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, January 26, 2015

WHAT?

Where has the time gone?  When did it get to be almost the end of January already?  Why has it been over a month since I last posted here?  How have I been filling my time?

I keep saying I should post, and then get distracted, and the next thing I know the day is gone – again!  And as time passed, I began to wonder if I really want to keep on blogging.  But I don’t want to lose touch with friends out there in blogger-land, and I really have been taking a peek at least now and again to see what you’re all up to.

So what have I been doing?  Well a lot of stuff and a lot of nothing!  Really, some of my days have just been lazy, and I think it’s a bit of a reaction to all the busyness of Christmas and being able to just relax.

But when I look around, I see projects underway and projects completed.  Like our spare room.  Before Christmas, we got the walls painted and new flooring down in both bedrooms.  That was enough for then, but we got back to it after everybody went home. 

Now the spare bedroom has some new cupboards:

001.Bedroom cupboards

And I filled them up, too!  Which made for more, and tidier, space in our large storage closet.

Then yesterday, we got my new design wall done:001

Before this, I had a flannel sheet hung on a rod, and before that a flannel sheet tacked right to the wall.  Both worked okay, but pinning larger pieces on was a pain putting the pins through the fabric sideways.  And lots of times blocks would fall off if they weren’t pinned and I’d lose track of where they belonged.  So some on-line research and chats with pals and we went out and got a sheet of foam insulation, cut it up and reconfigured it to this 5x6 board.  You can see the tape underneath the flannel.  When we started I thought that the tape would only be on the back, but that wasn’t stable enough, so it had to go on both sides.  I knew we’d be able to see it, but didn’t think it would be quite so noticeable.  The pieces of tape at the top, are to strengthen the foam where the nails go through to attach it to the wall.  Now I have to decide if I can live with this or if I want to find some black flannel.  For now it’s just nice to have a design wall up (and one where I can just poke the pins straight in like a bulletin board).  And maybe this will get me going on some of the quilt projects I have in mind.

We also got wine bottled that we had started before Christmas, so now our wine cupboard is full again.

I had no quilting projects left over from last year, so as far as quilting goes, it’s a fresh start – want to do a couple of applique wall-hangings, and make a new quilt for our trailer, and do a quilt for our DS-K and DDIL-M’s new house.  The fabrics for the trailer quilt are all waiting for me to get going.  Other projects on the go: a couple of knit Christmas stockings that were a request; a cross-stitch village that I had actually hoped to finish before Christmas but….; a candle mat kit that was a gift.  Then there’s some receiving blankets to make for our church mission layettes, and some bibs for the grandkids.  So the hands aren’t actually idle, just not quilting right now.

As far as blogging goes – I’m going to aim for at least once a week, and hope that I can keep that up.  For now, time to go for a walk.

Happy new beginnings!             Blessings, Peg

Monday, December 22, 2014

And So It Begins

The holidays are here, well for us at least the celebrations begin by tomorrow.  Today, I’ll bake some muffins to have around for breakfasts, and finish up a couple of last minute sewing projects, do the laundry, make up the beds, and get out a jigsaw puzzle to do when the down times come – in a few days.

Tomorrow, my parents arrive and I have a birthday luncheon to attend.

Christmas Eve, our Calgary children and LV (7 months now) arrive and we’ll all be spending the afternoon and evening together with the other grandparents.

Christmas Day, brunch for 10 or 12 at 1100, skyping with a sister sometime during the day, turkey dinner for 11 at 600.

Boxing Day – well plan to do nothing but work on that jigsaw puzzle with my mother!

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Dec. 27 dinner with friends at their house

Dec. 28 we’ll move my parents down the street to a friends’ house to give them some time to just relax by themselves and to make room for the other children

New Years’ Eve our High River children and LW (2 1/2 months) arrive

New Years’ Day, brunch for 8 at 1100, goose (hunted by DS-J) for dinner for 8-12 at 600

Jan 2 – my parents head home

Jan 3 – Grizz’ family will be here for our annual get-together of snacks and sweets, and their first meeting with LV and LW – probably about 14 adults, 3 babies and 4 dogs!!!! 

Can hardly sleep for the excitement!

So now I’d like to wish you all a very, very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  See you in 2015!          

