Tuesday, June 28, 2011

And life goes on…

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the thoughts, well-wishes, prayers and support that you have sent my way.  I am overwhelmed and above all, so very thankful.  I can’t begin to explain how much each and every one of your comments has meant to me.  


I wish I had more to tell you but at this time, I am still undergoing tests in order to find out the primary source of the cancer.  I’m going back to the hospital this afternoon for a second and different biopsy and I’m actually hoping that this will show something in order to be able to move forward.

And life goes on. 

heart divider

Mr. Painted Quilt and I have been spending a lot of time outdoors working on the grounds.  There are several areas on the almost 5 acres that have been neglected over the years and we are working our patooties off to bring things back to the way they were meant to be.  It’s hard work but oh soooo gratifying!

The crew finally finished shingling the roof last week and not too long after they left, another crew arrived to pressure wash the house and workshop.  Our 175 year old house now sparkles.


The peonies are in full bloom and they add so much to the ambiance of the front gardens.  The hostas were transplanted earlier this spring. They were given to me by a hooking friend and are thoroughly enjoying their new environment. The soil here in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia is so fertile and everything seems to flourish.


Most of the plants in this part of the front garden are new and that is why they appear so small. I can’t wait until they mature and fill in the empty spaces.  I still have a few more perennials to plant in this area and now that the outside workers are gone, guess what’s on my ‘to do’ list for tomorrow? 

Can you see Mac at the very end of the garden? The groomer  got a little carried away and gave him a summer crew cut.


We moved the wheel barrow to the front yard and it is now perched on a large boulder in the grassy area located between the house and the road.  It looks much better there and the towering maples provide the necessary protection for the shade-loving begonias.


The workshop looks so pristine after the pressure washing…almost like a sentinel protecting the house and grounds. 


Most of the plants in the garden on the side of the house are new this year as well.  It took me almost two days to weed the beds after the roofers and pressure washing crews completed their work.   I absolutely love the natural look of the black cedar mulch that I laid down to both keep the moisture in and the weeds out.  Now if only it would stay that way!


The rose garden is coming along.  I neglected to get a picture when all five bushes were in bloom at the same time.  We are still working on the barn in the background getting it ready for some laying hens.  We decided to throw caution to the wind and proceed with all the plans we had before receiving the ‘news’…because life goes on.


I can’t remember the name of this hybrid tea rose that’s a little past it’s prime in this photo but it’s still gorgeous.  I


This one is called “Oklahoma” and it’s a knockout.   The colors are magnificent, ranging from a medium red to a deep red to almost black in come areas.  The petals look and feel like velvet.


The kitchen garden is flourishing as well.  We’ve had one meal from a head of red leafy lettuce and it was sooooo tasty.  How gratifying it is to be able to harvest things from your own garden and we already have plans to extend this little patch for next year. 


And thankfully,  life goes on. 

I have just about finished the line drawings for a new quilt and if everything goes as planned, I hope to start cutting and piecing next week.

I am in great spirits and the only difference I can physically feel is that I seem to tire quickly and have had to resort to afternoon naps.   I’m not sure how much all the physical activity and ‘age’ have contributed to this.  *wink*

Wish me luck as we’ll be leaving for the hospital in a couple of hours.  Big hugs to you all.


Monday, June 20, 2011

When life gives you lemons…

Make lemonade!

lemons 2

It’s a good thing that I like lemons because it would appear that a truckload has been dumped on our doorstep.

My worst fears were realized this morning when I found out that the results of my biopsy were positive.  As a result, I will be taking a hiatus from my blog for the next little while Mr. Painted Quilt and I take care of business to get me well again.  I don’t exactly know what’s in store for me as yet but I expect I’ll be finding that out in the next little while.

I’m positive and upbeat and I’m in it for the long haul.  After all, I have all this fabric and wool just waiting to be transformed into quilts, rugs and other goodies!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Blogging friends are definitely the best!

I was expecting a little something in the mail because Candace asked me for my new mailing address…but all I can say is…WOW!  Blogging friends are indeed the best!

