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.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Wish You Enough

This little story appeared in the newsletter at work this week, in the Chaplain’s Thoughts.  My wish for all of you:

A few days ago a friend sent me a moving story about a daughter saying what was likely to be a final goodbye to her father at the airport. They hugged, and the father was overheard to say, "I love you, and I wish you enough."

The daughter was heard to reply, "Dad, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough too, Dad."

I WISH YOU ENOUGH. As the story unfolds, the father shares what was meant by that goodbye.

· I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.


· I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.


· I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

 

· I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.


· I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.


 

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

 

· I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye.

 
                      

May you be blessed this week... with enough!

 

 

Peg

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A new me?

Will this be the new me?  I stepped out on a new adventure last night, taking beginner ballet classes.  It’s long been my dream to learn ballet, and the opportunity came up at our community fitness center – so last night I donned a leotard, and a nice
baggy t-shirt to hide the lumps and bumps and headed out to try this.  Well, in truth I felt more like this:
I just barely made it down the stairs after an hour of plies, tendues and barre work.  Wow, what a work-out!!  Five more weeks – if I survive, I’ll take on another six.  By then maybe I’ll feel like a ballerina, even if I don’t look like one.
Life seems to hold a lot of new twists and turns – the latest twist is that I’m going to take on a full-time work project.  The director at the local hospital has asked me to implement a new program for patient safety – will take about 2-3 months.  This is just the kind of work that I love to do, and I’m really looking forward to this.  I can set my own hours, and possibly work closer to home, or maybe even at home.  We’ll see how things develop.  In the mean-time I have a few more days doing some sick relief, then the project will start about February 8.  The best part – it’s just short-term, so I know when I’m feeling tired that there’s an end in sight.
Today, we’re off to help DS2 and DIL move.  Then this evening we meet with friends-in-law to start planning for a reception for DD and SIL.  Good times, busy times, happy times.  But very little time for quilting – oh,well, will get to it all eventually.
Happy weekend everyone.            Peg

Our new hospital

I got the opportunity yesterday to tour the new emergency department at our local hospital - what a fabulous space. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me as I didn't know that I'd be able to take advantage of the opportunity. But here's a link that shows fairly recent status of the building project. This is going to be a wonderful place for our residents to get the emergency health care that they need. Fundraising is on-going, and the goal has almost been reached. Take a look:
Chilliwack Progress - Hospital expansion nears completion

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Big 30

Hard to believe but my baby is 30 years old today.   He was a surprise then, and continues to surprise throughout his life. 
The surprise on this day?   There were a few.  First, he wasn’t due to arrive yet, and in fact we thought we had 3-4 more weeks to go based on the fact that the first two were 2-4 weeks late in arriving.
We’d made all the arrangements for mid –February, including my mom coming just about then, to have time to visit her friends before settling in to sit with the other two while I was in hospital.  In those days 5-day maternity stays were the norm.  We also had back-up friends just in case something went awry – good thing we did.
DH and I had decided to wallpaper kids’ bedrooms – the best time for that being after they went to bed at night.  So we got going about 8 p.m. and all was going well when the phone rang at midnight.  It was friends announcing the birth of their daughter, about 3 weeks late LOL.  We congratulated them, and said we’d visit in a couple of weeks.  The room got finished, all got cleaned up, and DH and I dropped into bed.
Three hours later, I was suddenly woken out of a sound sleep.  It was apparently almost time!!!  Not in too much of a panic, I had a bath, and finished packing up a suitcase, and phoned the doctor (good thing because it was his day off and he’d been planning on a ski trip), then called a friend who’d agreed to take the kids if mom hadn’t arrived yet, and headed out the door about 6 a.m.
But things were progressing quite rapidly, and for a little bit I wasn’t sure we’d make it to the hospital.   We did, with nurses chastising me for ‘waiting so long’.  Got into the delivery room, and DS2 decided he wasn’t so sure he wanted to be born yet.  So in come the obstetrician and an anesthetist to see what they could do to help things along, the obstetrician and my doctor left the room, I was rolled onto my side – and DS2 changed his mind and decided to face the world after all.  Surprise # 2.
While all the docs were doing their thing in deciding how to handle this delivery, DH was asked to leave the room.  He went down to the cafeteria to have a cup of coffee.  When the baby was born so suddenly, the nurse ran out to the hall to try to find DH, saw him and called ‘come and see your new baby’.  But the man she called to said ‘I don’t think so, my baby was born yesterday’.  It was our friend – the two men were similar build, both with dark beards.  The nurse just said ‘oh, you men with beards all look alike’.  Surprise # 3 – here we thought we’d be visiting their new baby at home, with babies expected about 6 weeks apart, and we were in hospital together.  It sure was nice to have a friend close.
As I said DS2 has continued to surprise us throughout his life with his joy and verve for life.  As a baby he was a chubby little guy who was always smiling.  A few years ago, at the suggestion of a friend, he found an old baby picture, and put himself in the same pose, with the same smile, and gave us these framed.

