Sunday, November 30, 2008

more soccer

This photo came off a fan page - the Canadian Women's Under 20 team. Now in answer to Alec's comment, to wit: ... "and then went one to be beaten by Germany (2-1). What does Ms. Johnston have to say about that?"

We almost won: not good enough, I know. Miss Johnson says that she doesn't watch matches that don't start until after midnight. But her particular friend, my grandaughter, will be ready to play on the team in 10 years time, and she'll bring home the Canadian bacon.

The Uncommon Reader

I just finished reading this delightful novella. I had read the reveiews last year. So I was excited when I found it among the "new aquisitions" last week. It was a delightful Sunday afternoon, before I went out for supper and church business. That wasn't onerous, either.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


It poured in the night, and the morning started out quite grey. I was working hard on the almost final draft of a complex organizational model of church governance. When it was completed, I stretched and realized that the sun was shining. Now this is November, so it doesn't usually shine for very long. I had to get out! I love exploring the back roads. This little cemetery is somewhere between Norton and Bloomfield. When I took the picture the sun was no longer shining. But it wasn't raining, and the snow here from the weekend storm has vanished.

These pioneer cemeteries are forgotten. Often the local historical societies volunteer to work on the upkeep. Eventually all the places where we are buried will be forgotten. So much for paying for perpetual care!

Friday, November 28, 2008

acceptable tree

For all my complaining about Christmas stuff in Advent, I approve of this enterprise. The Sunday School has set up a tree to collect food for the Chrismas hampers for the economically disadvantaged (poor). People take a ball (tag) home with them and purchase the item on the tag. This system really works quite well. The tree looks best before any tags have been taken. We hope the tree will soon be bare.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

pale balloon

I was ironing (an unusual occurrence) near the end of the day. I looked up and out the window just as this balloon floated by in the pale autumn sky.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Christmas news

Family alert: I have the Sunday off after Christmas. This means that I can stay for longer than just two days. It also means that the cats will have to come with me. I bet you’re overjoyed. But how can’t you not appreciate, nay cherish, a soccer-loving cat. We have decided to let bygones be bygones, and the cats have forgiven Lola, the dog. We have even just wrapped a gift for Lola, although the cats were more than a hindrance than a help.
This is the new runner for the coffee table which was my grandmother’s old cedar chest. It’s “Winterberry” and will brighten this little New Brunswick apartment in dark days ahead.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

one month

Two weeks ago the stores were decorated for Christmas: almost two months of Christmas Kitsch. I had to listen to "Silent Night" when I was buying some toothpaste. Tomorrow they are decorating the church. I want to scream "What about Advent?" I love the deep anticipation before Christmas begins on the 24th. I might as well save my breath. Bah! Humbug! This is the paper cup from the coffee shop.

Monday, November 24, 2008

soccer fan

Last evening Miss Johnston watched FIFA Women's Under 20 Soccer in Santiago, Chile. She likes the action. Canada won. Congo lost. These details were lost on Miss Johnston.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


This was the storm yesterday morning when my grandchild went out to try her new snow suit before breakfast. The storm meant that I spent extra time with my family and shared a super Vietnamese supper last evening. I left Halifax in sunshine this morning. I drove north. Just after Truro the snow came on like a curtain and it was second gear all the way through the Pass, except for the time spent shovelling out of a snow bank. When I reached Oxford the sun was shining again. This was taken at the Oxford petrol (gas) station.

My confidence about driving to and from my home in Hampton, Nova Scotia, this winter has been severely eroded.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

snowed in

I'm stuck in Halifax. They closed the road to New Brunswick. Snow has closed the pass and it seems that they have reduced plow operations until sometime in December. Go figure. I took pictures of the snow this morning, but I don't have the cable to download them. I should have reached nearly home by now - but I'll spend another night and check the road conditions in the morning.

