Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I was at my Dad's the other day and he said to me , "Did you know that it is Holy Week this coming week?" At first it didn't click-in but I realized what he was talking about .......... this week is a very important week for Roman Catholics around the world. It's a time to recall the Passion of Christ and the days leading up to his crucifixion and resurrection.

All of this is so foreign to me now. As seen in previous posts, I no longer follow that path. But I could tell by my father's eyes that he takes this time of year very seriously. I remember when I used too.......lots of ceremony, prayers, processions in church. I really got off on it all once. How could you not? It stirs up a lot of emotions and makes one feel very calm.

I asked my Dad if he planned to attend any of the services this week. He said that it was too difficult for him to get into the church with his 'walker' and that he couldn't drive there. WOW! This was the first time that he had ever admitted, to me anyway, that he couldn't drive a car. It must have been very hard for him to admit it to himself, let alone the family.

It was a real concern for us (the family) that he continued to drive periodically. He could cause injury not only to himself but also to others. So this was huge for him to stop driving. I told him that I would take him to church any time he wanted and make sure that he got in safely. He kind of looked up at me and indicated that he didn't want to 'bother' me with it.

I know how important this time of year is to Christians, especially Catholics. My husband's mother used to say (and she was not Catholic) when Easter was rolling around, that this is the most celebrated time of year for them.

I remember my Mom would always make dozens of her 'Easter Cupcakes'.........filled with lemon and decorated with tiny easter eggs in a bed of coconut. M-M-M-M. She and my Dad would deliver them to all the 'sibs' when we were on our own.....every year.

So, today I will encourage my father again to think about going to one or more of the services at his church........and I will take him.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Protesters....Who are they?

You see them everywhere........in the media for sure, and in cities at locations and sites where they will garner a lot of attention. What are these people doing and why?

I was in the city yesterday at a national 'outdoor' store. At the entrance were a few protesters passing out pamphlets. I remembered them from a few months ago. They were protesting the fact that this store was selling products that were made in Israel and they feel that we should boycott the store because they believe that Israel has a very dismal human rights record....especially when dealing with the Palestinians.

A few months back I emailed the store's head office and asked for their take on the situation. They replied saying that the majority of their members (it's a Co-op) on the board support the purchasing of Israeli-made products. They also indicated that the Canadian government supports Israel, and, as long as it does, so too will they.

I have been reading and listening to a lot of opinions over the years about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Nothing is ever resolved it appears. Both sides are adamant that they have the RIGHT answer. It is to the point, I feel, that major compromises are necessary on both sides........if any peace is to be established in their respective countries. Or should I say territories.

I do not pretend to know all the details in this conflict, but I do know that it appears to be heading to a similar situation that occurred in South Africa. And we know what happened there..........the majority in that country had finally achieved control of its destiny. This is what the Palestinians want also. They feel they are systematically being denied their rights and are being pushed out of their own territory. They are not the majority but their human rights are being quashed.

So why should we care? Well, I think that it is paramount for individuals to take a stand on issues that not only affect them directly, but also on issues that affect their fellow human beings.

We can all take some time and look at issues that we care about and that we want/need more information about to get all the facts........what both sides are talking about. Then we make a decision as to what 'side' we want to support. And go ahead and do just that, in whatever manner we are able.

With the example I gave regarding the store, I will vote in the upcoming Board elections and my vote will hopefully help address the issue surrounding the boycott.

I am having a difficult time here in not taking just one side and really pushing for their cause. Don't know why, guess I don't want to offend someone? It's not productive/helpful to feel this way on an important issue. So, I think it is crucial to take a stand and do what you can. Their will always be those who are better at this stuff than you....and they are generally good at what they do.

The whole point of this blog was to try and get people to look around them and assess what is or what isn't happening that should or should not be. Why? Because it affects us all in the end some way or other. And some people have it very badly as far as quality of life goes.....education, human rights, health care, food on the table, etc. etc.

So next time you see 'those' protesters waving the pamphlets.....don't be afraid of them, they won't bite you. They are just trying to get their point across and want to share their point of view with you. Do you think they are standing there for hours because they have nothing better to do? No. They feel so strongly about something that they decided to 'take a stand' and in their own, small way do something about it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Catholic Church Under Fire

Are we witnessing the demise of a huge institution.....the affects of which will impact the world?

