Angela's Blog
A Bit About me

Welcome to my personal weblog! I have many areas of interest as a Christian wife and home schooling mother of 6 girls: writing, poetry, website design, digital photography, a home business (sewing); however, this blog will focus more on the wonderful journey the Lord has brought our family through and what the Lord has shown me in His Holy Word.


I know that my devotionals don't often speak of specifics in our lives, but I want my readers to know that what I write comes most often from what the Lord is doing in our lives, or has done. I don't just repeat words by this preacher or that one. My devotionals are often written through a haze of tears, sometimes in grief, sometimes in peace at God's goodness for what He is doing for our good. At other times, after a flood of tears over my lack of faith in His great plan for us, especially after I've seen Heaven's gates open in another miraculous answer to prayer. What I write is what God shows me through those trials which He brings because of His great goodness as He works out His perfect plan. - Angela.


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People's Baptist Church
Independent,
Old Fashioned, KJB

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Fall Update

Well, I started this post before fall was here, but I find myself working on it well into fall and a month or so before winter. From September up until the first day of fall, we’d been enjoying a beautiful Indian summer here in the Okanagan. With temps. ranging from 20 t o30C (68-86F), it has been wonderful, especially compared to a cold last few weeks of August (5-10C or 41-50F) that felt more like the end of October. It was wonderful to have a nice bit of weather before, what the Farmer’s Almanac is calling, a long cold winter. I’ve yet to see anything serious though.

Our family is back into the swing of the school year with a few glitches to iron out, but nothing unusual: Making sure children get all the work done and within a reasonable amount of time; keeping the “wandering” and unnecessary talking down; ordering my sewing jobs to fit into our time squedule; keeping the almost 4 year old happy while everyone is unable to play with her. The usual.

I am no longer doing slipcovers for the Okanagan Slipcover Co. as the pay per slipcover simply did not cover my full wages, but have replaced that with contracts for Kelowna Flightcraft. The first aircraft job was making a pattern from an exhisting rudder curtain (for a Convair 580 – this pic is the first prop-jet that KFC ran 20 some odd years ago), make new ones for quality control purposes, Canadian Government of Transportation, a rush for a customer in Africa, and then make 10 curtains at a time from here on. I think there is a total of 50, but I’m not sure if that includes the elevator curtains that need done as well.

It has been fun working on aircraft parts again. I did quite a bit of that for our sewing business in the Arctic, and have actually missed doing it here. I will usually have to make my own patterns, but I actually enjoy that! It’s a challenge.

Between the work we do for the dry cleaner, Homestyle Cleaners, other contracts – like radio bags for FieldHawk Radios, and regular customers, this should keep us nicely busy. I say “us” as our daughter, Sarah, is now working diligently with me and is rapidly gaining basic skills. She did almost all the dry cleaner repairs last week, and she’ll have 20 hours of cutting for each set of 10 rudder curtains alone, even if she does no sewing on that job.

Lord willing, tomorrow, Sarah and I will be heading to Armstrong, BC, to pick up a ton (litteraly) of wood pellets at Armstrong Pellets for our pellet stove. Sarah gets to drive our 15 passenger van down, but I’ll drive it on the way back as that extra ton is a challenge to an experienced driver, let alone a new driver.

We’ll also be attending the Rememberance Day memorial at our local cenotaph to honour our veterans. This is a special time of year for our family. The sacrifices that men and women of the armed forces have done to protect our freedoms, and to give freedom to others, should never be forgotten!

It reminds me of some of my favorite verses:

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

But this man, (Jesus) after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; Hebrews 10:12

Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. Hebrews 7:27

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1

I’m so thankful my Jesus paid the ultimate price for my sins, so that I don’t have to!

A few years ago, I made some special computer wallpapers to honour the sacrifices of our military personel. Please view them on the main page of my wallpaper & prints website: Looking Unto Jesus Backgrounds and Prints. Here’s also the link for the Canadian Armed Forces website.

I’ll close my post with a beautiful signature that a dear friend, Jennifer, did for me. The photograph is one she found on the web from a park here in Kelowna, one we’ve been to many times. Aptly, the picture is taken in fall.

