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, 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