It's been all over the media lately about the alleged cover-up by certain church officials of sexual abuse done by a number of priests on children. Yes, this has been going on for years, I know, but this time the present Pope is being implicated.

It appears that while he was the person at the Vatican in charge of dealing with sexual allegations of priests, he chose to not deal with an incident that occurred to a 12 year old boy, plus many others, in the U.S.

The young boy incident had happened 40 years ago. A complaint was launched formally about 20 years ago by the boy's family and local bishops, when Pope Benedict XVI was a cardinal. Nothing was done.

An interesting interview was on CBC radio this morning and it was brought up that this could be the turning point for the Catholic Church. The medieval-like hierarchy of the church (male dominated and totally undemocratic) is no longer able to 'govern' its followers effectively in the 21st century. People want more and are not willing to 'turn a blind eye' on very important issues facing society today which the church hasn't faced up to and/or is dealing with in a very prehistoric manner.

Having been brought up in the Catholic Church in a very religious family, I have witnessed (not personally) the effects that sexual abuse can have on a child. A childhood friend was approached and 'touched' by a priest in our parish when we were about 12 years old and alter boys at the time. My friend told me immediately and appeared to have been unscathed by the incident as it didn't go very far because he got away from the priest. He was upset at the time. My friend is fine today.

I haven't considered myself a Catholic for a very long time and it is mainly due to how the Church treats people.....especially homosexuals. By 'treats', I mean how it patronizes us in suggesting that we should be loved and accepted but not permitted to 'be' an active homosexual if we are to be accepted by the church. In undeveloped countries, the poor and uneducated are encouraged (no, told!) to NOT use condoms for birth control and that condoms will not help stop the spread of AIDS. That's like saying there is no such thing as Global Warming!!!

Who needs this? And how arrogant of them, especially in the light of all the thousands of children who have been impacted by the abuse perpetrated on them by priests,and the abuse of 'neglect- of- duty' to help these kids and their families by the church hierarchy. It's no wonder that Catholic Churches are next to vacant. People are tired and disgusted with the complacency.

It's not until more people get involved and start demanding change, that any will ever take place. I have moved on with my spiritual path and it will never include this church; but I do realize the importance it could and does have for a lot of people and their lives.

Hopefully the 'powers that be' will see that if the Catholic Church has any future at all, it will begin real change within and join the rest of us here in the 21st century.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

'Stepping Out on a Limb....'

We smiled at each other this morning when I said something that included the phrase in the title above.

It brought us back to when we were shopping around for a new doctor. One had been recommended by a friend. We each had an appointment with him. I met him and thought he would be fine. My partner met him too and agreed. During my partners meeting the doctor was asking all sorts of questions, since it was the first meeting. Midway through, the doctor states : " I may be walking out on a limb here, but, am I accurate in assuming that you are gay?" It kind of caught my partner off guard and of course he said that he was gay. No one from 'outside' had ever asked this before.

Whenever we hear this phrase we chuckle a bit because it brings back a time when we weren't as comfortable 'in our skin' as we are today.

By the way, we still see this doctor and are glad we decided to stay with him. It was a great move by him to 'out' my partner in the way he did. How else was he to get a better picture of his patient.

The lesson we learned from this was that it is good to 'step out on a limb' in life. It will open up a lot of possibilities and present a clearer picture of things. And it may also slap you in the face especially when the 'limb' breaks and you come crashing down!! This happened a few times to me.

I was teaching a fitness class and I had noticed that a young woman, who was a regular, was beginning to gain some weight. She was beginning to bulge out in the abdominal area. I figured that she may be pregnant and waited and waited until she approached me to let me know. She didn't. I was getting worried because she ought to be altering some of the exercises to protect her 'fetus'. So one day, as she was leaving the studio, I asked if I could speak with her. I stepped out on this limb......feeling really secure with my decision. "How far along are you?", I asked. She said, "Far along with what?" I said, "Well, with your pregnancy because you should start changing your routine in class."

She went blank. Then I did too.....realizing immediately that she was not pregnant. I had assumed because she worked out every day and couldn't be gaining weight unless she was 'with child'.

