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.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Celebrations!

As much as I love to travel, and love to spend time with my kids, I do like coming home.  It was a wonderful away-from-home Christmas, but I’m happy to be back in my own bed once more.

Before we left, we had our extended family Christmas gathering:006

where this wee great-niece was the center of everybody’s attention:

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and then a pre-Christmas dinner with DS2 and DDIL1:

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We left home on Wed, Dec. 18, stopping in Kelowna for a night with my parents.  A quilting friend joined us for dinner, so I got a chance to talk quilting for a bit, and figured out a quick bookmark pattern with her.  There’ll be pictures and a tutorial when I get some made.

Next day, on to Calgary.  We spent 3 nights at our DD’s and DSIL’s house and talked babies (they’re expecting their first probably in May).  067While there, we did some last-minute gift shopping that could only be done in Calgary, went out to visit one of my aunts, worked on a jig-saw puzzle that their cat decided was a great toy in the middle of the night so we had to redo almost everything we’d done the previous day, and just relaxed.  Their closest friends’ baby boy was born on the 20th, but we weren’t allowed to visit at the hospital, and they didn’t go home until after we were away.  Oh, well, we’ll see the baby when we go back in the spring.  We did send along their baby quilt:021

Dec. 22 on to High River to our DS1’s and DDIL2’s home.  There we talked renos and repairs and had work to do!  After the June flood, they had their basement to repair, as well as their vet clinic needed to be completely restored.  The clinic had been completed (almost) by a contractor, and they were able to move back in at the end of November, but the house they’re doing themselves.  We arrived to walls and floors completed, and a fireplace awaiting a new face, which Grizz and DS1 finished in short order:063 

Now that we’re done that, there’s a little more electrical work (that our DSIL will do) and then the ceilings and finish work.  They took the opportunity to improve the insulation in the basement, and will have a lovely cozy area that they’ll use much more than they did before.

Christmas Eve DD and DSIL joined us there for the night, and Grizz and I got our first gift from them:021

Yes, a little girl joining us in a few months, and now the talk turned to names – oh, so many to choose from!

Christmas Eve dinner was DDIL2’s traditional seafood chowder, and homemade rolls,026

and DS1 cooked up some partridge that he’d bagged.  After that a game of Things – discovered that the Thing that Grizz would wish for if he found a genie in a bottle is an island!  Lots of laughs, and some very bad guessing!

Christmas morning was the usual excitement, but before we got to that, the bird had to be put on the smoker!  And everybody but me did the cooking – now how fabulous was that!!!032038

So you see the duck tucked in there as well?  More of DS1’s hunting fare!

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There was a little bit of electrical work for DSIL to do in between times, needed to be done because they were headed home after dinner so they could leave the next morning to spend a couple of days with his brother and sis-in-law.  065That only took a few minutes, and we got back to the gaming table – Mexican train this time!  We tried to Skype with our kids in BC, but for some reason it didn’t work, so we talked on speaker-phone.

Dinner was everything a Christmas dinner should be, and everybody was looking for their turkey-pants afterward.

Boxing Day, a day to rest and relax, a quick visit to an uncle who lives nearby, a short trip to Michael’s to pick up cross-stitch supplies for my next project, and time to enjoy the sun and warmth of a Chinook coming through.

Then we headed homeward – happy to learn later we chose the right timing as the next day snow and blizzard conditions set in.  Stopped again overnight with my parents, who treated us to breakfast at the local Jammery restaurant.076

So all is unpacked, we’ve picked up our cat from DS2 and DDIL1, sorted through the deliveries we brought back with us, and are almost in routine again.

It really is a wonderful life!  Now to get ready to celebrate New Years!

Happy celebrations!              Blessings, Peg

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The 12 Days of Christmas

Who of us hasn’t heard and/or sang the song of the 12 Days of Christmas?  It’s one of those traditional songs and is heard throughout the season.