He grew up to be a tall, slender athlete.  He played pretty well every sport that came along in school, and outside school he was into T-ball, BMX racing, track and field (sprinter/hurdler mostly) and SOCCER.  We’ve become a huge soccer family because of him.  His soccer skills were superb, and he was able to play any position going.  At 16 he played in an international tournament, won a position on the local All-Star team (missed making the provincial team because he was sick on the day of the picks), and at 17 got a chance for a try-out with a team in England.  He refereed during his teen years, and became a requested ref for Cup games.  He’s now a coach, holding his provincial ticket and working toward his national ticket.  He coaches 2 teams, under 14 and under 17 – both teams doing superbly well, and parents and players alike respecting and appreciating his skills and insights.
Scholastically, he was always a little ahead of himself in most areas, assessed at reading at a Grade 12 level when in Grade 6.  The biggest problem was math, but we managed to work through that and he went on to university.  He’s now a social worker, working for the Ministry of Children and Family Development.  He plans to get his Master’s Degree, when his wife is finished with her studies.
Married almost 2 years ago, to this lovely young woman, whom we’ve embraced as another daughter. they are a couple who are committed to God and live to love and serve Him. 
Happy, happy birthday darling son.  We love you and wish all God’s blessings for you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wedding pics

The wedding photographer has finished working through the 3000+ pictures she took (see previous blog : http://piecefulpeg.blogspot.com/2009/12/happy-happy-wedding.html )  and some are posted on her blog.  Check it out:
http://shutterbirdphotography.blogspot.com/2010/01/alina-johnnie.html


Chelsea did an amazing job, and the kids are thrilled with her work.  I can hardly wait to get the CD of all the pics.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Emergency Preparedness

Last evening, a Fraser Valley Emergency Social Services team  hosted an exercise, inviting the teams from the surrounding communities.  The exercise was for Group Lodging.  What is that, you say?  Group Lodging is provision for accommodations and food for large groups of disaster evacuees, in the event that commercial lodging (hotels) is unavailable, or insufficient to meet the need.  The plan was to have as many as possible stay the night.  Because I’m just at the end of a head cold, and DH is just starting in on his – he stayed home, and I went just for a few hours to see what I could learn. 
It was a great exercise – practice in registering evacuees (mostly we just filled out our own forms) and completing a referral form.  There were some practicing Meet and Greet (first person to meet the evacuees at the door, and direct them to the appropriate place according to need), some practicing Logistics (making sure everybody has everything they need), lots of people participating in the setup of the space.  The director was overseeing everything, and one person was designated as Group Lodging Manager.  Just watching the organization was fascinating.

We were at a local Ag-Rec center, using just a part of the building, a space about 15000 square feet.  Registration tables were set up, and the Salvation Army was there with a mobile catering trailer to serve dinner.
The spaces for cots were outlined on the floor – 40 square feet per cot – amazing how small that space is when you think that it may be your only space to ‘live’ in for a few days.  But oh, how thankful one would be to have shelter if actually evacuated from your home.  Interestingly, the cots were little ‘tents’.  This way, when the folks crawled into bed at the end of the evening, they could have complete privacy – there was a certain amount of assurance in knowing that.

