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, December 30, 2012

Mag # 149–Do You See Me?

A couple of years ago, Magpie Tales started weekly prompts for writers.  For a while, I wrote regularly on another blog, then was interrupted by a vacation or something, and somehow just never got back into the swing.  But I really did enjoy coming up with short stories now and again, so have decided to try it out once more.  Magpie Tales, now calls itself The Mag, and this week’s prompt:

Follow this link to enjoy other submissions.  And here’s what I came up with:

 

As she picked up the ashtray, her lips compressed into a thin straight line with her disapproval.  It was all she could do not to pinch her nose to shut out the smell.

But that would never do, not with everybody around.

It was another celebration, another milestone for the company, another conquest for her husband.  She had no idea what this one was about, really didn’t care.  These occasions had come regularly over the years, more and more frequently, now happening several times a year. 

And always, ever, at their house.  Why, oh, why had she made that offer to host that very first celebration?  The partners, and their wives, most of whom had some relationship to the company, just simply accepted that first offer and then ever after assumed that it was her pleasure, her contribution, her responsibility….to plan, to clean, to shop, to prep, to decorate, to bake, to cook, to smile, to chat, to serve, to entertain, and to clean up their mess.

And they all smoked, well, almost all.

And it never seemed to occur to any of them that smoking, and their second-hand smoke, would be offensive, or even just unpleasant to somebody else.

And they certainly never, ever picked up and emptied an overflowing ashtray – that could spill over onto the furniture and floor.  Nooooo, that wasn’t necessary.  Besides, what was she there for, but to clean up after them?

Was she good for anything else?  Married young, stayed at home with the children, volunteered at their schools, sang in the church choir, and hosted dinners and celebrations as her husband’s company grew and prospered.  She had only a high school education, only ever worked at odd jobs during high school, had no talents to speak of, was short and dumpy, mousey haired, practically invisible in this crowd of talented, intelligent professionals.  She wasn’t even sure if any of them knew her name.

Opening the door to the kitchen, she gazed around in dismay at the pots and pans stacked beside the stove, the dishes piled up near the dishwasher, the left-overs drying out on the counter, the spills and drips from cooking and serving hardening everywhere.  Oh, well, might as well just get on with it.  Nobody would miss her out there anyway, she didn’t have anything to add to their conversations about the world and politics, wars and finance, business and education.

As she loaded the dishwasher, stored away food, scrubbed pots and pans, tidied, wiped, swept, she longed for the evening to end so she could just curl up with a book, or better yet get back to her sewing room, tucked away upstairs with door closed so no smoking odors could affect the fabrics. 

Most of her days, when not arranging one of these parties, were spent sewing – quilting actually.  She’d discovered, when the children were young, that her sewing room and quilting were a haven from the busyness of life.  Now that the children were grown and gone, she made quilts on request for friends and family, and the projects were piled up.  She’d often thought how nice it would be to have a proper work-room, a place to run a quilting shop, selling fabrics, making quilts for customers, running classes and retreats for others to develop their quilting talents.

Just as she put the broom away, she heard her husband call her from the living room.  Oh, people must be getting ready to leave.  She put a smile on her face (easy to do now that she knew the party was coming to a close), and walked through the dining room.

Entering the living room, she saw the whole crowd gathered together in a bunch, no one making a move to put coats on.  Oh, they must be wanting to toast whatever their most recent accomplishment was, they’d need more wine, and she started to turn to go back to get some.

But her husband said, ‘Wait, where are you going?’  As she turned back, they all raised filled glasses and cried out, as one, ‘To Linda’! 

Her husband then came over to her, put his arms around her, and said, ‘I love you, Linda.’ 

The crowd parted, and on the credenza at the far side of the room sat a brand new top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art sewing machine, the one she’d been dreaming of for months.  She stood totally dumb-struck, and one of the wives stepped forward and said, ‘For you, Linda, only the best for the best.  This evening was in celebration of you, your generosity and hard work in hosting these parties, your patience with us as we concentrated on building our careers, your support over the years of this growing business, your putting your own desires and talents and career on the back burner.  Now it’s your turn.  Our latest acquisition is actually a shop down-town, where you can set up your quilting business.  We’ll be your financial backers, we’ll support the technical aspects, but it’s your show.  And we really didn’t want to leave you to do the clean-up, but we needed time to sneak in and unpack this beauty.   To Linda!’

