Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Lock Down Days

Not too much happening over here,
Still in Covid lock-down which has just been extended till past May 24!

Seven months and counting since bedroom suite ordered,
Retailers continue to struggle and are trying to "hang on",

Shopping online for essentials and not so essentials,

Wayfair purchase - much assembly was required!

Shepherd's Fashions - Ottawa.
Online shopping distraction - I may need an intervention.

Many rooms and corners still unfurnished,
Screen time is way up,
No visitors nor any visiting - even Zoom visiting is becoming rare,
Unseasonably cool weather with nightly frost warnings,
Gardening mostly on hold.

It all sounds so dismal and depressing.
Well, to be honest, it sometimes is!

In spite of it all - Spring is still springing and the days are longer.
The cool weather has made all the Spring flowers last longer than usual.

Tulips at the farm

The woods are abloom with Trilliums
and the blossoms and leaves are just ready to pop!

Mother's Day brought a special delivery by two of the sweetest little humans.

Blinds have been installed - I love them!

The farmland is being prepared and planted
and my farmer has had a slow start. It's hard to hold him down.
If you have been following, you know that he's had a major set-back.
However, the good news is that he is healing and is getting more and more mobile.
Even to the point that he's been on the tractor the last couple of days.
After many appointments, MRIs, Ultra Sounds, CT and PT scans,
we wait to hear what the next weeks and months hold for his treatment.

We feel all the prayers and good wishes from everyone!
Our hearts are full of love and hope.
We feel held in the hands of God and await His timing and plans for our lives.

Till next time ... keep the faith and stay well my dear readers!

When the Sedum grows into a heart.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Wagons, Wheels, and Monster Trucks

 And now He's Three!!!

And Bouncy Castles

Happy Birthday to our sweet boy!

 Your kind sweet spirit,
Your warm, heart melting hugs,
Your determination,
Your love of the outdoors,
Your blue, blue eyes,
and everything about YOU!

So glad we could spend a bit of time with you on your special day.

Blessings to you always ...

Our hearts!

The cake:

I think this is the yummiest chocolate cake recipe I've ever made - fudgy and moist!
I baked it in three 6" X 3" round cake pans - saving one of the rounds for
the farmer's upcoming birthday.

The recipe is by "Live Well Bake Often" - a great motto to have.

It was fun to create the Monster Truck Tires (with licorice tread) - or almost anyway.

Till next time .... feeling blessed!

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Two Months

Two months ago we made a very big move ...
from our beloved farm of 41 years to the lovely suburbs of
beautiful Stratford, Ontario.

A dream come true for retirement and still close to "home"
where our grandchildren can grow up on the same farm that their mommy
grew up on!

Occasionally we need to pinch ourselves.
Spring has sprung here and at the farm, the warm sunshine has opened 
the flowers and the leaf buds are popping open.

In all this goodness, there has, however, been a cloud hanging over it all.
Just a few short weeks ago the farmer and I were sent reeling
with the diagnosis of cancer!

He has just undergone 2 rounds of surgery and now we await
further testing and a treatment plan.

Not once did I ever think I would be adding the word Cancer to my list of Labels 
for this blog!

There is still so much to be thankful for:
Quick action by his doctors
Second surgery squeezed into surgeon's busy schedule
Compassionate Home Care nurses
Local emergency availability when needed
The warmth of the sun, bringing renewed life and flowers
Family who helps at the drop of a hat
Sweet grandchildren to love
Surrounded by a caring church family
and for praying friends and family
A risen Lord and Saviour

Our hearts have been touch deeply!
Our hope is for minimal spread of this disease,
For full recovery,
For patience and strength to get through the weeks and months ahead.

These words by Ann Voskamp have given me much to think about:

"Let Hope always carry you or fears will carry you away.
So, even if just for today -- thank God for the hot tea
and the sunlight through our windows and the friend who kept showing up
to make a difference and for your people around you
who you get to look right in the eye today and say those
two words that literally can change everything - THANK YOU.
Let's not let the everyday routines numb us to the miracle
of living every day!

Our Joy ... and Hope

Till next time - We put our trust in the Lord. 


Sunday, March 28, 2021

Lenten Roses

 The Lenten Roses (Helleborus) which are blooming
in our front "new to us" flower bed
have a very special meaning to me this year!
Thank you to the planter of these flowers.

These beautiful flowers are the first to bloom and bridge the gap between Winter and Spring.
I've tried to grow them on the farm with little success.
Their essence is known to "sooth sorrow, sadness, and bring calm and acceptance".