Because of the rotating postal strikes across Canada, the parcel took two weeks to get here from Washington state .  Trust me my friends…it was definitely worth the wait!


Candace made two of the most wonderfully lavender scented sachets which I mistook to be pincushions.  In response to my thank you note to her, Candace told me that they in fact were either drawer or closet sachets but that I certainly could use them as pincushions if I so desired.  Because they smell so heavenly, I decided to use them as they were intended.  Now I have one of the most lovely lavender scented lingerie drawers in Nova Scotia!  *wink*


Also included in the parcel were some tomato seeds that were developed at Rutger’s University in Mr. Squash’s home state of New Jersey.  (In case you are wondering why I referred to Candace’s husband as Mr. Squash, her blog is called Squash House Quilts and if you haven’t already, it is definitely worth a visit).

Inside the little hinged heart shaped tin was something that I’ve been meaning to order but kept on putting off because I couldn’t decide which one I wanted.  Have a look at the pieced log cabin block that has been made into a scissor fob.  It is approximately 1” square and yes…it is actually pieced!  Can you imagine working with such tiny pieces of fabric?  Yikes!


To do it justice, I just had to place it on my most FAVORITE pair of Dovo scissors.


I wish I could say that the rhododendrons in the photos were from our gardens but they’re not.  Yesterday my neighbor  brought me a lovely bouquet from her garden which she planted about 25 years ago.  Stunning, huh?

Thank you again Candace and Bob.  Your gifts came at just the right time and have certainly lifted my spirits.  I can’t wait until next spring when we can plant your tomato seeds in our ‘real’ garden.


Thursday, June 9, 2011


Thanks again for all your support during this little blip on my life’s radar.  Your comments are so uplifting and mean a lot.


I had my biopsy surgery yesterday and everything went without incident.  Apart from a little pain and discomfort, I am doing really well.  I cannot do any physical work for 10 days until the stitches heal so now I just watch my gardens grow rather than work in them and I’ve also been doing a lot of reading.  I next meet with my doctor/surgeon on Monday, June 20th for the results and whatever cards I’m dealt, I feel very positive and upbeat.


Remember this…the flower bed that Mr. Painted Quilt started about three weeks ago?


As the song goes, he never promised me a rose garden but he gave me one and here it is today. We  planted the fifth rose bush on Tuesday, the day before my surgery.  It’s not quite finished but it’s progressing beautifully.


We incorporated the existing white lilac bush as a backdrop to the rose garden and we also added a red Japanese maple in the left foreground.    Eventually I would like to add a few more varieties of roses but will wait until next spring to see how these over-winter.

Our first rose…pretty, huh?


This is my take on an old fashioned ‘kitchen garden’ right outside our back door…just as they did in days of yore.  Because of the abundance of deer in our area, I didn’t want to plant this garden too far away from the house as they would just help themselves.  We’ve been lucky so far.

I started with 3 rhubarb and 6 raspberry plants… 


And here it is today.  I added onions, 3 varieties of lettuce and 4 hot pepper plants for Mr. PQ.  On the patio in the background is a cherry tomato plant on the left and an ever-bearing strawberry plant on the right.

Next year we hope to make a large fenced in vegetable garden and keep the little one outside our back door for rhubarb and herbs.


This morning we went to the local nursery and purchased some annuals to add to our antique wheel barrow.


And what is this you might ask?  Not more construction!


Yes, more construction…but at least it outdoors and there’s no dust and mess to clean up in the house.


We’re having our roof re-shingled.  We knew that the shingles had to be replaced when we purchased the house and now that the rain has finally let up, the work started yesterday while we were away.  The shingles we selected resemble cedar shakes and I love the look.  We were told that it’ll take about a week to complete the job.


And this is Mac’s best friend…our resident squirrel who shares the seed in our feeders with our fine feathered friends.  *wink*  One of the feeders is suspended from a branch in this maple tree and he helps himself at will.  I’m such a softie when it comes to animals.


