Friday, November 28, 2014

Fiction Friday: the Quilting Detective.

Emma had heard enough.  She knew it probably wasn't any of her business.    She knew she should just stay in her room and ignore what was happening in the next room but the sound of Jenny's sobs propelled her forward.  She marched into her neighbour's room the look of determination on her face challenging anyone who might try and stop her.  The three faces that stared at her sudden entrance all bore signs of the recent conflict but it was only Jenny MacMillan that Emma noticed.  She went over and put her arms around the younger woman.  Only then did she notice the tray of food on the floor.  The tea cup had broken the liquid was staining the rug beside the bed where Ethel James sat.
  "I apologize for intruding," Emma said to the director, " but I heard Jenny crying and that isn't acceptable."  "I appreciate your concern, Mrs. McCabe and, of course you are right.  Staff should never be the subject of abuse by residents or anyone else but I am looking after the situation."  Despite her words, Stephanie Morrison looked anything but in control.  Her face was flushed and her usually immaculate hair looked as though it had been raked by frustrated hands.
"Nevertheless, I am going to stay with Jenny until things get sorted out.  If necessary, I will hire a lawyer for her."
"A lawyer!  She is going to need a lawyer."  Ethel's voice was shrill with indignation.  "I know this girl stole my ring.  I caught her snooping in her yesterday."
"Jenny, were you in Mrs. James room yesterday," the director asked?
"No, well yes, but not to steal.  I came to see if Mrs. James wanted to come down for exercise class.  I knocked at her door but  I guess she didn't hear me because when I pushed it open, she screamed and started yelling at me."
"Of course, I yelled.  You frightened me.  You are always creeping around like a mouse scaring people."
"Ethel, let Jenny tell her story, please.  You have made a serious accusation and she has a right to defend herself.  Also, calling a person names isn't likely to help the situation either."  Emma's voice was quiet but there was no mistaking the firmness.  "Go on Jenny."
"Well, when Mrs. James jumped, I saw something roll onto the floor.  I bent down to get it for her but she yelled at me again and told me to get out.  So I did.  I never took anything.  I swear."
"Did you see what it was, Jenny?"  The director was reminding everyone that she was the person in charge.
"Yes.  It was a ring.  I only got a quick look but I think there was a red stone, a big one and some smaller white ones.  They might have been diamonds, I guess.  Like I said, I didn't see it very well."
"Does that sound like your ring, Mrs. James?"
"Of course it does.  I told you she stole it.  She came back after I went out and took it."

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Spectacular Day

This was one of those days when everything was just 'as usual'.  I made chili, cranberry chutney and some flatbread as Thurs. is my day for baking.  I planned on getting a commissioned job done in the afternoon but found that I was out of red binding.  Now I will have to go to Huntsville again tomorrow to get that.  I just kind of diddled away the rest of the day.
Some days are like that, aren't they.  Time just seems to get frittered away and, before you know it, it is bed time and nothing really got accomplished. 
Tomorrow is another day and will have another chance to have a spectacular day or at least mildly productive.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Baby Doll

Walmart was full of people shopping for Christmas today.  I couldn't believe how many had carts full of wrapping paper and items that appeared to be for gifts.  Poor me was just trying to get my usual things.  I thought it being a Wednesday that it wouldn't be busy.  The store management also seemed to have got it wrong and were pulling staff in from everyone to staff the tills.
I kept bumping into people I knew in all the stores I went to including a lunch stop.  I guess most of the people from the village also thought it would be a slow day.
The other possible reason for the business might have been because the government cheques-pension etc. had been received.
Haven't done much since I came home other than put away my purchases and get supper which was just left overs.
Tomorrow, hubby is going to Orillia to deliver his sister's Christmas turkey so I will have a day to myself to sew, sew, sew.
I bought an odd item today.  I have been looking for a baby doll and found one that was perfect.  I will be able to make her  new born sized clothes which is why I bought her.  Heidi wasn't sure what to make of the doll.  I think she thought it was some sort of toy but when she tried to chew its feet, I put an end to the sniffing and exploring.  She hasn't shown any more interest so it may have just been the smell that attracted her.
It was a lovely day with the sun shining and close to seasonable temperatures.  Hope this holds for a bit.  It is a pleasure getting outside on a day like this.
Happy thanksgiving to my American readers for tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More Snow Squalls?