      Blessings, Peg

Saturday, December 20, 2014

In the Spirit

The other day I posted about the season of giving and sharing.  This morning, I read another story – it brought tears to my eyes as I thought of the generosity of this woman’s spirit, and knowing that it’s just one example of the love and kindness of many, many people in our world.  Read on:

Anne Marie MacDonald shows a letter given to her by a stranger who gave her money after helping her look for a lost wallet in Halifax. (ADRIEN VECZAN / Staff)

It was Dec. 9 and I was headed to downtown Halifax to do some Christmas shopping with $600 in cash that I had been putting away for this time of year.

My first stop was a clothing store on Spring Garden Road, to purchase a pair of pants I had had my eye on for the past year. The plan was to treat myself to these and get on with my Christmas shopping.

It was about 4 p.m. and the streets were busy. I parked on a side street not far from the store.

I went into the store and straight over to where the pants were located. I found my size and went to try them on. I set my keys down and noticed my wallet was not with me.

Frantically, I patted down my pockets and realized I must have dropped it somewhere. I quickly retraced my steps in the store and could not find it. I could feel myself panicking.

Under my breath, I mumbled that I lost something as I searched on the floor near another shopper. She heard me and immediately wanted to help: “OK, let’s retrace your steps. Where were you shopping in the store, and what cubbies did you look in?”

I told her there was $600 in the wallet. It was like we were on a mission, but after a long search, we found no sign of my wallet anywhere. I then retraced my steps back to my truck and back to the store. Again, no wallet.

When I returned to the store, the two of us continued to look in the same places and it was at that moment I knew I had to walk away. I introduced myself to the lady and said, “Thank you so much.” I was so appreciative of her help and concern.

I left the store. I was so disappointed but still thought there might a slight chance of finding it. After slowly retracing my steps a few more times to the truck and back, I decided it was time to leave.

As I was about to head home, my phone rang. It was a police officer. He told me he had found my wallet. And of course I asked the question about the contents. And of course the answer was no, there was no money found in the wallet. He told me to meet him in front of the store I was shopping in and we would have a quick chat about the incident.

The lady who had been helping me happened to be walking out, and I told her that the wallet was found but that there was no money in it. She waited with me until the police officer arrived and I said thanks again; at least we now knew what had happened.

I got home that evening and told my family what had happened. After feeling a range of emotions, I concluded that after all, it was only money; it could have been a lot worse. I also told everyone about the sweet lady who had helped me out. She was so kind and so genuinely wanted to help, and I honestly felt she was my best friend in that moment. I was very grateful she had been there.

So that was that — until I received a phone call from the store the very next day. They asked if I could come down. I asked why and they said a card had been dropped off there for me. Surprised, I asked “Was it from that lady who was helping me look for my wallet last night?” And they replied yes. I thought, wow, that’s so nice of her. I couldn’t make it there that day but the phone call alone put a smile on my face.

The next night after work, I drove downtown. After picking up the card I went back to my truck to open it. My eyes filled with tears. It contained $600 cash and this note:

Dear Anne Marie,

I wanted to write you to say that I have not stopped thinking about you since yesterday evening. Sometimes you meet someone and encounter a situation where you feel you just have to act. When you lost your wallet I felt simply heartbroken for you and where I am always so busy and focused I felt instantly that I needed to stop and help you. I went home and I told my husband and children about you and we all agreed that this was one of those moments in life where we wanted to do something. One day you will pay it forward to someone who needs your help, and that will keep the good going. Go and do your Christmas shopping and make it an extra special holiday.

Much love,

Anonymous

I was speechless.

I really want to share this story with everyone. Her thoughtfulness brought so much happiness to me and to the people around me. I learned so much about how an act of kindness can affect you. The values and qualities this lady exemplified through her actions and her family’s are ones I wish to emulate. Going forward, every Christmas will be a reminder to me that the spirit of the season is alive and well. Some people do act with goodwill and kindness with no expectation of acknowledgment or reward other than leaving a footprint in the sand. Someday I will have the opportunity to pay it forward, and I look forward to that day.

Anne Marie MacDonald is a massage therapist who lives in Halifax.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tis the Season

for giving and sharing.

Yesterday we went to see the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, and enjoy the entertainment.

