Wednesday, September 30, 2009


On Monday, I was out in the evening and as I went by a friends house, I saw something that reminded me of an event that happened just over a year ago. We live in a 80 X 16 mobile and you can imagine what it was like to get that delivered around our country roads. The driver had quite a few problems but did manage to get it to our laneway but that was as far as he could go. We thought we had made it wide enough but no amount of backing up, wiggling around or repositioning would get that monstrosity onto the lane. So, the driver left it on the side of the road. Now, of course, the road isn't that wide and I had visions of someone coming home, running into it and being injured. We called the family that had been doing all our work and over they came. The men walked back and forth looking at the mobile. Margaret and I sat in their truck and fussed. It was finally decided that if we put markers on the road we might be alright. This was done. I know none of us slept well that night and the next morning the men arrived early to start work. It took them 8 hours to widen the road and get the mobile up the lane and on the supports. So much work and worry but, after living in a converted bus for over four months, we had our home. It would be nearly 2 more months before we had all our services but that is another story.
What reminded me of this event? When I drove by Margarets on Monday, I saw her solar hummingbirds flashing near the driveway. She had brought them over and (in addition to emergency lights on the road) we put one on either end of the mobile! I can only imagine what anyone passing by through the night must have thought.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Small Step

Do you get discouraged or feel overwhelmed when you see all the need there is in the world? It sometimes seems that nearly every child in the world is being abused, starving and/or homeless. Diseases that should have been eradicated years ago still affect the poor and, of course, there are few countries in the world that are not in the midst of some sort of strife.
I decided long ago that I neither have the high profile or income to make a difference in a large way but I can do little things. I can say something pleasant to a store clerk who just had to deal with an unreasonable customer. I can say thank you. I can smile at a child, hold the door for a parent struggling with children and parcels, I can try to be patient with those who need more time to do something. These are just little things but I believe that it is often the little things that have the biggest impact. I don't remember to act this way all the time. Sometimes, I am the one that needs the kindness and, when I get it, I try to show my appreciation.
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a Small Steps Project. Members would agree to do at least one thoughtful thing a day. They would also agree to not do that just when it is easiest. They would look for the individual that no-one notices and smile at them. They would encourage the one who does not meet societies standard of lovable, or nice or clean or pretty or the right weight or....
I would love to hear your thoughts or how you deal with the issue of the world's need. Leave a comment or send me an e mail

Monday, September 28, 2009


It's raining. Leaves are drifting past my window like crimson-hued butterflies.  As I watch them fall (pardon the pun), I started thinking about colours and how they affect us.  Would autumn be as glorious if the leaves turned grey?  Would we stop and stare at a monotoned rainbow?
My friend, Carol, phoned me yesterday and, while laughing, told me about some blocks she had made at my suggestion.    She had mentioned that she had trouble with colour choices and I advised her to do what someone had passed on to me; cut some blocks out of scraps and sew them together without preplanning or thinking about what went with what.  The result, she told me was a glorious (she didn't exactly use the word 'glorious' but I see them that way) mish mash.  Carol may not be able to use those blocks for anything more than a blanket for her pet but I don't think she would have got a chuckle from using a safe palette.
Colour has been proven to affect our mood, our ability to learn and how people perceive us.  I think it can also show how we see ourselves.  An insecure person may opt for plain colours, whereas someone who is outgoing (or at least wants to appear to be) may choose flashy geometrics.
Many people wear black and,  while it can look elegant, I think it is overdone.  The little black dress and pearls may be safe but it is boring, boring, boring.  If you really must wear black, why not add a vibrant scarf or jacket?  Better yet, don't you think you would feel happier in bright yellow, or red, or lime green?  Even better, wear them all at the same time.  People may laugh, you might even laugh yourself but doesn't the world need a bit more laughter and less taking ourselves so seriously.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Day in the A Life....