The poor girl was so embarrassed and I started tripping over my words of apology, as I am prone to do. It turned out okay. She continued to attend class nonetheless.

I don't think I beat myself up too, too much over this incident. But it did teach me something........not to hold back on anything just for fear of making a fool of yourself or being embarrassed. I have used this approach on a number of occasions and sometimes it worked out well and other times I got my knuckles rapped for it. But I learned nonetheless.

Monday, March 22, 2010


With a continuation on the theme of the last blog posting..........this morning I found myself in the garden looking for 'weeds' that are crowding out other plants. My definition of a weed is something that will 'take over' another plant for it's own survival and proliferance .

Not surprised at all that I found grass growing everywhere in two beds. This time of year it is easy to spot the weeds and even easier to pull them out because the soil hasn't dried out yet. I began to pull some long strands of old dry grass (with new shoots growing at the base) interweaving itself through the just bloomed crocii. I was careful not to disturb the lavender blooms. Got quite a bit from that bed and then off to the next.

In this bed the dry remains of last years grass was
everywhere......covering the Iris shoots and rhizomes. And again, the grass was easy to pull out.....roots and all. Looks much better and gives the Iris a chance to get a good start this spring........or at least till the next weeding of this bed.

I don't want to belabour the topic of getting rid of all the clutter, but I will!

Just as in the practice of 'weeding' the garden, our mind/body/spirit also needs regular 'weeding'. By learning to let go of thoughts,memories and experiences from the past, and not getting bogged down with worry about the future, we can become more aware of the present and do a better job of whatever it is we're doing. I have a theory....it's never been scientifically tested as far as I know.......that if we teach ourselves to focus more on what we are doing at any/every moment in time, then our ability to recall experiences (memories) will increase. I always hear people (including myself) saying that they don't remember things that they did....even yesterday. Being really 'present' will help with focusing on what we are doing. Even silly little details that we do every day of our lives.

So how do we learn to be present? As I said before in another blog there are a number of ways and it is up to you to find one that suits your routine. Mine is meditation and Qi Gong. These two activities suit my lifestyle and needs.

Speaking of my lifestyle, I am getting these 'looks' from Sophie, my dog. It must be time to head to the beach for a walk. So off we go.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Extra Weight No Longer Needed......

"We can get rid of the sand bags in back......the extra weight is no longer needed", my partner said this morning as we were driving down the highway. It was true. Spring is here and we don't need the sands bags (for better rear traction) again till next year. Yeah!!!

His comment got me thinking. Boy, we humans do tend to hang on to a lot of 'extra' stuff......both figuratively and literally. Speaking for myself, I know I have tended over the years to hang on to past experiences and bring them along with me to the present. And I wondered why my 'present' was getting cluttered and full of unneeded junk. We all do it and have our own techniques/ways of dealing with the clutter.

Recognizing that we are carrying around a lot of unnecessary stuff is the first step....at least it was for me a few years back. Life can get pretty complicated with all its demands if we do not deal with it openly and honestly. I had to. I started to read books about living in the present and 'letting go' of the past. Learning some things from the past is about all that the past is worth.....certainly not bringing it into the present to clutter and complicate what we are experiencing RIGHT NOW.

Another and more effective way, for me, was to learn to meditate. Off I went to the local Buddhist temple to learn the technique of just 'sitting' and focusing on the breath. It all seemed to be a very easy thing to do. I did learn that it took a lot of patience and determination to just sit and try to free the mind of all its passing thoughts.

After a while, a few months maybe, I began to see/feel the benefits of meditating every morning before I did anything. This practice allowed me to approach the day, and all of its demands, with more calmness. I noticed that when I did something in this manner, I was more focused on what was happening at the moment.....in the present.

When we are feeling good and things are going in a positive direction, we tend to get back into our old habits ......... at least I do. We forget about the clutter and begin 'build up' again. That is precisely why I find it very necessary to meditate .....even when things are going well. Because I tend to accumulate a lot of unnecessary crap, I find it very helpful to just 'sit' for ten minutes every morning. It works for me.

A friend of ours said that praying works for her. It relaxes and focuses. One yoga instructor taught the class how to meditate through walking. There are lots of ways....you just have to find what works for you. We are planning to take Qi Gong healing meditation in a couple of weeks....should be interesting.

