On the Mend

Vivian in happier times

Our dear little Vivian is recuperating from a coyote attack. At least that is our best guess, after her vet in Gander said the wounds under her tail came from four large canine teeth, too large to be another cat, weasel or mink.

There are no roaming dogs in the vicinity, but there have been plenty of coyote sightings around the shore and right here in Newtown. Needless to say, our cats will never go out in the evening or night again. After almost nine years of outdoor escapades since we moved here from the city, this is the first time anything like this has happened. Darn coyotes!

Chelsea the vet sedated her, stitched her up, and administered an antibiotic dose good for two weeks. We gave her anti-inflammatory medicine for seven days and oodles of TLC.

Her sutures come out on Wednesday, and we can’t wait. The past eleven days have been tough, mostly due to the joys of the Elizabethan collar. Vivian was depressed at first, but a few days ago she snapped back to her old silly self, chasing Maisie around the house. So funny to see Maisie run away, apparently spooked by the contraption on her sister’s head (she usually play-fights back).

Everything will work out, Vivian. We’re so grateful we didn’t lose you.

And I’m sure you have at least five or six lives left in you yet.

A little sisterly moral support from Maisie
A get well card and goodie bag from our friend Libby. Warm thanks to all for the calls and get well messages.

Frozen Time

Photography is the art of frozen time

“Photography is the art of frozen time …
the ability to store emotion and feelings within a frame.”

– Meshack Otieno

Newtown, NL

Photos were taken on the first of January while out for an afternoon walk.
Our faces felt frozen but our bodies stayed toasty warm.

Time to bundle up on those walks, my northern friends.
Happy New Year to all!

Sunday Snap: A New Perspective

Aerial View of Perry's Point
Aerial View of Perry’s Point

This cool photo of Perry’s Point was snapped last week on Monday, November 5th by Paul’s cousin, Winston Perry. He took it from a small plane and gave me permission to share. Check out the sand and the seaweed around the coastline.

That’s my house in the foreground, closest to the end of the point, the blue one with the shed and a little blue outhouse to the far left. A large portion of Newtown is shown in the background.

The sunshine that day makes the house colour look lighter from that angle, but if you click on my Facebook link below, you’ll see its true colour. Laundry and all! That photo was taken by Winston’s brother and our neighbour, Wayne Perry.

Thanks for the great captures, guys!

Home Sweet Home on Facebook

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Places People Live

Evening Sky in Autumn

Autumn sky“There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky.”
– Percy Bysshe Shelley

Morning Hunt

Cat hunting for rodents
“People that hate cats will come back as mice in their next life.” – Faith Resnick

Cats, even the cutest of kittens, have a killer instinct. It’s an inherited and hard-wired behavior put into practice by the time a kitten is barely a month old. Mother cats will teach their kittens to hunt by example using trilling and other sounds to indicate the type of prey brought to the den. When kittens are about four weeks old, she brings dead prey to teach identification of prey species and later live prey to teach how to catch and kill. Kittens soon learn to swat, pounce and scoop with their claws extended. They learn to bring the prey home to share as their mother did for them and to play with the prey.

As adults, cats will bring humans (mother substitutes) their bounty as a shared offering. Depending on what’s available, it could be an actual mouse carcass or perhaps a toy mouse in your shoe.*

*Excerpt from Cat Wisdom 101 – Cats: Hardwired to Hunt in 6 Steps

~ Comments are closed ~

Where Once They Lived: The Beothuk of Perry’s Point

This past summer, Perry’s Point here in Newtown, Newfoundland & Labrador received a new addition. A project of the Cape Freels Development Association, this information display is a reminder and a history lesson to all about the first people who inhabited this area: the Beothuks.

I will let the display speak for itself.
Please read to learn more about this fascinating First Nation.

Thank you to the Cape Freels Association, Winston Perry, and to anyone else involved in this worthy initiative.

As it happened, earlier this year I read The Last Beothuk, the newest release by local author Gary Collins. I wholly recommend this historical novel to anyone interested in learning more about the way of life of these indigenous people and what ultimately became of them.

Inspired by True Events:

“Long after Demasduit’s skull has been stolen from her grave, and years after Shanawdithit has died, one Beothuk and his family survive.
Bursting out of the pages of Newfoundland history appears Kop, the last true Beothuk.
When all the other members of his tribe are exterminated by the Europeans, Kop seeks revenge against the Unwanted Ones.
Hidden among the Bear Clan of the Mi’kmaq, the Beothuk strikes back.
Follow Kop on his trail of defiance against the European marauders upon his Island. See what becomes of a man who has nothing to lose or live for.
Stay with him on a hundred trails and sit with him across the smoke of a hundred campfires. You will not only weep for the last Beothuk—you will cheer him on as he pushes back against the Unwanted Ones.”

Butterflies and Daisies

butterfly on a daisy

“If I had my life to live over, I’d pick more daisies.”
– Don Herold

“We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.”
– Carl Sagan

I am s-l-o-w-l-y but surely easing myself back into the blogosphere after a longer hiatus than planned. Summer and my love for it has been a  delightful and major distraction, but of course those days are racing by. As the weather cools, you should see me around more often.

Now, where was I?
Oh yes – he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me…

Neighbours

The old adage “good fences make good neighbours” is a wise one, and it is usually true.

And yet, some neighbours don’t have any.
The fences we had once upon a time are long gone,
with only rolling lawns between us now.