It is another glorious autumn day. The sun is shining, there's a stew simmering on the wood stove, the bread is rising in their pans and my husband has gone to see if he can catch or shoot our supper. Doesn't that sound positively bucolic. It is all true, however except that even if Roger does get something, we will have the stew for our meal today.
I wish you could see the view from my studio window. I can see the road/lane that leads to the back of the property and the ponds. On one side of the trail, is our wood pile which is getting steadily bigger as Roger prepares for winter. Our storage shed/future chicken coop is beyond that and still further is our bus/guest house. On the other side of the road, the tractor is backed in amongst the trees adding its colour to the grey brown trunks. Surrounding everything is a multitude of greens accented by red, gold and bronze. As my window faces east, the scene has an irredescent glow as the sun shines through and on the leaves. Glorious indeed.
I think we are supposed to have a long fall which is nice but I also look forward to winter. It has its own beauty and is such a peaceful time of year. Once the snow arrives, I get to watch the deer and the moving shadows as the sun changes position throughout the day.
Do I miss the noise and traffic of the city? About as much as I would miss a bad case of the stomach flu.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Day

I intended telling you today about some of the folk that live on our road but something has happened that I would like to share with you. I believe that I mentioned that I had an article accepted by the new Canadian quilt magazine, Quilter's Connection. Yesterday, I sent in the completed work and almost immediately got a reply from Heather saying how much she liked it. I have been a writer for many years and I have to say that I have never before been treated with the courtesy and consideration that I have received from this publication. The usual proceedure is that I send a query (suggestion), wait 6 weeks, call to see if they have received it and then wait again. I know that everyone is busy but a company can set up their e mail so that, at the very least, a form reply is generated saying that the letter has been received. That is my rant for the day. I hope, if you are a quilter, you will consider purchasing this magazine. There are few enough Canadian publications and, where possible, we need to support them.
If all that wasn't enough excitement for one day, I later found that I had won an on-line block challenge one of the quilt groups had run. It was the first time I had done a challenge so I was pleasantly surprised especially as all the blocks were so innovative.
That is my brag for the day. Hope yours has at least one pleasant surprise.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rainy Day

We are getting a nice rain today; in fact, it has been coming down since yesterday evening. I call it a 'nice' rain because I have always believed it is important that the ground gets a good soaking before it freezes. I am not sure from where I get that belief because I am not a gardener but I do believe it. Of course, the flip side is that I won't be able to take the last photo I need before sending my article into the quilt magazine. I would like to get one of me beside the Burk's Falls welcome sign. Perhaps later today.
In the meantime, I have tidied up the kitchen and am thinking about doing some sewing. I have been making a mental list of things I want to make for the craft sale. I probably won't do half of them but it is always nice to have a list.
I am thinking about adding some links to my blog page. They would be for some of my favourite web sites. Will have to think about it. I am just learning how to manage what I am doing especially with the photos. Everything is a learning curve.
Tomorrow, I am going to tell you about my neighbours and how fortunate we are.
Until then, have a blessed day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Yesterday, was the Burk's Falls Quilt Groups regular meeting. It is so nice to be able to get together with people who share your interests and this is particularly true for quilters. We enjoy sharing our triumphs and helping each other. Conversations can include politics, local events and family as well as quilting. If you live in a smaller community, then a quilt group is especially important. I love being in my home but it is nice to get out of the woods and spend some time with other women. The group I belonged to in Edmonton was equally fun even though our city was large. We still shared each others joys, failures and burdens.
This photo is of a small decoration I am working on for our Christmas craft sale. The pattern is as follows: Cut 1 1/2" strips of fabric in three colours-red, green and gold is nice for Christmas. Sew the green and reds together and then cut into 1 1/2" sections. Sew sections together to make a block. Sew gold strip on the sides of the block. Cut a square of fabric equal to the size of your block and, placing right sides together, sew around 3 sides. Lightly stuff, sew opening closed and add a ribbon for hanging. A small button or other embellishment can be added to the middle of the block. Hang your decoration on a tree, add to a parcel or give a few as a stocking stuffer.
Happy sewing.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I hope you had a nice weekend. The weather in our part of the country is still quite nice although it was cooler on Saturday and we had some fog. We had a busy weekend. On Saturday, we left the house before eight a.m. for a visit with my nephew and his family. Our young great neice had just celebrated her fourth birthday and we wanted to extend her special time just a few days more. The scenery was beautiful as we drove from our home to the highway and I regretted not bringing my camera. The sun was breaking through the mist and everything had a soft, dreamy-like quality.
We got to our destination on schedule and had a lovely visit. It is such a joy watching a young family and being part of their activity even if it is only for a day. The four adults and two little ones (and our dog) went for a walk along a secluded woodsy trail that led to a park and then spent some time kicking a soccer ball and watching the children play. After lunch and opening of presents, it was time for us to go. We had more stops to make before driving home although we hated to have to leave so quickly. These relatives are the only ones with young children from my side of the family that live in Canada so we try to see them as often as possible. I think it is important that the little ones know they are part of an extended family and, of course, we love watching them grow. They are lovely children and special to their great auntie.
Today, I am off to my quilt group. I hope to have a free pattern for you tomorrow. Have a blessed day.

