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My heart has been heavy for the past week with the horrific news reports of what happening to immigrants and their children in the U.S. Now that we at least know families will be kept together from this point forward, I feel a little less sad. But, of course, there has been no report on reuniting families that have been torn apart already. My heart breaks and my head is reeling with anger at this. I am so sorry for my American neighbours. But as there is little I can do here in Canada, I sit and wait for some semblance of humanity to surface in those responsible for perpetrating this crime. And I pray. 

 

And then I turn my focus to my work (there's always some issue to advocate for or against at a women's centre); and I turn my focus to my children (one is currently visiting Tokyo so I'm living vicariously through her); and I look for joy in the little world closest to me. 


I've had some stellar evening walks! It's finally warming here in western Newfoundland with perfect temperatures for walking. Last evening's loop took me past the seaside with the sound of the gulls and the waves gently lapping (and the occasional car speeding past) and then through the forested former rail line with birdsong and the scent of flowers .... and barbeques! Yum!

Beauties found in the ditch along the way. 
Last night, I took an especially long walk to clear the cobwebs and dust out of my head. (Literal dust: there are renovations happening at the office, and I eat dust in spite of the mask I wear.) I also just wanted to leave the big work to God while I enjoy His creation. Then I came home, put dinner in the oven and turned on some Buena Vista Social Club to listen to while I soaked in a lavender and epsom salts bath. 


Yeah! That did the trick!





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I had a wonderful time last weekend in St John's. Coming from NS where the finer things in life were readily available to me and moving to CB where it's meat 'n' potatoes and the necessities of life, the trip was an enormous tonic to my foodie soul. Sharing it with family was icing on my cake.

We 2 mums were with our two 20-something daughters, so we did our best to keep up, fueled by a big breakfast and a big supper with  coffee and water in between; but it was so exciting and fun that no felt hungry until we stopped each day. We did breakfast at Chez Cora and Rocket (where I also bought a delicious loaf of whole grain sourdough bread to bring home). We ate at Swiss Chalet one night and had an epic evening at Jack Astors another night: St John's is known for it's colorful row houses (left picture), and I was so tickled when I visited the ladies room to see that they'd paid homage to this with the toilet stall doors that I had to snap a picture to share (right picture).












We'd start each day with bridal salon appointments and end up in the malls mid-afternoon. I even managed to fit in a few hours at my beloved Value Village where I scored some treasures. I got to eat Laura Secord ice cream (pistacho/almond and double chocolate together!); and I got myself a Starbucks. I loved the ice cream. But surprisingly, I found that I could have done without the Starbucks and chocolate buttercream cake from Rocket; my months of eating healthy is helping me get over my sugar monkey. Hurray! (And don't worry, there are lots of other fattening, unhealthy foods that I'm still addicted to!) 

But OH! THE BRIDE! She tried on so many dresses; and each salon had a front runner. But #3 salon - Kathy Evans -  was the winner, with a gorgeous beachy, sparkly gown that came in under budget and, as my mum would say, "fit her like a smack in the mouth". Yes ...... I cried and so did her mum-in-law! I'll share some of the runner-up gowns here, but the winning dress is a secret!

 We celebrated that evening with pizza at our Air B'n'B and a bonding evening of hilarious board games as we raised a glass or 2 to a beautiful bride-to-be and a successful shopping trip. 


I loved this vacation weekend with it's over-indulgence, late nights and exhausting day-long trekking. But ohhhhhhhhh! How good to be back to regular meals and sleeping in my own bed. 

This weekend promises to be a sunny one here on the west coast of NL. And the weather man says there will be a turn for the better weather-wise next week with spring being here and summer on it's way! 

Fingers crossed!





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Although I haven't posted for a long time, I'm alive and finally well again. I had a terrible head cold and a minor family emergency that kept me away from the keyboard, but I'm back with a spring in my step! But that's also because the sun is shining.

The weather has been quite cold, and we've had a lot of rain. Central NL had 30 cm of snow last Wednesday; and we're not out of the woods weather-wise yet! That's what happens when you're this far north and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It had been 2 weeks since I'd last walked in the sunshine, and my body spoke loud and clear:  my mood changed; my sleep patterns went off-course again; and I had more aches. 




