Sunday Snap: Baby Picture

When I was a Kitten
Vivian

“The smallest feline is a masterpiece.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Photo Challenge: Off-Center

Once Upon a Time*

img_7744

Last week while I was sifting through old papers, I found this piece of writing from decades ago. Thankfully, we have all made peace since then . . .

Once upon a time, there was a girl from St. John’s.
At the age of fourteen,
she moved around the bay with her family.
She hated her curly hair,
adored her Persian cat,
and loved to get lost inside stories and songs.

When she grew older,
she fell in love and got married.
She was happy.
She had a beautiful little daughter.
Not long after,
she gave birth to a handsome son.
She liked to tease him and call him
her little “curly boy”
because he so much reminded her of herself.

A few times,
when she and the husband had terrible fights,
she had to take her girl and boy
to her parents’ house.
But the husband would always tell her
how sorry he was,
and she would go back because she loved him,
and wanted to believe him.

Eventually, she stopped believing.
She moved back to St. John’s
and started a new job and a new life.
She still had her beautiful daughter,
but she lost her curly-boy
to his dad.

She found someone
who reminded her of her love
for stories and songs.
She loves her cats,
still hates her curly hair, and
misses her son
with an ache that never goes away
and leaves her pillow wet with tears
every night.
Still, she knows
she is doing the only thing she can.

She hopes someday he will understand
how, once upon a time,
there was a girl from St. John’s
who couldn’t fight anymore,
and only wished for
a happily ever after.

~ Jennifer Kelland, 1995

picnic table in a winter garden

*Evergreen post from 2014

Sunday Snaps: Perspectives on Creativity

Do you agree with this quote?

“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”
~ Osho

But then, what of the following quote? Can a person who is low in spirit also be in love with life and create anything worthwhile?

“Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Many have theorized that there may be a correlation between sadness and creativity. Great talents such as Van Gogh and Virginia Woolf come to mind. The romantic poets described suffering as a precondition to writing anything of literary merit.

Angst has a creative upside! That said, I believe joy, heartache, or any strong emotion can stimulate creativity, just as one’s mindset can influence the mood of an artistic piece.

To look through the lens of a somber, troubled mind, one may imbue his or her own state of melancholy onto the subject. . .

Black and white image of Anglican church in Newtown, Newfoundland

. . . whereas, if the emotional perspective and attitude is lighthearted or happy, one might frame it in an entirely different light.

Anglican church in Newtown, Newfoundland framed by an outdoor bench in winter

Sadness and happiness are simply two sides of the creative coin.

Vivian’s View From Here: Puzzle Passion

Our cat Vivian lounging in a chairGreetings, peeps and pets!

Vivian K. Perry here again on my human’s blog with something to share with you. Jennifer has gotten a renewed hankering for jigsaw puzzles lately, which is all well and good, but I had to put my foot paw down after the last puzzle purchase.

Wolves in Spring

If she wanted to go with animals again, I demanded a change in species, preferably of the feline variety.

She delivered!

That’s more like it!

If my human continues to feed this rediscovered addiction of hers, I hope she finds a puzzle with domesticated little cats like me next. Or perhaps she can get a puzzle made from a blow-up of me! I’d be all over that one for sure.

Tiger Sanctuary

Passion for Puzzles Continues as Pandemic Plods On – CTV News

January Blue*

It’s a blue winter day on Perry’s Point.

It isn’t a sad and lonely day, but one painted with the hues of a brilliant blue sky and a blanket of sunshine, the kind of day where the sun and snow merge to design graceful shadows in the hollows of the landscape.

IMG_0056 (800x521)Sun on the newly fallen and drifted snow creates a tapestry of shadowy forms,
from the palest baby blue to the deepest of indigo.

IMG_0067The slanting afternoon rays of sunlight hold little heat,
but warm the heart of this nature-lover nonetheless.

