Thursday, November 22, 2012

Daisy Lane Cottage and Hanging out at the Bay

When I finished stitching Daisy Lane Cottage by LHN, I wanted a nice easy way to make it into a wallhanging, because next week we are doing a quick tour of Otago in the South Island and we will be visiting my DHs mother one night.  I had always intended for her to be the recipient of this stitching. 

I dont think it has turned out too badly and with my sight returning better each day, it wasn't too hard to get the finish just as I wanted.

Daisy Lane Cottage - Little House Needleworks

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Wellington.  Had a hospital appointment in the morning and in the afternoon my best friend was flying in from Australia.  The flight was delayed for 3 hours beacause of a broken toilet, so we sat at Oriental Bay in the sunshine watching the world go by and waiting for the time to tick round.

The ferries from the connecting the North and South Islands came and went....

The fountain in the harbour was turned on and the spray of the water looked fantastic in the sunlight.

And some rowers came out and started training back and forth.....

A beautiful day all round really

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A journey the length of New Zealand and something special.

 It is a challenge a few hardy souls like to take on.  Travelling the length of New Zealand by various means - on foot, by bicycle, or on a horse.....
A friend of mine Emma is walking from Cape Reinga to Bluff in 140 days (3000 kms) with 2 friends. Emma is one of the DOC rangers on Matiu/Somes Island, and I really admire the challenge they are taking on. They left on the 11 November, and are making good progress. I will be following their progress as they wont be taking just any ordinary route. These guys will be going full guns.
Matiu/Somes Island is very special to me.  It is an island in Wellington harbour that has extensive history as a human quarantine base, an internment camp during the war and an animal quaratine station.  Now it is a scientific and historic reserve.  The island is home to a population of tuatara, Giant Cook Strait Weta, many sea birds i.e. Little Blue Penguins, Fluttering Shearwaters and Kakariki to name a few, also skinks and geckos. 
2 DOC rangers live permanently on the island, and many visitors visit in the weekends (there are also houses on the island that can be booked to stay on), there is a strict bio security check, before access is granted, to make sure no pests make it onto the island.  There are also a myriad of volunteers that help with various projects.
In June I went over a couple of times to plant trees and then to remove weeds.  From there, because of my gardening and DOC background I visited monthly, staying on the island for the weekend helping with pruning trees and keeping tracks tidy, as well as helping with the small flock of sheep and other small chores.  I loved it.  And hopefully I will get to go back.It was something I really looked forward to each month.  Its a truly beautiful place.
I will go back with the family to spend a few days there...its awesome to sit on the peaceful island at night and hear the sounds of the city over the harbour.
The Island with Wellington City in the background.  The ship is the TSS Esmeralda, a Chilean training ship.
Me with a couple of volunteers on a planting trip.
Holding a Giant Cook Strait Weta for the first time
This weta is only a small one.  They can grow quite large.  The females are larger.  They sit quitely in your hand, but start to move around a bit once the warmth of your hand moves to them.  For the Kiwis reading this, these wetas are not aggressive like the Wellington/Auckland tree wetas that we encounter in the garden.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Animal rescue and saving Tui the cat

I mentioned in my last post that there was an incident I wanted to tell you about which included a cat and a very large tree.  Well here goes.

The animal in question:  TUI

When we moved to our new house, we did all the right things, put Tui into a cattery for a week so she wouldn't be stressed by general packing up and moving.  She enjoyed her time there with a heated bed and all the luxuries fitting for the little madam.
After a week we brought her home, and kept her shut inside for almost another week.  It must have been torture for her as our new property is full of trees and abundant bird life, so she would spend her days on the windowsill peering out the windows.  Bad timing - it was Guy Fawkes season.  During this time I was in and of hospital too.
Tui was finally released and would explore around the property and neighbours yards and would always come in at night.  Then one Saturday she never came back...of course this was the night of the most fireworks.  I was so worried, I hate fireworks and believe they should be banned to the general public and should only be for exhibitions or public displays.  Tui was also my comfort when I was in pain and would cuddle up with me on the bed.
Everyday we would go for walks looking for Tui...I advertised on several online sites.  Then one day we walked past a house up the road with a huge Phoenix Palm in the front yard and heard a meow.  It was Tui.  We called the firebrigade who came and had a go at extracting her, but she wasn't having that, and went to the furtherest area in the tree from the fireman.  We had to come up with another plan.
Next day we rang Wellington SPCA Animal Rescue.  They are a voluntary organisation that played a large part in the rescuing of animals after the Christchurch earthquake.  They said they would be out lalter that day with a cherry picker and rescue Tui.  Phoenix Palms are a veritable smorgasboard of food for cats as they harbour birds and rats.  A couple of times we would see birds fly in to where Tui was.  Animal Rescue are used to these trees.
Here are some photos:
The lovely Sam - Tuis rescuer

