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.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas


May the Lord Bless you all


Unto us a Child is born…..

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blogiversary

I’ve just discovered I passed my first year anniversary of blogging.  The date came while we were away on our vacation. 
When I discovered it had been a year, I took some time to look back at what I had written,  reflecting on the changes in life over this past year,  and learning that my original plan to blog about quilting has transformed into just simply blogging whatever comes to mind. 
I’m also rejoicing in all the new blogger-land friends gained in this past year.  So many wonderful bloggers, with so much to share.  You’re all so precious to me and I look forward every day to seeing what new things you all have to say and to share – quilts and crafts and recipes; life in different parts of the world like eastern US, France, and Australia; families and jobs and challenges and joys.  My life is so much richer because of all of you.
Then there’s all the things I’ve learned about computers and blog sites – one of my favorite joys in life is learning new things and this blogging adventure has certainly satisfied that desire, over and over again.  Just a short while ago, I learned how to add a picture to my header and  finally ventured into trying it out  – and it worked!! 
Besides learning about blogging, there’s been learning about quilting, cooking, geo-caching, decorating, scrapbooking, books to read, and myriad other hints for life in general.  This is thanks to all of you out there who so freely share.  May you be as richly blessed as you have blessed me.


Wishing you all a  Blessed Christmas

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas has arrived at our house

And along with it, oh so appropriately, SNOW
Days of getting sorted out from our trip – unpacking, laundry, picking up dog and cat, grocery shopping, prepping for a brief return to work, catching up on mail and paramedical assignments – finally got around to decorating the house.  We’ve never been this late in getting at least some of Christmas into our home, but this was an unusual year.  Sunday was 3rd advent, and we of course hadn’t had an opportunity to light the appropriate candles before this.  So we got busy.
In our house, Christmas is much more than decorations, tree, presents and family gatherings – it is the time to honor especially the birth of our Lord.  From our first Christmas, we’ve always had an advent wreath, with 5 candles – 1 for each Advent Sunday, and a center one for Christmas Day.  When our children were little, we’d gather around the wreath on Sunday evenings, light the candles for that day, and read a part of the Christmas story from the Bible.  We have a large family Bible that was a wedding gift, and was always displayed open to the pages of the Christmas story at that time of year.  Now, DH and I simply light the candles and take a few moments to reflect on the wonderful gift God gave to the world and to us in the birth of His Son.  Over the years, the wreath itself has changed.

In the first year of our marriage we bought a Nativity set, and made sure it was prominently displayed as a symbol of the true meaning of Christmas.  A few years later, I was trying my hand at pottery, and made a set of Christmas ornaments depicting Nativity characters, as well as a children’s Nativity pageant scene.  This began a collection of various Nativities – today totaling something near 40 all together.  There are Christmas ornaments, small sets, large sets, x-stitch pictures and even a stocking, an advent calendar that yields a new piece every day for the month of December, a quilted wall-hanging, a couple that light up, some music boxes – some were gifts, some were purchases on various trips, some are hand-made.  They fill the house, so that almost everywhere one looks, there’s another reminder.

Well, off to get ready for a work-day.  Wishing you all a blessed season.  Jesus is the reason for the season

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wedding trip

We’re home and somewhat recovered from the jet lag.  It took a couple of days for me to get sorted through the hundreds of pictures, in between laundry, cleaning, picking up cat and dog, grocery shopping, getting ready to go to work, Christmas decorating.  It was so hard to believe, when returning from the tropics that Christmas was then only 14 days away.
We left on November 26, flying through Edmonton to Toronto, overnighting there, then on to Dominican Republic.
In just 24 hours, we went from this:  This is as we flew into Edmonton.  You can just barely make out the skiff of snow, but note the frozen river.
To this:
The weather was fabulous, very hot at 30 deg Celsius, but the cool drinks flowed freely.
We began the wedding celebrations with a lunch cruise to a quiet bay where we could all get in the water.  The bride and groom were ‘dressed’ for the occasion:
And we tendered out to the boat:

Then in the water:



After the wedding (see previous blog ), we got down to serious vacationing, with time in the ocean and pools, and a couple of excursions around the country.
We visited a typical home:
Learned about their education system: Children attend local schools 4 hours a day, divided into 3 sessions (morning, afternoon, and evening) to accommodate them all. They go to centralized high schools, and apparently 85% go on to university.
We saw coconut oil and cigars being made:
 The oil is squeezed out of the coconut meat after it’s grated, then strained and cooked.
 In the countryside cigars are made by hand.
The main religion of the country is Roman Catholic

We also visited Santo Domingo, capital city of Dominican Republic, the oldest city in North America, where Christopher Columbus first landed in 1492.
 Pigeons were everywhere, no longer kept for food as the people now eat chicken instead.
The architecture was very Spanish
There was, of course, an opportunity to shop, and try to resist the hawkers:


We visited a cathedral and a catacomb
These were fascinating days, but it was so nice to have days to lay back and enjoy the water.

Even though Christmas decor and music prevailed in DR it was hard to believe that we were just days away from Christmas until we got home.
Coming home – this was the sight that greeted us at Calgary:
  and reality began to set in.

Happy, Happy Wedding

It truly was the happiest, most joy-filled, loving, and blessed wedding we’ve ever been to.  Our DD is now Mrs.
35 of us flew to Dominican Republic November 26/28, to share in their day on the 30th.





After all of the months of planning, and phone calls, and shopping, and showers, DD and our now DSIL, pledged their love for each other.
She was the most beautiful bride, dancing down aisle after the ceremony announcing to the world:  ‘We’re MARRIED’!!!
Here are a few pics:
 The dress survived the trip, and was carefully hung on the balcony to let any wrinkles hang out in the humidity there (after, of course, the guys had taken the groom away).
 The beach was set up with two palm leaf arches, and parasols were added to personalize the setting.  There were, not surprisingly lots of on-lookers.
The bride arrived late – supposed to be good luck – but even as we walked her down the aisle, I needed to remind her to slow down for the pictures – I told her to pretend that she was reluctant to do this

She smiled all the way.
The ceremony was conducted by a friend, was not a legal ceremony (the kids had a civil ceremony at home in Calgary the day before they flew to DR), but was certainly very well done.  After a few solemn and pointed statements about marriage, commitment and friendship, J announced ‘by the power vested in me by Barcelo Bavaro Beach Resort, I now pronounce you husband and wife’.
 
These pictures are just casual shots from some of those that were there – the photographer took over 3000 pictures of the weekend, so apparently it will be a few weeks before we see them all.
After a celebratory toast, and the photo shoots, we had a lovely dinner at the resort’s convention center – in a room open to the outdoors, with the beach/travel theme carried through in the place settings DD chose.



The little ‘luggage tags’ were also used for her guest book:











And we danced the night away:  Note – I really did have shoes, but so much more comfortable to dance barefoot.






