Saturday, December 31, 2022


It's New Year's Eve. Another year has passed, and what do I have to show for it? There are lots, but I tend NOT to keep track of what I accomplish in a year. Well, that's not entirely true -- I know how many KMs I've walked/ridden my bike or spin class, I know how many novels I've read, and I know how many quilts I donated (more or less) and well, I'm so highly motivated that I don't really need to know how much else I got done. It was a lot, and let's leave it at that! 

But to respond to those comments from yesterday, it shocks me in no uncertain terms that the little ground women have gained is constantly being threatened. I try to keep the blog apolitical, but the whole world scares me with everyone trying to do the "right" thing and no one wanting to learn from history. Let's just pretend it didn't happen! 

Well, let's move on to bigger and better things! I had a good chuckle this morning as I read the blog post from December 31, 2021. Guess what I was doing? Geocaching and decluttering. I will confess that the decluttering is minimal these days - at least in Studio B, but it'll be a constant thing for the rest of my life. 

Look at Elle, whose house must be pretty empty, yet she still finds things she no longer needs. I have learned that the more you get rid of, the easier it is and the faster it becomes. So I'm well over the hump and whatever I got done this past year is stuff I won't have to deal with when we need to move (in 20 years!). I would love for M to say, "my parents have lived in their current house for 40 years, and there's practically nothing to move!" 

The hilarious thing about the geocaching was that I was in the SAME location as last year. I lamented that I needed something long and pointy to lift a heavy object to get a cache. Guess what I had with me yesterday? A long tool to lift the heavy object. And I was wandering down by the river a year ago as well. Good grief! 

I visited a cemetery. There are almost always caches in cemeteries. 

A geocache in a cemetery

I took a tour of the artwork on these electrical boxes and answered questions about them. I sat on benches and tried to very casually look underneath to find a teeny tiny magnetic container. And then carefully put it back without trying to be too noticeable. At least I did NOT wear my orange jacket, as it was too hot, and I wore a black vest, which was a bit more subtle. 

Decorated electrical boxes

I passed the custom cookie shop and did NOT go in. There are several bakeries in that area -- one was open, and one was closed. 

The custom cookie shop

Then I got to a muddy part and carefully walked along the edge to avoid as much mud as possible. Got the cache and then faced with a dilemma -- go back through the mud or up this hill. What I love about all this adventuring is that I'm still in the city! I drove the car about 4 KM (I know -- I could have walked, but I knew I had a lot of walking to do to get the caches). 

Let's go UP!

I decided up was the way to go! It was a bit slippery and a lot steep! The last thing I wanted was to lose my footing and slide down, which would have defeated the purpose of bypassing the muddy field!

At the top, I was attached by burrs. 


Which stick to shoes, denim pants, and of course, my sweatshirt and vest. 

More burrs!

But the view was decent and saved time and no walking through the mud. 

The view from the top

I passed more beautiful houses in a different village than the one the previous day. This one is Streetsville. It's sad to see so many of the houses falling into disrepair, and now some of them are being refurbished into group homes and other purposes. If I ever win the lottery, there is one vacant building that I'd buy and turn into a quilt studio. It's a gorgeous building, and I dream every time I pass it. 

A beautiful and well-maintained home

Anyway, I've been cranking out the KMs these last couple of days. And I'm happy to report that I have less than 5 KM to reach my goal, and I'll be done by 9 AM. 

Mileage for the last couple of days

Since I'll be getting my 2022 challenge medal soon, I figured it was time to fix the ribbons on these two so they hang flat, and I'll get all three on the wall when the new one comes. I'll share that with you later. You've already seen some of my other medals, but not these challenge ones.  

Challenge medals from 2020 and 2021

And how did I make out with the geocaching? I got 385 points and need 500 by the end of January. Easy peasy!

Geocaching points

I know what you are thinking. For someone who doesn't keep track of things -- I keep track of many things! YES, I do, but I don't keep track of what quilting projects I finish in a year! 

Despite all the walking in the morning, I took the girls to the library in the afternoon, where I had to pick up some books. OH -- wait until you see the book I got. I didn't take a picture of it, so wait for tomorrow. DH is so worried when I take them and tie them up outside. I was in the library for 10 minutes! I don't do it often as I also worry that someone might decide they are loving and well-behaved dogs! Just wait until they get those leashes in their hands! 

