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.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday’s Hodgepodge

I’ve seen this a couple of times, but didn’t really pay attention.  This morning, as I was thinking how undisciplined I am about actually writing blogs, I thought, maybe this would be a way to be more regular.  Wednesday’s Hodgepodge is hosted by Joyce at From This Side of the Pond

Each week she poses a number of random questions.  To be honest, I may skip a question or two now and again, but I will try to share honestly those I do answer. 

So here goes for this week:

1. In the USA this coming Sunday millions will be watching the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49er's in the Superbowl.  What was the last event you attended that could be described as super?

I’d have to say our son’s wedding, but then I think what about our daughter’s wedding, and our other son’s wedding – they were all super, in my eyes anyway.

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2008 05 18 Mirjana's Wedding Day 2 093110

2. Share something you're a fan of these days?

I’m a fan of quilting shows on TV.  I discovered Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting on WTVS (out of Detroit) a while ago, then lost it and just recently found it again.  Here it airs at 3:00 a.m. on Saturdays so I just have the series taping every week and watch it at my leisure.

Mary and Marianne Fons

3.  How do you feel about wings?  In case anyone is confused, I'm talking about the edible appetizer kind.  What's your preferred seasoning-hot, mild, teriyaki, sweet and sour, other? Do you make your own or is there a favorite place you like to go for wings?

I love wings – for an appetizer.  Sweet and sour, or Parmesan are my preferred flavors – we make our own!

4. As long as we're talking sports today, have you been following the Lance Armstrong story?  Did you watch his interview with Oprah and if so what was your reaction to his confession and subsequent remarks?

I’ve only watched the news reports about Lance.  Not being a talk-show watcher, I just didn’t bother with Oprah’s interview.  But every time I hear a story like this I think of our DS1’s words, quoted in a newspaper article a number of years ago when he was competing and setting world records in powerlifting, “If it hasn’t been done without drugs, it hasn’t been done.”  

5. What's a question you hate to be asked?

“What’s the most expensive item you purchased in the US and bringing back into Canada?”     Oh, man, who can remember what things cost when you spend all that money!

6. The coaches in this Sunday's big match up happen to be real life brothers.  Jim Harbaugh coaches the 49er's and his older brother John Harbaugh coaches the Baltimore Ravens.  Were you and your sibling(s) competitive?  In what way?  Are you still?  If you're an only child how did you handle competition growing up?

I’m the oldest of six, and really didn’t feel like I competed with my siblings.  But I do tend to be a competitive person, and have had to learn to quash that a bit when the ‘sport’ is just for fun and be a gracious loser.

7. What's your favorite game involving a ball, and when did you last play?

Soccer wins hands down every time in this household, but I’m just a watcher.  In high school, I played basketball, volleyball, grass hockey, football.  I even tried tennis at one point in my life.  A dismal failure at all of them – just not naturally athletic.  But soccer has become the TV sport in this house because our DS2 has been involved for most of his life and is now a player/coach.  He’s the one front left:

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Today’s plans – a little baking, lunch out with friends, a little sewing maybe later in the day

Tomorrow’s plans – a visit with our pastor, a little sewing maybe later in the day

Friday’s plans – housecleaning, a little sewing maybe later in the day

Hmmm….it seems that sewing is having to take a back burner a lot.  But then, right now, there’s nothing urgent to sew, so it’s all good.  I’ve been finding that in the afternoon, I get cold, oh so cold, and want nothing more than to curl up with a quilt, a cup of cocoa, and a book or TV rerun for a couple of hours.  Getting going after that seems to be a Herculean effort, so I’m settling for some crocheting or cross-stitching to keep the hands busy and away from the food!

But despite that, I’ve decided to join the April A to Z Challenge – I’ve a special reason for wanting to do that this year, just hope I’ll be up to it when the time comes!  It’s a blog hop, so should be fun – maybe you’d like to join up too!

 

Happy thoughts!               Blessings, Peg

Monday, January 28, 2013

What’s Going On?

Not sure how I’ve filled the time lately, but it seems to pass and suddenly here we are nearly at the end of January.  The calendar says there are only 337 days left in the year, meaning only 331 days until Christmas.  Not that I’m counting or anything, but I’m amazed that, for the first time in my life, I have time to notice things like that!