I was given a jigsaw puzzle of the 12 Days of Christmas for my birthday, and finished it a little before Christmas:

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As I looked at the symbols on the picture, I recalled once being told there was Christian symbolism to the song, so I did a search.  Yes, symbolism has been applied to the song, but whether or not the origins lie in the symbolism, or the symbolism followed the creation of the song is unclear.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading about this, and wanted to share it:

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Day 1, Christmas Day, December 25 A Partridge in a Pear Tree
The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, the first day of Christmas. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not have it so . . . ." (Luke 13:34)


On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Day 2, December 26 Two Turtle Doves
The Old and New Testaments, which together bear witness to God's self-revelation in history and the creation of a people to tell the Story of God to the world.


On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Day 3, December 27 Three French Hens
The Three Theological Virtues: 1) Faith, 2) Hope, and 3) Love (1 Corinthians 13:13)


On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Day 4, December 28 Four Calling Birds
The Four Gospels: 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, and 4) John, which proclaim the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world to Himself in Jesus Christ.


On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Day 5, December 29 Five Gold Rings
The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch: 1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy, which gives the history of humanity's sinful failure and God's response of grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world.


On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Day 6, December 30 Six Geese A-laying
The six days of creation that confesses God as Creator and Sustainer of the world (Genesis 1).

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Day 7, December 31 Seven Swans A-swimming
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: 1) prophecy, 2) ministry, 3) teaching, 4) exhortation, 5) giving, 6) leading, and 7) compassion (Romans 12:6-8; cf. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11)


On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Day 8, January 1 Eight Maids A-milking
The eight Beatitudes: 1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, 2) those who mourn, 3) the meek, 4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5) the merciful, 6) the pure in heart, 7) the peacemakers, 8) those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. (Matthew 5:3-10)


On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Day 9, January 2 Nine Ladies Dancing
The nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit: 1) love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness,
6) generosity, 7) faithfulness, 8) gentleness, and 9) self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)


On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Day 10, January 3 Ten Lords A-leaping
The ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God's name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17)


On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Day 11, January 4 Eleven Pipers Piping
The eleven Faithful Apostles: 1) Simon Peter, 2) Andrew, 3) James, 4) John, 5) Philip, 6) Bartholomew, 7) Matthew, 8) Thomas, 9) James bar Alphaeus, 10) Simon the Zealot, 11) Judas bar James. (Luke 6:14-16). The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and the Romans.


On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Day 12, January 5 Twelve Drummers Drumming
The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles' Creed: 1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave]. 5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit, 8) the holy catholic Church, 9) the communion of saints, 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting.

Now that Christmas is over, the gifts have all been given and opened, and the turkey leftovers are being eaten, we won’t be hearing this song again.  But the 12 Days of Christmas only begin on December 26, ending on January 6 which is the day we celebrate the arrival of the Magi to honor the birth of the long-awaited Messiah.  In our home, the Christmas tree stays standing until January 6, one of the traditions of Grizz’ mother’s family and her church up-bringing that we still keep.  And we remember the season of giving, the reason for the celebrations, the love of God in sending His Son, the gift that lasts all year!

Happy 12 Days of Christmas!        Blessings, Peg

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday’s ‘Musement

I laughed till I peed my pants!

I guess, according to this, I’m not a real woman. 

My house is only clean for the first 5 minutes after I clean it, and I refuse to clean every 5 minutes.  Organized – well, yes, if nobody else moves anything from where I put it. 

I’m dressed…..by noon each day, well-dressed only on occasion.  And my hair only looks ‘done’ for the first 5 minutes after I leave the hairdresser, and then it’s anybody’s guess what the style is.

I behave gracefully for the first 5 minutes in all circumstances, other than that, well, let’s just say I have my own way of doing things.   And, yes, I’ve been known to swear, but let’s not go there!

Patience – well, sigh, if I have to wait, have to understand, have to tolerate, have to agree for 5 minutes…..then yes, I have all the patience in the world, and I smile through it all, yes, I do, that smile is painted on my face and nobody and nothing will take it away for at least 5 minutes.  There’s always something nice about everybody in the first 5 minutes after meeting them, isn’t there???

It’s a dream, and I can aspire to a dream, and dream that it’ll come true someday.  In the meantime, I just keep trying.  Maybe someday I’ll get there.

Happy dreams!                  Blessings, Peg

Monday’s ‘Musement

 

Just a giggle for this morning!

How many of you tried # 3???

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Wishing you…..