Friday, September 18, 2009


One of the things that Roger and I discussed when getting ready for our move to Ontario was whether or not we would have a pet. I have always had a dog or cat, and often both, in my home so It is usually not a question I have to consider. However, we had to have our dear Tascha cat put to sleep before moving and I didn't think I wanted to go through all that pain again. However, times does ease the sorrow and we began thinking about what kind of a dog we would get. Because of Roger's allergies and our much smaller home, a kitten was not a posibility.
In November, we saw an ad for westiepoo puppies and our choice was made. Heidi has since become a very important part of our home and a great joy after, of course, she learnt not to chew our books, shoes, record album covers or anything else that was in reach of her inquisitive nose.
It is the funniest thing to see my tall, manly husband walking with a ten pound, fluffy dog but if you see him, Heidi is usually right there. He takes her on the quad, for walks to the neighbours and back to the pond. She invariable comes in with her hair matted and filthy. She is very good natured about allowing me to brush her and trim her nails. Of course, the treat that comes after helps.
Our animal companions are an important part of our lives and, for quilters, our love for them shows up in our choices of fabrics and patterns. There are a lot of scottie applique patterns but not many pieced. I put together a simple one which I will share with you. Feel free to copy it or I can send you the instructions.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Geese Have Landed

I am running a bit behind today. We sat up last night to watch America's Got Talent and then, of course, I couldn't sleep. We had to go into the city today to do some shopping (half price sale on at Fabricland) and didn't get home until mid afternoon.
It seems that every day that are changes; most of them small but significant indications of the coming of winter. Today, we passed a field dotted with dozens of Canada Geese. I haven't heard any passing overhead so I imagine this group was just checking out a new lunch spot. Hunting season starts soon so they might want to make themselves less visible. We would welcome them on our pond at the back of the property.
Just after we came home, a couple of women walked up our lane headed for the trail that is on the acerage adjoining ours. The folk that own it had asked for permission to access it from our place as we have a bridge that goes across the ponds and, as we were happy give it, our dog gets fussed over by visitors at least once a week. We also walk the trail and Roger has been given permission to hunt on the property.
I love this co-operation amongst neighbours. Roger is such an outgoing person that someone coming by for some reason is an almost daily occurance. As I write this, our next door neighbour's father just went by on a quad. The neighbour has a trail which joins up to our property (and which we use for skiing) and when they have company, we sometimes see their quad crawl past with a nervous but grinning driver on board.
Not exactly Grand Central Square here in the Gnome Forest, but a far cry from isolated country living.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Autumn Chill

There is a bit of a nip to the air today. Yesterday we put the wood stove on for a couple of hours just to bring the temperature up at bit. It is such a good stove that we only put in three small pieces of wood, let them burn and then go out. House stayed warm for the rest of the day and through the night.
The trees have donned about ten percent of their fall colour so it will be a while yet before the leaves fall. We have friends coming on the 26th so I am really hoping there will be a nice show for them.
Yesterday was a bit sad as we honoured the memory of my Mom and Roger's sister. We each lit a candle at supper for them.
Our Christmas craft sale is Nov. 14th and I have paid for my table. I have started making some things for sale; just small stuff for the most part as I don't really know what people are looking for. Will also have some of my bread available.
We were out moving some rocks around today (our biggest crop) and doing more work on the rock garden. Everything is out of the garden except carrots and turnip and Roger has connected the heat to the pipes so we are ready for winter.
Hope your day brings at least one 'ahh' moment.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Mother

Today is the first anniversary of my mother's death. Mom was 95 and, although weak in body, her mind and spirit were still as strong as always. It is a strange thing to lose a parent as so much of who you are is tied up in the ones who brought you into the world. My siblings and I are now orphans-if that word still applies when you are our ages. I am thankful to still have each of them and, although we live in two different countries, we are very close in spirit.

When a parent has a strong personality, I think it takes a while before you start recognizing the areas in which you are alike. I can certainly see many of her characteristics in each of us but I think those of which I am most proud is that we are honest, hard working and caring.

