Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bring it on!

Summer has begun! No holds barred! Let the games begin!

Today I officially started summer. I soaked Ron with the garden hose. Got him first.

There I was filling Sophie's 'swimming pool' and Ron actually came within very close range to the spray?! What's that about? Has he forgotten that it's all fair in love and war?

I just couldn't resist. He got it right in the back and butt! I got this squeeky/look from him.....meaning 'strike one' (sucker), I'll get you for this when you're not looking.

I knew the procedure but it was great getting him first.....usually it's the other way around. Now I'll have to keep looking over my shoulder in anticipation of MY soaking.....or not!

A couple of years ago we really got into this and purchased a 'Super Soaker' which can travel pretty far and is not as obvious as the hose. We hide it on each other in the fall and always forget where it is. I know where it is.

And how old did I say we were?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday with Dad

What was I going to prepare today for Dad's lunch? I asked myself around 10 A.M. this morning. 

Called him and told him to get ready.....we were hitting the road today. Decided to go to the South Shore (of Nova Scotia) and eat at the 'Trellis'. He had never been to this little Cafe in the village of Hubbards. We have been here a few times and enjoyed it.

It would take about an hour to get there and we decided to not go through the city (Halifax) because roads were blocked off due to Queen Elizabeth's visit. So we took a longer route and completely circumnavigated Halifax.

I like the South Shore. We used to spend time in the summers there when I was really young. A completely different 'shore' than the Eastern Shore where we live.......more settled and less rugged than here.

Got to the 'Trellis'.

Dad made his way in.

Sophie wasn't too happy about being excluded.

Dad ordered his 'usual'.......seafood chowder. It was packed with all sorts of seafood....lobster, scallops, shrimp, haddock and of course the obligatory potato.

We all felt better after we stuffed ourselves. 

And since we were on this 'shore', we thought we would drop in to see my sister, Jo. She and her partner live just a few kms from the Cafe. 

Jo was home and was very pleased to see us.

We did a tour of her garden and took home some handmade pavers that she discarded. We could use them in our garden.

Dad stayed in the car.....too difficult to get about once he is settled.

Sophie loved all this, especially Jo! Sophie loves women. Doesn't get to spend that much time with them........go figure!

After the hysterics, Sophie settled and ran around and around the property. And all that grass! Heaven to her since we don't do grass. 

And she found a little puddle to lay in......ah-h-h!

After a little chit-chat, we headed back to Cole Harbour (where Dad lives). Ignored the chaos again in Halifax and was home in no time.

Dad had a good time. That was the important thing.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Contemplative Monday

The following quote is by Mel Levine, M.D. It is from his book, The Myth of Laziness:

"When we call someone lazy, we condemn a human being."

I worked with kids all my teaching career who were given this label by society.

What wasn't realized was that these children had a learning difficulty, a neurodevelopmental dysfunction, that could continue to cause difficulties into their adulthood if left unchecked.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Something to think about......

Came across this today from a blogger I follow, It is well said, indeed:

In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus18:22, and cannot be condoned under any
circumstance.  The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US man, and
posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can.  When someone tries to defend
the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of debate.I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other
elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations.  A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians.  Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7.  In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24.  The problem is how do I tell?  I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9.  The problem is my neighbors.  They claim the odor is not pleasing to them.  Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath.  Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death.  Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality.  I don't agree.  Can you settle this?  Are there'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight.  I have to admit that I wear reading glasses.  Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27.  How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm.  He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend).  He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot.  Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town
together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

James M. Kauffman,
Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,
Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia

PS (It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a Canadian)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Retro Saturday....hic...hic

Published this post early........very busy day tomorrow.

Welcome to the second edition of RETRO SATURDAY. I should give you a little background to how we acquired this collection.

Think or imagine back to the early 1950's in a small town in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia. A group of young mothers were having a birthday party.......for one of themselves. They called this 'club' The Birthday Girls. They were about a dozen ladies, all in their early 30's, rearing to go and to let off a little steam from just having a very busy week of kids, husbands and the like.

Ron's Mom was one of them. She was quite the entertainer  and when it was her turn, she held back nothing. As soon as the 'group' had assembled, they would start with 'drinks'. And that is where this Pink Elephant collection comes in.