Not that I’ve been lazy or anything!  All the cupboards, drawers and closets have been cleaned out, sorted through, and tidied up…..and boxes of ‘stuff’ sent off to the Thrift Store.  Thankfully one person’s trash is another person’s treasure!

In cleaning up, I found a couple of things that needed attention.  First a South African Tea Shower – this lovely embroidered tulle was a wedding shower gift from the South African lady who catered both my shower and wedding reception.004

The purpose of this is to cover your table while waiting for guests to arrive and finishing up cooking.  Of course, in South Africa, flies can be a major concern.  Where it’s not such a concern here, especially indoors in the winter, I did use it a few times in our early married years.  And then, it kind of got ‘lost’ in a move or two, and found again in about 1998.  A couple of years after that, a puppy we had decided this would make a great toy, and managed to put some significant holes in the tulle – thankfully the embroidery was mostly untouched.  It got put away, again, and each time I ran across it over the past few years, I wondered what to do about it.  A neighbor friend is fabulous at fixing and remaking and making patterns from pictures, so I asked her opinion.  She said it couldn’t be repaired (which I suspected), but suggested I cut out the embroidery and ‘float’ it onto a new piece of tulle, or a table cloth.  I happen to have a white table cloth, with a small burn hole from a candle wick that was trimmed while burning and dropped.  Hmmm…..so I proceeded to cut out the embroidery, and then realized I didn’t have a picture of the original.  So if you look closely, you can see where the embroidery has been cut out, and of course Tobin has to be involved in every picture especially if it involves fabric.  Anyway, the pieces are there, waiting for me to work them onto the tablecloth.

Another ‘find’ was a small picture afghan that my mother made for our DS1.  It got well used when he was small, and some of the stitching pulled out.  So repairing was done, the afghan freshened up, and DS1 will get it at some point:

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Isn’t it cute?   DS1 and DDIL2 are animal lovers, have 2 dogs and 2 cats, so this throw on any bed in their house will fit quite nicely.  Or they can put it away for their children, if they want.

On the quilting front – a small (surprise) quilt is ready for quilting, and will go on Big Bertha as soon as I pick up some backing for it. 

And some placemats:

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These are ready for quilting, which I’ll probably get to later today or tomorrow.   Here’s a close-up of one the machine embroidery red-work patches in the lower right corner (a little fuzzy because I used the original to enlarge):009

 

Other than that, it’s been pretty quiet around here.  In between times I’ve been going back and trying to restore some pictures on old blogs.  Early last year, I got confused about Picasso Web Album and deleted a bunch of pictures never to be restored again on PWA.  So now I’m trying to get back the most significant ones – it’s laborious, but it seemed such a shame to leave all those exclamation marks out there if anybody went back to read an old post.  Oh, the wonders of computers!

Which reminds me I spent several hours over this past weekend getting our notebook running again.  Not sure what happened exactly, but we had a funny blank screen that opened when we turned the computer on, which wouldn’t close, and nothing I did got rid of it.  So I did a system restore, which appeared to go well, but then we couldn’t access the internet – something about local files needed to be reinstalled.  Really not sure what that was all about.  But with the help of those wonderful tech wizards at the end of the phone, in India somewhere, the computer was reset, no blank screen, and internet opening nicely. 

At the end, though, a ‘senior’ technician was called, who spent all of 2 minutes checking things out and then tried to get me to buy internet security ‘for only $349.95’.  It took some persuading on my part to get him to understand that I was not buying such a thing over the internet, that I would take my computer business to a local repairman if necessary.  He ‘showed’ me that there were 25,000 errors on the computer that needed to be addressed, and he ‘showed’ me that their business is fully approved by BBB – I’m afraid I’m just too suspect to accept this kind of information from a nameless, faceless person who has enough computer knowledge to ‘show’ me anything he wants me to see.  Besides, if the computer isn’t easily fixable, it’s over 3 years old, running Vista which is already very outdated, and can be replaced for ‘only $349.95’ (or thereabouts). 

We’re actually very aware of the age of our computers, and very aware that they only ‘live’ just so long before they need to go to the computer graveyard.  So we’ll just keep our eye on how it’s working, and keep eyes open for computer sales that may come up.   And that’ll be my rant for the day.