Mom didn't leave much in the way of earthly things but her legacy will live on long after the tangible things of others have rusted away. Mom's legacy is her family.

Today is also the anniversary of my husband's sister Karen's death. She left her family six years ago as a result of cancer and her memory will also remain strong. I have designed a quilt in her honour and the proceeds from the pattern sales are donated to fight ovarian cancer.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sisters continued

Forgot I wanted to include a quilt block this time. This block is called Twin Sisters and is a traditional design that can be used many ways.


After returning from the quilt show on Saturday, which I really enjoyed, I started thinking about those women who are so dear to us that we consider them to be sisters.
I am fortunate to have two very dear and wonderful natural sisters who I consider to be friends as well as relatives. I also have a number of friends who I think of a sisters.
Ruth and Carol who I mentioned in my previous posts have been my spiritual sisters for many years. They have shared their lives, their support, their prayers, their tears and their encouragement. I would not be who I am today if they had not been in my life. Their faithfulness to me will have earnt them more than a few stars in their crown of life.
There have been many more women who I think of as sisters; some belong or used to belong to the Christian Motorcyclists Assoc. when I was a member, others are quilters, still others members of churches where I have attended.
We meet many people during our walk through this life. Some help us grow (unintentionally, I am sure) by creating problems, others by love and encouragement. If you have met and still know even a few of the latter, you are blessed.
To all the women I know , even if I have not physically met you (as is the case with my on-line friends), I thank you for sharing something of yourself with me. May every one you meet make your step lighter and your smiler brighter.
Bless you all.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The weekend

It has been a busy day. I've baked bread and worked on the article I am doing for Quilter's Connection. Roger has put up the fame for a portable garage and done other work necessary before winter sets in.
Tomorrow I am off to Bobcaygeon. There is a quilt show that I am told is worth seeing. I will be meeting Evelyn, my on line friend as well as Carol who I have known for many years. As I am also taking two friends with me, we are going to have a nice get together. Evelyn and I are the only quilters but I am sure the others will find lots to interest them.
Today, is of course, the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack and those who lost their lives and the ones left to mourn them have been in my thoughts all day.
No quilt pattern this time. Just a wish for a good and safe weekend for everyone.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Pets

It is starting to get cooler at night but not enough that we have to close our windows. So, we are still able to hear the loon as he/she leaves our pond and makes its trek to the lake. A neighbours rooster, anothers dog, birds starting their day and the occassional passing vehicle as people go to work are our morning sounds.
In addition to the loon, our pond is also home to a crane although we haven't been able to get close enough to see what kind. We are hoping that when migration starts that a few ducks will also find the still water a welcome rest spot.
We are also hoping that a couple of beavers will make their way here as the dam needs repairing.
Yesterday, we discovered we have some unwelcome house pets. When our tv satelite dish was installed, there was a small space left open near the roof. This has been discovered by some bats.
Now, we did want to attract these creatures because they do eat vast amounts of bugs but we wanted them to live in a bat house or some other accommodation. We are going to have to educate ourselves about bat habits so we can figure out how to move them.
Thank you for you kind comments about my blog.
Today I have a free block pattern for you. I call it train windows because it reminds me of the lighted windows you used to see on the passing trains as you waited by the tracks. It is a simple block: 4-3 1/2" squares of fabric (great for a scrappy) sewn together to make a block. One 6 1/2 x 3 1/2 strip of fabric sewn to bottom of the block and a 9 1/2 by 3 1/2 strip sewn to the left side.
Happy sewing. Let me know if you would like the complete pattern.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Backwoods Quilter

This morning we were visited by the partridge family. For some time now, a male partridge has been letting us know he didn't like us on 'his' property. We suspected he had a harem somehwere nearby and this morning we saw them; a covey of a dozen or more strode through the property. Of course, our little westiepoo, Heidi, dashed around the house barking furiously. Living in the country sure has its moments.

Last week, I entered a small quilted wallhanging and a loaf of my bread in our fall fair. It was the first time I had ever done anything like this so I didn't have any great expectation of wining.

to my great surprise, I took second prize for both entries. I am already planning for next year.

Here is a picture of the quilt.

I have created this blog to share my life and my quilting. I will be posting patterns that I have created. Some will be free others will have a modest price.