Not quite sure where this glassware came from, but it must have been purchased in the province somewhere. There are no markings on any of the glassware, but the booklet was published in 1952 by Richard Rosen Assoc. Inc. New York.

It was used for a number of years at these parties till at least the late 60's and  was then put and stored away in a pink arborite kitchen cabinet. (Vintage Christine, you would have died for this piece of furniture). It stayed in this cabinet till 1998 at which point it was sold at auction. 

We could kick ourselves for not keeping it. But we did keep this collection of Pink Elephants because they were so cute and unusual.

As you can see there is a `bar` booklet that goes with it just in case you forget how to make a drink due to too many in the first place! The swizzle sticks were purchased much later and are not part of the original set. We thought they `fit` in quite well.

The gals always  had a great time together and they were still in existence when I came on the scene in the early 70`s.

The last Birthday Girl passed away last year at the age of 92. Whenever we look at this collection, we remember these gals who were so full of spirit and enthusiasm for life.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Little Gem in the Northumberland Strait

Ever since I was a kid, Prince Edward Island (PEI) was a part of my life. Not only are my maternal grandparents from there but we used to spend a couple of weeks each summer in different parts of the Island; and besides, this is where the inspiration for Anne (that's Anne with an 'e') of Green Gables was conceived.

One summer my sister, Jo-Ann, and I stayed at my Mom's cousin Annie's place. It was situated at the very eastern tip of PEI called, what else, East Point. Annie's husband was the lighthouse keeper there and you can imagine the thrill it was for us 'city' kids to be spending time there!

This guy will sting!

I was 7 years old and Jo-Ann was 9. We had a ball and  I can still conger up the deep, haunting sound of the lighthouse foghorn. It was quite an experience for us.

I took Ron back there a few years the lighthouse is a museum. 

So, yesterday we were having lunch with Dad and Jo-Ann (it was her 'lunch' day with Dad), and she told Ron and I that we could have her cottage in July since she would not be using it. We said GREAT! 

Ron, sister Paula and niece Jami

It just so happens that her cottage is 15 minutes from where we stayed as kids. I will be wonderful to spend some time there. 

Moi, Paula and Ron

PEI is a unique place. Once you have taken either the ferry from Nova Scotia or the bridge from New Brunswick, you will be transcended into a 'dreamlike' experience. No kidding.

All above photos were taken in summer of 2007 at the cottage.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Aging agelessly

Just read Stew's blog, A Brighter Side of the Grave http// , and it got me laughing about a similar incident that happened to Ron and I a couple of years ago.

The scene: Christmas shopping in a mall. I tell Ron to try on some jeans so that they are sure to fit him. We enter the store and a lovely salesclerk/manager approaches us. She asks if she can be of any assistance. Ron shows her what he wants to try on and does so. While waiting at the cash the manager asks me if I have any more shopping to do for my son. 

At first I wasn't quite sure what she meant. Then it hit me. She thought Ron was MY son! I chuckled inside and knew Ron would get a great kick out of this. To be honest I didn't know at first how to react. 

I thought....geez, do I look that much older than he does? Or, what a bitch to think such a thing!

I didn't tell Ron till we left the store and the saleslady was oblivious to the TRAUMA that she had caused me.

When I told him, we both started to laugh hysterically. It was funny, granted at my expense but I was pretty used to this.

You see, Ron does look a lot younger than he is....always has. He says it's his genes. And this is true. His Mom was very young looking all of her life. His father.....we don't know, except for a few pictures when he was in his early 30's. He died when he was 36 years old.

Looking back, Ron looked pretty young when we met. He was 23 and I was 24. But he looked 16 and I knew he wasn't. And I know that I look my age...maybe 5 years younger on a good day. Ron looks 15 years younger than he is.

What difference does it make? None really. I have related this story to my family and friends and they were horrified that I would even tell it. I say that I embrace my age and am not ashamed of it. A lot of people are mortified at getting older. I can truthfully say that I am not. Even if I was, there's not much one can do about it.

Our society is so focused on youthfulness and staying 'young'. I loved being young! I also love being my age. And to be honest it was difficult for a short while accepting the inevitable fact that we all are getting older.

