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.

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