Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry After Christmas

Anybody out there? I've been gone so long from the blogging world. Anyhow, Christmas was mixed this year. The older I get the more I value being with family rather than the whole present/gifts thing. I guess that comes with age, I don't know. Maybe by the time you pass 50 you have everything and you are on the way to trying to purge yourself of stuff that just clutters up your house and your life...except fabric of course!

I had two lovely luncheons with two different groups of girlfriends and I thoroughly enjoyed being with them. We chose interesting, different-from-usual venues and that just added to the enjoyment.

Two of our children and their lovely families live too far away and this year we didn't spend Christmas together. We used face time to enjoy some time together and let me tell you, that just doesn't cut it. Our other daughter was home for Christmas with her family and it was nice to see them and spend some time however they were sick and couldn't enjoy Christmas the way the might have liked to. They leave soon for the south and won't be back until June. I'll sew lots :-) tree and my decorations are coming down pretty quickly this year. I'm not sorry to say goodbye to the season this year. I might totally de-clutter the house and repaint during January. I'm thinking something robin's egg blue with a touch of grey. It will give Jim something to do while he waits for the golf courses to reopen.

Here's my completed "Night Before Christmas" quilt. I enjoyed making it so much.

and this is my Whistler Quilt. I had a relaxing week in the mountains visiting my sister-in-law (who doesn't much appreciate that quilting is an art...)

And the blue star quilt, which I began 5 years ago and completed this November. I need to get a proper shot of the quilt before she leaves for the south!

I'm getting together with some special friends in a few weeks for a weekend retreat. I'm not hosting it this year and I'm so looking forward to some solid quilting and visiting. 

My takeaway from Christmas this year is less is more. Fewer decorations, fewer outdoor decorations, not too much baking, not too much eating, and enjoy the simple things and the meaningful things, like enjoying the people you get to celebrate the season with, for whatever time is given...enjoy those you love.

My need-to-do-next-year is this. Cook less. As usual, even though there were only 4 adults and 2 children for Christmas dinner, I cooked enough to feed 5000.  When will I learn?

Talk soon,

Saturday, September 29, 2012


I'm madly cutting kits to take on vacation. Fall is not when most people take a vacation...but we being retired have that option. I love Whistler in the fall. The drive up from Vancouver is breathtaking. The snow is starting to collect on the top of the mountains. The mornings are can see your breath. When I'm out with the dog early in the morning, I'm mindful of wandering bears. Maybe this year I'll see one. Our residence while we are there sits just outside the village and from the yard there is a view of two imposing mountains - Blackcomb and another - I don't know the name of it. When I walk down the street I get the feeling I am somewhat insignificant as I look up and see those towering gigantic masses of rock.

DH will golf and I will be quite content to pull on comfy yoga pants and a sweater and sew my days away. I'm sure there will be a few shopping trips in the village, and maybe even a few hikes, although they are highly overrated by the locals! My daughter says with disgust, the "H" word. Not a fan...

My workout for the past few months has been inside, at the gym on the treadmill and the bike. It will be a welcome change tying on the running shoes and leashing up the dogs to go on a mountain trek. No tv needed during this kind of workout! The dogs think they are "working" and trot along at a good pace. The humans will tear up the terrain while keeping a watch for bears. I remember the hike we did last visit, a few years ago. It lasted hours and we ended up on top of a mountain with beautiful views. We earned our supper that day! Many calories were burned in an enjoyable way.

When I am in Whistler, I am put in my place. The mountains do it like nothing else ever has. I look around and take in the majesty of the imposing mountains and realize how small I am. And how weak. I am reminded of the majesty of the One who created what I see, and how vast and beautiful His creation is. Not a day goes by that I am not amazed at what He's done. That's why I love being in Whistler. I'm thankful.