My theory is that if we worry a lot about our mortality, it WILL make us older/sicker or it will kill us. So why not just enjoy WHO and WHERE you are right NOW. (a much older, bitter

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oh My....deer

Been getting up a lot earlier the past couple of weeks. The mornings are so bright and sunny that we head to the beach before breakfast. 

It's quiet. The regular dog walkers don't get there till about 8:30. So the three of us have the beach to ourselves for a while.

The tide had ebbed and was on it's way out. There were a few good waves that Sophie liked to jump over or 'surf' her way back in on. The more water the better for her! She loves it everywhere on her.

Half way down the first beach I saw in the distance what looked like a very tall dog. It wasn't. It turned out to be a young deer.....white-tailed one at that.

We put Sophie on the 'lead' just in case....she would no doubt run after it and who knows what else, if she could catch it. It kept coming closer and closer to us until it realized or smelled that we were humans. It stared for a second or two, turned, and ran (sprang) off.

Sophie thought this was exciting and kept barking. We thought it was cool too. Have never seen a deer on this beach in the 20 years we have been coming to this particular one. It made our morning.

Made it around to the next beach and up to the river, at which point we turn and head back. Could have gone through the woods but it was wet overnight and we wanted to stay dry.

My day to see Dad for lunch duty. I went solo today.We did take-out and had a quiet meal together discussing his party and all the left-over food in the fridge (which I promptly threw out, with his permission of course).

I know I am very fortunate to be spending this time with my father. I really never thought I'd be doing this. I grew up in such a large family: nine kids, grandmother, uncle and parents in a large house but with only ONE bathroom!!! How we did it, I do not know. We learned at a very young age that bathrooms were not a place to spend an unduly amount of time.....there were always people waiting to get in. But I'm sure in some strange, psychological terminology way we are all better off because of it.

So to have quiet moments with Dad is something very valuable to me. Wake up Jim....Jim.... but maybe not for him, because he hinted around that it would be nice to get out today. He no longer drives a car and can get 'house-bound' for a few days in a row. He said where he wanted to the local drugstore/pharmacy. He loves teasing the sales clerks there. They were very pleased to see him and in his true style he began to give them a hard time.

Twenty boxes of kleenex/tissues later (he has this fear that he may run out!!), we left to head home. He was content now for a few more days.

Got back to my house mid-day to discover Ron had been busy whipper-snipping the property. We had so many Forget-Me-Nots this year that they were at their 'get rid of till next year stage'. I'm sure we'll have as many next spring because they were covered with hundreds of seeds which fell to the ground.

Now it is time to sit back, watch the local news and maybe go to the 'boardwalk' a little later for a bit.

Have a great evening.

Monday, June 21, 2010


My Dad's birthday party went off without a hitch. There was a little bit of, wine, and dance.

I made the birthday cake on Saturday. I used the family recipe that my Mom used ever since we were kids.

It's almost like a pound cake but with less eggs. And it's always good. I decided to change it up a bit and made a coconut flavoured frosting......had to use a ton of it to cover the whole thing. It literally weighed a ton! Hoped it wouldn't turn into stone!

I hoped this wouldn't be the first failure.

We got to Dad's place early so we could 'set up'. Everyone was due to arrive at 1 P.M. 

'Set up' complete, people began to trickle in. First a couple of my nieces......

Then grand-nieces.....



There was a lot of food and as soon as all were accounted for, we dove into it!

After everyone was stuffed, the 'entertainment' arrived. Two teen-aged sisters (16 and 18) who are related to my niece's husband, set up to play the fiddle and piano. They play on weekend afternoons in an Irish pub in Halifax.

The 'kitchen party' had begun. The music was really contagious......and most of us, being from Scottish/Irish descent, began to 'move'. Some more so than others.

And two little gals had a ball with their mom......

My sister, Mim, joined in with her mandolin.

The music went on for over an hour. And ended with 'Happy Birthday'.

And with a little help from his great-grandchildren, Dad blew out the candles.

Dad had a great time, as did everyone else. I thought he would be tired (like the rest of us) but he said, 'How could I be tired? I just sat back and watched!'

Happy 94th. Dad!

Oh, the cake turned out fine........Mom would have been proud.

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