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, February 28, 2010

Celebrating 100 – and a Giveaway

100 posts!!!  Hard to believe that I’ve arrived at this milestone.  My first post appeared Dec. 7, 2008, inspired by friends and a sister, intended to share about retired life, but mostly focusing on quilting.  Lately the quilting hasn’t been too prevalent as other interests/hobbies/work seem to have taken over.  I am getting back to it, and hope to share more of that with you again.
But I digress – 15 months of blogging, and so many new friends, so much learned, so very inspired.  A little while ago I added a gadget to see where some of these friends are:  Canada and US makes sense, but then there’s Norway, France, Great Britain, Australia, India, Netherlands, Russia and a few others.  That’s amazing to me.  Anybody that’s commented on my blogs, I’ve begun to follow, and you can see them (and a lot of others) on the sidebar.
I want to celebrate this milestone, by sharing a little something, so I’ve decided to do a give-away.  If you’d like to participate, just comment and tell me your favorite color.  I’ll draw on March 14 and announce the winner then. 
Yesterday I attended a Strip Club.  No, not strippers, male or female of any kind!!!   A local quilt shop, and a dear friend, host ‘clubs’ a few times a moth – yesterday’s was on building quilts from strips.  At the end of the class, they announced a challenge, related to the Olympics. 
Here’ a picture of the block they want us to do, in these colors (red and white for Canada, gold for medals) and add some personal touches related to the Olympics.  I have some ideas around that, so bought the fabric, and will try to get started this week. 001 (3)

They also announced a Row-by-Row club – a kind of BOM, but doing rows each month for a wall hanging, again that reflects Canada.  This is the first few rows:
003 (2) I won’t be able to attend the classes for the first while, but I can purchase the kits and instructions.  This starts next week.
 
So, some quilting work cut out for me (no pun intended).
I look forward to hearing from you all.    Happy days!!!

A Ballerina? Well, maybe a Wannabe

Five weeks into ballet classes – lots of fun and laughs, good exercise, not much pain anymore.  But a ballerina I am not!!  Watching myself in the mirror trying to pirouette – oh my – there are times when I feel 2 years old again, just barely able to keep myself on my feet!

Last class, we were reviewing steps and the names of the steps, all French words.  A classmate commented that ballet actually originated in Italy, and that got me wondering about the history of ballet and the actual meanings of the words used to describe the steps.  So here’s a little bit of what I’ve learned:

Ballet did indeed originate in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, being originally performed in large chambers with the audience in tiered seats on three sides of the dance floor.  It further developed as a concert dance form in France, England, and Russia.  It is primarily performed to classical music.

This type of dance is very hard to achieve (and I can attest to that), and is known for using every muscle of the body – and let me tell you, my body certainly feels it!  Even though it is technically a performance art, sports critics consider it more complicated than any other sport.

Here’s a short video clip of real ballet dancers.

 

Ballet words – I’ve learned so many in the last few weeks, many that I’d heard before, but now they actually mean something.

Arabesque – the real meaning: position of the body, in profile, supported on one leg,  with the other leg extended behind and at right angles to it, and the arms held in various harmonious positions creating the longest possible line from the fingertips to the toes.  It should look like this:arabesque For me, it means hanging onto the barre for dear life, extending one foot behind me at about, maybe, a 30 degree angle, aching back, trembling thighs, foot on the floor shifting, trying to find a balance.

Barre – the real meaning: The horizontal wooden bar fastened to the walls of the ballet classroom or rehearsal hall which the dancer touches occasionally.  For me, a lifeline to which I clutch desperately, has prevented a broken hip more times than I can count.

Pirouette – the real meaning: Whirl or spin. A complete turn of the body on one foot, on point or demi-pointe.  The body must be well centered over the supporting leg with the back held strongly and the hips and shoulders aligned. The force of momentum is furnished by the arms, which remain immobile during the turn. The head is the last to move as the body turns away from the spectator and the first to arrive as the body comes around to the spectator, with the eyes focused at a definite point which must be at eye level.  Oh my goodness – if I could get everything aligned I might be able to get turned around once.  As it is:  I get into starting position, then turn about 1/4, then hop the rest of the way around until I’m facing front, landing with feet splayed and arms any old place, to quickly try to recover into a reasonable position before the instructor sees what I’ve done – eyes CLOSED the whole time!!

Plie – the real meaning:  bending of the knee or knees. This is an exercise to render the joints and muscles soft and pliable and the tendons flexible and elastic, and to develop a sense of balance. There are two principal pliés: grand plié or full bending of the knees (the knees should be bent until the thighs are horizontal) and demi-plié or half-bending of the knees.  The bending movement should be gradual and free from jerks, and the knees should be at least half-bent before the heels are allowed to rise.  All demi-pliés are done without lifting the heels from the ground.  Here’s what demi- and grand plies should look like:

 

For me: a squat, heels up the whole time, thighs at maybe 20 degrees (even for a grand) and trembling all the way, one arm awkwardly out trying to maintain a balance, while the other hand grabs onto the bar so I don’t land on my keister.

Tendu – the real meaning: an exercise to force the insteps well outward. The working foot slides from the first or fifth position to the second or fourth position without lifting the toe from the ground. Both knees must be kept straight. When the foot reaches the position pointe tendue, it then returns to the first or fifth position.  For me: sticking my toe out in some kind of an approximation of pointing, then hopping around clutching my foot trying to stretch out the cramp.

