Friday, November 30, 2007

Christmas quilt

I was reading a Martha Stewart Magazine yesterday and deciding that in my new and future home I would eliminate all the Christmas ticky tacky and decorate in pink and gold and loll around and drink champagne. As soon as I put that idea out, the Universe answered. Today I was given a quilt - one side in green and red squares and the other with Santas and sailing ships - upside down and a bright pink fabric running up one side. I tossed it on the sofa which someone had tossed out into the manse. In seconds Czarina had claimed it as her own and I might as well forget the champagne dreams and get out the Christmas kitsch.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


One of the wonderful things about this house is that it has wide sills under every window. This one is above the kitchen sink. The mugs came from the Catholic white elephant table. Outside is a very cold winter night.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


They left today for the cariboo hunt. And today I found the last bit of last year's meat in the bottom of my freezer - so I cooked it up. I never think about it any more. It no longer seems odd to be eating cariboo spaghetti sauce. I wish that I could share it with all of you.

Monday, November 26, 2007

dry grass

In the winter, especially on days like this when the light is so flat, my eyes search for colour. Even a little yellow-brown grass will do.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

winter coats

I really kind of like winter, except for two things. Driving in winter is often not fun and the other thing is that I have to wear so many clothes. I think that I really love stepping out the door without putting on boots and an overstuffed coat. This is an array by my front door.

rose in snow

Yesterday I presided over my third funeral this week. The casket was covered with roses. At the end people took the roses. I took one. It dropped to the snow as I was getting into my little car. These perfect roses come from South America, are heavily chemicalized, and the women who tend them with their babies on their backs have very high rates of cancer. It was cancer that took this man, too. So this is a death rose lying in the snow.

Friday, November 23, 2007

penny candy

In olden times I used a penny in these machines and then it went up to a nickel, but we got a little more. Nothing seems to have changed except the price. I took the photo because I loved the colour.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

cat & mouse

I was trying to book a flight to see my son and family in Montreal, but I was getting the usual help from my computer cat who has now moved to behind the machine and is playing with a pen. Meanwhile I am filled with the excitement of having a ticket in hand and a place to go. I shall leave on Boxing Day and return after New Year's. Now I shall accumulate all the gifts and treats for the five grandsons. Christmas excitement has stirred up in my heart.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

flapper pie

So winter has closed in and what do we do? We eat, and party and eat. So here is Bill coming through the door with his famous flapper pies. We were going to eat before playing wild games of Crazy Eights.
I had never heard of flapper pie before I came here, nor had I ever had Italian Wedding Soup. But this is the north where perogies are served on the Chinese food buffet. Yesterday I was with the Finnlanders eating cabbage rolls. Being up north has been a broadening experience.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

grey days

The sun is getting lower and lower and the days seem to be getting greyer and greyer. I seem to need light and green, but then I live in northern climes so I ought to be used to it. This was taken on my way from the hospital parking lot to visit in the intensive care unit. The white spots are the snow flakes. And the patient: she will be taken by air ambulance to Sudbury for a pacemaker.

Monday, November 19, 2007

the matriarch

I got a telephone call late yesterday evening with a request for me to conduct a funeral this morning for a 98 year old Chinese lady. She was laid out in a lovely embroidered silk jacket and covered with a silk sheet before the casket was closed. Incense was lit. Funeral money was burnt. Sweets and lucky money were distributed. In between I presided over the Service of Christian Burial. Then we all went to the feast. There were none of the usual funeral egg sandwiches.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I brought in the winter pansies. Maybe if there is another warmer day they can go out again. They could stay out all winter, but I cannot see them under the snow and I am so enjoying them on the kitchen window sill. I suppose that they will grow long and leggy, but right now they are just perfect.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


We went to Hornepayne for a Presbytery event - a covenanting service. This community is a railway town about six hours away. The the way through Hearst lacks considerable interest; just one tree after another. The next morning we were to return. We came out after breakfast and the sun was shining down with just a smattering of snow on the ground. So let's just take the other way home. Let's go to Wawa! So we did and here is a photo of the Wawa Goose. Then we came back after lunch in Chapleau. We were in just after sunset. It was a much more interesting road - different trees and even some hills.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

back door

Keep those cards and letters coming! Here's my door with an assortment of cards. I suppose that soon Christmas cards will take their place and these will go into my scrapbook. Being far away from everywhere I love it when there is something in my post box. Something physical somehow conveys a presence that the virtual never does. But then the virtual keeps me in touch with the world and espcially with friends.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

garden plant

The second snow has melted. The garden is not mine. Such as it is, it comes with the manse. But I found this little plant in a reduced-to-clear bin at the grocery store, and it has done rather well. I love the texture of the leaves, and it looks like it is an evergreen, except that it is red and chartreuse. I think that I have fallen in love with it, and I shall not want to leave it when I go in a few months' time.

Monday, November 12, 2007


It was a dark, dank, grey day - so November! I took my camera into the yard and found this bark with its yellow lichen spots. There is always something.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


The new reinvented me is trying to learn how to use cosmetics. It is difficiult to admit that one doesn't know what every other woman seems to know. However I do have a costmetian consultant who is very interested in whatever goes on in the bathroom. Her eyes are permanently lined in a lovely beige tone so maybe she does know a thing or two. The other thing is that if she sees my camera she turns up and poses.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


So I was asked if I ever finished the sweater that I featured on August 31. I did finish it about a month ago, and I am wearing it now. I laid it out to snap its picture as virtual proof that this magnificent creation exists. Of course, you can't lay something down without a cat turning up to investigate. It's written into their internal DNA rule book. But then there was cat in the first picture in any case, so we're just keeping with the theme.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Before dawn I took a picture of my banana plant. Growing a banana tree in the house is a sure sign of denial.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Porcupine Lake

The lake has not frozen yet. I watch its edges as the ice begins to form. When it does then I wait and wait anticipating the spring thaw and break up. I miss the open water of the ocean. No matter how cold it got at home I could look out to the water. Sometimes it steamed in the cold, but it was always there, and I could walk the beach in the middle of winter. - pangs of homesickness for a home that no longer exists.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

train station

The bus drivers have been out now for six weeks. They have a legitimate grievance, but the north is being held at ransom.

Last week I had a four hour drive to a train station, but early this morning it was forty-five minutes and as you can see, it snowed over night.

My sister came up to visit with me - her first time in the north. Sisters are great and I have two. We have a common history - "Do you remember when?". We remember different things, and then we try to piece it all together. Somewhere in the middle of all that there lies the truth.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Amanda and me

I thought that you would like to know what I looked like. I am the one with the teeth. Amanda is the other. She drew it for me to hang on my refridgerator. We all go out to lunch after church and whilst we were there I had my portrait done.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I am somewhat biased when it comes to cats - well I like them all, but I've always had a soft spot for the greys. They don't have much of a facial epression: glowering with hooded eyes. There was one called Augustus Caesar in my childhood. But the greys I've known have always had a nice temperament and this one has a lovely disposition. But her imperial nature has earned her the name of "The Czarina", even though her adoption papers said her name was "Belle", With her velvet blue coat, her green eyes and broad Slavic face, she is undoubtedly aof noble Russian extraction.

Hallowe'en beer

So it's getting late and the telephone rings.
Are you dressed? How about some hallowe'en beer? So Madame Zelda, the Russian fortune teller, and her son took me to the Shady Lady at the Airport Hotel for a beer. The Airport Hotel is not what it sounds. It is an older establishment on the lake where the float planes come in to dock. So here's a photo of the lady in costume There is something so fun about going out unexpectedly and sharing in some laughs.