Waiting for Mom

And Murphy always comes back dirty as ever. She needs a bath! 

MOM -- I love walking in the mud and rain

Lexi is the princess. Gosh -- she now has certain people she knows who will pet her on the walk and literally sidles up to them and leans on their legs to make it easier for them to do so. Sigh............

The Princess

And she is so much less skittish than she used to be. Now sure how that happened. 

MOM -- did we get mail?

Yes --- it was 14 degrees yesterday! That's why a vest sufficed when I was out for a couple of hours in the morning, and no jacket was required. 

14 degrees ABOVE

When I got home, this package had arrived. WOW -- that's a pretty big box for what's in it. 

The last package of the year

90% of the box was AIR. Seriously?? We pay for volume, not just weight. They could have done better. 

A big box for one small package

Anyway, I had fun popping all the air pockets and putting them in the recycling. 

Lots of air pockets

I managed a wee bit of clean-up in the backyard while the girls amused themselves. They are becoming lazy and only want to be out if Mom or Dad are with them. Not happening! 

MOM --- look at us! 

The ice is completely gone in the pond now. This picture was taken in the morning, and the temperature isn't even below zero at night. 

The pond has zero ice

I managed to get the last two bindings done. Now there's a massive stack of quilts to be delivered to Project Linus. 

Binding number one

Binding number two

So it was time to complete one more jigsaw, as soon it will be time to get back to some serious work. While I listened to the audiobook, I laid out all the pieces, and WOW -- I even managed the border. I thought it would be a bit of a challenge since it's all blue, but there's enough variation that it was pretty simple. 

The border is complete

Then I started with color, and the first part was easy. 

The green is complete!

Instead of sewing this morning, I worked on the puzzle while listening to the audiobook. I still have 1½ hours to go. Things are falling into place, and I had to go back and reread several chapters to get the gist of the background. What a complicated family!

Great progress on the puzzle

Now I get to work on several other components before all I have left is the blue background. There won't be too many pieces, and the colors are distinct. It won't take long!

So I'm taking the day off again! I might get some work done, but what the heck -- I need some time off, and while I have things to do, nothing has an immediate due date. I need to get to work and finalize some class lists, but that can wait until Tuesday! 

And there's ONE more geocache that I might pop out to get today. It would be nice to get that cleared up while the weather is nice. Who knows what the latter half of January will bring. OH -- I can hear it raining outside. It may be an indoor kind of day. I'm glad I went out the last two days! I had loads of fun. As the only girl who grew up on the farm, I learned to keep myself occupied. I have zero issues doing most things by myself (except climbing trees). It just makes things a whole lot easier and faster! No need to confer with someone and make plans -- just go and do! I love it!

However you spend the last day of 2022, I hope it's good and I look forward to a wonderful 2023 with visions of more decluttering and more making in my future! 

Have a wonderful day!!!



Friday, December 30, 2022

The crazy quilter's day off!

With the beautiful weather, it would be hard to work indoors, so I asked the "boss" if I could take the afternoon off. She said YES, and I was gone! It was a 15 KM+ day walking, and I got to walk someplace different. 

Can you believe it was 10 ABOVE yesterday? No sun, but it was warm and really too nice to be in the house. 

Warm temperatures

I live in the 6th largest city in Canada, but it's a strange city. It's comprised of many small villages that were gobbled up as the main city grew. And we have the Credit River that flows right through it and down to Lake Ontario. There is a rich history of industry and harnessing the river for power. The result of all that amalgamation is a vast sprawling city with little pockets of history scattered throughout. 

I had some geocaching to do, and I went to a spot I'd never been to. Another quaint little village has basically disappeared into the vastness of this city. The village is called Meadowvale and SHOOT -- -I wish I had read that article BEFORE I went. 

I took a couple of pictures of the area, and if you look at the article, you can see that some of those houses are still there!!! 

This picture is in the same area as the second picture in the article. (Derry and Pond), except that I'm looking in the opposite direction. The millworker's houses are still there -- they look different, but they are still there. 

Houses for sale

And the streets have no curbs, no sidewalks -- it's very much like it was in the early 1900s, but the road is at least paved! There were MANY houses for sale in the area. What is the price? And I don't want to live here. If that river flooded, this would be underwater! 

A residential street in old Meadowvale

This is the stunning Graham -Pearson house (c 1870). As I admired the house, a gentleman stopped by and told me the house's history! You can read all about it here. It's number 3 in the document. 

