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.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

A couple more things finished

Back today to show you the Blue Meadows Mystery Quilt.  I’m pleasantly surprised with it – you never really know what will be the end result when you start a mystery.  That must be why I enjoy reading mystery novels so much!!!

I also forgot to tell you yesterday that I did finish up the ESS On-line courses – they were quite easy and straight-forward.  I really do love this learning new things!!
Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone
Peg

Friday, February 27, 2009

Quilt, don’t quilt, quilt, don’t quilt …

Well, taking a break from quilting was good, but somehow it was hard to get back into things. Then I went shopping – got a companion fabric for the cat bed cover, backing and applique fabrics for the Anniversary quilt, some bits and pieces for Homespun Harmony … Well to say the least, I’m back at it!!! Not sure why I see-sawed so much the early part of the week.
Yesterday morning and evening I sewed, and sewed, and sewed. Actually didn’t sew near as much as some do, but a lot for me, as I can usually only manage 1-2 hours at any given stretch. But I skipped exercises because of the snow, and spent that time instead at the machine. End result:

Our cat now has her own bed, and not just a towel. Not that she actually chooses to sleep in this basket very often, rather she chooses to leave her hair on the dining room chairs, living room chairs and sofa, any fabric sitting out that she can try to claim as her own, underneath the sheets if I don’t get the bed made soon enough – well you get the picture.
I also managed to make headway with some of the pieces to Homespun Harmony, and got the rows sewn for the Blue Meadows Mystery quilt (I’ll probably finish that one up today).
Other than that the week has been very, very busy. Saturday, DH and I spent at an ESS class – wow there’s a lot more to this than first meets the eye. Sunday afternoon, we met brother- and sister-in-law at the dog show, fell in love with a Westie. Monday afternoon there was a follow-up to the apartment fire, giving vouchers for another day’s hotel stay and restaurant meals for those that needed it – more learning!!! Now that was an experience – seeing Red Cross, Salvation Army, Community Services, local Ministerial Association, various church representatives, Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Social Services (not sure that that’s still their title), and various others all coming together to support and offer services as needed while people are essentially homeless. Tuesday evening I went to work for a few hours’ reorientation in preparation for working next month. Wednesday morning was shopping, (the snow was just starting as we left in the morning, by the time we got home it was near blizzard in Agassiz – so happy to have a hubby to drive and take care of me), then in the evening DH and I went out to help the ESS director do up the paperwork and statistics to finish up the disaster responses from Friday and Monday. Thursday (yesterday) sewing as above, WeightWatchers meeting at noon, Bible study in the afternoon, then a little more sewing in the evening, and in between getting laundry and housework done. The good news yesterday was that I’ve reached my first weight-loss goal (15 lb.), so just a few more to go to get to where I need to be!
Income tax has also been filed, so just waiting for the big bucks to come – so we can spend some more money!! By the way, anybody need a car – our Jetta is for sale, a good car for somebody needing something for local driving.
The snow was a bit of a surprise, but we were warned. I think nobody thought it would be so much!!! Pictures – my friend Bev (Kaleidoscopes) has posted on her blog so you can all see what our world looked like yesterday. This morning, with sun shining yesterday afternoon, most of it is gone, but there’s still some slippery spots – so careful driving those of you who live around here and will be heading out today.
As for me today – plan to finish up the Mystery Quilt, and other than that relax as much as possible, and get the dogs out for a walk – they’ve been a little housebound with this weather and are getting a bit antsy. Goals for the next week: weight-loss, get the Anniversary quilt to the quilter and start on making the appliques for it, see if I can make some progress with Homespun Harmony, get the budget for the strata finalized – that’s just about enough!!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone, God bless you all.
Peg

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Disaster Response

Yesterday DH and I got our first taste of responding to a disaster. We'd been grocery shopping, and when we got home, about 1230, I started to put some rye bread in the bread machine. As I opened the new bag of rye flour, I discovered DH had picked up the wrong bag. Oh, brother. So, a supposed quick run to the local grocery store took a little extra time. As I rounded the corner to go onto the 'highway' I found it completely blocked by ambulance, police, Salvation Army and way more fire trucks than could be found in Agassiz at any given time. This section of the highway runs between a gas station and an apartment building. The side street beside the apartment building had another half dozen fire trucks parked as well. No sign of fire or smoke. I found a way around, got the flour, came home and told DH about the 'exercise'.

