Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shopping Day

Dear husband and I went to Huntsville today to do a bit of shopping.  The main purpose of the trip was to pick up a part he needed for his quad and the modem for our new Internet server.  We have been quite happy with our current provider but recently we have been having problems with low speed, flickering of the connection or none at all.  The company we have switched to is cheaper and, hopefully, faster and trouble free.
It should have been a fairly easy trip but because I hurt my back a couple of days ago, it was a painful one.  Walking around wasn't too bad but getting in and out of the car was excruciating.  Riding wasn't too much better.  We have a standard and Roger was trying to be very careful but there is always bumps and jerks as well as the road surface to deal with. 
I get this periodically and it is just something to put up with until it settles down again.  Sure makes a person appreciate good health when everything is back to normal.  I am generally an unsympathetic person with anyone who has aches and pains.  Not nice of me but I am being honest.  I have a feeling that as I get older and suffer through a few of my own that I will have a change of attitude.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Heirloom.

Carol's Quilt
It is a rainy day here in the backwoods.  The ground is becoming strewn with a carpet of multi hued leaves.  Soon it will be replaced by snow which is just  as lovely.
This marvellous quilt was made by my friend, Carol, for her daughter.  It measure 6 feet by 8 feet and was machine pieced and hand quilted.
Didn't she do a lovely job?  I am sure it will be an heirloom to be handed down in the family for many generations to come.
My younger sister and I were exchanging e mails yesterday and I had told her about our egg bounty so she started punning me with egg related words.  Just a few silly moments but fun.  I was hoping to go and see my other sister today before she returns to England but I have been feeling a bit ill and didn't want to give her whatever I have.  Flying is bad enough.  Flying with a head cold is torture and can be dangerous for your ear drums.  So, I am disappointed but just didn't want to take any chances.
I am fortunate to be able to see my two dear sisters fairly often and one brother lives about an hours drive away.  The youngest brother and I keep in touch through e mail but I downloaded Skype yesterday so hope now to be able to talk to him via that.  A much cheaper alternative to the phone.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More Chickens

Autumn Glory
My husband picked up five laying chickens on the weekend and got them installed in their new home.  We didn't expect any eggs for at least a week but, lo, and behold, we got three yesterday.  Two were white and the third brown and all a good size.  I was at quilt group and Roger called to let me know.  I hope he was at least that excited over the birth of his sons.
Our trees seemed to have reached the peak of their colour.  There are still a lot of green leaves but the ones that have changed are fading and falling.  I think they are early this year but others said there are on schedule.
I saw a wonderful thing on television this morning which, once again, emphasised the great country in which I live.  You are probably aware of the protest against the oil pipeline going from Canada to Mexico.  There was a demonstration in Ottawa and the news clip I saw was of a police officer, politely and calming advising protesters that if they came over the fencing they would be breaking the law.  The protesters just as politely and calmly,  thanked the officer who then stepped back as the man climbed over the fence.  The other clip was a row of arrested protesters sitting on the ground with their hands secured behind them and a police officer walking along asking if they were okay.  Marvellous.  No guns, no dogs, no yelling or throwing of things just a peaceful demonstration of rights.
As for the issue, my personal belief is that as Texas needs oil, it would be to our advantage to provide it.  Accept the fact and make sure it is a safe as anything can be.  The oil from the sands in Alberta is cleaner (in many senses of the word) than that coming from Arabia. I have been to area of number of times and have always been impressed by all the green vegitation that surrounds the site and the area.
The same news cast also explained why we don't refine our own oil and the answer is economics.  It is very costly to build the refineries and the companies don't see it as beneficial to their bottom line.  Right or wrong this is a fact.Sometimes you just have to accept things are what they are and do everything you can to make it positive.
Having said all that, I still think that demonstration was a wonderful thing.  I doubt the clips I saw will get world wide attention, but they should.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Last Days of Summer

Our Heidi
Today is the first day of autumn.  It is a bit dreary outside; rather grey and raining but the trees still make a bright contrast.  Yesterday was so lovely that, between baking and cleaning, Heidi and I went for a walk and played chase the ball.  In this photo, she has captured it and is deciding if she is going to bring it to me again.
She looks so nice and white against the green grass although, in truth, she needs a bath.  I also need to give her a trim before the snow falls because it sticks to her hair in great heavy clumps.
This is my 'in the office day' so I plan on working on getting a few more articles finished for the on line quilt magazine.  Before I can do that, however, I have to go to the village because our grocery store has butterball turkeys on for a good price.  We are hoping to have my brother and his wife here for Thanksgiving so I have better serve turkey.
When we were driving to his place this week, we had a flock of geese fly down fairly close to the road, just over a transport truck.  They stayed above it for a while and it seemed as though they had decided to follow it south.  A funny sight.
Whatever you are doing this weekend, I hope you take time to get out and enjoy the colours.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Harvest Beauty