‘To Linda,’ the rest all chorused.

‘Oh, and honey, this is the last party you’ll host,’ her husband added.  ‘Now that you’re a business woman, you’ll not have the time, so we’ll be planning our, and your, celebrations in the future at a restaurant.’

Linda just let the tears run.  There was nothing she could say.  They did know her name, who she was, what she loved.

It Was a White Christmas

which renewed my belief in miracles!  We almost couldn’t believe it when we saw the snow falling, yet again, as our children left to visit their other family.  There wasn’t a lot of snow, just enough to cover the grass (mostly), and make the streets a little slick in the early hours of the day before traffic melted the ice.  But it was enough for me.  Every year I wish for a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know – as a child.  This year my wish was granted, but still meant that travel was reasonable.  In the city about 150 km away, a few days before Christmas, they got a huge dump of snow, creating havoc for a day or two, then nothing, not even a glimpse of white on Christmas Day. 

Our snow is mostly gone now too, which is okay with people wanting to get out and celebrate New Years – safer traveling.

We had some visitors who mostly just left their tracks:

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But then we caught some glimpses of them:

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And, despite the snow, we had some summer holdouts:

408.Winter roses

As much as I’d like to bring these indoors to enjoy, I know cutting them will only make them wilt within probably minutes, and now that it’s so cold, might kill the plant.  But as long as it is cold, they’ll stay like this for a while yet.

Over Christmas, not much has been done in the way of quilting.  Admittedly I’ve been a bit lazy, but in my defense, we’ve also had quite the social whirl between the regular celebrations, and when we had down-time, I just went down.  So I’ve no projects even started to show you all. 

But I have plans:

  • Winter White Exchange (see my left side-bar) – I know what I want to do, just need to get the fabrics together
  • A special quilt for a special person, that’ll be a surprise
  • An applique quilt from a photo of a painting (photo given to me by the artist with her blessing to make a quilt)
  • BOM at our LQS – I decided not to do a quilt, but rather to make projects from each block
  • And at last finish up the binding on all the scrap quilts from 2010
  • It’s not a lot, but I’m sure more will come along as time goes by.  I really don’t like to make New Years’ Resolutions, mostly because I tend to forget what I resolved to do, and they all come to naught.   But I do like to set goals, hopefully realistic ones, for myself on
              shorter term bases.  So these are enough for me.
                              Oh, and on Boxing Day, we checked our mail box, and the Giveaway winning had arrived:

                            These lovelies will make for some fun this year, I’m sure.  Thanks again Kim!

                            During the holiday season, I picked up on a blog that’s new to me.  In Practical Faith, LC shares devotional thoughts that apply Scripture truths to life.  I’ve found them a perfect daily devotional for me.  At the same time, our former pastor, Jim, has renewed his regular blog postings at There’s More in You Than You Think.   He uses this avenue to share God’s Word and teach, and never fails to inspire me and give me pause to think.  I have fairly regularly through my life tried to practice regular devotional time, but am not very disciplined – these blogs make it easy, especially as I am a ‘follower’ and therefore they pop up on my reading list.

                            So that’s my life in the last two weeks (hard to believe so much time has gone by since my last post), and some of what I hope will come to pass in the next little while.

                            Wishing all of you a Happy New Year, safe celebrations, and a great start to the future!                 Blessings, Peg

                            Sunday, December 16, 2012

                            Let It Snow, Let it Snow,

                            Let It Snow

                            Yesterday we saw the first snow of the season!  It’s so pretty!

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                            I just love snow, it’s so crisp and clean (well, before traffic and sanding and snowplows), and it lays a kind of hush over the world that just makes me feel so content and happy!

                            There’s not a lot of snow out there, maybe an inch or so, just enough to let us all know that it actually did snow.  We know it won’t last, so we’ll enjoy it while it’s here.

                            And while it snowed, the Blog Hop Party and Giveaway ended.  As I opened up by computer this morning to check for any last-minute entries, I found an email telling me that I won one of the draws that I entered!  How great is that!   So my first order of business was to email a reply with mailing address, so my package will arrive soon – I’ll show it to you all when it gets here.