DH then went off shortly after that for his regular visit to the local gym. There he learned that the fire in the apartment building had been at 800 am. We had heard no sirens!! We kind of wondered why we hadn't received a call to assist with the disaster response, but assumed that we were too new to the team to be of any real help. Our philosophy has always been to stay away from emergencies when the experts are already there, as we could potentially just get in the way and contribute to traffic jams and confusion.

About 3:30, the phone rang - it was Rita, our local ESS director. Yes, we certainly were needed - they just hadn't got our phone number into the ESS cell phone yet and it took that long for her to have the time to look us up and call. We, of course responded immediately.

What a wonderful team. The acting fire chief was explaining next steps to the evacuees as we arrived at the local high school library. Once that was finished, we were put right to work helping to register people for lodging, food, clothing, transportation and incidentals. The local Fields store was available for clothing, SuperValu for food, hotels in Harrison for lodging, a couple of restaurants for those that wouldn't have cooking facilities, a school bus arranged to transport people to the hotel if they didn't have a vehicle of their own. DH was then assigned to track people going into the building to retrieve necessities, like medication and pets (some were at work and cats chose to hide). We heard of no injuries or deaths, thank the Lord.

The A&W apparently provided burgers and coffee for the fire-fighters, there was sandwiches, water and juice in the library for the victims and emergency workers apparently provided by the Salvation Army mobile food service (the truck at the scene earlier in the day).

We learned so much about the process and the services that are provided - more than we could ever learn sitting in classrooms, which is the plan for today. There are several courses for Emergency Social Services volunteers - today we learn about Reception Centers. So we're off in just a couple of hours to get educated. I now so much more appreciate the people who respond to these disasters. And I'm invigorated and excited to be learning about this and to be able to assist if something like this ever occurs again.

My prayers are with the 60 or 70 people who filtered through the Reception Center yesterday, living in temporary lodging for the next couple of days, trying to get their lives sorted out, some of them unable to return to their homes until repairs are done, which of course could be months. The true extent of the damage won't be determined until early next week.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Found it!

Well, actually it appeared. My sister-in-law will appreciate this. On Friday evening I started sewing, and reached for my tape measure, which was not where I expected it to be. It's the old-fashioned kind that hangs around the neck, and I've had it for 30-odd years. Not too concerned, I pulled out the new retractable one that was a Christmas gift, thinking 'it'll show up'. Well, Saturday morning, still no sight of the missing measurer. By then, I was really beginning to wonder, and started searching drawers and corners, even cleaned out the garbage can!!! Nothing, nada, nowhere to be seen. My sister-in-law arrived, and I was telling her about it. Shortly later, something else appeared (can't remember now what it was - something I hadn't seen in a while, but wasn't really looking for either), and SIL said 'wouldn't it be nice if your tape measure appeared that way'. Actually I had decided that it had fallen in the garbage and been sent off to the netherworld of the garbage dump earlier in the week. This morning, I approached my sewing table, apparently from a different angle than any of the ones I was at yesterday and the day before, and there it was!!! Tucked under the corner (not actually completely out of sight) of the cover on my serger. I must have put it aside to be out of the way, and it got moved slightly while I was working around it. Anyway - the lost is found, the prodigal is back in its home, and I'm happy to have my companion available again when I need to check those measurements out. There's something about the old and familiar that is not always satisfactorily replaced by the new and technologically up-to-date. So for any of you hunting for something, take heart, it may appear!!

Happy Valentine’s

Happy Valentine’s weekend everyone – I know I’m a day late, but I hope you all had a great day yesterday, and were able to celebrate with a loved one (or 2 or 3 or…).  DH and I went out to dinner at a very classy restaurant in Chilliwack.  We’d been given a gift certificate some time ago, and decided to use it for Valentine’s.  We dressed up, and went out to enjoy a romantic evening – candlelight and mood music included.  Most people there were dressed for the occasion, except the guy at the table next to us – T-shirt, shorts and floppies.  We were quite amazed – at the casual attire and the fact that he must have thought he was in the Bahamas or somewhere despite temperatures hovering somewhere around 2 degrees!!!  Anyway, we had a lovely dinner and ignored diets for the evening, so the dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache with gold sprinkled on top was heaven!!!
It’s been a busy week – got the dog beds all done, including an extra one for the brother- and sister-in-law’s new golden puppy.