Autumn Siggy

He Is my All Sufficiency

Sitting at my laptop with barely enough energy to type (from low blood sugar), I feel quite useless as the rest of the family buzzes around getting things done. Our youngest doll – Carolyn – piggy tails and all, was first doing a puzzle and chattering away, but now is helping Abigail and Melissa with the laundry, folding tea towels and such; Cynthia and Sarah took over from me making lunch; and Brianna is practicing guitar. It just seems the norm lately: doing a few hours work then having no energy for the rest of the day. It has been very frustrating. We start the school year on Monday; I resume sewing for customers the following week, and I honestly have no idea how I am going to get everything done like I did before.

Still, in the midst of all this frustration and seemingly impossible schedule, I have a peace knowing that my Saviour is my all sufficiency. He will get me through, as long as I remember to lean on Him. I know I cannot do all that needs done without Him, and it may mean re-organizing our squedule and/or eliminating some things, but I also know He is always faithful to help me.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34 

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 2 Corinthians 3:5 

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 

 

Keepin’ Up With the Trenholms

Okay, coffee break time.

Busy, busy busy….The life of the Trenholms.

But that’s okay. If I’m busy, I stay out of trouble.

Anyway, on to the update.

Last week was busy with Grandpa’s visit, making a slipcover for a wingback chair, a little bit of stomach sickness in everyone except me, but then I felt “off” all week, but it was still a good week.

The girls got lots of time with Grandpa, as did Lowell. I spent time here and there, but the sewing took precedence as I had a deadline before we knew Grandpa was coming. We did head out to see the Kettle Valley Trestles on Friday, and all except me went to Big White Mountain (I went to bed to nurse my migraine.)

Melissa really “took” to Grandpa this time. His leaving seemed to hit her the hardest. Poor little dear.

My parents, Mémère and Pépère, arrive this Friday for a 2 week visit. We are all very excited. The girls haven’t seen them since 2003, but I did got to visit them last June for 2 weeks. That was really nice.

We might do a Trail, BC to Calgary, AB trip when they are here. It would give us a chance to visit friends, family, and see some great scenery that my parents have never seen. We might even be able to combine a business trip in there to St. Albert, AB.

Besides the touring, some shopping will be in order as well as maybe showing Mom how I do slipcovers. She is an awesome sewer, but has never seen slipcovers done.

Well, my time is up, as Cynthia and Abigail’s piano lesson is done. Time for some weekly shopping.

Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang!

Did you ever have that nagging feeling the Lord is trying to tell you you shouldn’t do something,  or maybe it was a case of all doors being closed to a particular event happening.  Sometimes we listen and sometimes we don’t, but praise the Lord we listened this time!

For a week or so, we’d heard an odd “bang” in the back end of the 15 passenger van. We just figured it was something loose on the muffler, tail pipe, etc. or something loosed under a seat. However, the light “bang” turned into a full blown “Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang” on Monday. It raised Lowell’s alarm bells so heavily that he brought it right into Okanagan Engine Rebuilders, and put a major hold on our planned trip with Grandpa into the mountains to Trail, BC, till we knew what happened.

Issue #1 – Lowell was very concerned there was some kind of tranny issue, and there was. Although minor, if it had been left, it could have torn the tranny apart.

Issue #2 was where it was made abundantly clear that God either did not want us going on this trip or  wanted it postponed: We had less than 40% of our brakes left! Not a good thing for going up and down the Canadian Rockies!!!!  Wake up call!!!!

We needed to leave this morning to make this trip work, but we only got the van back mid-day today.

Okay, Lord, we are really awake now !!!

Issue #3 – As I drove it, the brakes felt very soft, but I forgot to tell Lowell as he had to go to a meeting using the car. When he drove the van this afternoon, he brought it back to the shop only to find out the master brake cylinder was failing. The old brake fluid was about the only thing keeping it together, but when new stuff was put in, it started to fall apart. That would have been really bad in the Rockies!

So, OKER replaced it in about an hour, even with the time it took to speed ship the cylinder from a local supplier. Thanks guys!!!!

So, all that to say:

Praise the Lord for reviving “Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang!”

The Lord used that to most likely save our lives.

Grandpa’s Here!

My dh’s father, Harold, arrived Friday night. It was been a year and a half since we saw him last, and we all miss him.

The last time he was here, we drove up to Terrace, BC (17hour drive) to visit some dear friends up there, then down through Liliouet, BC to Vancouver to drop him off at his daughter’s place, so he could take the flight back to New Brunswick. Harold was just amazed at the landscape out here. I must admit, we’ve been in BC for 14 years and it is still pretty amazing.