The love and joy that the newlyweds share in each other, was reflected in the love and joy of their friends and family.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas is coming

Got an email today saying there are only 33 more days to Christmas – good thing we’ve done a lot of our shopping, as our holiday comes first, and we get home only 14 days before the big day.  Maybe I should do up some baking!?!
It’s been another quiet week.  All projects complete, all insurance medicals complete, all preparation for the wedding complete.  So not a lot to do.
So what else but start another project.  I had some Christmas stocking panels tucked away, and decided to get them all done up – there are four all together, 2 of each design – and they’ll go to the local library (1) for their Christmas basket give-away, and the rest to the local food bank.  At Christmas donations of toys and clothing and various other goodies are displayed for those collecting their hampers and they get to go ‘shopping’ – ensures that the needy have presents under their trees.
Today, I’ll write my annual Christmas letter, and get one into a card to send to the family in Germany.  The rest will go out after we get home from our holiday – only 5 more sleeps until we leave, 9 until the wedding day.
To all of you in the US – Happy Thanksgiving Week coming up
Peg

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Quiet Week

And this is just what it has been – very quiet, lots of time to relax, and reflect, and finish up a couple of projects.
The embroidered towels for the wedding party gifts are finished and packed.  The cross-stitch Christmas stockings I’ve been picking at most of the year are now stitched and ready to be sewn up.  The first draft of our speech for the wedding is written.  The extra suitcases have been brought up from the basement, so more packing can now be done.  DH’s outfit is washed and pressed, hems rolled up per instructions.
I’ve spent a lot of time getting caught up with blogger friends, and Facebook friends, and email friends.  There are so many wonderful friends out there, and busy days leave little time to keep in touch.
DH and I spent Saturday at the Salvation Army Corps taking a course related to Emergency Social Services – an introduction to their disaster assistance, and their mobile food services vehicles.  The value in organizations like this that mobilize to help in disasters of every size is immense.  We’re certainly inspired to do all we can for our community and country when in need.
Just to be able to put a picture into this post, here’s one of the stockings:





This is one of a set of 3 stockings.  I originally made the set for our 3 children a number of years ago, and am gradually completing the set for each of them as they marry and start their own families.  This is the middle stocking, depicting Santa’s boots coming down the chimney – the first is of a woman decorating the Christmas tree, with a child’s hand at the bottom starting to write the letter – the last shows gifts under the tree, cookies and milk gone and the note then says ‘Thanks, Santa’.  Unfortunately I don’t have pictures on my computer of all of them to be able to show you.
I started doing Christmas stockings in 1993 for DD.  The reason: our family had always practiced the German tradition of Christmas plates for our children to receive on Christmas morning.  The plates were handed down from DH’s parents (they brought them from Germany when they immigrated), and contained nuts, oranges, candy, a special chocolate, and a small gift – they were allowed to open this gift immediately on waking (keep them a little occupied until everybody was up and we were ready to tackle the tree).  DD always wanted stockings, just like her friends had.  So that year I made her this stocking:

with the promise that she’d get a stocking every year until she didn’t want them any more.  Most of the stockings are cross-stitch, generally her choice of pattern, but a couple of them are quilted, and this year’s is a different surprise.  I’ll try to remember to post a picture after she receives it, so as not to spoil it for her.


So, onto the day and the week.            God bless you all
Peg

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Memories

Yesterday was my cousin C’s birthday.  She and I often had parties together as young children as our birthdays are very close, and we’re born the same year, and we lived in the same city.  C was the pretty little blond with the ringlets her mother created with rags - I was the freckle-face with the unruly red-brown curls.  As teenagers, C was the tall, slim blond, confident and strong  - I was just simply short.  I used to admire C and all the worldly knowledge and perceived wisdom she had.  Every year I think of her on her special day, and then I’m flooded with childhood memories.

Memories of grandparents – grandpa’s pipe, grandma’s chicken noodle soup and strudel. 

Memories of aunts, uncles, and cousins gathered for Sunday dinner, weddings, anniversaries.  

Memories of the Calgary Stampede with my aunt and C. 

Memories of getting in the car with our parents, and heading out destination unknown, until we turned a certain corner and we knew we were headed for our aunt and uncle’s farm, and a different set of cousins.

Memories of space to run, playing football with the neighborhood, sledding and skating right in our own back yard, learning to ride a bike with my best friend next door, walking to school – droves of us, piano lessons and recitals, dreaming of being a ballerina when a neighbor offered a couple of us some lessons, riding horses at a friend’s ranch.

And then other Memories of the BC families, the long drive almost every year to keep connected with those grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  And eventually moving to BC, after which the drive turned and went the other way.

I’m not sure why it’s C’s birthday that always brings this all back, but I revel in what a wonderful childhood I had, and the family – both immediate and extended – that made it so.  I haven’t even seen C since our grandfather passed away some 30 years ago, although I’m regularly in touch with her mother.  Our lives have gone completely different directions, and really the only thing we have in common now is our childhood.  Maybe someday we can get together and reminisce.

Wishing you all happy memories.       Peg

Success

It truly has been a successful week.  The countdown to wedding day has started – 22 more sleeps, and 4 sleeps before that we board the plane.  In the meantime DD and soon-to-be DSIL are busy planning the ceremony details, getting the dress hemmed and bustled, shopping for favors and wedding party gifts; soon-to-be MIL has had a gorgeous necklace made out of old pearls from both sides of the family, helped me with getting some notions for my embroidery project, finding a large seashell for the flowergirl’s petals; there are surprises happening; and we went shopping yesterday.
The long trek into Richmond at last paid off with the purchase of parasols and fans.

Parasols are to line the ‘aisle’ and also to be available for shade in the hot sun in the Dominican.  Fans are to be tied onto the back of chairs.  This has been a long, long search and these purchases aren’t exactly what was wanted, but the best that we could do.

In the meantime, I got DH’s clothes washed and ironed, ready to pack.  And I got started on the towels – the first one is embroidered – and I’m told is great!   Whew – sweat a few bullets over that one.  I’ll do one a day for the next 7 days to have them done in time.  Then I can take the embroidery arm off the machine and get on with altering one more dress and hemming another for me.

We checked out things like travel insurance and flight plans – discovered our name was spelled wrong on the ticket, so sat on the phone for an hour waiting to talk to somebody, to have it fixed in 5 seconds flat.   That was another tense moment, wondering if anybody checked our ID against our ticket would we get stopped going or coming – but successfully fixed.

All in all feeling quite satisfied on this Sunday morning, praising the Lord for His provisions in everything.  Wishing you all God’s blessings on every endeavor in your lives.          Peg

Monday, November 2, 2009

Little Tiny Pieces

When I wrote my post for today, I discovered this one that I wrote a little over a week ago - internet server went down for several hours before I got it published, then forgot all about it. So here's what I wanted to share with you all on October 23:
Just recently I was talking to a friend about how very busy life seems to be – constantly going somewhere or doing something. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like to be busy, and I really do like having projects and goals, and really don’t like being bored. But at the same time as I feel like I don’t have enough time, there seems to be time on my hands. It’s kind of a strange feeling. So I spent some time thinking about what was really happening here and came to the following conclusion:
My life is fragmented into little tiny pieces.
When I was working, it seemed that there were workdays and weekends. Period. That was how life functioned. Now each day has a little bit of work, a little bit of volunteering, a little bit of quilting/sewing/needlework, a little bit of housework, a little bit of relaxing. And somehow I just seem to be running from one thing to the next, and not always accomplishing what I set out to do. Very often, I find myself walking into a room and realizing that I was part way through something when I moved on to something else for whatever reason and totally forgot what I had been doing. It’s this fragmenting of every day that makes each day seem so very busy.
I have even resorted to a day-timer for the first time in my life. Oh, yes I always used some kind of calendar, usually the electronic one in the email program, at work to make sure I didn’t miss a meeting or appointment there. But I’ve never before needed to write down my activities at home (beyond an occasional note on a wall calendar).

