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, March 28, 2009

Bits and Pieces

Wow, can’t believe it’s been 12 days since I got to sharing with you all.  Days have been jam-packed – work, work and more work – now I know for sure why I needed to slow down.  The month of relieving at almost full time is over – whew! – and I can get back to my real life.  I will be working some, but not near as much as this month, and I’m tired and ready to stay home again for a while – well at least a day or two. 
Not much in the way of quilting has been accomplished.  I picked away at Homespun Harmony, making a major error on one of the panels, which will have to be redone from scratch, and which made me a little discouraged and less inclined to work on it.  But, I’ll get over that soon. 

My dear sister, a chief librarian in a small town in northern BC, sent me a bunch of quilting books.  The library had received a large donation, she picked out a few to put on the shelves, and re-donated them to me!!  What a treasure!!  This is a true mother-lode of quilting knowledge and ideas.  There are books on how-to, books on different types of blocks, books of quilt patterns, books of projects, by authors like Carol Doak, Cori Meyers and Myra Harder, Lynnette Jennings, Debbie Mumm and many more – unbelievable – 20 in all.  Now there was inspiration – wish I could do them all!! 
Our involvement with Emergency Social Services has taken us to two more courses in the last week – this is fascinating stuff, and we’re getting to know some of our counterparts in other communities.  I have one more course (about paperwork) next month – DH has chosen not to get into that aspect if he can at all avoid it – and then there’s no more until the fall.  But at least now we have the basics if there’s an emergency we need to respond to.
We did find time to go to the RV Show with friends, and got all excited about the camping season coming up – we’ve booked a spot for Easter weekend for our first trip out.  DH’s brother and sister-in-law bought a new trailer this winter, and they’re anxious to get out and test it, so we’re going together.  Just getting out in the trailer and sitting around a campfire and visiting with the folks we meet and simply relaxing for a few days – almost more than anyone could ask out of life!
Oh, and I did manage to drop a couple more pounds –not far to go now!!
So, on to the day – need to do some banking, and then to watch DS#2 coach his soccer team through a Cup game, then some grocery shopping, maybe a stop at Costco on our way to dinner at friends in Burnaby.  And on to the week – work on Sunday evening (the only day this week), time I hope finally to actually work on some quilting and make progress, ESS AGM, the Sewing and Crafts Show next weekend (oh, goodie, a chance to learn and shop!), and a little more weight loss (hope to reach my goal this week).
All of you have a wonderful week – take care and God bless!
Peg

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saying Goodbye

After 2 weeks of being ill, the time came when we had to say goodbye to our beloved Jemma.  A 12-year-old black lab, she’d been part of the family since she was just over a year.  Our DS #1 adopted her from a young man who had found he didn’t have time to spend with her, and she had started spending her alone time chewing furniture and shoes and anything else she could find.  We built her a run and a dog house that she resisted staying in with all her efforts, and we soon learned that a 6-foot fence was only high enough if she couldn’t find a launching pad to get over it!!  She was energetic and enthusiastic, could bounce straight up about 3 feet off the ground, would do just about anything to please her master.  She and DS #1 bonded immediately, and went just about everywhere together.  Her only fear was loud noises, like fireworks or cannons – but out on the fields hunting, she didn’t even flinch at the sound of guns.  She was more than proud to bring back a duck or goose – and even once a muskrat squirming in her mouth.

Jemma hunting

This picture was taken just last fall.

DD and DS #2 both loved her dearly, and took many opportunities to take her to a lake or river just for the sheer joy of watching her love of life.  We all were available at any time to take her for a few days when DS#1 had to be away.

She got into a couple of scrapes, once with a car, in her youth, with subsequent visits to the vet to get fixed, but she bounced back quickly from those setbacks.  She developed a thyroid condition at about 8 years, and before we got the diagnosis, we were wondering if she was approaching the end of her life.  But those little purple pills were marvelous and gave her back her youthfulness.

