Thursday, March 23, 2023

Mending, Sneezing and Childhood Heroines

My muscle pain is finally on the mend. But Wednesday morning, I awoke with a head cold (compliments of my darling little grandson whom I'd visited last Thursday). Thank goodness for containers of frozen soup, oranges, and daughters who drop off emergency tissues! One of the soups that I most enjoyed is Moroccan chicken soup: it's thick, rich and filling and has just enough heat to clear your stuffy nose. 

While resting, I began watching Anne with an E on Netflix. I've watched and loved many renditions of the  "Anne of Green Gables" books by Lucy Maud Mongomery. But besides the beautiful artwork and stunning scenery, this TV series has brought Anne into the 21st century with many of her stories having a modern twist and dealing with modern issues. (As well, the theme music is the Tragically Hip's Ahead by a Century, and a bittersweet reminder  of Canada's long lost treasure, Gord Downie.)

I was Anne's age when my family vacationed on PEI, visited the Anne of Green Gables sight and bought the 1st book. I immediately saw myself in Anne: not that I was an orphan, unloved and growing up in harsh circumstances; but rather that in a home full of criticism, I felt ugly, and I longed for any kind of tangible demonstration of my parents love.  Like Anne, I also felt a deep connection to nature, a fondness for big words, and a dramatic flare which was often ridiculed. Anne quickly became my heroine! I knew that we were kindred spirits! It was the 60's, and growing up as the eldest girl in my noisy family of 5 kids, there were expectations when it came to chores, help with child care, and, as mentioned, a lot of criticism from my Mom. Even though I know it wasn't true, at that age, I felt unloved and invisible. Anne's optimism, joy in simple things, and determination to make the best of life gave me a different perspective and a focus. 
Realistically, there are no parents who can meet all the needs of their children; my parents did the best they could with what they knew, just as I did the best I could with what I knew. We all made mistakes.

But sometimes, children can find enough of what is lacking in their lives in other places or in other people that it can make a huge difference. It makes me so sad to hear of what's happening in some parts of the U.S. with the banning of certain children's book. Never doubt the difference a good book can have on a child's life. It's my belief that Anne of Green Gables saved mine. And rewatching this rendition of my most beloved book has once again brought me comfort, joy and gratitude for my ability to look past the negative. It's also reminded me of all the good things my Mom instilled in me, one of them being a love of reading. 

In spite of what I felt as a 13 year old, and in reflection of 68 years on this earth, my life was not a graveyard of buried hopes. I have been most fortunate to have walked down many white ways of delight, sailed on many lakes of shining waters, and am delighted to have found many other kindred spirits. And I am eternally grateful for the reminder that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes yet

(She also reminds me to ignore the snow that's recently fallen!)

What childhood books have made a difference in your life? I'd love to hear. 

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Happy Saint Paddy's Day

Tomorrow is St Paddy's Day, but the only green in my diet will be my tea and the greenhouse Chard I purchased this week, steamed with a splash of vinegar and lashings of melted butter! Life has been pretty slow for me here. I still haven't recovered from the side effects of that medication -- still waking each day with excruciating back and left leg pain as well as tummy ache. But one must soldier on. I still walk daily and stretch. So, fingers crossed!

NL Jam-jams!

Because of this discomfort, going out for IWD on March 8th proved very taxing: I was so glad to spend the next day relaxing at home with my new book. And I was also glad that I brought my dessert home with me to enjoy with a hot cuppa. A tradition in NL, "Jam-jams" are made with strawberry, raspberry or NL partridgeberry jam (lingonberry in Europe) sandwiched between 2 soft, light-molasses cookies. Absolutely delicious.

Last Sunday, I went to lunch with an elementary school friend, Rod, that I hadn't seen in roughly 50 years! Like so many of us in the 60's, I attended a small local elementary school, going from Kindergarten to Grade 8 with the same group of friends. There were about 8 of us that played together after school: lots of tree gardens, as we called them, in which to play cops and robbers: lots of hills and fields in which to play softball ... as long as someone had a ball and someone else found a fence picket. 