Since we got our dog,Sophie, three years ago, we have observed that they (dogs) live in the present ALL THE TIME. Just watch them and see how intense they can be when doing anything. We can all learn from them and focus on what we are doing at the moment and leaving all else, the past and the future, aside.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Welcome Spring!!!!!!

At 2:32 P.M. today, ADT (Atlantic Daylight Time), Spring will have sprung ! So in celebration I thought it would be a good idea to transplant a tree.

Only having one major snow storm this winter, and the temperature has been higher than usual, the ground was very pliable . I had one tree in mind for this 'transplant'. I planted a native Hemlock about three years ago and it was growing very well. Only problem was that I didn't look up when I planted it. Our clothes line is directly above the tree and in a few years it would be touching it.

Picked out a spot on the other side of the yard and I began to dig a trial hole. You see, along the coast of Nova Scotia there is a lot of rock and most properties in my neighbourhood needed a lot of fill to cover the rock. So the first hole I managed to get down about six inches. On to the next about two feet away.....same thing. I was moving closer and closer to a large shrub, a Forsythia. What now? I figured if it is growing well, there must be enough soil in that location. And besides I never liked that bush anyway. Out it came with a bit of digging and cutting. Lots of room and soil. Sometimes you just have to sacrifice one thing for another.

So I dug a good sized hole and filled it with some really good leaf compost and mixed it around. Then over to the Hemlock. It was pretty stubborn at first but after a few deep digs and a couple of cut roots, it was free. This is the best time to move things around in your garden.....at least in this area......not too hot and coolish nights. Gives the plant time to adjust before summer hits.

Off to the new location with the Hemlock. The hole I had dug was just right. I put more compost around it and watered it well. And now we'll see if it 'takes' and that I didn't shock it too much. Our garden has been pretty forgiving most of the time.....we haven't lost that many things over the years here.

It is so good to out and dig in the soil! I recommend it to everyone. If you don't have a yard, just go and buy a plant pot and a bag of soil and of course a plant. And plant it. Care for it and watch it grow. Great for the soul!

Sophie, my dog, had to get into the action too. She watched intensively as I planted the tree and cut down the bush. She loved the latter because it was more sticks for her to chew up and choke on! She was getting pretty frisky so I dug out her swimming pool from the shed. Well, she thought she'd died and went to heaven! She sat in the dry pool until I hooked up the hose and filled it. She had a ball.

Happy Spring!
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Are we powerless?

This is going to be a 'bitchy' blog. May sound trite to some but it's the little things that pile up and overflow on occasion.

Needed a cheque for tomorrow to put a deposit on something I'm buying. I ran out of them a couple of weeks ago and needed to order more. So off to the bank today to re-order some. I was expecting to get a few 'counter' cheques to tide me over till my new ones arrive. Well, guess what. My bank has decided to no longer offer this service....counter cheques that is. I asked why. It's funny how people react to questions sometimes. It threw the teller into a look of confusion. She had no idea why the bank no longer offers this service. She gave a couple of guess answers which were insufficient for me.

I went to the receptionist and she too gave a very vague reply. Most people would have left it there. But being my father's son, and I was very well trained, I left a message for the branch manager and asked her to call me. I'm still waiting to hear from her.

In the meantime I called their nearest competitor and inquired about their cheque policy. They give out enough cheques to last you till your new ones arrive. I figure as long as banks are still using the chequing system, they should keep it intact until they stop cheques all together (which is probably pretty soon).

I know....who uses cheques today anyway? I do on occasion. And I find cheques to be convenient every once in a while. Like right now!!

This is just an example of how we are trained in our culture to just accept things without question. And before you know it we have lost some of the privileges and sometimes rights (actually we have few rights when it comes to banks) that we have become accustomed to.

Yeah, but what about progress and letting go of the past ? I love progress and moving ahead, but not blindly accepting whatever has been decided for me without any input. It happens every day and before you know it our society will be following into step and doing what we are told for fear of upsetting the statis quo.

My piddly little example of how we are losing control of our lives and allowing large corporations to take over, is just one situation that occurs daily while we are all consumed with living our lives.