                            But on to my draw!  This was a great party, and 57 readers entered to win the sewer’s tote that I had made.  382These pictures are the one that I made first for myself, the winner will get one with different fabrics, and experience behind it!381.sewing caddy give-away

                            Using a random number generator, the winner is……………  # 25

                            Carolyn of Sew. Darn. Quilt!

                            Thank you to everybody that entered, to those who have become new followers through the process, and to Michelle of the Quilting Gallery for sponsoring the Hop!

                            Carolyn has been sent an email to let her know, and as soon as I’ve heard back from her, the package will be put in the mail.

                            Good luck to all the rest of you – hoping that you all win something!

                            Blessings, Peg

                            Saturday, December 15, 2012

                            Thoughts and Prayers

                            Yesterday we heard the news, as I’m sure most of the rest of you did, about the tragedy in Connecticut.  So many lives senselessly lost.  So many families hurting.  It’s so unbelievable that it’s difficult to put words to the feelings.

                            One of my sisters shared this on her blog

                            "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world." -- Mister Rogers

                            As we watched the news late last night, we saw the helpers – they were everywhere – and we felt some relief that there are others standing right beside, behind and around those that are reeling from the pain.  And pray that they can all also know the love of God that surrounds them, know that He stands beside, behind, under, over, and around at all times.

                            A prayer chain was started on FB – and I want to continue it here.  Please pass it along – and if any of you know, or know somebody who knows, any of the families in Connecticut, please let them know we are praying!

                             

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                            Thursday, December 13, 2012

                            I Missed It!

                            12-12-12 happened yesterday.  I had been thinking of posting (something, I knew not what) on this auspicious day, and somehow it slipped past me without my noticing it.  But then, I really don’t know what’s supposed to be so auspicious about it.

                            Back in 1999, somebody at work remarked on 9-9-99, which just happened to be my niece’s 9th birthday, and then starting in 2001, it seemed like each year when the month and day lined up with the year, there was some kind of froo-frah (is that even a word?).  And in 2010 there seemed to be a race on to get married on 10-10-10.

                            But, for whatever reason – maybe because everybody is waiting with bated breath for 21-12-12 to see if we’re going to have a 22-12-12 – there’s not been much note taken of 12-12-12. 

                            So for me it was just another day.  And what DID I do with it?

                            Well, I started off with finishing the last touches on the Christmas baking:

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                            Nanaimo bars, confetti squares, peanut butter bites, marzipan chocolates



                            Butter tarts, peppermint cookies, macaroons

                            (to be completely honest Grizz made the marzipan and macaroons)

                             

                            Then I had a sewing day, stuff I had planned to do on Monday but then the power went out and by the time it came back on again, I had no desire to sew.  But on Wednesday I made some headway with a couple of projects.

                            First, some coasters that had been sitting around for several months, now quilted and bound:

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                            And a little (very little) bit of quilting on this wall-hanging which has been in the planning for a couple of years.  It now just needs to be bound and some sort of sleeve or hanging tabs attached, but not sure what color to use for binding – any thoughts?

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                            So what did you do with 12-12-12?

                             

                            While I’m here, don’t forget, if you haven’t already, to enter the draw for the little sewing tote that I made in celebration of Quilting Gallery’s 5 the Birthday Blog Hop and Party.  And then head on over to Quilting Gallery, via the link on my left-hand side-bar, to hop through the rest of the blogs and join in the fun of all the give-aways.

                            Draw date for my give-away is Saturday Dec 15, in the evening, winner will be announced on Sunday.   Good luck to you all!

                            Happy baking, sewing, decorating, parties!              Blessings, Peg

                            Sunday, December 9, 2012

                            Blog Hop Party and Give-away

                            It’s here – the 5th Birthday Celebration at Quilting Gallery, and I’ve joined in on the fun of the Blog Hop Party and Give-away.

                            I love to quilt (other sewing not so much), and I love to be organized about it, so when I found a pattern for a sewer’s tote-along caddy, I quickly made one up for myself.  And it’s wonderful on the arm of my favorite sewing chair.

