Monday, June 19, 2017


Ministers Island crossing in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.
Jack loves the beach. This is a great place to explore,
lots of shells, beach treasures and sand-dollars.


A lovely brook runs in back of the Axe Factory here in town. 
Also a great place to fish. I saw fiddleheads growing alongside the brook. 
Did not pick them, as they are making their first appearance here, so
should double next year if plants stay healthy.  :)


Warm woolly sweaters, winter jackets n toques - 
 the severe chill takes your breath away  as we played
on the shores of the Bay of Fundy.


 The weather in March changed several times - snow, more  snow, rain, freezing rain, more snow again and then - WARMTH AND MELTING.

Catching Up....February

 Middle of February - 
Complications with rotator cuff, making some headway
due for Cortisone shot this coming Wednesday. Yay !
Jack loves the snow :)

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Beam of LIght....

I am a morning person.....always have been. My morning starts early, before the sun comes up. I love to watch the sun rise. First chore is to let Jack out and then make Jack's breakfast. I make myself a cuppa coffee, open the window blinds, sit in my chair and watch the sun rise. The thing I like about sunrises, is that you never know what colour the sky will be, or how the colour will spread. I caught a nice surprise the other morning with this beam of light. It only lasted for a few seconds and I was able to capture it. This is the type of morning that just adds a smile on my face and makes my heart warm.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

RMR: Seven Day Forecast

"RMR" (Rick Mercer Report) 
Rick Mercer, born in a small town In Newfoundland, is a Canadian comedian, television personality, political satirist and author. He is best known for his work on CBC Television comedy shows....."This Hour Has 22 Minutes".....and "The Rick Mercer Report". He is the author of three books, based on content from the television shows.
Mercer has received more than 25 Gemini Awards for his work on television. I can tell you he has entertained our household for many a year. I really enjoy his "Political Rants".....he knows how to call a spade a spade and at the same time make you laugh out loud, making his point very well known.
Living in a very cold climate, this Seven Day Weather Forecast episode, is just how we look, react and laugh at the weather. I am sure there will be those of you that relate to this easily.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Dec 31, 1929

DECEMBER 31, 1929
Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians play the New Year's Eve celebrations at New York's Roosevelt Grill, beginning an annual tradition that would last thirty-three years.
The broadcast of the Royal Canadians' yearly performance at the Roosevelt Grill (and later in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria) became a traditional part of New Year's Eve festivities throughout North America.
At the time of Lombardo's death in 1977, he and his Royal Canadians had released over one hundred records, with recordings of "Winter Wonderland," "Easter Parade," and "Humoresque" selling over one million copies. However; no song was more enduring than "Auld Lang Syne." Lombardo's version is the one that still plays in Times Square after the ball drops on New Year's Eve.
JANUARY 1, 1947
The first official Canadian Citizenship Ceremony in Ottawa, Ontario, in January, 1947. The Canadian Citizenship Act comes into effect under Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King's Government. 
It was the first Nationality Statue in Canada to define its people as Canadian rather than as British subjects. Among other things, the Act guaranteed all Canadian citizens right of entry into Canada, regardless of their country of origin, and gave married women full authority over their nationality status, independent of their husbands. Subsequent legislation would standardize and modernize the processes and rules for gaining citizenship.
With the passing of the Act..... Children born abroad to Canadian fathers or unwed Mothers were given Canadian citizenship. Immigrants of "good moral character" who knew some French or English could apply for citizenship after five years in Canada. Immigrants who had served in the Canadian Armed Forces in the First or Second World War could apply for citizenship after one year in Canada. 
The first citizenship ceremony took place on January 3rd, and Prime Minister Mackenzie King was among the first twenty-six people to receive their certificates. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Furry Greetings.....