We, once again, have snow squall warnings here in the backwoods.  They seem to happen every day so I am not sure if there really is bad weather around us or those responsible for notifications are worried about being sued. We have had a few moments here and there when the wind gusts and the air is snow filled but I wouldn't say that it was a cause to check the supplies and hunker down.  Perhaps I will be more appreciative of the forecast tomorrow when I am on the road rather than snug in our rural rug.
We just got back from our walk.  No matter the conditions; other than freezing rain, I need to get outside and move around.  I love going through our bush as it looks lovely and shelters us from much of the snow falls.
Our little Heidi came back with her legs looking like they had mushrooms growing all over them.  The snow sticks so thickly to her hair that I keep thinking it will slow her down.  Hasn't happened yet though.  She still dashes thither and yon as much as she can at the end of her leash.  We use a long one on our property so she has some freedom.  When we got home, I popped her into the sink to wash off the snow and then decided to give her a bit of a bath.  She is laying in front of the wood stove now getting dry and warm.
I have been working on another small quilt with tumbler blocks.  I just finished a little table top and like the pattern so much that I am doing another.  It is nice to have something simple to work on that is quickly finished.  It also give me a project on which I can use the million or so 5 inch squares that I have accumulated.  As I am only using one of each colour/print, I will still have a couple or three left over.
Tomorrow I am going shopping but will try and stay away from fabric stores.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Episode 3-The quilting Dectective

After lunch, Emma went back to her room for a rest.  She didn't think she would be able to sleep after the pre-lunch excitement and the worry she felt but she could, at least lie down for a bit.  Her room always soothed her.  Although it wasn't very big, it held the things she most valued.  A photo of her late husband was on the dresser where she could see it when she woke up and from every point in the room.  It had been taken when he was accepted into the police force and the sparkle of his eyes showed his pride and pleasure.  Although passing years changed the trim figure and the colour of his hair, the sparkle didn't change especially when he was with his beloved wife.  There wasn't a day that Emma didn't miss him and his steady calm. 
The quilt that covered her bed was one she had made and the multi coloured Lemoyne stars brightened the room.  The pale cream background was the same colour as the walls.  The room had a window that faced onto the center court where residents could walk or sit at one of the many benches.  Emma had asked that sheer curtains covered the window to restrict people from looking in but still allow the sunshine.  At night, she lowered the mini blind to further increase her privacy.
She had recently started working on another quilt and a block with a few neatly attached leaves lay on one of the two comfortable chairs that were on either side of the window. 
Emma decided that rather than lie down, she would do a bit more applique.  Working on the tiny stitches would relax her.  As she was sitting down, she became aware of voices coming from the room next door.  Her suspicion that whatever had caused Ethel James previous commotion wouldn't be resolved quickly appeared to be correct.
"It's been stolen I tell you.  You never believe me.  If you don't call the police, I am going to phone my nephew and tell him how I am being treated.  He never wanted me to move to this place.  'Come and stay with me, auntie' he begged. But I didn't listen. I didn't want to be a burden.  Now I wonder if he hadn't heard something about this place and was worried about me."
"Now Mrs. James, I am listening to you.  I have listened every time you lost something.  I am only saying that we should do a bit of looking before we call the police.  I don't want you to be embarrassed if they come and then find your ring had fallen behind the dresser."
Emma didn't want to listen to the conversation but both women were talking loudly and the walls weren't sound proof.  She could hear the frustration in the director's voice and felt sorry for her.  It couldn't be easy trying to please so many people as well as running the manor.
"I'm going to get one of the staff to come and help me search and.." Stephanie's voice rose to cover the other woman's objections. "And", she continued, "if we don't find anything, I will call the police.  In the meantime, you have missed lunch so I will have someone bring you some food."
Emma heard a door close and there was no more noise.  She lay down on the bed and pulled a light cover over her legs.  She was feeling tired after all.
"What are you doing here?  Get out of my room!"  Emma sat up so suddenly that, for a moment, the room seemed to tilt.  For a moment, she thought she was dreaming but the sound of breaking dishes chased away the cobwebs.
"You stupid girl! Now look what you've done.  You've ruined the carpet and my favourite slippers."
"I'm sorry, Mrs. James, but I lost my balance when you pushed me.  I 'll get it cleaned up and bring you some more food.  Emma could hear the agitation in Jenny's voice and, just as she was wondering what to do, the director's exclamation announced her return.  "My goodness, Jenny, what happened her?"
"It wasn't my fault.  I was bringing Mrs. James something to eat like you asked and she pushed me.  I lost my balance and everything fell.  I was just going to clean it up"
"I didn't push her.  I was just trying to get her out of my room.  It was her that stole my ring."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Hot Cup of Cocoa

