by Jan

We went to a quilt show yesterday. Members of the Sunshine Coast Quilt Guild showed their work. It was lovely. Hundreds of quilts were hung and Ken and I spent a couple of hours enjoying the show, and admiring the work.

The show was held in the Gibsons Arena. A large arena in community centre. The big floor where the show was held is used for hockey in the winter, and other sports year round. At the entrance, I noticed a few signs reminding parents that as the children play — to be nice. Yes, reminders for the parents to be nice while their children are playing!

Perhaps they needed a sign for the quilt show as well… because, while seeing the quilts was fun, listening to the women talk as I walked by was another story!

Perhaps I missed the signs that said, “If you can’t say anything nice, come sit by me!” and “I don’t repeat gossip, so listen up.”

As I walked around the show, I heard more than once a few catty women, speaking in whispers that were not as quiet, as they may have hoped.

…Did you see so and so won! i can’t believe it. Who is doing the judging? Her seams are terrible and her points don’t match. OMG, just terrible … Oh, hi so and so… Congratulations. Amazing work!

It was funny in the moment, but also very sad. Once again, a point was made of the perils of gossiping in public. You never know who is going to hear you.

We all have our opinions and preferences and sure enough, I have mine. There were amazing works at this show and others, that for me… were not my cuppa tea.

Still, to display your work takes a courage I don’t have.

Perhaps the sign that reminded parents to “be nice” could have been in bigger print, because we all need a reminder at times to, “Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don’t say it mean!”


by Jan

I’m awake too early. It’s that time of year where we can sleep with the windows open, but that also means we can hear the birds start in at the crack of dawn. Tweet – tweet! Okay – I’m awake!

I haven’t written here lately and I miss it. Still, I don’t have much to say other than to ramble on. I find my mind moves towards possible stories when I go for my daily walk, and I’ve had a few funny observations that I think would be good to share. But, then… I get home and get sidetracked or like a fun dream, I quickly forget.

Here is one story that cracked me up the other day.

I was walking down the Crowsten Connector the other day when a lady on a bike was leading her two children on bikes. Instead of the “hello, nice day!” I was expecting… What I got instead was her yelling,
“Don’t run over the lady!”
I guess that’s better than… Ready, aim, fire!

Today, the Sunshine Coast Quilt Guild is having a big quilt show. I’m excited to go.

It will be nice to see all the creations. This is a big deal and a big show on the coast with over 100 quilts on display. I’ve not joined the guild here, and I doubt I ever will, yet going to the show is one way I can participate and be inspired.

I have been sewing up a storm! I made shopping bags, pot holders and bowl cozzies galore! These all make great contest prizes, good birthday gifts, AND I’m thinking of having a sale again with moneys going to the food bank here.

I had a successful sale last Christmas and raised $500. Just by posting on Facebook to friends. Perhaps my birthday would be a good time to do it again.

BTW – my birthday is May 20. If you don’t know… in true Hudson fashion, I like attention! I’ll be 64 – and have been singing, “Will you still need me? Will you still feed me?” It is my scare off the bears song when I hike!

BTW – #trumpyou’restillafucker! And fuck you too, all you cruel and hateful “right to lifers.”

All righty – I see why I’ve not posted in a while. I’m obviously out of writing practice! May need to sharpen my skills again…

So, on we go!


by Jan

Facebook reminded me that four years ago, I tried to get into a book club and was told to bring my resumé to find out if I was worthy of membership. They “needed” to know what university I graduated from, and what profession I was in.

Yeah… I’ve been kicked out of better places!

I’m still not a member of a book club but, it doesn’t seem as important to me now.

I continue to read to my hearts content; a good book is one of life’s finest pleasures.

Sadly, it is just as easy to get sucked into poorly written books as well. I just finished one of the dumbest books ever. It’s what Sandie would call a “stupid girl book”. Pure twaddle.

So, I decided I’m not going to fall for such nonsense again. I asked for book recommendations from friends I admire. I also found a fantastic book of books, at the library. 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die!  By James Mustich.

I’ve been perusing the pages the past few weeks and writing down suggestions that sound good to me.

I’m a bit chuffed that I’ve already read a number of these “must” reads. I also know there are more than a few on his list that I will never pick up.

Still, I took quite a list from my friends, and this book. I will now do my best to tackle it!

At the library yesterday, I picked up Cry The Beloved Country by Alan Paton, and Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler. One is audio and the other hard cover. One I’ve heard about, and the other, I’ve not.

I admit to staying up very late last night reading Tyler’s book, and I sewed for several hours listening to Paton’s.

There’s a reason theses books are on a “must” read list.

I’m saying good riddance to the likes of When We Were Young by Karen Kingsbury and other bullshit stories.

Book club or no; I’m grateful to be able to read to my hearts content.


by Jan

My mother-in-law, Tomi was on my mind yesterday. It was the seven year anniversary of her death. One of the many things I remember about her, was she talked about shopping as “trading.”