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                            381.sewing caddy give-away

                            So I’d like to share one with somebody else, through this give-away.  For every follower who comments, your name will be put in the draw.  If you’re a follower, who doesn’t have a blog, please send a private email (through my profile) and I’ll add you to the list.

                            Draw date will be Dec. 15.  Sorry, only North America shipping.

                            If you want to hop through the other blogs and get in on more give-aways, click on the Blog Hop Party button on my side bar.

                            Happy hopping!                             Blessings, Peg

                            Friday, December 7, 2012

                            It’s Coming!

                            Yep, Christmas is coming!  And I know that because……..we got our first Christmas card!

                            Which spurred me on to getting Christmas cards ready.  We don’t mail many real cards, mostly to those aunts and uncles who don’t have a computer.  For almost everybody else – it’s an e-card!  Oh, the joys of making a list, checking it twice …. and pushing a button and it’s all done!  Just like that!

                            So in the spirit of sending Christmas greetings…….here’s my card to all of you:

                             

                             

                            I wish you all God’s blessings and the love of Jesus in your hearts now and forever more.

                            The other up-coming event in blogger-land is the 5th birthday party over at Quilter’s Gallery – being celebrated with a Blog Hop Party.  Join the fun, hop through the blogs, enter the give-aways starting December 10.   And don’t forget to come back here for your chance to get……well, that’ll be a surprise.  Link through the button on my left side-bar.

                            Happy celebrations!                  Blessings, Peg

                            Tuesday, December 4, 2012

                            Needing a Long-arm Quilter?

                            Way back in the spring, I made a quilt for a wedding gift for our DS1 and DDIL2.

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                            It’s a monster king-size, and I knew I couldn’t even begin to quilt it.  So off to the local long-arm quilter it went.

                            At the time, life was a whirl – getting ready for our cross-country trip, making baby stuff, preparing for the wedding to come in August, winding up work, sewing ahead for Christmas…..and Linda (the quilter) said she’d be posting the quilt on her blog.  I said I’d be watching for it – and then completely forgot.

                            I’m not sure what made me think of it this morning, but I took a trip over to visit Linda at her blog, and here’s what I found:

                             

                            Didn’t she do a fabulous job of the quilting?  If you need a quilter, be sure to head over to Quilted Cats Hideaway.   Linda and her daughter Rhonda are both fabulous quilters (at every step of the way), and will do just as wonderful a job as they did on this one.  Here’s a picture of their studio, from their web-site:

                            My quilt, called East Meets West, filled the frame completely from end-to-end, with not much room left over. 

                            Just my little plug for a local business!

                             

                            And while I’m here…..a little reminder……don’t forget to come back on December 10 and enter the draw for my give-away for the Quilter’s Gallery 5th Birthday Blog Hop Party – link on my left-hand side-bar.

                            Happy quilting!                    Blessings, Peg

                            Saturday, December 1, 2012

                            A Hop and A Giveaway

                            Quilting Gallery is celebrating their 5th birthday – and has decided on a Blog Hop Party with Giveaways.    I’m going to join in on the fun – are you?

                            Blog Hop Party

                             

                            If you want to join in – the hop (and give-aways) starts Dec. 10.  Click on the button on my side-bar to register your blog.

                             

                            And don’t forget to come back here between Dec. 10 and 15 to get in on my give-away!  And to hop through the other blogs to get in on even more chances!

                            Happy birthday party!                 Blessings, Peg

                            Quilt Block Exchange

                            Don’t know if you noticed or not, but on my left-hand side-bar, there’s a new button – Winter White Friendship Block Exchange

                            Lee, over at Lala’s Lovelys, has been so taken with the crisp, clear lovely white surrounding her, that she’s decided to host a block exchange.

                            Lalas Lovelys

                            This one got me really excited, because I too love the crisp white of snow.  There’s something so ethereal about it, and one of my favorite things to do is to walk in fresh snow at night – doesn’t seem to matter what’s going on around, there’s a hush covering it all.

                            So I’m joining her – anybody else?  Click on the link above, or on the button in this post, and check it out.  Twelve quilters, twelve blocks to finish with a quilt that will always bring back the memories of snow, and the friends made through the exchange, all year long!

                            Happy exchanges!                Blessings, Peg

                            It’s Beginning

                            to look……and sound……and smell…….