And more pleasant neighbours you would never find. W and M are the coolest folks.
(That’s our house in the background, and W’s new bird-house in the foreground.)

Grandma M’s pot will soon be overflowing!

…and those bloomers will be blooming.

Good one, W and M. Let’s just hope Maisie and Vivian don’t drive away your new feathered tenants – or worse!

All of this neighbourly talk brings this timely quote to mind:

Whether the borders that divide us are picket fences or national boundaries, we are all neighbors in a global community.
– Jimmy Carter

Pages From The Past: Moving to Newtown

Moving to Newtown, Newfoundland in 2010

These are a few excerpts from my private journal in September 2010, shortly before I started this blog.  We were living in Mike Perry’s summer house here in Newtown, while our future home’s interior was being renovated on Perry’s Point by Paul’s two handy cousins and by Paul himself.  

Of note, this excerpt was written during Hurricane Igor and its aftermath.  Also of note is my poem at the end.

Very slowly, the old house on the point is undergoing its planned metamorphosis. My emotions are mixed. To see the rot exposed, the peeling paint and wallpaper, the ancient cobwebs hanging from the now-bare and blackened rafters, the unbelievable mess in the yard created by demolition, and now reconstruction – all of this plays havoc with my need for cleanliness and order. Are we really going to live here, in this two-storey house on a piece of rock jutting out into the cold North Atlantic? And are we ever going to find carpenters to install the new windows and clapboard while the rest of the work is done?

But then on one occasion when I visited the point last week, I saw something. I caught an encouraging glimpse of what could be. Of what that old house could become. My eye is drawn to the sun shining in through the multi-coloured glass of the windows we are not replacing. I see promise in their dazzling jewel tones of green, pink and yellow.

I get a mental picture of the rooms, devoid of junk and sawdust. Instead, they are neatly decorated, warm and comfortable, the kitchen filled with welcoming smells, music playing, Paul laughing at our cat Vivian as she skitters across the floor after a pop bottle stopper. I see Paul in his home office working on design plans, and I see me typing another page in my new novel. I welcome a visitor, put the kettle on…

I pretty much wish we were already there, playing house. Patience has never been my strongest virtue, so time drags on.

Sept. 21

So the house in Paradise didn’t close yesterday as planned. The buyers require a survey of the land…why did they wait until the last minute??

And now we are back in Newtown, enduring the wrath of Hurricane Igor as he sweeps over the province, the likes of which we have never witnessed. There’s a leak in the living-room here at Mike’s that started since Paul left to go out on the point. The wind is howling, the rain is hitting the windows in sheets. Mother Nature is showing her teeth today and she means business! The radio assures me that this storm is a record breaker, and I feel like I have three houses to worry about: this one, the one on the point, and our biggest investment up to now, the one in Paradise that is almost sold.

Even Maisie and Vivian look worried.

Sept. 23

Everyone I love now has their power back. My sister Lynn got hers at 1 yesterday, my mother-in-law last evening, and daughter Denise at 4 this morning (no other family lost theirs). We had it gone for about seven minutes on the night of the storm. So I breathe a great sigh of relief that all is well once again. I smile to realize that many have no cable TV or internet access right now – just like us!

Of course, we still wait for a phone call from our real estate agent or our lawyer as to when the house will close. I pray the walk-thru goes well. We wait to see if the Trans Canada Highway will open later today. And we wait for our new windows to be delivered. Sometimes life feels like a long drawn-out waiting game.

I love cooking and baking. Sometimes it feels downright therapeutic. As I made cod au gratin and a strawberry-apple crumble yesterday, a feeling of such peace and contentment enveloped me, it made me think of the book Simple Abundance and how much truth is in it. Whenever I cook and there is lots of time to do it right, I adore it. Thinking of living on the point and cooking and baking in my brand new kitchen fills me with happiness. I taped some loose recipes into my personal cookbook just this morning, in anticipation of using them soon.

The only thing that hurts is to read the recipes that Mom dictated to me over the phone not that long ago.

And I wait for a call from Lynn to see if they have a new placement for Mom. I don’t think I will get over the hurt of her Alzheimer’s disease for a very long time, and the worst is yet to come. Right on the heels of Dad’s ALS and death in 2003, the dreaded condition swooped in on my precious mother and changed her forever. Why has this double whammy hit our family, I wonder. I fear that the knowledge of it and the pain of its aftermath have changed me forever too.

As a way of dealing with these feelings, I wrote a poem this morning.

God, give me back my mom, I beg you and I plead

we’ve lost her much too early, the pain will not recede

First we lose our father to a death no one should know

too young he was to leave us–my God! I miss him so..

The grief it proved a burden our mother couldn’t bear

her sadness turned to illness with a name I’ve always feared

I know not how her soul survives as her mind and body waste

she lives and yet she doesn’t;  a stranger took her place

Where is my mother’s heart?  Where is her winsome smile?

I miss the wisdom of her words, her gentle, caring style

God, give me back my mom, if it’s only in a dream

let her put her arms around me;  let her hold me as she sings

Then please take her up to heaven, let her suffering be gone

reunite my precious parents–maybe then I can go on.

***

Sunday Snap: Old

weathered

“Some old things are lovely warm still with the life of forgotten men who made them.”
~ D. H. Lawrence

“Old age: the crown of life, our play’s last act.” ~ Cicero

“If you survive long enough, you’re revered – rather like an old building.” ~ Katharine Hepburn