So what do we do if we feel that 'things ' are going in a bad direction? Well, I asked questions and let the 'powers that be' know of my concern. To me, how else can we take back some control of things that directly affect us?

What would you do? Or, do you care at all?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Early start

Very busy day so far.....yikes, it's 3:30 already! That's OK. I enjoy days that just unfold in front of you. But I also like ones that have some structure. Guess today had a little of both.

Up early(seems even earlier with the 'time' change) and got right to it. Made a really nice smoothie using banana, pear and strawberries as the fruit base. Topped that off with hemp protein powder and crushed flax seed with a little room left for almond 'milk'. Nice.

Today is my day to bring lunch to my father. He is 94 years old and lives on his own with help from his kids for the main meal of the day. Since I had more energy than usual today, I decided to be a little more inventive with the meal. Since I would be eating with him and remembering that he is a lot less adventurous when it comes to food than I am, I decided to go with fish. I guess he has had chicken for the past 3 days,so a little variety would be nice.

Got out all the pots I needed and got the basmati rice going. Since I would be taking the meal already cooked to him, it didn't matter about having everything cooked at the same time. Put the haddock in a skillet with a little water and S/P....brought it to a boil and covered and shut it off. It would cook in its steam.

Next came the carrots and green peas. Pretty basic I thought. How could I gently 'spice it up' a bit to make it more interesting. So got out 2 onions and cup them into very fine rings. Put these into a pot with a little boiling water and they simmered until done. (I feel like I'm writing a TV food show script.)

Then I thought that a mild cream sauce would top the fish off nicely. A little butter,melted, and a bit of flour.... stir and add milk. It was very boring. So I thought some feta cheese could give it some flavour.....and it did. Oh yeah, those onions were put in the cream sauce and voila! Wasn't that bad at all. Even my father commented that it was good.

After making sure that Dad was fed and comfortable, I headed home to go to the beach for a nice long walk. Packed the dog and the partner (kidding) in the car and off we went. It was low tide so we had plenty of beach to walk on and lots of room to throw the ball for Sophie. She was very happy to be there. Down the beach a ways, we noticed a blackish object moving around. At first we thought it was a dog but as we got closer we could see that it was a beached seal. Since the wind was blowing from the opposite direction, Sophie did not pick up the scent. Good. We turned around and headed in the other direction and realized that the tide will take it out later in the day. This beach has a reputation to attract seals. Most of the time they are dead....like two years ago when there were over thirty of them. Natural Resources didn't know what caused there death but it looked pretty suspicious since all were headless. Kind of gross I know. So needless to say all us dog owners are very careful this time of year and into the summer.

Just notice that some 'Snow Drops' are in bloom out in the front garden......getting closer to 'digging' time! Actually got the patio furniture out of the shed today.......watch it snow like crazy in the next few days.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

True Love

It was very exciting around here yesterday. It was like having a teenager in the house.

Got up early in anticipation of our friend arriving (had to furiously clean up the place!). She was bringing her dog, Clancy. He is a ten year old little guy.....like a cotton ball. Our dog, Sophie, fell for him when she was very young, probably the first 'outside' dog she met.

Well, they both bonded from day one and whenever they anticipate one another's visit they get all squirrelly. Like adolescents. Sophie waited for two hours by the window....looking for a car to pull into the driveway. Of course in the meantime, we were scurrying around like two madmen. She was very calm!!

Finally, a car pulled in and there was Clancy staring up into the window along with his human. After all the hysterical greetings between the dogs, we humans settled down with a coffee.

Having caught up on stuff ,we headed to the beach for some fun with the dogs. We jumped into one car. First Clancy, knowing this routine from past experiences, began to make these very strange throaty noises. His human said that he was doing this all the way to our place. And Sophie, being her 'doodle' self, joined in the chorus! It was hilarious.

Got to the beach and onto the shore they ran. There was only a small area of sand due to some very high tides which brought in a lot of rock. We decided to get up onto the beach trail on the other side of the dunes. That was OK with the mutts. As long as they had a space to run after each and 'catch up' on each other's smell, they didn't care where they were.

Had the trail all to ourselves. Never understood why this trail is so underused. Not complaining mind you.