I also hung up the anniversary quilt on the design board, and took scraps of fabric and batting and scattered them around, to get some idea of what it’s going to look like finished.  See what you think:

I’ve actually decided to go with ovals (cameos) and have everybody sign on a piece of paper and either email or snail-mail it to me.  I’ll copy onto the fabric, and then applique on top after the quilting is done.  So, I’ll be talking to the quilter I hope this week and get on with this.
There – 2 goals met.  Beyond that, I attended the team meeting for work, and we worked through our RN competencies (an annual requirement for licensing), so I can now apply for my registration and honestly say that I’ve done my review for the year.  Also got the Introductory course for Emergency Social Services completed, and passed the quizzes, as did DH; did some more work with the Strata council on the budget, in preparation for the AGM in April – this is the last year I’ll do this as I’ve decided five years is enough at one stretch, it’s time they had some new blood on council; the mystery quilt from Blue Meadow Designs is started; the dogs checked out okay at the vet – Jemma needs her teeth cleaned and that will get done on Tuesday, Sadie has a little lump on her ear that we need to watch, but otherwise they’re both just fine;  I lost 3 oz. according to the Weight Watchers scale, but at least it was down not up.  I didn’t get around to printing any pictures – maybe I’ll do that today.
I’m going to take a little break from quilting and work on a jigsaw puzzle that’s been sitting in the closet for a while.  It’s a mystery puzzle, the kind I like best.  The first mystery is fact that there’s no picture to follow, the second mystery is related to the story that’s included.  One is supposed to read the story, and solve the mystery by completing the puzzle.  I never read the story first, because I can’t remember the details long enough to get the puzzle done (unless it’s a one-dayer, but this one is 1000 pieces, so I anticipated most of this week working on it).
I have chosen my next quilt project – a Joan’s Own pattern called Homespun Harmony.  Joan lives in Alberta and designs and makes quilts using an applique method that finishes the appliques with a satin stitch.  I fell in love with Joan’s quilts several years ago, and have done a few of them – here’s a couple of pics:

This was the first – done at a class at a quilt retreat about 5 years ago – it hangs in our trailer and has become the theme for the decor in it.  The instructor taught a version of Joan’s method of applique.

This one was done at a class at the Craft Show a year or so ago – Joan herself taught this class, and was a delightful instructor. 
This afternoon, we’re going to celebrate with family again as our nephew is hosting an open house at his new (first) home.  That should be fun.
For this week: finish the jigsaw puzzle, get the ESS on-line courses done, do the next step on the mystery quilt, hopefully start a cake decorating class (the last one was cancelled because there weren’t enough students), attend at an ESS course on Saturday, get fabric to start on Christmas stockings – that’s a whole other story I’ll share another time, get fabrics together for the Homespun Harmony quilt.

Have a wonderful week, everyone.                      Peg

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thread giveaway draw

Just a quick post for this minute to let you all know about a draw for $50 worth of thread. You can enter your name here. Good luck!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Wonder of God's Creation

This morning, as I read my devotions, the passage was Psalm 8, and the reading was an encouragement to revel in the wonder of creation. I was reminded of a recent moment in time when God's creation and promises shone brightly in front of me. I'm hoping I can give you a word description that will help you to see what I saw.

DH and I were driving home from Vancouver area, so travelling east, later in the afternoon and the sun was setting behind us. It had been raining quite heavily. In the south we spotted a rainbow, as usual arcing up and disappearing at the top. Then we noticed the rainbow rising up from the north and meeting at the top. It's not often that one sees a complete rainbow. But as if that wasn't miracle enough: a little further down the road, the rainbow was reflected on its west side. Two rainbows, complete arcs, colors as brilliant as if somebody had taken crayons and drawn the arcs and filled them in. The second rainbow was slightly shadowed as if reflected in a still lake, but still each color was individual and distinct.

We marvelled at the site - wondering once again at God's goodness to us individually and to the world as a whole, revelling in the promise of eternity that is contained in the rainbow, and glorying in the fact that God gave us this special few moments in time. My heart was filled with awe and praise for the wonder of the world that God has given us.

May God bless you all, and give you all moments that encourage and uplift you.

Whew!!