Thinking of all my furry pals, family and friends. 
Have a pawsatively.....  Merry Christmas. 
May each and every day ahead "SPARKLE" -
with happiness and new surprises.
Puppy Jack & Family

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Legend of the Christmas Spider

A long time ago in Germany, there was a poor widow who lived in a small house with her sons.
One day a pine cone fell in the yard and a tree began to take root. The tree grew into the loveliest tree they had ever seen. The children were excited to have a tree for Christmas, but were saddened when they realized they could not afford to decorate it. They could however, brighten up the house with the tree. They removed all the pine cones and replanted them all around the house, as far as they could.
The Mother had cleaned her small house the best she could finding cobwebs in corners although she had missed a few. The tree was placed lovingly in the corner of the room and the olde Mother admired it, with the little bit of paper ornaments the children had made. She hung their socks on the fire place and retired to bed.
In the excitement of having their webs almost gone, the spiders had fled up to the attic to escape the broom. On quiet Christmas Eve, the spiders slowly came down for a peek. "Oh, what a beautiful tree", the exclaimed!
As the family slept, a group of spiders spread the tale to their friends and upon hearing about the plight of the widow and her sons, decided to decorate the tree themselves. 
They spun their fine webs and made the tree even more beautiful.  In their excitement to finish,  they scurried up and out along each branch. They were filled with happiness as they climbed amongst the beautiful tree. But alas, by the time they were done, the tree was shrouded in their somewhat dusty grey web. They had done their best.
When Santa arrived bearing gifts for the children and saw the tree covered with spider webs, he smiled because he saw how happy the spiders were, but knew how heartbroken the Mother would be if she saw all their work covered in dusty, Santa turned the webs to strands of silver and gold, added some ornament magic and politely asked the fire fly's to flutter brightly- and the tree was even more beautiful than before. The children heard bells, rushed down the stairs - and before their eyes was  - a shining testament to the Magic of Christmas.
The family, took great care of the small tree forest they had so lovingly planted, and every bit around them eventually grew into great beauty as far as the eye could see. They shared the beauty of Christmas with their neighbours, delivering a tree on their doorsteps every year. The family discovered that Santa had placed bits of real gold amongst the branches and everybody lived happily ever after.
That's the story of Tinsel on trees and why every Christmas tree should have a Christmas Spider in its branches.


Candy Canes......

The Christmas Candy Cane originated in Germany about 250 years ago. They started as straight white sugar sticks.
A story says that a choirmaster, in 1670, was worried about the children sitting quietly all through the long Christmas nativity service. So he gave them something to eat to keep them quiet! As he wanted to remind them of Christmas, he made them into a 'J' shape like a shepherds crook, to remind them of the shepherds that visited the baby Jesus at the first Christmas. However, the earliest records of 'candy canes' comes from over 200 years later, so the story, although rather nice, probably isn't true!
Sometime around 1900 the red stripes were added and they were flavored with peppermint or wintergreen.
Sometimes other Christian meanings are giving to the parts of the canes. The 'J' can also mean Jesus. The white of the cane can represent the purity of Jesus Christ and the red stripes are for the blood he shed when he died on the cross. The peppermint flavor can represent the hyssop plant that was used for purifying in the Bible.
Around 1920, Bob McCormack, from Georgia, U.S.A., started making canes for his friends and family. They became more and more popular and he started his own business called Bob's Candies. Bob McCormack's brother-in-law, Gregory Harding Keller, who was a Catholic priest, invented the Keller Machine that made turning straight candy sticks into curved candy canes automatic! In 2005, Bob's Candies was bought by Farley and Sathers but they still make candy canes.
My Mum always hung Candy Canes on the tree, there was one for each child and extras for children that came to visit throughout Christmas. She would wrap a small bit of "wax paper" around the elbow, so the sap from the tree did not stick to the Candy Cane. We also had a larger one in our little Christmas socks Everyone loves a good tasting peppermint stick or Candy cane....right, Eh. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

More about Tinsel.....

