Monday, 4 December 2017

The ups and downs of life......

I have been mulling this post over in my head for a few days now, and trying to work out what to say, and a title for it. I have settled on the Ups and downs of life, but it could also be "Behind the scenes".... or Life goes on....

The weather has been very unseasonal, with temperatures going from very hot, to quite cool again. There has been lots of rain, which some farmers are happy about, and some, who are in the middle of harvest, not so happy about. My garden is thankful, and it has saved me the job of watering.

I have managed to get a few quilts finished, that have been picked up by customers, and have reported on a wedding, and some family time, and posted about my farming history. It must be time for a few photos of quilts.

First up is one made by Jenny, using a striped fabric, and quilted allover with a pattern called Exploding Stars.

This stack and whack quilt, also made by Jenny, and quilted allover with a pattern called Cottonseed.

Sherrel made this quilt, designed by Michele Hill, and called William Morris Revisited. This was custom quilted.

This quilt is one made by Margaret at a Pick a Case Mystery retreat, and quilted allover with a floral design.

There are still more photos in the files, but they can wait for another day. I am about to commence another custom quilt, which I hope is finished by the end of the week, so that I can deliver it when I head up to the city again. I should be standing by Max by now, but am still sitting at the computer. I am struggling a bit with motivation at the moment, and feel a bit flat.  I had planned on getting the bookwork up to date on the weekend, and did achieve some, but admit to spending quite a bit of time sitting in the recliner and reading a book. Reading is something I love to do, but have not done for ages, mainly because when I start, I need to finish the book. I have been striving, unsuccessfully, for awhile now to find a balance in my life. Maybe this is it??

In between the quilting, there has been a lot of "life" happening, which does not get blogged about. There are many people I know who are dealing with things at the moment, and my heart, and prayers, goes out to them. A special friend is coming to terms with her son being diagnosed with cancer......another friend has lost her sister this weekend, only 2 months after the death of her mother.........another is going through the roller coaster ride of the premature birth of a grandson........and I know 2 people who are coping with partners with dementia.... a special couple who are hurting after losing their baby in a miscarriage a few days ago........and a special lady who has been battling illness now for a few years.

And behind the scenes I have been dealing with my own health issues. A routine blood test managed to show up some unusual results. Many blood tests, and other tests later, I was sent to a Haemotologist for further testing. This was a bit of a shock to the system, and even though you say, deal with a day at a time, the mind and thinking goes off in lots of directions. What if.... ?? Suffice to say, that although this abnormality is still present, it will be checked every 4 months, and there is only a small chance of a problem in the future. Lots of quilts to do yet!! And an upside to this experience was having good friends who went with me, or drove me to appointments when I was unable to drive myself. And a special, very rare, time spent with my sister (who is 16 years younger), who came to the last appointment with me, when I received the final results. I am very blessed indeed.

With all this, and what's happening in the world today, it is easy to get down, and depressed and lose hope. Looking back on some of the things in my life, now I can see a purpose and a blessing that came from it. I will continue to trust and believe that God is in control, which gives me peace.
 And as we lead into the Christmas season, I am reminded that God sent his son, that we may have hope, love joy and peace.

Blessings, From Jude

Friday, 1 December 2017

Changing plans

Was up early this morning to get the quilt done that i loaded yesterday but.....there is a change of plans.  Yesterday afternoon was stormy, hot and thundery so I switched off Max  and the computers and took some time out to read a book and relax. I don't  like using Max in a thunderstorm.     Early this morning, switched on Max, had coffee, and had shower. But then the POWER WENT OUT and is still out. So am set up with the bookwork and 2 LED lights instead, which had been on the weekend plan anyway.     Have had heaps more rain.        Blessings from Jude

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Family time

It's time for another blog post, before the middle of the week. I am not sure where November has gone, and it will be December before the week has finished!! 

Last weekend was a time of celebration for our family at another wedding.  DD3 and SIL drove from Melbourne on Friday and stayed the night before we headed up the highway. We stopped at Murray Bridge to visit with mum and dad on the way to the wedding, and had a cuppa out the back.

The wedding venue was Mount Lofty House, and the gardens here are beautiful. Mount Lofty is the highest point in the state and the view was amazing. The weather was perfect, and the sun was shining.

Here are the happy couple after the ceremony.

The lawns on the terrace, where some lawn games were played by the guests before the reception.

A lovely photo of my 4 special children.

And the whole family and partners in this one, (minus the children though).