What does a person do when the weather is to miserable to go outside?  Well, if you are a quilter, you quilt.  It isn't really bad outside if you are walking but right now the snow is too deep in the bush to do that.  It would be great for snowshoeing but my husband is too tired from plowing, bring it wood, plowing etc.  We were planning on going away on the weekend but cancelled because it is too treacherous so perhaps we can get the snowshoes out then.
I have been finishing up a few odds and ends.  Also, got at the quilt that is on my frame.  I had to remove it, unpick a row and then put it back.  I don't usually take it out of the frame for that but as I had only done two rows and wanted to sew a strip on the sides to help keep everything straight.
I have now completed that second row and stopped to make a cup of cocoa and check my e mail. 
It is funny how, even when you are snug inside, that a hot cup of cocoa with real cream is what the body craves.  Mine anyway.
Tomorrow is Fiction Friday and there will be another installment of the Quilting Detective.  Hope you will enjoy it.
Don't forget to check out Sew Sisters Blogathon  (link on yesterdays post) to win some great prizes as well as enjoy reading blogs from across Canada.  Another great way to spend a wintery day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


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I think it has finally stopped snowing.  I clean the huge layer of snow from my car and moved in from where I park so it will be ready to go out tomorrow.  I can't remember when I have looked forward to getting my snow tires on before.
While I was outside doing that and shoveling the path from house to parking area, a flock of about 50 geese flew over.  Perhaps they just realized that it was time to get moving or thought we wouldn't get winter this year.  A lot of folk believed that because we didn't get much of a summer our winter would be mild.  The geese appear to have had the same belief.
I have just finished making 6 microwave pot containers as well as couple of tumbler blocks.  Both are another way to use up fabric.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Adventures in Snowland

It has been an adventure filled couple of days here in the back woods.  Like many parts of this continent, we have been experiencing heavy snow falls combined with squalls for a few days.  We have as much snow filling up the bush and driveway as we normally get for a good part of a winter.  I plowed through snow well past my knees today (and I am tall) while trying to get to the satellite dish so I could clean it and get my internet on again. then I shovelled a path to the car and another for the dog.
On Sunday and then again today my husband had to take a long and dangerous drive with visibility, sometimes, not being past the hood of the truck.  He just got back home Sunday evening when the brakes went.  Today he had to go out again in the same conditions in a friends vehicle.  He returned home late afternoon and now we are staying put.
I need to go out Thurs. because I finally was able to get an appointment to have my snow tires put on.  With the sudden and sustained snowfall, our local garage was booked right up.
We are supposed to go away on Sunday but right now are just waiting to see what happens with the weather.
I did get a bit of quilting done today as well as baking.  Perhaps tomorrow I will be able to get at the quilt that is on the frame.  I have to unsew part of a row before continuing as it overlapped the preceding one.
We will both sleep well tonight as we are feeling our age.

Back window view and a slight lull in the snow fall. Husband is getting ready to plow-again.
Front window looking down the driveway and another squall.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fiction Friday: The Quilting Detective Part 2

The dining room began to fill up and the business of lunch helped to restore the frazzled nerves and bring everyone back to a feeling of normalcy.  The dining room was a favourite gathering place for residents, outside of meal times,  as it was located in the center of the building.  Anyone going anywhere had to go along the hall that led to the room so it was natural for them to stop in and sit down for a cup of tea and read the paper, a book or just visit with staff.  Although there were no windows, it was still a bright and cheerful room with pale yellow walls and blue curtains.  Plants were tucked into the corners and artwork with Parisians scene added the feeling of being somewhere exotic. There was a general feeling that this was a special place and everyone hated the thought that anything could disturb the serenity.
One of the servers had arrived with a cloth and moped up the spilled tea before it reached the edge of the table, others began serving bowls of soup and trays of sandwiches.  The disturbance seemed to have been forgotten but  Emma noticed that her neighbour still hadn't come for lunch and suspected something more was going to happen. 
Unlike Mrs. James, Emma was popular with both staff and residents and her table was usually one of the first to have all the seats taken.  She suspected part of the reason was because her son, Richard, was a police detective and the others liked to hear about his cases.  Although she didn't like being the centre of attention, she was proud of her eldest son and didn't mind doing a bit of bragging about him.  Her husband had also been on the police force so she had lots of practice sounding as though she were giving inside information while not telling anymore that what could be read in the papers.
Mr. Sutherland, a retired scientist in the early stages of Parkinson's disease carefully replaced his cup onto the table, was the first to as a question.  "Is your son working on any interesting cases at the moment, Mrs. McCabe"  "He is very concerned about the murder of that jewelry store owner", she replied.  Her voice had dropped to a conspiratorial whisper that caused the others to lean forward a little.  "I don't know if he has any leads but, of course, he doesn't tell me everything."  She smiled at the eager faces looking back at her and thought how funny it was that everyone was watching her.  She had spent her whole life being an observer and now she was being observed.  She wasn't sure if she liked it or not but it did bring a bit of excitement into the lives of the residents who, previously, had only a change in the menu or someone's illness to interrupt the routine.
"Maybe Ethel James did it"  Lillian Hastings loved to shock people and often made outrageous statements.  "Oh, Mrs.  Hastings, what a thing to say.  Mrs. James wouldn't shoot anyone."  Jenny MacMillan had just brought the dessert to the table and her reaction brought a delighted grin to Lillian's face.  The young girl blushed and hurried to the next table.
"That child is going to have to get a thicker skin if she is going to work here", Lillian said.
"She's still young.  There is lots of time for her to get crusty like us old people."  Emma liked Jenny and wished Lillian wouldn't tease her so much.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tea Cosy Pattern.

