holiday or not, the laundry still needs to get done.  And just look at this laundromat we found at the little town of Kihikihi, washers and driers lining the walls – and that’s only some of them, there were more around the corner.  For someone who actually enjoys doing the laundry, I was in 7th heaven – happiness is clean laundry, I always say.

Checking out the laundromat

We’ve been over mountains, and driven through tiny little tunnels carved through the rock.

Travelled along the sea coast

And done a few rows of knitting – I’m up to the sleeves

So all in all, we are having a great time.  There’s old friends to catch up with shortly, a new museum we want to visit, and places to explore.  We’re having a great time!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Lunch at Chateau Tongariro

I’m sure that somewhere in my ancestry I was born wealthy and privileged.  Why?  Because of how easily I feel at home at the Chateau Tongariro with the grand furnishings, chandeliers, pianist tinkling away in the corner, and staff to cater for every need.  Then I come back down to earth with a thump, and think, who am I kidding?  If I was around in earlier times, I probably would have been one of those serving wenches, or perhaps a washer woman, not one of the rich and famous.

But we are at the Chateau for lunch, and while there, I made sure I enjoyed the experience.  The Chateau Tongiriro was built in 1929 and added to over the years.  It is a wonderfully romantic looking building, hinting of grandeur and the famous guests of earlier years.

Chateau Tongariro

We were there to lunch with a group from the Levin Lions.  Robin’s brother Gary is President of the Levin Waiopehu Lions Club, and some of the members and spouses were planning a social weekend in National Park.  Gary thought we might be interested in joining them too. And why not – we were on our way to Hamilton so it worked out well.


In the lounge

The buffet lunch had plenty for all tastes, soup, salads, a hot carvery and desserts.  The dining room was full, there was our group of about 20, and two bus loads of Japanese tourists.  Lunch over, and fully sated we said our goodbyes.  While the others were driving back home, we are staying on at our camp site, and continuing our caravan trip to Hamilton tomorrow.

So that means that I will not be home to play my UFO game of rolling the dice on Monday.  But never fear, I have packed  both my knitting bag and my stitching bag to take away with me.  I’ve already done a little stitching, and now that the rain has set in, perhaps a few rows of knitting might be in order.