Wednesday, September 18, 2019


Dear Friends,
My last post rather briefly and abruptly announced that my Dear One had died.  The time since then has been a whirlwind of detail and activity.  Throughout all of it I have been aware of being greatly blessed.  The blessings continue to be made manifest.  My family and I have been lovingly upheld with gifts of food, letters and cards, personal conversations from friends near and far and especially by the people here in my small town.

Here is a photo I just received from a friend.  The last photo of Jim and myself together.

I've been writing the blog for just over 10 years now, and now it is time to say "goodbye" to all of you, also.  This started as a way of keeping our four children and seven grandchildren up to date with our doings.  And it grew to reach people all over the world.

So, thank you all for reading and sometimes reacting to what I put out here.  It's been a good 10 years for me and now I wish you all the best in the future.


Sunday, August 25, 2019


Last time I wrote was on August 8.  Dear Daughter #2 and granddaughter arrived that day.  On August 9 she and I went to the Rosebud Chamber Music concert in Rosebud, Alberta.  It was beyond marvellous.  It took place in the Akokinskway Gallery which used to be a small church, so it was an intimate venue.  She and I sat in the front row and we were just  awed by the first number on the program.  Aaron Schwebel played Bach's Chaconne from Partita No. 2.  His performance was transporting!  It was magnificent.  If that were the whole program it would have been more than worth the ticket cost.

That was followed by "Five Pieces for String Quartet" by Erwin Schulhoff which is wonderful, humorous music.  After Intermission a group played "String Sextet No. 2 in G Major, op. 36" by Brahms.  All in all a fantastic, deeply satisfying evening!

The Dear One was scheduled to preach on Sunday at a Southern Alberta church we knew well and liked.  He preached a sermon on Jesus' words: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, which was very well received.  He also baptized the baby of a young woman whom he had baptized 26 years ago.  It was a very satisfying experience for us.

He had had some dental work done the week before and complained of worsening jaw pain.  They X-rayed his jaw and found nothing, no inflammation or infection, but it did keep on getting worse.  Coming home on Sunday he was very tired.  In the following days this worsened, and I could see him failing day by day.

Early Friday morning he passed out in our bedroom and died shortly after.  I'm so thankful that he was gone before the EMTs arrived and start resuscitation efforts.  He wanted to die at home, he did not have a long, painful illness, and he managed to avoid being brought back to end his life in an ICU.

There were so many blessings in his last week and in his passing.  Especially that our daughter was here to help.  The same afternoon Son #2 arrived, the next morning Daughter #1 and on Sunday afternoon Son #1.  They were all with me for a week, and we had a wonderful time of healing, being together, shedding tears and sometimes enjoying much laughter.  It was a wonderful sendoff for their father.

There will be a Memorial Service on Saturday,  October 5 at 2 p.m. at the Mount Olive Evangelical Free Church in Three Hills.

Here is the last picture taken of the Dear One:

Thursday, August 8, 2019


Beautiful clouds!  Beautiful sky!  I love clouds--as long a there is also some clear sky for contrast.

We have very good views from our home.  We can see the sunrise and the sunset on the horizon, no buildings in the way.  Clouds fascinate me.  Each one unique. 

Dear Daughter #2 arrived this afternoon with Dear Granddaughter #4, the youngest granddaughter, almost 15.  Some years ago when we all gathered together to celebrate an anniversary, #4 said, "I'm tired of being the youngest all the time!"

Sorry, sweetheart that doesn't get to change.  Granddaughter #1 is the only one not taller than myself.  #2, 3, and 4 are all very tall young women.  #2 is about 5'10", #3 is 6', and #4 is at least an inch or two taller than I am, about 5'7" or 5'8".  They each LIKE being tall.  How very neat!

Friday, August 2, 2019


Yesterday an acquaintance came to visit, someone whom I think will become a good friend. I had met Rebekah very early in our coming to this small town.  We were looking at real estate and she had an advertisement in the local paper for her kitchen products business.  I had been looking for several months for a used grain mill and realized I'd probably have to buy a new one.  She had grain mills for sale, so we went to her home to buy one.

When I gave her a check, from a bank quite far away in Alberta, she asked, "You wouldn't bounce a check on me, would you?"  I replied that we had agreed to buy property here and start a garden centre, so there was no way I'd tarnish our reputation with a bad check.

When I reminded her of that yesterday, she was apologetic about asking that.  I thought it entirely proper of her.  She thought a bit and then said, I found that most people who bake their own bread are honest!  Nice thought! 

Then The Dear One and I went out for supper--a rare treat!, offered because I had spent the morning finishing the project of the downstairs door and windows.
Sure glad to check that project off the list!

