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.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Week 5 of Pumpkins and Spice

This week, we made ‘Buds’–

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Take a look at Cross-Border Quilters (on my side-bar) to see how we’re both doing with this project.

Another 3 or 4 weeks and we should be done – the design wall is looking better every week.

Happy piecing!           Blessings, Peg

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday’s Words

Where I am from……

This ‘exercise’ was shared by Judy at My Front Porch a few days ago.  At the end she asked ‘where are you from?’ – and I started down memory lane.

I am from the country, the city, the country…..from the mountains, the prairies, the beautiful Fraser Valley….

I am from Margaret and Frank – who are from Ellen and Jimmy, Terez and Mikaly…..from Hungary, Scotland, Nova Scotia, American hillbilly……

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I am from ice skating outdoors on the rink our fathers made just up the street….. football games on the hill behind the house….. Red Rover, Simon Says, mud pies……..early mornings alone with my books before everybody else was up

I am from family camping trips…..duck hunting with my dad…. car rides just to get ice cream…. weekends on the farm with cousins….longer trips to visit grandparents…..

I am from a vegetable garden in the back yard…..running water from the tank in the basement…..the house that Frank built….

I am from walking to school – and home for lunch…..dresses only for girls…..lining up to enter school…..sitting quietly at assembly….

I am from basketball, volleyball, cheerleading……Pep Squad……Girl Guide camp……

I am from picking raspberries and cucumbers……babysitting jobs…..weekend housecleaning jobs……summer waitressing job….

I am from a Mennonite church in the country, where I met new friends, and learned of the love of our Lord…..Bible study groups…..missions and music and ministry

I am from nursing school……bedpans and needles…..computer programs and bed management….

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Judy started her post by saying that we need to know where we’re from to know where we’re going……I still don’t know where I’m going on this earth, but I do know my Heavenly home awaits me some day!

Where are you from?           Where are you going?

Blessings, Peg

Monday, March 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday

On the wall this week – still Pumpkins and Spice.  But now I’ve added the ‘flower’ blocks:

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Do you see them in the center and bottom left?  This quilt is coming along quite nicely.  Next up: ‘buds’.

I finished Row by Row yesterday:004

Grizz held it up for me – and Sadie inspected.  This has been a wonderful project, with many different techniques from the wonky stars, to 3D log cabins, to paper piecing, to reverse applique.  I certainly learned lots – biggest lesson of all: I could really use a long-arm machine!!!

My projects are winding down – and I’m at a stand-still with some right now – what to do next????

Happy designing!           Blessings, Peg

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring is in the Air

We’ve had some lovely spring weather here, which has been great for pulling out of the winter doldrums.  Yesterday, we enjoyed a walk around the lake at the nearby resort town:033.Harrison

Then we split a banana split at Dairy Queen:

Oooh, that was yummy!  They’ve advertised half-price Royal treats for the month of March – so if you’re in the mood, hurry on down and treat yourself – there’s only a few days left!

I noticed there a sign that outlined the history of DQ, and did a little more research.  Did you know:

  • a father and son developed the soft ice cream in 1938 in Green River, Illinois, selling their new treat for 10 cents
  • the first DQ store opened its doors in 1940 in Joliet, Illinois
  • DQ came to Canada in 1953 in Estevan, Saskatchewan
  • burgers and hot foods were served in some locations as early as 1957 – but my memories of DQ were only ice cream,and only open in the summer months, until sometime in the 70s, so DQ opening used to be a sign of spring in the air

The real sign of spring in the air – I got outside and did a little yard work, including getting some primula into a pot – a little spot of color amid the evergreens:

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And today – our local show garden opens its gates, another sure sign of spring in the air.  It’s raining, and there’s not much sign yet of tulips and daffodils, so we’ll probably wait a bit before we head over there for a walk. 

But the days are getting longer, and warmer.

Happy spring!    Blessings, Peg

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Birthday to You

It’s a special birthday today for a special friend – whom I’ve never actually met.

Jo, over at Peaceful Afternoon will be celebrating this weekend, and I want to send her my very best wishes for her day and the coming year.

We’ve only ‘met’ on-line, and actually are making a quilt ‘together’ by chatting every week and then posting our progress on a shared blog, Cross Border Quilters.  This project came about because I admired this  panel 010_thumbJo posted on her blog, and asked the name of it so I could see if I could find it.  I couldn’t find it anywhere near home, and in the end Jo picked it up for me.