When DS #1 got a job in NWT, and could be home only 2 weeks out of every 4, we had long discussions about where it was best for Jemma to live.  So on January 29, she became part of our household.  She was slowing down somewhat, but still bounced when she heard the work ‘walk’.  She settled in quite nicely, not pining too much for her master. 

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When she started to vomit during the night, we wasted little time getting her checked.  It took another week before we had the diagnosis – an infiltrating tumor of stomach/small intestine.  In that 2 weeks, she lost 2 pounds.  Over the next 2 days, we found she struggled to make it home at the end of her walks, even when we cut it in half.  Then she started vomiting blood, and we knew we couldn’t let her go on like that. 

We said goodbye to Jemma last Saturday, knowing she’s now not hurting or confused any longer, and hopefully getting to know her former buddies again.

Below is a picture taken a few years ago of the dogs in our lives at the time – none of them are with us any longer, but remain dear in all of our hearts.

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Jemma you’ll recognize.  Coda, the golden retriever, passed away last year with a lymphoma – she was 12.  Eby, the chocolate puppy was about a year old in this picture – a few months later she escaped the yard (jumped the fence) and was hit by a car.  Sophie, the basset suddenly suffered kidney failure at 4 years old and went within 24 hours.

So to all of you with beloved pets – wishing long lives and fond memories.

Peg

Friday, March 13, 2009

Emotions – who wants them?

It’s been a very emotional week here, and I’m feeling exhausted. Last night I fell asleep in the chair before ‘Bones’ was finished, so landed in bed at 9:30, consequently was awake at 4:30 never to find sleep again. I read to try to fill the time until the dogs woke up, then got onto the computer to catch up with email, do this blogging, and then I’ll go on to finish up some strata work and do my weekly personal and strata banking.
But, back to emotions. Right now, I’d like somebody else to take over and experience this all for me. The week started out with finally getting the cabinet doors on our old entertainment center – pleasure, relief (that we didn’t have to find a different cabinet-maker), satisfaction.

Then we went car-shopping – stress, anticipation, wariness (dealing with car salesmen). We found a few vehicles that could fit the bill in our price range, but wanted to look a little more to make sure we made the best purchase. We were even prepared to talk to the saleswoman at the local GM dealer to look for just the right vehicle for us. Got home Friday evening and opened the newspaper and there it was – a 2009 Uplander for nearly $10000 off list price. We phoned Ingrid at GM who assured us this was not false advertising, and we made an appointment to go in Saturday morning for a test drive. We fell in love (more emotion) – lots of room, peppy, reasonable gas mileage, excellent price, full warranty, and a pair of Olympic tickets to boot! We couldn’t pass it up – and now we were really excited! We picked it up Monday morning, after dealing with the money and insurance – tension, indecision, relief – and started driving it – now I feel resentment at every mile the odometer clicks! Wouldn’t it be nice to have a vehicle that stayed at 34 km for at least a day or two? They also gave us free On-star for a year – so we had the fun of experimenting with that – I’ve made 3 phone calls hands free and love that!!

In the meantime, Jemma the lab has still been not feeling well. On Tuesday she tossed both breakfast and lunch, so we called the vet to make an appointment for an ultrasound (all other tests and x-rays hadn’t given us a definitive diagnosis). This created more stress, anxiety, indecision. Wednesday afternoon, we got the word – she has an infiltrating (versus a mass-type) tumor of her stomach/small intestine. There was some relief at having an answer, but then came more indecision and anxiety, and grief. We broke the news to our DS, who actually is her owner but working in NWT for a few months right now – more crying and grief. We’ve been told we probably only have a few weeks, and DS will be here in a few days – so excitement to see him, anxiety at knowing he’ll be travelling, stress at knowing we all have to make a decision for Jemma. Then there was the stress of breaking the news to the rest of the family. The tears are what has probably been the most exhausting – thank the Lord for a wonderful husband and friends who are willing to listen to me blubber.