And those mountain hikes...there's a metaphor in there somewhere...I'll post when I find it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Borders of one kind or another

So, today, my friend and I did a quick road trip to that great country that sits below the big red maple leaf. In order to get there, we had to wait in line to talk to the nice US border guard and tell him we two old ladies were going shopping at the quilt store. That always brings a curious response... Anyhow, we did our meager shopping (unusual, yes) and crossed the bridge to come back into Canada. As we shared with the Canadian border guard that we had only spent a few hundred dollars between us, and we had no alcohol or tobacco, he began to write on the yellow sheet. Never a good sign. So we got nabbed for the, a grand total of $16.00 and my friend even less. Honestly. You would think that the process to supply the personnel to collect our meager taxes cost a great deal more than what we paid. What a monumental waste of time and taxpayers dollars that system is. I was put out! But it is still worthwhile shopping for our fabric in the US. Canadian quilt shops charge a ridiculous amount for fabric and we just can't justify paying their inflated prices for old fabric. Nuff said on all that for now. And speaking of borders, I never know how to quilt them. I am always stumped when I come to the border. Must research that on the Internet and get some ideas. Do you ever google something about quilting and hit "images"? Try it. For instance google "snowman quilts" and you will have some eye candy that will get you in the mood for winter even though it is 90 degrees outside! Off to bed.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Note From HRH!

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee...and I sent a note to her, and I got a thank you note from Buckingham Palace complete with a beautiful picture of the Queen.  God Save the Queen!

The Queen sends her grateful thanks
for the words of support
which you have so kindly sent
on the occasion of
the Sixtieth Anniversary of
Her Majesty’s Accession to the Throne.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May!

This is what has been taking up my time lately...and it is nearing completion. Loved making all those pinwheels.

She is a girly girl and she will love this!

I love the month of May. It means flowers, planting, blossoms, mother's day, a daughter's birthday, moderate temperatures (here in Canada!) and beautiful smells in the air. Spring in my neck of the woods is always one of my favorite times of the year. I'm a "not too hot, not too cold" girl. So the temperatures in spring suit me just fine!

Bleeding heart from my window basket

Spring Pansy


Spring, new life, new beginnings...lovely, yes?  Off on my walk. See ya!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Another week...another quilt! And a path...

Well I spent the weekend working on another quilt for one of my grandchildren. This one is very girly because the recipient is very girly!

I hope to finish it this week, ready for her when she gets here for her visit to Nanie's.

While I was cleaning up and organizing my mom's ipad, I came across some wonderful photos she had stored in her photo file. I snagged some of them...I'm always thinking about what can go up in a post on the blog...and here's one for today.

This photo says so much. I like pictures that show a path. I have photographed many pathways and there's a lot to be said for "the path".  This photo also speaks to me about not walking the path alone. And we don't, thanks be to God.

The pathway is also well worn. Many have walked this path. Penguins that is...but in life, we are not the only ones walking the path we are on. Many have done the walk, are doing the walk. We are never alone in our journey.

Whatever your path right now, may you know the presence of the One who never leaves us to walk alone. That reminds me of a book I read years ago while I was on a certain "path". Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. I highly recommend this book.

I'm off for my walk. I'll take my camera with me. Never know what I'm going to see...and then I can share it with you.

Have a good day.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Where did my Boots go?!

Don't you just love this photo? It was sent to me by a dear friend, who says it reminded her of me. I love the photo, but more than that I love the fact that I have a friend who knows me well enough to say, "This reminds me of you!"  What a treasure to have such a friend. She has moved away now, but as it is with good friends, you don't need to see each other every day. Even if it's been years since you've had a chat, you can pick up just like you spent time together yesterday.
These boots remind me of my friends. Colourful, different, present, willing to add beauty to the world, and blooming where they are planted! We aren't in each others' back pockets, but we share things, as good friends do, and trust each other with our joys and sorrows. We are witnesses to each other's lives and that is a privilege I hold dear. Good friends are a blessing.

I had coffee this morning with one of my dear friends and we haven't talked in months and months. Yet we picked up where we left off, shared the happy and the sad together, and thoroughly enjoyed each other's company over coffee. She leads a very busy, sacrificial life serving others. I admire her so! How sweet is this privelege of sitting down with her for a slice of time!

This Friday I will meet up with a group of women who I've been blessed to count as friends for the past 20+ years. We will share, and laugh, and tease, and cry, and eat together. What joy! We call ourselves a book club, but actually we stopped reading books a long time ago. So we are the non-book club I guess.

And there is another group of women I treasure. We share while we are busy doing our craft. Sometimes we go on road trips, sometimes we just meet for coffee, sometimes we meet to do what we love. Hands are busy making while we share one anothers' lives.

