Thursday 31 December 2020

Farewell to 2020

The housework is done, windows are polished inside and out, the car is clean, the lawns are mowed and the laundry is dry and folded away.   The DBEM has had her fingernails cut(!), and there is nothing else on the list.   It feels good to have everything clean and tidy on the last night of the old year.   And a bonus -  I have two finishes to show off.

First the basket band is completed and has been attached to the basket and more importantly, is already in use.

Basket Back

Basket Front

And to ensure that it fitted the circumference I stitched the year!
I am amazed at how this band addition has elevated a humble basket purchased cheaply from Trade Aid (the local fair trade shop).   This basket is deep enough to hold all my needlework necessities as well as a current project.   At the moment it is missing the project as I have nothing chosen as yet -  a pleasant task for tomorrow :)

And the Temperature SAL for 2020 is complete too.   I am going to miss this from my evening programme.

Palmerston North temperatures 2020

Comparison with Auckland 2019
I am going to mount the Palmerston North one on foam core also and both of them will be displayed.  It has been great fun to see the difference - it is certainly cooler down here in Palmerston North although last summer did have several "Dark Red" days but there were more "Light Blue" days in the winter too.  

Now what will I do for my year long project this year?   Already I have chosen the Christmas Ornaments I want to stitch but it seems strange to begin stitching those in January so I have promised myself a deep dive into the stash cupboard tomorrow and I'll choose something new and exciting.

Yesterday I had another pacemaker check and was told that I will have my lead replaced sometime in January when the cardiologist returns from his summer holiday.   Meanwhile I am taking things carefully and as instructed, keeping driving to a minimum.   I am happy to be out walking again and can now manage a 30 minute walk each evening without my heel and ankle giving any trouble.   I did walk to the library too and picked up my latest request 'The Sewing Machine' by Natalie Fergie.   I have a couple of others to finish before I can begin that one but it looks interesting and I have half promised the DBEM that I will read it aloud to her.

Thank you to all who have read my blog and left comments.   Next month will be 13 years since I began this blog and I still enjoy keeping a record of stitching projects and sometimes "life events".
I wish you all a very Happy New Year.  Stay Home, Stay Safe, Be Kind.


Friday 25 December 2020

Thursday 24 December 2020

Christmas Eve 2020

 This has been a year like no other and for me, today has been a Christmas Eve like no other.    My power supply company offered a "free power" day so I willingly accepted their offer and selected the 24th as my day.   Up early this morning,  the oven was on at 7am and I finally turned it off at 5pm this afternoon.   In those hours I baked multiple batches of scones, a double batch of gingerbread loaves, two ginger crunch slices, three double batches of biscuits, roasted a piece of rolled pork and then roasted a chicken.   All are now nicely packaged and labelled and in the freezer, saving me both money this month and also time in future weeks and months.   My freezer is almost full to capacity but hopefully we will make some room before I harvest vegetables from my garden.   That's another story:)

Pouring rain outside all day meant cancelling my plans to do several loads of washing (and hopefully the ironing too) but I'm feeling quite smug that I made such good use of this "free offer".   A Merry Christmas to you too,  'Mr Energy Supply Company'.   Please do this again next year.

During all this frenetic activity my brother and his wife called in just on lunch time so it was a scramble to put lunch on the table for them and to sit and have a chat and catch up on photos and news of their children and grandchildren.   Thanks to Little Brother,  and the local courier company (Little Sister sent hers this way) there are now a few presents under the Christmas Tree for us to open tomorrow.   It had been looking rather bare:(

The DBEM was completely worn out and had 40 winks in her chair during the late afternoon only rousing for her dinner at night and to watch/listen to the TV news.   She is now in bed and I'm having a quick cup of tea and reading some more of my book before I too visit the Land of Nod.   There hasn't been a lot of stitching today but I'm almost at the end of the Basket Band and have found a comfortable position to stitch for around 45 minutes duration without removing my thumb splint.   So life is looking good:)

Monday 21 December 2020


The thumb splint has put a stop to a lot of stitching although I have managed to complete the daily requirement for my Temperature chart.   Hard to believe that will finish in a couple of weeks.   I promise to show a photo of the completed piece.

Today the physiotherapist was pleased to see that the swelling of the thumb had gone down a lot so I have a new splint, some exercises to do three times a day and an appointment for the new year.   But best of all he said that so long as I don't remove the splint I can stitch a little :-)

Tonight I put a few stitches more into the Basket Band.   The date is on this now and I would like to complete the stitching before the end of this year so it will have to be a case of little and often.   There really is not much further to go.  Here's the situation as at today...