On this 3rd Sunday of Advent, we celebrate the Joy that was, is, and always will be.  Let the angels sing, let the stars dance!  Abiding Joy came to earth, and lives forever in our hearts!

Today in our home, we have family coming to celebrate together a pre-Christmas, because Grizz and I are heading away to Alberta to be with our children there.  These are always days of such laughter and fun, and especially at Christmas, our joy in each other overflows.  We’ll light the 3rd candle on the wreath, and the candles on the tree – and watch the youngest as her eyes grow big trying to take it all in.  She’s only 8 months old, and it will be a special joy to have a wee one in the house again at Christmas!

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Wishing you much joy and wonder!              Blessings, Peg

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday’s Words and Hodgepodge

It’s Wednesday again – time to let you in on some more of life in our home.  Want to see what others answer to these questions, please follow the link on my side-bar.

1. Are you doing anything special to mark this season of Advent? If so, please share.

Advent is always special in our house.  From the first Christmas together, we’ve had an Advent wreath, with candles, lighting the successive candle each week.  When our children were young, we read a part of the Christmas story.  Now, we continue the tradition with a few moments of quiet contemplation of our Lord and His gifts to us now and in the past year.

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2. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen...and of course you recall, that most famous reindeer of all...so which reindeer name best describes you this week?

Well, I’m not moving all that fast these days, so definitely not Dasher, Comet or Cupid; I don’t have the grace and agility to be Dancer or Prancer; I’m no Vixen, no matter what meaning you place on the word; and not loud or flashy like the thunder and lightning of Donner and Blitzen.  Hmmm……  I guess I’m Olive (‘Olive (all off) the other reindeer…).  Olive trees are symbols of peace and I would like to be just that in the lives of those around me, especially at this time of year when we celebrate the Peace of God.

3. What's worse-too quiet or too loud?  Which have you had more of lately?

Too loud – I find it so difficult to hear when there’s a lot of noise around, and then I get just ‘too quiet’.

4. This question comes to you from Zoanna over at A Penchant for Pens-thanks Zo!
When you are administratively gifted, how often do you find yourself not trusting less gifted people to do what they've committed to do?  If you are not so gifted that way, but are reliable, how do you feel when the stronger person (in that area) goes ahead and covers it before giving you a chance to come through?

Whew, this is very introspective……I can tend to take over when I’m not sure that the other person will be able to see through their commitment, but I learned in my administrative working years, to make myself sit back and let the other person do what they need to do.  It’s better for both of us.  And I know how demeaning it is to have somebody take over when they have a greater ability and/or don’t think you can do the task (whatever that task is) – I get resentful and angry, sometimes feel like a 2-year-old and want to shout ‘I can do it myself’!

5. What is your most dreaded task relating to the holidays? Your most looked forward to holiday task?

Most dreaded….taking the decorations down and putting them all away again.

Most look forward to…….opening the door when the family and friends arrive to celebrate with us!

6. Facebook has released it's list of the 'most talked about topics' for 2013. Pope Francis took the number one spot. Does that surprise you? He was followed by election, royal baby, typhoon, and Harlem Shake. Your thoughts? What was your most talked about topic in 2013? (Facebook, around the kitchen table, or wherever it is you talk)

Not really sure – maybe babies….it’s been a year of babies in our family with a great-niece and great-nephew added to the family, some concerns with pregnancies, and now our first grand-child expected in the spring.

7. What's something you view as a necessity that others might view as a luxury?

Chocolate – what else does one need if one has chocolate?

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We have snow!  Real snow!  The ground is white, there’s a silence in the air!  I love it!  It’s just enough so we know it’s there, but not enough to bring out the plows.  Not unusual to see a light snow early in December around here, but it usually lasts all of 5 minutes and then it’s gone, not to be seen again until February.  So this snowfall, which is now more than 24 hours old, and shows no sign of leaving anytime soon is unusual.

It’s made for some interesting traffic reports, I must say.  We’re just not used to driving in a lot of snow around here:

Wish I knew where this was, I’d love to steal the signs to put around here:

Drive safely out there, wherever you are, whatever the road conditions.  There’s lots of traffic this time of year, lots of stress, lots of people in a hurry, so slow down, take your time, you’ll get there eventually and you’ll probably get there alive!