In this area, there’s almost always consideration of spring flooding.   Last year there were numerous homes evacuated because of it, and ESS was right there to help get folks into temporary accommodation, and fed and clothed as needed.  They didn’t need to set up Group Lodging then, but this year, with the Olympics in Vancouver, commercial lodging will be virtually non-existent for a few weeks in February.  So, if there are evacuations for any reason, Group Lodging would be the answer.
Besides the experience of observing and participating in the exercise, learning more about what I can do as an ESS member, and being better prepared in the event of evacuations in our community, I got a great sense of comfort knowing that ESS is there.  ESS teams all over BC are in need of qualified, trained workers (training provided) – if you’re reading this and interested at all, simply contact your local  Community Services and they can direct you.
This exercise also gave me a little glimpse into some of what Disaster Relief teams do when they travel to other countries – and with the people of Haiti experiencing their disaster right now, I know that many, many are there and/or headed there to give them the assistance they need.  My prayers are with the Haitians and with the relief folks as they struggle through getting their lives back to something like normal.
On a personal level, I thought I was prepared for an evacuation, with an emergency box all set up, and a list of what to add if we ever got told to evacuate.  But some of our discussion last night highlighted the fact that I’m not nearly as prepared as I could and should be – what if our house caught fire while we weren’t at home, and we couldn’t return to it to get that emergency box.  So now to work through setting up a grab-and-go bag that will meet the needs in that event, probably to keep in the car.
The question of the day is   ‘ARE YOU PREPARED?’
Peg

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Good Reads

This morning I have been inspired by other readers. Reading has been my passion since I learned to read at about 5 years old. As a child I’d often have 3 and 4 books on the go at one time, waking up early in the morning to have quiet time on my own before my brothers and sisters got up, going to bed early at night so that I could read before my sister said it was time for ‘lights out’.
As I’m getting older, I find I can’t keep track of more than one book at a time, and reading often puts me to sleep (except when I want it to LOL). Right now I’m trying to read The Quincunx by Charles Palliser, a Canadian bestseller, and loaned by a friend. It’s written in Dickensian style, which makes it hard going, but is a fascinating story so far.

For Christmas we got a gift-card to Chapters from our DD and SIL - we made a trip out to shop a couple of days ago and picked up a couple of high recommends. The first I'd heard about a long time ago, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - a story of children so neglected by their parents they have to raise themselves. The prequel has also been written, titled Half-Broke Horses, which we also want to read when we get this one done. The other book we bought is Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafon set in post-war Spain, promises to be a good read.

Anna at Quiltmom’s Journey listed a number of novels she’s reading, some of which I’ve read, but many that I’ve not even heard of before, some with quilting themes to them – I’ll be trying some of those out as soon as I can get my hands on them. I really enjoy mysteries, and especially those with some kind of needlework (quilting, cross stitch, knitting) basis because I can relate to the characters. Two of my favorite authors are Earlene Fowler and Jennifer Chiaverini – must check to see when their next new books are coming out. My sister is a knitter and has shared on Facebook recently a book that she read with a knitting theme, Fleece Navidad – want to try that one out too.

Lovella at What Matters Most has inspired me to get back into reading my Bible on a regular basis. I have several Bibles, many of them written in, underlined, highlighted through the years of Bible studies and Sunday School classes, and put back on the shelf when they got too full to add anymore to them, or started to fall apart, but saved so the thoughts and inspirations and admonitions could be reviewed every now and again. My current Bible sits on the table next to my favorite reading spot, just waiting for me to open it. Sadly, I have to say that it’s been rather neglected the last while – just sheer laziness on my part. Hopefully Lovella’s inspiration will get me started and keep me going – learning from and loving God’s Word again.
So here’s to good reading – what are your favorite books?
Peg