IMG_0075 (800x519)The surface of the snow waves and crests,
while most of the bay lies still under a layer of slush and ice.

IMG_0076 (800x475)Dunes of scalloped white surround me…

IMG_0123 (800x541)…and the only hint of sound is the faint exhale of a frigid breeze.

IMG_0089 (800x533)Certain feathered creatures have already been here.

IMG_0114 (800x518)At the end of the Point I reach the icy blue coastline…

IMG_0096 (800x533)…where the water is still full of movement in spite of the sub-zero air.

IMG_0084 (800x402)Cold, but fluid…

IMG_0085 (800x383)…clear and beautiful.

IMG_0145 (800x623)Other shadows dapple a weather-worn barn…

IMG_0149 (800x428)…and sun-bleached fences.

IMG_0152 (800x533)Hidden in shade, a bird house waits for spring, and a new tenant…

IMG_0130 (800x522)…while our neighbour’s fishing boat awaits a new summer.

IMG_0163 (800x574)Ben Perry’s shed is called a “store” around these parts.

IMG_0159 (800x472)Still more shadows hide in furrows of snow and last summer’s grasses. I wade in.

IMG_0068 (800x533)My toes are like ice cubes inside my boots at this point. I hop over the fence to home.

IMG_0155 (800x571)Time to put the kettle on…

IMG_0183 (800x533)…and thaw myself out with a cup of tea.

IMG_0182 (800x533)And my world changes from blue to green.

How is your January going?
What is the colour of your winter? 

*ThrowbackThursday – This is a reblog from January 2015.

Sunday Snaps: Pink Clouds

“When we feel stuck, look at the sky. The clouds remind us that everything changes.” ~ unknown

Nancy Merrill’s Photo Challenge: Something Pretty
Photos taken June 26, 2020

Vivian’s View From Here: Joie de Viv*

Ragtag daily prompt: Blanket

Hey, bloggers and cat lovers!
Vivian K. Perry here today with a quick guest blog
for your viewing pleasure.

Most of you know how much I love to explore the outdoors at every opportunity. In the chill of January, though, I don’t stay out long. My little paws get oh-so-frozen, and before you can say “where’s Viv” I’m back meowing at the door for my staff to let me in.

As much as I adore a warm lap, a much-loved pastime for me during the winter is cuddling up with a cozy throw blanket.

I’m a pro when it comes to finding comfy spots.

But paws down, this fluffy white blanket is my favourite.

Where does the blanket end and I begin?

*All photos from our Instagram account. You’re invited to follow. 🙂

52 Books: How to Read Your Way Through a Pandemic

photo by Pexels

2019 was my first year taking part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. When I achieved my goal of forty books, I decided to challenge myself in 2020 by giving fifty books a try. Here’s the link if you want to compare your list with mine.

Enter Covid 19. While coming to grips with the pandemic that descended on us all in March, I seriously stepped up my reading. Books have always been my go-to form of escape, lockdown or not. Writing the second novel of my trilogy got pushed to the back burner, because I’m one of those people who is struggling to be productive during these strange times. And apparently I’m not alone. But hey, if you’re writing up a storm, good on you! I envy you, but I predict I’ll come around very soon.

Anyhoo, one afternoon in mid-March, husband Paul came home from the library with two of my recent requests at the time, Midwives and The Silent Patient.

Hmm. . .the coronavirus, and two new books—one, a medical fiction and the other, a thriller about a psychotherapist’s patient—and what beloved show of mine was I watching on TV when he dropped the books in front of me? Grey’s Anatomy. Yep, maybe I should’ve gone into the medical field like my sister, brother-in-law, and daughter. Both of the books I’ve written include hospital stays for certain characters, and my latest manuscript is no exception, come to think of it. Wow. I’m having a small revelation here this morning!

