Saturday, March 29, 2003

Whew! Seems like I have a lot of catching up to do! I was on a silent retreat last weekend, and it's taken me much of this week to get back into routine! :-) Well...let me tell you about it!

I began the weekend with my Friday Play Day, and it was wonderful! First, I went for a good, brisk walk. Then I took my car in to have her six-month oil change etc., etc., and while that was going on I enjoyed a good read and a hot cuppa coffee in the showroom. Ah-h-h-h-h!

Once we were on our way, I hustled home to pack all my goodies, check my mail and e-mail, and have one last romp around KR (Knitters' Review, for the uniniated!). A bite of lunch and off to Janice Spencer's in Bearspaw, just outside of NW Calgary, the home of her at-home and online stitchery shoppe, Traditional Stitches . There I picked up some goodies I had ordered online: the latest of Monica Ferris' delicious stitchery mysteries -- Hanging by a Thread -- and the newest copy of Piecework Magazine (Interweave Press), featuring a nifty folk vest in 36 colours (! count 'em!) in an article by Nancy Bush (actually, the featured pattern goes easy on us -- only 18 colours are worked into it!). I also got a goose-necked magnifier to clip on my hoops/frames/tables/totes so I can do x-stitch on linen without going blind now! I used it on the weekend and made more progress in one afternoon on a sampler for my DH, than I had in 2 months!!

From Janice's, I drove out to Cochrane (about 20 minutes) to browse the shoppes. I stopped first at a relatively new antique shoppe, where I bought a great little oak magazine rack with a table top on it. It replaces a silly brass basket-type one, the handles of which I kept having to fix (sigh). This "new" one is quite solid, has no handles to worry about, and a lovely little table top on which to put one's coffee while one reads. Bliss!

That secured, I strolled down the street to the stitchery store, Stitching Corner, for a boo at the latest kits. I tried not to drool all over the Jeannette Douglas and the gorgeous flosses...and, ever-disciplined (!), walked out with only a little free pattern for an ornament. Phew!

Next: the cookery store. I've been trying to find a cookbook holder so I can read and knit at the same time, but this was my third attempt, and no luck yet! However, I did find a plastic tumbler for my DH so he can drink in comfort without fear of his tendency to drop things...

From there it was a short hop to McKay's Ice Cream, where I spoiled myself with a yummy butterscotchy confection (regular cone, okay?!)...and then to Addie's, where I spent a happy time among the yarns and fabrics. I walked out with a board in which to keep my various quilting rulers, the Spring '03 issue of Quilting Arts (glorious colour), a kit for a Peanuts-patterned pillow-case for our soccer-loving nephew (his 11th birthday is in July), and a head full of ideas!

I finished the afternoon by browsing through a couple of art galleries, and ending up at an artists' supply store, The Paintbox, in Market Square. I have long wanted to learn to paint (watercolour), and have made tentative forays into sketching, but have not yet dared to dip my toes (fingers? brushes?) into actual paints. Well, turns out they might be having a Friday class on water colour in the fall, and will keep in touch. "Come on in", the proprietress said, "the water's fine!" :-)

Following a soul-satisfying cup of coffee at a nearby coffee shoppe, I wended my way back to my car and drove the 1 km. or so to the Mt. St. Francis Retreat Centre. There awaited me a most peaceful weekend, "Embrac[ing] the Vision" of faith, hope, love, maturity and service. Fr. Brian and Fr. Bob presented the theme talks with joy, humour and power as we listened, rapt. As my retreat reading, I'd brought with me Rick Warren's book, The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (Zondervan, 2002)...and, as God is wont to do, He complemented each presentation with chapters that were perfectly right. And so, for now, I leave you with these thoughts:

    It All Starts with God
    You Are Not an Accident
    You Are Here to Prepare for Eternity
    You Are Made to Last Forever
    Life on Earth is a Trust and a Trial
    Life is a Temporary Assignment and
    There is a Reason for Everything

Have a great week!

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