In 2010, my husband and I left the city to escape to rural life in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, and we're savoring every moment.
Once or twice a week I update my blog with everything I love through prose and photography, as well as posts about writing. My first novel was released in March 2016 and its sequel was released in March 2017. My third novel, this time of the speculative genre, is in prepublication.
Remembrance Day is observed on November 11th in Canada.
I’d like to highlight a song that means something to me and conveys my abiding wish for peaceful, nonviolent alternatives to the costs and devastation of war and strife worldwide.
That said, I mean no disrespect to the memories of all the brave soldiers who fought, stood on guard, and died for us. I honour them just as you do.
UPDATE 2020: I love this new social-distanced version for the times we live in. I hope you have a listen.
As I walk through This wicked world Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity. I ask myself Is all hope lost? Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?
And each time I feel like this inside, There’s one thing I wanna know: What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding?
And as I walked on Through troubled times My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes So where are the strong And who are the trusted? And where is the harmony? Sweet harmony.
Cause each time I feel it slippin’ away, just makes me wanna cry. What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding?
So where are the strong? And who are the trusted? And where is the harmony? Sweet harmony.
Cause each time I feel it slippin’ away, just makes me wanna cry. What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding? Ohhhh What’s so funny ’bout peace love and understanding?
In June of 2002, husband Paul and I took a trip by car to New York City. We were attending my cousin’s wedding in Nova Scotia that month, so we settled on a plan to extend our vacation afterwards and to take in some of Maine and Massachusetts on our way to the Big Apple.
With our plan already in place when 9/11 happened, we thought about cancelling the U.S. leg of the trip, but ultimately decided to go anyway. No trouble to notice the absence of the Twin Towers in the photo above, as well as the absence of the new Freedom Tower.
I will never forget our visit to Ground Zero.
In retrospect, I’m glad we didn’t cancel. It was a memorable experience all around.
*Photo Challenge: Cityscape by Nancy Merrill Photography
Vivian here, sitting in as guest host to share a worthy little list with you. I pounced on it during a nighttime prowl on the web and posted it here a few years ago. My sister Maisie and I were animal shelter adoptees, so this is a cause that is naturally near and dear to my kittycat heart.
Have a “purr”-usal and see why I think these are all terrific reasons to bring a lovely little cat like me or a friendly doggie into your heart and home right now. Here’s a bonus reason: with many of us facing a long winter staying home because of the pandemic, a new pet may be just the right antidote for boredom or loneliness.
TEN REASONS TO ADOPT A PET FROM A SHELTER
1. Every pet adopted from a shelter instead of purchased from a pet store or breeder improves the pet overpopulation problem.
2. Adopting a dog or cat from a no-kill shelter can free up space for older or special needs pets that may not find new homes before the end of their natural lives.
3. There are plenty of animals to choose from at most shelters. They come in every age, shape, size, coat color and breed mix, and you can find purebreds at shelters as well.
4. Compared to the cost of purchasing a pet, adopting one from an animal shelter is relatively inexpensive. And if you get a slightly older dog or cat, there’s a good chance he is already fully vaccinated and neutered.
5. Adopting an older pet allows you to skip over the time-consuming, often frustrating puppy or kitten stage of development and takes the guesswork out of what your pet will look like as an adult – size, the thickness and color of her coat, and her basic temperament, for example.
6. Most shelters and rescues do assessments on every pet taken in, to determine things like temperament, whether the pet has any aversion to other pets or people, whether he is housebroken, has had obedience training, etc.
7. Many shelters and rescues also offer lots of new owner support and materials about training, behavior problems, nutrition, grooming and general care.
8. If you have kids, adopting a shelter animal can open their eyes to the plight of homeless pets, teach compassion and responsibility, and show them how wonderful it feels to give a home to a pet that might otherwise live in a cage or be euthanized.
9. An older adoptive pet can be the perfect companion for an older person. Many middle-aged and senior dogs and cats require less physical exertion and attention than younger animals.
10. An adopted pet can enrich your life. The unconditional love and loyalty of a dog or cat can lift depression, ease loneliness, lower blood pressure, and give you a reason to get up in the morning. A kitty asleep in your lap feels warm and comforting. A dog that loves to walk or run outdoors can be just the incentive you need to start exercising regularly.
*list adapted from source: healthypets.mercola.com
So if this sharing prompts just one of you to adopt a pet, I have helped an animal in need. And if you share the list, you could too.
“Pets are humanizing. They remind us we have an obligation and responsibility to preserve and nurture and care for all life.” – James Cromwell
Vivian here, covering for Jennifer today while she rests her back from berry-picking this weekend. She loves this time of year when the partridgeberries are ripe, and when they grow on your own land, it is oh-so-convenient to pick them to your heart’s content.
But what does October mean to me? Sure, I like roaming around the bushes on the point, helping to gather berries—although Jennifer says all I basically do is get in the way with my head bunts and demand to be petted—and I enjoy the fact that when I go outside I don’t have to sit in the shade to keep cool anymore.
But what I dearly love to do in our garden is roll around in my happy place: a mysterious patch of something that grows among the grass, moss and lichen in one particular spot. It seems to have the same heady effect on me as catnip!