                            a lot like Christmas!  Everywhere you go!

                            We took a drive a few days ago to visit my parents, 2 mountain passes away, and saw:

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                            As we drive down the streets and walk through the stores, the signs of Christmas decorating is everywhere – wreaths on doors, candy canes in gardens, lighted reindeer.  And in our house, the tree is up (even though it’s green outside the window):

                            01.Tree

                            This year we started the tree with two very special ornaments in memory of our baby grand daughters born in July and gone ahead of us to heaven:

                            02.Piper and Emme ornaments

                            It was a very emotional moment for both of us, but something we needed to do.

                            Everywhere we turn, the sounds of Christmas fill the air as carols and songs play in stores, on radio and TV.  In our house, the Christmas CDs are out and ready, and we made sure to find a music channel on the TV playing Christmas music as we decorated the house.

                            And last weekend, as we walked through a variety of artisan shops on a local Christmas Crawl, we enjoyed the scent of apple cider at several of the shops.  In our house, the scent of chocolate candies filled the air about a week ago….and shortly the aroma of baking will surround us.

                            How about you – are you getting ready for Christmas?  Are you surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells?

                            Happy, happy holiday preparations!                 Blessings, Peg

                            Saturday, November 24, 2012

                            Quilt-a-long

                            Yesterday our LQS hosted a quilting day, a day to work on UFOs along with others.  I guess these are days for those folks who have too many interruptions at home.  I’ve never attended one of these before, not sure why, but I don’t feel the need to leave home to get quilting done. 

                            But they added Christmas into the mix – make a stocking for charity.  A person doesn’t need to go to the shop to make the stocking, but I just wasn’t getting inspired or motivated or something, so decided to take this opportunity to get going.

                            Only three of us showed up, along with Santa who was there for pictures with our completed stockings.

                            I got two stockings completed, and used up almost all the small scraps of Christmas fabric I had laying around:

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                            It was a great day – met two new quilting buddies, sat on Santa’s knee (sorry don’t have that picture, not sure what they’re going to do with it), and shopped!  Bought nothing special, just a piece of fabric to finish the border on another quilt, some batting and a pattern.  But two somebody’s out there somewhere will have stockings on Christmas morning.

                            In other quilting news, also from the LQS, a new BOM has begun.  They have kits available to buy, but neither of the color-ways ‘spoke’ to me, and I’m not sure I want to start on another large (bed-size) quilt right now.  So I decided to attend the monthly group, get the pattern and do ‘something else’ with each block.  This month the block is Aunt Dinah – I made three, set them on point for a table runner.  But the setting triangles were such big blank blocks, I decided it needed something, so I pulled out my embroidery arm to do some embellishing.  Here’s the result (before quilting and binding):

                            98.Table runner

                            It was good to get back into embroidering again (took a while to figure out what I was doing).

                            Today we pack the Christmas boxes for our kids in Alberta, and get them sent out.  Also will be joining our DS2 and DDIL1 for a Christmas Craft Crawl in a nearby community.  Tis the season!  And we’re loving every minute of it!

                            Happy ‘together’ sewing!                  Blessings, Peg

                            Saturday, November 3, 2012

                            What’s a Girl to Do?

                            Lately I’ve been receiving fairly regular email messages, that state ‘Anonymous’ has left a comment.  This is because all comments have to be approved before I’ll let them publish.

                            These messages are ‘no-reply’, there is no comment on the post, usually they say something like ‘I like your blog’ – and if I follow the link I get a foreign web-site or a retail-type site. 

                            I report the ‘spam’ (but I’m not so sure that Google does anything more than just simply permanently delete the message).

                            Sometimes, the message will state the sender is following my blog, but that turns out not to be true.

                            When I started out to write this post, I was considering adding word-verification to comments on my blog, despite my feelings about those silly little words and pictures that I run into on other blogs when I’m the commenter.  Then I decided to check my settings just to see what they were (getting old and can’t remember things for more than 5 minutes) and to see what the options might be.

                            One of my concerns was those folks who I know read my blog, but don’t have a blog or a G-mail account in order to be a follower.  I don’t want to disallow their ability to comment.  At the same time, those ‘robots’ who are apparently commenting need to be stopped!