As hilarious as it is when I’m trying to do all of this, I certainly come away from class knowing that I’ve exercised well, at least as well as I can given the fact that I’ve never been an athlete and I’m old!!  I have an exercise routine to carry me through the week (doing this desperately so that Friday night classes don’t hurt too much), and I’m enjoying the classes and the company.  In the end, when I’m at home with no mirror, I do at least feel graceful while I’m doing this – and I’m having fun. 

Hoping that you find the fun in whatever you do.   Happy weekend!             Peg

Friday, February 26, 2010

Little Beauty

This little beauty came to work this week:
Bentley
Bentley is 10 weeks old, new to his owners, and needs somebody to make sure he gets outside on a regular basis, so on Wednesday he got to accompany his owner to work.  He slept most of the day, as puppies are wont to do, but when he was up he was very happy to show us all how much he’d learned at his obedience classes.  After I snapped the second pic of him sitting, he discovered there was a bright light somewhere and came to explore.  He certainly lightened the atmosphere around the office where I was working, and brought out all of the mother-love in the ladies!
One other pic from this week – I decided a few weeks ago to participate in the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge which you can find described here.  Finally last weekend, I got started, and it all went so well, I got my 12 finished in no time! 
001
Nothing fancy, but used up a bunch of kids’ fabrics that I had on hand.  A friend has decided to join in on this, so I’ll keep them for a bit to send them all together to the quilt shop.
How has your week been?  Have a wonderful weekend.
Peg

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Tribute to Canada

This appeared on my Facebook Home page this morning.  It is the most amazing tribute to Canada and certainly increased my pride in this wonderful country in which we live.  From the Atlantic to the Pacific,  from the Arctic Circle to the Great Lake waters – this land was made for you and me.  There is no place like Canada, and our history and relationships with the rest of the world certainly prove us to be a people who love and support and care for our world.

Thank you Tom Brokaw.                  Everybody enjoy – and wave those flags, Canada deserves your patriotism.

 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Any Followers out There?

This is a picture from DD's wedding - the wedding party following the leader - so much fun!!!

I'm a follower.  Everytime I discover a new and interesting blog, I 'follow' it.  There are so many fascinating and wonderful bloggers out there, with so much inspiration and ideas that I just can't resist.  Most of them have this little gadget on their blog page that I could click on and, voila, I'm a follower.  A little while ago, I added a little gadget to see where my visitors are from, and found they're all over the world.  That's incredible!  So I thought, maybe some of those folks would find it easier to connect if I had a little follower gadget on my blog page.  So it's there on the side-bar - if anybody is interested. 

If you've visited, but not connected with a comment, I'd love to know who you are, where you're from, how you found me, what we have in common.

Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend.    See you in blogger-land                      Peg

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A quick hello

It’s been a while, sorry not to have kept up better with all of you.  I have been reading blogs and sending the occasional comment, but not getting to sit down and keep you all up with goings-on here. 
The temporary job has begun – sitting in front of a computer for hours at a time, just organizing and learning and gathering data and preparing for training sessions.  All will be finished about mid-April, jut in time to take a short vacation with our trailer.
In the meantime – ballet lessons are going okay, at least now I can walk without extreme pain, and I have some exercises to do to try to get/keep in shape.  But when I try to do a pirouette, I’m lucky to get 1/2 way around.  It’s actually quite funny watching this dumpy little body in the mirror trying to act like a lithe, graceful ballerina.  The exercise is good, and will serve me well in keeping up with an exercise program, because I really do enjoy dancing in any form, and love the things that I’m learning.
Valentine’s Day has come and gone – I came home from work on the Friday before to this:
003 (3) Aren’t they gorgeous?  DH knows I’m not really a pink person and chose very carefully  (actually the ‘pink’ flowers are more of a salmon-coral color).  He also managed to get me some favorite chocolates, and cooked a wonderful brunch for us.  Aaah – there’s nothing like love.
Also, the Olympics have started just down the highway a bit – we’ve never been huge fans, and just kind of keep up with Canada’s medal winning through the news – and are avoiding heading into the city during these weeks.  But patriotism and pride in Canada  is all around us, and we’re certainly sharing in those feelings.
So after this little break, and the chance to touch bases with you all, it’s back to the grindstone.  The weather outside is delightful, so I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to walk back and forth to the office.                    Talk to you all soon.

Blessings          Peg

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Catch up thoughts

Well, it’s been a full week, with moving DS2 and DIL, beginning planning for a wedding reception, full-time work and a few insurance medical appointments, a visit with friends while the two men went to suss out a couple of reno jobs they’re going to take on, Bible study, and an ESS course today.
Not much time to fit in anything else like quilting or cross-stitching, or ….
Here’s a couple of photos:

100_5534 This is DS2 on his birthday 2 weeks ago – Sadie just adores him, as do we all!!
mosaic2aa9f4968a69e894e5306f9903b0bbbe7190ac4d It was amazing to watch DS2 drive this huge truck, backing it up too!!!   A whole house in one truck – made the move much easier.

In the meantime DH made this little beauty for his brother and sister-in-law:
012
Valentine’s is coming – and I need to get out some decorations to commemorate, starting with taking the snowmen off the front door and hanging up some hearts.  The days are already going by so fast, I’m afraid I’m going to miss something.
Well, it’s off to class for us in just a few minutes.  Have a great day and a wonderful week ahead.   Peg