After about an hour, the dogs (and humans) were showing signs that it was time for a rest (lunch). We headed to our friends cottage down the shore a bit. On the way, the dogs settled into the back seat next to each other...both very content and at ease. They are real buddies.

You know how one feels when they are in the company of someone they admire and respect? Well, Sophie and Clancy have that kind of relationship when they spend some time together. They do not feel threatened and they know they are safe. What could be better!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Off Again......

Off to the Valley this A.M. Nothing specifically in mind other than to hike along a canal. Sophie loves this walk....one of her first places to visit when she was a pup.

Highway 101 was clear and quiet this morning. It was past the early 'rush hour', so we whipped along unimpeded by traffic. There was still some snow in the woods and pastures. Guess living by the ocean has it's benefits this time of year....snow disappears earlier than the rest of the province.

Sophie slept all the way and we listened to CBC 'talk' radio. Before we knew it we were driving through Wolfville, a town with lots of memories for us both. We spent a few years there and plenty a weekend as well. Great little place with a university and spectacular scenery.

Ron drove up over the hill and down into the Gaspereau Valley. Winery workers were out tending and readying the vineyards for the approaching season. We soon got to the tiny parking area at the canal and let Sophie out.

She immediately started her sniffing regime to get her bearings. There! she's ready for her ball (her security soother) and away we went, following the canal to as far as we can. Along the way we met up with two Border Collies. They are focused (no surprise there) on their owners and Sophie is too...on their owners! She will approach the women first because she knows they are the ones with the treats. She is successful with one and tries so hard not to knock her off her feet!! Luckily the woman knows dogs and takes it all in her stride.

So Sophie is very pleased with herself now and feels it's time to take a dip in the canal. We get the point and throw her ball into the water. Away it goes with the current but she knows exactly what to do and meets up with the ball at a precise point. And back she comes for another throw..... etc. etc. You get the point.

Got some pics of the canal and Sophie along the way. After the walk we had lunch in Wolfville at a little bistro. The food was great and we were entertained by watching/listening to this very eccentric older gentleman who greeted everyone in the place. Spring brings everybody out.

It was 10 degrees in the Valley today....another sure sign that spring was just about here. Yahoooooo!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Day in the Sun

Spent hours walking three beaches yesterday looking for sea glass and playing with Sophie.

Got on the road early and headed for the South Shore. Since we live on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia, it takes about an hour to reach the southern coastline of N.S. The first was Queensland Beach. We spent many an afternoon at this beach in the 70's.......beach was always full to the limit and it was blistering hot most of the time. Back to March 2010.......sun was shinning and we had the beach to ourselves. Sophie was beyond happy to get out of the car and start sprinting after her ball.

Found a few pieces of glass after traversing the beach a couple of times. Since it was almost noon we decided to see if this cafe we really like was opened this time of year. Yes it was! We ate, gave Sophie some water to get her ready for the next beach.

Ten minutes later we were in Mill Cove....a little village mostly with summer cottages but some permanent residences. Got to the tiny beach in the village and we hit paydirt!!! So much glass that out pants pockets were bulging. All colours too....mainly clear but a few pieces of cobalt blue, one pale yellow (probably vaseline glass), amber, of course green and brown (beer bottles) and one piece an amethyst colour....very pale and translucent.

Since we could hardly fit any more into our pockets, we decided to empty them out in the car and head home. The beach was small but we must have been there for two hours. Sophie was exhausted from the running and swimming.

So headed home we did. But on the way we saw this other beach, Cleveland's, and convinced ourselves that there was a rare piece of sea glass there waiting to be found. Our instincts were right. There was a piece of cobalt blue glass was just lying there asking to be picked up. And of course we did.

We started collecting this glass a few years back. Don't know what we're going to do with it but have a few ideas that may work out. I find the history of glass interesting. A lot of it is discarded beer bottles from boaters/fishermen. But some that you find is very old and could be from medicine bottles, drinking glasses, plates, light fixtures, and other household goods from the past.

So a great day was had ! Lots of sun, walking and discovery. This is the start of possibly an early spring here in Nova Scotia. Why did I just say that!!! Probably just jinxed it.......