It doesn’t really look all that full, but some of these appointments/plans mean driving 30 minutes one way just to get there. Somehow this is not what I envisioned when I decided to retire from full-time work a year ago.
One thing I have noted, as I looked back, and ahead, to see what all I was doing, there is a mixture, and at least on a regular basis, I’m doing things just because I like to do them.
So what have I done this week?
  • Saturday spent a few hours at the BC Creative Expo – a chance to see what others do with their creative minds and talents, mostly in scrapbooking, but some quilting and other crafts. I picked up a couple of pieces of fabric for a quilt I have in mind, and some stickers for the album I’ll do after our DD’s wedding in November.
  • Sunday – went with DH to the Train and Hobby Show – we try to go every few years just to see what kinds of things other people do to fill their spare time. DH has always been fascinated by trains, and remote control planes/boats/cars. So we watched a couple of car races, watched a man fly his plane, entered a draw for a remote control boat, and stood in awe of the Lego cities.
  • Monday – only one insurance medical appointment, so a fairly quiet day. I got started on a sundress to take on the trip next month. Also got started on a project for ESS – contacting various venues in the area to get agreement for group spaces in the event of an emergency. The evening was spent with my quilting buddies – I get so much inspiration and encouragement from this wonderful group of friends.
  • Tuesday – walking class in the morning, more work on the ESS project in the afternoon, then a couple of insurance medical appointments in the evening. Oh, and finally made the hotel reservations at Toronto for our trip.
  • Wednesday morning an appointment around the ESS project, more phone calls in the afternoon, then a couple of insurance med appointments in the evening.
  • Thursday – started out the day at walking class again, then an insurance med appointment filled up the morning. Thankfully DH took over and did all the housework, because I just was not here!! Another appointment in the afternoon for ESS, and phone calls in between. Almost finished up the sundress.
  • Today, DH and I did 3 appointments for ESS in the morning, came home to find my insurance med appointment in the afternoon had been cancelled. So I made a few more phone calls – ESS and insurance medicals, setting up appointments for next week. This evening I’m off to a PartiLite party.
  • Tomorrow – an insurance medical appointment, then there’s a local quilt show to visit, and in the evening we’re off to watch the local theatre guild production of Nunsense.
Not much time in there for quilting, but I did work a little bit on one of the ‘secret’ projects.
So, it’s easy to see why I feel so fragmented and even a little fractured lately – now to work on how I can get back to some semblance of sanity. Got any ideas?
God bless you all – thanks for listening. Peg

Packing

This past week and a bit has just flown by, with untold numbers of people to talk to and visit and interview – both for insurance medicals and for our ESS project.  No sewing, no quilting, no blogging.  So here it is Monday morning – second day of November – wedding month for our DD and soon-to-be DSIL.

I’m told there are only 24 more sleeps until we go on the big trip – to Dominican Republic to celebrate our daughter’s wedding.  So the suitcases are coming out today, so that as I think of things that we need to take along, they’ll be right there, and won’t get forgotten.  Like the towels …



The embroidery arm is on the machine, and the challenge this week is to embroider names of the wedding party onto them – thank you gifts.  MOG, who herself is a fabulous quilter/designer, is looking for black bobbin thread and stabilizer for me and then I can get started.  These are large bath sheets, which can be used for beach towels – fitting mementos for the gang as the wedding will be on a beach.

I did a test run on one of my beige towels, and it worked!!   And don't ask about the 'name' - all the guys have nicknames that only make sense to them!

Another item that must come with us is ribbon. The teal and yellow ribbon is for wrapping onto bouquets and attaching fans to the chairs at the wedding ceremony.

Of course MOB and FOB outfits are at the top of the list, as well as lots of OFF to protect us from ‘biting’ insects.  We’re all immunized against almost every imaginable disease – at least that’s how my arms feel – and taking more medicines to fend off any others that think they can ruin our vacation.

Then there’s the speech – DH and I have been asked to do a speech together – so we’ll be sitting down soon to actually get our ideas on paper.  And make sure it’s packed!!

Hoping you all have a great week ahead of you.  Take the time to read a good book or watch a good movie as the winter winds start to howl.                               Peg

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Challenge

I received a challenge this morning – don’t very often respond to these, but this one didn’t tax my brain too much and thought it was interesting.  I’m passing it on to all of you out there – here’s an opportunity to get to know each other a little better.

1) 6 Names you go by.

Peg

Margaret

Peggy

Hon

Mom

Sis

2) 3 things I am wearing right now.

Bathrobe

Slippers

Undies

3) 3 Things I want very badly at the moment.

A new bed

Breakfast (it’s coming)

Not to have to go to walking class.


4)3 things you did last night/yesterday.


Picked up quilt blocks to paint

Insulated all the plugs and switches on the outside walls

Joined my friends for an evening of stitching and sharing


5)2 things you ate yesterday.

Peanut butter and banana sandwich

Homemade split pea soup

6)2 people you last talked to on the phone

DD – on Skype actually

Bobbi

7) 2 things to do tomorrow (today for me now)


Work crossword puzzle in morning paper

Sew a sundress for the wedding trip

8) 3 favorite beverages.

Cocoa

Tea

Cranberry juice

So there it is – are you interested in letting me (and others) in on a little bit of yourself?  Take up the challenge – post on your blog, and send me a comment so I can take a peak, too.

Have a wonderful day everyone.                     Peg

Friday, October 16, 2009

Arrival of Autumn

Well, if fall cleaning didn’t signify the arrival of autumn, the weather has done it for us.  The brilliant sunshine we’ve had for months, has succumbed to the inevitable onslaught of wind and rain.  Admittedly not as much wind and rain as the weatherman forecast, and we did have a couple of hours of sunshine yesterday afternoon (so took the opportunity to walk the dog), but still it is definitely looking more and more like autumn outside.

Unfortunately, in all the busyness of Thanksgiving day, we all forgot about taking pictures.  But we had a wonderful time, a full house, and full tummies as everybody rolled out the door.

The week since then has been quiet – with a clean house, what is a person supposed to do to fill the time!?!  Right now, no quilting projects to keep me busy (well, one, but that’s a joint project, and so only done when we can meet – and it’s one of those secrets).

Emergency Social Services has given DH and I a project – signing up facilities for Reception Centers and Group Lodging in the event of an emergency.  Some progress was made on that, but we’re at a stall right now waiting for some answers to questions before we actually approach people (need to be prepared for their questions).  In the meantime, we went over to the ESS House – it actually is a house that the district purchased for ESS to meet and plan and train and store all their stuff, and it’s a lot of stuff – to do some fall cleaning there.  A couple of hours got the office into some kind of shape, at least desk and counter tops are visible again.  We’ll go back and tackle some of the storage areas next week. 

I had a dream last night that we were at ESS House with the ESS director and the district Emergency Services Coordinator.  In my dream, the white board that we had just hung up had been torn off the wall, and a part of it broken off, and somebody had duct-taped the rest of it back onto the wall, erased the information on it and covered it with gobbledy-gook.  We discovered this as we came down from the office after having admired the tidiness there.  Then we found that the storage bins (full of supplies to respond to an emergency) around the meeting area, and the Level 1 Response bags were all gone!!!  There was somebody there running a day-care and little children were running in and out, while the care-giver was on the phone.   The coordinator had been busy taking garbage out, but when we turned to ask him where everything had gone, he’d disappeared.  It was an amazingly disturbing dream – actually a bit of a nightmare as I could just imagine the stress we’d experience if any of that kind of thing really did happen.  Really do have to get that alarm system fixed!!!

So today – will stay indoors again, enjoying the fireplaces while it rains outside.  Maybe we’ll tackle the basement and see if we can make some sense of all the boxes and things down there.
Tomorrow, I get to go to a Creative Expo and get some inspiration for more projects, and hopefully find some quilting bargains, and enjoy time with my dear sister-in-law.
God bless you all.                              Peg

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A great week

Well, I set out to do fall cleaning this week, and it’s done – it’s really done.  All the cupboards and closets are tidy, all the corners are clean, all the windows are sparkling, all the junk is on its way to finding a new home via the thrift store.  I love a clean house.  The outdoors even got a going-over, and the patio tables and chairs are put away.  Shopping for Thanksgiving dinner is done, and as much prep as can be done is done – so bring on the family, and extended family, and in-laws, and shirt-tail relatives.  I’M READY!!  It’s a wonderful feeling.
But I’m finding it hard to relax now – somehow I got wound up and my spring is still really tight.  I find myself wandering around wondering what else needs to be done, or what I can do next.  Need to work on getting into a more relaxed mode, and sit down and do some hand-work.
This week was also the beginning again of the walking class at the local fitness center – it’s good to get back into some regular exercise.  And my Monday night quilting group is back together, and my Thursday night Bible study is getting started, and volunteer groups are getting going again – you sure can tell fall has arrived. 
And thinking of fall – when I was outside this morning, that wind had quite a bite to it.  When I came in and hit the shower, my toes tingled as the feeling came back.  Leaves are starting to fall, and the days are getting shorter.   The sun made its appearance for just a couple of hours and now it’s hidden again.  We’ve had brilliant fall here in the Fraser Valley, and I for one am enjoying the fact that it’s not started to rain yet.
DH has been away – in Calgary doing some hunting with DS1.  I got this picture yesterday:



 1 Canada goose, 1 snow goose, 7 mallards was apparently the shoot of the day.  They’ll all go in DS1’s freezer for us to enjoy with him when we get back for a visit (after some is eaten this week, I’m sure).

