Thursday, April 18, 2019

Sewing/Emergency Kit

An old wallet.  Well, not too old, but no longer used.  It holds needles, thread, pins, scissors, sharpie, sticky notes, shirt buttons, individual wet wipes, and nail clippers.  I keep it in the vehicle to fix little emergencies.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Art Quilt

I learned today that what I made my youngest daughter after we left the farm was actually an art quilt.  I called it a memory quilt.  I guess it could be both. It included a cat, a guitar, campfire, green grasses, trees, flowers, sunflowers, goldfish, moose, trees, an eagle and blue sky with white clouds to remind her of what she grew up with.
I named it rachelus retrospectus because we spent a lot of time making up words to suit us from Latin roots.

Monday, January 21, 2019

The Pink String Quilt

Used up most my pink scraps making this quilt.  So very cosy to nap under.

 The back is of pieced flannelette and pink corduroy strips, 8 inches wide.  The binding is pink gingham.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Latest Rag Stash Buster Quilt

I finished a quilt.  Actually start to finish in about 2 weeks.  Amazing what sewing can get done when your DH goes farming.

 I planned it to use up the multiplicity of fabric scraps of 40+ years of sewing for a family.  Yes, I used up a lot.
The denim squares had been precut.  A couple years ago I had a stack of old jeans to get rid of, so I sliced them open, and standing at the snack bar in the kitchen, ran a bic pen and a couple of sharpies dry cutting them to 6 1/2 inches  (the size of the acrylic square I own).  I piled them up in a drawer and what joy to take out accurately cut denim, ready to go.
One square out of every four patch was backed with a different print, I drew on a star from a template made out of a large margarine lid. and I sewed around it.  Then I carefully cut out each star, leaving a margin to clip and fray, and sewing the little guy on the opposite corner of the four patch, and I was surprised at how quickly that went.
The backs were string quilted to a very thin worn out old sheet cut to 6 1/2 inches, and then I sewed them together back to back.  The clipping took a bit of time.  I actually face timed my daughter and while she worked on a painting I did a lot of the clipping and mercifully I don't even remember the amount of work it was. It was a great visit!
I always cold fluff dry the quilt before I wash it, and then washed it twice.  The amount of lint it produces is horrifying but it looks soooo good.  I am imagining that it will be the cover of choice for one of my grandsons when they visit.

Don't say I didn't warn you...there will be lint. Plan on being around to clean out the lint screen every 15 minutes or so.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Late Summer Garden Crazy

My DIL has a fantastic garden, wild with veggies and flowers and experimental plantings and due to circumstance it has been on its own for a bit.  Everything went a little crazy and grew together with wild abandon.  All her children and the neighbor's cat are able to disappear into it. She invited me to pick myself a bouquet and what a delight it was to fill a container with all sorts of wonderful blooming things. 
Of course, in true show-it-off-internet-fashion I don't have pictures of the weeds, the yellow belly cucumbers or the gargantuan zucchini that lurk under the leaves. I share with you the things that thrilled me and showed up wonderfully in the cool evening air.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Well you've never seen it all.  We were at a wedding and became acquainted with what they called a charcuterie board.  Wow.  I mean, wow.

The MC said it best.
"Ive never eaten a work of art before."

Thursday, August 2, 2018


Sometimes one needs a distraction from what ails them.  Pain that, while not turning one into a human pretzel of misery, is annoying, inconvenient, and not conducive to a lot of physical activity.
I decided to distract myself with a painting of lilies to cover a not-so-attactive modem in the hallway.

I drew the lilies in with blue chalk

Outlined the flowers with watered down paint.

Filled in with layer after layer of colour.  This is the point at which I am sure its going to be a rank disaster and I will hate it.


A lot of sweat and second guessing colours.

There ii is, hanging over the shelf that contains the modem extender.  It's no Georgia O'Keefe and there are things I would change if I had the ability but by and large I am pleased with the outcome.

Getting Old Stinks

Granted, it was over a quarter mile hike, on slippery and steeply sloped terrain, wearing flip flops. With asthma and bad knees.  But I was still a little shocked to find this picture my DIL took. A shock to the system to realize what reality looks like.
But grateful there was someone with a helping hand.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Red Chairs

My old red chairs from Canadian Tire in Stony Plain are faded and worn.  I loved them because they were red and beautiful but also because I drove a friend in to have some procedure done in the hospital there and found them while I waited to drive her home.  We squeezed them into the back seat of her tiny white car and came home.  That was the day I had a diet lunch.  Milkshake.  Instead of burger fries and milkshake.  Life was good. Memories are good.
But they faded out to an insipid shade of pink.  Pink is not always my favorite colour.  So my Favorite Gardener and I went on a search of new chairs.  Identical ones to the old were not nearly as strong as the old ones had been.  They don't get sun and are stacked away in winter but things get old just the same. We found some wooden ones in Canadian Tire that needed assembling but they were sawdust wood sprayed over with paint.  So when we found these resin ones at Costco we were willing to overlook the price in favor of the quality.  They were a tad tricky for two old people with bad eyes to assemble but we did it.  And they are so heavy the winds we have had so far have not moved them in the least.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Pebble Art

What to do on the beach when you are waiting for the boat to come back.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Plaid Shirt Reversible Patchwork Quilt

I do love the reversible method of quilting. Not only does it give a different look, but when you are done you are done. One does not have to decide which way is up. They both look good. And it is square. No getting it on crosswise.  I like it.
It has a little of the whole family in it. Mostly DH's shirts but a little but of all seven family members is included.
Made before the broken wrist incident.

