Tuesday, 28 September 2010


.........from a week of hell on earth.  We saw the sun for the first time in a week on Saturday, and a more welcome sight I've never seen.  Words can't describe the devastation, and it is so widespread in the bottom corner of the South Island of NZ, that no farm has been immune.

It wasn't just the severity of the storm - it isn't unheard of here to have a brief snow shower early in lambing - it was the prolonged duration of this storm that did the damage, a whole week with no reprieve from firstly the heavy snow, then hail, sleet, more snow, rain and freezing winds, and right in the busiest week of lambing.  Newborn lambs didn't stand a chance, nor did many ewes, who succumbed to 'sleepy sickness' and other metabolic problems either late in their pregnancy or just following lambing.  Every day was like groundhog day, knowing the storm was not going to ease, and knowing there was very little to be done to save our livestock.  Our farm has a lot of natural shelter and of planted shelter belts, but this was little use once there was a foot of snow on the ground, with ewes not able to get out to feed, most of our dead animals were in sheltered areas.

The lamb losses on our farm are in the many, many hundreds, but some farms have lost thousands of lambs and hundreds of ewes.  We probably won't know the true extent of the loss until tailing(docking) time next month.  While dairy farmers may not have as many animals dying as the sheep farmers, some have faced a critical shortage of supplementary feed, and cows have suffered from the severely cold conditions.
We've been cleaning up for the last few days, and trying to get things back on track, for what is now left of lambing season.  I will admit though, that my positive attitude from my last post didn't last more than a couple of days! It's been heartbreaking, and we will feel the effects of this storm for a long time to come, but farmers are pretty resilient folk, and we don't go down without a fight. 

Will leave you with a few pics of what my garden was up to before the storm..........a few lettuce plants and some flowers starting to bloom ...............

Please accept my apologies if I didn't reply to your comments from last week, or get the chance to stop by and visit blogs lately, things will start to return to normal here soon. This isn't quite what I had envisaged for my 50th post, but that is just the way life is at the moment!  Please know I love reading your comments, and the kindness and good wishes sent last week were very, very much appreciated and cherished.

Till next time, thanks for stopping by today ..............Nicky

Monday, 20 September 2010

When life gives you lemons ............make lemonade

........and when Mother Nature gives you snow................get Dad to build a sled and have some fun!

Slight design flaw - you end up with just as much snow on top of you as all around you!  The girls loved it anyway, and are pretty pleased they can't get through to school today. 

We are trying to keep our chins up, but things are pretty dire out there, lots more snow yesterday, it eased off a little later in the day, and there's been a slight thawing overnight.  Unfortunately though, more snow is forecast for tonight, so any thawing so the ewes can get to some grass today would be wonderful. 

Another cloud with a silver lining - I had time to get my little Lamb scissor fob finished up......... rather fittingly photgraphed on a bed of snow.

Spring Scissor Fob
Shepherds Bush
32ct Waterlily Linen with DMC and WDW thread as kitted
Now that it's finished I can't believe I left it so long to stitch up the back and finish it up. I think the thought of making the cord myself was a bit daunting, but it really wasn't so bad!The only change I made was the year, not 2003 as the chart listed!  

A huge thanks for all the lovely, kind comments left about the lambs and snow, we will do the very best we can, and are hoping that our stock come through OK.

Till next time .............. Nicky

Saturday, 18 September 2010

It's Spring, apparently........

......but this is what we woke to this morning...................

....and about 4 hours later, it had changed to this.............

Large coffee cup added for perspective!

It's definitely not a great day to be a newborn lamb, we are just hoping that the ewes have headed for shelter, it is snowing so heavily now, that we would do more damage than good by going out into the paddocks, and would end up chasing ewes out of shelter and mismothering lambs.  Not even sure if the motorbike would get very far in this at the moment anyway.

Up until now lambing had been going great, weather had been not too bad, and the ewes were lambing with very little trouble.  Guess we are now paying for the great winter we had!  We are only bottle feeding about 12 pet/orphan lambs just now, but that will probably change once this storm passes.  I think most of New Zealand is experiencing terrible weather this weekend, heavy rain, huge winds and sea swells in the North Island and snow and rain in the South Island.  They have forecast it for nearly a week, but after seeing on the news some of the snow that Tasmania in Australia got, we were just hoping it would not get that bad.