It’s Thanksgiving weekend, and I’m feeling so very thankful for husband, children, parents, siblings and all their families, aunts/uncles and cousins, friends, co-workers, home, community and country.  It’s a wonderful world, and God has provided for everything I need, and a lot of stuff I don’t need.
Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving – may you be blessed with family and friends around, and in remembering all you have to be thankful for.           Peg

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Antiques

I love antiques, and over the years we’ve collected a few pieces.  I’m inspired today to share one with you all, a result of seeing Marlene’s on her blog.
044
045
This sewing machine is a Singer.  My mother bought it in about 1955 from the original owner, who was apparently an elderly lady who’d just purchased her first electric machine.  Mom tells the story that the deal was made and she went to pick up the machine to hear that the lady wasn’t so sure she could part with it.  But Mom was desperate (to be able to mend clothes for her growing young family, and at a price she could afford at the time), so she begged and pleaded and won the lady over.  After a number of years, Mom wrote to Singer and received a letter authenticating the machine as having been manufactured in 1895.  The machine doesn’t fold down at all, instead the ‘hood’ has to be removed.  When there were a lot of grandbabies crawling around, Mom disengaged the belt so nobody could get hurt, but I’m sure if it was reset, there’d be no problem with at least sewing a straight line.    There are a couple of needles and a bobbin in a drawer.  It was the only machine we had until about 1972, and was what I learned to sew on.  As you can see a couple of drawer fronts are missing – DH and I keep eyes open every time we walk into an antique store to see if we can find anything to replace them all, but no luck so far.   DH refinished the cabinet for my mom about 25 years ago, and at that time she said it would come to live in our home when she no longer had room for it, so we received it about 15 years ago and it has held pride of place in our home since.  Now it is a treasured piece of furniture, holding our old LP record collection, or at least part of it, on the treadle, a plant on top and a small stereo record player on the extension arm.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The big reveal

Well, another secret was revealed this past weekend.
I’ve been keeping this one to myself, because I didn’t want my DD to find out about this.  On Saturday one of her wedding showers was held here in the Fraser Valley, so I was able to go.  We had so much fun!!!  And I even got a prize for knowing the most about the engaged couple (tied with the groom’s mother) – whew at least I didn’t fail that test!

Anyway, my gift to DD has been in the quilting works for a few weeks – and here it is:




  I haven’t got a picture yet of her holding it, but when I told her it should fit her table, she said nobody would be allowed to put anything on it, ever. 

  I’m really quite pleased at the way it turned out – will be anxious to see it in her house.
Well, off to get started on the day.                Love to you all.   Peg

Reno adventure

No we didn’t go to Reno – we were RENO-vating.  The renovations at my parents’ home continue.  The roof (see my blog August 4) was completed early August, then there was a hiatus due to some controversy with park management.  But things were settled and they were able to proceed again in September.

A week of work and the roofs were done.

Then it was time to start on the siding.  As I said, there was a hiatus in between, and most of the siding work my father was able to do on his own.  One of my brothers came in early September to help replace the sliding patio door, and then our job this past week was to help move the canopy away from the trailer, and get the siding on that side of the house, and put the canopy back.  Several neighbors came along to help with the canopy.

And it needed to be well braced and supported to ensure it didn’t fall over, or get blown away if the wind came up:

After strapping, insulating, sheeting, tar-papering – finally the siding went on.
Then everybody came back to put the canopy back in place.  And it looks like a new trailer:

How wonderful it all looks – final steps of putting siding on the right side and back should be finished this week, and then my dad can take a break before he gets started on the inside.

Home again

Well, we’re home and life is returning to something like normal.  Although, later this afternoon DH leaves to spend a week in Calgary, so ‘normal’ this week is me at home by myself.  This is my chance!!!  The plan is to tackle fall cleaning, and get into all those corners that get so neglected over the summer, and sort through all those drawers, closets and cubby holes where things are stashed waiting for attention.
But  - to catch you all up with what’s been going on the last two weeks or so:
We headed out on September 20 to spend a week camping on the Sunshine Coast, which lived up to its name and reputation.  We had a beautiful week, exploring and relaxing and sharing with our brother/sister-in-law.
We camped about 5 minutes outside of Sechelt, not on the ocean, but it wasn’t far to be able to enjoy a stroll and watch and listen to the waves.

Gibson’s Landing is a must-see for anyone visiting this area. 


The home of the long-running TV show the Beachcombers, Molly’s Reach restaurant has been brought back to life.  We enjoyed a wonderful lunch there.
The restaurant is situated right next to the marina, where we discovered this little gem:

 A green house on the water.

Of course it was necessary to stop at the local quilt shop where S and I both found treasures we couldn’t pass up.  Eventually there will be pictures of the results when these treasures get sewn up.  You can visit the shop on line here.
Roberts Creek is a small community about half-way between Gibson’s Landing and Sechelt, where there is a historic church. Built on donated land for the Anglican Church of Canada, the church opened its doors in 1936.  After some years, the congregation merged with the church in Gibson’s to continue their work in the broader community.  In 1997, the building and land were purchased by a local company, who are in the process of rebuilding and attempting to reactivate life in the church by using it for purposes in keeping with the property’s character and respectful of its original use.  Their website will give you the whole story.
Another day was spent visiting the Skookumchuk Rapids – a spot to watch the tidal movements. 
On our way, we stopped at Halfmoon Bay to visit the historic general store.



The walk to the Rapids takes about 2 hours one way, most of it on fairly level ground, through a typical West Coast Rainforest.  The Rapids weren’t very rapid on this particular day.

We stood on the rocks and watched seagulls at play and sea-lions bobbing up and down.   The sea-lions were impossible to catch on film as they were at quite a distance.  We watched a propane delivery to homes and businesses on the opposite shore.
Another day spent exploring Sechelt town-site, and a walk along the waterfront there.
Eucalyptus trees are fairly unique to this area (only otherwise grow in California, apparently):
Marine life is abundant among the rocks.
Another trip along the oceanfront, and we watched a para-sailer as he tumbled and then recovered to head back out to sea.

We arrived home on Sunday, only to leave again on Tuesday – that’s in the next blog.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Food for Thought

I've just finished one of the most thought-provoking books that I've read in a long, long time. 'The Shack' by William P. Young is a novel about a man's adventure as he spends a weekend in conversations with God learning about the relationship that God wants to have with him. He meets the 'Father' in a rather unique personality certainly different from any picture I've ever had of God - and in fact different than what he expected actually, the Son as a most pragmatic human being, and the Holy Spirit in a tangible yet intangible form. These 3/1 led him to look at his relationships on earth as well as his relationship with God and how to live out his relationships with people through his relationship with God and viceversa. This is putting things very simply. I can't even begin to describe the ideas and thoughts and teachings that poured out of this book. I think I may have to read it again real soon to be able to fully appreciate everything (or at least a little more) demonstrated in this very unique novel.

When I first heard about this book, I thought it sounded just too weird, but when I saw it in a used book display something drew me to it - and I am more than glad that I picked it up. Much of what I have understood about God and the teachings of the Bible has been exposed and expanded through this book. I challenge all of you to read it if you haven't already - you will surely be blessed.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Things

It’s been a busy, busy week.  At long last time and weather coincided to allow us to get some yard work done.  While I worked in the back cleaning up flower beds, removing and moving plants and generally getting things ready for fall, DH worked in the front, putting new edging around the flower bed.


