A Pieceful Life

A Pieceful Life

Welcome

I'm so glad that you stopped by, and hope that you enjoy your visit. Here you will find pieces of my life - quilting, cross-stitch, family, travel, friends.
My name is Peg - I am a late 60's wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend - and if we're not already related or friends, hope to become your friend too.
We live in the eastern end of the beautiful Fraser Valley, about 1.5 hours east of Vancouver, BC. Empty nesters, we have one son living just a few minutes away, our other son and daughter and their children live in Alberta.
Comments are always welcome, always read - and answered if need be. Feel free to share, I love hearing from all my cyber-space friends.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

What to Do, What to Do?

In this new world in which we find ourselves living, we need to get more and more creative, finding ways to fill our time as we stay close to home.  In our house, some of the tasks we'd thought of doing 'some day' or 'when we get to it' or 'should really think about that', are beginning to get done.  One of the biggies is cleaning out the garage and then the crawl space - trying to get a little less 'stuff'.  And trying to make it all at least look a little more organized.

And with the snow we were surprised with yesterday, that means that the annual outside work will wait a little longer before we start to tackle that.  This makes it more necessary to have those indoor jobs to do.

There are all kinds of ideas for keeping busy - ways to keep kids occupied with art work and games and job jars.  One of my cousins was telling me that her grandchildren have been doing things like cleaning out the pantry and rearranging furniture.  I think all school age children now have school work being sent to their homes to help them keep going so they're ready when school opens again. Parents who never had planned to home school are now finding out how good they really are at it.


One of my nieces has started an on-line family game night.  I haven't joined that yet, but I see that they had a game of Risk a few days ago.  What a great way to keep connected with others, as well as fill some time.  This sounds like a good one to keep going even after this all ends.  Hmm...might have to see if I can play Scrabble this way!  Or we like to play some card games, not sure how that would work.

A few days ago, a neighbor borrowed some jig-saw puzzles that I had tucked away - something else to think about and do besides watch TV.  Re-lending them once they've been open will take some thinking, but at least the first time the box can be wiped down to be sure it's virus-free.

For myself, I have some sewing and quilting to do to get ready for babies coming - our own grandchild in about six weeks, and a nephew's baby in about 3 months.  Pictures - well, they'll have to wait until I can actually show them to the parents.

As for sewing projects - in this new world, where they're telling us to start wearing face masks when we go out, but not to use medical masks, it's got me thinking.  A few years ago, a sister-in-law made a neck scarf for our dog, and we still have it!  It's perfect for a face mask - kind of like the old-west bandit masks from their bandannas.  I'm going to start making up a bunch, and make them available for family, friends and neighbors.  A square of fabric about 20 inches should do the trick.  It can be cut in half diagonally to make 2 masks, or simply use the square folded to make it a double mask.  A large size cloth napkin would also work.  They're washable, and reusable, and won't add to the land-fill, and will use up some scrap fabrics that are hanging around.

Another project for myself is organizing all my genealogy information.  I started working on genealogy back in the 1990s, with little to no internet.  I spent many, many hours at a library reading microfiche of census reports.  There was also letters to family, and to a couple of genealogists.  Off an on over the years, I've received letters and messages from various people who are distantly related, and they helped fill in some gaps.  In the last few years, I've recontacted cousins to help to fill in the family tree with more recent information.  I use Family Search to record names and dates, but there was anecdotal information picked up here and there.  It's been, and will continue to be, an on-going project.  But for now, I want to ensure it's all in my computer, including scanning some documentation, to preserve it for the future.  This is a photo of the tree my sister M made for a family event a few years ago, and has updated a couple of times since:

And then I can always use time on my keyboard.  I played piano as a child and young adult, but dropped it a number of years ago.  Well, I got a keyboard in this past year, and pulled out all my old music.  Time now to relearn some of those skills.  Right now I'm working on this (not sure why this one seems to be so difficult for me):

How are you filling your time?  Wishing you creativity in keeping from getting cabin fever!  Blessings, Peggy

Friday, March 27, 2020

The Little Bit We Can Do - and Thankful to be Able to Do It

I'm sure most if not all of you feel much as I do in the middle of this pandemic.  It seems very surreal that we can't just pop across the street and check on a neighbor; can't just run into a grocery store for that one carton of milk, then go back the next day for some bananas; can't stop and hug old friends we meet when we go for a walk; can't arrange to play cards with friends or family. Almost everything I think of doing outside the house has to have extra thought put into it!