And there are the women in my life that are part of my family. Mother, sister, daughters, grand daughters, sisters-in-law, daughter-in-law. They are special treasures. Over time as we witness each other's lives, we grow through good times and bad. Because they are family, there are different dynamics that come into play down through the years. Navigating those dynamics with each other takes patience, understanding, love, forgiveness, and determination. But it is worth it. I love and am thankful for each and every woman in my family!

Anyhow...back to the boots. Aren't they cute? I am going to go out to the dollar store and buy some little rubber rain boots, fill them with soil, plant them up and nail them to the fence. Every time I look at them, I will think of my friends and say a little prayer of thanks to God for the blessing of friendship.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How Many Trips Does it Take...

Honestly! All I need is a change in the tap handles in my laundry room. I'm not a very fussy person when it comes to my house. Some people have to have the newest, greatest, latest of everything. Not me. I love old houses and all the vintage that comes along with them. Well, at least, I have loved these old babes. I've lived in a few! But I'm finding that my frustration levels are growing as I live in our present old babe.

Take today, for instance. Well, the last few days actually. Problem:  I've got taps in my laundry room that are hard to "handle." (Sorry about that! :-)

They are hard to turn. I asked hubs to see if he could change the tap. "Go and get whachyawant" he tells me. So first trip to the home store sees me coming back with a shiny new tap that will be easy to turn off and on and even has a built in sprayer! Wow!  Long story short...didn't fit. Back to the store for a pleasant interaction with the returns desk clerk.

As I go back into the faucet section of the store, a new idea breaks into my head! Why not just change the handles to the paddle type, like they have in hospitals, etc. I purchase the handles that are labelled "universal" and home I go. Hubs likes the idea and spends several hours trying to fit them on. Guess what. Don't fit. (Anyone who knows Hubs knows he would rather have root canal than do this kind of work.) He ended up in a mood.

Second trip back to the returns desk.Since I've exhausted this store's offerings, my next brainwave is to visit the big box store down the street from the first store. See what they have. Voila! I find another faucet like the one I already have, but instead of old style turney handles, this one has paddles for handles. The installation will require Hubs (who does not like to do this type of thing) to remove the entire tap, disconnect the water supply, squeeze into a tiny space to do all this (I can just hear the expletives now!!!) and try to use the tools he has which are not plumbers tools. Oh my.

Maybe I'll call a plumber while Hubs is on the golf course tomorrow. Think I will. Peace at any cost!

That's what has been keeping me busy. I'm thinking a brand new shiny house with everything custom designed to our tastes is in our future.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Another Finish

This morning I'm thinking about finishes. I've finished a few winter trips, finished putting away all my travel stuff, finished putting away all my "new purchases!" and I've even finished a few quilts along the way.

Here's one. It is the after Christmas-still winter quilt. Love it!

Here is what I'm working on now. I designed it while down south and I love love love the colours. I was inspired by a copy of an antique quilt I saw in a cute shop I visit once in a while. I decided to do hearts out of my 4-patches. Stay tuned!

So since it is such a beautiful day, and since I need (badly!) some exercise, I'm heading out for a walk before the sun is high in the sky.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sand in My Shoes

On our way north on the interstate, we took a short detour and this is what we found.

 We stopped for a half hour at most...we had a long trip ahead of us. But for just a half hour, I was at the ocean. Ahhhhh.

 I stuck my feet into the surf. The flags flying by the entrance to the beach indicated "dangerous riptides and dangerous marine life."  Needless to say, I didn't need to be convinced not to dive in. So I was content to let the surf cool my feet off.

There's something overpowering when you stand on the beach of the Atlantic Ocean. The colours are the sun peeks in and out from behind the clouds causing the water to change in colour  from greens, to greys to beautiful blues. I could have stayed there for a week.  

We didn't know this was just off the interstate. I'm glad we decided to venture off the highway and search for the ocean. It was a wonderful little treat to experience as we said good-bye to Florida.

And now we are in civil war country as we travel north to Canada. So much history in this huge country...I hope tomorrow brings more adventures. How could it not?