Harvest Beauty
We have gathered together most of our crops and will be bringing them indoors for winter consumption.  I will start canning in October as I am still too busy to do much now although I am turning some grapes into juice while I wait for the bread to rise.
Some one asked me the other day how I am able to get so much done and I think it is because I do a number of things at the same time; for example make bread, simmer grapes for juice and write my blog.  I am often folding clothes or doing a similiar task while waiting for supper to cook.
I think women are blessed with this ability to multitask because we never would have the time to do everything if we just focused on one job at a time.
I have updated my web site (well, my webmaster has) and I now have some quilts listed for sale.  I would also like to remind you of the Name the Quilt contest that is underway.  There is nothing to mail or buy so it is easy to enter.  Simply come up with a good name and send it to my address.
I am almost ready to start my hand applique Baltimore album quilt.  I've ordered some nice white fabric from Sisters Quilting Expo and once it gets here I am ready to start.  This is a backing fabric so I didn't need to buy as much and the quality is great (I got a sample).  I am just finishing the border on a child's quilt and then I am ready to go.
Looks like it is going to be a great day for getting outside although rain is predicted.  It that holds off I will take Heidi for a walk after lunch.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Awww, Isn't She Cute.

It is another lovely day here in the backwoods.  My husband is outside doing some work and I should be doing house stuff.  Our little Heidi did the cutest thing this morning (Don't I sound like a doting grandmother).  Roger asked her if she wanted to go out with him and if she promised to not wander away.  He said 'raise your right paw if you promise'.  Heidi went into beg position and stuck her paw out for a shake!  She didn't keep her promise though.  I guess she got bored with just sitting and came back to lay by the front step. 
I always put her on a leash so I can keep track of her but my husband is more trusting.
I believe I mentioned that my doctor gave me a prescription for some pills to stop the headaches I've been getting.  I've quit taking them.  I found that I have been too sluggish throughout the day and I hate that feeling.  I am usually pretty energetic and can get a lot done in a short time.  When I can't do that, something is wrong.
Going in to the village this morning to meet a quilter who is vacationing in the area.  Always nice to meet another addict.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lovely and Busy Day

We have had a lovely day.  My sister is here from England and so she and my husband and I drove to Bracebridge to visit with my brother and his wife.  It is always special for us when we can get together.  We are fortunate that it happenes at least once a year now as my sister comes over to see her son and family and we are all no further than three hours or so apart.
Our fall colours are begining to show themselves in earnest now and it appears that every maple has at least a few leaves that are tipped in orange.  The areas south of us haven't as much colour but will before long.
I think my husband is going to be taking the air conditioner from the window this week as it doesn't seem as though we are going to get any more hot weather.
I am still working at finishing up some of my quilts.  I have the binding sewn onto two of them and just have to do the hand stitching. 
I have a large tote piled high with quilts that are partially done and as much as I am dying to start a new pattern, I am trying to discipline myself to keep at that pile.  Of course, that doesn't stop me from picking out the fabric that I want to use in the new project!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Geese Have Landed-Sort of

Morning Mist
We got a phone call from a neighbour early this morning telling us that a flock of geese had gone over and landed on our pond.  I grabbed my camera and dashed out the door.  The pond is divided by a beaver dam so I wasn't sure which section they would be in and, unfortunately, chose the wrong one.  By the time I backtracked, the geese were lifting off.
I did take this photo of the mist rising off the water.  The pond is quite low this year and, as you can see, we have a lot of stumps showing.  Normally, all but the tall ones are covered.
I have been doing a bit of baking this morning as it is my turn to provide dessert for a ladies meeting on Monday.  I am not sure why I try new recipies at times like this but one of them hasn't turned out.  I couldn't get the chocolate chips to melt properly so have pressed everything into a pan and calling it squares.
We put our wood stove on this morning for the first time.  I've let it go out now but there was a definate chill in the air and frost on the pumpkins.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Seven Wonders

