Sunday, December 30, 2007


It seems that my animal census was out of date. The mice are gone and so is the dog, but here is the new kitten, Bebe, the third cat. He was watching us whilst my son and I (mostly Terry, he is the expert) spent the afternoon making sushi. Then we had a great meal with all five of the boys.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

out again

Today Tommy's dad was home from work so he went along on our latest geocaching adventure. Here they are in a redoubt, all that is left of fortifications put in place in 1689 to defend the settlers against the Iroquois. Then we were of the the bank of the Saint Lawrence to find another cache. We wandered home tired and needing to replenish ourselves at the depanneur along the way. A depanneur is a convenience store where Tommy indulged in a chocolate bar.

Friday, December 28, 2007

snow fun

This morning Nathalie, Nico, Tommy and a friend went geocaching with me. Here they are opening up their third cache. In all they found five. Now we have converts, with Nathalie wanting her own GPS receiver and thinking up a name for their team. Lots of fun: we returned tired and hungry, which is how it should be.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

boxing day

In Canada the day after Christmas is Boxing Day. So early on Boxing Day morning I packed up and left for Montreal, or at least the "South Shore" to spend a few days with my son and family. The plane ride was, thankfully, uneventful and today I got my computer hooked up. So I am back online, and now everyone has trooped off to bed and silence has descended upon the household, I can think and write. Does anyone out there know what its like to have the latest version of "Guitar Hero" non stop? Well this evening we took a short break and looked up all the nearby geocaches. Tomorrow we shall hunt them down. That will be a new game for the boys.

Monday, December 24, 2007

nativity ball

I am writing this earlier in the day, being Christmas Eve, the evening is filled with Chrfistmas at the church. So each of you have a blessed Christmas. Tomorrow, after the morning service there are various invitations, and then the day after Christmas, Boxing Day, I am going to visit my son and his family near Montreal. So I expect the blog enteries will be a bit more sporadic - but I shall try inbetween the fun. At last count there were, five boys, two cats, a dog, betwen ten and twenty birds, some fish and white mice and their very patient mother, my lovely daughter-in-law.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

leather bell

Last evening was spent carolling. We went around to all the shut-ins taking small gifts and singing the carols. There were six of us: three men and three women. We were in fine form, but the rain had started, falling on the snow, and so it was very icy underfoot and took longer than we had anticipated. Then we went to a home to admire their tree, drink cider and munch and talk. I collapsed when I got home and so no blog yesterday.
I would be out again this evening, but the rain, although intermittant, has not stopped and now a weather warning has been issued anticipating a sudden drop in temperature, so we are all staying home. The evening at the movies was set aside.
This bell, made from leather hide and beaded by a Cree woman, was given to me to hang on my tree. The leather would have come from moccasin scraps.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Well it isn't much, but I was looking at these decorations that I had been given and wondering what I would do with them. I am going away for over a week after Christmas so I didn't want to leave a live tree in the house, especially the cats are staying home. The friend who originally foisted them on me is coming over each day to feed them. And I really dislike articial stuff, unless it is really articial and not trying to look real. But the Sunday School had used a couple of fake trees in a play and they had been brought over to store in the manse. The living room looked a bit bare so I stuck one in each corner. So this evening the cats and I decorated one of them. It doesn't show up too well. Maybe I should go for some close ups.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

surprise package

The parcel from my sister, the cosmetic queen,
arrived today. She has telephoned and told me that it was on its way and that it was "not for Christmas", so I opened it. It was filled to brimming with treasures. I loved this purse, but inside it, too, was filled with cosmetics. I put it down and looked at all the great stuff and when I looked back someone else had already taken possession of it. (Wherever I am "Miss Johnston" is never far behind.) It was just like opening a surprise Christmas stocking - something that doesn't happen any more. Aren't sisters treasures? Of course, my sisters remember things that I would rather forget, in graphic detail, with proof! They also undertand cats. Each of us has two each. It shall be fun when we all take them to the cottage.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas lights

The city bus company puts on a tour of the best Christmas lights. For over an hour we toured the back city streets with Santa on board. There were some amazing displays. I enjoyed it all, but I did wonder about the carbon foot print. My little camera does not take night photos, so when I returned I captured the nativity scene just outside the Porcupine church. It has a floodlight.