This photo was taken on Tuesday: four days ago before winter arrived.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I am in Halifax after another snowy adventure coming through the Cobequid Pass, and now there is a storm coming in. So here is the rose I picked earlier this week when I was home in Hampton, Nova Scotia. It came from my most favourite place. Unfortunately, I have only half ownership and am forced to sell this magical piece of land. So I picked the rose and set my heart back on the land, and now I shall wait and see.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

kitchen counter

This is my kitchen counter, which came out of a garage. It was once sort of white, but it was grubby and gouged. When I came home last summer I filled in the worse holes with some plastic wood and a dear friend painted it for me with a can of "Oops" paint. We put on new handles and knobs, but still the arborite on the top was half ripped off, the tap dripped and there was no seal around the sink, so water seeped underneath. This is the before picture. Now the story:

When I drove down to Nova Scotia last Sunday, much of the way was through a violent storm. It was very dark during the sfternoon. I told the Universe that that evening I wanted to see the moon and the stars. It was still raining when I reached home. It was still raining when I went to bed. I had a hard time sleeping. I was so excited about being home and being able to put a bit more work into the house. I dozed off, but something was banging in the high winds. So I got up in the early hours to shut a window. When I looked out the clouds were scudding by a beautiful moon, and a star shone beside it. I went back to bed laughing that the Universe had delivered, but I had to stay up half the night to receive it. (By morning it was cloudy again.)

So now that I was awake, I thought that if I could call up a moon, I could lie there and visualize my finished parlour. When I got to the part about needing to box in some pipes and frame in the window and put up base boards, I thought that this was, after all, the parlour, the room I use the least, and my mental health would be better served by putting in a kitchen counter with a sink. My last thought that I remember before falling to sleep was that the best finishing carpenter in the area was Ken, but I hadn't seen him for years. Anyway, I do have a budget.

In the morning I went into town right after breakfast to buy the can of floor paint for the parlour. Only one person came in to the shop while the paint was being mixed. I did a double take. He sort of looked like the Ken I remembered, but without a beard. I went and asked him. It was Ken. I told him about my kitchen counter, and he said that he would be there to see what I needed before noon. It just happened that he had taken the morning off to do some messages.

The next day when the friend, who had originally painted the old counter for me, and I went and selected a counter top, sink and taps. This foray, too, had a magical quality about it.

Oh, and that morning, my next door neighbour came in, looked at the finishing work I needed done in the parlour, and said that he would be back to do it, as well as the hallway,in between all his other jobs.

If all this materialized, I'm sure the money will, too.

It turned into a wonderful productive two days at home and then I made it back to New Brunswick just before a winter storm closed the pass.

Joy and bliss.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

parlour floor

I'm back in New Brunswick and here is the parlour update. I painted the floor - and you won't get another parlour picture until the room has been finsihed and the baseboards are painted and installed. But it's a big house and there are other rooms. Elsewhere I am still plastering and sanding. A few weeks ago the electricity was put in and now there is a little warmth in the house and light to see by. It wasn't that romantic taking showers by flashlight.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

last market day

I was wrong last week. There was one more market day. Sadly it was yesterday. The number of vendors were dwindling over the past few weeks. The hardy bunch that was left were in their warm coats, but the vendors with the Christmas wreathes had come to join them. My favourite cheese woman is gone,but I know where the farm is, so I just might make the trip to fetch my cheese. I do wish they had an indoor location and would continue through the year. I love the Halifax market - every Saturday, year round. I love the bustle of a market: France, Ghana, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico, Costa Rica - I've loved them all.

I am driving back to Nova Scotia tomorrow to spend a couple of days painting and plastering - so I'll be technologically deprived, unless, I understand, if I drive into Bridgetown and sit in the library parking lot.

Friday, November 14, 2008

her majesty

I have lived in four provinces. Growing up in Quebec I can't remeber seeing the Queen in a public place. I never noticed her in Nova Scotia or Ontario. She might have been there, I just didn't notice. But here in New Brunswick she seems to hang in a lot of churches. The one I am in in Sussex has three portraits: in the minister's office, in the hall and in the meeting hall. This is monarchist country. It would have pleased my mother.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


When I'm in Sussex I live by the train track. This is the view from my front door. Usually the train goes by in mid afternoon and just after 11:00 at night. These are freight trains with three, sometimes four engines. If I am at home in the afternoon I often walk out on the porch to watch it rumble by. It takes several minutes. The old house shakes. I suppose that makes me a train watcher, but I think that I'm supposed to record numbers - of what? The engines? Anyway, I enjoy the trains.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Saint Menas

I am sharing with you a discussion that my sister and I had yesterday. This is Saint Menas, a Egyptian officer at the end of the 3rd century. He left the army and went into the desert to practise asceticism. Perhaps things got a little dull because he went into town and crashed a pagan festival declaring himself to be a Christian. (I figure that he was either foolhardy or lacked commonsense, but perhaps he wanted to be killed.) He was subsequently martyred. He was quite a popular saint in Alexandria until the Arab Moslems took over and then few people ever heard of him - until the Second Battle of El Alamein in 1942 when Montgomery and the Allies defeated the Germans and Italians. Saint Menas turned up and fought the Germans wearing his Roman armor armed with his sword. Apparently he had a bunch of camels with him. It unnerved the Germans and the Allies won. My question is did he join the fray of his own volition and did someone in the Allies call him up - unlikely perhaps, but nevertheless what happened? A number of Germans swore they saw a Roman soldier fighting and the camels in the thick of the battle.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

11th hour, 90 years later

Sussex turned out at the cenotaph this morning. There were hundreds of people. This is a small town with a very strong military tradition and its own regiment.