                            Evil Spamming Robots

                            Well, I discovered that I can limit commenters (which I knew and actually thought I had done) to those who are ‘registered’.  I’m not 100% sure what that means, but I’m going to try it and see if it helps.  There are not often comments from ‘anonymous’ readers who are actually known to me, just don’t have a blog or Google account.  So if you are a reader, but not a ‘follower’, sorry if I’ve excluded you from commenting, but I do need to protect my computer from viruses that may attack through these web-sites.

                            If you really need to reach me about something on my blog, you can always send an email through My Profile.

                            Keep the comments coming – I love hearing from all of you!   

                            Blessings, Peg

                            Wednesday, October 31, 2012

                            Oktoberfest

                            Once upon a time, a King married a princess and a horse race was organized to celebrate.  The people enjoyed it so much that it became an annual event, and a few years later they added food and beer booths.  The beer booths were so popular, they became large beer tents, and eventually the horse race disappeared but the fun and beer continued.

                            Once upon a time, a person had to go to Munich, Germany to participate in the fun and beer.  But not so any longer.  Now there are Oktoberfests held all over the world – now including our local tourist village.  Our first annual Beer Festival was held last weekend, and we had two opportunities to join in the festivities.

                            Friday evening was Cask Night, with an English Pub theme, complete with live entertainment, foosball and darts.  Three breweries broke open casks for a contest for the best beer – never did find out who won, but we know who we liked (well Grizz and the others – I was designated driver because I really don’t like beer).  They served British Pub Grub like Cornish Pasties, Beer Battered Cod, Bangers and Mash.

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                            Saturday afternoon we were back for the Beer Festival itself.  Now there were 15 breweries – and no, we (they) didn’t taste all of them! – and just general fun and visiting.  We met old friends, and snacked on Chicken Wings and Sliders.  We chose to bypass the Deep Fried Pickles.

                            Some dressed for the occasion:

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                            The best we could do was stand behind the poster and pretend:

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                            But a good time was had by all.

                            The Oktoberfest dance was Saturday evening, but with our broken down bodies, we went home with our friends and had dinner of Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, fried potatoes, and German Apple pie.  Yummy!

                            And to round off our weekend of festivities, we joined our Italian friends Sunday evening to celebrate their 40th anniversary at a Greek restaurant in Vancouver, along with their family and other friends. 

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                            After dinner we all headed back to their house for champagne and Italian-style desserts, including biscotti and almond torte.

                            It truly was an international weekend.

                            Happy celebrations!                  Blessings, Peg

                            Friday, October 26, 2012

                            A New Hobby

                            Not mine – but Grizz’.             Just look at what he made:

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                            Isn’t it lovely – maple, and finished with a food-safe wax, so I can display or serve.   Seems almost a shame to put anything in it and cover up the beautiful grain.

                            Looking forward to more in upcoming days!

                            Happy hobbies!                 Blessings, Peg

                            Wednesday, October 24, 2012

                            It’s a Quiet Life

                            we lead.  At least that’s certainly what it feels like since we arrived home from our months of travel.  But then I look back at the calendar, and we certainly don’t sit still much.

                            Over the last 2 weeks -

                            • we’ve been to a Vinyl Café live show

                            If you don’t know about Stuart Maclean, or have never listened to his shows or read his books, you’re missing a great Canadian icon of humor.   He is an absolute must for every Canadian, and anybody who enjoys a good laugh.

                            • brunch out with friends
                            • cards evening with friends
                            • dinner with our son (DIL studying for mid-terms)
                            • a quilt show and stop at a farmer’s market (not sure why I didn’t take the camera with me)
                            • a visit to a local manufacturer open house

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                            where we learned how they make those great big rims for those great big off-road vehicles.  Their largest rims are 5 feet in diameter, and with inflated tires attached are 20 feet diameter.  It was an enlightening tour, especially seeing how computers drive most of their equipment

                            • anniversary weekend, which included fall drives

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                            - ocean side visits

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                            - dinner at the Oyster Bar where we got an intimate corner all to ourselves

                            - stops at a few quilt shops

                            - seeing all the Halloween displays and watching families pick out their pumpkins

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                            • another brunch with friends
                            • finishing up the give-away goodies, and starting on binding the quilts that I (almost) completed in the spring before our vacation
                            • gatherings with quilting/crafty friends

                             

                            On Monday morning I looked at a calendar that was essentially blank for the week ahead, but by the afternoon almost every day was marked with something to do.