This is just a typical gesture of her kind and considerate nature.  Her caring personality, d├ęcor sense, and quilting expertise all shine through her blog – and her kind words in her comments to me – all have drawn me to friendship with her.

So today I’m wishing her only wonderful things for her life – a perfect day of rest and relaxation, fun times with family and friends, a celebration extraordinaire, blessings and love and joy in the year ahead!

Happy Birthday, Jo!             Blessings, Peg

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Beyond Hope

This afternoon we took a little trip beyond Hope.

Hope is the next town along the highway, and I had an appointment just a little past there.  So Grizz and Sadie (our basset) came along for the ride.  The weather was really quite nice – a little cloudy, but the sun shining through more than not.  The snow on the mountains belied the warmth we were experiencing:24

Gorgeous to look at as we drove along, but so happy to be in the warmth that spring has brought!

We arrived at Camp Squeah, and after my business was done we drove through the grounds

 

The cabins and dorms looked typical of any camp:

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And then we found the teepee in the woods – simply charming!

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I particularly liked the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ wood sculpture:

On our way home, while stopped at a construction zone, we looked out over beautiful Lake of the Woods – a wonderful fishing/picnic spot – and we promised ourselves an afternoon here sometime over the summer:

32.Lake of the Woods

 

More progress on Pumpkins and Spice – see the link on my side bar for the pictures of this week’s blocks.

Happy promises of summer coming!     Blessings, Peg

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday’s Words

I’ve been thinking the last few days about this weeks’ Words, and wondering what to share.  The idea of words beginning with ‘W’ came to mind – but it’s so early and I’m too sleepy to do a discussion on any one word (and I have to head off to work shortly).

So – a work that begins with “W"’ – the one that comes to mind this morning is ‘WIN’.  I’m not going to discuss it – just ask you – what would you do with a big WIN?

 

Right now – the first thing I’d do is get a long-arm quilting machine – it’s just so hard on the back and neck to quilt on a domestic machine!

Happy Wednesday!       Blessings, Peg

Monday, March 21, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Well, the Row by Row came off the wall a few days ago – backing and batting cut and ready to sandwich, and then quilt.

So up on the wall now:

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These are the completed blocks for Pumpkins and Spice (see Cross-Border Quilters on my side-bar), placed on the wall approximately where they will go in the completed quilt.  This is the project that I’m doing ‘together’ with Jo at Peaceful Afternoon.  Each week we ‘chat’ and decide what we’ll do next, posting our progress on our joint blog.

I have made one change – the border on the pumpkin/cat panel bottom right, just didn’t quite work for me after I put it up on the wall, so it’s been changed.  I think I’ll change the border on the sunflower panel as well, just need to find the right fabric!  Standing alone the panel looked just fine, but now that more of the blocks are done, it’s not working for me – and nothing strikes me as being quite right in the group of fabrics I have for this quilt.

Happy spicy quilting!               Blessings, Peg

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A break in routine

It’s been very quiet around our house for the last few weeks – not much excitement – just getting through the winter doldrums.  Now that spring is officially here, and maybe, just maybe the weather is going to get a little warmer, the days a little longer, the rain a little less, it seems it’s time to move toward summer.

Yesterday, the sun was shining, the skies blue (mostly), and the weather just warm enough – so Grizz and I decided to get out and explore some of the areas in the mountains to the north-west of our little town.  So off we went – and soon we found ourselves on some mountain roads we’d never been on before.  It seemed like a long time since we’d been out for a drive, just for the sake of driving, and this was a very pleasant break in the routine.

What struck us most was the number of houses in what felt like a remote area.  But apparently being remote isn’t enough for most of these folks, because their driveways were almost all closed off with big gates like this:

We could only speculate, but possibly being remote isn’t enough to keep explorers from wandering onto their properties.

Today we met friends at the Humdinger RV Show

This is a good time to pick up a few RV necessities for a good price, and look at what’s new if you’re in the market (as some of our friends are).  We even won a little door-prize, for the first time ever (a bottle of awning cleaner).

Ramping up for summer includes making plans for camping trips – and some of those are planned.  Before we know it, camping season will be here – and all of God’s wonderful world is just out there for us to visit and enjoy.  Some plans are made definitively, some just very tentative – but I’m looking forward to sharing with you all as we get out there.

I’m so happy to be into spring – and so looking forward to more outdoors and travel.

