Tuesday, November 30, 2021

November WOOFA

This is the last WOOFA (Working On Or Finishing A ...) report for the year

In November I finished my Plaid-ish quilt and donated it, made, finished and donated a Christmas placemat, and did a bit of pinning:

This is my Scrappy Mountain Majesties top, which was my Lockdown #5 project, started in July:
I hope to get it quilted and bound by the end of this year.

Thanks to Cheryll for her WOOFA encouragement through the year. Here's this month's link-up: The Last Hoorah.

Monday, November 29, 2021


 Over the weekend I attended a "stay at home" retreat. We hired space in a local school where we could sew and talk and eat and generally catch up on nearly two years. 

Saturday was also when the first clue of Bonnie Hunter's new mystery, Rhododendron Trail, was released. So that was the first thing I did at the retreat.

This is before they were trimmed. I'm making roughly half the quantity again this year.

The placemat challenge entries were displayed and voted on:

We had a competition to guess who made each one, as well as voting for our favourites. The winner is in the second photo - the Santa with the falling-over tree and presents. Second place was the one in the foreground of the last photo, with the reindeer and tree.

On the second day of the retreat I did a bit of hand sewing and a lot more talking. I attempted to pin baste a quilt, but I will need to do it again at home, due to wrinkles.

There was so much talking. Everyone had so many stories to tell from 2020 and 2021. And I must have done too much talking, as I ended up with chapped lips and a slightly hoarse voice!

Thursday, November 25, 2021


It seems to have taken a while, but the roses are finally realising it is spring. A rainy day with a top of 13 isn't the most spring-like day, but yellow roses (this is either Gina Lollobrigida or Friesia) glow on a grey day:

Raspberry Tiger always looks good with its red and white stripes:

And speaking of things that are red and white, here's what I did with my placemat binding:

Very happy to have it finished!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021


 Can I get this placemat bound by Saturday?

I quilted it on Monday, but haven't made the binding (or even decided which fabric to use) yet.

Thanks for all the kind wishes about my mother. I got a phone call from the hospital yesterday afternoon to say they were discharging her, and this morning I was able to go and visit her at the nursing home again. She seemed in pretty good shape after her ordeal, although quite tired.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Hospital Visit

 This is the intimidating door to the ward where Mum is:

Despite Mum having a negative covid test on Thursday, and another one on Friday, she is in the covid ward because that's where all new admissions go! When the hospital is certain the patient is free of covid, and a bed is available, the patient is moved to a regular ward. But apparently Mum is one of 3 covid-free patients in the covid ward waiting to be transferred. It is the same ward Dad was in in April, and he was never transferred out as he was too unwell to be moved. At that time there were no covid cases in the hospital. 

Now there are.

It is a bit scary to know that my 93-year-old unvaccinated (her choice) mother is in the same ward as actual covid cases. 

The view from Mum's room is much the same as the view was from Dad's.  The difference is in the seasons. Then we had grey sky and autumn leaves, now we have blue sky and fresh green spring leaves:

I'm not sure about the view inside the room. I was very worried about what I would be faced with, but in some ways it was not as bad as I had anticipated. Mum was lucid, recognised me, and knew what day it was. I was able to spend a couple of hours with her, including feeding her her lunch. Her fever is gone, as she is on IV antibiotics, but she is not well. 

I am not going to be allowed to visit her again in this ward. If she is transferred to another part of the hospital, I may be allowed to come and visit for care-giving reasons, such as feeding her.

This is the first mobile phone selfie I have ever taken. And possibly the last!

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Challenging Times

On Thursday night I had another call from the nursing home, wanting to send Mum to hospital because of her fever. By that time I had had a chance to talk to my sister, and we both agreed that Mum should be left where she was. If she was dying it was better for her to be in a familiar place with people she knows caring for her. So I told the nurse to leave Mum there, and I would come and see her in the morning.

As I was getting ready to visit on Friday morning, I got another call from the nursing home to say that they had just sent Mum to hospital. 

After many phonecalls that just rang out, I eventually spoke to someone in Emergency. Mum was being attended to, but I was not allowed to go and sit with her, as they were awaiting the results of another covid test. (The nursing home had given her one on Thursday because of her elevated temperature.)

Later, Mum was admitted to the hospital, where no visiting is allowed at all. That is part of why I hadn't wanted her to be sent there.

I spent a bit of time soothing my mind this afternoon working on a Christmas placemat challenge that I am meant to have finished by next weekend, but hadn't started.

I got this far today.

Late in the afternoon, I had a call from the hospital to tell me I am allowed a compassionate visit with Mum. I didn't feel up to the drive then, after having had a sleepless night last night, but will go and see her tomorrow.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Wheat Country

Many years ago I worked in an office which had a poster on the wall of an amazing building, the "Stick Shed" at Murtoa. Today I got to go and see it for myself.

The exterior doesn't look too promising:

Although you might get the sense that it goes on for quite a distance. In fact it is 265metres long,

60 metres across, and nearly 20 metres tall in the centre. If dwarfs the humans. 560 trees hold up the roof. It is like a giant rustic cathedral.

It was built during the second world war as an emergency bulk wheat storage shed. When full, it held 3.5 million bushels, or about 92,500 tonnes, of wheat.

You can read more about it at the Stick Shed website

We bought lunch from a shop in Murtoa - injecting a little bit of cash into the local economy. On the way back to the car, I got a call from Mum's nursing home, to say that she had a fever and they wanted to send her to hospital. I said I would really prefer them to care for her there if they could. I thought the transfer to hospital, and the hanging around on a trolley for potentially hours waiting to be seen, would do her more harm than good.

To add some variety to the trip, we came home a different way, travelling through three towns with painted silos.

This one is in Rupanyup, a town I've never visited before. I only knew of it from a job I had many many years ago with a wool-buying company. Their silos were painted by a Russian mural artist, Julia Volchkova.

Next stop was St Arnaud,

to see their silos painted by a local artist, Kyle Torney. He has also painted murals on other buildings around the town, which we saw a few of while buying and enjoying icecreams.

The last silo for the day was at Avoca, where the art work is still in progress:

This side depicts a barking owl, and a brush-tailed phascogale is planned for the other side. The artist is Jimmi Buscombe from Warrnambool. When finished, this silo art will also have some glow-in-the-dark features.

While in Avoca we also visited the Chinese Garden:

The garden was a peaceful spot to rest for a while, on what was quite a warm day. Monday and Tuesday both had top temperatures of 10.1C in Lal Lal, so suddenly being in the high 20s was a shock to the system! 

It was a really good day out.

Monday, November 15, 2021

The Garden in November

I keep thinking that we are in October, but somehow the year is getting away from me and it is actually November.

The weather isn't helping. It has been cold and wet (today's top was 10.1C) and I've been wearing some clothing items I bought at the "end of winter" sales to put away till next year. Ha! Winter hasn't left this corner of the world just yet.

Let's start here, with my gorgeous Coral Charm peony:

Daylilies suffering a bit from rain and snails:

The roses are only just starting to flower this year:
This is the pillow section of my "garden bed":

And I forgot to go into the back yard to see what flowers were there. I think this was enough, anyway!