Photo Challenge: Wedding*

Back in the day when my sister was planning her wedding, she asked my children to stand as flower girl and ring bearer. This photo has been on display here in my home ever since.

They are adults now, of course, and my daughter is married with a family of her own.

Of special note, the pandemic didn’t bring all bad news: my son is now engaged!

♥ Cherish Every Moment ♥

*Ragtag Daily Prompt: Wedding!

Sunday Snaps: Feeding the Birds, Parisian Style

Happy Sunday, all!

This afternoon has me wistfully looking back on our European trip, yet again. For this post in particular, I’m reminiscing about Paris and our visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral.

As enthralling as it was to take a tour inside this extraordinary example of French Gothic architecture, I was equally enamored with the feathery congregation outside!

In April of 2019, a massive fire tore through the roof of the Notre Dame, but a restoration by artisans is in the works. I have a feeling these birds have missed the tourists and will be happy when this historic cathedral reopens in 2024.

By the way, did you know that February is National Bird Feeding Month in the U.S.?

“Birds are the most popular group in the animal kingdom. We feed them and tame them and think we know them. And yet they inhabit a world which is really rather mysterious.” ~ David Attenborough

Photo Challenge: Sunday Stills — Are You a #Bird Feeder?

My photos originally shared here: Scenes From France – Part 3: More Paris!

Cats of Christmas Past and Present

Meowy Christmas, peeps and pets! Vivian K. Perry here today, filling in for Jennifer while she finishes getting ready for the holidays.

I got to reminiscing about my sister Maisie this morning, who went over the rainbow bridge in May of 2020. Here we are, together, several Christmases ago:

And here is Maisie, unable to resist our little tree:

Jennifer has many other cats in her extended family.
Here is Joey, one of her daughter’s cats:

. . . and here’s Joey with his sister Ginger:

Jennifer’s sister-in-law owns this fluffy kitty who goes by the name Scotty—aka Butterscotch:

Not long ago, Scotty had a brother named Merlin:

This cat’s name is Gerald. He belongs to Jennifer’s niece:

Jennifer’s sister had a cat named Zoe:

. . . and Jennifer’s son had a cat named Miss Mooch:

Jennifer and I are sending out Season’s Greetings to all of our friends, family, pets and bloggers.
We look forward to catching up with you again in 2022!

~ Love and purrs, Vivian.

September Sky

Indian summer winds blow through the hills,
As the autumn sun shines on your hair;
I will always remember the day that we met,
In that wonderful time of the year.

So, will you dance with me tonight, my love,
Beneath the September sky?
Will you sing with me tonight, my love,
And we’ll waltz for the rest of our lives.

~ excerpt from the song September Sky
by Louise Morrissey

I will never forget the night we met in September of 1994, when “I fell head over heels in LIKE,” and how my whole life changed. Thank you for being you.

Further Reading: The Day We Met

RDP Friday: Autumn

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: 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!

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

Baby Love

In the midst of the pandemic as well as my deep despair over everything that is going on in the world right now, comes a welcome respite of joy and gratitude.

My only sister and her husband became grandparents last night, to a perfect little girl who was longed for and whose mom went nine days overdue before finally going into labour late yesterday morning. I am brimming with happiness for them all.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, my nephew was only permitted to stay in the hospital during labour and delivery, so like my sister and her husband and her other grandparents, he now has to wait until mother and baby are discharged to be with them.

A side note: when this same nephew was a baby and my firstborn was a young girl, she absolutely adored him. How do I know? Back then, she had a locket. She kept a pic of him in that locket along with a pic of herself. I smile whenever I think of it.

I can’t help but recall how thrilled I was when I became a grandmother fourteen years ago, to a dear little bundle who felt like a gift from heaven for all of us. And now my memories take me back to the day my own daughter was born.
I became a mom when I was barely a woman myself. So young I was, a child having a child. It didn’t take long, though, for me to make my baby a priority and to fall in love in a way I never had before.

Eight years ago, I wrote a short poem about it.

Baby Love

Remembering that day in June
when you were small and pink and new
your needs so urgent, your helplessness
eclipsing all I’d planned to do

Your eyes, the bluest I’ve ever seen
gazed into mine, I drank you in
strawberry mark on your behind
that perfect dimple in your chin

The tiny o your lips would make
when, nursing done, you fell asleep
that newborn smell, the lightest heft—
who knew that love could feel so deep?

My firstborn with her firstborn 

What are you grateful for today?

Sad News

Maisie

On Thursday of last week, we had to say goodbye to our little Maisie. She’d been ill for several months, had stopped responding to her meds, and we knew there was nothing else we could do. We couldn’t let our baby suffer anymore.

Needless to say, we are heartbroken. Vivian misses her too. She roams from room to room — and outdoors — looking for her sister and lifelong companion.

We console ourselves by remembering Maisie had a full and beautiful life. No cat, ever, was more loved. She always had Viv to watch over her and keep her company whenever we were away. She reveled in the freedom to explore the outdoors here on Perry’s Point, but preferred to stay close to us when we sat out on our deck.

Maisie, you were much more than a pet to us. You graced us with heaps of generous love and affection and your sweet, unique brand of friendship for almost thirteen years. And your quiet dignity, even in sickness, will never be forgotten. You are pain-free at last.

Sleep well, dear angel.