My Monday night quilting group started meeting again – it was so much fun to catch up on our summers.  N had a reunion with some on-line quilting buddies, and a family reunion, and a cruise.  L1 had a trip to Idaho and her dad’s 90th birthday.  L2 spent most of her summer entertaining family and friends at their cabin.  G got the opportunity to work at the Merritt Mountain Music Festival and hob-nob with the stars.  Not everybody was there, so there’ll be more catching up going on I’m sure.  Of course quilting had been happening, so show and tell had us oohing and aahing over those accomplishments.




I also got back to Weight Watchers, and am thankful that I’ve basically maintained my weight for the summer, despite camping and parties and ice cream and no gym….  So after next week, back to regular exercise, and maybe these last few pounds can disappear before DD’s wedding!!

Quilt projects have been progressing, but not yet ready to show them to you.  I did finish up alittle purse for a dear lady who gave us a room when we were in Kelowna helping out my parents. It’s crocheted from some very ‘nubbly’ yarn, fully lined with a zipper closure.  She saw one I’d made for myself, and wanted one to take on their trip south this winter.  Handy for taking along to dinner when you don’t want to carry a whole purse, just a key and a tissue.  I hope she’ll enjoy it.

Over the summer, we’ve missed all of the ESS meetings, so got together with the coordinator and got some assignments – working on some training opportunities and getting some venues aboard in the event that we need to open a reception center for a disaster.  We did manage to get started on some of that this week.  But I had to miss the Friends of the Library Book Sale -  hopefully things will settle and I’ll get back to them more over the winter.

The dog needed dental work, so she spent a day at the vet’s.

And I had a couple of insurance medicals to squeeze in.

So today will be a day to relax – tomorrow we need to get the trailer loaded before we go to a meeting and dinner – Sunday off again for a week of camping.  
Have a blessed week everyone.               Peg

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Secrets

Well, we’re ready to reveal – at least one of them.  I don’t actually like keeping secrets, but this one was to be a surprise for our brother/sister who have become our closest friends and camping buddies.  Below is a picture of our most recent purchase:

 Yes, it’s a new trailer, this one with a slide to give us a little more walking around room and eliminate tripping over the dog.  
Gotta love the counter space – up to now all my cooking has happened on the table – this is heaven.  We brought it home on Aug 27, just before we left for the family reunion, then left for our trip to Calgary on Sept 1 and had 10 days to enjoy the space and get adjusted to where we hid everything when we packed it up.  And we really did enjoy the space.  Since we got home on Thursday, DH has put in a couple of shelves to meet my obsessive need to organize, and we’re almost ready to leave again next Sunday for a week with the afore-mentioned best friends, P & S. 
The reveal:  well, P & S came out on Saturday to do some work on their trailer (which is parked beside ours in the RV parking in our strata complex), and we had wanted to surprise them.  Well, surprise them we did!!  I wish I could have got a picture, but that didn’t work out.  Our trailers are almost exact duplicates now, and can both fit all four of us and our dogs with relative comfort for a meal or a game of cards (when we can’t be outdoors). 
So that secret is out.  The others – well, they’ll have to wait until the time is right.
In the meantime – we had a wonderful trip to Calgary.  We stopped first night in Kamloops, and delivered a CD of pictures from the family reunion to my sister so she and a SIL could finish up the memory album for our parents.  Then we went on to Golden for a night, and the opportunity to see first-hand the timber-built covered bridge.
  
Built in 2001, with a limited budget and mostly volunteer labor, this bridge was meant to commemorate the lumber industry in BC.  We saw a documentary on TV a few weeks ago, and were intrigued.  I love the romance of covered bridges and will always take time to visit  one whenever we see a sign – got lots of pictures from New Brunswick when we were there a few years ago.  This is the first ‘new’ bridge that we’ve seen, all others dating back to horse and buggy days.  Some of the labor for this bridge included ‘journeymen’ from Europe – apparently in those countries, when a craftsperson completes apprenticeship, they are required to ‘journey’ for 4 years plying their craft in other countries before they can establish themselves as a tradesman.  This was a fascinating tid-bit of information we got from the documentary.

From Golden we proceeded to Calgary, and settled in for several days.  Friday DH spent the day with DS1 on the Heavy Events field getting set up for the competition on Saturday.  DD and her partner took the dog for the day, and Saturday DH and I were out on the field once more judging and scorekeeping for the 1st Canadian Masters’ Championship.  DS1 also judged (the Open class) as he retired from competing this year.

Sunday in Calgary was spent shopping with DD for the FOB outfit for DH.  We headed to an outlet mall, huge, and walked for hours from store to store to store.  We stopped at the Bass Pro Shop, and DH found a pair of sandals at a good price, that will be perfect to wear on the beach when he gives our DD away (I think I told you all that the wedding is in November in Dominican Republic?!?).  Well, the last store in the mall was Winners – and don’t you know we found the perfect shirt and pants – a slightly lighter color shirt than the ones the groomsmen will be wearing.

The plan apparently is to roll up pant cuffs and sleeves, no tie, shirt tail out for a very casual look.  Whew – one more hurdle jumped.  We also did some more planning – ceremony and details – so it was a profitable day.

Monday we spent with DS1 at his house.  Unfortunately I forgot to get pictures, but he’s done some yard work in the front, removing grass and replacing it with bark mulch because he’s not around much to take care of a lawn.  In the spring he plans to add a few shrubs/flowers to dress it up a bit.  In the back, he’s moved his fencing to create a parking space – that incidentally is large enough for us to park our trailer next time we head that way with it.
Tuesday we headed toward home, spent two nights at Revelstoke just relaxing.  We had hoped to do a little geocaching, but it rained all day Wednesday, so we mostly just lazed around.  We did watch the movie Marley and Me (DD’s fiance had downloaded a couple of movies onto our computer) – excellent film that I would recommend to anybody.
Thursday, as I said earlier, we arrived home.  I worked on Friday, then on Saturday S & I went to a local quilt show.  I know this blog was meant to be mostly about quilting, and believe me quilting is still happening (not quite as much as pre-summer), but the projects right now are more of those secrets that can’t be revealed just yet.  The quilt show was at Tanglebank Nursery in Abbotsford – a first showing for several local quilters/designers, as well as the launch for the new Canadian quilting magazine Quilter’s Connections.  Believe me, I got a subscription.  It’s really exciting to see somebody start a Canadian business, and I for one am really looking forward to seeing how this magazine promotes Canadian quilters.  Anyone wanting to take a peek see the web-site. 
Well, this was a long blog – but it’s been a couple of weeks and lots has happened.  I’ve also been sorely remiss in keeping up with all my blogger friends and their doings – well actually I do look at the updates regularly, but just haven’t had time to read them properly or respond/comment.  My plan is to take some time this week and do just that – looking forward to touching bases with you all again. 

Happy end-of-summer days to everybody.              Peg

Monday, August 31, 2009

Anniversary Reunion

Well, it was a fabulous weekend – the whole family together to celebrate my parent’s 60th wedding anniversary.
We headed to Kelowna area to stay at LaCasa Lakeside Cottages Resort overlooking beautiful Okanagan Lake.


We had several cabins, and as family arrived we gradually gathered on the deck of the cabin where the guests of honor stayed.

Saturday was trips to the beach, and lots of posing for pictures. With great grandchildren ranging in age from 2 months to 8 years, it wasn’t easy to get this:














Grandchildren and children were much more cooperative:


The guests of honor were getting tired of pictures, but we eventually got lots of them – this one is at the dock just before boarding for the dinner cruise:


















The dinner cruise was so much fun!  With cousins that joined us for dinner, there was 42 in all.
Granddaughter Alison presented a wonderful slide show. I wish I could share it here – lots of laughs as we saw ourselves in younger days, lots of ‘awww’ moments as we saw wedding and baby pictures, lots of tears at the special memories.
Letters from the District of Houston (BC – where my parents lived for many years), and the MLA from the Houston area, and the Prime Minister, and the Governor General arrived in time. Letters from the Premier and the Queen are on their way.