Happy winter, Happy Christmas season.          Blessings, Peg

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday’s ‘Musement

?Where do you want me to go?

funny street names

Can you just imagine asking directions and being told ‘drive down That St, make a left at This St until you come to The Other St and turn left again.  It’ll bring you right back to That St.  Oh, but if you’re wanting to go to the post office, you won’t find it on Post Office Rd, it’s over on Keizer St.’

How cool is that?  Why bother thinking up names for streets!  This would work, wouldn’t it!

This is apparently a map of a little town in NS called Porter’s Lake.  We’ve never been there, but now I want to go, just to see for myself!  We have been to NS, twice, and thoroughly enjoyed the people and their culture, their ‘accent’, their sense of humor.  And I’m sure it was a hilarious day in council when they decided on the names of these streets!

When we were in Washington state one time, camping, we were doing some exploring around Port Townsend and came across Egg and I Rd.  I knew immediately this was the area where Betty MacDonald and her first husband had farmed in the late 1920’s.  Her books were so very popular for many, many years and eventually spawned the Ma and Pa Kettle movies.

What is the most unique road name, or town name that you’ve come across in your travels?  I’ll be sure to share your replies in another post.

Happy travels!                Blessings, Peg

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Wishing you….

Second Sunday of Advent, and we celebrate the Love of God.

‘For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son…..’

‘And the Word was God….and the Word became flesh….’

Jesus was born of God’s love for each and every person who has ever lived, is living, or will ever live on this earth.

Much of the imagery that depicts the birth of Christ is imaginative, and it’s fairly certain that in fact He wasn’t born on or around December 25, but that that date was chosen by the then-new Christian church because of already existing festivals honoring pagan gods for the ‘rebirth’ of the sun.  That’s okay, the actual date of Jesus’ birth isn’t important, what is important is that He was born, that He lived and loved and His love lives on.

In our home, part of our Christmas decorating is the display of my collection of nativity scenes, a reminder of God’s love sent to earth. 

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(This is only a small part of a collection that has grown to over 40 pieces in various mediums: wall hangings, a flag outside, cross-stitch renderings, ornaments, pieces picked up on some of our travels, gifts from others, even a quilt)

I wish for each of you that you could know the Love of God in your lives.

Happy second Advent!         Blessings, Peg

Thursday, December 5, 2013

First Christmas Delivery

A couple of days ago, we went to visit our friend in a care facility.  He suffered two strokes earlier in the year, that have left him immobile and unable to talk, although his mind is still quite clear.  We picked up his wife, who has a cancer and is in between treatments.  This was an opportunity to visit both of them at the same time.

As my Sis-in-law says, we do what quilter do – make quilts.  We wanted them to have something useful, that would remind them we’re always thinking of them even when we can’t visit often.

His quilt:

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Quilted simply with diagonal lines both ways.

Her quilt:

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Quilted with feathers in the borders (only my second attempt, but looks not too bad) and meander through the center.

When I had them all folded and ready to package up, Tobin thought she should try to lay claim:

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I hope these bring them some comfort through all the stresses of dealing with the changes in their lives, and the treatments ahead

Both quilts are stash-busters for the most part.  The red-and-cream was built following Linda’s Quiltmania stash-buster blocks.

And this is the end of quilts for 2013.  Lots in mind for 2014, including a couple of kids’ quilts and a baby quilt and a new one for our trailer, and maybe an applique scene quilt that I’ve had in mind for a number of years.  In the meantime, there’s some knitting to do and diapers to sew for church missions – and then we plan to be away from home over the Christmas holiday.

Happy days.                 Blessings, Peg

Tidy it Up

I’m a tidy person, like to put things away after I’m finished using them, tidy my sewing space after a sewing session (usually, wouldn’t want to show it to you right now LOL), tidy the house every morning, sort through old magazines and pass them on or toss them out whichever is most appropriate.  You know – the kind of person that drive people like my husband crazy!