I have had a productive day.  I completed all the articles for the craft sale on Saturday and got my first nativity set up.  Today I made four receiving blankets, three pairs of slippers and one microwave bowl holder.  Tomorrow, I will get everything organized; price tags, cloth for the table etc.  The sale starts at nine so I will have to leave home early.  I usually do all my housework on Saturday so will have to get that done tomorrow as well.  Laundry is going to have to be fit in somewhere as I only like to do it during reduced hydro rate time.

This tea cosy is very easy to make.  Basically, it is two 10 X 20 pieces of fabric plus batting.  Sew the long sides and then sew about four inches starting at the top  along one side so the sides of both ends are joined.  I did this first.  Make a pocket along the top edge for threading ribbon and you are done. The pattern is free on Connecting Threads: www.
Tomorrow is another installment of the Quilting Detective on Fiction Friday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bionic Woman

I feel a little like the bionic woman right now.  I have been hooked up with a portable heart monitor as I have been having some 'events'.  I have always had a jumpy heart beat but it has been a bit worse than usual lately so thought it was time to get it checked.  Wearing this thing makes you very aware of what your heart is doing.  Beating at the moment which is good.
I am trying to work up the energy to do another row on my quilt.  I am feeling tired today because I woke up to early.  I soon will be one of the older people who lie down for a nap in the afternoon.  Funny how we end our lives the way we started, isn't it.
It has ben really windy here and we thought our hydro might go off but fortunately not-so far.  I am always amazed at how the little birds manage to fly when the wind is strong enough to bend a tree.
We have been talking about Christmas on a couple of on line groups.  Hubby got the outside decorations up yesterday and I will get him to bring in the totes with the indoor stuff soon.  I have a nice stack of things made for the craft sale this weekend.  I will finish everything up tomorrow.
Now, I think I better get at that quilt in the frame.  If I leave it too long, I won't remember how to do everything again.
Stay warm, safe and dry.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembrance Day

We went to the Remembrance Day service in the village this morning and my husband laid a wreath on behalf of our church. 
There was a great turnout of participants and spectators.  Our little village usually does have a well attended service.  It is one of the best organized that I've seen which is to the credit of our legion.  Its members, as is true with the ones across the country, are getting well up in years and seeing them continue on is very encouraging.
This photo was taken before the service and the other is of my husband (that coat looks so big on him now he has lost so much weight) and his escort after laying the wreath (cross, actually). It is the first time he has done this so I was quite proud of him.  I usually do all the public stuff so it is good to see him getting out of his comfort zone.
He took a nasty fall on Saturday right near this area but, other than some stiff muscles, didn't suffer any ill effects.  He could have banged his head on the pavement of fallen differently and broke a bone so I am thankful he is alright.
I got a quilt into my frame today.  It has been so long since I've done one that I almost forgot how to get everything set up.  I completed one row and it turned out alright so I better keep at it.  It is a small quilt-crib size, so it will only need 10 rows.  I will post a photo when it is done.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fiction Friday-The Quilting Detective