She would say, I like to trade with so and so, or I won’t trade with them because… what ever. She didn’t buy from or shop at, she traded.

In Sechelt, it is common for people to knock on your door offering everything from jesus, to fish, moss removal and yard work. We turn down jesus, but usually say yes to fish.

In the last four years we’ve traded with three different men on a somewhat regular basis. I will say, we don’t know any of them very well. Still, these trades include a good amount of trust between all of us. And, two of these relationships came from cold calls on our door.

A native man knocks on our door several times a year. He sells fish out of his car. We don’t ask where or how he gets the fish. If it looks good to us, (and it usually does) we buy some. Yesterday, he came around with some smoked salmon. He had a cooler full. Said to pick what I liked, and he’d make a deal.

I did and he did. I trust it will be tasty, it usually is.

The second guy sells firewood. First impressions, are not the greatest. Yet, he looks you straight in the eye,and  with a toothless grin, will he shake your hand, and promises he will deliver what you ask for. It’s the kind of exchange where both of us, really hope the other comes through.

It’s common for people here to grumble about cords of wood being short or crappy. No shows are common as well, yet Steve has been our go to wood guy over the year. He usually comes through when he says he will… not always, but often enough that we keep his number. He has delivered two-thirds of our deal so far. I trust he will finish.

And, while we see the fish guy and wood guy  a few times a year, we trade with our massage guy much more often.

We were the ones who knocked on his door, we heard he had good hands. We pay up front, have regular appointments set, and as up close, and persona,l as massage can be, Patrick knows more about us, than we do about him. We really trust him.

These three members of our community are all so very different from each other and from us and I’m grateful for the common thread of, that someone opened the door, and we all trust the trade


by Jan

“If you wish for random serendipity, happenstance, or accident… avoid design by all means.” —Robert Peters

Do you hear the bell of enlightenment ringing in my sewing room?


Now, I see a direct line between the process I use, and the product I create!

I’m not sure I’ll change anything, but this does explain a lot.

I’ll admit to a tad of frustration, when I cut up beautiful fabric, sew it back together again, and then… decide I really should cut it all up again.

While I absolutely love the random serendipity of what I do, my quilts are a direct result of happenstance and accident!

The few times I have planned or designed a quilt, I was bored by the process, and wanted to get on with it — yet those particular quilts, turned out pretty spectacular.

Go figure!

So, I’m learning.

Apparently, a little planning and design would go a long way in solving some of my happy accidents. Still, I think I will always cherish a quilt full of happenstance!

Quit laughing Ken!


by Jan

Err on the side of generosity, is a lesson I learned from the company I keep.

There are a million myths, legends and fables about putting what you want in the world and it will come back to you ten fold, etc. But, you don’t do nice, to get nice. You do nice to be nice.

Being generous is not a law, that guarantees a positive outcome.

Believing in something — doesn’t make it true, and I try not to hold beliefs systems. I will joke about karma, but I don’t “believe” in it.

What I know is — there are super nice and extremely generous people in the world, and I want to be in their ranks, just because.

Years ago, I remember being all antsy, standing in a line, and Ken told the guy behind us to go ahead of us.

Really? Couldn’t Ken see I was impatient. Of course he did and then asked, “Where do you have to be? What do you have to do?” We had all day and that guy was on his lunch hour.

It was one of the first times, I realized I had enough in life. All of our needs were met. We could not only share what we had, we could out right give. That day we gave some time.

I wanted to use the word highfalutin, today, but it didn’t fit, so I won’t… What I want to say is yesterday, I was able to stand in the company of a generous crowd and it felt great.

A few packages I mailed out last week, arrived in different locations, and made people smile.

At the same time, a surprise package filled with colourful fabric and yummy chocolates arrived at our house. Not only did I smile; my heart exploded. THEN, I received a financial gift to split with the food bank and fabric store, that was beyond generous!

At first I thought, give a little, get a lot. But, that’s not what happened.

What happened is some wonderful friends were generous and kind, just because!

I aspire to stand in their ranks!


by Jan

Remember how Marty Stuart opened his TV show way back when?

“Somebody say howdy to me!”

I’ve noticed lately, that there is a particular age group, that seems to have no interest in saying howdy to anybody.

When I’m out and about, and cross paths with other people, I say hi or nod my head.

Sometimes, men won’t acknowledge me until I say hi first.
Kids have to say hi to me first, and people who are closer to my age, just offer up a greeting, easy peasy. Older folks will usually stop to chat.

But, young adults, walk by with heads down. Most never look up. They may answer a hello, but rarely offer one. Worse if they are in a group, or even two walking together. Nothing.

I’m not talking about walking by on a crowded or busy street. I noticed the same is true on a hiking trail. I’ve actually had young 20 somethings, walk right past me in the bush without so much as a nod or tip of the hat.

When Ken had surgery, at UBC hospital this month, we spent several nights at The Carey Centre. This was a dorm like place on campus; about a 15 – 20 minute walk to the hospital.