When we came back from our outing Jim found a little pile of cash and a nice note in the Garden Centre: "I bought 6 little geraniums.  Thanks, (signed, indecipherable)."  The "Sorry we're closed" sign was at the end of the driveway, but it's rather small perhaps she didn't see it.  Nevertheless, doesn't it just seem wonderful that people are honest!

This morning I got out the red, white and blue quilt that has been an ongoing project for the last three years.  The problem here is that the seams between the blocks don't nest, even though they are supposed to.  I finally sat down and figured out what's wrong.  The trouble came because of my liking for "spinning" the intersections.  That threw the calculations off.  Now I know what to do and was making good progress.  The bottom three rows are new, and now I have to make some more blue and white blocks to finish up.        
I have the squares to finish up these blocks and this morning confidently sewed together three of them for this row.  Sewed them together all wrong!  I had to take them completely apart, quite discouraging.

This weekend I'll make the rest of the blue and white blocks, this time the RIGHT WAY!
 The block on the left is the wrong way, the block on the right is what it should be.

Sometimes I'm surprised at how stupid I can be!

Sunday, July 28, 2019


When Jim retired from the ministry in '99 the church we were serving gave us a terrific retirement party and a wonderful gift:  A carved wooden sign for the Garden Centre:  

This has stood at the end of our driveway for almost 20 years now, and was looking very much worse for wear.  I had repainted it once long ago, but it needed a lot of help.

Two weeks ago I devoted a lot of time to it.  I sanded and scraped and then put on a good coat (or was it two) of Killz primer.  Then I repainted the whole thing.  It took two coats. It was totally worth the effort!  It looks absolutely as good as new.

We had some help this weekend erecting it again.  It's solid wood, 2 x 2s, and really, really heavy.  Our carpenter had put in new posts--that was quite a job in itself.  And then some friends helped us carry it from the greenhouse where I had done the renew, and set it up on the new posts.  Alas, it teetered on the rock underneath.  Craig, who is enormously strong, lifted the big rock and moved it over, took some dirt out from underneath.  Had to repeat that process, but the result is lovely.

This finished project was completely worth all the effort it took.  We are very happy with it.

And in July our landscape is always at its most colourful, so here are a few pictures of it today:

And here's the rented construction fence, guarding our small vegetable garden from the deer depredations:

This is working very well, and I'm so glad I thought of this.  Dinner tomorrow will be "Kale Plus" with pretty much everything, except rice, coming from this garden.  

We had a terrific windstorm yesterday which tore down the sugar snap pea vines.  I'm hoping enough of them will survive to keep us in fresh sugar snaps for a long time yet.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Well, harder than usual.  About six years ago, as far as I can determine from checking dates in iPhoto, I scraped, sanded and repainted the surroundings of the front door and the windows on either side.  I started removing the paint on the other door and windows that exit into the solar space at the downstairs front of the house.  Somehow or other the project stalled there.  This week is the week that it will, by hook or crook, be finished!

I have a free week, no commitments other than the usual cooking, housekeeping and preparing music for Sunday's service.  Did I mention that I've been playing organ for the Knox United Church here in town?  They are very appreciative and it's very good for me to practice, prepare and play the music for the Sunday morning services.  But other than that, it's a free week, so this is THE WEEK to finish that project!

It was an all day effort, beginning with using the heat gun to loosen the paint and the scrapers to bring it down to bare wood again.  The problem was that it had been sloppily painted some time in the past.  What really bothered me was that it seemed the paint had been applied over a build up of fly dirt.  Hence the need for a thorough stripping.

Sanding followed the stripping, and was followed by a primer coat of KILZ2 and then the first coat of the brown finishing paint.  It will need a second coat to insure the white of the primer does not show through.  But WHOOEEE!  I got all that done!  It's looking good.  Later this week the window beside it needs the same treatment.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

BAG #4

This morning I finished Bag #4 in the Quiltsmart Midi Bag series.  I really enjoy this bag!
Mary Keenan gave the the fabric to make this bag, as I am going to teach a class in how to make this bag at her quilt shop in August.  It turned out very well.  We are both happy with it.  It's now hers.

Here's another view:

I learned a lot making this bag and am understanding the pattern much better.  I drew out a sketch that shows how the four panels relate, to help in placement of the squares.  Here's the schematic:
This shows which square of the four panels will attach to which square of the adjacent panel.  By charting this out I was able to plan which squares should go where in each of the four panels.  I'm very happy with the result.  So is Mary.

Of course, now I have an idea for another variation of this pattern!