Since I can’t do any work in the gardens, I’m hoping to get started on my new quilt design in the next couple of days.  It seems like such a long time since I’ve actually sat and pieced at my machine and I’m really looking forward to it.

Thanks again for your support, my friends.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Retail Therapy

Thank you, my friends for all your well wishes, thoughts and prayers.  They mean the world to me. 

Bright and early this morning I went for my pre-op blood work and ekg and now I’m just counting the hours until Wednesday.  I can’t wait until this is all over so I can deal with whatever is waiting for me down the line.


I was out of the hospital by 9 a.m. and before I knew it, we were heading up the road to Avonport, our ‘local’ quilt shop about 60 miles away which I spoke about HERE.  Mr. Painted Quilt decided that I needed some serious retail therapy to take my mind off things and who was I to refuse an offer like that!

I purchased over 25 meters (39 inches = 1 meter) of Civil War reproduction fabric for under $75.  The fabric I selected was in their ‘reduced’ bin and was priced at $3 per meter .  Every bolt of fabric that they stock is of quilt shop quality and brand name.  The ones I purchased were from lines designed by Julie Rothermel for Windham and Nancy Gere for Marcus.


I also bought 5 meters of the fabric pictured below to use as backing for a ‘future’ quilt.   At $2 per meter, it had to come home with me.


The price was right so these two packs of charm squares made their way into my shopping cart as well.


Avonport Discount Fabrics has a supply of notions and quilting supplies second to none.  I picked up some extra bobbins for my Bernina and another  donut bobbin saver.  If there’s one thing I hate it’s having to wind a bunch of bobbins while I’m in the middle of piecing so I try to prepare a whole bunch in advance.  I also bought some glass headed quilting pins which I’ve wanted for a long time.


Mr. PQ was right…there’s nothing like a little retail therapy to warm the soul…and so much better than chicken soup…right?


Friday, June 3, 2011

Checking In

At the outset, I would like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all the well wishes, thoughts and prayers that you sent my way.  I can’t tell you how much they have meant to me.

houses and hearts

As of an hour ago, we have finished planting the gardens.  Yippee! 

Most of the plants are new this year and as a result, there are large spaces in between to afford them the necessary room to mature.  Because of this, we decided that we are going to spread some cedar mulch in the void spaces to help keep the weeds to a minimum.  That is on tomorrow’s agenda.  After the mulch is down, I’ll take some new photos.

houses and hearts

This morning, Mr. Painted Quilt and I treated ourselves to breakfast out.  Right after, we decided to go for a little drive around the countryside before returning home.  Luckily, I had my camera in my purse.

Everywhere you go at this time of the year in Nova Scotia the wild lupins are a sight to behold. 


Along the roads…


And in the ditches and fields for as far as the eye can see.


We drove up the north mountain to Parker’s Cove.  That’s the Bay of Fundy in the distance…for as far as the eye can see.  Too bad the day was overcast.


The scenery is just spectacular.


There is a little harbor where the fishing boats put in to unload their catch.


We then came across the little fishing village of Hampton where we saw a sign saying that any vessel in distress is welcome there.  The Hampton light house is now an historical landmark.


Each day 100 billion tonnes of seawater flows in and out of the Bay of Fundy during one tide cycle, more than the combined flow of the world’s freshwater rivers.


Another view of the Hampton light house.


As we started our decent from the north mountain, this was the view into the Annapolis Valley with Bridgetown in the distance.


One last photo of the lupins before returning home to work in the garden.


The wild lupins that I saw were mostly purple and pink with an odd white one here and there. I’m hoping to collect some seeds and scatter them at the far end of our property this fall.

houses and hearts

For those of you who stopped by expecting to see a new FFF (First Friday Freebie) today, as I mentioned in my last post, I will be taking the summer off.  At least that is my intention at the moment.

On the health front, the results from my CT scan were inconclusive so I will be going into the hospital on Wednesday for exploratory surgery at which time they will remove some tissue to be biopsied.  

Please keep those positive thoughts and prayers coming.