(not my pics, sorry, forgot to take my camera)

But the Holiday Train is not just about entertaining – this 16-year-old tradition is a way to raise funds and gather food items for local food banks all across our country.

The train starts in Montreal and lands in Vancouver, stopping several times a day at communities across the country, where the local Community Services volunteers then set up collection points.  Of approximately 2500 residents in our little community, at least 500 of them gathered together yesterday to hear Jim Cuddy and Tracey Brown, and give for those less fortunate.

We were told that each dollar cash donation relates to five dollars worth of food – and CP Rail gave our town $7000.00.  With that plus the donations from last night plus the collections of our local firefighters last week and what ever else they collect, the coffers are full and should be full for a little while at least.

Other communities have different food drives at this time of year, like Cram the Cruiser – where local RCMP set up their vehicles at a collection point and folks can drop off their donations.  My little niece in Houston BC got behind this one and collected earnings from her craft sales to buy food to donate

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Yes, food is needed year-round, but in the spirit of giving, now is a good time to remember to share our wealth, so that those in need will have enough.

Happy giving!                      Blessings, Peg

Friday, December 12, 2014

Aah–That Felt Good

A day at a spa?  No, actually time with Brenda (sewing machine).

After a fairly lengthy separation, we finally got back together, albeit for just a short time, but it was goo-ood!

So what was the result of our joint adventure:

035

This little ‘tree’ has gone to a friend in a care facility.  Saw this first on Renata’s blog A Loose Bobbin and she very graciously shared the pattern with me.

But I’ve not been idle.  This week in review:

Monday – bake butterhorns, sew the ‘tree’

Tuesday – a day for shopping and lunch with friends

Wednesday – bake tarts and squares, deliver the ‘tree’

Thursday – bake cookies

Today – will be candy making day

And I still haven’t done my Christmas cards and letters!!!

Happy makin’ and bakin’             Blessings, Peg

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

There’s much (cactus growing)DSCN8875

And everything’s glowingDSCN8889

Four calling birds

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The stockings were hung by the chimney with careDSCN8882

The (dog) was nestled all snug in her bed

DSCN8905

O Holy NightDSCN8877

Yes, even in the midst of our renos, we managed to get Christmas started in our house

Happy, happy season              Blessings, Peg

Monday, December 8, 2014

Adventures in Electricity

We finished the bedrooms!  Painted and new floors, fresh and clean and tidy, even found things we hadn’t seen in a long time, and managed to ‘recycle’ fairly effectively.

While doing the spare room, we had things piled up in our bedroom.  Then while working on our bedroom, we slept in the spare room, piling stuff up in the family room and dining room.  It was a mess!  But well worth it.  I’m sorry I forgot to take ‘before’ pictures, but here’s the result:

DSCN8908DSCN8907

Still a little work to do with curtains and some shelving, but essentially complete.

When we got to putting the master bedroom back together again, we of course were moving things like lamps and alarm clock.  Unplugging the alarm clock meant that the display went blank, but the battery would keep the ‘clock’ running until it was plugged in again.  Except that, when we plugged in the clock, there was no display.  Oh, brother, we wondered what could have happened in the 30 feet between bedroom plugs.  Then we discovered that that particular plug wasn’t working at all.  Okay, so take the cover off and see if we can discover any immediate concerns, like paint on the connection or something.  Nothing to be seen.  So we started checking a couple of other plugs.  ALL the plugs, both rooms were dead.  So out to the breaker box to see if there’s any apparent problems.  The ARC fault (not really sure what that means) was blown, wouldn’t reset.  We tried everything we knew to do, and were at the point of deciding we needed to find an electrician – really too bad our DSIL-J is so far away!  One last attempt – unplug everything from all the plugs and see if we can reset the breaker. 

It worked!  The breaker reset, we plugged in one appliance at a time, testing each as we plugged them in, all is good!  So we now have TV, digital box, internet modem, computer, printer, bedside lamps, alarm clock all working again.  Amazing to us that whatever caused that breaker to turn off, it only affected the plugs in those rooms.  The light switches all still worked throughout.

Electricity not being something that Grizz likes to play with, we were a little nervous, but all is well in the end.  And we have nice bright bedrooms once again with lovely laminate flooring.

Happy renos!                    Blessings, Peg