A memory album was started – to be finished next week

And the Family Tree in Fabric was presented












Cake was enjoyed by all









Much tribute to every member of the family for entering enthusiastically into the spirit of the celebration. Daughter Toni started the idea and organized the letters from the government officials; Daughter Marie and Daughter-in-law Maureen collaborated in organizing the memory album; Son and Daughter-in-law Jim and Lynn ordered the cake and made sure the guests of honor got to the resort and settled into their cabin. Everybody shared in making the weekend fabulous by keeping in touch with Alison through the year, by sending in their photos for the slide show, by sending me their messages and signatures for the quilt, by planning to have the time to be together for the weekend.

Granddaughter Alison  is the one who really got the ball rolling. When she complained to her mom that she was bored, Toni said 'well, here's a project for you' and Alison took this all on. She found the resort and cruise boat, organized us all, collected monies, paid monies out, made sure we all had directions and information, put together the slide show, agonized through rumors of the cruise boat company shutting down, and kept in touch with the resort when fire threatened and they were evacuated. Without her energy and enthusiasm and organizational skills, none of this would have happened - words can't express our thanks for all of this work.
Lots of sacrifices were made, and I just want to thank the whole family for everything that was done to make this weekend so very memorable for our parents, grand-parents, great-grandparents, aunt and uncle.
Peg

Thursday, August 27, 2009

To My Parents

Today marks my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary.  The family is all coming together on the weekend to celebrate – a resort near Kelowna, a dinner cruise on Okanagan Lake, a slide show of pictures through the years, laughs, meals, cuddling all the new great-grandchildren, meeting new family members added in the last few years, letters from Prime Minister, Governor General and Queen, memories …
I’m really looking forward to this, but want to take a few moments to honor my parents.

Sixty years ago they pledged to honor and cherish, and have held to each other for all of these years.  Through gain and loss, good and bad, triumphs and tragedies, moves, changes, all the phases of married and family life, they’ve worked and loved and laughed and cried together.  Always hard workers, they still haven’t stopped (see the blog about fixing their roof).  Their examples of love and loyalty and persistence are ingrained in all of their children.

They have six children, fifteen grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, six children-in-law, five grand-children-in-law – of these 40 people, 36 are able to gather for this reunion celebration weekend, plus a couple of cousins coming along as well.  We’ve been asked to bring memories, lessons  learned from Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa – and the first one that came to my mind is hospitality.  I remember the parties for staff members, dinners for family and friends, coffee always on for neighbors dropping in, cards around the table many evenings.  Mom was always baking and cooking to be prepared to have enough for whoever might be there – and ‘enough’ apparently meant too much, but certainly nobody ever left the table hungry.  Dad was ever the gracious host, trying to make sure that everybody was comfortable and didn’t have an empty glass.  I often aspire to have such a hospitable home, but fall ever short of their high standards.
 
Today I think of all the sacrifices they made to give their family the best life possible, and am thankful for them, for the parents (and parenting example) they have been, for the love they hold for everybody in their lives, for their generosity of spirit and worldly goods, for being my Mom and Dad – and for teaching me to dance!!

I love you Mom and Dad.  Happy 60th Anniversary.
Peg

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

TA DA

I feel like celebrating, like bells should ring, horns should toot – the anniversary quilt is finished.  This, too, was nearly a year in the making (fabric purchased in September 2008), but not because I was actually working on it all that time, but because it took time to get all the bits and pieces together to finish it up so it now looks like this:

And here’s a close up of the center:

I am so excited to be able to give this, along with my brothers and sisters, to my parents in just a little over a week.  The family reunion weekend is getting close, and we all seem to be looking forward to a great time together.  It’s been several years since we had so many of us coming together in one spot – we’ll only be lacking one sister and brother-in-law (work commitments), and one great-grandson-in-law (in 2 wedding parties the same weekend, one in Calgary, one in Vancouver).
So, on to the next project.  But I’m going to be taking it easy for today, having been up a good chunk of the night with my head in the toilet bowl.  Don’t know what that was all about, but the pain eased at about 6 am, and then I got back to sleep for a while.  So a much later start to my day than I normally experience.  I had thought of going out to do some weeding in the yard, but it’s already hot, so that’s going to just have to wait for another day (or maybe later this evening when it cools down a bit again).  In the meantime, I think I’ll get the sewing machine out.

Have a wonderful Wednesday all.             Peg

Sunday, August 16, 2009

From quilting to playing in the mud to ...

Well my Saturday turned out to be not quite what I thought it would be when it started. I did get started on finishing up the dog bed covers (started on finishing - interesting play on words there). Anyway, when DH finished watching soccer, we decided to go outside and reset the paving stones in a short walk-way that we have. They were starting to sink and needed some new sand/gravel underneath to make them level again - and DH decided to frame them all with 2x4s. So out we went. Well, there I was, on my hands and knees moving landscape rock, cutting out landscape fabric, my fingernails filled with dirt despite gloves, reminiscing about the days as a child when we made mud pies.

After that was done, we decided to go into town to get tickets to the RCMP Musical Ride later this week, bought a purse, stopped at the lumber store to get a little more landscape rock and some sand for our next yard project,

Then home to take care of the pets, and .... get ready for an elegant dinner at the hotel in Harrison Hot Springs. Friends had called early in the day and offered to treat us, wanting to dress up and make it a special event. So we donned our glad rags, got all spiffed up, and headed out for a wonderful evening. It was beautiful - a window overlooking Harrison Lake watching dusk give way to full night, fabulous company, laughs and sharing, service just like we get in a cruise ship dining room, glorious food, total relaxation. To look at us you'd never know we started the day grubbing around in the garden and doing mundane, everyday errands - it was like a mini-holiday in the middle of normal life, just tucked in there to create a special memory.

And this morning the dog bed covers did get finished completely. So full circle from one morning to the next. Hope you all have had a great weekend, too. Peg

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Progression-Regression

A week of progress in some ways, regress in others.  On Monday, after we did some errands, and DH made sure I was stocked up on dog and cat food (so I don’t have to carry those heavy bags), he left once again for Kelowna to help with the reno project on my parent’s park model trailer.  On Wednesday, I phoned partly to see how things were going, and partly to ask another question of my parents.  Almost the first words from my mother were that they have to move!!  I was in total shock, and everything else flew out of my mind, so I had to call back later to ask the other question.  It turns out, the powers-that-be in the park-where-they-live decided that they had issued the building permit in error, and all work was to cease on the trailer, and they have 2 years to move the trailer out of the park.  This is the short – very short – version of what happened there.  Interestingly, neither parent seems upset at the idea – on the contrary they seem relieved and even excited.  But right now they have no idea where they’re going to land.  I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see.  But the roof is on and shingled, and Dad is allowed to finish closing in the soffets to make it secure from birds and animals.  So DH was home much earlier than expected.
But while they were experiencing this regression, I was at home experiencing progression.  Monday evening, progress was made on a very special quilt that friends and I are making.  We’ve made several attempts to get started, and have had to reschedule several times, so are really excited to finally get underway.  The reason for the quilt is still a surprise, but here’s a pic of the block that I made – 11 more for me to make before our next bee:














Over the course of the week, I made progress on dog bed covers.  These are to offer to my niece for possible sale in her pet shop.  I got 5 tops done, and hope to get zippers and bottoms done today.