Tui back on the ground with her best friend Keira...they missed each other.

I really appreciated the effort that Sam and Blair went to.  They do a brilliant job.  All the neighbours were fascinated, and the cameras were clicking away.  Thank Wellington SPCA Animal guys rock.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Long overdue - Moved house, Craft stuff and Health

Hello, I am back...after months of relative obscurity.  I have been working full time as you know and generally living life as normal.  Since the last post in May we have moved to Upper Hutt so I can be closer to work.  We found a house through one of my work collegues at the Defence Base.  We had looked at it a few months earlier but couldn't get out of the contract on the house we were in. But as luck would have it, when it came time for us to look again, some tenants were only short term and  the house was still vacant.  It a beautiful large warm brick house - in a beautiful safe established area with lots of trees.  It was definately meant to be after missing out the first time.

I have been busy crafting away and have quite a few finishes, and I know on the last post I was going to put up finishes to show...but, ok life got in the way, and I never got round to it.  I still enjoy reading peoples blogs.  May was the last post, and even that doesnt seem so long ago.

I finished the crochet cuddle pillow/cushion for my now she has crochet heaven all over her bed in the dormitory.

The Front:

The Back:

I also finished a wall hanging for my daughter as a surprise birthday present to arrive at her school on her birthday.  I stitched Strong and Beautiful by Little House Needleworks, with major colour changes.  Nadia really loves orange, yellows, purple and green, so I thought I would change colours to suit.  Then Made the fabric frame which hangs on the wire hanger.  She loves this too...Its awesome when your craft work is appreciated.

Strong and Beautiful - Little House Needleworks

One of the main things I have been working on is The Flock by Sam Sarah Designs, and I love it.  Such a cherry design.  I order the latest installments every couple of months so that the whole thing doesnt become too overwheming.

Here is a progress shot of The Flock....  It really is a delightful stitch.

I am happy with all my finishes and being able to show you.

Now the shocking news....Those that have followed my blog over the past 7 years or so, will know I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006.  I went through surgery, chemo, radiation and pills and was told it wouldn't come back.  I was actually given clearance last year before moving from the South Island.

A few months ago heaps of things started to happen to me...blurry vision (thougth I needed progressive glasses) so went along for an eye examination. Any blurriness would be fixed with the glasses, I was told.   Wrong.   At the same time I thought I had pulled a muscle in my back...moving boxes at work.  Went to A&E had xrays...I was losing bone condition I was told...I was put on pain killers.  And I had an enlarged lymph node in my had an ultrasound for that.   Nothing was working...I could barely drive or work, or see or move.  I demanded to see a top optician at the optometrists, who refered me to the eye dept at Wellington Hospital.  After rigourous tests,, MRI scans and everything else, cancer was detected in my back....not the spinal cord thankfully, in my shoulder (because in the meantime I had pulled that too!!) and though the brain wasnt affected by it, was causing a film behind the retinas in my eyes...hence the blurry vision.  But it is definately an offshoot of the breast cancer...we are gutted.

So far I have had a few days in hospital to combat the pain, and radiation on back, shoulder and eyes. Now I am waiting on results of a CT scan to see where or if the cancer has spread. So I have a couple of appointments over the next couple of for results and then the next to see what course of chemo I will be on...yay can't wait.

Have got lots of things around the house provided from the District Health Board to help me with mobilty because the back pain can be horrendous.  But it all helps.

So thats where I am at.  I am taking each day as it comes.  Once again keeping strong for the family and keeping positive.

****One little incident that has happened since we moved into our house (we have only been here for a few weeks) I will tell you about tomorrow and show you photos.  It includes my cat and a very large tree :)