The weather has warmed up considerably since the weekend, and tomorrow will be in the high 30's, and the forecast is for more rain leading up to the weekend.  This rain is very unseasonable, and not good timing, with the harvest in process. I have heard that some wheat crops have shot grain, which spoils what was looking to be a good harvest. Oh the joys of farming, where they are at the mercy of the weather, and the markets. And it all has a flow on effect on the community as well.

I finished some custom quilts last week, and have been working on some allover jobs this week, before loading a few more customs. Be back soon, with more newsfromjude.

Time for bed, ready for another day tomorrow.

Blessings, From Jude

Thursday, 23 November 2017

A life long before quilting......

........How about you do a agriculture post this week............

what does agriculture mean to you.........
what memories/connections do you have...........
you are all consumers so you all rely on agriculture to survive.......

Chookyblue threw out the challenge above earlier this week, and posted lots of ag photos of her world. This g0t me thinking, and delving into a drawer full of photos, (that still need to be sorted, someday!). There were lots of memories in that drawer, and a story that's not been told on my blog before. I was too lazy to scan the photos to get them on the computer, so I took a photo of the photo instead, and I apologise for the lack of quality. I do have plans to sort all those photos and write a story and print it, for my children to read one day. This blog post will have a very brief outline of that story.

I guess the answer to the first question has to be that agriculture has a lot of meaning for me. As you will read below, it has been a very big part of my life. The family farm is still managed by one of my brothers, and another brother farms with his sons on Eyre Peninsula, about 10 hours from here.

 And the second question, what memories do you have is summed up as follows......................................... I was brought up on a farm, that had been settled back in 1910, by our family. I guess I was more of an "inside" girl, and as I had 3 brothers, and our grandparents also lived on the property, there was no need for me to do any farm stuff. I do remember a few spotlighting adventures in the jeep, my brothers checking their rabbit traps, and climbing trees looking for birds eggs.

And there was the year that it rained after the hay was baled, and us kids were "paid" to walk around the paddock and turn each bale over so that it could dry. And now I am reminded that we had a milking cow, and I did have duty sometimes to milk it (with a one cow machine!!), wash the machine, and then separate the milk to make cream. If you turned the handle really fast, the cream was much thicker, and you needed a knife to cut it and spread it on your bread. A family story that we still laugh at today, is when my "city" cousins came to visit, they were amazed at the thick cream we had. And my dad, with a straight face, told them it was "bull's cream"!! It was many years later when they found out he was joking them.

Looking back, I would say that life growing up on the farm was pretty good, but at the time, all I could were the negatives, and I vowed and declared I was not going to marry a farmer!! But a new family purchased the farm next door, and ........... the inevitable happened and I was married when I was 19. But, he was not a farmer, he was a stock agent! I did not take into account that he was the son of a farmer, and had a yearning for his own farm!!

We have had many moves over the years, and a quick summary follows.

First we moved to Crystal Brook in the mid north of SA, where Neville worked for Bennett and Fisher, a stock agent company. ......................
........Then another move to Brinkworth, a bit further south, still working for this company. .............................And while living there, we purchased our first property, a semi developed block of land near Mundulla in the South East of the state, and proceeded to run this while living about 5 hours away!........................... Some time later, we left the stock firm, and moved to Bordertown, and sharefarmed a dairy, while we developed the Mundulla block, which was about 15 minutes away. (We had 2 children by then.)................   and even though I had been brought up on a farm, I still had no idea about lots of thing, including the fact that a cow needs to have a calf every year, to produce milk!!...... so you can see I had a big learning curve about to happen!!....... especially as we were responsible for 130 milking cows on this dairy!!!...............about 2 years later, we sold our Mundulla property and purchased our own dairy property at Jervois, on the river, about 15 minutes from Murray Bridge, (where I was born and bred)...........Our 3rd child was born here............... About 5 years later, we sold that property, and purchased a larger dairy at The Point, closer to Murray Bridge. We kept our own herd of cows, and walked them up the road, about 5 miles away......and our 4th baby was born while we were here...........

The following photo is the view from our house, looking down across the swamps, where the cows grazed, with our year's supply of hay and the converted herringbone dairy in front. We had more land behind the house, and another property across the river to run our dry cows, and heifer, and cut hay on.

One of the 110 cows grazing on the swamp.