There is currently a contest underway to choose the new 7 wonders of the world and Canada has an entry.  If you would like to support the Bay of Fundy, go to I would suggest that if you have text capabilities, that you pay the .25 and use that method.  It is quicker and easier.  When you get to the web page, there will be a vote now button with a text option under it.
This started  me thinking of my own personal seven wonders and what they would be. My first choice would be God's love for me whih is completely beyond my understanding. Second is my husband who put a life of drugs and alcohol with the associated activities behind him twenty three years ago.  He is a caring, thoughtful and generous man. Third would be my mother who also had a very difficult life which, while it affected her outlook, never defeated her.  She raised five children who have all become adults who care about others. Fourth is our marriage.  Roger and I met in the early 70's, dated for three years and then broke up.  I felt that his lifestyle (see first wonder) was not good for my son.  Twenty years later, we got back together, married and recently celebrated our 20th anniversary.
Fifth is where we live.  We are surrounded by the wonder of nature that continues to entertain and amaze.  Sixth is hummingbirds.  Those tiny miracles of creation that shouldn't, if one believed in evolution, even exist but there they are an example of beauty and endurance. My seventh choice would have to be the internet which allows me to not only shop, find information, and create but also keep in touch with family and friends no matter where they live.
I have a few more; my dishwasher, our little dog etc. but as I only allowed seven, I will have to put them on the honourable mention list.
What are your personal seven wonders?  I hope that, you too, have many more.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

No Brain Today

Do you ever get one of those days when your brain seems to have taken a holiday?  Mine is refusing to work at all today.  I started designing a simple pattern-nine patch place mat, and just couldn't think it through.
So, I decided to write this, hoping I make sense, and finish the laundry.  Then I have some bobbins to wind.  I think I can remember how to do that!
I was at the doctor's yesterday because I have been getting so many headaches and he is getting me to do some neck exercises.  I started this morning and I am wondering if the unaccustomed activity first thing in the day has my mind confused.Ah well, everything needs a rest occasionally; even a brain.
Yesterday, I joined an online skills swap group.  The idea is you set a value for your skill i.e. $10.00 per hour and if someone can use it, they pay you in a skill of equal value that you can use.  This is very much like farmers helping each other get in crops or women getting together to quilt blankets for each other.
I have always preferred trading or swapping as a method of purchase.  The owner of Sister's Quilting Expo and I have been doing this for some time.  Neither of us have much money but both have a skill the other can use.  The link is if you are interested.  There are groups around the world and you can choose an area/community.  The one I belong to is Rational Exchange.
Now I will recheck this to see if all the words are in the correct order and then hang out another load of laundry.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Photos and Quilts.

Evening Glory
I took this photo yesterday just as I was getting ready to leave for a meeting.  I happened to look over to the west and saw the sun, surrounded by a halo of pink just tucking behind the trees.  I took a few photos and then, almost late for my meeting drove off.
I have had a few entries for my latest contest already.  This is an easy one to enter; just go to my web page, take a look at the quilt photo and send me a name suggestion.  If your name is chosen, you get the pattern.
We had quite a thunderstorm last night and I thought we might lose our hydro but it stayed with us.  I want to start quilting a project that I receintly finished so I can include the photo when I do the rest of the articles for my new writing job. Now that I have my new carriage (part that the machine sits on) I have more control when working on my frame so I am looking forward to getting all my tops quilted.
If you are interested in entering another quilt contest, check out,  They are currently running a kitty cat contest.  You will also find links on that site for a place you can buy and sell quilts as well as take a course.
The Bobcaygeon Quilt Show that I went to on Saturday was fun.  I met a number of friends as well as an on line lady.  Nice to see her 'in the flesh'.  I managed to not buy anything but a pattern and the applique light I had ordered.  The quilts were, of course, beautiful.  There were a couple  of older ones; one from the 1800's and the other from the early 1900's.  I always enjoy seeing our quilted past.