These are put together mostly from bits and pieces that I had or picked up on the cheap at various places.  The back (bottom) fabrics are micro-fibre that I found at 1/2 price, so if my niece decides they’re not what she’s looking for, I haven’t broken the bank with this experiment.
Wednesday I took a day out and went shopping with my wonderful daughter-in-law.  The main aim of the day was to find some shoes to wear with a couple of summer dresses that I have and want to wear at our upcoming family reunion, and then later in the year when we attend our DD’s wedding in Dominican Republic.  Well progress was made there as well – not only were shoes found, but a pair of pants to go with another top that I have, and a whole bunch of beauty care products.  I am so woefully ignorant of how to use make-up, and wanted to find something to artificially tan before we go on the trip to the Caribbean, and ended up with lessons in exfoliating, and bronzing, and eye make-up – you name it.  So hopefully I’m pretty well set in that department.
No hospital work this week, but lots of activity in the insurance medical department.  And – the paychecks have started rolling in.  I’m quite enjoying this new job, except for the time I have to spend on the road getting to the clients.  Interestingly, I was told when I signed the contract that there wouldn’t be much work because  other health professionals had been hired in Chilliwack – but something must have happened, because I saw 16 clients in July, only 4 of them here in Agassiz, and that was with 2 weeks off.  In the last week I’ve seen 4 clients and have appointments with 9 more coming up.   Maybe it’s just a summer blip because of vacations, but I sure feel busy right now.
Yesterday evening DH and I had a movie-date.  We went to see Julie and Julia – what a delight.  Meryl Streep is one of my favorite actresses, and she did an excellent job in portraying Julia Child – seemed to get her mannerisms to perfection, at least what I remember from the few shows I may have seen years ago.  If you haven’t seen this movie, I’d encourage you to try to see it – whether on the big screen, or later on DVD. 
Oh, and the anniversary quilt is just about done – another 3-4 hours of applique and it’s ready to go.  The reunion plans are pretty well set, the resort has apparently reopened after being closed due to fire threat, dinner orders have been placed, and travel plans finalized for those that are coming from a distance.  Only 2 weeks to go!!

So, everybody wishing you progress in your lives – and Peggy especially thinking of you and your daughter and praying for progress in her recovery.  God bless.                    Peg

Monday, August 10, 2009

Normal

Well, this has been what a normal week used to look like pre-retirement.  I worked every day, day-time hours, at my old job, did my errands after work, came home to do supper then try to catch up to life and do some handwork/gardening/cleaning.  DH came home Wednesday evening – Thursday evening was spent getting the trailer packed up for the weekend.

Thankfully the weekend was a relaxing one.  Friday after work I met DH at the campground, and we were joined by his brother, sister-in-law and sister for our annual get-together.  Not that we don’t get together other times, but this is our camping weekend – a sort of mini family reunion.  His family is not large, parents both gone, so for now this is the best we can do.  Brother-in-law even had to work so couldn’t join us.  The nephews were busy elsewhere, and our DS1 and DD live too far away to make it out just for the weekend.  Our DS2 and his wife were able to join us for Saturday evening dinner and a walk.  The rest of the weekend was just visiting and sitting around the ‘non-campfire’.

I borrowed that term from a friend – with the heat and dry weather, campfires have been banned in this province, to the tune of a $345 fine if you get caught with one.  We weren’t even allowed to fire up the propane fires.  Oh, well, marshmallows are fattening anyway.

It was such a lazy weekend that I didn’t even take any pictures to share with you.  And we didn’t try any geocaching either.

In less than 3 weeks will be my family reunion, planned to celebrate my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary.  And planning has been stepped up a notch to get all the last-minute details in place.  There will be about 35 of us at a resort near Kelowna.  The quilt is nearly finished, a memory album is planned, orders for the dinner on the lake cruise are being placed, letters from the Governor-General and Prime Minister have been received – all is falling into place.  There is a little angst right now as one of the fires is near the resort and it is temporarily closed, but we’re hopeful the rain that’s expected will take care of that problem. 

Actually rain anywhere in this province will be welcome – forest fires are raging everywhere, and so very many people are affected.

So onto another week.  DH will leave today to go back to help with more of the roofing and siding happening at my parents’ home.  I’ll try to get the anniversary quilt finished, and a few sample dog bed covers to take to my niece for her to possibly sell in her shop.  There’s a baby gift to make, and a quilting get-together with friends.  Oh, and some shopping to do with DIL – need some shoes to go with some clothes I have for the wedding trip in November.  I guess even a non-working week like this one will be full.

Blessings,        Peg

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music


Break out the fireworks, the champagne glasses, the noisemakers - let's celebrate. I made it to 50 posts!! What a surprise, when I opened the dashboard this morning and saw that. Enough said - I'm apparently addicted to blogging - and am really enjoying the friends I'm making in blogger-land. Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone. Peg

Monday, August 3, 2009

Whew

Is it hot out there or what?  This has been an amazing streak of hot weather.  And the fires in Kelowna are raging again.  Apparently there are fires everywhere in BC, and most of them out of control.  My brother the fireman, and his wife, the head of tourism in their town, have heard that the resort near Kelowna where we plan to have our reunion to celebrate our parents’ 60th anniversary, has been evacuated, and closed.  The fire is that close to the resort, and to Okanagan Lake.  The firefighters apparently report that that particular fire is only about 30% contained.  So we’re a little nervous about what may come of our reunion plans.
We all got a little reprieve from the heat about 10 days ago with rainstorms one Saturday night.  The following day my mother called for help!!  They’d started planning to replace their roof, so Dad had built trusses and was waiting for some cooler weather to actually pull the old roof off and put up the new one.  The rain – well it found a weak spot in their roof, right over their bed.  So off to Kelowna we went to help get the roof on.  Mornings and evenings were the only times to work, and that with lots of breaks to try to rehydrate and cool down a bit.  By Saturday the main roof was on to the tar paper stage – shingling and placing vent pipes and skylights is the order for this week.  Once that’s done, the roof on the addition can be started.  Here’s a picture of the guys working on the roof:














I’m home right now, left DH behind to continue the job.  The reason I’m home?   To work for the week.  On Monday last week, I got a call that a co-worker had been admitted to ICU, apparently with heart problems, and asking if I could possibly fill in for the week.  Well, we’d just finished making arrangements to go to Kelowna as quickly as possible so had to decline.  They then asked if I could commit to this week, if T still needed to be off.  I had to work Sunday evening anyway, so made the commitment to do just that.  DH will be home Thursday, so we can do our annual camping weekend with his family, then will head back up to Kelowna the following Monday.  DS1 will be down from NWT later this week, and will also head to Kelowna on Friday.  After the roofs are finished, the canopy you see on the left side of the trailer needs to be removed so new insulation and siding can be put on.  Once the heavy work is done, Dad thinks he can get the rest done, and we’re all in agreement.  My brothers will be in Kelowna later in August, early September, so they’ll help out as well. 
Dad, at 82, is a very fit man with – usually – a lot of energy.  But he had his appendix out in May, and lost 20 lb (with nothing to spare to begin with), that he hasn’t recovered.  He also has a very poor appetite still, and the heat is really wearing him down.  3-4 hours in the morning was all they were able to handle the first couple of days we were there.  After that they pushed through into the afternoon, but found they needed to stop every 1/2 hour to rehydrate and cool down a bit.   This makes the job go much slower than normal.
While we were there, I got a chance to just spend time with Mom, something that happens very rarely these days.  She started out the week with a summer cold, and a flare-up of gout that really slowed her down.  Once we got some medications into her, she picked up and by the time we pulled in for breakfast, she’d had her morning walk, put laundry in, vacuumed, washed floors, did dishes, balanced her checkbook, whatever she could think of to do.   Obviously she normally has a lot of energy as well.
I also had some relaxing time and got a couple of things finished.  The biggest – the table runners!!!  They’re done at last.  I was beginning to think I’d never see the end of them.  But here they are:

 Four of them in varying sizes to fit my friends’ tables in her living and dining room.  She chose some wonderful fabrics, didn’t she?
So that was my week.  Hope you all out there are having a wonderful summer, and finding ways to stay cool!
Peg