Rod's pet collie, Kerry, often joined us. I remember when we were about 9 or 10, Kerry died, and we decided to have a funeral. The boys were pall bearers, the girls mourners, and because I had my Gideons New Testament in my book bag, I was named officiant. We were all very sad about it. I read the 23rd Psalm, the girls were crying, the boys picked up the box containing Kerry and began to walk up the slight incline to the open grave. Suddenly, the bottom of the box gave way, and dear Kerry rolled down the hill! Oops! After some guilty laugher, we carried on in a more sober manner. My neighbourhood landscape was littered with pet graves and little popsicle stick crosses. 

Since last Saturday, I've been following an anti-inflamatory diet to give my body an extra bit of help to heal. I allow myself yogurt & green tea, but bread and coffee are strictly off the menu. Sob sob! And since I moved in December, I've been frequenting our little library and reading once again. "Still Life with Crows" was a great read: good writing and a host of lovely, quirky characters. I was delighted to find that this book is one in the middle of approximately 10 others written around eccentric FBI Special Agent Pendergast. So, now I have read them all.

This week's read is a light mystery. The setting is a beautiful old mansion/hotel in the mountains; an eclectic mix of 13 characters stuck in the middle of a ice storm with no internet connection and the power's been lost. The perfect setting for a murder or two. 

We enjoyed 4 days of sunshine weekend past which thankfully took some of our snow. But true to our usual weather, it will snow tonight and tomorrow. Spring will eventually come; and hopefully, it will bring better health for me.

Namaste y'all! I love seeing your spring posts as they help me hold on. Hahaha!

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Happy International Women's Day 2023


In spite of the ever on-going war against women and those who identify as female (or male for that matter), we must continue to fight for equality. 

Don't forget to use your voice and your votes!

Happy International Women's Day 2023!

Monday, March 6, 2023

A Break in the Polar Vortex

I'm slowing healing from my sister's recent death. She's the first of 5 siblings to die, so it really makes you realize your own mortality. But people have been so kind, and old friends and schoolmates have come out of the woodwork and bring fond memories to fill some of the emptiness. 

My doctor had recently prescribed some muscle relaxants for my chronic back pain. I hadn't used them, but with the tension and grief last week, I took half tablets for 3 nights in a row. I'm a super-sensitive person when it comes to medications; and sure enough! Come Friday morning, what I thought was a flu bug had manifested into my barely being able to move around my home as well as barely being able to stay awake. After a wee search, I realized it was side effects from the medication so stopped taking it immediately. This morning, 4 days later, I'm almost back to just my normal chronic pain. Hahaha! There is no other alternative but to laugh ..... plus laughing helps relax those painful muscles. 

My middle daughter and I ventured out the weekend before last to Corner Brook's first multi-cultural food fest. We are a small town, but India, Ukraine, Mexico were represented (in my tummy) and several other nationalities that I didn't have room to sample. My favorite treat was this delicious meringue cake with almonds and pistachios and this wonderfully light fluffy filling. 

Besides the good food and music, the Mummers visited! Mummering or Janneying (click on the photo caption for further explanation) is an old Newfoundland/Irish tradition that's usually practiced at Xmas. But here in NL, the Mummers also show up for tourists and, in this instance, for winter carnival. I've never done it, but my older brother used to mummer every Xmas up until a couple of years ago.

In spite of my pain last week, I did get out for my daily walk, even if it was only a bone-chilling 15 minutes in -23 C (-10 F) weather. On one of my early evening walks, the moon was peeping through the clouds in a magical sort-of way. And for two evenings in a row, I also got to see the two planets, Venus and Jupiter, in the night sky. 

This week, the weather has improved: today it's only -3 C (26 F). And every now and then, I can see the sun shining. So, if you'll excuse me, I'll go for my daily walk.

Namaste y'all! 

Stay warm ... and cultivate peace in your life.


  Sorry! I thought I could return to a normal schedule. But my sense of 'normal' has changed. After the past 5 years of various ailm...