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Small, Small World

It’s come to home what a very small world we live in.
Last summer our dear, dear friends added a daughter-in-law to their family.  Just before Christmas our friends received an e-mail story from this new daughter-in-law, about dogs.  Our friends decided to forward it to DH’s brother and sister-in-law.  In forwarding it our friends neglected to delete the list of original recipients of the message.  DH’s brother was looking at the message and recognized a couple of names in the list of recipients – a cousin, and the cousin’s daughter.  He asked us – how does this young woman know our relatives? 
So we proceeded to get in touch with the original sender, via Facebook where we have been friends for a while already.  The answer came as a real surprise – DH’s cousin is our friends’ daughter-in-law’s stepfather.  The daughter-in-law and the cousin’s daughter had gone to school together, been in the same swim club – and eventually their parents made a match.

 So the branches of our family tree are ever spreading, and include some surprises along the way.  Who knows who we might be related to, distantly or otherwise.  I’ve always found genealogy fascinating, and did some extensive studies a few years ago, but always in the past – it never occurred to me that I should look at the current generations to see where our connections may be.
The idea of six degrees of separation, in this instance, has shrunk to about three degrees, if I calculate correctly.  It makes me wonder – who else might I be connected, if not directly or indirectly related to?
Peg

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy belated

In the middle of the Christmas rush, a birthday was celebrated.  I didn’t forget, remembered to get a card, organize a gift, send it out, phone on the day, even posted a note on Facebook.  What I didn’t get around to doing was to honor this special person here on my blog.

The special person?  Our DSIL.

Two days before Christmas was DSIL’s day.  We’ve only really known him for about three years, even though the two of them went to high school together, back about 15 years ago.  But we’ve come to appreciate this young man, and continue to grow in our admiration of and love for him.
He’s a wonderfully loving and fun soul,  with myriads of friends, some of whom we got to meet and/or know better when we celebrated the wedding in Dominican Republic in November.  He’s kind and generous and caring – and loves our DD with all his heart.  He’s traveled much of the world already, and loves to surf.  He’s a sports nut, and avidly follows hockey and football.  He trained as a mechanic a few years ago, so we know that he can keep their cars running.  He’s handy around the house, turning his hand to painting, and fixing, and carpentry, and drywall, and plumbing – not hesitating to try to figure out what needs to be done.  He’s a hard worker, and especially loves to be out in the yard, and even in the dry Calgary weather, he manages to produce wonderful tomatoes – which he makes into salsa (yes, he’s even good in the kitchen).  In this past year he completed his training as an electrical engineer, with top marks all the way.  His job isn’t quite where he wants to be yet, but we have every confidence that he’ll find just the right one – in the right time.

So here’s to you, DSIL, may your coming year bring you all the joy and love and hope that you could wish for.

We’ve lost our radishes

And along with them, maybe our marbles too.
A couple of days ago, DH made a wonderful salad for supper.  Lettuce, green onion, cucumber, peppers, tomatoes – and radishes.  When we buy bunches of radishes, we immediately clean them, remove the greens, and store them in a plastic container.  So when he made the salad, the plastic container came out of the fridge, radishes sliced into the salad – but apparently the container, which he swears he didn’t empty, didn’t find its way back into the fridge.  When DH reached for the container to get some radishes for a sandwich (not sure why he likes that, but he does), it just wasn’t there.

We’ve looked everywhere – fridges, freezers, all the kitchen cupboards, the pantry, the dishwasher and the garbage too.  Nothing, not a radish, not a hint of a radish.
How do these things happen?  Is there a radish gremlin?  When things went missing in past years, we could always manage somehow to blame the kids – they must have walked off with it, or eaten it, or dropped it, or loaned it out, or…..  But now we have no-one to blame but ourselves.
So, the answer is – we’ve lost our marbles.  Those little things that are supposed to keep us organized and remind us what we’re doing and where we were going and why we were going there.  Ever had that happen – you start out to do something, enter a room, and then wonder why you’re there? 
A couple of jokes come to mind:
Three elderly men sitting at a table – one says I think I’ll go take a bath, and heads upstairs.  He gets upstairs, gets the bath run and then calls out, ‘Was I going to take a bath or have I already finished?’  The second man says, ‘Oh, for heaven’s sake, I guess I’ll have to go help him’, and starts up the stairs.  Part way up, he calls, ‘Was I going up stairs or coming down?’  The third man, in exasperation, says, ‘I sure hope I never get as forgetful as those two,’ and knocks on the wooden table.  Then he asks, ‘Now who could that be at the door?’

