First, we had a bit of excitement last night as I was cooking supper. I was making one of our favorite dishes, Taco Bake, and had just turned on the oven to heat as I was finishing up the filling for the casserole on top of the stove. A couple of minutes after turning on the oven, I heard a buzzing sound coming from inside. I opened the oven door and saw sparks shooting off the heating element! It wasn't too bad yet, so I called for Wes to come and see what was going on . . . and as he came down the stairs, the sparks started flying higher and farther and little shooting flames were flaring up - not like fire flames that you could put out, but more like maybe Roman candle flames that whoosh and flare up and out, bright and white. I backed away . . . into a corner of the kitchen . . . and watched the sparks and flames get wilder and louder . . . and I finally started squealing and looking for a way OUT of that kitchen! Beth asked if my life flashed before my eyes, and I can honestly say it didn't, but an image of myself in a burn unit did! I'm in no way trivializing burns; I was seriously afraid that stove was going to explode and I was in a direct line with it! This all took mere seconds (Wes says 'mere seconds' must be different than regular seconds!) before Wes kicked the oven door closed, the breaker flipped and turned off the stove completely, and I shoved our portable kitchen island into Wes's hip to escape what I was sure would be an explosion any second! By that time I was shaking quite a bit and the smoke alarm was going off, which brought our downstairs neighbor to the bottom of the steps to inquire about our safety up here. I'm sure my screaming and shoving that island and Wes kicking the stove, in addition to the smoke alarm sounding, helped to convince him that we had a serious problem going on. We were all fine, but our oven was not. The element had burned itself up. Our landlord came today and replaced the element and all seems to be fine, but I will be extra careful tonight as I cook. And my oven seriously needs to be cleaned.
In other less-harrowing news, we're getting ready for our church's 5th Anniversary on February 7th! Last Saturday, a group of us went out for a couple of hours and placed flyers announcing our celebration on doors in neighborhoods near the rec centre where we meet. We put out about 800, maybe more, this past week, and we have two more Saturdays to go. I have never been as tired after a flyer distribution as I was this past Saturday! We have lots of hills here in North Vancouver, and many of the houses have steps either going up or down into the yard and most have steps up to the house - some of them quite a lot of steps! We are legally allowed to place flyers in mailboxes here, and most mailboxes are on the front of the house rather than at the street. So I got more than my fair share of exercise on Saturday morning going up and down all those hills and steps!
I'm learning to knit! One of our elderly ladies at church fell in her house a couple of weeks ago and has been hospitalized ever since. Bless her heart, she fell flat onto her stomach because her hands were full and she couldn't use them to break her fall. She didn't break any bones, but she is in a lot of pain. Her name is Maureen, if the Lord should bring her to mind as you're praying. One day when I was visiting with her at the hospital, one of the nurses was asking Maureen what she'd like done with a pair of socks she'd taken out of a bag, and Maureen mentioned that she'd made those socks. Then she pointed to a beautiful sweater and said she'd made that too. A little light clicked on in my head and I realized I could as Maureen to teach me to knit! I did, she agreed, and this Monday I had my first knitting lesson. I am so not good at it. I drop the needles more than I'd like to admit, and I have a hard time coordinating my hands, fingers, the yarn, and those needles! I am blessed to report that I administered much biblical medicine to my sweet friend as she watched me
Speaking of sweet friends, my dear blogging friend Deb at Mountain Musings had a contest to celebrate her blogging anniversary a few weeks ago. But she didn't say she was having a contest; she just blogged about her anniversary and waited for folks to comment. Of course, I was one of those people, because I love Deb and her blog. A few days later she showed some pictures of things she got at a little store called Rockfish Gap Country Store near her home in VA, and at the bottom of that post she announced that she'd drawn three names from the comments on her anniversary post to receive those things she'd bought . . . and my name was one of them! I was so surprised! The next week this sweet little baby-shoe-turned-pincushion arrived in the mail. I'm still looking for just the right place for it, but for right now I'm enjoying it on my desk right next to my computer. Thank you once again, Deb - I love you!
Finally, I'm going to try another quilt along, this time with Randi at i have to say. I knew I didn't have the money to go out and buy all new fabrics, so I raided my little stash I got off of Craigslist last year. I had several piles of color going on, but nothing was really speaking to me. I finally remembered that I had some more fabric stored in a wicker trunk that I'm keeping in Beth's room. I went up there and found a beautiful blue and tan floral print (the bottom piece in the picture below) that was large enough to use as the backing and for some of the blocks on the top. Then I went through my stash again and found all these blues that I think will work very well with the blue floral. Now THAT spoke to me! So now I've completed the first week's assignment of gathering and preparing my fabrics. If you'd like to join in, it's not too late! We just started this Monday, so there's plenty of time to do this week's assignment. Plus Randi will leave the tutorials up after we're done in case anyone wants to work on it at their own pace.
Well, this got long, so I'll hush now! I am planning to pick up my Handmade Showcase again this Friday. I lost track of it over the holiday, but hopefully I'll pick up steam on that again. Have a great week, and thanks so much for reading!