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Sunday 31 December 2017

New Year’s Eve

As the sun sets on 2017, may the New Year provide you with good health and happiness!

Friday 29 December 2017

From the bridge pictorial













Wednesday 27 December 2017

A stitch for Christmas

I worked at it for years, until I turned forty and my eyesight wouldn’t allow me to work at night. I couldn’t see clearly enough to cross stitch in the evenings even under the best light. Since I was working, I couldn’t cross stitch during the day and weekends were too busy to spend precious daytime hours at a hobby. Bifocals didn’t help so I gave up one of my favourite activities. However, every Christmas I take out the Christmas cross stitches and hang them in places of honour in our home. 

Santa’s Workshop was one of the first I completed. It was a fun piece because our daughter was young and Santa was a big part of our Christmases then.


The nativity scene was one of the last pieces I did. It took me forever to complete but not as long as it took to do the same scene, on linen, for my brother and his family.

A holly piece I did for my husband’s grandmother was displayed in her living room until her death when it was returned to us.

The most difficult piece I did was the snowman, on black material, which was impossible to see. It was my last work.

I made mistakes as I worked on these pieces. Some I took out and restitched the proper way. Others I left, if removing them was a huge job. It’s funny now that I can’t see the mistakes even on close scrutiny. Things which were big issues at one time, are nothing in the end!

Meanwhile, every year the pieces are taken out of storage for a few weeks, then put away again. One day, someone else will display them. For now, they add to the Christmas decor and remind us of our younger days and life truths. Who knew a stitch could have such power?

Monday 25 December 2017

The present

It was our equivalent of Christmas Eve. The girls were headed out of the country for Christmas so we had time with them before they left. While their baby brother slept, they were excited about presents. Sleep was elusive for these two.

Their grandfather, an early morning person, was long since out of bed. Georgie the golden grand-dog had already taken her space on the bed by the time the girls arrived in the room. There we were, three of us cuddled in bed with Georgie warming our feet.

As I lay there laughing, talking with and tickling them at 5:30 that morning, I knew what my present was this year and every year. Nothing could ever match these special moments.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. I wish you joy!

Sunday 24 December 2017

Friday 22 December 2017

Widow’s walk

We’ve seen a few before on roof tops in Newfoundland. This one was on a roof top in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, however. During our autumn visit there, we noticed the widow’s walk, the fenced area on the roof of a house, above the street on the hill overlooking the harbour. (The photo, taken from a horse-drawn carriage, isn’t great quality.)

In seaside communities, these roof top walking areas are associated with the families of seafarers. The woman of the house climbed to the walk and watched for her husband’s vessel to return home. Such walks were on the homes of wealthy captains because poor sailors or fishers could never have afforded such luxury. 

The sight of this widow’s walk reminded me of a poem we learned in school in Newfoundland. The poem was written by EJ Pratt who was born on the island. It speaks of the elements and how their consequences affected the women, whose stories are not often told!


It took the sea a thousand years,

A thousand years to trace

The granite features of this cliff,

In crag and scarp and base. 

It took the sea an hour one night,

An hour of storm to place

The sculpture of these granite seams

Upon a woman's face. 

EJ Pratt

June 1931

Coastline of Newfoundland

Wednesday 20 December 2017

First snow

Bitter cold. We’re not acclimatized to it yet this year so the “feels like” temperature of -10 C could just as easily be -30 for how cold we are. Besides, the early morning scad of snow makes it look cold too. The sky is gray, threatening snow. It is a good day to stay inside.  

Not us. Here we are again my husband and I, on the boardwalk after the first snow of the season. 

This snow won’t stay but before long the white cover will be thicker and the temperatures colder to sustain it. 

The squirrel isn’t choosy today. Usually the little rodents hold out for peanuts which someone is bound to bring by soon enough. However, this one stopped to eat the sunflowers seeds.

Every bite counts this time of year.

Blue jays are feisty too and fight over sunflower seeds left on a feeder. 

They usually don’t bother with those either. One stops to observe us, possibly watching for peanuts. 

The stream is partially frozen too but the resident mallard couple is busy dabbling. 

Before long the pickings here will be completely frozen and the two will head to open water. For today, they skirt the ice and stick together.  

Muskrat must be underwater today as they swim the inlet to and from their push-up. 

The layer of ice is thin but the animals are avoiding it. 

Nearby, the tall grasses which days ago looked rusty, now look bleached, whitened by the frost. 

From the gazebo, the harbour looks cold and gray as we leave for home. The bay will freeze soon. Winter solstice is nigh!

Monday 18 December 2017

Duck tales

The stream by the boardwalk in Summerside was busy earlier this month. A pair of mallards, male and female, were busy feeding in the stream near the entrance to the bay. 

The two were inseparable, as they swam the length of the stream to the bridge. My husband and I wondered if they were the same pair who appeared in the stream last spring after the ice melted.

On a recent visit to the gazebo which overlooks the stream, one of the ducks was chased by a muskrat. 

After a minute or two, the duck turned and chased the muskrat which swam away as the duck turned. We watched for a few minutes at the two animals at play. I took numerous photos but didn’t manage to take a focussed shot.

Another day, the mallards had friends come to visit. 

Six black ducks shared the stream with the mallards, without any concern for territory or conflict. Since both species are dabbling ducks, there were times when eight heads disappeared below water. 

Synchronized dabbling!

Friday 15 December 2017

Western sky at sunset

We walked westward on the trail towards the sunset. Behind us, the blue above deepened and the water was illumined by the moon. Ahead, a band of cloud changed colour before our eyes.

The natural beauty of deciduous trees was an important aspect of these moments. 

Every twig and branch is visible in silhouette, 

the angles and curves reaching out from the trunk which stretches toward the heavens. 

The coniferous trees provide a barrier by comparison.

The colour developed as the sun sank below the horizon. It started as a pale pink hue which deepened and expanded within minutes as we wended our way west. Before long, a wide band of various colours stretched across the western sky. 

The sea reflected the colour along the shoreline 

while the trees stood their silent vigil for the hued scene.

In silence, we watched the dance of colour unfold before us 

as the eastern sky behind us became darker and darker.

We turned for home. By now the sky ahead was deep blue, the path lit for residents who walk this place at night. We are lucky to be among that group.

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Eastern sky at sunset

It had been a beautiful day, though the cheek-stinging cold made it uncomfortable. With the high wind and the 2 degree C temperature, scarves had to be added to the winter attire already in use.

Sunset was fast approaching as we headed to the harbour. The eastern sky had dissipating high white cloud. To the west, cloud associated with an approaching front was a sign of the rain or chance of snow for the following day.

When we reached the boardwalk, the sun was below the horizon while the moon was already high in the eastern sky.

The windspeed had decreased as the sun disappeared. The usually busy boardwalk was deserted this time of day as people prepared their evening meal or headed home from work. It was still. 

The light around us faded over the next fifteen minutes. The sky went from haze to blue 

to deep blue 

as the evening settled in. The moon shone in all his glory and reflected on the water. 

The land around us darkened but in the distance, the lights of the city twinkled. 

The western sky was another story!