The other story is about an elderly couple.  It appears they found they were getting more and more forgetful, and went to talk to their doctor about it, to see what they could do.  The doctor suggested that they write notes as reminders.  The couple happily went home, resolved to keep track of themselves.  One evening, the husband says, ‘I’m going into the kitchen to get some ice cream, would you like some?’  The wife responds, ‘That sounds good, how about adding some nuts to that?’  The husband says that would be no problem, and the wife suggests he write this down so he won’t forget.  The husband assures her he won’t forget and starts toward the kitchen.  The wife then asks him to add some chocolate sauce to her ice cream, to which he happily agrees, and again declines to write this down, assuring her he won’t forget.  Then the wife asks for some whipped cream, too – with the same response: ‘It’s okay, I won’t forget – ice cream with nuts, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream.’  Several minutes later, the husband returns with a plate of bacon and eggs – to which the wife responds,’ Oh, for pities’ sake, I knew you’d forget my toast.’

It seems to be happening more and more frequently in our lives, getting to a place, and having to back track to remember why we were there and what we planned to do – or we lose the radishes.  It’s a sign of something, but I refuse to believe it’s old age.  I think it’s just that we have so many things in our heads, that we just can’t sift through them all to figure out what we’re doing and where we’re going – or where we put the radishes.  When the day comes that we lose our way home, I guess then we’ll have to admit defeat, but until then we’ll continue to back-track, write notes, rely on others to help us out – and search for the radishes.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

QuiPs, UFOs and WiPs

What is it about a New Year that makes one want to clean up all the leftovers from the last year – not just the turkey dinner, but all the projects and ideas sprung throughout the past year that somehow never got finished, or maybe not even off the ground.
As much as I don’t practice making resolutions, I still find myself making plans to tackle these things: Quilts in Progress, UnFinished Objects, Works in Progress.
QuiPs:  well, they always seem to be there, don’t they?  There’s Homespun Harmony – begun in January 2009 as a fun project – set aside in the tyranny of the urgent quilts that had deadlines.









And the plans to make a quilt for DS1 –


One other in the works is a joint project that will be a surprise for a little later in the year (the last secret, I promise, at least for this moment).
UFOs – I don’t tend to have a lot of those around, unless I’m currently working on it – the only one I can think of is this cross-stitch that I started 2 1/2 years ago:



 We visited the studio of Marion Rose Keay a few years ago to buy a print of one of her folk-art paintings.  She gave me a couple of pictures of paintings that she no longer had prints left, with permission to do quilts or cross-stitch designs.  The one of Kilby Farm (close to where we live) I transferred into a cross-stitch pattern, and when done will be about 28x18.5 – here it is about a quarter done.  This got started in July 07, and got attention for about 6 months, didn’t get picked up at all in 08, and then got about a month’s work done in 09.  It’s out again for evening work when not doing anything else.

WiPs – what can I say?  There’s always the house.  Somehow in January I always get a redecorating bug.  Not that the house needs redecorating, but it seems this is when I start thinking of the changes/additions I’d like to make.  Some get done, some don’t.  The biggest project I’d like to tackle soon is the master bedroom – six years in this house, and I’ve finally decided what color I’d like this room to be.  So maybe??