A neighbor phoned yesterday to ask if I had any jigsaw puzzles to lend.  I found some, and pulled them out, and took them to the front door, thinking I'd place them inside near the door and then back away.  But she had another idea - place them outside the door, she'd choose what she wanted (not coming into the house), then when she was gone, I could bring the rest back in, wipe them off with cleansing wipes, clean my hands and put them away.  All for simply lending to a friend and neighbor!!

At hospitals, hand sanitizer stations have been everywhere for years now, but now there are even more, and they've placed staff members at the entrances to screen everybody as they come in the door, and to remind them to clean their hands.

My parents just a month ago moved into a senior residence - and they had to take the action of barring visitors there.  Understandable for everybody's health and safety, but it's hard not to be able to lay eyes on them on a regular basis.  The manager did say that I would be allowed in in the event of a medical need.  Whew! 

In the middle of this, my mother became quite ill, and was admitted to hospital.  At first I was allowed in, and then could report back to my father - but then I arrived one morning with some goodies for her and they said 'no more visitors'.  The 'guards' at the door kindly took the goodies up to her, but now I couldn't even lay eyes on my mother to SEE how she was doing.  And the staff are so busy, that one phone call a day was all I could get.

Then she came home - but still not much better than when she was admitted.  So that started a round of trying to talk to a doctor about what we could do to prevent another admission.  And that has been a blessing in all of this.  The doctor made a recommendation, I was able to go and get the medication, the residence let me in to give instructions to my parents, and we began seeing (hearing about) improvement within just a few hours.  Mom is eating again the last two days, she's getting out to the dining room, has even played some cards with Dad.  It's heaven just hearing this all!  And the doctor is phoning daily to get a report from me.  And Community Health nurses are checking in regularly as well.  Telephones are our life-line in many instances these days - just imagine how we would manage without them and without computers and internet!!

Right now, I'm very, very thankful for doctors and nurses too, their dedication and caring, and the risk they're putting themselves at in going to work every day. 

But health care workers aren't the only ones - grocery and pharmacy staff, delivery staff, all the emergency personnel, truck drivers moving all the supplies and goods to where they need to be.  Then there's the forgotten people behind the scenes that we don't see, don't often even hear about - all the support staff for all of the front line people: the assistants, the switchboard operators, the dispatchers and organizers who make the front line jobs happen. 

And my husband spent his career in corrections - those folk and all their support staff still have to go to work to keep those in prison safe and secure.
There are many, many people putting their lives on the line to keep the rest of us safe and healthy - the little bit we can do (staying at home as much as possible) makes their lives easier, keeps us and our family and friends safer and healthier - and will hopefully end this all sooner rather than later.

Stay healthy!  Stay safe!       Blessings, Peggy

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Selling a Car

Yesterday we sold my parents' car!  After the deal was finalized at the insurance office, we went for some lunch, and my father commented that this was the first time since 1950 - he would have been 23 years old, married, no children yet - that he's been without a vehicle.  So we had a chat then about the various vehicles that they've driven.

That first car was a 1940 Ford 2-door sedan, something like this:
My mother got her driver's license in her 20's when they already had 2 or 3 children.

The cars they had when I was learning to drive in the late 60s were something like these:



When my father got into construction in the 70's, he got himself a dually that probably looked something like this:

In the 90's my mother drove a car similar to this:


As my parents approached (semi) retirement - my father actually worked some until he was 87 - they got a 5th wheel trailer and began a more nomadic life.  The trailer was towed by another dually, which now was their only vehicle, similar to this one:




After they finished with the nomadic life, they changed to driving a mini-van, which had enough room in the back for Dad to carry along tools and supplies for his various jobs:
Then they bought this last car.  They were 83 and 87 years old when they got it, and it served them well:
At 88 Dad said he'd probably be giving up driving by the time he turned 90, but he was still feeling capable and comfortable with local driving to get groceries and medicines and visit the casino.


It was a tough decision to give up the independence and convenience of their own vehicle, but the move into a senior residence where meals are provided, and arranged delivery of medication meant little need to be getting out and about.  Besides that, my mother has been quite ill lately, and not able to be going out much, and she fretted about Dad driving by himself.  So the decision was made, and we advertised, and it only took a couple of weeks and the right buyer came along.