Friday, September 9, 2011

A New Contest

My work day went so well yesterday that I also had time to write up another contest.  It is on my web page so please check it out.  Nothing to send or buy.  Just a little creative thinking for this one.
I sent my column off to the on-line quilt magazine this morning.  Submitting your writing for another persons approval is much like trying on bathing suits.  You feel exposed, inadequate and wondering why you put yourself through it all.
Gene Fowler said, "Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at the blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead."
That, like most humour, is an exaggeration but does show that writing is a work as are most things we do even if we call them a hobby.  Quilting isn't always fun.  Unpicking a row (or more) of stitches is not any quilter's favourite activity but it is part of the process.   I believe, however, that looking at a quilt that was the result of hard work and a few better left unsaid words, is far more rewarding than seeing one that is mass produced even if the stitches are all perfect.
Tomorrow I am going to the Bobcaygeon quilt show.  I have been before so am looking forward to the vendors as well as all the quilts.  I will be meeting some old and new friends which also makes the day more memorable.  I hope your weekend is equally enjoyable.
Don't forget to check out the contest at:  Rachel may not have it on until later so keep looking.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Work Day

So far today, I have been able to stick to my work schedule.  I have had a couple of non work related phone calls but they were both before 10.  I am now on my lunch break.
I have since written the column for an on line magazine-will give you the link after it is published, and am now working on a pamphlet for Sisters Quilting Expo.  She will be starting her classes on October 3rd and will be announcing her store opening shortly afterwards.
My husband is out for a motorcycle ride today.  The weather is cool but sunny so a nice day for being out.  Our trees here in the north are well on their way to donning their autumn finery so my view out the studio window is increasing in beauty.
I have been listening to the radio as the countdown to the tenth anniversary of 911 approaches.  The music is not sad but certainly reflective.  That act of terrorism has, and rightly so, been a defining moment in our lives, hasn't it?  It is hard to believe that some countries live with those types of tactics constantly.  Another reminder of how fortunate we are in Canada.
Back to work.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Problem Solved-I Hope

I don't know how many of you that read this blog either have or are starting a business but, if so, I can almost guarantee that we share the same problem.  It doesn't seem to matter what kind of business it is it always seems to be difficult to find time to do it.  There is always something, whether a family emergency or an unexpected visit from a friend, that uses up your 'work' time.
I was thinking about this as I was driving to town to do my shopping.  I have a column waiting to be written, articles to be added to the web page as well as some small jobs that keep sinking to the bottom of the list.
I realized that a big part of the problem is that I don't have a specific work day.  I schedule my tasks in bits and pieces around my other responsibilities.  I have decided that  Thursday I will be in my office working.  My day will start at 10 a.m. to allow for watching the news, writing the blog etc and end at 4.00 p.m. in time to go for a walk and get supper.
This plan won't work for those of you who have a business that needs more time but perhaps setting aside one day a week will be a start.  I know my husband will co-operate so it will just be a matter of not booking appointments (I already do this for quilt group Mondays) and letting others know I am not available on that day because I am working.
Tomorrow will the my first Thursday.  I had planned on making bread and cleaning house but it will keep until Friday.  I will let you know how I make out.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Prize Winners at the Fair

Prize Winners
My husband and I had a successful day at the fair.  We entered 6 items and received 3 first prizes and 3 seconds.  Roger got a first for his maple syrup.  I am so proud of him.  He did it on a make shift set up, no fancy equipment, first time entering and got a first.
My wall hanging and adult vest (pieced) got a first with table runner, doll and baby bib taking second.
It was a fun day.  We listened to the entertainment, looked at all the displays and vendors and ate hot dogs.  Typical fall fair stuff.  Roger was particularly interested in the chickens this year as he is a hoping to build on his success with our last flock.  I would like a couple of specialty ones simply because they are so lovely although I must admit I always think of a hat when I see them.
Today, I am getting caught up on housework.  It is nice and cool so I should be baking but that will have to wait until Thursday.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Down to the Wire

Duchess of Cambridge Doll
This doll is one of my fall fair entries.  The class is dressed doll so this little beauty is wearing a gold net dress over white satin with ruby's  on the skirt and bodice.  She is wearing a fascinator on her hair which consists of gold beads, pearls and a feather on a red and gold brocade base.
Sound fancy?  The underside of the hat is lined with duck tape and it is sewn to her hair!
Everything else ready to be labelled except the wall hanging.  I still can't decide what to send.  Guess I had better make up my mind pretty soon as I have to take it in tomorrow morning.
We took mom-in-law back yesterday and this morning Heidi was moping around looking for her.  I had to take her into the guest bedroom so she could see Mom was gone.  I have just taken her over to her sitter as I am going to be busy tomorrow with fair stuff and a funeral.  She loves going to her Auntie Irene so that will help her get over the 'no Grandma' blues.
This is the last long weekend of the summer season.  If you are travelling please take care.