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 60ish wife, mother, 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 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.
Please do check out some of the links in my side-bar - you'll find other bloggers and fabulous people to visit.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Happy 65 Years

On Saturday, some of the family and a few friends gathered to celebrate with my parents the coming occasion of their 65th anniversary!

Today is actually their date, but weekends work better for get-togethers, plus several of us had commitments that precluded actually gathering ON the day. 

But we had a wonderful time!  The immediate family that couldn’t be there, and much of the extended family and friends sent greetings, and one of my sisters was able to make a Skype call.  PM Stephen Harper sent his greetings as well, thanks to the efforts of my sister (there will be more coming, but time was short and this was the only one to arrive on time).

We read aloud all the cards and greetings that were received, and then read a letter my mother had written to my father – such love, and so many memories!

So today, special greetings and congratulations to my parents, Margaret and Frank, on this day that is uniquely theirs to celebrate!011

And their plans for today???  They’re going to the PNE, where they would have gone back in the days when they were courting.  And then they have a small bottle of champagne to toast each other!

Congratulations   Mom and Dad!     

Monday, August 25, 2014

Nakusp area

In between our ferry rides, we stayed at Nakusp, a little town right on the Arrow Lakes.

It’s a pretty little town with two hot springs pools nearby.

We wandered through their downtown area, and discovered a lake-side walk, with gardens:018016019023

A perfect place to relax and enjoy the sunshine and the views.  The lake was so calm it was like glass, and I commented it would be nice to take a canoe out there, but Grizz said ‘not a good plan’ as apparently the lake can turn ugly in a very short time.  Not that we have a canoe any more!!

We made a trip out to one of the hot springs and lazed in the warm water for a while:009012

From the pool we could see the steam rising from the hot springs across the roadway:011

On our last evening, we were entertained at Music in the Park.  Steve Palmer was the entertainer, a singer from Edmonton.  He was advertised as singing Country Roots, and he truly did take us back to some of our roots in singing Carter Family, Johnny Cash, Roger Williams, and lots of Canadian artists like Ian Tyson, Celine Dion, Anne Murray, Irish Rovers, as well as a few of his own songs, one titled Come On In which was used for opening of one of the CBC Radio Vinyl CafĂ© programs.

009

Steve will be traveling to the Maritimes this fall with stops in Springhill (Anne Murray’s home town) and Antigonish (our DDIL-K’s home town) in NS , so if any of you are out that way……

All in all a wonderful visit!               Blessings, Peg

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Cemetery Crawl

I don’t know why, but I just love wandering through cemeteries.  So much history and so many stories behind all those gravestones!  But most of the time, there’s no way to discover what those stories are.

However, at the O’Keefe Ranch a few days ago, the cemetery was mostly of the folk who had lived and died there, so a little internet research (don’t you just love the way we can find almost anything we want to know……)

060

Cornelius O’Keefe was born in Ontario in 1838, came to British Columbia in 1862 following the Gold Rush trail.  He didn’t make his fortune in gold, and went on to construction work, helping to build the town of 115 Mile House.  In the 1860’s he purchased cattle in Oregon and brought them back to the Okanagan in BC where he preempted land with his partners (Thomas Greenhow stayed with O’Keefe to work the land, establish a general store, post office and stage depot).

O’Keefe established a relationship with a local native woman, Rosie, with whom he had two children.  In 1877, he returned to his hometown of Fallowfield, ON and married Mary Ann McKenna, with whom he had 9 children.  In 1899 Mary Ann died, leaving 8 living children from the ages of 6 through 21.

060

In 1900, O’Keefe at age 62, married again in his hometown, to Elizabeth Teresa Tierney, who was but 23 years of age.

060

Elizabeth and Cornelius had 6 children, the youngest born when he was 76 years.  Elizabeth outlived Cornelius by only 10 years, living only to age 52.

Judging by the headstones, only Elizabeth’s children are buried in this cemetery, and I’m unable to discover much about most of them.

060059

059

060(2)

059(2)060

Interesting that ‘Mary’ is part of each of the girls names!  All of these gravestones appear to be fairly new, and I assume replaced the original, and possibly not in the original places.

John Joseph ‘Tierney’ was the youngest son, and with his wife (yet another) Mary Elizabeth ‘Betty’ he worked to ensure the preservation of the ranch, and so we can still visit it today.

Cornelius’ partner Thomas Greenhow is also buried here – but I’ve been unable to learn anything of his history or his family if he had any.

063

Few other graves are marked here, and include some with just a simple cross and no indication of the person buried there.

073

Happy crawling!    (This is just for you, sis!)                  Blessings, Peg

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Whaddaya Think?

Getting ready for this trip, I pulled out a pair of jeans to take along.  Old, worn, good to wear around the campfire and out in the dirt.  I knew they had some thin spots.

And then I put them on:

116.Torn jeans

We joked that I was right up with the times!  After all, isn’t this the way kids wear their clothes these days?

But every time I bent my let, my knee poked out.  Somehow it just wasn’t all that comfortable.  At least it isn’t my rear end everybody is seeing!

So whaddaya think?  Should I toss them?  And invest in a new pair?

But they’re so comfie otherwise.  Or maybe patch them – not so sure they’d be all that comfie any more.  And what’s that old saying about not putting new patches on old skins?