"My ring! Someone has stolen my ring!"
The voice shrieked down the halls and echoed through the dining room where the residents of Autumn Leaves Manor were beginning to gather for lunch.  Emma McCabe, sitting at her favourite table at the far corner of the room, stopped in the midst of reaching for a glass of water.  "Oh, fiddle,"
she  thought, "She's at it again..  I hoped it was finished after the last episode." Emma was a tiny woman with a snowy crown of hair  that, depending on her expression , gave her either an angelic or regal appearance.  Her complexion had changed to the feathery softness of age against which her blue eyes shone with the sparkle and interest of youth.
She had been living at the manor for nearly 18 months and, although she had, at first, resisted the idea of giving up her home, she had to admit that she was glad her children had talked her into it.  She appreciated not having to cook, make beds or do the other household chores which had become increasingly difficult.  She enjoyed not having to think about snow removal or all those millions of other jobs.  She liked having people her own age to talk to and, if she wanted privacy and quiet, she could go back to her own room.  She even found pleasure in being able to quilt again.  She didn't have room for a lot of things but a small sewing machine was tucked into her closet and a little tote held her supplies.  She only bought fabric as she needed it and as she only did hand appliqued blocks, she didn't need a lot.
the scream had set off a reaction around the room.  Jenny MacMillan, the newest staff, dropped the teacup she was handing to one of the resident's and watched, horrified, as the liquid pooled onto the table and started seeping toward the elderly man.  Both seemed incapable of movement.  From the kitchen, came the sound of something hitting the floor followed by a frustrated exclamation.
The Manor's director, Stephanie Morrison, had been greeting the residents and, when she heard the scream, turned and hurried from the room.  Emma was sure she heard her mutter something about 'that woman' and it mirrored her own thoughts.  She had recognized the shriek as belonging to Mrs. James, who had the room next to hers.  Ethel James wasn't well liked by the residents, nor she suspected, the staff either. The woman complained about everything. Her room was either too hot or too cold.  Residents talked to loud and the staff whispered, her food wasn't cooked properly or someone had a bigger portion than her.  Most of the residents tried to avoid her but the employees weren't as fortunate and she had reported more than one for some imagined infraction.
Lately, her complaints had become more serious.  She believed someone was stealing her belongings.  She had lost a silver picture frame, as small vase and then a stuffed bear that usually sat on her bed.  Every item that she had claimed to be stolen had, however, been found either tucked in a drawer or behind a chair.  She had been examined by a doctor and found that there wasn't a medical cause for her behaviour.  Most people assumed she was just trying to get attention.  Whatever the cause, the result was a tenseness amongst the staff that was felt my the residents.  All had been quiet the past two weeks, however,  and everyone was hoping the accusations had stopped.  Now it seemed as though that hope was fruitless.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


We seem to be stuck in rain mode here in the back woods.  I can't remember a day recently when it has been precipitation free.  It isn't a heavy rainfall.  More like a steady drizzle; too much for a walk and not enough to make it interesting.
I was in Huntsville yesterday doing some shopping. I was trying to match up some fabric for a quilt I was working on.  I thought I had more than I did  and ran short of about half a meter.   I couldn't find what I wanted so now will have to try on line.
While I was in my car getting ready for traffic to clear so I could leave my parking space, I witnessed a collision.  The vehicle in front of me had already moved from its space a bit so it was slightly angled into the driving line when I heard a horn honk followed by a car flying past me and into the other.  The driver of the car pulling out hadn't stopped and the other one didn't slow down.  They smashed into each other with bits of car parts flying into the air-and continued on down the street.  I didn't see that either one had pulled over anywhere.
I don't know why the driver that honked hadn't tried to stop.  Obviously he/she saw the other vehicle.
Anyway, that was my excitement for the day.

Our local quilt store has just moved into a bigger location so we are all looking forward to them being able to expand their products.  It is nice to have a shop reasonable close.  Huntsville is our closest reasonably sized community and we go there for the majority of our shopping.  The next store is more than an hour away so I do hope our local one is able to stay open.

Tomorrow is my Fiction Friday and I have a serialized story for you called the Quilting Detective.
Hope you like it.


We have a scheduled power outage happening in a few moments but I just remembered I didn't post yesterday.   so, stay tuned and you will get two today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Early to Bed

We haven't adjusted to the switch from daylight saving time yet.  We are going to be earlier than usual and waking up earlier.  I like the early to bed, early to rise schedule but would like to sleep a bit longer.  Heidi is also off schedule.  It is nice to have it lighter early in the morning again.
We have our first Santa Claus parade coming up later this month.  It is also our great nephews first birthday so we thought we would go for the day.  Nice to do things with children.
I have been working on getting things ready for a couple of craft sales as well as a charity quilt.  Always seems to be something to putter at, doesn't there.
Our snow has melted again and we have had a cold dreary rain all day.  I did finish getting my roses covered, brought in the hummingbird feeders and clothes pegs so I think everything is done outside.
I haven't put anything on my quilt frame in ages.  I have two small quilts to get done so perhaps will get them loaded this week.  Working on that makes a nice change from sitting at the machine.
Have your started your Christmas preparations yet?