......After a few years of milking cows, we decided that a venture into "real" farming was a good idea!!???........We purchased a grazing property just north of Bordertown, and moved back south again...........almost 10 years to the day that we had moved up on the river.
I was a "hands on" farmer by now, and helped in the dairy, and with the sheep etc on this farm. I had learnt a thing or two by now about farming!?? The children also helped, and were involved with feeding calves, hosing out the dairy, getting the cows up from the swamps, etc. while we were dairying. The tasks changed to helping in the sheep yards to tail the lambs, drafting sheep, and shearing shed duties when we moved to farming. We ran beef cows, sheep, and cropped about 1/3 of the farm. Soon after we purchased this farm, having purchased our sheep for about $15/head, the government of the day, in their wisdom, changed things, and 6 months later, you could not sell sheep, and ours and others farmer's sheep were being destroyed and buried. This was when I went "off farm" to work to help things along.

A few photos from our time on the Bordertown farm...............

 We did not inherit a family farm, and each move was a "step up" the ladder, hoping to build a future. We stayed on this property for 10 years, until selling it in the year 2000, and moving into the town in the house I live in now. There is a lot more to the story of our farming years, but suffice to say, that a husband that suffered with depression and anxiety, made for some hard times, in amongst the good ones, and eventually gave us no choice but sell. This was also a reason to start quilting. (When life gives you scraps, make quilts!!) 

It is almost 18 years now since the farm was sold, and my life has been filled with quilting and family instead. It sometimes seems like another lifetime ago. When I see paddocks of sheep with little lambs, I get a bit nostalgic, but then there is another quilt to do, and life moves on.

Well that is my blog post about agriculture, as it relates to me, and it might be more than you wanted to know!? But now it is in my next book and a record of part of my life. Thanks Chooky for the challenge.

Blessings, From Jude

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Blooming where you are planted.....

This will be a quick, short post with some photos of the one flower in my front garden. I must confess that I would not even have known it was there, until Pat was getting into her car last night to leave, and told me to look. (The weather is quite warm this week, and I am not venturing too far outside, except to water in the early morning! - Well that's my story anyhow!) 

First picture is last night,.......

and this was this morning, in the early light!

I thought I would show the whole plant, which is not very much to look at, is it? It is straggly and there has not been much obvious progress since the garden was planted earlier this year.

All I can think, is that the plant was putting it's effort into this single bloom. Maybe there is a lesson in life here, and that things are not always as they appear to be?? Something beautiful can come out of something quite plain and nondescript looking. I could go on with more words of wisdom, but will suffice to say, that I hope that I might bloom where God has planted me, and that other's might know something of his power and peace in all situations.

I will finish this post here, and get back to another post that I am working, that is taking up the challenge that ChookyBlue issued this week for National Agriculture Week.

Blessings, From Jude

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Lots of catching up!!

Looking back into the photo files, I notice that once again I have fallen behind in posting pics, so here I am catching up again. Although it was photo overload during the exhibition, the following are customer quilts not yet posted on the blog.

First up is Pat's candlewicked quilt that she made for her daughter. There was a photo of the quilt hanging with it's ribbon at the show, but below are a couple of closeups. There was a lot of SID in this quilt!

This quilt was one of the Pick a Case Mystery quilts and made by Val, and was quilted allover with a pattern called Fandangle.

This strippy quilt was made by Prue and a simple block pattern was used in each block.

Michelle made this quilt for her mother, and it was custom quilted, this time with a different pattern in the 4 patch blocks and a simple flower in the plain blocks.

The top and bottom borders were wider than the side ones, and you can see what I quilted in the following photos.

This strippy star quilt was made Kerry, and was quilted allover with a star pattern.

Mon made this scrappy quilt, and it is all hand pieced, even the borders, and was quilted with an allover pattern.

There are still a few more photos in the files, but that is enough "catchup" of quilting for now.

For the last 2 days there has been more "catchup", although not quilting. Max has been switched off and there has been a lot of catchup of sleep and rest. For 2 days I have sat in the recliner, and rested, and had some "time out". For the first time in quite a while, I even read a book! There has even been some afternoon naps. My plan for the weekend had been to finalise my bookwork ready for an appointment with the accountant next week, but that can wait. It was time to recharge and rest. Life has been rather hectic for awhile now, and it all came to a halt. Hopefully by tomorrow morning, I will be back with Max, until I need to go to the dentist after lunch. The diary does not list much for the remaining days of this week, so hopefully I can get some quilts finished.

Next weekend will be time for family, as there is another wedding to attend.

Enjoy your week, and there will be more newsfromjude soon!

Blessings, From Jude