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Remembering a Life

This time of year is very cuspy (if that is a word).......kind of like being an adolescent.....not wanting to be a child any longer while not willing to let go of the perks either, but at the same time wanting to 'grow up' real fast. March, here on the east coast of Canada, plays with ones emotions of wanting winter to go away and expecting the spring to arrive and stay.

So with these emotions playing with me the past few days it is no wonder that I soon found something very familiar surfacing from my subconscious. My husband, Ron, had been unusually quiet this morning. I went over to him and looked into his face. I knew immediately what it was today......the anniversary of his mother's death.

It was in 1998 around 10AM that Tommy (her father wanted a boy) passed away. It was cold and snowy. A lone crow was perched on the maple outside her window. Everything was quiet for a while. We held each other for a while....not wanting this time to come but also welcoming it.

Tommy was part of her community for 76 years. She was born in the house in which she died. She had seven brothers and sisters and from some of the stories I heard it was a very active home. She married a fella from a neighbouring town who was somewhat of a sports legend in the area. They had two sons after WW2 was over.

After re-enlisting in the air force and preparing for the Korean War, Tommy was left a widow. Her husband was killed in a practice session. This was a major blow for her. With the help of friends and particularly her mother, Tommy got back on her feet and began her life anew.

On this March 9th., twelve years after her death, I wanted to recognize this extremely strong woman. I know there's a lot of people out there with similar stories and recollections of their loved ones. Memories stay with us forever. It's as though the spirit of the individual tags along too.

The more I think about it, this time of year is chalk full of feelings of angst and excitement. Soon life will be abundant again and the memories of winter will simply be that......memories.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"Where have YOU been all my life Pamela?"

A little groggy this morning......yes, I stayed up to watch ALL of the Academy Awards last night. Don't know why I do that every year. Guess it's habit, since I haven't missed one since I was 12. I get drawn into the 'spell' of Hollywood. And this year I saw The Single Man in which Colin Firth was nominated. This was the one and only movie that got my interest.

Had a great day yesterday at the beach. EVERYBODY and their DOG were there. I haven't seen so many people and their mutts this time of year. It was 9 degrees C. We let Sophie out of the car and she headed for her fave path. She was full of energy and wanted to get to the far beach ASAP. By the time we got there she ran over the dune and into the water to cool herself off. After a few shakes we headed along the shore towards the river.

I could see ahead of us a group of people and dogs....looked like labs and a couple of mixes. Good. Sophie loves to play with labs. They (the dogs) all came to greet and sniff her. They approved and began to chase each other into the water....each wanting to get the ball or stick first.

One of the dogs was a young chocolate lab.....about a year old. I noticed that he had a particular interest in Sophie. He was sniffing every inch of her. I was OK with this because it's what dogs do and besides I knew Sophie would only let him go only so far. I also noticed that this young stud of a dog still had his 'knackers'!!! How could you miss them.....two large, white protrusions bouncing all over the place. I thought to myself that this could prove quite interesting since Sophie's tolerance of sexually aggressive dogs is very low.

I asked the owner of 'Stud' if this was a breeding dog. He assured me that it wasn't and was waiting till 18 months old to have 'them' snipped. Better for the dog he was told.

So here was this dog totally entranced with my little girl. He couldn't stay away from her and attempted to mount her but wasn't sure how to do it. To my surprise Sophie was very patient with him and didn't have to set him straight. It looked like 'Stud' had fallen head-over-heels with this blond beach babe. Poor guy! Sounds like an episode of 'Baywatch' (not that I ever watch any of course).

'Stud' soon lost interest in Sophie and reverted back to his puppy self. They had a ball chasing each other. Would have had great looking puppies though..........

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Don't you love the feeling of completing something and moving on to the next project/thing. It's like you get this sense of accomplishment and eagerness to move on.

I just completed a knitting project I had been working on for about a year and a half. It's a very large blanket made of 100% wool. Now what makes this a little different is that it's made from pre-used sweaters. It took 12 to complete. Each sweater was unraveled and made (knitted) into a two foot square. I tried to keep with light colours.....beiges, off-whites, pale yellow. It's big and heavy but would be good for a bed during the cold months of winter. We'll see.

Now to something a little smaller.......maybe cabled scarves. I won't have to wait so long for the final product.