Happy ‘fixing’!                        Blessings, Peg

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mag 152

The Mag has posted another writer’s prompt:

And here’s my response:

The Power of Hands

 

Jayne left the ward, tired to the bone after a long night, wanting nothing more than to get to her bed and sleep.  Glorious sleep, that hopefully would wipe out the memories of the night.  As she walked toward the tunnel to the nursing students’ residence, tears pricked at the back of her eyes, and she fought to keep them in check.  Mrs. Smythe had lived a long and fruitful life – raised four wonderful children who were all now professionals, worked right beside her politician husband who continued to be a mover and shaker in the community, volunteered at several charities right until this recent hospitalization, kind and giving and gracious even in her pain – but this was the first patient that Jayne had seen die, her first experience with calling Code Blue, the first time she’d heard the words ‘Call it – 0247’, the first witness of family grief.   She felt a presence, and then somebody – Jock – took her hand and just held it.

 

The two of them walked along the beach, wind in their hair, sun making their eyes squint, waves rushing and roaring, sea gulls screeching, sand squishing between their toes.  They talked, they laughed, they teased, they planned.  The future held nothing but good things for them, marriage, family, building a physician practice, a home for the two of them - then a few of them - and all their family and friends to love and laugh and learn.  Jock took her hand, and swung it with the joy of it all.

 

Jayne shook with excitement – nothing of anxiety or fear in this day – and checked herself in the mirror one last time.  All was perfect.  The knock came at the door, and it opened and her dad poked his head around, ‘Ready, my dear?  Oh, don’t you look beautiful!’  He hugged her and tucked her hand in his arm and led her to the church foyer where the bridesmaids were all lined up.    The bouquet was put in her hands, and the music swelled.  When their turn came Jayne and her father stepped in to the church to see all the smiling faces turned to them.  Jayne only had eyes for the face at the front, Jock waiting for her.   He looked so far away, and yet so near.  As they got to the front of the church, she felt her father move her left hand from his arm,  move the bouquet from the right to her left hand, and gently move her toward Jock, who turned with her to face the pastor, taking her right hand and giving it a squeeze of excitement.

 

Jayne waited at the window, watching every car light as it came down the street, emotions tumbling through her.  Tears rolled down her cheeks as joy, excitement, trepidation, numbness, anxiety, all vied for top spot.  In the end anxiety won out – how was Jock going to take this news?  When at last the car lights turned into their driveway, Jayne couldn’t move.  She wanted to jump with joy, but there was so much to think about, first and foremost, how to tell Jock.  The garage door hummed its way up and back down again, the laundry room door clicked open and closed again, shoes clunked to the floor, jacket swished as it came off and was hung on its peg, soft shushing footsteps came through the kitchen, then Jock’s voice ‘Jayne, where are you?’  Jayne couldn’t find her voice.  And then Jock’s shadow was at the door to the bedroom.  ‘Hey, honey, are you okay?  Why is it so dark in here?’  His hand reached out and flipped the light switch, and the instant he saw her face anxiety flooded his.   He crossed the room, sat on the arm of the chair, reached for her hand and caressed it.        As the numbness wore off, she was finally able to blurt out: ‘It’s twins, Jock, we’re going to have two babies, two of them, at the same time, growing together, how will we ever do it?’     And Jock just held her hand.

 

Two-year-olds Mick and Mhairi ran across the grass, laughing and shouting, making sure the world around them knew how much fun they were having.  First summer picnic, grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins – fried chicken, potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw,  wieners and marshmallows to roast, chocolate cake and apple pie – frisbee and football – sing-song with Uncle Jake on his guitar.  Life was wonderful!  Then Mhairi stumbled, probably over her own feet, and almost landed on her face.  Mick reached out and took her hand in both of his, all of his strength used to hold her up and keep her on her feet.

Visit The Mag for more wonderful tales and poems.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

In the Mail

Yes, the Winter White blocks are in the mail!

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Eleven of these were sent off to Lee (Lala’s Lovely’s) for the Winter White Block Exchange.  Hoping others will forgive the struggle to get points to match.  In making these, all on my Featherweight, I really learned why I use the walking foot on my machine for all my piecing.  Honestly, fabric moves!  And sometimes it moves a lot!

