Friday, February 29, 2008

frozen crab apple

I've been housebound with the mother-of-all-colds which has lodged itself in my ear. But out my window is this frozen fruit. In about a month the robins will return and strip the tree, and then spring will really have begun.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Didn't I receive photos and web cams from Nova Scotia to prove that that part of the province had no snow! So I got up to -34 this morning, although by the time it was light enough for the photo it was nearer -31. And I have snow, but I can share. It seems only fair. Yet this time of the year the sun is higher in the sky and by midday it is much more pleasant than December or January. Still February always seems to be the longest month of the year and it is even longer this year!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

roll up the rim

My life has sort of fallen apart in little pieces and a
dear friend from down home telephoned me to cheer me up.
So she asked whether it was cold - yep -28 when I got up this morning. So she proceeds to tell me that it is +5 and that they have hardly any snow. Meanwhile I am looking out the window at a frozen white world. So hanging up I decided that perhaps with the mother-of-all colds besetting me that I was getting a little stir crazy. So I went to Timmy's for a coffee, and there I saw it: the first sign of a Canadian spring! A Tim Horton's "Roll-Up the Rim" coffee cup! Life can only get better. I didn't win anything.
I'll be down home next week for ten days and we'll see if there is no snow then.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


They are both named Jones and they are both ministers. We were at an induction service for a new young minister, but these two oldies took far the better picture. That was Sunday evening, so I'm a day behind, but I have a good excuse.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

hanging out in TO

This is the sister and my sister. Mother Sophia is an Orthodox nun and a friend of my sister, Jill. We had a fabulous meal last year at this little Cambodian restaurant so we met there this year for a second round. The meal was equally good, and the conversation fabulous. Tea is for friendship.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Devon Rexes

Harry and Juliet live in my sister's condo. They think that it is the whole world, except for trips to the vet, of course. They are both Devon Rex, (Rexes? Rexi?) although Juliet (the fairer of the two) has the better conformation. I had never seen a Devon Rex in the flesh before my sister and brother-in-law acquired these two. I suppose that I would have if I went to cat shows. These are pricey cats. I have had cats all my life that I've never paid a cent for, but these are special cats with wrinkled curly velvet coats. Miss Johnston, my cat, is sitting here watching me type this and is making catty comments that I do not understand as I have never learnt cat talk. I think that each cat just wants to be reassured that they are the very best cat in the world, and I tell them all that.

Friday, February 22, 2008


This was taken a couple of years ago. The elephants come every summer with the circus. We were having an internet discussion and I had mentioned that the only death inflicted by an animal in Timmins was by an elephant. I love this picture with the headframe in the background. Headframes are put over the elevator wheels and cables that run the cage up and down to the mine workings. With gold over $1000.00 we are in the middle of a substantial gold rush. This is an abandoned headframe, but now there are drills in the stretch behind the elephant, and mining shall probably resume in this location.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


My sister told me that if I needed photos for my blog, her orchid would be glad to oblige. Orchids in the middle of winter with all that snow outside the window are a wonder and a treasure. I think that when I am back in a home of my own I shall have to get an orchid. Now they sell them here in the grocery stores. So they are all the more accessible.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

back again

On our newly proclaimed "Family Day" my sister and I hung out together, walking, watching videos, playing cards and then going out for sushi. In the condo elevator we asked people if they were celebrating the day and each responded that they were either going or coming back from family dinners. Then when we went to pick up the sushi the main street with the nice restaurants was filled with cars, so a lot of folks went out to eat together. A holiday in February is a wonderful thing indeed. However, I am moving to a province which has yet to see the light and provide this much needed holiday. I shall have to agitate.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

heading out again

The provincial government in its infinite wisdom and to garner votes make an election promise that we would get a holiday on February - Family Day. So they were relected, and tomorrow is the new holiday. So I am going to celebrate it with my sister and fly out to Toronto on all the points that I have accumulated. The flight is on time and I shall leave in a few minutes. I am a jet setter, although all the airplanes that fly out of here have propellors.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

church meeting

Here's our Outreach Committee out for a celebratory meeting /meal this evening. They had put on a very successful workshop in the afternoon and were taking the speaker out for supper. They will be working in the soup kitchen later this week. We live in the paradox of contrast.

Friday, February 15, 2008

going east

Earlier this week I flew to the east. I left in the middle of the night, around 4:30 and arrived after dark. Then I rented a car and drove for an hour and found the motel that this church had reserved for me. They had wanted me to come for an interview. This is my third and both of the other places made me an offer, so I almost didn't come to this one - too many choices! I found myself a late supper at a nearby pizza joint and then collapsed into bed.