Graham-Pearson house

Our heritage society has several walking tours you can take on your own. I may have to do those one day. I was only in this area because of a geocache! 

I also stumbled upon this miniature village in someone's backyard. Again -- it was because of geocaching that I found it. The cache happened to be under maintenance at that time, so I couldn't get to it. Here's a video of this miniature village

Mini village in old Meadowvale

WOW -- -the things you can learn by geocaching or the places you will stumble upon. That's the beauty of geocaching -- I've discovered so many places by looking for a cache. And the new feature of the Adventure Labs (essentially a walking tour of an area -- usually five different locations) is how I found most of this yesterday. Check it out -- those Adventure Labs are everywhere. Some people drive from location to location, but I walk. Well, most of them -- some of the spots are far away. When you get to a site, all that's required is to answer a question. Most are EASY unless you're attempting it in another language, which I did when I was in Paris this summer!

The second Adventure Lab took me to a conservation area just down the road. This is right on the river, and as a matter of fact, I had to cross the river. 

The Credit River

The river was flowing quite nicely with very little ice on it. The path was a wee bit muddy and slippery to start out, but it soon became quite a pleasant walk. 

The bridge over the Credit River

This is a monster home I spotted at the end of the trail. While it's a lovely home, it's close to the river and not much higher than the river. However, it is NOT my spot, but to be able to step out your front door and be on the trail by the river? That would be nice. 

A monster home by the river

Oh yes - even though I had completed the two Adventure Labs, I wanted to find at least one physical geocache, and as I mentioned, the one by the mini village was missing. So I decided to get to one in the conservation area. I arrived at the spot and realized that some TREE CLIMBING was in order. Yep --- the cache is 20 feet in the air up this tree. 

The cache is UP THERE

OH -- the last time I went tree climbing, I think I was eight. I fell out of the tree and ripped the coat that my grandmother had made for me. I must buy myself a cheap camouflage jacket to use for geocaching. That bright orange jacket of mine is too precious (it's my favorite) and too bright to be stealthy. I did NOT climb the tree; however, if someone had been there in the event I fell out, I might have considered it. 

So off to find another geocache. This one was also in a tree, but no climbing was involved. 

An easy-to-locate geocache

So I've accumulated 115 points of the necessary 500, and I have until the end of January to get them. 

Then it was time to get my errands done. I dropped off 13 quilts to Shirley, who is part of our local chapter of Quilts of Valour. They are out of my house! And I would like to thank some of you (I have a list somewhere) who donated money for the batting for these quilts. Out of your generous donation, I was able to quilt over TWENTY quilts. I still have one more roll of batting, and I'll tackle that in 2023. 

A donation of quilts for Quilts of Valour

I also dropped some stuff off at the hazardous waste depot and then went on a shopping adventure. 

WAIT --- as I was finding some of those links above, I came across a note about a Canada Post scam. This is so weird because this happened to me yesterday. I got a text indicating there was a problem with a package, and could I please open the link to verify. Well, I have something coming in the mail, but I didn't think this sounded legit, but it really sounded legit. I mean -- I gave it some serious thought! 

That article mentioned that someone else got this text AFTER they visited a Canada Post facility. Here's the weird part: I also visited a Canada Post facility the day before and only asked a question at the counter. I did not do any transactions, so how did they know I was there? This means that "someone" is tracking our whereabouts and knew I was at Canada Post. Now that is creepy when we start to get scams for where we were, not what we were doing. 

Have you been to Staples lately? I had to drop off a package with a label already attached. HOLY -- that place has remade itself! Which is good as stores need to do that to survive. 

And then I ended up at Chapters. Where I spotted this game! It's by Ravensburger, and I thought they only did puzzles. I did NOT buy the game. 

The Great British Baking Show GAME

But there's a Wordle game, in case you are into that. For some reason, I have not gotten on that game. I'm surprised, but I don't have time, or I would never think of it! 

Wordle - The party game

Then I pulled into my driveway and decided I needed to pair my phone with the car. Oh boy -- am I going to remember how to do this? 

Pairing the phone with the car

Well, it was pretty simple, but not before I deleted all the previous phones on the menu. There were five phones --- seriously? I've not had five phones since I had this car at the beginning of 2019. Anyway --- there is only one phone now, and that's my new one. 