The negotiations and deal went quite smoothly, and Dad was happy to be putting some money into his bank account!

Happy car sales to all of you out there who may be facing this kind of decision.  Blessings, Peggy




Sunday, March 1, 2020

Treasurers

Moving my parents from a small apartment into an even smaller space meant more downsizing.  They'd down-sized a number of years ago when they decided to become full-time RVers, and then didn't move back into a full-size house again, so (we thought) this wouldn't be such a bad job.

Well, we were fooled!  This move meant they could only take their beds, their chairs, TV, dresser, my dad's exercise bike - very important to him - their personal belongings, and a few mementos to put on their walls and on flat surfaces.  It's amazing how quickly we filled up their space!

One of the first things they did when they decided to make this move, was to ask family if they wanted any mementos, or if they could use anything.  It didn't take long and extra furniture was claimed, and several family members asked for small things.  One step my parents requested was to ask people if they'd like to have returned some of the gifts they'd given.

So, in the end, I picked up a few treasures:

This wall hanging is of my dad's baptism certificate.  It hung in my grandparents' home as long as I could remember.  My grandmother assembled it, and it's never been changed in all these years.


A few years ago, one of my sisters (K) suggested my father would be a good candidate to participate in a Seniors' Study for the cancer association.  Age and health were the main factors in permission to participate, and my father is a very healthy 90+.  He agreed, and was interviewed and assessed and DNA-tested, then received the following certificate.  He didn't want it any longer, but I couldn't let it go just yet.

My sister, T, was inspired by our dad to make this wall hanging.  She didn't want it back, so I snaffled it:



A couple of items that I made for my parents found their way back into my home - these are from many years ago, during stages when I was experimenting with various art forms. (I didn't make the little bird on the shelf):

It's so good to have treasures from the past, to have mementos that inspire memories, to be able to keep those items that have meaning in the life that we share with our ancestors.

Wishing you all treasured memories.   Blessings, Peggy

Monday, February 24, 2020

A Moving Adventure

Our second adventure of the year began with what looked like could be a disaster, but turned out to be one of the best things for our family.

My mother, who has had increasing health issues, and had not been feeling very well for a few weeks, fell in late January.  Nothing was broken, but she hit her head and banged a knee up very badly.  She spent a week in hospital, most of that in bed.

Just on the day of discharge, we got the information that a place in a seniors' residence could be available as early as mid-February.

Another visit to Emergency, and I decided I needed to cut short my time with the kids in Alberta and head home to help out.  A few days later re-admission to hospital cemented the need to secure the move to the residence.  The doctor encouraged us to effect the move, and said he'd keep Mom in hospital until we were done and she could avoid the stress of the actual move, and just be discharged straight to their new home.

The whirlwind began - signing papers, notifying utilities, determining what needed to be moved and what not to move, packing up, and then moving the necessities so that Mom could be comfortable when she arrived.  Many, many thanks to family and friends who made themselves available to get this all done.

Monday, Feb 17, Mom and Dad moved into their new home.  It's a studio apartment, but they have everything they need - including my Dad's exercise bike!



The residence offers all meals, light housekeeping, laundry services, some entertainment.  As a matter of fact, a couple of days after the move, there was a fella there playing a fiddle and harmonica.  And when he decided to play the Beer Barrel Polka, Dad and I danced for a few moments!  It was terrific!

My parents have settled in very well, and even have a small lounge with a table and chairs just outside their suite, where they go to play cards - one of their favorite pastimes.  We were there yesterday, and had a good game!
My sister, M, has worked side by side with me to get their apartment cleaned, memorabilia for family members sorted and ready to distribute, and find new homes for the rest of the furniture.  Some requests will wait until my parents decide they're ready to give up those particular items, but gradually it's all sorted and we're done!  I don't know what I would have done without M, because DH was only able to come home a couple of days ago.

We're seeing my mother gradually feeling better, moving around more (she was able to get out and walk around the grounds a couple of times), eating better, and yesterday she even asked to have her iron again so she can press clothes after they're laundered!  So we know things are looking up for her.

It's been a good move, and helps the rest of the family feel more comfortable with their situation.

Many, many thanks to all who supported us in the decision-making process, and then helped to make this possible for my parents.