Camp Sussex was a bustling place during the past wars. It is still the headquarters of the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princes Louise’s). This regiment traces its origin back to the American Revolution and the Virginia Regiment of Horse. It is the oldest regiment of cavalry in Canada.

It seems to be a bit short of horses at the moment. At least, I haven't seen any.

Monday, November 10, 2008

November dawn

The leaves are all gone and the mornings are dark. It's hibernation time. Everything seems to slow down except for the things that have to be done. And I'm supposed to begin thinking about Christmas presents. I am not good at this - not at all.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


This was Remembrance Sunday. It got me thinking about how I would not be here if it had not been for a war, and then I began to go back and I wouldn't be here if it hadn't been for a series of wars: wars that shift the population. I know that I had an ancestor that died in Palestine during the First Crusade. Fortunately for me he had offspring before he left. But then there was the Battle of Agincourt - one was there too. Fortunately again for me a sailor who was shipwrecked in the Battle of Trafalgar walked home to Scotland to produce a family. And then my grandparents met because of the Great War and my parents met during the Second - So all in all I am a product of war - and so are the majority of us. Still it is past time we stopped all this conflict. But then as I write this I am listening to the news report of Armenian Orthodox monks and Greek Orthodox monks fighting in Jerusalem at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. There were injuries, and arrests have been made.

This was taken after church today. The police were not called.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

lottery ticket

A friend telephoned today to let me know my horoscope and that as it seemed very good on the money front that I should buy a lottery ticket. I never buy lottery tickets. But for the sake of friendship I stopped by the service station and inquired about tickets and how they worked. So I put up a dollar, that's just about how much this friendship is worth, and bought a "Joker's Wild" scratch card. I figured that if it really was my day that I would win no matter what kind of ticket I bought. It wasn't my day.

Friday, November 7, 2008

market mittens

Today is the last market of the year - and you do know that winter is almost here when the knitters hang up their mittens for sale. The all-over two colour pattern is double knit with two layers of knitting. These are the preferred pairs for our winters - warmer. And mittens are always warmer than gloves. I simply hate having to put on extra clothes every time I go out the door.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

parlour walls

What I did when I went home last weekend: I painted the parlour walls with "Lion's Mane", although it was pointed out by a dear friend that it was the same colour as the line down the centre of the road. It's rich. It's opulent. Just wait until I get the floor painted. That will be another picture.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Reversing Falls

I had a breakfast meeting this morning in Saint John at the Reversing Falls Resaurant. I don't know this city so I googled my way there - but there seems to be a Bridge Street and Bridge Road. I circled through parts of Saint John that are not meant for tourist consumption - but at last I did end up at the meeting and then I went out to see the Falls. The high tide comes up the river at the point where the water is flowing through a gorge and over rapids - so when the tide comes in and the river water flows out there is a convergence and the water flows up river. I am alays drawn to watching energy in water.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November Rudibeckia

I took this on November the First - still no frost at mt garden on the Bay. A friend and I were starting on a walk. She insisted that I take this picture. Here it is in November and the garden is filled with flowers and, of course, this giant chard. Where I live in Nova Scotia there are four very distinct seasons. The fall and spring linger for months. I love it!

Monday, November 3, 2008

fish shack

Here's one of the fish shacks down by the wharf. Sometimes you hear country music coming out of an empty shack - the radio keeps the rats out of the bait. Now wouldn't it be something if the computers could digitally reproduce smell? Then I could send you the full effect!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cape Islanders

These are Cape Islanders tied up at our wharf in Hampton at high tide. At low tide they would be resting on the ocean floor. I took the picture yesterday when we went for a walk. It's lobster season, but it was too rough today to go out. The fisherman next door had gone down to the wharf at 4:30, but they decided to call it off. And it was windy on the road when I drove back today to Sussex - 500 kilometers - but if you look at the horizon you can see Saint Martin's - and I'm really just inland from there. I want wings, and a calm sea.