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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!

Sunday Snaps*: Waiting

No matter what may be going on in my life, this time of year has often prevailed as an inherent waiting period and a turning inward. Loving summer and early fall on this beautiful island as much as I do, a huge part of me goes into a hibernation of sorts during the winter months. I look at it as a time to research and gather data, outline or finish new work, read (a lot), and reflect on life while enjoying home and hearth.

Enter 2020! When I wrote this post back in April, we had no idea the coronavirus would still be such a dire issue all these months later. The number of cases continue to rise, even here, in its second wave. Introversion aside—which can make social-distancing more tolerable—just like you, I’m getting tired of the rules, the separations, the lack of normalcy, and yes, the masks. That said, I will continue to toe the line as long as necessary and do my part to try and keep the numbers under control.

This fall has brought something new: my completion of an online course called Indigenous Canada through Coursera, an online education provider. This in turn has inspired a photography course in January. Lifelong learning is turning out to be a blessing in these uncertain times.

And as I wait out the virus—or wait for the expected vaccine to become available—here’s a more recent bright spot: there has been interest shown in my latest manuscript, which you may remember I’ve submitted to a number of publishers. Yay! Hoping for a positive outcome, but of course, that requires even more waiting.

How are you riding out the pandemic? Is it business as usual for you as you work from home, or in health care, or in other essential employment? Are you a retiree, a homemaker, or a homeschooler? Have you taken up any new activities or hobbies to keep you sane? Or has your work, social and/or family life been upended since this began? What do you miss the most?

What are you waiting for?

*Photos taken this past summer on Cape Island beach

Vivian’s View From Here: 6 Months Without Her

On my morning jaunt outside,
I believe I see Maisie again.

Just when I thought
I was over her,
from the corner of my eye
I see her step, sylphlike,
through the wind-riven grass
—a slim, graceful shadow.

My heart leaps.
The idea of her, home—
on Perry’s Point once more!
Joy flashes, like
the spangle of sun
upon the ocean around me.
A dream, a wish, short-lived.

As the chill of the first winter
without her closes in,
I will miss the cuddles,
the companionable silences,
the nose bumps,
our years of moments shared
ever since we were wombmates.

I won’t dwell on
what once was. Instead,
I will carry my sister with me
until we meet again.

Maisie, you may have left Perry’s Point
but you will never leave our hearts!
♥♥♥ 

In case you missed it: Sad News

Comments are closed, though my staff would appreciate you leaving a like for my post. – Vivian

Peace, Love and Understanding

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?

~ Nick Lowe