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*

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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

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

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

Cityscape: the Big Apple*

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.

View of Manhattan Skyline on our Liberty Cruise Boat Tour

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.

View of New York from the Empire State Building

Atop the Empire State Building

In retrospect, I’m glad we didn’t cancel. It was a memorable experience all around.

*Photo Challenge: Cityscape by Nancy Merrill Photography

Vivian and her “Pet” Cause

Good day and welcome,
Friends and Felines!

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.

happy and grateful for being adopted

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 shared this list in a 2015 post: Vivian with a Cause