Friday, July 24, 2009

Milestones

Well, here we are at Friday again.  I’ve been seeing blogger friends comment on milestones in blogging (100, 300) and wonder if I’ll ever make a mile stone.  Then I noticed – 47 blogs since last November, that’s more than one a week which was my goal when I started.  There’s that word again – I guess I really am a goal-oriented person.
I follow several bloggers, and see some who blog every day, and I wonder (as some of them have commented) where they find the topics, the words, the time.  I find each blog takes me easily an hour, and I don’t think I could do it!   But then, if I blogged daily, they’d be shorter, and maybe a little easier to read?!?
Anyway, unless and until my life changes and settles a little more, I’ll keep on with the weekly pattern and maybe an occasional extra thrown in when the mood hits – the milestones will come when they come.
The early part of the week, I made a little headway on the table runners for my friend, then ran out of backing fabric, which I rectified fairly quickly, then got going again and ran out of spray glue, got some of that and finished layering the runners, started on actually quilting and don’t you know it – ran out of thread.  So yesterday I got some more thread, but didn’t get to do any quilting today. 
And the anniversary quilt is another step closer to being finished – signatures transferred to fabric, shapes cut out, ironed on and waiting for the final applique stitching to be done.  My sisters and niece and I did some more planning for the reunion in August, and invitations were mailed today to our parents’ siblings and their families in case any of them wish to join us for their milestone celebration (my parents will be married 60 years next month!)
In between, DH and I lifted the patio stones, and poured and leveled sand and reset the stones – hopefully the low spots have been raised and we won’t have sitting water any more.
This afternoon DH and I did a little geocaching, and had some successes.  This is really looking like the perfect couple hobby for us!
The insurance medical requests are certainly keeping me busy – can hardly believe how much work there is.
After dinner, I got my weekly fix of Southern gospel music, watching the Bill Gaither Hour.   This is a wonderful hour of praise and rejoicing, with fabulous musicians and singers.  Tonight’s show featured Mark Lowry on Broadway, honoring the Lord with his music and his humor.  The songs touched my heart and reminded me of the love of my Father, the sacrifice of my Lord for me, the gracious mercy He shows me everyday
Tomorrow we celebrate a milestone for DH’s brother and his wife.  This is the year they turn 50, and we’re throwing a joint party for them, approximately half-way between their birthdays. 
So in between trying to reach milestones, and preparing to celebrate milestones, life goes on and daily little achievements are milestones in themselves.
Peg

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I got a little surprise this morning

The quilt I'm making for my parents' anniversary, was featured on another blog. Quilt Nut Creations is a blog by one of the owners of the shop where I had this one quilted. She did a short blog on borders, and inserted a picture of my quilt. It really feels good to have others acknowledge my work. While I'm talking about the anniversary quilt - all of the signatures/messages have arrived, I've printed them on fabric, cut them out, ironed them onto the quilt, and will now complete the applique with blanket stitch around each piece. Stay tuned for the final picture.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Week of Challenges

Well, here we are at the end of another week, and it’s been a full one.
We started last Friday heading out to Kamloops for Highland Games.  We took the long way around and stopped at Kelowna at a GPS store to get a windshield mount and new cord for our Garmin geocaching GPS.  We used our Magellan GPS, bought to help us find new places before we started geocaching, to try to find the store.  After crawling past an accident scene, at the end of the directions, we were told to turn right, and ended up going around in circles for a few minutes before we discovered we should have turned left!!  The 1st challenge of the week.
After leaving the GPS store, we set the Magellan for the hotel in Kamloops, opting for ‘shortest distance’.  Well, just a few kilometres north of Kelowna, we were directed to turn off the highway.  We kind of wondered, but followed the directions.  We ended up seeing some new countryside, and going through the back streets of Vernon, before getting back onto highway again.  2nd challenge of the week.

Arriving safely at the hotel, we got settled, phoned DS1 who was staying at a different hotel, and went out to find some glasses for me – I’d forgotten my reading glasses at home.  Coincidentally, I found a pair of shoes that I think will be perfect to wear on the beach at DD’s wedding – ballet flats, in glittery gold and silver fabric, with silver trim – cheap and perfect to keep the sand out of my toes during the ceremony.  I will still need to find shoes for the evening, but there’s time (I think, unless it keeps on going as fast as it has been lately).
For dinner, we’d been invited to my sister’s to say farewell to my brother-in-law, who has accepted a job out of town for the next year.  We had a great visit and met a great-niece for the first time.  She’s a real cutie, almost a year old, and keeping the family entertained and on their toes!! 
Saturday morning, up bright and early, met DS and a friend for breakfast, and then out on the field for the day.   We sold out of our T-shirts:


As always, it was fun, but also challenging (3rd of the week) – I spent the day under the tent, entering scores into the computer program, and tracking athlete standings so that we could award their prizes at the end of the day.  When all was tidied up, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at a Greek restaurant, and then crashed back at the hotel.  It’s amazing how tiring a day in the outdoors can be!!

The next morning, we found ourselves wide awake at 4:30, so decided to get on the road to home – no GPS needed.  Leaving before 5:30, we delayed breakfast until we reached Merritt, and arrived home by 8:00.  We had a whole morning to do whatever we wanted – so we decided to do some geocaching.

DS1 and his friend, Greg,  arrived mid afternoon, shortly before I headed out to work.  At least I got home early enough to get in a good visit before bed.  Greg headed home to Seattle early the next morning.  But we had DS1 around for a few days.

Monday and Tuesday, I made headway on quilting projects,  challenges 5 and 6, but nothing finished enough to show you yet.

Wednesday – moving day for DS2 and his wife.  Challenge # 7.  Aren’t moving days always a challenge?   Trying to fit everything into every small space in every vehicle you own.  Deciding what can go to the local thrift store, and what absolutely must be kept, even if there’s not enough room for it.  Moving sofas and beds and tables and dressers and desks down elevators, down stairs, around corners, and through skinny doors. 

Doing your best not to damage furniture, break the fragile, punch holes in walls, or take out door trim.  We managed with minimal damage, got in some visiting over a picnic lunch, and had emptied as many boxes as possible by 3:00.

Thursday, house cleaning day.  DS1 left for home (Calgary) and DH went out to work, and I got the house to myself.  And here we are at the end of the week.  It’s been a great one, with a lot accomplished, and some great times with friends and family.  Challenges – and blessings.  Isn’t that what life is all about?
Wishing you challenges and blessings in your lives.     Peg

Friday, July 10, 2009

On the Road Again

Good morning all - a quick note before we head out this morning, this time to Kamloops for Highland Games. This will be a much smaller competition and more relaxing day than our day at Coquitlam 2 weeks ago.

There's some curiosity out there about how my first insurance medical visit went, so I'll fill you in. After making the appointment, I clarified a few things with the head office to be sure I really did know what I was doing. We discovered that I didn't have the correct waybills for the lab company, but that got straightened out. So Saturday morning I loaded up paperwork, lab kits, extra paperwork, extra lab kits, scale, gloves, hand cleanses, tape measure, blood pressure cuff, stethoscope and anything else I could think of that I needed to be sure I could do this job. Needless to say I was a little nervous - my course had been 2 months before, and I wondered if I was really ready for this. This first appointment was with a couple, required only lab work and vital statistics. So, got everything all laid out, got paperwork signed and out of the way, wrapped the tourniquet around the woman's arm, took a deep breath and poked!! No blood!! Well, I moved the needle around a bit, in and out, up and down, sideways - still no blood. Okay then - let's try the other arm. She said the lab regularly has difficulty getting blood out of her. Wouldn't you know it!! The second arm was no different. So, instructions given that the office would arrange a lab visit for her. On to try again on the man. His blood spurted out so easy - what a relief!!! The vials were filled, he produced his urine specimen, I gave him a big hug as I measured him, repeated the measurements and hugging on his wife, and I was out the door. All in all, not a bad experience. So I think I'm ready for the next one - if only the man would answer his phone.

That was last Saturday. During the rest of the week, I've made headway with my table runner project, and got ready to do the appliques on the anniversary quilt. We got our GPS updated, so we can do more treasure hunts (see my other blog for those adventures), and I had a quilting day with friends - secret project that I'll fill you in on when the recipient gets it. Basically a relaxing week that I thoroughly enjoyed.

So we'll be leaving in an hour or so, and I'll do my best to get lots of pics to share with you next week. God bless you all. Peg