Wednesday, 25 September 2013


When I started out wanting to be a Hobby Farmer I never realized how attached I would become to our animals. Whether its our chickens, rabbits, dogs or cats they are all the same to me. I almost feel as much affection for my chickens as I do the dogs and that's a lot of loving, let me tell you. So when our rooster ( Stoo ) started showing signs of weakness I really tried everything in my power to help him get better aside from taking him to the Vet. I didn't think showing up there with a Rooster in my lap was really showing signs of sanity, so I did what I could to make him comfortable. Needless to say, he got worse, and yesterday we had to make the difficult decision of putting him down. Of course I made my husband do it, as I'm much too squeamish for such tasks, so he took care of things for me.

I was really surprised how sad I was. After complaining about him all the time, and having to always look over my shoulder when out in the yard out of fear he would attack me at any time, having him gone has left a hole around the place. The hens are lost without him. They wander the yard, no longer as a group, but all separated without Stoo to lead the way. I fear for them now, as he was their protector ( and a great one at that ) and now that I'm working, I'm not always there to look out for them either.

I know we need a new Rooster as soon as possible, but honestly, there will never be another Stoo. And I'm also really afraid how I'm going to fare when its time to cull the hens next spring, when it is time for new ones. Their egg production is already starting to slow somewhat which means they are destined for Chicken Soup, Pot pie and Stew. Poor Henny and Penny, Tipsy and the rest. I hope they don't know their final destiny. But I guess we all share the same fate one way or another don't we? Well aside from the soup pot. I don't think I'm slated for that anytime soon.

Anyways, rest in peace dear Stoo. You kept your girls safe and terrorized me more than a few times. The place just won't be the same without you.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


Autumn is in full force here in Yarmouth County. The cool, crisp nights are upon us, and the warmth of the days hold a slight chill, reminding us that winter isn't too far around the bend. The smell of leaves and wood smoke is in the air, and the dewdrops on the spiderwebs sparkle in the morning sun creating patterns agains the windows.

Pumpkins are showing up on doorsteps around town, and the harvest is in full force. Pickling and canning are going on in kitchens across Yarmouth county, as we rush to get the last of our carrots, zuchininis and cucumbers in before first frost.

Having grown up in Southwestern British Columbia, Fall always meant the beginning of the rainy season for me. Don't get me wrong, BC is absolutely beautiful and stunning beyond words, with it's majestic mountains rimmng the ocean and it's giant trees, but for me, I need sunlight. Especially in winter, so coastal BC truly isn't the place for me. There's a reason the trees are so big. RAIN.

 Having lived on both sides of Canada I can truly appreciate the differences between each coast. And the four seasons is a big one. I guess that's why I appreciate it here so very much. It just doesn't rain here like it does there. That said we had a rainy July, but that isn't the norm at all and I know come winter we will be blessed with cold, but sunny days. I know that after a spectacular display of fall colors, winter will set in. Snow will fall, and the world will be silenced by its hush.

But right now, the gloriously sunny days of Autumn are here, and I am relishing in it. As I drove along the road the other morning to work, I saw the leaves blowing behind my car in the rear view mirror. There were deer in the farmer's fields grazing and the trees were starting to show their reds and oranges. The sun was rising in the sky, and a warm wind was blowing. I could see white caps on the ocean in the distance and I felt truly blessed in every sense. Life isn't always perfect, and it certainly isn't easy, but taking the time to appreciate all the good stuff is so important.

When its all said and done, and our journey ends, it wasn't about how much money we made, or what car we drove, or if we had the most toys. It's about our happiness. Our joy. What made us feel blessed. What made us whole. That's what is important. All the other stuff, is just stuff. It all ends up in the junk yard or the landfill one day. A new house becomes old, clothes wear out, cool electronics break, or make way for the next thing. But our experiences, memories, family, joys, struggles. These are the things that matter.

So as we step in to Autumn, I want to relish my moments. I want to savor my blessings. It could be my last, or I could have many more. But no one ever knows, so I am going to enjoy this season for all its worth. I hope you all will too! Happy Autumn everyone.

Monday, 23 September 2013


 If you had told me 10 years ago I would be living in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and loving it, I would have said you were crazy. Truly. But here I am, and the thing is, I love it more every day. The differences between living here in Yarmouth and where I grew up are night and day. Yarmouth is the place I wished I grew up in, although, maybe not. Maybe I wouldn't appreciate what I have, if I had always lived here. And considering I have a really acute case of wanderlust, if I had grown up here, I would probably be long gone. And its funny. The things I love about it here are just normal to people that have lived here all their lives. They don't realize how special and unique it is from other places, although I believe there are many small towns and villages across Canada that share a common theme with Yarmouth. So I decided I would write a post listing some of the things I absolutely adore about living here. There are endless reasons, but here are a few that stand out for me.

