Monday, January 18, 2010

2009 in Review - The Good, The Bad and The Experiences

January & February 2009

Winter was memorable in that we had so much snow we wondered if it would ever end. I grew up with snow on the ground for months, but snow on Vancouver Island is different. It doesn’t blow around in drifts and is NOT light to shovel. It’s heavy and wet. It seems Bob and I were shoveling snow every hour for days on end!

But there was a sparkle in all this. I was taking care of two of our granddaughters one Saturday and it was very snowy in the park close to our home, which has a hill in it. Alexcia and Faith were 10 and 6 at this time, so I took them to the park with one garbage bag each to go “tobogganing.” Alexcia, the oldest, obviously thought Grandma was a little loony taking them out with garbage bags but I explained that she would understand once she had tried it. They loved it and had so much fun on that little hill that we were out there for 3 hours. I didn’t toboggan, but I was kept busy getting them set to go and holding onto them until they were ready. The favorite picture in my mind is Faith at the bottom of the hill, trudging upwards for another ride, holding her garbage bag out to the side, and calling out “Gramma, this is SO fun!” But her garbage bag had dropped and she was holding nothing but air. Why oh why didn’t I take my camera!

March 2009

The only thing that stands out in this month is the fact that I went to visit my parents on spring break.  Mum and Dad had worked on some cross stitch squares, all snow man faces....haven't we had enough snow?????  However, while there I assembled all these blocks into a quilt which Mum will bring out for decoration at Christmas.  I was amazed at their stitching.  Dad is 94 and Mum 81 and silly me.....I didn't take a picture of it before leaving! 

April 2009

My first book “Embellishing with Anything” was released April 1. This month was filled with book signing engagements which were fun and very rewarding as everyone was really supportive and complimentary.

It was rewarding to see this come to fruition after almost two years of writing and sewing and proofreading, mailing parcels and emailing and, and, and......a lot of work and time invested, and finally, the results! 

May 2009

The highlight of this month was my trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to attend the Spring Quilt Market followed immediately by a week in New York City with two good friends. I was hosted at the convention by the publisher, and shared a room with Jan Krentz, another author with C&T. It was a wonderful, head-in-the-clouds kind of dream time for me and the best part was meeting and getting to know Jan.

I read somewhere that having "stuff" is not nearly as rewarding as having "experiences".  This trip was an affirmation of that .... the sites I saw, the people I met, the food I ate, the different cultures I witnessed, all added up as far more valuable than any possession I might buy at home.....except of course my books and sewing machine!

And then there was New York City. What can I say except I would go back in a heartbeat and I’d do it with the same two people! It was spectacular in so many ways I’m still absorbing some of the details!
June 2009

Coming back to home and the reality of a person's life after an experience like this could be an anti-climax.  But my home, my husband and even his dog were welcome sights too.  It was nice to be in my own bed, and here's what happened in our yard while I was gone....not Central Park, but pretty nice in it's own right! 

July 2009

July was highlighted by the birth of our 8th grandchild, Crüz. He won our hearts and our summer was very special because we saw him and his parents every single day for a couple of hours. We did not have this privilege with our other grandchildren as they did not live in the same town when they were born. Bob delighted in cooing over this baby on a daily basis! To the point where his dog showed obvious signs of jealousy! Nothing like a new and cheerful baby to bring out the silliness in us!

August 2009

In August my Mum came to visit from Edmonton. She is 81. She was only here for three days and we turned around and drove back to Edmonton. I had promised my 14 year old granddaughter I would take her with me this year and she booked the time off that fitted best at her work. Mum booked her flight on bonus points without calling first so it was a little unfortunate that she only had the three days on the island. That time was filled with visits from our children and grandchildren. An exhausting three days, but totally enjoyable.

We headed out for Edmonton, stopping and spending a night in Vancouver to visit with our son who lived there at the time. That was fun….we had dinner together, lots of laugh and a walk at English Bay….beautiful to say the least. A magical evening ended with a stop for gelato at a sidewalk table.

The next day we headed out on the drive, stopping at my friend Judy’s to stay overnight before finishing up the trip to Edmonton. Melissa loved West Edmonton Mall. First we went to the rides and she did all the adrenalin-rush ones…..I took pictures. Then we went to the pool. I love to swim so this part was easy for me. Melissa enjoyed laughing at her grandmother on the slide! She went on every one of them and some more than once. We swam in the waves, lay in the “beach” chairs and just generally had a great time there.

Our evenings were spent with Mum and Dad. It was great to see them and visit with them in a more peaceful environment than I was able to offer at my house!

On the trip back, we again stopped at Judy’s house. It was hot, hot, hot! We both enjoyed time at the lake close to where she lives. We played with fibre, she taught me to do silk fusion, and we visited late into the night. Melissa seemed to enjoy our stories as well. I would have loved to stay longer but Melissa had to be back at work so we had to leave.

The month of August is usually one in which Ionne McCauley ( and I usually arrange a “retreat” with all our quilting friends and a teacher. This year it didn’t work out so in retrospect, it was a good time for me to do some “finishing”. It’s an amazing thing. I’ve discovered that when you finish projects, it creates SPACE! So I’m trying to do more….I won’t even tell you how many UNfinished projects I have in my studio!

September 2009

Back to work. We have a new principal this year, who is working out well in that he is pleasant, dedicated and outstanding with the kids. After several years of leadership turmoil, this is a good thing. Nothing like working in a school to teach you to adapt to change.....the leadership changes and shifts about every three years. 

The outstanding thing about September this year was the color in the leaves. It was absolutely spectacular and lasted well into late fall. My window in my office had the most incredible scenery with mountains behind the colors and the green field. I caught myself several times gazing out the window and appreciating that!  But best of all, the sunflowers I planted were HUGE and rewarding.  I loved watching how their 'face' turned with the sun throughout the day. 

October 2009

Did anything happen in October?  It must have.  I can't think of anything outstanding that happened in October of 2009 in my life.  Wait a minute.....Is that the month when my son decided to take that beautiful grandchild and his wife and work out of town.....thousands of miles that the little person they brought back at Christmas was a different little person?  What a difference three months can make!  This is who left.

And this is who came back.....

November 2009

The highlight of November is always our retreat at Tamagawa.  The same group of people meet there twice a year to quilt, eat, inspire and just generally reconnect with each other.  We usually take things we have to finish or need input on.  This year I managed to finish quilting THREE quilts in the three day retreat.  What a sense of accomplishment.  I've posted a couple of these pictures before.  I felt SO accomplished!  And....the lesson learned is that "finishing" projects actually creates space!  What a concept! 

December 2009

This winds the year up at Christmas of course.  A time for family and friends and overeating.  Ours went really well and there were some touching and rewarding moments this year.  But I have to say that I was almost relieved to go back to work so that I could quit eating.  That tells you a part of what my New Year's Resolutions are!  One of the delights of our season was our youngest grandson....home for a visit.  We got to babysit.  Amazing how two people with aches and pains and disabilities can suddenly be on the floor being silly with a baby and not feel any of it! 

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