In the morning I drew the curtains and looked out on this open water. Open water! We do not have open water in February here in the north. My heart sang! So I went and met with people all day, but I took a break at lunch time to find myself a bowl of chowder. It was good, very good, but it was not up to Cynthia's standard back home in Nova Scotia, not in quantity, quality or in price! But it was chowder and it was good, and I was back in the Maritimes. At the end of the afternoon, before sunset, I took the rental car and drove through the hills that I can see from my Nova Scotia home across the Bay. It is, however, over five hours to drive around!

I saw the Official Board in the evening. Then I drove back to a hotel near the airport in the vain attempt to avoid another storm. I swam in their spa pool and collapsed into their kingsize bed. The first thing in the morning I was at the airport, but then the storm closed in. I finally got back to Northern Ontario the next day in the middle of the night. (My luggage caught up with me the following evening.) An email was waiting for me offering me the position - and I'm going to take it. So here are the cats relaxing in the sun, happy that they can go to the Maritimes instead of returning to death row at the animal shelter.

Life takes some unexpected twists and turns. I was simply not expecting to go to the Maritimes. Every door there seemed to be shut.

Now I have no more travelling until the day after tomorrow when I am using my points to fly out and see my sisters. Another storm is forecast for that day.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

I have been away several days and returned home to the Porcupine Camp around two o'clock this morning. My luggage followed me this evening. I have been down east, and I have accepted a position in New Brunswick. I have so much to share, but I am very tired, and it will have to wait until tomorrow.
The Brownies made this creation and the church ladies delivered it this morning. So we sat for a cup of tea and shared what I shall share with you all once my brain reconnects again.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

funeral flowers

The flowers are left over from a funeral for a sad man who drank heavily and died before his time. Choices are made, or made for us, and how much will do we actually have? He had a strong faith and a beautiful singing voice and loved to sing hymns, in church, in the choir and in the hospital. Did that faith sustain him? He had neither health nor happiness, nor serenity, so what is it that faith brings into one's life?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

fish fry

This being Lent, and I am trying to stay off meat unless I'm invited out, so the fish fry was on the order sheet for this evening. The fish - white fish - are cooked outside and we all crowd into the high school gymnasium. It is a Lion's Club fundraiser. This is Bill who had been cooking under the tent in the dark, who took a break and came in to check up on his friends. He is covered with dry batter. I wonder what will happen when these clothes are put in the machine. Will they be washed in a thin batter?

Friday, February 8, 2008


It's been a terrible week. However, I expect that the best retort I have is that I shall use all these experiences for a book I plan to write. That will stop them in their tracks. These are not loving thoughts, and here I am at the beginning of Lent.

big tomato

This hangs from the side of a local restaurant. But how appetizing is it? A truck has nicked it and icicles hang from it. It is perhaps a fitting symbol for a city where there has been snow every month of the year.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Shrove Tuesday

The palms are being burnt to make the ashes for tomorrow: Ash Wednesday.

And here's some answers to some questions:

Timmins used to be the biggest city area wise in Canada, but I think that another amalgamation has supplanted us: perhaps it is in British Columbia.

We have known it to snow here every month of the year - so ground hog predictions are a little misleading.

Candlemas is an older name for the Feast of the Presentation which falls on February 2. It is not a Protestant thing, but it is a minor feast day in some churches.

It is so great to hear from you all. I sit at a little computer, just me and the cats, and there is a whole world out there.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Daily Planet

I went to pay for my paper subscription this afternoon. The previous Daily Press building would be familiar to many of you. It was the model for The Daily Planet, the paper where Clark Kent worked. It seems that Superman actually came from Timmins, along with one singer and one Nobel laureate. Whoever would have guessed?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ground Hog Day

Whilst the rest of the Christian world may have celebrated Candlemas today, in Canada and the in the United States we celebrate Gound Hog Day. This morning the rodents come out of their burrows and see if they can see their shadows. If they do there will be six more weeks of winter. Of course if they do not, then winter will be shorter (probably by a day or possibly two). This morning the varmit would have seen his shadow. I didn't see the actual animal but here are the shadows. So sometime in late March the snows may begin to melt.

Friday, February 1, 2008


I'm back in Timmins catching up on an overloaded desk, but I went over to the swimming pool to do some laps. And now I'm talking on the telephone as I get this out to you.