Yesterday both health and weather were aligned; so I took a walk around Glenmill Inn Pond Trail with my youngest and her 2 dogs. Jack and Olive. 

Jack is 5 years old; he loves to walk and will happily move to the side and trot ahead of you. Olive is not quite a year old, so she was zig zagging in front of our legs (as she feels the need to physically touch her brother Jack from time to time), stopping to look up at us with love and gratitude, and bounding at the rustle of every bush. She also needs to explore every nook and cranny and is positively beside herself when she meets a new friend. The 3 km return trip had the puppies panting, tired and very happy at the end. Great! Now we can go sit outside with delicious foamy lattes while the puppies happily cuddle at our feet, right?

We brought our drinks to the table and took the dogs out of the car; but settle, they did not! Jack was determined to go inside the cafe. (He's a glutton for attention!) And Olive was overwhelmed with all the traffic noise, chattering people walking by and skateboarders. She bolted out of Libby's arms AND her harness and lead into the street! Thank goodness there was nothing coming and we were able to get her back to safety. Poor little mite was afraid.

When I took the dirty cups back inside, I indulged Jack and took him with me where he was met with lots of petting and chucks on the head. He was a happy dachshund! And I was an equally happy woman! 

(PS - Heavy rain and possibility of snow has been forcast for the next couple of days. Egad! You'll find me under the heat lamp thinking sunny thoughts.)










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My back went out a couple of weeks ago (didn't ask permission!); and after 2 weeks of pain and turtle-paced healing, I finally decided to book a massage. I tried a new clinic this time; and when I got there, filled in the half dozen forms and met with the proprietor, he asked if I'd like to try accupuncture. He follows the eastern philosophy of our ailments being linked to various organs or body functions. And I'm very sympathic to other medical philosophies as I'll do almost anything to avoid having to take a pill.


"Sure", I replied. "Let's try it". 




I lay on my tummy on the massage table as he put 6 needles in my left hip/buttock area and 4 in my left ear (directly connected to my kidneys?). I didn't feel most of the needles, and the ones I did feel were just like a momentary pin prick. I was extremely comfortable lying there for 15 minutes listening to soothing music.  After he took them out and I slowly got  up and about again, I was amazed that the pain was gone! It was wonderful!

He explained that throughout the day and for the next few days, it would feel different -- with some pain and/or discomfort returning or showing up in other areas. Accupuncture is a process that heals over a period of visits. 

Sure enough. That evening, there was mild discomfort. And because I work at a computer all day (the worse kind of work to do if you have back problems), some mild pain and discomfort returned. But not to the excruciating degree that it had been at. 

I had a second session this morning, and
I feel so much better then before I went in. 



Doctor Griffin:

You've made me a believer.









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I knew that spring has sprung for sure here when I began hearing birdsong a couple of weeks ago. But those surprise snow storms made me scratch my head, especially last Friday nights fall. Although the roads may have been clear, it added to the huge mounds along every street and parking area. 

I'm happy to report that those mounds are almost entirely melted! We've had warming temperatures this week and a day of rain. Hurrah! I can actually walk up to the scrubs and trees and see the buds. It's ever so exciting.

I've one of those backs that goes out every now and then (without even asking permission). It happened last week; I've been nursing it with extra rest, but because I sit at a computer all day long, it takes longer to heal. I've not been walking, but thankfully I think I can resume this weekend. I become giddy with the thought of walks along the Bay in the sunshine!

But I also become giddy at the thought of spring cleaning, washing my windows and changing out the sofa pillows and throw with more spring-like colors and patterns. I look around my little abode and think "What can I do to bring in the light? Where can I move this piece of furniture? What color can I incorporate in my decor?" It's all part of my celebration of spring.





But it's been such a long, harsh winter, I feel quite justified in my giddiness!