Only one phone in the system

But all my contacts are gone, so I need to add those at some point. Not that I use my phone much in the car, and Heck -- I barely use that car. There are 38,000 KM on it, and I bought it at the beginning of 2019. So yes --- the Bluetooth system works amazing, but the navigation system - not so much. And if it only had Android Car play -- I'd be happy. I need to check if they can do a software upgrade. 

Need to add contacts

Then I headed downstairs and got to work at the sewing machine. And those bindings. 

Binding number one

Binding number two

Binding number three

Binding number four

That leaves THREE Quilts to bind. Well, two quilts and a placemat. 

Three items left to attach the binding

I'm also working on another project for one of my classes, and I got SIX blocks together. The ones in the middle of this photo. I know they don't look like much, but I've grabbed my Tim Holtz fabric, and I'm determined to use it all up in that class. There's enough for three quilts and possibly a fourth, and that's just silly. I'm of the mindset now that if you bought a fabric because you liked it, then USE it!! 

Blocks made with Tim Holtz fabric

And while I watched another episode of The Great Canadian Baking Show, I removed more stabilizer bits from the back of this project. I don't know which is worse -- removing the paper from paper piecing or the stabilizer from machine embroidery. But it's a good thing to do when watching a show. 

Removing stabilizer

So I'm down to 20.7 KM and two days to make that happen. Barring any significant physical calamities, that is going to happen. I may go out again this afternoon for another little tour of my area, and then I can write on the weekend. I LOVE having a very flexible schedule. 

I still have 3½ hours to read in The Shadow Sister. OK -- so more history of the family, and we're getting close to finding the connection, but still not there yet! I don't know if I'll finish it today, but hopefully, I will by tomorrow. If you read this book, you will be MAD at the injustice placed on women and the inheritance of property. Do NOT take for granted the rights that women have gained in the last 70 - 100 years. The rights we now have compared to a relatively short time frame ago when women could NOT inherit their husband's property if he passed! Think about it -- -if you died today, and your house was passed onto your eldest son, and you had to move? Yep --- this book will make you mad!

Believe it or not, the temperature is PLUS 9, and I'll be taking the girls out for their walk soon. This is the end of December, and we are still in Canada? Well, we have decent weather here -- I'm not going to complain, but it would be nice to see the sun a wee bit more!

I apologize (OK -- no, I don't) if I make you tired when you read the blog. I'm just a busy person, and I hate sitting still. It's not that I can't, but my brain just won't let me. It says --- get moving -- do something. It all has to do with my upbringing and living on a farm! 

Have a super day!!!!


Thursday, December 29, 2022


 A quick note about the Barn Star Sampler. 

Barn Star Sampler

A number of you have realized that you can purchase a PDF of the book directly from the author, and there are other places where you can buy different versions. The Hobby Horse still has about 8 copies! Whether we run the class through The Hobby Horse or I do it myself, we WILL have a class on this quilt. Sooooooooooooooooo    --- if you bought it -- just wait! 

If you want to go ahead and sew it, there will be no need to sign up for the class. Part of the fun is checking out what the others are doing or how they make changes. If you have already sewn it, then well --- no need for the class. 

I just need to squeeze that in, and I know where, but then to squeeze in something else we had in mind. I must look at the calendar this morning. Yes -- I know I'm a sucker for a new quilt, but it's the only way I can allow myself to start a new project! 

I had a very successful morning of paperwork. There's still lots to do, but I'm happy with the progress. And I made significant progress on my blog projects, so I can start writing today. My goal is to be ahead of the deadlines, so I've downloaded many pictures and will be browsing them later this morning and writing. Then back to the sewing machine -- it's pretty "sad" when you wake up thinking -- I could use this stitch on the sewing machine for this part! 

I'm still recovering apps and logging in. That will take a long time, and I will only know I'm missing something when I need the app. 

Plus, I logged into my french quilting group last night. There were only three of us, but it's so much fun to get to know these ladies in french! It was loads of fun, and I managed to repair something while I chatted. 

I'm now down to 36.6 KM to finish off my cardio KM goal for the year. That should be easy -- 12.2 KM for the next three days. I can do that! I've never been quite this close to the end of the year in meeting the goal, but hey --- what's life without a few deadlines! It was glorious to be out without a hat yesterday on my afternoon walk. No hat! And it's going to be warmer today. 