                            Is retirement quiet?  Well, it is and it isn’t.  Time seems to just get filled up, and here I am wondering right along with everybody else I know who’s retired…………’when did I ever have time to go to work?’

                            This is the first time in my life that my time has been completely at MY disposal to do with what I will, when I will, how I will and with whom I will.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle this, but it certainly has been pleasant these last few weeks, and I look forward to enjoying this all even more as time goes on. 

                            And right now – time to enjoy the breakfast that Grizz has cooked up, then go for a walk and some exercise, and get ready for friends coming for lunch!

                            Ahhhh, happy retirement!                 Blessings, Peg

                            Tuesday, October 23, 2012

                            And She’s a Winner!

                            In more ways than one, but the one I’m talking about here is the winner of my give-away. 

                            Eight of you dropped your name in the ‘hat’ by leaving a comment or sending an email,

                            so I plugged into a random number generator ( to keep it completely unbiased) and

                             

                             

                            TA DA!!!                      #6

                             

                             

                            That would be Jo – from Scene Through My Eyes.   Interesting that we had just met for lunch the day before – wish I had known, and I could have delivered in person.  Oh, well!             Jo, I’ll be sending you an email message, and I’ll need you to remind me of your mailing address, and this will go out in the next day or so.                    Congratulations!

                             

                            And thanks to the rest who put their names in – for entering the contest, for being faithful followers, for your friendship and encouragement over the last few years.

                             

                            Blessings to you all!                          Peg

                            Thursday, October 18, 2012

                            Oops I Forgot

                            ….to set a date for the Give-away draw.

                            Well, we’re going away for the weekend – celebrating our 40th anniversary

                            just one more cause for celebration just now, and another reason to share our good life with the rest of you.

                             

                            So…………

                            Monday, Oct. 22, at 4 p.m. Pacific Time will be the deadline

                             

                            Don’t forget – leave a comment or two, or send an email.  Just follow the link above to the Give-away post.

                             

                            Good luck!             Blessings, Peg

                            The Answer

                            Back again to give you the answer to the puzzle.  After my last post about this, I sat down with pen and paper, well actually an Excel workbook and the drawing tool, to try to figure out how this answer was discovered.

                            So, once again, here’s the gravestone:

                            60

                            Here’s the hint:

                            Start in the top left-hand corner, count over 7 letters, then down 7 letters. Read down, then around in a zig-zagging counter clockwise spiral that expands out from the center.

                            Here’s a portion of the grid that I worked out, with the starting block marked in RED:

                            W

                            M A B I
                            I R O M T
                            D I I E 1
                            T A N M E
                            S M E R T

                            From this point, start down then right then up.  Okay has that got you started?

                             

                            Take your time – if you want – to see if you can get anywhere.

                             

                            Okay, here’s the answer:

                            31.

                             

                            And here’s the grid marked to show you how they got that answer:

                            002

                            Start with the yellow block and follow the arrows around.  Sometimes the zig-zag pattern was set aside, and then he had to skip to get the pattern going again.  It was interesting!

                             

                            So, confession time again.  I got along a fair way, but got confused at the dates and ages (because I didn’t know what they were) so had to peak, and found that some of the letters/numbers I had copied incorrectly, and I and 1 were indistinguishable on the engraving. 

                            But, there it is!     Problem solved!      If only all of life’s problems could be solved as easily as working out a grid!

                            Happy answers!             Blessings, Peg       

                            Wednesday, October 17, 2012

                            It’s Giveaway Time

                            I must say I’ve had a bit of a struggle with this.  I announced, while on vacation, that I would do a give-away when we arrived home, if I had 100 followers by the time I published my 500th post.

                            Well, according to Blogger dashboard, I had 100 followers just a day or so before post # 500!    Yay!!!  And I was happy to commit to doing a give-away, to thank all those faithful followers, new and not-so-recent.

                            But then, a few days later, my dashboard number dropped to 99.  Not sure who dropped off, but there it was.  Oh, well.