Well, I finally have something working - I went back to see if there was another 'gadget' that might work so I could track my starts and finishes for the year - found something, and lo and behold it's there. Thanks to all who gave me suggestions.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A New Look

I got into playing with the look of my blog this morning – not because I had intended to change it – but I did anyway, what do you think?  No, the reason I started playing was because I wanted to add a ‘gadget’ to the side bar – one that would allow me to track my quilt starts and finishes for the year.  Now, I guess I could just simply write these things down in a notebook somewhere, but my efforts at doing that have failed abysmally over the years, so there seemed no point in trying that again.  I have managed to take pictures of projects over the last year, so I have a photo journal, but somehow I thought I needed to have a written journal as well.  So, the playing started.
Past efforts to add ‘gadgets’ to my blog page have not gone well, getting repeated error messages about needing to change the language of the code, or some such thing that really makes no sense to me at all.  I really am wondering if this has something to do with Vista!!  Anyway, after several stabs at trying to add some kind of textable box, and failing, I resorted to using Blog Help.  Well, most of the answers were pure Greek, but one person (thanks Rose – whoever you are) answered in a way that made sense, and was easy enough to follow.  Until I tried to add some actual text into the box that now sits empty on the sidebar of my blog.  Sure I can type in there, but nothing stays in there.  So while I waited for an answer, I did some more exploring and discovered a bunch of nifty stuff in the Blog Layout screens – and – tada – here’s the new look.  There’s a couple more things I may try to do, like add a photo or two somewhere in the header or sidebar, but beyond that, I’m pretty happy with what it looks like right now.  Hope you all like it, too.
Except, of course, for the text boxes that still aren’t working for me.  So, if any of you have any (easy) ways to accomplish this, I’d appreciate the input.  I guess I should go back to Blog Help and see if my latest appeal has netted any responses. 
Have a great weekend, everybody.

Friday, February 6, 2009

More new things

Well, decided to try something else new (to me) this morning. Up to now I’ve been transferring photos from camera to computer via the USB cord provided with the camera. Some time ago, my sister-in-law gave us a card reader for just that purpose, but I never got around to trying it out. So I thought, while I’m learning new computer stuff anyway, why not try this out too. But, I discovered that the card reader doesn’t plug directly into the computer – it requires a cord as well, which I don’t have. So in discussing this with DH, he said there should be a slot on the computer for the card – who knew he knew more about the computer that I do!!! Anyway, we found the slot and plugged the card in (very tentatively because we were afraid of jamming it in the wrong way and we’d lose the card, the pictures and the slot all at the same time). Well, it worked, the pictures opened, they got transferred to the appropriate files, and some of them are below here to share with you all.
I’m sure I told you all that DS arrived from Calgary to bring his dog prior to him leaving for NWT to work. We had a good weekend together and nearby family came to visit, and now Jemma (11 yo black lab) has settled in nicely – only one dog fight!!! Here’s a pic of both dogs:

DS sent a note when he arrived at the mine, telling us to give Jemma a treat for him – he must be missing her terribly, she’s been part of his life for 10 1/2 years.

Quilting progress was made – the first of three dog bed covers is now complete. I’m very happy with this, just need to cut a piece of foam:

I’ve selected companion fabrics to make the next 2 dog beds.  And fabric to make a quilt for our trailer.  And fabric for the mystery quilt that Blue Meadow Designs is doing. This is a table topper from a charm pack, with companion fabrics – this pic only shows some of the charm pack squares.

I still haven’t decided what to do with the anniversary quilt. Having asked for opinions, I now have more than I can handle, so it’s on the back burner for a bit until I make a decision. On Monday, I’ll go back to my quilting group and discuss it again. Hopefully the member with the long-arm machine will be back from her vacation, and will be able to give me some advice as well re the actual quilting.
In the meantime, our week has been very full. DH and I volunteered for Community Driving and for Community Disaster Assistance (Emergency Social Services) – both had meetings on Thursday, so we met the teams for the first time, and are already involved. I’m also looking into volunteering at the local high school library (ulterior motives there – possibly get some current library experience to make me more attractive for a job with the regional library). I also spoke to my former boss, and will be returning to work for the month of March, and then maybe a bit more in the summer. And – I lost another couple of pounds!!! Now I’m almost at my first goal, which will make me a Lifetime Member of WeightWatchers, so won’t have to pay to go to meetings – another bonus to losing weight!! ESS courses will wait until next week, after we get the manuals, but we’re registered on-line so we’re ready to roll.
Goals for the coming week: more dog beds, get the first blocks done of the mystery quilt, attend a team meeting for work, get the dogs to the vet (Jemma needs her thyroid level checked), ESS courses, finally print some of last years’ pictures. That should be enough, don’t you think? Oh, and strata council meeting – more work on the budget for the coming year.
Have a wonderful week everyone, and God bless you all.
Peg