AHA -- I went to Fabricland the other day to get something I had seen a couple of weeks ago, and it was niggling in the back of my mind. I'll share it with you when I make something out of it. And I NEED to make that soon. However, I happened to wander through the yarn section, and oh my!!! I found GREEN chenille yarn. I had been looking for eons, and there it was! 

Green and yellow chenille yarn

When I went to unload the dishwasher yesterday, I got a bit of a shock. My FAVORITE plate was snapped in half and nicely arranged in the dishwasher, which I assumed was luck. 

My broken plate

YES -- I did check to see if it was dishwasher safe and it was. I check that detail BEFORE I buy anything, and if it doesn't go in the dishwasher, I won't buy it. 

Dishwasher safe

You know how sometimes we buy things and don't use them. Well, I bought this about one year ago, and while I didn't use it every day, I used it often enough. I like to eat off a small plate, and this was perfect. When I put the two pieces together, enough small bits are missing that it won't work. So I tossed it. 

The broken plate

But I knew it was in a different place than I had placed it in the dishwasher. So when DH rearranged it, did it get hit with something? Everything else seemed to be OK. However, when he got up, he confessed. He dropped it when he rearranged the dishwasher -- seriously?? The plate fell onto a pot and snapped cleanly in half. So why did he wash the bits? He thought I might be able to rescue it, and better to rescue clean bits than dirty ones! 

At least, he confessed, otherwise, I would have been none the wiser and just thought the dish snapped in the dishwasher! How many other dishes have disappeared this way? I only had ONE of these plates, so it was hard to hide the fact that it broke, whereas we have multiples of most other things. Sigh......................

After some research yesterday, I realized that the Ravensburger Escape Puzzle I bought is one of the kid's puzzles!! There are only 368 pieces (about half of the adult ones), and I'm guessing the puzzles will be easier. Should I try to exchange it? Or do it for a quick afternoon's entertainment? 

Only some of the puzzles are shown on the US site for Ravensburger, but you can see more on the french site. I bet some of them are NOT translated into English or were not created in English. And you can always check out Puzzles Canada to buy them! They had way more than this in the store, so they may be hot items. 

And two more quilts got bound. These are for Project Linus, and I plan to get them out of the house by the end of the year. OK -- that is NOT going to happen. 

Binding on Project Linus

Here is the second one. 

Binding on Project Linus

There are still six more to bind, which shouldn't take that long since two are smaller, and only the topstitching needs to be done. I'll have to find the contact phone number again as I lost all that when the phone got switched over. No -- wait -- all that is still in my phone. What a nasty mess -- some stuff came through, and some didn't. Some data is coming back as I log in, but I'll never attempt that again on my own. 

I now have a screen protector, and I must drop the old phone off today. 

I've six hours left in The Shadow Sister. It's incredible how the author winds the story around historical events. OK -- so I understand the past, now where's the connection to the sister? I should be able to finish by the weekend. I only listen when I'm doing mindless sewing and there were times yesterday that I wasn't doing mindless sewing. Even then, there are bits I miss and have to go back to, which is the hardest part about the audiobook. While it's easy to go back in 15-second intervals, it's not easy to find a passage you missed, except by randomly going back. Sometimes, it takes me a few minutes to locate my phone and then I have to go back even farther because the missing word/passage is now that much behind me! 

Well, the sentence isn't missing; I didn't hear it! But you know what I mean. 

All the pots from the garage were picked up yesterday. There was no rush, and I told the person to pick up this week when the weather was better. Better for her, better for me. WOW -- that emptied a bit of the space around the workbench. Since it will be so warm today, I might dig a few more things out. I have some stuff that needs to go to the hazardous waste and recycling center, and today would be the perfect day. That leaves less to clear out in the spring. I guess a good solid morning would have the garage spic and span. OK -- make it a solid day! But I only have part of the day -- I want to get rid of those odd things!

Well, that's it for me! I've got loads to do today, and there is no time to waste! I have to laugh as last night, one of the ladies asked if I was taking time off between the holidays. Hmm --- NO -- I never seem to take time off, but then I LOVE what I do, and I could do it forever. And since I'm my own boss, if I want to slack off for a day here and there -- I'm allowed. I would bet I put in way longer hours than someone who works a nine-to-five job, but I'm OK with that. 

Have a super day!!!!