Check out Maisie and me below, enjoying our special spot. She blends in better than I do! This pic was taken a few years back. We can’t help but think of my sister fondly whenever I go out there.
I still miss Maisie,
but when the sun is shining,
the wind is light, and my peeps
are out and about with me,
I’m in a state of bliss.
“In the entire circle of the year there are no days so delightful as those of a fine October.” ~ Alexander Smith
September 30th is Orange Shirt Day in Canada, a day set aside to remember the experiences and loss of the thousands of children who were stolen from their families and placed in Indian Residential Schools. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind.
Why orange shirts? Orange Shirt Day grew out of Phyllis Webstad’s story of having her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. You can read Phyllis’ story at orangeshirtday.org
Why September 30th? The date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year. Orange Shirt Day is an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools, and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.
From Shana Dion, Assistant Dean, First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Students of the University of Alberta:
“Autumn can be the saddest time for so many survivors because the changing of the leaves means that they were not going to see their families for a very long time (a full school year), or sadly never see their families again. Most of us now can hardly leave our little ones in daycare or school for a day, never mind a whole year of wondering ‘how they are doing?’, ‘are they happy?’, ‘are they having a good day?’, ‘has anyone hurt them?’, or ‘are they sick or in pain?’. For the most part there was little to no communication between children sent to Indian Residential School and their families; can you imagine?
“Imagine being taken away from your parents at the age of five. Being given a number instead of a name. Being punished for speaking the only language you know. Being cut off from your family. Imagine being a parent, and being threatened with jail if you didn’t give up your children. Imagine being cut off from your children for ten years! What would it do to your family?
“I wear my orange shirt to honour inter-generational survivors. I honour their pain and peace. I honour their love and sorrow. I honour their brokenness and resilience. I honour their grit and grace. I honour their shame and pride. I honour their loneliness and lovability. I honour their sadness and humor. We are the sum of many parts all to be honored equally.”
I shared this today to raise awareness on a topic I knew little about until I immersed myself in the ongoing Indigenous Canada course offered by the University of Alberta. As a non-indigenous person, it isn’t enough to empathize with the Indigenous or to acknowledge my country’s shameful colonial past in this area. It isn’t enough to understand the intergenerational trauma that the residential school system has caused, with all its ramifications, or to say I’m not a racist. Rather, I am an ally and an anti-racist, which involves action. This is one small step in that direction. – JKP
Sources: University of Alberta Native Studies; orangeshirtday.org
Interested in sharing one of your original articles as a guest? Feel free to submit your ideas to email@example.com. Preference is given to topics relevant to my blog, such as books, writing, nature, photography, travel, children and pets. – JKP
In a fishing village like Newtown, you will often see brightly-painted buoys adorning fences, rails and walls, particularly in summer.
While buoys of all types are still used for fishing. . .
. . . many are adapted solely for decoration.
As fall approaches, most of the buoys will be put away until next summer, but some embellish the landscape all year round.
When creating the title for this post, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Don Henley song, The Boys of Summer.
“I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
after the boys of summer have gone.”
Of course, if you are from anywhere besides the U.S., my play on words makes sense.
All other English-speaking countries pronounce buoy like “boy”, whereas most Americans pronounce it “boo-ee”. I wonder why.
And if that’s the case, how do Americans pronounce “buoyant” and “buoyancy”?
How do you pronounce buoy?
(And can you tell I’m not
ready for summer to end?)
Alexander Perry, or Skipper Alex (aka Alec) as he was called by many, was my husband’s grandfather. For those that don’t already know, our home on Perry’s Point for the past ten years is the same home in which Alexander and his wife Mary Jane lived and raised their large family.
Alexander worked as a skipper on a number of fishing schooners. He made many trips to Labrador to fish for cod, which he brought back to Newtown to be cured before it was carried by ship from St. John’s to England and sometimes Jamaica.
Although I never met the man, I’ve heard many good things about him. Skipper Alex was widely admired for his seafaring abilities, his pleasant disposition and gentle spirit, and his flair for storytelling. Locals loved to visit with him—or he with them—to be regaled with colourful tales of his experiences. Of course, having a love of stories myself, I wish I could have known him back in the day.
Below is a letter from Pompano Beach, Florida that Paul found in a box in the attic when we renovated our house. It was written by John Maxwell Barbour, known as Max, the eldest son of Captain Alphaeus Barbour. I imagine the letter meant something to Alex for him to hold onto it like that. He would have been 81 when he received it, and Max, 69. I typed the letter out for easier reading.
Jan. 22, 1969
Dear Skipper Alex,
This carries to you and to your good wife my warm congratulations on your 56th wedding anniversary.
Seeing your excellent picture brought back many memories of my boyhood days in Newtown and of our many contacts, all of which were pleasant and helpful in shaping me for the years ahead. To put it quite plainly, during that period you were one of my favourite adults and without question your personality made a good impression on me.
To my mind’s ear the sound of the guns fired at your wedding still comes thru. I recall the happy occasion well altho I was not old enough then to be a guest.
My wife joins me in sending you and your wife best wishes for continued health and happiness.
Very sincerely, Max Barbour.
Many thanks to Lester Barbour for giving me some background on Max.
Photo credits: James Maine