But I’ve just realized I left a loose end dangling, and want to tidy that up before I forget again.  A couple of days ago I challenged you all to name the Canadian provinces, and said I’d give you the answers – well, here they are:

From west to east, northern section – Yukon Territory, Northwest Territory, Nunavut Territory; southern section – British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, with Prince Edward Island tucked kind of in between these last two, and Newfoundland/Labrador.  So there you have it – hope you got at least some of the answers.

 

While I’m here, I’m looking to tidy up another loose end in my life.  I’m wanting to make some Christmas elves, to sit on a shelf. 

Years ago, I saw an elf somewhere that was made from a spool, with fabric arms and legs – can’t seem to find anything like that around anywhere.  But I’m really, really bad at making stuffed toys, so don’t want to try anything like that.  Does anybody out there have any patterns for easy elves, that will sit on a shelf?

Thanks in advance for your help.              Blessings, Peg

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday’s Words and Hodgepodge

It’s Wednesday again – time to reveal a little more of myself.  If you want to see how others answer these questions, please follow the link on my right side bar.

1.  According to Oxford Dictionaries, the 2013 word of the year is 'selfie'. Your thoughts? When did you last take a selfie? Do you post them online somewhere? Do you prefer to be in front of the camera or behind the lens?

Interesting that ‘self’ is the basis of the work for 2013.  Wonder what that tells us about our world today – not even going to try to analyze that one.

I don’t think I’ve every taken a selfie.  My phone and camera are just old enough that I can’t look at the monitor and the lens at the same time.  Not so sure I want to see myself while my picture is being taken.  I actually often avoid having my picture taken, just keep the camera in my hands and snap everybody and everything else around me.

2.  Will you send out Christmas Cards this year? If so, are they ready to go? If not, are you glad or sad about leaving that tradition behind?

I send out a few cards every year, to elderly relatives who don’t have computers, and deliver a few to neighbors nearby and friends as we see them over the holiday.  For everybody else, I send out an email card and Christmas letter, just to keep in touch.  I so enjoy getting those cards and letters that I don’t want to stop sending them in case others stop sending to me.

3.  Do you trust easily?

No, at least as far as sharing myself with others.  I hold myself in reserve until I’m sure of the other person.  And if trust is broken, it takes me a while to recover and trust that person again.

4. Pine-cinnamon-peppermint-vanilla (as in sugar cookie)...of those listed, which one is your favorite December scent?

Hmm….how does one pick?  I must say I miss the scent of the pine tree now that we have an artificial tree.  Gotta go with peppermint, though if I have to pick only one – especially when it’s wafting out of my cup of hot chocolate!

5.  Did you do more talking or more listening yesterday?  Was that by choice or by necessity?

I ended up talking more than listening, by necessity.  We went to visit a friend in a care facility, picking up his wife and taking her along so we could visit with both of them at the same time.  With this change in their lives this year, they’ve had to make some financial changes as well, and the bank wanted his signature on some papers.  He’s unable to talk now, and was having some difficulty understanding the paper work.  So I tried to read through it with him, not word by word, but at least giving him the gist of each paragraph.  It is so hard to see a person go from a vital, active, working lifestyle to inability to communicate what he’s thinking and feeling about things – and have you ever tried to keep all questions so that only ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers are required?

6.  What's the last song that got stuck in your head?  Sorry if it's back there now :  )

Isn’t that funny, right now I can’t remember, and only yesterday I was wishing it would go away!  But it was a Christmas song, I know that for sure.

7.  Which world explorer (in the whole history of the world) would you most like to have traveled with, and why?

Well, it’s probably more like which world explorer can I remember learning about all those years ago in school?  Ummm…..how about Christopher Columbus….he discovered that nice round world and didn’t drop off the edge!!!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Winter has arrived here for sure.  A couple of days ago, I looked out the window early in the day to see this in our streetlight:003

Then later in the day, we had our first power outage – only about 1.5 hours so not too intrusive, but it was right at supper time.  The wind was howling, the rain was drumming.  And yesterday, we saw our first snow – just a skiff and it melted right away, but still….  The mittens and toques have come out!  We’re told we should have a drier than usual winter, but colder than usual – drier I like, colder is only okay as long as it’s not raining, somehow I feel colder when it’s wet outside than I am when it’s just cold.

So here’s to a wonderful winter season!          Blessings, Peg