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Although spring is very slow coming to western Newfoundland, the snow is melting. Friday night, my sister and I had one of our sleepovers -- a wonderful bonding experience that involves reminiscing, a few brewskies, lots of laughing and, if I'm lucky, a little girl-dancing. 

Imagine our surprise when several hours after our evening began we noticed this scene outside! Yes, that's a brand new blanket of white on trees and ground! It was very pretty but thankfully was gone again by mid morning Saturday. That's when Linda and I set off for an adventure day!


We drove to nearby Deer Lake and visited their wonderful Sally Ann. I found a really cute pair of black polka dotted pants ($4) and a  green depression glass plate ($2). (Not sure of the pattern though. Help!) We window shopped at a couple of other small shops; and then she took me out for supper before heading home again. 

Sunday was a bit of a cold day; so after making chicken veg soup and moose meatballs for this week's dinner, I spent the late afternoon reacquainting myself with "Westworld" because that evening was the season premier. It's an intriguing program!

And I had another day off yesterday because it was St. George's Day? (I don't argue with my ED when she says we have obscure days off.) The sun was shining and it was all of 11 deg C (51 F); so I headed uptown to another one of my favorite shops, the Bulk Food Store

Living alone means I use smaller amounts of everything. Instead of using the bags above the bins, I love using the wee spice bags and filling them with spoonfuls of chopped pecans, dried cranberries and the like. I hadn't been there for a while, so I had lots of fun walking up and down aisles and looking at new stuff. Look at these adorable colored bow-tie pasta! And yes, I eat a LOT of rolled oats. 

I was home by 3 pm; and at that time of day, the sun is around the side of my house and streams into my kitchen and living areas. I get rainbows on my floor and lovely shadows on my walls. After cooking, I lit the tea light under my patchouli scented oil and it was so tranquil and serene. 

Ahhhhhh! T'was a good weekend. Hope yours was as well.





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Today, I'm taking a page out of Marie's blog posts and copying her format for "The Simple Woman's Daybook".

Outside my window: It's a light day; the sun is up there somewhere behind the clouds, but at least it's not snowing again. Still, there's no snow on the roads or sidewalks, so I've been able to walk most days.

I am thinking: I may look for a local TOPS group to join. Blame it on my new laid-back lifestyle here in NL, on the lengthy winter and extremely cold temperatures, my aging body or my lethargy, but I've gained weight this winter and my wardrobe does not appreciate it nor will my pocket book be able to take it! In my 80% solitary life, I'm not able to police myself effectively, but I know that I always do better it if I have supportive people around me. WW is too expensive and restrictive (I don't do low-fat or low-cal or chemically calorie reduced stuff at all. Toxic!). And I lost weight was part of TOPS 8 yr ago with a friend; so it's worth another try, I think. [And I may meet more friends!!!]


In the kitchen: My favorite weekend meal was a pan of oven roasted veg (onions, sweet potatoes, carrots and peppers) topped with a broccoli/cheese stuffed chicken breast. It was so juicy and delicious. I'm also dreaming about the perri-peri spatchcocked chicken I plan on making tomorrow. (I think about food a lot; thought often becomes action -- hence my weight gain!)


Something to Watch: I found a great German series on Netflix last weekend called "Dark". It's dubbed to English; so even though that means it's easier to follow and you don't have to read subtitles, the inflections and such in the dialogue are a little bizarre. However, the story line, acting and cinematography is fantastic. It's a mystery that has a touch of the supernatural (but not scary); sort of like 'Stranger Things' or the older 'Twin Peaks'. Very addictive!


Corners of my kingdom: This Friday past, I got together for dinner with old high school buddies, some of whom I hadn't seen in 46 years. How wonderful it is to sit after that long and feel as if there have been no breaks in your relationship, to feel that relaxed calm that comes from spending time with a trusted friend. It was warm and fuzzy and so wonderful!


Then on Saturday, I took part in the annual Rehtaeh Parsons walk here at work to bring focus to cyber bullying and suicide. Progress is often long and arduous when it comes to women's causes. :(  But as the mother of 4 females and as someone who made it through the gropings and cat calls of the 70's, 80's and 90's, I thank God that I can be part of the new voices calling for respect and equality.