Dealing with an arm cast

I passed the age of 60 without ever experiencing a cast. and due to a combination of poor balance and snow iced to the bottom of story is that I had a fight with the garage floor and lost.
The inconvenience is epic. Nobody's got time for this. Neither does anyone need the pain.

But the good news is that most things pass. Three casts later I am learning coping skills I didn't know I would ever need. And that  my husband discarded his diplomatic immunity due to kitchen illiteracy so we didn't starve the first 10 or so days.And he is a great dishwasher and floor sweeper so he's been busy even when I started cooking again.
I realize that everyone's case is different but here are a few suggestions that may help.

1. Dress it up. Cut the foot off a pair of knee high socks and put them on with the nice cuff next to your fingers. That you can wash. And it hides that stark white ''Hey I'm wearing a cast'' look that I have an aversion to.

2. If someone says what can I do? suggest an invitation to supper. Or would they like to bring pizza over?

3. A young friend made me a bracelet for my fat hand and is delighted that I often wear it.

4. Take a shopping bag to the basement when you need to carry a collection of things up the stairs.

5. Buy or find in your closet long tops and wear with leggings. Took a month to be able to do up the button on my jeans. It is a fantastic morale booster to be able to do your own buttons again.

6. Expect everything to take longer. Which also includes planning your bathroom trips with time to spare.

7. Scissors work better than a knife when your injured arm is still too painful to be of any help. Scissors even cut white chicken meat. Veggies like onion and potato cling to the cutting board when whacked in half and put cut side down.  Carrots are a whole other subject. Easier to buy cut up already, as is cabbage.  But as I have less pain using the gimpy fingers I am able to do more and more.

8. Sometimes its easier to wash my hair in the kitchen sink. I support the cast on a folded towel beside the sink to keep it out of the way and dry and use my good hand to do the work.

9. I carry a small fuzzy blanket folded up in the vehicle to support my arm on when it gets tired of riding in my lap or up on my head to take the pressure off. And a large very squishy teddy bear in the house follows me around to support my arm when needed.

10.  A little table next to your favorite chair on the side of your working arm so its easy to reach your glasses, your ipad, your coffee, your phone, the remote and so on.

And be thankful for what didn't happen. Could always be worse.  My friend broke her right wrist. She is right handed. She lived alone and ran her own business.  She has empathy. She was one of our friends who offered supper, as well as coming over to help when we wanted to have company over.

Soon it will be gone...

Can't wait.

Don't be alarmed when the cast comes off.  Six weeks of flaking skin will be lurking beneath.

the muscles have wimped out.  The hand feels heavy without the cast to support it.  Every tissue muscle and tendon are shouting for your attention.  Unpleasantly. 
But therapy is a wonderful thing and with effort and perseverance day by day the hand gets stronger and can do more.  Now, approaching the third month since the incident, I can do so much more.  It is still weak, I can hardly squeeze the clip on the skirt hangers, and so many little things are awkward but the progress has been good.  And I think it will be some months before there is no twinge when I bend my wrist certain ways, it is going in the right direction.
One day I may even fit my wedding band again.

Did I ever mention I dislike winter?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Most of the Yellow Ones

Such a short summer season here in Alberta but we stuff it as full as possible with things that bloom.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Spicy Kale Soup

Kale Soup

This makes a large batch of soup. Somewhat like borscht, difficult to make a small pot of.

5 mild Italian sausage

5 spicy Italian sausage...chop into little pieces and brown in

3 T olive oil...when browned add

One chopped onion

3 chopped carrots...fry, stirring, until onion is clear

Grate 4-5 garlic cloves, add to pot and stir for a few seconds.


1 carton chicken broth

Fill carton half full with water, swish it around and add.

Peel and dice 5 potatoes and add.

Add one can sliced mushrooms.

One bag frozen chopped kale. Or

Some salt and pepper. Might need more water.


To this I added about 3 cups leftover mashed potato that I had in the fridge.

Simmer in crockpot or low on stove for  two to three hours.

Serve with milk or sour cream.

NOTE When in a hurry or incapacitated by a broken wrist I have added frozen hash browns instead of chopping potatoes. I don't think its quite as good but it does work.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Even Late in the Season

 We stopped at Canadian Tire today. It's good to see them caring for their plants this late in the season. The ones in the wind were a bit beaten but every one has been watered and looks wonderful...except for the succulents inside the store. They need more light and are doing poorly.