The trip we are currently planning should be far more modest, only 6 hours, up to Trail, BC, to visit friends and view scenery. We haven’t been up that way since 2002, and Harold never, so it should be a pleasant trip. I’ll see about posting pics.

In the meantime, I have two wingback chairs that I need to do slipcovers for, so it’s going to be a VERY busy next few days as I try to get those done, or at least close to being done, before we go.

Update on Lowell’s Brace

This is a continuation of “A Tale of Seven Braces“.

We tried to fix up an older brace, but it just wouldn’t do the job, so he’s back to his boat anchor. Unfortunately, it is not holding his knee right, but hopefully he won’t have to use it for long.

The fellow we deal with for Lowell’s braces, Andrew at Okaped, thinks there’s a lifetime warranty on the frame, so at least we can get that fixed while waiting for a new one. We are waiting to hear back from Lowell’s work, but getting a new one shouldn’t be an issue, it’s just getting the right one.

Pastor thinks brace companies should pay Lowell to test their braces out. Hee hee. Not a bad idea. They can call it the “Lowell Test.”

A Tale of Seven Braces

At 6’4″, my dh Lowell, is a pretty big man, and despite having a broken/fused spine, and a paralyzed leg with a brace, he is still very strong. Too strong for his own good sometimes, or should I say, too strong for his leg braces’ good?

Lowell had a car accident in 1984, and after several operations, he was able to function as a “walking parapeligic. Despite being battered and bruised, his basic physiology did not change. He is an ox and grows muscle by just being alive. I’ve never seen anyone that could build muscle without really trying. I joke about him maintaining his finger muscles just by stretching his hand out a couple times, and I know he has more muscle in his pinky than I have in my whole hand. (Me being a petite – but currently overweight – 5’3” frame.)

So here we go with….

 

“A Tale of Seven Braces”

Long, long ago, in a land far far way….Oh sorry, wrong story…

Brace #1 – Full length, bolted to orthepedic shoes, 3/4″ aluminum, ie. Boat Anchor/Dinosaur. – Fate – snapped in half within 1 year.

Brace #2 – Full length, bolted to orthepedic shoes, 1″ stainless steel, ie. Boat Anchor/Dinosaur – Fate – twisted beyond use in less than one year.

Conclusion: Bolting the brace to the shoe is probably not a good idea.

Brace #3 – Mid thigh to mid calf CTI composite skiing brace. Worked great for about 10 years, but had to nix it because it stopped holding his knee out of hyper-extension when the hinge broke. Best brace he ever had.

Brace #4 – Tried CTI again, but they couldn’t get the size right.

Brace #5 – Mid thigh to mid calf G2 with clam shell on calf and back strap to prevent hyper extending. Works okay but is a boat anchor and really saps his energy. Have been using it for about 5-7 years or so, and the clam shell is causing his nerves to flip out.

Brace #6 – Mid thigh to mid calf CTI composite skiing brace with a different design on the knee hinge. Destroyed it in one day!

Okay, that brings us to this year.

Brace #7 – Mid thigh to mid calf composite DonJoy skiing brace with a different design on the knee hinge. Lasted about 2 months. He snapped one of the side uprights yesterday while doing yard work.

Possible current solution? – Back to clam shell brace while we play with CTI braces that worked, but didn’t hold the knee and see if they can be modified to do so.

So, are we learning anything from this? I’ve definitely concluded that oxes don’t liked to be restrained….

Updates:

Update on Lowell’s brace

A Tale of Seven Braces – Part III

A Tale of Seven Braces – Part IV

Playing Catch Up

It’s been a few weeks since I did an update, so I’ll try to catch y’all up.

Last Thursday was a very sad day as my Dad’s brother, Uncle Ron, died. Needless to say, there were many tears. My parents wanted to come visit us soon, but it was all on hold till we knew what was happening with him. His body was riddled with cancer, and we knew it was just a matter of time. Now, Mom and Dad will be coming in May. We are really looking forward to seeing them.

It’s been the typical flu/cold season, and it has been through all of us. I got hit the least though, so that was good as things just seem to get busier.