This is a picture shortly after Jemma came to stay with us – alongside our basset, Sadie. Aren’t they both beautiful? Jemma has lost 2 pounds in the last 2 weeks, tires very quickly, but has not vomited for the last 2 days. Not sure if that’s good or bad, but we’ll take what we can get.

Work has gone okay – and I’ve been able to work out a regular schedule with the team, so that I know what I’m doing, and still have the freedom, being casual, to take off whatever time I need to be able to carry on with my real life.

The strata council met on Tuesday to finalize the budget and plans for the AGM coming up next month, so there’s a lot of relief around having that process completed. Now just to get the paperwork done up in preparation for the AGM – one of my goals for today.

Weight – down another pound and a bit – satisfaction and relief and joy and anticipation (of soon reaching my goal).

Consequently – once again – no quilting has been done at all. My sister has just challenged me to make a quilt using one of her mandalas (concentric diagram having ritual and spiritual significance in Buddhism and Hinduism) as a pattern, so that’s coming. The t-shirt quilt won’t be ready for another 3-4 weeks, and then the quilter will take the anniversary quilt. Slowly the family have been sending me their signatures and messages that will eventually be appliqued on the quilt – so some progress is being made. The quilting group have apparently chosen a Trip-Around-the-World pattern to do as a group challenge, making a scrappy quilt, so once I get that I’ll have a project to start on. A friend wants some table runners done, so there’s another project. It’s certainly not for lack of projects that I’ve not been at the machine – just lack of time!!
So forward to another week – I think I’ll not plan on too many goals and just take it a day at a time. But there is the ever-present plan to lose some weight, and now to get ready for DS to arrive later in the week, and work 5 shifts this week. So much for not setting goals!!
Have a wonderful weekend, everybody – God bless you all!
Peg

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Different Week

Well, no quilting got done. When I finished work last fall I wondered what I was going to do with myself, and was amazed at how quickly I adjusted to doing what I want when I want for how long I want, with very little to interfere with my selfishness. I had some moments, increasing briefer and less frequent, when I was restless and bored, but overall the last few months have flown by. I've generally been able to satisfy my need to accomplish something concrete every day.

But then reality hit this week with return to work. I knew I would return in the spring, and Laurel's vacation this month was the perfect time - three evening shifts a week, no problem, I'd still have most of the day to do whatever I wanted. Right? Not!! By the time I got through a little housework, exercises, walking dogs, keeping up with email, the morning was gone and I had no inclination to start a project that would be interrupted with work. And yesterday, well - exercising in the early morning, clean house with DH, walk dogs, go to Weight Watchers (down a little bit more PTL), meet with a co-council member to work on the strata budget, ESS meeting in the evening - there was hardly time to take a deep breath, let alone sit down to a hobby, any hobby, just something just for fun.

So now it's Friday - and we need to go out to do some car shopping - after the cabinet maker comes with the new doors to our entertainment-center-turned-liquor-cabinet, and the alarm folks come to update the system, and the dogs get walked, and ... So it looks like there won't be any quilting again today. I will stop at the quilter to see if she'll take the Anniversary quilt soon, and check on the progress of the t-shirt quilt.

On top of that, Jemma (our son's lab) has been sick this week. She started with a routine of waking up at 4:30 a.m. to throw up - visits to the vet, lab work, x-rays have not resulted in a definitive diagnosis. She mostly looks good, and happy, and eats well - but we have her on Zantac, Peptobismol, a GI diet and four small feedings a day. We can only hope she resolves this on her own and soon!!! This morning she decided to change up the routine a bit and woke us at 1:30 and 3:30.

It's amazing but last week's goals were mostly met - got the strata budget worked out, and lost a little weight, and as I said before, hope to get the Anniversary quilt taken care of today, so it's not really been a bad week. But there was no quilting time, so Homespun Harmony is on hold for another day or two.

So forward to another week - goals are minimal as I'm not sure there's any point in making them right now - but here we go: weight loss (at least that doesn't take too much extra time), get Jemma well again, I think I'll leave it at that for now - if I accomplish more it'll be a wonder.