My plans for Friday Night Sew-In didn't quite come off as I'd hoped, I did get the cutting out of my quilt runner done, before it just got too cold in my sewing room and I settled for some cross stitching by the fire instead.   Here's a peek at what I was working on.  Hopefully I will have something to show for my efforts by the end of the weekend! 

If you were participating in FNSI, I hope you had much better results!

Thanks for stopping by today, have a wonderful weekend.................Nicky

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Spring Stitching

Here is a little stitching from the last week or so, now that I have sorted out this mornings blog glitches...........

Some miniblocks together to be prepped, some for stitchery, and some for applique........

...and some progress on the big house block from A Gardener's Journal.  Now that I see the photo I notice that my roof has a definite lean on at the top......no worries, there is no way I am unpicking and restitching this block!  I notice that there are a few quilts being finished over at the SAL blog, and many others are getting some blocks joined together.  They are all looking great, so pop on over and check out our progress.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, hope your day is going great..................till next time..............

Happy Stitching,   Nicky

A little blog help please?

EDITED TO ADD:  I think I have fixed it now, deleted and reloaded same photo and now works fine - still have no idea why these things happen!!   One of lifes little mysteries I guess?  Thanks Michelle and Theresa(and any others I have since missed!) for your comments!

Today when I loaded up my blog, my header collage photo is now smaller and down below the title etc.  I haven't changed any settings, or the original photo, so not sure what is going on.

Now I am wondering if it is just my own computer, can you see the photo as it usually is or has it moved??   Everything else seems to be the same as it was on my blog though.  I'd be grateful for any suggestions. 

Thanks so much,  Nicky

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Birthday Girl

Here is my baby on the night of her eighth birthday, don't worry, the wine glass isn't hers, those rosy cheeks are genetic!  She had a great day at school, and then we were joined by grandparents for dinner, so a lovely evening too.

On Friday night we went to the rugby in Invercargill, Southland were playing North Harbour in the ITM Cup.  Southland are also the very proud holders of the Ranfurly Shield, or "The Log of Wood" as it is affectionately known throughout Kiwi Land.  It was a fabulous game, lots of tries scored and plenty of action.  First time we had ever taken the girls to a game, we were worried they would get bored but they had an 'awesome' time, and best of all we defended the shield and now face Auckland in the next Shield Challenge in two weeks time.  Here is our youngest talking to Joe Tuineau, and getting a signature from Robbie Robinson on her 'GO STAGS' poster that she made to wave at the game.

Also on the rugby topic, what a great All Blacks vs Wallabies game last night, we managed to get away with a win in the end, by 23-22, but it was incredibly close, bring on the World Cup, only 1 year to go!!!

Not too much stitching happening here this weekend, lambing is in full swing and I have been having a big tidy-up in the garden, mowing lawns and spraying etc.  Thanks for stopping by today, hope you are enjoying a great day too!       Take care,   Nicky

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Fallen in love........

..........with these 'Martinique' fabrics by 3 Sisters.  These fat 1/4s were purchased from eBay a while back and I haven't been able to bring myself to cut into them! Sad, isn't it? 

So I've decided I won't make that first cut yet, and instead will use the same fabrics, but from this Charm Pack.   Perfect for what I have in mind, another Skinny Verna Runner like this one I made a couple of months ago.  Guess this one will be called 'Skinny Martinique'. lol
 You can find the pattern here over at Moda Bake Shop. 

All of this will hopefully be achieved at the next Friday Night Sew In, being hosted by Heidi on Friday September 17th.   So join in the fun, and head on over to sign up!

Today is my youngest daughter's birthday, she received her giraffe pencil roll as part of her gifts this morning, so she is off to school with it today, feeling pretty pleased with herself.  She got her ears pierced a couple of weeks ago, so she also scored some earrings, some books and some other bits and pieces.  Her request for birthday dinner tonight is home made pizza, followed by a cream sponge for her birthday cake, so I'd better go and get baking! 

Thanks for all the e-mails I received on Saturday, wondering how we fared after Christchurch's earthquake.  Thankfully we are nearer the bottom of the South Island and didn't feel a thing.  My thoughts are very much with the folk in Canterbury, who have literally had their lives turned upside down.  It will be a long road to rebuild their beautiful city, but one I'm sure they will achieve.  They breed them tough in Canterbury!!

Till next time, take care.......Nicky
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