Happy first day of spring!   Oh, no, I guess that also means spring cleaning!                Blessings, Peg

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pumpkins and More–for Fall

Some more pumpkins for Pumpkins and Spice (or see my side-bar and follow the project on Cross-Border Quilters)

 

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And this one for the PhD Challenge – woo-hoo, another finish!

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It’s been a fall sewing week – need to get onto some spring/Easter stuff!

Happy seasons!    Blessings, Peg

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My buddy is gone

This little gem was given to me by my mother when I went into nurses’ training over 40 years ago:001

She didn’t get much use in those days, because the school had a laundry room complete with irons and ironing boards.

She didn’t get much use after training, and in our early years of marriage and family – only pulled out of the closet when we traveled somewhere that might not have laundry facilities available, and we thought ironing might be needed.

I almost forgot about her for a number of years.

When we started RV traveling, she found a home in the trailer, for the summer months at least – so handy, so faithful!

Then I started quilting – and her permanent home became right beside the sewing machine – there to quickly press those little seams, and make sure applique pieces stayed in place.

A few years ago, I actually won another similar ‘pal’, but gave it away because I had no need for two buddies, and thought somebody else could benefit from my good fortune.

Well, she gave up the ghost a few days ago.  First she quit steaming – I should have realized she might just be ‘running out of steam’ altogether – then one day she just wouldn’t go to sleep when I turned her off.  We cooled her down, Grizz took her apart, but we couldn’t see where the problem might be.  Because I can be really bad at remembering to turn things off, or unplug them, we decided she would be just too dangerous to have around (what if the cat jumped up and knocked her over and there was a fire).  So we let her die a natural death.

But I miss my buddy – she was such a good quilting friend! 

Good timing for the Sewing and Crafts Show, coming in just a couple of weeks – maybe I can find a new buddy.

Happy quilting buddies!                 Blessings, Peg

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Writing this in green in honor of the day.

A day for the ‘wearin’ o’ the green’

Green is my favorite color – and I look forward to putting the green out around the house for a few weeks every March.  Yesterday, just in time, I finished this little table topper:

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Now to find some green to wear!  And get out there and dance a jig!

Happy St. Paddie’s Day!     Blessings, Peg

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wednesday’s Words

What started you quilting? 

I was inspired by a former daughter-in-law’s mother, and the quilts that I saw that I fell in love with, but couldn’t possibly afford to buy.

  One woman I met started quilting because she wanted to keep sewing when she and her husband started RV traveling, and there just wasn’t enough room in an RV for cutting clothing (I find that amazing, considering how much room I seem to need for quilting – just for storing all the ‘stuff’). 

In days gone by quilts were made of necessity – for warmth.  And of course the quilts that were hung on the Underground Railroad to signify safe haven for runaway slaves.

I’m sure everybody has a different story – here’s a poem I ran across several years ago (once again, I don’t know the author, and hope I’m not treading on any copyright feet):

Tragic Magic

One day when I was home alone, I turned on the TV,

The lady who was on the show was speaking just to me.

She was a quilt instructor, I remember not her name,

But I could tell she knew me well, despite her TV fame.

Within those 30 minutes she performed a feat of magic,

The end result of all of this is really just quite tragic.

She made a block with ease and style in just those 30 minutes.

“I can do that,” I exclaimed, ‘she shows there’s nothing in it.”

And so I taped that quilting show, and many, many more,

Then took myself with list in hand off to the fabric store.

I bought the right equipment, and some fabric just to start,

And couldn’t believe how much they cost – it nearly broke my heart,

Then settled down with all my stuff in front of the TV –

Machine all primed, I turned it on and followed along you see.

The block she made in record time was not the way it went.

Pause, stop, rewind and play until the day was spent.

At last I had a block made – it only took four hours,

And I think that quilt instructor must have had some magic powers.

For I was hooked – I couldn’t stop, I cut and sewed and squared.

My house became a shambles, I taped each show that aired.

I signed up for a class or two, and had to buy more stuff,

Then realized a real quilter never has enough.

A quiltaholic I became – I had to have it all,

And when I pass a fabric store I hear this plaintive call?

“Buy me, take me,” I hear this cry, “You really need some blue,

And red and white and shades of green, black and yellow too.”

And rulers, mats of every size, just call to me and say:

“You can have us all, you know, you only have to pay.

And all the books and magazines, tape and sticky glue,

Rotary cutters, safety pins, and anything that’s new.

That show I saw was years ago – you’d think the urge would pass.

I really didn’t realize this stuff was made to last.