I would normally be doing this update on a Tuesday, while the girls have their piano lesson, but Cynthia wasn’t feeling the best the last few days. Her symptoms sounded very much like a gallbladder or gallstone attack, so I brought her in to the naturopath, Dr. Wagstaff. Sure enough, her stomach and gallblader are all inflammed, but caused by a virus. I think I will bring her in for an ultrasound to check for stones as this seems to have happened before. From there, Wagstaff will be able to decide how to best keep this from happening again or minimize it. I know just how Cynthia feels as I’ve dealt with this years ago, but have maintained a diet that just doesn’t make it act up. The Dr. gave her some stuff to settle it down, and she’s doing much better today!

The end of last week was fun. We looked after a friends’ German Shepherd, Kisha, and what a cutie! Her and Buster got along great and played almost constantly. We are now looking after a male Lapso Apso, Scruffy, for other friends. Not sure how long as they are trying to find a place, and it may be a few months. This is a male, though, and Buster and he don not want to play. When Scruffy is gone, we may just have to get Buster a permanent female companion.

Our 15 passenger diesel van (nicknamed T-Bus – Trenholm Bus, aka. T-Rex) is fixed and running beautifully! The best it has ever run! Apparently the fuel pump that was overhauled 5 yrs ago never was done properly. We didn’t realize it as Lowell installed it instead of a certified shop, and we didn’t know how a good one was supposed to run. We’ve been finding out that somethings just aren’t worth doing ourselves. Kevin and Jerry and crew at Okanagan Engine Rebuilders did the work this time, and they are awesome! We’ve been going to them for almost everthing for our vehicles since 2003 we wouldn’t go anywhere’s else. They rebuilt the engine, and farmed out the tranny, on the van. Excellent work all around. Thanks guys!

Interesting….I wouldn’t go to another upholstery shop either except Kevin’s brother, Mark’s shop – Kellerman’s Upholstery. They are a great family to deal with, oh and both brothers like to be bribed with baking! The girls made cookies for OKER and they barely lasted 10 minutes!

Lowell’s been like a yo-yo at work (KFC) these last few weeks, switching from evening to day shift back and forth as projects and courses have been adding an interesting element to the mix. On Wednesday, his crew will begin working on a major go-over (called a C-check) of a 757 for a US airline. It is amazing at the amount of aviation major players Flightcraft has been working for. Delta and Northwest, to name a few.

I finished another slipcover and will try to post the pics soon. I start two more today, besides the regular sewing: hemming pants, replacing zippers, etc.

Last Saturday was the start of spring cleaning. We had been using our inlaw suite as the “dumping ground” for storage, but since we’ve been having a family from out of town on the weekends, it is needed for its true use. The week before, all the “stuff” had been dumped in the garage, but now it was time to go through it. Well…… 2 1/2 bags of garbage, 2 bags of recycle, and 1 large bag for the Sally Ann later, and that is I hope the bulk of it. This weekend, we’ll be tackling putting away the winter clothes and taking out the spring/summer. I hope to get it all done this Saturday or the next.

It was exciting to see the Jones family is church last night. Bro. Jones pastor’s in Terrace, BC now (17 hours away!) so we don’t get to see them very often, and we miss them dearly.

So, that brings us to today, and here we are at piano lessons. Since Lowell is on evening shift, we’ll probably have a girls night tonight. Those are always fun. One time it was toe nail painting, another time just a movie. Not sure about tonight, but I know we’ve got a brand new hot air popcorn popper to try out!

 

The Saga of the Victorinox

Last year, I bought a Leatherman multi-tool for Lowell, as his Swiss Army Victorinox multi-tool was in dire need of repair or retirement. The knife was shot and a few of the other peices were badly worn down from much use. I think a piece actually snapped. It was very hard for him to “shelve” it, as it means a lot to him.

 I bought it for his birthday over 10 yrs ago, and it has alot of history. I can see it as one of those things the girls will “fight” over. rolling eyes laughing

 This is the knife that has split the burgers in half for our little children at the fast food place or park, and up until last year, lived on his belt; ever faithful and ready for the task at hand. I’m sure other men will be able to relate. He even jokes around about how many airplane panels the screwdriver had taken off wink. (Actually true – he is an aviation engineer). We found out that Swiss Army does repairs, so a few months ago, he sent it back to the company. We just got it back today, and praise the Lord, they didn’t just replace the parts, they gave him a brand new knife and case!!!! He was thrilled to say the least, and I’m looking forward to seeing what other memories will be entrenched in that knife. biggrin

Slipcover instructions

This is for the previous post on Angela’s Wingback Chair Slipcover.

