Thursday, February 08, 2024

Let the Retreat Fun Begin!

4pm rolled around and in they came!  

Wagon loads of quilting supplies - of food for meals and all of the packed clothing and goodies needed for a 6 night stay at Quiltville Inn.

To say it was a madhouse rush to get everything done is at least spot on.

All of the last minute details - wiping down the porch tables after 2 months of winter grit and grime, Susan doing her best work to clean ceiling fans and dust and vacuum, tackle two upstairs bathrooms to sparkling, and putting her finishing touches on the kitchen.

All while Tula presided, giving subliminal instruction while keeping watch over her catnip mice. (She loves them!)

Meanwhile - Hubster Dave has stepped into his "Bob Newhart, Larry, Darryl and Darryl" role - replacing the plumbing under the kitchen sink for a leak that wouldn't stop no matter what.  

And then there was the issue with the plug vacuum....he took care of that too.

I think you are right - there will be no issue with giving him things to keep him busy.

As I type this he is already at the in after a call that the pilot light for the kitchen oven seemed to be out.  The oven hasn't been used since December - so could be.

Ah -- retirement life.  

By last night I was having to move Lola off of the quilt in the hoop to get any hand stitches in at all -

I think spring is going to fully arrive before this is anywhere near done. But slow progress IS progress and it will get there.

I do a little happy clap every time I move the hoop to the next section.  Some nights I move it twice, some nights I move it once.  Some nights - it stays right where it is because I'm too exhausted to sew.

But it will get there.

Walking through the big park in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The park is huge and connects to the botanical gardens. There are walking/biking paths, loads of large grassy areas for sporting, and it is a jewel in the middle of the city.  

I think our guide said it was second only to Central Park in New York in size.

I believe it.  I got lost and had to turn my phone on to use Waze to get me back to the hotel.

Flowers are a wondrous sight in January.

Check out this hydrangea!

My favorite of all are the agapanthus that grow EVERYWHERE - like weeds.

I have always loved the periwinkle blue/purple ones the best - and they know how to grow them tall in New Zealand.  They are everywhere.

We had these in our yard growing up in California - and they just are my favorite, hands down.  I wish I could grow them here, but it's the wrong climate.

White agapanthus are quite pretty too!

My "While I was lost" walk took me out of the park, and toward downtown and I loved the juxtaposition of these late Victorian area houses against the modern business building backdrop.

Christchurch was hit with some big earthquakes in 2011 and 2016 and many of the buildings, high rises in particular, had to come down.

Newer buildings are not allowed to go as high - and there was a whole revamping of how the city was laid out -

The rule was - if you survived the earthquake, you could stay as you are.  And here we have these wood houses in the midst of big city space. 

The new buildings are beautiful too!

There were whole neighborhoods that were condemned because they were originally built on reclaimed swamp land, and that didn't survive the earthquakes at all.  Those spaces are now empty ground - but you can still see some of where the old driveways were.  It was sad.

Street corner.

Do earthquakes still happen here? Yes. All the time.  

When in Christchurch - you just roll with the flow I guess!

I found the Chrome Gnome of Happiness!

And a Street Car Named Desire....

And the prettiest cappuccino in lovely floralware.

And our time in Christchurch had just begun More to come!

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

We can always strive for better with a good chance of reaching it.
But striving for perfection is the sure way to insanity!
Have a lovely day, everyone!



  1. Those kitties are testaments to thelove and good food they are receiving, big and furry and cuddly, not particularly helpful for quilting!!! LOL but quilts are washable and that's the way of it! Thank you also, loved the photos from L.A. even tho i live in SoCal I have not been to those places and seen the sights.... thanks also, i'll probably not get to New Zealand in THIS lifetime, so those shared photos are enjoyable as well... after the rocky start, looks like all y'all had a great time... hugs and lookit !!! Spring jas aroved at Quiltville.... AND it looks like the issue with what to do with Dave in retirement is anon-issue... he's there to help with the challenges that always show up! Congrats to all and happy 2024 season! Hugs & Blessings from Cats in Carlsbad CA

  2. What a great quote! Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures. Even when you "get lost" it's nature's way of saying to slow down and smell the flowers, which apparently, you did!! HA!! I hope the new group has a grand time this weekend!

  3. Glad the retreaters had a sunny day to unpack. SIX nights--how fun!
    Oh the flowers make me yearn for Spring! And the hydrangea pic made my heart happy--my Mom had big pretty ones like that in her yard in Tennessee.

  4. Anonymous10:35 AM EST

    The trees in the Park came from all over the world some as gifts. I saw my first Chestnut tree in Christchurch. We were there before the devastating earthquake.

  5. Anonymous11:28 AM EST

    Oh Bonnie, Christchurch is so beautiful. We were there for that 2016 earthquake. 3.30am. The walls of the bedroom shifted, there was much trembling of floors and beds. It was quite terrifying for our first earthquake. At that time it was still sad and new building was just beginning. We loved the city and will go back someday. I'm glad you enjoyed it too.

  6. Anonymous12:14 PM EST

    We went to the gardens and also saw the gnome while there. We had some luscious desserts at the Strawberry Fare restaurant- the gnome is in front of them. Cheers, Louise

  7. Anonymous1:54 PM EST

    But Bonnie you can have the lovely blue agapanthus in your area too! I'm in Ohio and planted them in my garden for years. The problem is remembering to dig them in the fall along with the gladiolus. I now have several planters that move into the basement for the winter. My amaryllis also are in pots that go to the basement for the part of winter. Best regards, Pam R

  8. That cappuccino is to pretty to drink. I would of just sat there and admired it. The art work! The old and the new in Christchurch has been accomplished very well. I wish some of our city planners would take note instead of just tearing down the old and starting over.

  9. I adore the photo of the quilt in the hoop - so beautiful!

  10. Rosanne Clouston8:56 AM EST

    It is nice to have a husband who can and wants to fix things. Mine sees anything broken as a challenge. Your pictures of New Zealand are great. I'm going on your Ireland tour in June. I'd be happy to join you a "get lost " walk there.

  11. Isn't it summer in New Zealand right now. Maybe their flowers are different in their winter. The Victorians were lovely as were the pics of the park. I doubt that I'll ever get there now that I am almost 78, but you never know!


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