Good to Know: 






Speak kindly to yourself. 

Stay healthy! 






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We were hit with a huge winter storm this weekend. Two feet of snow fell overnight Sunday and all day Monday. We had a dilly of a blizzard, just like the ones when I was a kid: snowing constantly, blowing, blizzard conditions, the sound of the wind whistling through any crack or cranny it could find. It was wonderful to be indoors and listen/watch what Mother Nature was doing outside. She's not a lady to be messed with.

In Newfoundland, we expect to have a visit from Shelia's Brush*.  But gol darn it, Shelia! That warn't no brush: it were a bloody big broom!

* Sheila's Brush is an idiom used in Newfoundland and it refers to the last big storm of the winter season, a storm that occurs around St. Patrick's Day. The term comes from an Irish legend which says that Sheila was the saint's wife (or sister or mother) and that the snow is a result of her sweeping away the old season. 

I was quite content to sit indoors with my blessed electricity and cook, clean and chillax. 

I made soup, of course -- a red lentil with delicious bits of bacon, carrots and a touch of lemon juice at the end. Yum! Then I baked a delicious batch of Partridgeberry Streusel Muffins. 



(Partridgeberries are like a tart cranberry and Newfoundlanders love them. The jam is divine on a slice of freshly baked bread and topped with a wee spread of thick cream liked canned Fussels or Nestles. OMG!) 



There was lots of housecleaning, some rearranging of furniture and plenty of Netflix. I discovered a really good sci-fi series last weekend called Sense 8. Besides the sci-fi portion of the storyline, it takes place in several locations around the world with  characters from different ethnicities, beliefs, social/financial backgrounds and sexual preferences with a large emphasis on LGBTQ+ issues. This makes for a deeply compelling and eye-opening show. I like to be challenged, especially in my thinking, so I'm really enjoying it. Sadly, now that I'm almost at the end of Season 2 and am completely hooked, I find out that there will be no Season 3!



I can take the extra snow, Shelia! 
But no Season 3!!! 
Whatever shall I do!





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The Easter Bunny found me and blessed me with things from Nova Scotia found in Newfoundland. 

One of my favorite beers is St Ambroise apricot wheat ale from  what is known as "Quebec's foremost micro-brewery". Unfortunately, like so many things, I have been unable to buy it in Newfoundland for the past 2 years (despite my many attempts to talk the liquor commission into it). Imagine my delight when I found a few cans of it last week; a speciality product brought in to test the waters, so to speak. 

The other thing I'd been wanting to try was Peace by Chocolate, a small chocolate company started the year I left by an immigrant Syrian family that had moved to rural NS. They've become quite a success! This year, Sobey's Stores started carrying the chocolate; and again, I was fortunate to find a box on our shelves here. It wasn't cheap: roughly about $14 plus tax for 14 pieces. 
But oh my! They were worth the price! What lovely chocolates they were: all solid, a mixture of white, milk and dark, and all different flavors and/or different nuts. Yummy!


The little green bird on top of my Easter treasure basket was a thrift store find in the fall; it lights up!

I had a quiet long weekend with several brisk "spring" walks, some baking and lots of Netflix. But the best part of the weekend was getting together with family at my Dad's house. We're aren't a close family, and it's often really difficult to coordinate everyone's schedules. But we did it yesterday; and my Dad was really pleased. 

Thank you Peanut Blossom
for use of your picture.
We feasted on ham, potatoes a gratin, mac 'n' cheese, caesar salad, and fresh potato rolls. I made a sangria from my Dad's homemade white wine, and we had a delicious pineapple carrot cake with cream cheese icing for dessert. It was a really lovely time. 

Now it's back to work and back to working out spring.  The night time temperatures this weekend were quite cold, and we woke to snow this morning. But the sun is shining brightly out there now! Lots of people are commenting on an anticipated heavy snow fall this Wednesday.

To those Negative Nancys I say:
"Consult your bathroom bugs! 
Winter is beaten, people! 
It just hasn't shut-up about it!"







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