I love that there is only one radio station. You can learn who died, who lost their cat and what's going on around town.

I love that I can go to Mavillette Beach and not see a single other person.

The sunsets. Spectacular!

Amazing tree lined streets in town, with their knarly branches reaching overhead, outside the beautiful, architecturally devine Century homes

I love that I can be at a stop light and not notice its green, and everyone is too polite to honk

I love that every one knows everyone somehow, and even if they don't, they will know someone who knows the other someone.

I love that everyone in town knows who my son is because he works at the McDonalds drive thru after school, and since there is only 1 McD's every one has been there at least once, and they all know the friendly blonde kid that works there.

I love the country roads, dotted with endless lakes, and beautiful forests of Hardwood mixed with Spruce.

I love that at any given moment, you are never far from a body of water, whether it be lake or ocean.

I love the lighthouse, Cape Forchu that marks the entrance to Yarmouth Harbour. An awesome place to visit in a Gale.

I love that our small town has 3 Tim Horton's but no Starbucks! That's right! Take that Starbucks.

I love that everyone has either a Tim's cup in their hand, in their console or is thinking about getting a Tim's at all times.

I love the Rails to Trails in Yarmouth. I can ride my ATV from Yarmouth to Weymouth ( or snowmobile, or bike or walk ) The trails here are endless, and are one of our secrets that we need to show the world. Amazing country side.

I love that in May of next year our ferry will return and we will once again welcome guests from the USA. The ferry will depart from Portland, Maine and arrive in Yarmouth to bring tourists here, but also open an avenue for us to visit the USA as well. New York City and Boston, here I come.

I love that hunting season brings out hunter's orange hats, camoflouge and deer carrots and apples.

Pick up trucks.

Our four seasons. Each one unique and beautiful.

I love the climate.

I love that when the chips are down, people band together and help eachother out.

I love that we know our neighbours, and that they aren't just neighbours but friends, and we can share our good times, and bad together.

I love that french is the language of choice around these parts, but that anyone will switch over to English at any time when they know you are English. No hard feelings. ( Are you listening Quebec? )

I love the beaches.

Did I say I love the beaches?


I love our Farmer's Market. Wholesome, local food, and live entertainment.

I love that when I showed up to work this morning, someone left me banana bread and a homemade jar of pickles on my desk to welcome me to my new job. In all my years, that has never happened to me.

I love our fresh seafood. Lobster, Haddock, Mackerel, Scallops, Oysters and Clams. You name it, we have it. Awesome.

I love our fisherman/fisherwomen. They are courageous and strong. I couldn't imagine fishing in January, in the bitter cold, hauling in lobster. They certainly earn their living.

 Old Red Barns.

All the talented musicians that live here.

Rock walls that line the fields of yesteryear.

I love that when I order a cheeseburger at the local restaurant, they ask me if I would like that to be a cheese slice, or cheese whiz. Only the people that know where I grew up are going to realize how absolutely hilarious that is.

I love that when I order fries at the local restaurant they ask me if I want the frozen kind or fresh cut. See above to why that is so funny to me.

But what I love most of all about Yarmouth are the people that reside here. Friendly, open, honest people who greet you with a smile and a wave. And when they say, hey, how about we grab a coffee, you know to say....the Waterfront Tim's, uptown or Main street? Yup, that's Yarmouth.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


Well, its no secret I love airplanes and flying. So this past weekend was a great one for me. It was the Yarmouth air show and I was in my glory. The roar of the engines and the smell of jet fuel excites me more than anything, and the show did not disappoint. The Snowbirds gave an absolute thrilling performance. I was as close as I could get without knocking the fence down, and I didn't care that I was standing in a huge puddle to watch the show. It was worth the wet feet.

When I first saw them coming towards me, their lights twinkling against the deep blue sky, my heart skipped a beat and my eyes filled with tears. I am probably the only person alive that cried at the airshow out of sheer excitement, but I truly and deeply love the miracle of flight. And when its a jet, and it goes fast, and makes a lot of noise, its even better.

My kids and husband had a blast at the show as well, and I couldn't think of a better thing to do on a sunny Sunday afternoon than watch an airshow. A little sunburnt and high on adrenaline we headed home for a glass of wine and a tasty supper. The perfect ending to the perfect day.

