Monday, March 26, 2012

Three Hills has got talent!

Saturday afternoon my sister, the JD Salesman and I took in the Three Hills Arts Academy's spring musical: "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat".  If you live within driving distance of Three Hills, have any inclination for drama, this is one to see.

I was not surprised at the talent which made up this production.  Three Hills is teeming with such!  But it is so very impressive to see it all come together in one huge undertaking.  Having never been part of something of this magnitude I don't know all that is involved but I do have an inkling.

There are the costumes, the choreography, the directing of this huge group of people.  It is difficult enough to memorize a number of songs with varying 'beats' and range but then to sing them to recorded music?  Add some pretty fancy footwork at a fast pace and one's head must be spinning.

I hesitate to mention particular characters because they ALL did a fantastic job.  Please know that I appreciated all of them!  But I must tell you about a couple of them.

Pharaoh:  I will never walk through the dairy section in the local grocery store, meet Dan who is in charge of said section and be able to resist a grin!  I had not idea the Pharaoh, in this production, had an 'Elvis' flair and Dan fit the role, played the part and has an exceptional voice.  Absolutely delightful!

And then there is Judah..... aka Daryl.  What can I say...... who would have known he has a latent country boy side!  Smashing in his wide-brim hat! Line dancing? I would never have suspected this ability.  Alicia, do you foresee ranching in the future for your family?  All joking aside, he was so delightful and his 'Benjamin Calypso' was brilliant and so well done.

Take note of the 'Baker' who also plays one of the 'brothers'.  Would you guess he, excuse me, she, is also the director of this whole affair?

Thank you to those who are committed to going to all this work for our entertainment.  Thank you to  the families who really do sacrifice to have family members involved in hours of practice and performance.  It was great!

Friday, March 23, 2012


I think I have the link to Danielle's blog corrected!

Sorry about the mis-information.  Remember, I am technically challenged..... but eventually/sometimes I 'get it'!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


July, 1972.  I know, that was a very, very looooong time ago!

I was living with my sister and her family.  Her husband was away on business but they were invited to a wedding.  I 'sort of' knew the couple so Chris asked me to go with her.  That evening a young good looking farm boy invited me to check out Drumheller with him.  Turns out that Farmer is now a JD Salesman.  Interesting......

Back to the wedding.... Clint and Janet were the couple who married that day and through the last 40 years we have been in touch with them off and on.  We visited them in BC at Summerland, Wasa, Kamloops, Merritt.  They pastored churches, supervised a denomination, cared for 3 growing children, elderly parents.  They poured their lives into so many, many people.  They were wounded in so many, many situations.  There was a time I wondered if they would ever recover but last spring it was evident that yes, they were being healed and were back into people's lives, Clint as chaplain in the penitentiary near Kamloops,  Janet busy with adult kids and a 'herd' of beloved grand kids.

Then in January they had a phone call that has turned their world 'upside down and inside out' I believe is the way Janet described it.  Danielle, age 34 ( at the time) mother to 3 little people was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I would encourage you to follow her story.

Danielle is a great writer, incredibly honest.  She and her family are willing to share their story with 'the world' which I so admire and respect.

Be encouraged by her.......

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

weather in Churchill

I can not say that I have ever given the weather in Churchill Manitoba much consideration.  I often check with the Families in the southern part of that province as to what is happening there but Churchill?  Nope!

Until now..... for the next 10 days I will be making regular 'trips' to the internet to find out if it is cloudy or snowing in that northern part of the world.

Here is the reason:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

for the joy of quilting

The first quilting class that I can recall was at the Big Stone community hall. ( yes, there is such a place.  yes, there is a big stone near the hall.  Any of the locals would be happy to show it to you.)  There were probably a dozen or so women gathered with their sewing machines, their stacks of fabric and of course lunch and coffee.  Shelli was our instructor.  Shelli is one of those capable, tackle anything, wise women who to this day still helps to keep places like Big Stone functioning well.  (I think I am off track....)

We put together a sampler wall hanging, trying various styles of blocks from a simple nine-patch to a more detailed dresden plate.  I used this as a table topper in A Prairie Chalet until it faded beyond faded!
I took a class in Hanna at Yesterday's Dream (no longer a store) and made a quillow.  Then Pam Job was offering a class at the local school in Youngstown and I made my first 'major' project, a double sized quilt.  I had no clue what I was doing, I just wanted to learn.  For the first time in the 20 or so years that I had had my Singer sewing machine I learned about the various 'feet' and actually put them to use.  Pam was a patient, encourager and I was actually quite pleased with the result, even the free-motion quilting, if I didn't look too closely.  It covers a bed in the spare room of the basement.