Thanks for the comments! I’m pretty happy about the results fo this project. It is not a “beginner’s project” for sure, and there was many a time I wondered what I had got myself into, but I was pleasantly surprised at the results.

Yes, it is a slipcover, and no it doesn’t really require a pattern. Each chair is different. A typical wingback chair requires 5 yards and an extra couple yards for the ottoman. I got 8 to be safe.

The two biggest keys to getting and keeping it in place are the zippers in the back, and the seat cushion.

The Beginning:

Cut peices that are slightly bigger than each section (lets say an extra 4″ wide and tall. The putting off and removal of the slipcover is made easier by two zippers running from the top down to the top of the skirt, and placed just inside the back corners.

Make sure you mark the matching points, especially on the bulb and the arm wrap, with the marker, as you will need to dissassemble and reassemble to put the piping it.

All of the following work will be done with the wrong side of the fabric facing out. As each section is sewn together (arm, etc) I do turn them right side out to check the fit, then flip them back wrong side out to continue working.Lay the peices on the chair with the wrong side facing out and tuck it into the various crevices. Pin the fabric to the chair to hold it in place make it easier.

Using a sewing dissapearing ink marker (or crayola washables), draw lines on the meeting fabrics where an appropriate stitchline should be. Wherever a crease is, it’s good if the fabric “tucks” in about a 1/2″ to an inch. This helps alleviate stress. From your drawn line, drawn another one a 1/2″ away. This will later become your cutline.

I don’t reccomend cutting the excess away yet as the actual fitting may need more tweeking than you anticipate.

The Wings:

For this chair, I did the wings first, and they were actually easy as the inner wing simply had to be pleated in four places to match up with the outer flat wing.

The Arms:

Each arm is done in 3 peices (the outer side, over the arm, and the small bulbous front. The peice the wraps over the arm pleats into the bulbous section.

Back Front and Deck:

Once I had those fitted and sewn as best as I could, I worked on the front of the back, the deck (seat area), and the bottom front. The are all flat peices and the easiest to deal with.

General Assembly:

Now to assemble the arms and back front, deck, and front edge. One of the biggest issues will be seam intersection. Often, you can just simply sew across a bunch of intersecting seams. You have to sew up to them, backstitch to secure, then restart you seam on the other side of the seams. This will keep all the seam allowances free and prevent puckering. If you end up with puckering near intersecting seams, just check for that.

A Glimpse of the Finished Product:

If you want to, now’s a good time to turn it all right side out and have a good look as it will look finished from the front. Check the fit and seam intersection for any issue and adjust the pattern. You WILL end up doing this a few times….LOL, but it is worth it!!!!

The Back:

Fitting the back is much easier if you lay the chair down on its front. I chose to put a zipper either side of the back, as I found it made it much easier to get on and off.

The Zipper:

A #4 coil zipper works well and isn’t too heavy or light. To insert the zipper, simply press over the 5/8″ seam allowance, and topstich in place. It will end at the bottom of the main body of the slipcover. You could also choose to do a lapped zipper to hide it better, but seams meeting at the zipper center might be less bulky. I may do a lapped seam on Lowell’s chair with the lap facing into the back, not the outside edges.

The Skirt:

With the almost finished skirt on the chair wrong side out, tucked in properly and the cusion in place, use a straight edge to draw a line parallel to the floor, a 1/2″ lower than where you want the skirt to sit. This is your line to place the piping and skirt. You could cut the section off below that line, but I find it helps the skir to hang right.

Skirt Piping:

Leaving about 1 1/2″ poking out, pin your piping in place matching your seam allowance with the drawnline you just cut. The seam allowance will be pointing down. The main piping runs from one back corner, around the side, across the front, and around the other side. The back skirt and piping is attached seperately from the rest of the skirt.

For the hems, I made 2 1/2″ hems on the bottom, and 1/2″ hems on the sides. The skirt will be in four sections that but against each other on each corner. To hide the legs, I added 8 to 10″ wide finished inset pieces (same hems as the rest of the skirt) under the main skirt and in each corner. That is viewed in the last picture.

I hope this challenges you to revive some of your old furniture that just needs a new cover!