                            Just a day or so ago, I was making some changes to my blog page, and noticed that the follower number there was 96.  Hmmm….not sure what’s going on, but the discrepancy of 3 remains.

                            So the question arose – do I or don’t I?  Do the conditions still apply, if the numbers have changed?  Do I ignore the numbers based on the commitment made?

                            In the end, I’ve decided to go with it – those of you who have been following faithfully for the last nearly 4 years, those of you who kept up with our trip and all the boring trivia, those of you who are newer followers, those of you who comment and let me know that somebody is actually reading all this nonsense, those of you who have become my cyber friends – all of you deserve a chance to have your faithfulness acknowledged.

                            I’d like also to be able to include those who I know read this blog regularly, without being ‘official’ followers.  So that has been another struggle – how do I do that?

                            Another question – do I put conditions on the contest that would hopefully net a larger readership?        The answer – no – I don’t blog just to get numbers.  I blog to share with friends, and for my own personal satisfaction.

                            So here goes…………over the last 2 weeks, I’ve worked with some fabrics picked up on our travels to make the following:

                            This set of Christmas goodies

                            Giveaway collage

                            Starting top right and going clock-wise – a pan cozy for carrying that pan of squares to a Christmas do, a second picture of the cozy with a pan peaking out the top, a hot-mat, a beverage bag (sorry the wine can’t be sent with it), a goody bag for your own gifting, a set of 4 coasters, a Christmas bucket.

                            Then, I know that everybody can use a bag, so I looked up a pattern and used it for a template (Moda Bake Shop Gym Dandy Bag – you can get to MBS by clicking on the link on my side bar).  I didn’t exactly follow the pattern, but made some changes.  The fabric – some ‘sweets’ and some ‘coffee’:

                            018

                            This bag is a good size (about 14x15), and could be used for a gym bag, book bag, note-book or i-pad bag, or any other carry-around stuff!

                             

                            Now, how do you win the give-away – and I’m sorry I can’t give each and every one of you a gift – well just leave a comment here.   If you want to share with other bloggers, then post on your blog, and leave a comment telling me that you did that as well, for a second chance.  Be sure that I can email you!!          If you’re not a blogger, but would like to get in on the fun, open my profile and send an email directly to me.    I’ll list the comments and emails in order as they arrive, and include everybody in the draw.

                            Good luck!    Happy Give-away!                  Blessings, Peg

                            Back At It

                            So, you may wonder, what HAS she been doing for the last three weeks, since getting home from vacation!  Sometimes I wonder that myself.

                            Well, the trailer and truck are all cleaned out, winterized, stored away.  All the ‘stuff’ from the trailer is sorted, cleaned, put back where it belongs.  In doing that, a couple of cupboards and drawers got some tidying out done, including the cupboard where all my fabrics are stored.  The yard got a fall clean-up, except for the grapevines which are still going strong.  The dog and the van both got a trip to their respective doctors – quick and easy fixes – and the fridge doctor paid a house visit – another quick and easy fix.  Got together with my quilting buddies and got caught up on all the news.  Thanksgiving dinner, times two, once at home and once elsewhere.  Got my sewing machine back after sending it out for servicing while we were away.  Dug through the project trunk, and discovered all the PHD’s waiting.  Started some wine.  Took in a Vinyl Café live show.  Sorted through all the pictures from the trip – still more work to do there.  Started a daily walk to add to my exercise routine.

                            Whew – I really have been doing things!

                            It took a week or so, but Betsy began to hum eventually, and humming she is after the servicing after all the hard work she did in the spring and it took no time before I was hooked again, and now am sewing for part of every day.

                            And here’s the results:

                            First this little bag – from the ‘book’ fabric that I picked up on our travels.  Just big enough to hold a CD player and audiobook jewel, with a strap long enough to put over my shoulder – and I’m entertained while walking (remember the daily walk I added to my exercise routine):

                            015017

                             

                            Then this flimsy – the Quilting Canadians’ BOM for this year.  Only nine blocks used,  but it’s a nice 36” table topper.  It will be a thank you gift when it’s done:

                            013

                            Sorry, it’s so fuzzy!

                            And then, I’ve been working on the promised give-away.  Almost ready!

                            Happy sewing!                  Blessings, Peg