Sad to see them go!                      Blessings, Peg

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Camp Cook

When we’re at home, Grizz does almost all of the cooking.  It’s a hobby for him, and he’s a much better cook than I am.  And it frees me up to do the things I like to do like – quilt, of course!

But on the road, I do more of the cooking, not sure why, but that just seems to be the way it works out.  This week, I was reading a novel, and a character was looking for something to make for lunch and put together things that he found in his fridge.  But it sounded so yummy I just had to try it.  And – for those of you that know me well and know that I’m generally tied to following a recipe – I even made a few adjustments, based on what was in our fridge.

I started with sauté-ing some mushrooms and set them aside002

Then on to frying up some onions and peppers001

Add a few bits of left over bacon003

In the meantime, I whipped some eggs with cream cheese, added salt and pepper, and into the pan they went along with the mushrooms and some olives and cook it all up

004

Plate it with some cold pea salad, and a slice of bread005

And voila – a simple camping style meal.  Albeit on the stove in our RV and not on a campfire the way real campers would do, but it WAS delicious!

Happy camp cooking!                 Blessings, Peg

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ferry ‘Cross the

Mercy Arrow

Lakes, that is!

On this trip we took two ferry rides, both of them across the Arrow Lakes.

First from west to east, from Fauquier (‘fo-key-ay’) to Needles.  There is nothing but a rest stop at each of these ferry docks, if you can call them docks, and they’re each about 50 km from the nearest center.  The ride at this crossing is only about 10 minutes, on a cable-pulled ferry that only holds a dozen or so vehicles.110.Fauguier to Needles ferry111

114114

A few days later, from east to west, from Galena Bay to Shelter Bay.  At Galena Bay there’s construction happening, and not even a rest stop.  At Shelter Bay, the road is obviously newly paved and possibly widened, and there’s a parking lot and a small coffee stand.  Again, the docks aren’t much to speak of, and each is about 50 km from the nearest center.  This second crossing was about 25 minutes on a motorized ferry that unloaded 5 or 6 semi-rigs, a few RVs and 20 or so cars/pickup trucks.011015

These ferries are an absolute necessity on Highway 23 to serve the communities between Revelstoke on the north and Castlegar on the south, and to connect Hwy 23 going south from Revelstoke with Hwy 6 going west toward Vernon and Kelowna.

Columbiarivermap

But there is an interesting history behind these ferry routes that are relatively new additions to the highway system in BC.  The Arrow Lakes, Upper and Lower, essentially a widening of the Columbia River, were formed because of the dams built on the Columbia River as a result of a treaty between Canada and the US for development of hydro power for both countries.  In the 1960’s, these dams flooded much of the valley along this stretch of the Columbia River in south eastern BC, forming the lakes as a result.  But it was at great cost to the lives of the people here.  Much arable land was sacrificed, along with the homes and livelihoods of hundreds of people.  The people were compensated for their houses and lands, at least for the ‘real’ price, and were relocated.  But the social, economical, psychological price could not be compensated as they were uprooted from their homes and way of life.

This is all now remote, and what we’re left with is a system of hydro power that has served our province well for several decades – as well as beautiful lakes amid the mountains that serve practically as well as yield much recreation and enjoyment.

Happy river travels!              Blessings, Peg

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

O’Keefe Ranch

Vernon is a city through which we’ve driven many times – on our way to somewhere.  But somehow we never had the time to stop.  Well, on this trip, we decided some time there would be a good idea.

So off we headed, with no plan for what to see or where to go, other than a park we’d been told would be well worth the visit.

030.Polson Park, Vernon

Oh, how we would have loved to stroll and picnic there – but: ‘no dogs allowed’.  So that let us out.  We did a drive through and saw lovely gardens, tennis courts, jogging paths, an outdoor stage.  But, oh well.

The water fowl enjoyed a visit from this little girl:034

Then we headed for old downtown, which was lovely with brick sidewalks and shade trees, but nothing caught our eye as a place we wanted to particularly explore.

After that we thought we’d check out some RV parks for future reference, and then we saw the sign:035.O'Keefe Ranch

(Oops, I cut off the top of it).

We’d often talked about visiting this historic site, and now we had our chance (and dogs are welcome!).

036

Much of the lifestyle of the O’Keefes has been preserved in their original mansion:

085.O'Keefe Mansion  087

Here’s just a few glimpses of what’s to be seen inside:090115114093113101

The serving dishes in one display each had a different bouquet of flowers in the center, indicating that they were all hand-painted:

094

An elegant life-style indeed!

Outdoors and in other buildings were displays of various artifacts that showed this elegance wasn’t the rule of thumb, but rather it was a simple life of hard work for most.  For example, these were the kind of stoves they used:

049

Believe it or not, in the first year of our marriage, we lived in a house with a similar type of stove, but it was oil-fueled, not wood-fueled.  So at least I didn’t have to chop wood LOL!

Then there is the blacksmith shop:062

Just look at these bellows, and imagine pumping that rod hour after hour to keep the fire hot:

064

And the cook’s house:

051.Cook's house052

The cook may have prepared the meals to be served in that elegant dining room, but s/he went ‘home’ at the end of the day to a one-room cottage.

As much as the O’Keefe family lived elegantly, I’m sure it took many years of hard work to attain and then maintain that lifestyle.

There is a church and cemetery on the ranch, and I took the opportunity to do a little cemetery crawl.  When I can do some more study of the family history, I’ll share some of that with you.

Happy history!                 Blessings, Peg