I walked through the heart of the UBC campus, sometimes four times a day, while we were there.

On those walks, I noticed, no one ever said hello to me.

No one even caught my eye. I was looking too, because most of the time, it was me who had to jump out of the way, or be bumped into. Student had their heads down, ear buds in, and eyes on their phone.

Okay, fair enough, no need to give a hello to an older lady on campus, in big the city. But the super weird part was, I noticed, no one was talking to anyone else either. People walked solo and in silence.

Literally, I passed hundreds of students each day. I never saw anyone in conversation. I watched them walk to or from the bus, and to and from a class en mass, all by themselves.

I wondered how anyone would be making the life long college friends, you hear about. I even walked through the student union, the campus Starbucks and the pizza joint.


Students were sitting at tables, or standing in lines alone. Most stared at their screens or read while eating or drinking. The background noise in these places, was a coffee grinder, not conversations.

It was weird.

I am a person who says hello. At times, I’ll stop and chat. I definitely, pet other peoples dogs, and usually comment on the weather.

I also watch young adults walk by.

When I say hello, I notice their surprise. Sometimes I’ll get a greeting returned, more often I do not.

It’s weird.


by Jan

Let me tell you about our day yesterday.

As usual I woke early, fed the hummingbirds, had some coffee, checked in with some friends, read a bit.

Ken woke up, made a fire, did his morning thing, and then we got in the car.

Ken drove.

We stopped at an estate sale in Wilson Creek. Picked stuff up and put it all back down again.

Drove out to Roberts Creek, and had breakfast at the Gumboot. It was good.

On our way home, we stopped at the library. We both got something new to read.

At home, I spent time in the sewing room, and made a few shopping bags.

Ken worked on his model boat, and did some work for the woodworkers guild, that he’s on the board for.

We took a few breaks from out projects, throughout the day for a hug, and to check in with each other. We pointed out the window at something pretty, and told the other a funny story.

In the afternoon, I walked to town. Ken called in an order at the Chinese takeout place.

We met there, drove home and ate.

In the evening, we watched TV, brought in the hummingbird feeder, and went to bed at our regular early time. We both read a little, then called it a day.

A normal day!
A normal day!
It was a normal day at the Parker household!

Can you hear me singing!


by Jan

When we had a cat, we never had bird feeders. It didn’t seem fair to attract birds close to the house, just so a pounce ready puddy, could get his mitts on it.

We wouldn’t have a bird feeder, we’d have a cat feeder. So, nope.

Then, we moved to Sechelt and our front deck had the perfect place for a hummingbird feeder.

We love living here, and my only regret about the move, was that dear sweet Peet didn’t handle it well. He was old, and had to stayed inside. He died only three months after we got here.

Alas, we hung a bird feeder, and have enjoyed the hummers ever since.

Dealing with the hummingbird food has been one of Ken’s chores over the years. I didn’t think much about it. I just enjoyed watching the little birds, zoom zoom around, showing off their huge personalities.

This year, the chore fell to me.

The variety of hummers we have, don’t migrate. They stay in the area year round.

We have become a regular food stop, in their routine now, and with all the snow and cold this winter, I realized fairly quickly, they can’t eat frozen food! (Go figure!)

So, last thing at night, and first thing in the morning, I deal with bird food.

I bring in the feeder, so the sweet food doesn’t freeze over night, and I put it back out in the morning, as the birds are up at the crack of dawn, and ready for their breakfast.

This morning, I could have slept in a bit longer, but I remembered the birds and got up.

They were waiting for me!

I hung the food, and before I even got back in the house, one of them had buzzed me. I’m not sure if it was scolding me for being late, or thanking me for the grub.

It’s been a while living without a doggy or pussy cat, but it seems we still have pet responsibilities.


by Jan

I will say that over the last 35 some years, Ken and I have asked each other at least once a day, if there was anything we can do for the other. It’s nice.

Most of the time, the answer is no. Once in a while, the answer is yes, and a particular chore that the other can’t or doesn’t want to do, is brought up.

As you know, lately though I have been chief cook and bottle washer in the house. I’m doing all the chores while Ken is healing.

I don’t mind. It has been necessary.

I also remember a time many years ago, that Ken was the one who did everything, when I was learning to walk again, including holding me up in the shower. He didn’t mind then either, after all it was necessary.

Now, because he is making such good progress, we’re at a point where Ken can start doing things on his own.

Slowly though. He doesn’t need to rush into what the doctor called, “normal activity”. But, he does need to start doing a little bit here and a little bit there. And I need to learn to “let” him. Building wellness the next right thing.

He started his morning downstairs yesterday! He built a fire and had his coffee in his chair, just like old times. It was lovely. At one point, I asked him if he wanted another cuppa. He said, he could get it.

I went back up stairs and then bought the coffee pot back down with me.

There is doing stuff for each other because it is necessary, and there is doing stuff for each other because it is nice.

I’m happy to report, being nice is getting priority again!