So I’ve got mats of every size, and of course a new machine,

And the largest stash of fabric that you have ever seen.

I’ve got fabric folded on my shelves, and fabric on the floor,

Rubber maid containers for the scraps, and then some more

Fabric in my bedroom (the sewing room is full),

And fabric on my linen shelves, right next to all my wool.

If I could live three life-times, I’ll maybe need no more,

But still you’ll find me rushing out to another fabric store.

The magic that she did on me, the lady on TV

Doesn’t wear off, and doesn’t pass – you quilters will agree.

And so I sit, my house a mess – no social life have I,

For making quilts is like a drug, I really don’t know why.

Withdrawal symptoms I have now if I have to go away

And leave my precious stuff at home alone more than a day.

Sometimes I stop and think that when all is said and done,

I really am so lucky to work with so much fun.

The clubs I’ve joined, the friends I’ve made are such a joy to me

And all because a quilt instructor was “speaking just o me”.

The tragic part to all of this is really kind of funny,

For while I’m quilt equipment rich, it’s taken all my money.

Happy quilting!         Blessings, Peg

Monday, March 14, 2011

Design Wall Monday

On THE WALL today:121

This has been here for several months, working on it as I get the instructions.  It’s Row by Row, designed by my friend Maureen, and sponsored through the LQS that she manages.

This weekend, I got the borders on the lower half attached – how do you like those loons in the corners!  Now for quilting.  Each half will be quilted separately, then joined later.  Hope to get that all done this week – another PhD finish!

Besides this, here’s a little more that I’ve done the last few days:

Dog mats – to be sent to Mr. Strongman and Doc K for their new puppy:

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Pieceful Barn – a Joan’s Own Pattern:

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Homespun Harmony – another Joan’s Own – and a PhD finish!

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It’s been a wonderfully productive couple of days – the only good thing about all the rain out there!

Happy finishes!          Blessings, Peg

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pumpkins and Spice progress

Week 2 and we made Pumpkins!  Hop on over to Cross-Border Quilters (see my side-bar) for all the fun!

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Happy ‘together’ quilting!  Blessings, Peg

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday’s Words

My words for today:            Thank You!!!
These lovelies arrived in the mail yesterday:
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Four mug-rugs, from Kathryn in Texas – part of the Mug Rug Swap that I joined back in January.  They were a looooong time coming – mailed Feb. 14, somehow got stuck in the system somewhere.  We thought they weren’t going to ever get here, but they did – and they are lovely!!!  The centers are machine embroidered – a technique that I also used on the ones that I sent out.  They’re so pretty, I’m not sure I want to use them – but use them we will, for our evening tea and snack, for when company comes, for simple decoration on our table.
So thank you Kathryn for your work and your thoughtfulness in sending these out – and two more than required, no less!  And thank you to Michele at Quilting Bloggers (see the button on my left side bar) for organizing the swap – two more friends made because of it!
Happy swapping!      Blessings, Peg

Monday, March 7, 2011

Design Wall Monday

My design wall is in layers these days as I work on a number of projects.
All the layers together gives just a glimpse of what is going on in my sewing room.  On the left in the picture below are two of the blocks for the Canadian Quilters BOM – started in January, it’s a year-long project.  The first layer in the center is two of the panels for Pumpkins and Spice (see the blog Cross-Border Quilters on my side bar)
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Peeling back one layer at a time – the next layer is some of the blocks for my sampler table-topper – trying to decide on sashing and borders.  Anybody have any suggestions?
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Next is a small table topper – musical instruments.  I fussy-cut a fabric I had on hand – now need to decide on a border – again looking for ideas:
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Layer # 4 is a ‘story’ quilt that I’m working on – more about that when I’ve made some more decisions around how it will work:
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Next up – Quilt Barn – a Joan’s Own applique that jut needs the final touches.  I’d actually forgotten about this one, underneath everything else.  Hmmm….maybe a project for this afternoon after we get the dog’s nails cut, make some deliveries, buy some groceries…
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And last but not least – Row by Row.  This has sat stagnant for over a month now – top half needs quilting, and I’m waiting for the instructions for the borders for the bottom half (they weren’t ready yet the last time I was at the LQS).
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That’s actually not everything – in the meantime, I’ve made a bag for my sister’s Kobo

It’s ready for mailing now – will get that out today.
Whew – lots to do – and I really need to concentrate on doing some reading if I’m going to be ready for Book Club in 3 weeks.
Happy sewing and designing!   Blessings, Peg