But I did try to read a wide variety of genres in 2020, which included more classic literature (LOVE Thomas Hardy and George Eliot), a little romance, a lot of crime, historical and literary fiction, select non-fiction, and a fair sampling of my author-blogger pals’ works. I also read a few local Newfoundland books:  the historical fiction, River Thieves by Michael Crummey; Some People’s Children, a coming of age tale by Bridget Canning; and Terror Nova, a new horror anthology. By the way, these days I review very few books but almost always give a rating.

Books and Cats

By mid-December, I had reached my goal. With a couple of weeks to spare, I devoured two more books to bring the total to 52. I almost made it to 53 but didn’t finish Carrie Rubin’s The Bone Hunger (you guessed it, a medical thriller) until January 1st of this year. Now I’m reading Elton John’s official autobiography, Me, which is quite funny. I’m enjoying the wild ride his life has been, but mostly I like his writing style and his self-deprecating humour.

I’ve chosen to lower my reading expectations back to 40 books for 2021. You see, there’s this novel I’m writing that I have to finish. . .

What have you read to get you through 2020?
What is on your TBR list? Have any not-put-downable
suggestions to add to mine?
Do tell!

Further reading:
Did Canadians read more during the pandemic? Experts say yes.

Sunday Snaps: Ten Years in This Old House

Last week on December 7th, Paul and I celebrated our tenth anniversary of living here on Perry’s Point in Newtown. We had left the city behind in 2010 for the rural life and a new adventure.

Our house, which was newly built for Paul’s grandfather Perry in 1923, was in dire need of restoration and renovation before we could move in. The work that went into these first stages is clearly illustrated in these photos.

The beginning: gutting out the old

This one and the one below show the rot. We’d started not a moment too soon. 

Yikes!

We chose to keep the original staircase and the three stained-glass windows.

Stripping down the old kitchen for new counters and cabinets.

On the left, a view of the living room through the wall where the old chimney had been removed. On the right is a view of the front hall from the dining room.

The old porch was dismantled to make way for a new one and a half-bath. Goodbye, old appliances!

Construction begins on the new porch and half-bath extension. Pictured: cousin and neighbour Wayne, one of our carpenters.

Wayne and Paul hard at work. Fun fact: Paul lost 25 pounds that summer and fall. That happens when you’re constantly working and running to the lumber yard and hardware store for new materials. He’s kept the weight off ever since.

“A little help from my friends.” Pictured: Paul, neighbour Ben (may he rest in peace ), Randy (our other carpenter), and my husband’s Uncle Harold.

Many hands make light work!

Three brothers (Paul’s cousins): Randy, Wayne, and along comes Winston to inspect. 😉

Getting a shot of the first new windows. Reflection of yours truly with the Atlantic ocean behind me.

The roofers came next.

Layer on top of layer…

Insulation, clapboard, and paint. Colour name: Dipped in Sugar. We’ve painted the house blue since then.

Getting there!

Back view. Looks bare before the deck was added. New backdoor window broke and had to be replaced.

Tons more to do, but getting hooked up to the internet can’t wait another minute. 

In 2023, this old house will be one hundred years old, which coincides with our 25th wedding anniversary. Sounds like a great excuse for a party!

Sunday Snaps: the Old and the New

Most communities exist in a balance of the old and the new. Newtown, like every Newfoundland community, is no exception.

Friday was a bright and beautiful day, giving me the perfect opportunity to capture the contrasts.

First, the old:

This is the front view of a century-old fishing stage. If you think it looks ready to topple over in this photo, take a look at the side view:

I’ve shared this little shed on my blog before. It’s still hanging on to that rock for dear life!

A decrepit fishing boat reminds me of a beached whale.

Now for something new—a pretty spot to sit and enjoy the seascape:

A miniature lighthouse makes a picturesque addition.

Check out the new bird blind, a part of our wetland wildlife habitat:

A bird-watcher’s delight

Inside the blind

“There is magic in the old and magic in the new: the trick is to successfully combine the two.” ~ A. D. Posey

Thanks for tagging along!