How perfect as we prepare our hearts and minds,
as believers, of the incredible sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Oh what a month it's been so far!
In spite of uncertainty and waiting for surgery and test results,
the warm Spring days and sleep overs have brought joy to our hearts.
Thankful for these precious little humans in our life!

Tiny ice-cream cones on Papa's Upper Deck

Fun at "Meemee's" park

Going for walks around the "goose" pond

It's time to do some Easter baking, gathering onion skins for the "bunny eggs",
and creating a butter lamb or two ... welcome distractions this year.
What goodies are you preparing for Easter?

The "kids" have moved to the farm and are getting settled in.

God is Good!

Till next time - stop to smell the lenten roses and enjoy each and every new day!

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Spring 2021 - New Beginnings

It's been one month now and we are beginning to feel "at home"
Still waiting for furniture and such
but some "old things" have found a new life and that includes us!

Once we toned down all the bright cool blue light bulbs,
it all started to feel cozy and comfy.
Do you prefer bright cool tone lights or warm lower watt lighting?

Walk out basement awaits furnishings.

The unfinished room downstairs has been renovated and
is a great room for all the extras (including the extra wall units)
and has been dubbed the "games room".
We are so glad we went ahead and did this reno before moving in.

The backyard frozen pond sounds of skaters and children has,
almost overnight, changed to the honking sounds of Canada geese.

The glorious sun and mild winds (not so mild today however) have rapidly melted the piles of snow
and signs of Spring are popping up.

I can't wait to see what else pops up!

Lenten roses - I've been trying to grow these on the farm forever.
Now I have some here in my front garden!

Evening privacy blinds are on order but the daytime views are so lovely.

New routines of daily walks
and old routines of healthy starts to the day
are giving us some much needed normality.

Preparing my table and heart for Easter!

Many boxes remain unpacked but the essentials have
been placed in the spacious cupboards and closets
of this house that is becoming our home.

In the meantime, our soon to be farm kids continue to bring us so much joy.
She lost her first tooth recently and he is growing like a weed!

On this one year anniversary of Covid 19, we are thankful for our health and 
for our front-line workers and health care providers.
This has been a year like no other on so many levels!

Till next time ... praying that you are all doing well and staying the course. There is hope ...


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Lock Down Days

Lock Down on the move ...

January 15, 2021 was an epic day for us,
as we picked up the keys for our "new to us" house!

With measuring tape and camera in hand we explored this
place we will soon call home.

A new chapter ... for the farmer and his wife.

The China Cabinet was one 
of the first things emptied and packed.

It has been carefully moved from
the farm house to it's new home
by the farmer and his son-in-law.

Thank you for successfully moving
this tricky piece of furniture.
Mom would be proud!

A sneak peek into our new house

The dining area was a bit too snug to fit in the china cabinet
but I think it will look nice here on this wall.
She's been restocked, minus a few purged pieces.
It is just so hard to know what to keep and what to edit out ...

The farm house kitchen will be hard to leave behind
but this one will be equally as functional
(even though I may need to invest in a taller step ladder to reach some of those cupboards)
My 5'2" stature will only reach a bit above the fridge - eek!
The island stools are on order but may take till April to arrive.

In fact, any new furniture and appliances are going to take months 
to be on order during this pandemic back-log!
We need to be patient and just use our old stuff ...
nothing wrong with that and it's not important considering the whole scheme of things
during this trying time.

It will be so much fun shopping in store again to choose area carpets,
furniture, linens, decor items, and such.
Or, perhaps it will be realized how many things we actually don't need !?

One of our favourite things about this place is the backyard view.

A large city retaining pond giving many opportunities for skating, bird watching, and enjoying the seasons

Here's our absolute favourite view so far:

We are excited about this place and hope to be moved by end of February.
This will give ample time for the farm house to get a face lift before our wee
family makes their move!

We couldn't be more happy to know that our precious grandchildren will
grow up on the farm we have loved for these past 42 years!

Speaking of the lock down, our little Noa shows up cheerfully each day
for her on-line schooling.

What a change it's been for all the school children, teachers and their families!
We enjoy the instagram and text message pictures of this process ...

In the meantime, stay well, stay safe, and stay positive. We WILL get through this and roar into the 20s!

Friday, January 8, 2021

2020 Quilt Distractions

 2020 - the year I made quilts!