There were more small projects, baby quilts for each grand child, a couple more bigger ones for family and a special friend. Gradually I would learn the lingo and gather tips and information from class instructors, reading magazines and blogs.

When we moved to this great community I was 5 miles from a fabulous quilt shop with more classes and fabric than I could imagine.  I cautiously dipped my toe into the quilting world, would try something and then pull back.  Then a different class would be offered and once again I would try but would keep doing that old 'comparing' my abilities with others.   These women are amazing!  Alice is an artist as well as a quilter!  These are experts and talk a language that I barely understand sometimes.  I am also the daughter of Magda who made quilts only from old coats, leftover scraps of fabric from serviceable projects.  One never bought new fabric to cut up and sew back together into something that was simply for looking at.  So the cost of fabric would haunt me as well.

I have resisted calling myself a quilter. Jo is a quilter.  Trish is a quilter.  I took one of Jo's classes and she was so helpful and  encouraging. But I was/am still intimidated  by her knowledge and wonderful use of colour.  So, I have just told people I enjoying sewing and working at quilting.

A while back I took my machine for servicing and cleaning.  During my conversation with Al  I said how I didn't really call myself a quilter.  He looked at me and said "Have you ever finished a quilt?" My reply, "Well, yes.....".  "Then you are quilter.  Some people say they are quilters but have never finished a quilt."

I know it sounds foolish but that is what it took to allow myself to be called a quilter.

There is something about creating with fabric that is therapeutic for me.  Oh, yes, I get frustrated, I take out stitches, I redo seams, I cringe when I see some of the colours that I have put together or the corners that don't quite line up but I still love it.  I have a fabric 'stash' and if I see a fabric sale I add to the stash.  The JD Salesman never complains or rolls his eyes when I buy more.  And he raves over some projects and at others he just smiles.

I confessed to a friend the other day that I make quilts and don't really know what I will do with some of them, I don't have a 'home' for them yet.  She encouraged me that this IS therapy for me these cold days and even when it isn't cold, so just enjoy it!

I had a stamp made a while back, one that I hoped to make labels for my projects, one that I think describes the pleasure I have in my muddling with fabric and thread.  Now I must learn to make labels.......

 " for the joy of quilting" .

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Phone call

The caller ID said "Private Caller" and because some friends have such, I chose to answer.
"My name is Dorideknsl fanik kd and  akdiril fldldisnalgn windowl a d  f sls skdkff   ....."
( okay, this is not verbatim but the only words I understood were 'my name is' and the word 'window')  Now please understand that I DO recognize the fact that, at this stage in my life, when people speak quickly I don't always get what they are saying.  Add a strong accent and I am whooped!
"Pardon me?"
This time (duh) it connected that it was something to do with Microsoft Windows.  He was not going to try to sell me a window.
At this point I usually say I am not interested and hang up but I seemed to be in a particularly ornery mood so I pursued the conversation.
"I know everything about your computer and need......"
"You don't know anything about my computer."
"Yes I do.  You are Mrs. Arm (long pause) Mrs. Armstrong, right?"
"Yes, but you don't know anything about my computer."
"Yes I do.  I have all the information that is on your computer.  I have the number."
The number.  What 'number' would he be talking about.  Serial number?  Where would I find that?   Hhhhhmmmm
"What is the number on my computer?"
"It is 888 (another long pause)" but that was all I got.
"What kind of computer do I have?"
"It is a Dell."
"Well, I am looking right at it and it is an Apple."
"Pardon me?"
"I have an Apple.  I am looking right at it."
and at that point there seemed to be a problem because he hung up!

Do people really buy into these schemes?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


We have had a relatively mild winter season in this part of the world.  There has been little snow to contend with, fairly mild temperatures making life easy when traveling even to the post office and for groceries.
Then March came! and now we are having some cold, wind and snow.
As I looked out the window this morning my first reaction was to whine.  Whine about the wind, the snow piling in front of the house, in the driveway.  Then reality hit:  we have a warm cozy house.  So many in the US lost their homes last week, others in Calgary and in hundreds of cities on this continent have never had the privilege of a house that belongs to them, have no shelter in this brief winter spell.
As the years pile up the JD Salesman and I realize that it is so easy to become whiny, complaining, seeing the dark-side of the glass half empty.
How I long to live thankfully, to believe that IN all things God works for my good, to accept clouds, dark days, pain, sorrow as well as sunshine and happy times.
So..... if I need to be reminded of that, don't hesitate doing so......

Hey, the sun is peeking through!