Also in the mail – this time to me, and via e-mail – a winning.  I just casually dropped a line at Patchwork Sanity, not really thinking about her give-away.  Well, a few days later, I received an email message, and actually had to go back to see what I’d entered.  It was (is) a 6-month membership to The Quilt Show, on-line magazine/blog/classes by Alex Anderson and Ricky Timms. 

Alex and Ricky

Wow!  So I quickly redeemed the certificate and have been enjoying some great quilting lessons and quilts and even jig-saw puzzles!

Happy mailings – in and out!                  Blessings, Peg

Friday, January 11, 2013

Dodged That Bullet

Yesterday our computer went down – and we thought we might have lost it, along with our minds (in more ways than one, because everything and I mean EVERYTHING lives in that computer).

What happened?  Well an update, following which the computer restarted.  And suddenly a black screen with a window stating that ‘Start up Repair’ was running and ‘may take a few minutes’.  Thirty minutes later – still running, and we began to wonder what was going on.  So out came our little notebook – thank heaven for a second computer – and we did a little research.   We found folks who’d purposefully run Start-up Repair, and waited 9-12 hours, even one who waited 3 1/2 days, for it to complete.

Well, I got on the horn (actually a chat support) and asked about this.  Eventually the answer – give it 3 hours, then manually shut down, and boot with recovery disc or do a reinstall of Windows.  Oh, man!

Well, about 2 hours later, we walked into the computer room to find it awake and running and all programs and files intact!

Whew!     So now – get those photos and a few other things backed up properly, and stop procrastinating.  At least if we have to buy another computer we have things saved.    What do you all do with your photos and important files?

In the meantime – a little more progress made with snowball blocks.  And another part of the kitchen cleaned.

Blessings, Peg

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bits and Pieces

It’s amazing how quickly laziness can take over.  And I’ve been lazy!  At least about blogging.  Elsewhere, I’ve kept going and then forget to take pictures.

Quilting-wise, the year started with only plans, no on-going projects, except for the LQS BOM, and a block exchange.  Well, now there are a couple of things in the works, but not enough fabric (the right fabric) to make any real progress.  I did make a little ‘winter welcome’ banner for the front door:

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It’s not quilted because it’s out in the elements and in our rainy climate……          The snowflakes are thanks to Kim of Chatterbox Quilts, won in the Blog Hop Giveaway in December – thanks Kim!

These got cut out, will become a quilt some day:001

The Winter White Block Exchange – I chose to do simple snowballs, and had two fabrics that I liked.  Then I pulled out Fernie, my new-to-me Singer Featherweight, to do some test-sewing on it, and decided that I’d sew all of these blocks on her.  It’s going okay, takes some getting used to, and struggle a little more with getting the points to match (but then that’s also partly because all the seams are pressed the same direction):002

So yesterday, took some time to stop at a couple of shops and picked up fabrics to hopefully make some progress on some of these:

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Oops, guess I have to report this purchase on Quilting Canadians Use ‘Er Up and Get ‘Er Done discussion.  Why, oh, why did I decide to become accountable for using up stash – and how much I purchase?!?  But then, what do you do when the stash doesn’t produce!  Oh, well!

Also have done some machine embroidery for a set of placemats:

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Just this morning, I was reading about Craftsy on Chatterbox Quilts.  A FB friend also follows this all-around craft site, with lots of ideas and lessons.  So I took a look – just might have to get in on the action there.

And around the house – decided to get a jump on spring cleaning, and do little bits at a time rather than try to do it all in one month.  My mother has started a pattern of cleaning one room a month all year long.  That way she gets everything done twice a year.  Sounds like a plan to me, and not nearly so exhausting.  Right now I just want to get through the house once because it hasn’t been done in a year or so, then will settle into some kind of pattern.  The hall closets are cleaned and reorganized, and in the kitchen the pantry, fridge and a couple of cupboards beside the fridge.  At the rate I’m going, it’ll take two weeks just to get the kitchen done!

Last week, I wrote a story for Mag, but this week’s prompt just isn’t catching my imagination at all.  So unless I have a dream or vision or something – may just have to wait for next week.

Hope all is well at your house, and your new year has started off with lots of promise.                  Blessings, Peg