Little did I know that there would be lots of time during this unprecedented year
to cut up perfectly good fabrics and then sew them all back together again.
That's what quilting is - right?

On January 1, 2020 I started on this Bear Claw pattern
with the intention that this one is for my dear childhood friend, Nonie.
She visits regularly from Banff, Alberta with her sister and I'd always
wanted to make a quilt for her - this was the year.

Also made this Bear Claw pattern
in navy and white for myself.

These are both lap size so they were quick projects.

By the time Covid-19 lockdown hit
us in March, I had them done and 
ready to be taken to the long-arm quilter.

Nonie's quilt was sent to her in the mail.
I wanted her to have it and not wait for "who knows when" I'd ever get to see her again
during this Covid year with travel restrictions!
As it turned out, I am so very glad this got to her just before her unsettling diagnosis.
This quilt was meant to be - she is in my prayers every day.

My "Tree of Life" signature block

The Antique Lace pattern by Missouri Star was started in the Winter of 2019.
This full size quilt was for our own bed.
I fully expected this one to take me several years to complete.
2020 gave me all the time I needed to work on this quilt.
It has been long arm quilted and I'm saving it in hopes it will look fabulous on our new bed
that is on order - for our new house!
We move in March 2021. I still can't get my head wrapped around that fact.

While these quilts above were being worked on,
I was also using tiny scraps to make Kathleen Tracy's 2020 Mystery Quilt.
A mini quilt - 30" X 30"
Every month from January to June a new pattern arrived.
It was such a fun project and challenged my sewing skills.
I had scraps from several quilts so I made two ...

These two quilts also gave me free motion quilting practice on my little machine.

Debi, if you see this one
it's made from the scraps
of your quilt.
You may be getting this one?

Spring and Easter arrived - still in Covid-19 lock down,
so this little tulip runner just had to be made for my granddaughter.
Once again I used fabric scraps.
 These were from the quilt I made for her big girl bed - so fun!
This "Totally Tulips" pattern was from a tutorial by Missouri Star Quilts.
The best part - she recognized the fabrics.

On one of my trips to my favourite local fabric store I came upon this panel.
Another project in the making? Yup ...
I just added the star blocks to the panel and a few strips of matching fabrics
from the collection.
It was beautifully quilted by a friend on her long arm and awaits a future bed somewhere?
I have no idea why this fabric grabbed my attention - maybe because I love and
long to be on a beach somewhere?

I signed up for a 2020 "Wish You Well" Block of the Month quilt
by Gail Pan that started in January.
This quilt challenged me to get out my old embroidery hoop, tomato pin cushion, and floss.
I was determined to use up that floss ... however,
I ended up purchasing a whole new kit of floss - oh boy!
(the colours were so pretty and I just couldn't resist)

Every month a new patterned came in my email and I set out to do the
embroidery patches (about 3-4 per month).
My camping friends thought I was crazy, I think, when they caught me
embroidering in our dining tent on occasion.
This was so much fun - and I love the end result!
Still needs to be quilted (hopefully by hand this time).

Here it is airing on my washline ... it's another small size (only 40" X 53")
The farmer wondered where I'm going to put THIS one - I really don't know.

2020 was also a very busy time around this old farm.
The laneway Ash trees came down (they were dying from the Ash Borer disease)
and the wood piles grew.
Perfect backdrop for some of my 2020 quilts!!

Wood Pile Quilts of 2020

Well, if nothing else was a positive from this very strange year,
at least I have a few quilts to show for it.

Thank you dear readers for bearing with me on this post.
I know you have seen many of these pictures throughout the year on this blog
and on my instagram posts. Sorry for all the repeats.
It's my attempt at documenting the Covid quilt making year.
This may never ever happen again - so many in one year??

I won't even allow myself to look at the latest Missouri Star tutorial that
just popped up - "Sunshine Shoofly" - it's so pretty!

Today, I will pack up my sewing machine, fabric stash, quilting gear, junky/happy corner, and 
have it ready for the move ... I'd better get started before the day ends!
It could take me more than a day - yikes!
And, yes, I think I will have a sewing/craft room in our new digs - one can only hope!?
We'll have to wait and see.

My happy corner

Take care everyone .... stay healthy and safe
2021 will be an exciting year for this old girl.

Till next time .... packing, packing, packing!

Update - progress ...

Lock Down Days

Not too much happening over here, Still in Covid lock-down which has just been extended till past May 24! Seven months and counting since be...