Actually I’m the biggest WiP in my life – there’s always room for change and improvement, and I trust God will show me what needs to be done in relationships and attitude.  Much of last year I concentrated on weight loss, and did accomplish good strides to my ultimate goal – maybe another 10 pounds this year??  Anything is possible.
So here’s to the non-resolution of trying to clean up some of the leftovers from 2009.                             Peg

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year’s Wishes

A big "Thank You" to each and everyone of you, for the impact you had on my life this year. Especially for being a friend.......without you, I'm sure that 2009 would not have been the year it has been.


May 2010 mark the beginning of a Tidal Wave of Love, Happiness and Bright Futures.
And to those who need someone special, may you find that true love.
To those who need money, may your finances overflow

To those who need a special bequest, may you find it this year

To those who need caring, may you find a good heart

 

Wishing you all you can stand in good health, happiness,  prosperity and love in all your relations.

GOD BLESS

ALL THE BEST IN 2010

Retrospect and Predictions

A New Year!!  Wishing for all of you out there the very best in the coming year.
The last few days everywhere I look, I see various themes on the year in retrospect.  In looking back at our year, it’s been a very full one with so very many times of joy and fulfillment.  This mosaic covers the highlights:

January found us in Calgary, having spent Christmas with our children there, then staying to house/dog/cat sit for DD her then partner as they went on a winter vacation – memories of my childhood in Calgary
February was our first (and only so far) experience helping out with Emergency Social Services after an apartment fire in our area – making new memories
March we bought what I call our miracle car – a lovely mini-van at an extremely good price – and memories of vehicles down the years that have served us so well as we chauffeured children and friends to ….  soccer, track, dance, school ….
April DD and partner got engaged, which began the many months of planning for their November wedding – and memories of our and other family weddings
May was the first of the engagement/wedding celebrations, surprisingly meeting old high school friends – and memories of lots of other celebrations
June was our big RV trip, to Bella Coola, and driving down one of the scariest roads I’ve ever encountered, but seeing some beautiful country never before seen – and memories of other trips around our beautiful province
July we were back at Highland Games, as has been our regular summer pastime for the last 10 years or so – and memories of all the good times with the athletes and friends, and watching our DS1 competing
August was the big family reunion to celebrate my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary – and so very many memories of wonderful family times over the years
September and another RV trip, this time to the Sunshine Coast -and reliving memories of a trip with our children, and remembering the long-running TV show The Beachcombers shot in this area
October was the annual fall hunting trip – actually my time to get caught up on fall cleaning while the guys enjoyed the outdoors – and memories of hunting with my father as a child
November was wedding month, the trip of course creating its own new memories – but bringing back memories of other trips to warm climates during the cold winter months
December and we’re back at Christmas, enjoying good times and wonderful fellowship with family and friends – and memories of other Christmases and the parents and grandparents who made those times so perfect

Along with the retrospects of the past year, there are also the predictions for the coming year.  In a trip to visit my parents over the holiday, we were glancing through a magazine they had laying on their coffee table.  Being a January issue, there was a large spread of a new horoscope column.  I rarely look at horoscopes, not being a huge believer that anybody can predict accurately for millions of people born in any given time-frame.  But, here it was and we were a little intrigued to see what was said about our personalities – not too far off actually.  Then there was, of course the prediction for the year; apparently I have ideas floating in the back of my mind that I need to act on.  Sure wish I knew what those ideas are.  But when I look to the coming year, I simply have decided to enjoy each moment to the fullest, and merrily tackle any projects and challenges that come my way.
New Years’ Resolutions are not a part of my usual New Year celebrations, having learned many years ago that if I actually do remember the resolutions, they usually fall apart before the first month is out.  I’m much better at waking up in the morning and deciding what to do for that day, and hoping that I can actually accomplish everything I set out to do.  That just means that the next day, I can start all over again – and attempt to do the  things that I didn’t get done the day before.  When I started blogging a little over a year ago, I tried setting weekly goals and sharing them with you (I guess a kind of resolution), but that didn’t last as is usual with my resolutions.  So this year, I’m concentrating on not making any promises – to myself or to anybody else.  That way nobody is disappointed.
So here’s wishing all of you that you find the year to be everything you hope (and resolve) it to be.
Peg