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

Monday, May 31, 2021

Pink Ribbon Topknot, and Moaning MInnies

Tales from Ward 7

During my stay in Ward 7 I had a visit from a young male physio who was just completing his training.  It was Pink Shirt Day, not that I really knew that.  Anti-Bullying Day is a day when people wear a pink shirt to symbolise a stand against bullying.  But the physio staff have their own uniforms and instead of a pink shirt this young man was sporting a topknot tied up with a pink ribbon.  He was at pains to tell me all about it, and said his female colleagues had made him do it!  Good on him, I thought, taking a stand on such an important issue.

Who can remember those skin tight white surgical stockings used to prevent blood clots in the legs after an operation?  Seems they are now a things of the past.  While I was bedridden my lower  legs were wrapped in a pair of these, made from a material similar to batting used in quilting, threaded with tubes, and plugged into the power.  These gently massaged the legs, with each pulse accompanied by a low moaning sound – hence I called them Moaning Minnies.  To be fair, I thought the movement up and down each leg quite comforting and the accompanying noise was not too obtrusive at all.  My pair of Moaning Minnies kept me company for many days.


Moaning Minny

It is wonderful to be back home now to continue with my recovering.  Friends have been so kind, with cards, phone calls and visits.  And we really appreciated Val and Bill who dropped off a Cottage Pie when they came for a quick visit, making for an easy  meal  that night.


Thank you Val

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Home again

To make things easier for hospital visiting Robin moved or caravan closer to Wellington to reduce the travel time.  The day arrived for my spinal operation and I was whisked away.  The six hour operation went well, the surgeon told us, and I am now sporting a 10 inch scar down my backbone..  Must say that the neurosurgical team were so professional and certainly inspired confidence. I was hooked up to all sorts of equipment,  and the nursing care was excellent.  Although it was difficult to lay prone on my tummy for some time each day.


As expected the next few days were a bit rough, and then came a treat, my first time out of bed and sitting on the chair.  Who is that old lady clad in the rather fetching  hospital gown?


First time out of bed

After seven days in Wellington Hospital there was another adventure ahead – an ambulance ride up to Palmerston North Hospital.  I was taken down to the Transit Lounge – think of a small, rather busy railway station.  Wheelchairs and beds were wheeled in and out, and those who could walk were seated around, waiting to be collected by family and friends.  Patients who were moving on to another hospital facility, as I was, waited patiently for the ambulances to arrive.  It was a two hour drive in the ambulance, bounce, bounce, and I could keep up with the journey peeping through the glass paneled rear door.

On day three at Palmerston North Hospital  the physios, OT staff and doctors were happy for me to return home, with a walker to help out while I got my mobility back.    I’m told it will be a slow recovery as I had pressure on my spinal cord for the previous two years, so things have to get back to normal again. Gemma decided that since I had left her for a while, she would greet me on her terms!  On the first night back I tottered outside to get a glimpse at the blood moon, what a sight that was. 


To welcome me home

Robin has been wonderful while all this is going on, although he is suffering himself as he waits to be called up for his knee replacement operation.  Together we will puddle along,  and home is certainly  the best place to recover.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Sew Wot Tuesday and Surgery Date

Our two weekly Sew Wot get-together was a little different this time.  Helen was our hostess and she had arranged for us to meet at Fox’s Cottage, our gorgeous local quit shop.  She was concerned that two of us (back and knee problems) would have trouble climbing up the flight of internal stairs at her home, so arranged our morning at Fox’s Cottage instead.  Isn’t that wonderfully thoughtful of her.


Our local quilt shop

Sandra was minding her cute little grand-son Harry for the morning and he was so good, smiling at everyone, and taking an interest in everything with those big eyes of his.


Helen looking at at Harry with his Nana Sandra

And yes, there was a little Show and Tell, including these two “Patchwork of the Crosses” displayed in the shop.  Helen’s is on the left, and Mary’s on the right, don't they both look wonderful.  Helen enjoyed this hand piecing project so much she has started another Crosses to use up her bits, but we all know that doesn’t really work, does it.  We all know that fabric pieces tend to multiply in the night!


Patchwork of the Crosses by Helen and Mary

Another one using up her scraps was Heather, who had made this very striking Eye Spy style quilt top.  Each print is framed in black to make it pop, and I love the way the borders were pieced in a variety of brights.  This will be tucked away, waiting for a future great-grand baby.


Heather’s Eye Spy quilt top

I had taken along my two knitting projects, which I had blogged about recently.  I’m so pleased I have now used up all of the two different blue wools.


My recent knitting finishes

We had a lovely morning, sharing the tables with two ladies from the weekly knitting group.  So we shared our Morning Tea prepared by Helen with them, and the shop staff, plus two visiting reps as well.  There was some knitting going on, a little hand piecing, and “pass the baby” too.  Thanks Helen for organising a lovely morning.