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Book Club

I love books – and have been an avid reader ever since I can remember.  I recall:

  • getting up early morning, before anybody else was stirring, parking myself in front of a heat register, and reading in the peace and quiet
  • going to bed early so I could get in some reading time before my sister announced it was time for lights out – interesting that now she reads even more than I do, and is a librarian!
  • 3-4 books at one time on my nightstand, all bookmarked – not sure now how I kept them all straight
  • regular trips to the mobile library, and our mother taking us to the ‘big’ library when she could
  • Nancy Drew,
  • Freddy the Pig, Queen Elizabeth I, Trixie Belden, the Bobbsey Twins, Charlotte, Heidi….anybody and anything to while away the hours
  • our mother saying ‘didn’t you hear me calling you?’ – and I really didn’t, so engrossed was I in my book

I married a reader, and we’ve often over the years shared some reading interests, although he leans more toward Louis Lamour and Lord of the Rings.

We read to our children, listened to our children read to us, took them to the local library – and raised readers, each with amazingly and vastly different interests.

When I make a trip to the library, I find it difficult to decide which books to take home, and more often than not my eyes are bigger than my reading time.  Now, with the internet, I can select the books I want to read, request them, wait for the notification that they’ve arrived, and just go over and pick them up.  Sometimes I’m surprised by the arrival of several all at once, and then have to set aside everything else to get them all read on time!  But generally this keeps me in sufficient books to keep me going.

Over the years, I’ve heard of book clubs – they seem to be everywhere – but somehow I never connected to one – until this week.  Our local library announced a book club, meeting at the library.

 

So I signed up – got the notice that the first book was in – hied myself over to the library to pick it up – and now wonder: What have I got myself into!

On the day that I picked up the book club selection, some requests had arrived for me – 2 audio books, and one other rather short autobiography.  While I was waiting to be served, I spotted a book on the shelf that I wanted to read – Alan Bradbury’s third book – so had to pick that one up of course!  In the meantime, we’d made a trip to Chapters, to spend the gift certificate we had received for Christmas – more books to read – although no time limits on these, so they are set aside for the future, when the library requests are on back order.

Then they handed me the Book Club selection – Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

 

Oh, my goodness, it’s a tome!  Must be 1000 pages, historical novel (I really do enjoy history), only 28 days in which to read it.  With other library books already at home to finish up – I really am wondering how I’m going to do this.

But my Book Club adventure has started – I really am looking forward to sharing and discussing with other readers – just hope they aren’t too intellectual for me!!

Happy reading!            Blessings, Peg

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A New Project and a New Blog

Last fall, Jo at Pieceful Afternoon shared a panel she bought, Pumpkins and Spice – I loved it so much, I asked for the details to see if I could find it.  In the end, Jo very kindly went out and purchased the panel for me at a LQS near to her home. 

We only live about an hour apart, separated by the Canada-US border, but have never met other than through our blogs.

After we both had our panels, Jo suggested we could make the quilt ‘together’, to start in March.  And we both proceeded to find go-with fabrics for our quilts.

Well, March is here already, and the fabrics are all purchased, and we’re ready to roll.  So we ‘chatted’ a few days ago, and determined our goal for this week – and set up a new blog for sharing our progress with all of you. 

Here’s a sneak peek of my first step:002

For more, and to see how Jo is coming along – and to follow through the whole process – visit us at Cross-Border Quilters.

Happy quilt ‘club’!      Blessings, Peg

In Like a Lion/Bear

Well, it’s true that March this year came in like a lion!
February had some gorgeous days, with friends on FB reporting they were seeing snowdrops
A sure sign of spring – right?
Well apparently Mother Nature thought that more winter was in order – and we’ve had snow and wind for the last week…..here.004
Those ‘clouds’ on top of the mountain behind our house….actually blowing snow!  This was the one day of sunshine we saw.
But 20 minutes down the road – almost none.  Actually yesterday I was there, and the sun was shining, the green grass bright under the blue skies – and then I came home.  It is warming slightly, and the snow on the roads is slushy on top of the ice………….and we can only hope that March will go out like a lamb!
In honor of the start to March the Quilting Canadians  BOM is the Bear’s Paw (closest thing to a lion in Canada LOL).  Here’s my block:
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St. Patrick’s Day is coming – and green decorations around the house speak of the spring we’re sure to get………sometime!
Happy March!    Blessings, Peg