I have been knitting for years, on and off. My grandmother taught me when I was about 10 years old. I would watch both she and my mother knit their heads off ! They both knitted in the same manner....same technique. And thus, so do I. It is a very efficient way to knit....using all fingers that are available. I've noticed other techniques used by people but mine seems the best for me.

Knitting is very relaxing. Probably why a lot of doctors knit. Take a look on the web and see all the knitting blogs out there.

The sun has been shining all day here. It's been about a week with overcast skies. Almost good enough to work in the garden. OK, I am pushing it a little. But in a couple of weeks........

Friday, March 5, 2010

Film Crew at the Beach

For the past week there's been a 'motion picture' crew at the beach. The parking lot is full with trucks, trailers and people who look busy running from truck to truck. Whenever I see a film crew around town there is always a sense of excitement generated by the hustle and bustle of the crews and equipment.

Don't know what is being filmed...."...it's a secret"....a friend was told. The weather has been so overcast and windy this past week I can't imagine what they are doing. Who knows!

As I was passing all the trucks Sophie, my dog, had to go explore and sniff all these new things. She weaved herself in and around a few trailers until I called her back to the boardwalk. Hey, she listened!! She is three years old now and starting to pay attention much more to commands.....yeah!

So we proceeded along the path with the wind (and I mean WIND) behind and on the left side of us. The temperature was zero but with the wind chill it was colder. I picked up the pace so as to warm up more quickly. In the distance I could see Sophie's 'beach pals', Ashe and Remi and their owner coming towards us. I said I saw Ashe and Sophie was off to greet them. When I caught up to them all three dogs were playing and rolling in the beach grass. The dogs met last summer on the beach......Ashe came running towards us and took a real liking to Sophie. Ever since Sophie will keep her eye open for them.

Actually, if truth be known, Sophie is primarily interested in the human who owns the dogs. She has figured out that most dog owners carry around a few 'tasty morsels' to be shared no less! Soph does eventually get around to acknowledging the dog and depending on how interested the other dog is she will oblige and play.

So, after the humans chatted a bit, Sophie and I were off . After all the playing, she was a little heated up and she knew exactly how to remedy this. To the left and right along this section runs a series of small and shallow ponds (full of bullrushes in the summer) and today Sophie chose the first one on the left side. I looked and saw that it was pretty clear and no obvious mud to worry about later. So off she went. Dropped her ball and laid down on her belly to cool off. She feels 100% better after these little dips. After a few attempts at getting her ball out of the water, she appeared back up on the trail with me. After a good shake or two, she looked up at me and gave me the look that she was ready to proceed.

We were almost to the point where we turn and head back. Today I had lots of energy, and, if it had been less windy, we would have climbed up the big hill to our right. Wait for a better day I said to myself. So turn we did.

Sophie loves it when we turn around and head back. I don't have a clue why! Maybe she likes to re-smell and re-visit every little thing.

Nobody else was around on the way back. So Sophie and I just walked with the wind hitting our right side now. Actually it kind of helped us along.....

We went passed the movie crew. No one in sight. Wonder if they are filming a 'surfing' movie? But this time of year?

Sophie jumped into the back seat. I settled into the driver's seat and headed home.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What winter?!

Just sitting here talking with Ron and we both realized that it was March already and that we hadn't even noticed the winter we had this year. Maybe it was due to the fact that we are outside every day with Sophie, our dog. We go to one of the three beaches nearby and walk for an hour. While walking, if the tide is out, we look for 'sea glass'. Over the past couple of years we have collected quite a mass of it! All colours. We freak out if we come across a piece that is hard to find....like cobalt blue, red or orange. So this walking the beach and looking down most of the time gets through the humdrum months of January and February.

Thinking about how this winter seemed to have gone by very quickly, lead us to talk about the past ten years....and the ten years before that. We were busy with working, gardening, walking dogs, dealing with family matters and just living each day as it came.

Time does go by quickly. That is why I think it is so vital to 'live in the moment'. I know this is a very cliche thing to say nowadays. But think about it. What could be more important than right now. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is something we make up in the present that keeps us from appreciating it (the present).

We have already been planning what plants (shrubs) we are going to move this month....weather permitting! It's a good thing we have seasons. How else would one have the time off from gardening to see 'what has to be done'?

Time to head to the beach.
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