Sunday, 15 September 2013


Well here I am, Sunday morning. It was the one day I could sleep in but because my body is now in tune with rising early, I was wide awake. It has been a crazy week of returning to work, the kids back in all their after school activities and still maintaining our volunteer schedule. There wasn't a moment of free time. But I am thinking once I'm done training for my new position, and my schedule goes to Part Time, things will ease off and I will transition in to a new routine that isn't so overwhelming.

That said, all in all things went well. It felt really good being back to work again. It was surprising to be honest. I was more than I little worried that it would have a huge impact on the family. I love being home with the kids and running the house, and the kids love it too, but it was really smooth and everyone seems really happy. I don't feel I could do full time though. I think the balance of working part time and being home the rest of the time is a good fit for me. Time will tell.

So Autumn is in the air now here in Yarmouth. The leaves are starting to show a hint of fall color, the air is cooler, and the pumpkins are making an appearance. The sunflowers are in full bloom and the dew is on everything in the morning. This time of the year always invokes a feeling of excitement in me. I have a need to prepare for winter. Get the last of the wood in, put all the summer things away, clean up the camping equipment and store it and start baking. I crave the more savory foods of fall, like butternut squash and hot pots of soups and chowders. Everything around us is preparing also. The birds are beginning to disappear, the squirrels are busy stocking up their stores for winter, and the fishing boats are starting to prepare their nets and traps for lobster season in November.

I can't even begin to describe the happiness and content I feel in my life right now. The love I have for my husband and children, the beautiful surroundings of where I live, and all the blessings of great people in my life. It's truly amazing.This doesn't mean my life is perfect or that I don't have any problems or disappointments to face. I do, all the time. But having the ability to live in the moment, and savour its utter peace and perfection gives me the strength and courage to face the other things that come along. So all in all, my transition from Stay at Home Mom, to working Part time Mom has gone well. Please be patient with me everyone, as I make this journey. I love writing and will continue to do so. There may be some gaps here and there as I settle in to my new life. but I promise you, I will keep this blog going. Thanks for the support everyone, it has meant a lot.

Friday, 6 September 2013


Well this has been an eventful week. From back to school, to school supply shopping to job interviews ( yes I said job interview ) and all the other activities that start when school begins, like music and ballet. But today is Friday, and when supper time rolls around and everyone is home, we can all take a breath.

So I have had to make a very difficult and heart wrenching decision. I had to decide whether or not to return to work. As you can tell by my posts, I love being a stay at home Mom. It is every thing I wanted and more. I love being home with my kids and being there when the school bus rolls up. I love afternoon snack and listening to all the events of their day. I love baking bread, tending the garden and the freedom it allows. But my bank account doesn't agree with my desires. We have tried to make it work, but with the immense costs of food, taxes and fuel here in Canada, we just aren't able to sustain my staying home. We had to miss major family events because we couldn't afford the price of airfare and with parents that are aging, we need to take in account that there needs to be some funds should we have to make an emergency trip or two. We have cut costs wherever we have been able to, but the numbers just don't add up. And because I don't believe in living in much debt, which has been encroaching upon us, my husband and I came to the decision that I did in fact need to return to the work force.

Now don't get all sad, because this isn't the horrible thing I'm making it out to be. If you have been reading for awhile you know that I always try to go for the things that bring me the most happiness. So I decided to begin looking to Health Care once again, as this is where my education and expertise lies. I wasn't interested in returning to the Laboratory anymore, I think my days of mucking about in blood, urine and stool are behind me, as fun as it was at the time. But because I have a lot of experience in the Clerical part of things, I decided to opt for that. And so the right job landed in front of me at the right time in our town, where there are no jobs to be had in the first place. So it felt like someone was telling me something. And so I applied and as of yesterday, I'm hired. I'm very pleased because it is daytime hours and part time, so I won't be away from home on a full time basis. The extra income will make all the difference, and I will be working in a long term care facility which is absolutely amazing, as I love to be with seniors and have a chance to talk to them, and visit and hear their stories which is greatly encouraged at this facility. I will be working in the same building as my husband, which means we get to drive in together, so it really is a win win situation.

Sometimes in life, we have to make the hard decisions. They aren't easy, and we hope when we make them, they are the right ones. I'm not one for looking back, only forward, so if things aren't going the way I want them, I change it up. So wish me luck everyone. Another transition is upon me. I will let you know how it goes.