Tinsel was first used in Nuremberg, Germany in 1610. The word tinsel comes from an Old French word, "estincele", which means sparkle.
Tinsel wasn't the shiny plastic stuff we get these days. Tinsel was originally made from extruded strands of silver.  At first the silver was hammered, so that it was thin and then cut into thin strips. Because silver tarnishes quickly, other shiny metals were substituted. Before the 16th century, tinsel was used for adorning sculptures rather than Christmas trees. It was added to Christmas trees to enhance the flickering of the candles on the trees.
By the early 20th century, manufacturing advances allowed cheap aluminum-based tinsel. France at that time was the world leader in its manufacture.
During the 1950's, tinsel and tinsel garlands were so popular that they frequently were used more than Christmas lights, as tinsel was much less of a fire hazard than lights were for the then new and popular aluminum Christmas trees, which were made from flammable aluminized paper. Of course, "not so real" Christmas trees have become very popular these days in all sizes and colours and of course much safer to use.
Tinsel is thought to have made its first public appearance in England in 1846. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were illustrated in the illustrated London News, standing with their children around a Christmas tree decorated with tinsel, candles and small bead ornaments. Because of Queen Victoria's popularity, the Royal Family's decorated tree became the height of fashion, sweeping through both the British and East Coast American Societies.
Most tinsel nowadays is made with fairly ordinary plastics. At Festive Productions, a family-owned firm in Wales, tinsel is made from polyvinyl chloride. Plastic tinsel gets its shiny finish from metallization, which is performed by heating and evaporating a metal such as aluminum under a vacuum and condensing it onto the plastic to leave a thin coating. Lets face it folks, the tinsel of today is so light, it floats in the slightest breeze. The inventor of tinsel to this day is still unknown.
So.....are you ready to tinsel up?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Got yur tree yet, Eh........

As a child, we  decorated our house and trees with tinsel every Christmas. Mostly it was Dad's job, as that is a job he loved.  Dad put up the tree, Mum secured it in the corner, and the tree had its first drink. We always went off the the wilderness, which was not far from our doorstep at that time, to cut down a tree that Dad had found on his fishing and hunting outings. He always marked the tree with a ribbon. It was a different time then. Anyone passing through the woods, finding that tree with the ribbon attached, knew someone else had claimed it, and would respect that and move on. 
The "Cutting down of the tree" was a special day indeed. We would take one of our sleds or toboggan with us and walk to the spot. Now, it didn't matter the weather, we went anyway and I can remember on many occasions walking knee deep through snow, or falling snow. There were other times when the "Tree Walk" was as lovely as was the crispness of the winter air. You would hear the crunch of every step, the birds seemed to call more sharply and each breath exhaled seemed to turn to tiny icicles right before you.
Dad always cut down the tree with his big saw. Nothing was wasted. Dad usually cut off the bottom branches prior to cutting down the tree, brought them home and used them  to cover Mum's little flower garden in the front of the house. I can picture him now, laying on the ground under the tree, listening to the sounds of saw against wood .....and then "SWOOSH" - with all its might, fell onto the forest floor. Tree dragged and tied and resting on top of the sled, or toboggan.
Mum brings out the thermos of hot chocolate and cookies. We sit around on dead logs or right on top of the snow and enjoy the delightful taste of early shortbread cookies. My Mum was such a wonderful baker. She not only cooked for her family, she also had quite the reputation of filling many others homes with her delightful talents in the kitchen. Having a special occasion, party or gathering of any sort. Just call Madeline - a caterer before catering became a career.
Once the tree was home, it had to stand in the back porch until everything had melted off and then it was time to bring it into the house. There was the odd time when a used bird nest was found built deep within the branches.
The ice or snow has melted and prior to the tree coming into the house, Dad hastily searches for the olde tree stand. Finally the tree is up and sturdily fast into the corner. WE have all helped to decorate, lights, popcorn, olde ornaments and new..... and finally, Dad is ready for his tinsel job. As I said, Dad loved to put tinsel on the tree. Some of us would even sit and watch. He would start at the bottom, placing EACH strand separately, until he reached the top. I have often wondered what great patience he had to place these strands of tinsel. I do not know how world widely tinsel is used today, however; I do know that tinsel resides at our house and many of our neighbours. Have fun decorating your tree - whatever shape, style, colour - tinsel or garland......or whatever you choose to call a "TREE" - ENJOY.