Our yummy morning tea

I’ve now been given the date for my back surgery, so I’m looking forward to that with a little trepidation.  I’ll be admitted next Sunday afternoon, with my op scheduled as second on the list for Monday morning.  All going well, as long as there are no emergencies, as the Wellington neurosurgery unit takes patients and emergencies including stroke victims over quite a large area.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Knitting and Happy Mother’s Day

I’ve had a few knitting finishes over the last wee while.  I don’t know about you, but sewing up the garments often gets put on the back burner.  My mission was to use up the remaining blue wool left over from knitting myself a pretty blue jumper. The weather is cooling down so no doubt I’ll be wearing it soon.  There was enough yarn left to make a toddlers cardigan, and a scarf – the scarf will go in the donation box and I’ll keep the cardigan for a while in my baby box, just in case there is a need for family knitting.


Using up the last of the blue wool

Another recent finish was a pretty pair of socks for myself using a ball of the gorgeous Zauberball wool in shades of pink and lilac.  This yarn is fine 4 ply so they took me quite a while to knit, and I’m really pleased with the result.  I always maintained that because I’m so slow knitting socks,  I would only ever knit them for myself.  But grand daughter Megan saw a photo of them on Snap Chat and asked if I would knit her a pair for her birthday, or maybe Christmas.  So what could I do, I just had to say yes!


My new socks

Today is Mother’s Day here in New Zealand, as it is in other countries, although I believe that it is celebrated in a different month in UK.  So Happy Mother’s Day to all.  My flowers from last week’s early Mother’s Day get-together are lasting quite well – I’ve trimmed the stems back and removed any flowers which were looking sad.  It’s amazing how much water cut flowers consume.


My flowers are lasting well

Hope you have all had a lovely day, and been remembered.  My adult son (who lives in the South Island) doesn’t really show any interest is these sorts of celebrations, so I usually phone him to remind him what day it is.  Then he feels obliged to wish me Happy Mother’s Day!

Saturday, May 8, 2021

A few Red Blocks

I’ve done a little RSC stitching and the colour this month is red.  So three red boats got made to add to my collection, they should really be sailing into the red sunset, don't you think?


Three red boats

Then I whipped up  several easy-peasy flag blocks – these are quick and simple to do.  Must have a count up and see how I’m doing with these, there’s quite a good selection of these now.  I’m trying to keep off my feet with my current back problem, and standing at the cutting board is quite an effort for me at the moment.


Red flag blocks

I won’t be making any batik cobblestone blocks this month.  Why, you may be wondering?  Because there is no red fabric tucked away in the big bag, rather just a selection of mainly pink, blue, purple, teal and cream batik  fabrics.  Let’s see what colour will be chosen for the following month.


No red fabrics hiding in my bag of batiks

Monday, May 3, 2021

Early Mother’s Day Gathering

Last Saturday we drove up to Feilding to meet up for an early Mother’s Day Brunch.  The weather was glorious, a beautiful Autumn day.


My daughter Nicky had arranged for us to meet in her favourite café.  This is a lovely café and I appreciate the nice friendly greeting when we walk in the door.  There were six of us, myself and Robin, Nicky and Robert, and younger grand-daughter Megan with her boyfriend Michael, who we hadn’t met before.  Unfortunately our older grand-daughter Emma was working and couldn't get away.

We arrived there a little early so had plenty of time to contemplate the menu before the others arrived.  Nicky and Megan are great fans of Eggs Benedict, so that is what they ordered, Robin chose a burger and I had chorizo, bacon,egg and spinach with fried potatoes, a new dish for me and very tasty indeed.


Ready to order


Michael and Megan


Nicky, Robert, Jenny and Robin

The meals were lovely, and then Robert, Megan and Michael left to attend a hunt meeting.  “You are lucky we are here”, Robert informed me, so it was good of them to cut their horse event short for an hour or so to meet up with the oldies.  Michael doesn’t ride, but any prospective boyfriend has to show some interest in horses or he doesn’t get a look in!

We then had a pleasant time chatting away with Nicky, she hasn’t been well lately but her health is slowly improving, thank goodness.  Nicky had presented me with a lovely bouquet of flowers (including a couple of artichoke heads) picked from her own garden.  I’d never been given artichokes before, I told her, and had never eaten one either.   Once we returned home they were ready for a good long drink, after being in the car for a couple of hours.


Flowers for Mother’s Day

I’d sent along a present too, for her to take home.  Remember the grey knitted mouse I’d made for Gemma’s birthday?  I made one for Nicky’s kitten, PK, which stands for Psycho Killer.  This kitten came from a feral litter and although she has settled down well, I think she will always have a wild streak.  I embroidered eyes and a nose on this mouse, and sprayed in liberally with cat nip.  Nicky sent through a video clip on the phone showing PK having a fine old time beating up her new toy.


I knitted PK a mouse like this too