Blessings, Peggy

Thursday, February 20, 2020

New Year Adventures

Our year has started out with a bang!!!  And not much time for writing it all out.

Mid January, DH and I headed for Alberta to help out our DS1 and his family, as he had a major orthopedic surgery that had him off his feet for several weeks.  There was cooking and cleaning to do, little ones to chase around, a kindergartner to get to school, both boys to get to swimming lessons, and even a birthday party to take one of them to.

It was a busy few weeks.  We started with a late Christmas celebration and dinner.

We took walks/bike rides in the snow, did puzzles, read books, and found times to get the little ones together to play (they live about an hour apart).




I came home from that trip a little earlier than originally planned - more about that in my next post.

Good times with family,  so glad we're able to help when needed.

Blessings, Peggy

Saturday, January 4, 2020

A New Year Begins

I said in my last post that Christmas is over.  Well, the actual days have gone by, but in our house, Christmas stays up until at January 6, so the tree is still standing and the decorations are all out for a couple more days.  Then we'll have to face the task of taking it all down.

Our year is going to start out with helping take care of grandchildren.  Our DS1 is having a major surgery on his leg, and will be off his feet for at least six weeks.  He's the stay-at-home (mostly) parent, so will need somebody to do the cooking/cleaning/chasing kids/driving.

When I started writing again, I promised that I would catch you all up on our family and the changes over the ensuing years, so here goes:

DS1 is 44, married with two children.  He was a steel fabricator, until their family came along.  DDIL1 is a veterinarian, and they have co-owned the clinic where she works since they married in 2012.  Over the years, DS1 has gradually taken on the work of managing the business end of the clinic, while DDIL1 oversees the medical practice and, of course, works full time taking care of animals.

As I said, they have 2 children.  LW is 5 years old, in kindergarten, and loving to go to school.  He likes to be around other children, is starting to read, loves dinosaurs, Paw Patrol, trucks and cars, and all the big equipment like excavators and backhoes.  He's a busy boy, with little down-time in his life.  Soccer and swimming have got him started in sports now too.

FA is 3 years old, also a very busy boy.  He takes after his older brother in liking trucks, cars and big equipment.  For his birthday in December, he received a dump truck, and promptly said he now needs a new excavator too!  This one is actually a little more adventurous than his older brother, who tends to like to think about new things before trying them out - FA just jumps right in there.  He also swims, and probably this spring will try out soccer.






DD is our second child, 42 years old married with two children.  She is an interior designer and has just this past year got back to it again after being a mostly stay-at-home mom since the children were born.  She and a friend have started their own business, which seems to be coming along quite nicely.  DSIL is an electrician/electrical engineer, working for a company that does commercial/industrial installations.

LV is our only granddaughter (so far).  She's 5 1/2, also in kindergarten, a going concern, loves to draw, likes 'speed' (has been known to say 'hit the jets, Grandpa'), is a real little mother to all her babies and everybody else around her.  She's been swimming since she was under a year old, and has had some dance lessons as well.  She sings and makes up songs, at only 1 1/2 years old could sing the alphabet all the way through, and now knows all the words to all the 'Frozen' songs.

MD is our other 3-year-old grandson.  He runs and jumps and climbs and makes all the noises that little boys make when he's playing.  He's also a fan of speed, evidenced by the use of his Hot Wheels track, and seeing the cars flying through the air as they come off of it.  He has loved sports of every kind since he could express what he wanted - every stick or pole of any kind became a hockey stick as soon as he could walk and hold onto it.  Lately his favorite toys have been Transformers and he knows all their names and what they do.





DS2 is our youngest, 40 years old and also married.  He is a social worker, works for the Ministry of Family and Child Development.  DDIL2 is an Occupational Therapist, self-employed and contracted to a company that gets referrals from insurance companies and workers' compensation.  Their first child is expected this spring, and we're ecstatic that they live close to us and we'll be that much more part of this little one's life.




And so far this is the only photo we can share of the expected baby:




Just one more photo to share with you.  Last summer we had a few days camping with all of the grandchildren (and their parents).  At one point somebody suggested a little bit of 'down-time' would be a good idea, so the four of them piled into our trailer.  Remember the days when down-time around a campsite would mean sitting around a camp-fire, or curling up in a tent with a good book?  Well, this IS the modern age:


So that's our family, growing and expanding, and we enjoy every minute we can spend with them.

Blessings,  Peggy