Monday, December 17, 2007

church basement

Porcupine has small church decorated in 50's rec room style with a basment underneath. The stairs are narrow and steep, but all the parties happen here. It was decorated for the bazaar "Follow the Star". The building has difficult access and while they fit into the six pews, they dream of growing. So they dreamt and prayed for a new building. Completely unexpectedly, last week they were given 6.8 acres of prime land out on the highway on condition that they built a church - a multi-use facility. They all heard about it on Sunday. They are"the little church that could".

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Advent III

On the Third Sunday of Advent the pink candle is lit for joy. This was taken at the special women's service in Porcupine this evening.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

dream catcher

This is an oval dream catcher that was made by a Cree. It is very beautifully made and was given to me ay a prayer vigil for hostages in Iraq exactly two years ago. I hung it and continued my prayer until they were at last released. I thought that I would take it home with me and hang it in our meditation room at home. Then we ceased to be and I thought that the home was gone with her. But now I shall have that home to return to. I shall joyfully hang the dream catcher in that sunlight meditation room.

Friday, December 14, 2007

getting up

A two day absense: Wednesday I drove to Kirkland Lake for an evening meeting. That's just less than a couple of hours away. So I drove back in the early morning and got stopped by the police who were doing an alcohol test. So the officer and I discussed my cute little car and that the moose were out on the roads to eat the salt, and I drove home. But the next evening I was beat, missed a Christmas party and tucked in early - so no blog last evening either. And I got up late this morning with the idea that I should buy back my old home in Nova Scotia. I've been mulling it over all day, spoke with family and friends and think that I will. Wherever I go it will be waiting for my return to fix it up, and it needs a lot of fixing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

holy circle

On December 1 I hung the wreath. It will come down on January 6, Epiphany, Little Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2007


We speak three languages up here. Well, we often speak two out of the three. I took this photo this afternoon on my way into the cop shop to pick up a police records check which I needed in order to move from here to another position. I shall be moving on in the next few months, but I still do not know to where I am going.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


When I was in Brownies they kept us busy learning semophore. We could send signals from one end of the church hall to the other. The first seven letters were the easiest, and the longest word we could send was "cabbage". It somewhat limited our communication.
They made cabbage rolls for the church bazaar and presented me with the leftovers, which means the tight inner heads as they only use the outer leaves. I am now working on several cabbage recipes. This cabbage and the carrots were being softened for cabbage "au gratin", which really was delicious. It looks like I have enough cabbage for the winter even if I eat it every day.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

making supper

This when things were tidy before I got started. A friend's mother is hospitalised with pneumonia. So I have prepared supper for her when she and her husband return after she has finished feeding her mother. Now it is dark, the table is set, the pot roast is done, and soon they shall be through the door. I had better check the potatoes.

Friday, December 7, 2007

another sweater

I am knitting up another sweater and, as usual, the Czarina is helping - or not. Knitting fascinates her.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

last supper

I could not resist. This is the volunteer who ladles out the soup at the church luncheon. She belongs to a congregation which sold its building in order to better afford ministry. They meet on Sundays in the city community centre. Through the generousity of the Roman Catholic church once a month they have a luncheon in the basement of the Catholic Church. Long tables with white clothes are set out for lunch. Here is a picture of another long table. Perhaps the church luncheon is simply an extension of the supper in the photo.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

thin sun

Here is a thin winter sun hanging low in the northern sky. In a little more than two weeks the light will begin to return

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

quilt revisited

Well, I was asked what the quilt really looked like - so here it is - both sides. It was made by one of the Cree ladies - one who does not read Martha Stewart, but who put love and care into every stitich. So when I think that I shall have a pink and gold Christmas and sip champagne from a fluted glass, I have this to bring me down and to bring me face to face with a little humilty. The cats, who are notorious for their lack of colour sense, just love it.

Monday, December 3, 2007


Snowed in - yesterday church services were cancelled and then the internet went dead. The snow has only just stopped - so that's two days of snow, but there is more in the forecast. This was taken yesterday morning. I kind of like it - not the cancellations - but the quietness of being marooned in all this whiteness. - an unexpected little break.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Finnish bazaar

For the second day in a row the universe announced that I was not going to have a pink and gold Christmas with champagne. I went to the Finnish Lutheran bazaar. (Are there more Finns in Northern Ontario than there are in Finland?) It is always crowded and wonderful with baking and needlework. When I went in I purchsed the ticket for coffee and sandwiches and they pressed me to spend my change on a raffle ticket. And I won these red and white Father Christmas candles. Pink and gold are just a fleeting dream.