Also, with splendid advice from my stitching buddy Sophie I have completely finished the Angels' Song wall hanging and have agreed to enter it in the Regional Exhibition in August 2021   I had such a lot of pleasure stitching this one and am thankful that Sophie badgered me into fully finishing it or it might otherwise have languished in the Drawer of Doom.

I have made a small start on the Mill Hill kit which was my prize from The President's Challenge.   My first foray into stitching on perforated paper and I can tell you already that I much prefer linen.   But so far so good and I am on track to have this completed by the time of our next Guild meeting in February.  Isn't it wonderful we have a long summer holiday during which I will be able to complete all my projects and have plenty for the Show and Tell at Guild meeting.  Ha ha ha. 

For the remainder of this week we have a succession of visitors and I plan on doing a major cooking day on 24th as for that day my Electricity Company have graciously given me a "free day" so I intend to make maximum use of my oven and will stock up my freezer with baked goods and meals.

Until next time.

Tuesday 15 December 2020

What a week!

The past seven days have been quite the roller coaster here.   The vigilant eyes of Jenny, the pacemaker technician, at my regular "warrant of fitness" found that the electric lead running between the unit and the heart was faulty.  And before I could even catch my breath I had an appointment made for a venogram to check whether the existing vein currently housing two leads could accommodate another.   That is done and the cardiologist will now put in a new lead.   He seems to think this a great deal more urgent than I do and laughed uproariously at my na├»ve assumption that as I have a base heart rate of 25 beats per minute there was really no great hurry!   So I'm expecting to hear soon the date for that.

And on Monday I went to the physio for advice and treatment about my thumb.   He diagnosed Trigger Thumb and fitted me with a black splint which certainly keeps me from overusing the poor thumb but is a severe handicap to someone who is right hand dominant.   No stitching for a while so frustration levels are on the increase.   Rubber gloves to do the washing up, the laundry, the garden but to assist the DBEM with her shower I remove the splint.

On a more positive note the weather has been glorious for the past few days and the laundry and ironing are all up to date, the lawn is mowed and today I managed to get quite a bit of the back flower garden weeded.   Also, as my foot is now so very much better I have been out for a walk and can manage 40 minutes now before even feeling the slightest twinge.   

So in mathematical terms two negatives plus two positives equals zero.  But actually we are well in positive territory.   It is a year today since I shifted into my house here in Palmerston North and although it has been a weird year we are both still very happy with our move and enjoying our new life.  And one day soon I will be able to stitch  - at least I hope so as the basket band needs to be completed before the 31st December if the embroidered date is not to be a lie :-)

Tuesday 8 December 2020

What a surprise!

 Last night was our final meeting of the year at Embroiderers Guild and we all presented our finished articles for The President's Challenge.   This year the topic set was "Inspired By a Book" and as I have posted on this blog before I stitched a tin topper and an inside lining.   If it had not been for the encouragement of a friend from Guild I may have conveniently "forgotten" to take my piece.   However,  unwillingly,  I took it along and placed it quietly on the table and learned that the winner would be decided by viewers choice.   So satisfied that I wouldn't be called to account for what I feel is a poor piece,  I enjoyed the company of the others and admired their work and caught up with their current projects.

After a delicious pot luck dinner and a successful AGM the president announced the winner and guess what.... my poor effort had won!   My jaw dropped open and I was speechless.    So thank you Sophie, my friend for your encouragement to enter.   A splendidly successful way to end my first year at this new guild.

The prize was this little kit which I shall stitch over the summer holiday so that I have something for the Show and Tell table at our first meeting next year.

Today I have been putting the buttons on several dozen Gingerbread Men, ready for the boxes of baked goodies I will deliver to the neighbours in the small cul-de-sac where I live.   Also the DBEM has needed my help in finishing off her current knitting project.  And I have had the latest Jeffrey Archer book on loan from the library.   So on a windy wet day it has been good to stay inside and be happily occupied.   But I'd love the weather to clear up as my garden desperately needs some tender loving care after the gales of the last couple of days.

Thursday 3 December 2020

Happy Dance (or rather, a walk)

Tonight I went for a walk!   This momentous occasion needs to be recorded and as I don't keep a diary I'm logging this on my blog.   For well over 18 months I have had a painful left ankle/heel and last summer I exacerbated this by walking many many kilometres on it.   Neither the arthritis nor the heel spur appreciated my efforts at physical fitness and the result was I couldn't walk any distance without severe pain.   Now after six months of physiotherapy I have been for a 20 minute pain free walk tonight to the post box and back.   Oh happy day!!!

Now it is my right thumb that's giving me pain :(   I'm learning to use my left hand as the right thumb just doesn't work.   Another series of physio visits commence next week to address this.   Stitching time is of necessity limited but is not completely absent from my life.