Coastal stop

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Day in Savannah…

Today I toured the Wormsloe Plantation, a 1736 Colonial Estate near downtown Savannah. It was created by an early colonist, Noble Jones, a common Englishman who was a physician, carpenter, and surveyor. The estate sits on land located near a waterway. He farmed his land, growing corn, turnips, potatoes, rice, cotton, oranges, pomegranates, figs, peaches, apricots, and mulberry trees for silk. This is the front gate.   
The long drive in to the plantation is lined with old oaks that arch over the driveway. Do you recognize this from the movie Forest Gump?
Here’s another view, looking back toward the front gate.
All that remains of the original Tabby house built by Jones.
This path takes you from the ruins of the home to the gravesite of Jones, and it runs along the water’s edge.
Early colonists in Georgia didn’t keep slaves. They believed owning slaves made one lazy. Jones and other Georgians did eventually succumb to owning slaves and this is an example of what the slaves would have lived in on Wormsloe. The interior of the cottage includes a large fireplace for heating and cooking, a sleeping loft, and one room for living in.
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Quite a day…walking by myself through the heavily forested plantation and thinking about what the lives of the people who had trod the same paths might have been like.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Waking up in Savannah!

What a lovely, historical city! We've just arrived, had our first sleep here in a carriage house of an old, historic downtown home across from a beautiful park. The trees are laden with Spanish moss, the grass is green, the spring flowers are up and the magnolias are nearly in full bloom.

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I’m off with my camera to discover the historical downtown area while my DH enjoys a beautiful Savannah golf course. And, of course, there will be a few stops at local quilt shops…
Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Beautiful Day

Amazing! This warm breezy weather at the end of January is unheard of.
Today, the weather is something to behold! Sunny, mild, and it is the end of January. Who knew?!

I've been watching the birds in my yard. They are hunting for nesting places already. Last year I watched out my kitchen window as little sparrows made a nest in the corner of my neighbour's roof where the eaves trough meets the roof. IMG_1161The little sparrows worked so hard every day, bringing bits of this and that to feather their nest. And eventually, the babies were hatched and mom and dad had the task of going back and forth with bits of food. Eventually the family left the nest.
Unfortunately, later on in the summer, I noticed my neighbour cleaning out his eves and stuffing wire mesh into the spot where the nest was built. I was sad...

Just this morning, I noticed the sparrows were back, perched on the roof where they built their nest last year. They were looking at the wire mesh that blocks the entrance into the corner of the roof/eve. I'm sure they will find another spot. I will, of course, place bits of yarn and leave some garden refuse around as I clean up this that the birds will have some extra bits to put into their nests.

Meet Rusty. I call him Rusty because if you look closely at his ears, they are tinged with rust coloured fur. IMG_1162He is new to our yard this year. I’ve never seen a fatter squirrel. Someone has trained him to beg for his food, and to come close to find it. He will come right up on to our deck when he sees us out, and he waits to see if we have a peanut or two for him. Doesn’t he look like the most polite squirrel you’ve ever seen?

Today he was enjoying the apple I put out for the gang. There are several very overweight squirrels in our yard this year. I am guessing someone’s bird feeder is not squirrel proof like ours is.

It is amazing what you see when you stand in one place for an hour or so and take pictures of those things that are within your eyesight. And I find it interesting to see where one’s mind goes when you are doing this exercise in photography. You see things you wouldn’t normally take notice of.

I am packing up slowly for a weekend departure on a month long vacation down south. We've never done this before, so we are really excited for the adventure. Lots of stops along the way and a wonderful grand-kiddie-filled destination! We are looking forward to lots of rest and relaxation...and I’ll be taking my camera, documenting our trip and posting as I go.

What will tomorrow bring?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Red Pot

It's time to put my red pot into service and make some yummy chicken soup. Besides, I'm fighting a cold and when I feel like this, there's only one thing that makes me feel better. That would be some delicious, comforting homemade chicken soup.

So first thing tomorrow morning, I'm off to the grocery store to buy an organic chicken, some carrots, celery, onions, and fresh parsley. I'll fry up the giblets, deglaze the pan with some white wine, add the chopped veggies, the whole chicken, cover with water, and let everything simmer until the chicken is cooked.  I'll remove the chicken, pick off the meat, return the bones to the pan and then let the stock simmer for several hours.
By tomorrow night, I'll have some yummy, homemade chicken soup. Yum! Until then, I'll have to comfort myself with my hot water, lemon, and honey. I hate being sick.