Thursday, 5 September 2013


This morning all is quiet around the house. The kids have gone off to school and the husband has left for work, and life is going back to its usual pace after all the summer time activity. The sun is streaming in the window and the steam from my tea cup wafts by me as I type. There is a definite hint of Autumn in the air and the lawn is covered in dew. As I look out my window, I see my chickens scratching around the apple trees, whose branches are loaded with fruit that is just about ready to eat. The sun is glinting off all the dampness on the leaves of plants and trees and it really is just an immensely beautiful and peaceful sight.

These kind of moments always make me appreciate the importance of enjoying the now and realizing that these kinds of mornings are gifts. We never really know when its going to be our last, so taking that time to soak up the moment is worth it.

Yesterday I was visiting with my friend ( whom I call Ernie for the sake of privacy ) and we were talking about life. How quickly it goes, what there is to learn from it, things like that. He was telling me the importance of working hard for what you have and living an honest and true life, so that when the time comes, you can look back and feel good about it. Have no regrets. He told me about how he knew someone in his life that was a very dishonest man and would skim off the top and over charge his customers. Ernie told me how this person became a very rich man, a millionaire, but now he's dead. Long gone. Ernie smiled at this and said, you know, I never told a soul what he was doing, I kept my mouth shut. But for me, I never stole from anyone. I've never cheated anyone, nor ever lied. I may not be a rich man or have much, but I can feel good about who I was, and that I was honest.

I learn so much from Ernie. He has so much to teach me. When you spend time with someone who is nearing the end of their journey, it is a completely different perspective. Every day is a gift for them, as it should be for us. It's so easy to forget when we are caught up in the frenzy of life that if we don't stop and appreciate the beauty around us, or if we don't try to be honest and fair, we may not get a second chance.

When we were in New Brunswick a few weeks ago, we happened upon a very interesting cemetery.

When we were passing this on the road I hollered out for my husband to stop the car. We turned around, and sure enough, there was this cemetery from the 1800's and it was called HA HA Cemetery. Well, we all got a great kick out of that, and I even for a split second thought it was a joke. But it wasn't, and when I read the history I realized the Bay for which the cemetery was named is called Ha Ha Bay. But really, it doesn't take away from the message this cemetery sends. If you don't live your life to the fullest potential, the joke is on you. Death is the big elephant in the room. Something many of us don't think about, or want to think about. In some cultures, death is a celebration, an embarking on to the next journey while others mourn death as final. Whatever anyone's belief, this is our final destination for at least some of our journey. So take heart, live life. Smile and laugh. Be positive, honest and true. We all have worries, struggles and crosses to bare. We have hurts and disappointments, grief and even suffering. But we all have the chance to live our lives to our fullest potential and do the things that give us the most happiness, so that when the time comes, instead of being Ha Ha you're can be Ha Ha...I loved my life, thanks world for giving me the chance to be a part of it for a little while.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013


Forgiveness is something that I have been thinking a lot about lately. The age old saying "Forgive and Forget" is far more difficult to accomplish than the mere words suggest. If you have ever been hurt by someone, especially someone close to you, you will know what I mean.

Recently I was very hurt by ones that I consider close and I have been hanging on to those feelings of hurt, anger, resentment and the lack of resolve. I have been looking deep inside of myself to try and find the strength and conviction to move forward and past the issue and to really just forget about the persons altogether and move on with my life without them. This is a difficult thing to do. The thing is, when it is about someone close to you, you actually care about them. You have history, and you love them, even if they don't necessarily love you the same way. If its a family member that has hurt you, its even more difficult. These are the people who are supposed to be there for you and have your best interests at heart. But this isn't always necessarily so.

So I have been trying to come to terms with what the best course of action is to take. Do I quietly retreat without further explanation and continue on with my life, burying my feelings to avoid further conflict? Or do I approach the persons once more, let them know how I'm feeling and then sit back and be battered by words once again?

As you all know by now, I am one that surrounds herself with positivity. So when the negative encroaches, I have a very difficult time with it. I guess I'm one of those people who wants everything to be sunny and shiny all the time. No conflict, no problems. I never mean anyone any harm or ill will and I guess I have always thought that those around me do the same. So when I'm targeted by someone's anger, I take it to heart. Literally. My heart aches with sadness. I become dumbfounded and wonder how on earth any of this happened.

I know this post probably makes no sense. It really is something that I am writing purely for myself. But if you have had a similar issue, then this post will probably make perfect sense. The reality is, life isn't perfect. The people in it aren't perfect, and I guess it can't  be shiny and sunny all the time. I know as time passes, my feelings will sort themselves out and my hurt will fade. I just hope that forgiveness is something that I can achieve. Not for anyone else, but completely for myself. Because holding on to any form of negativity is a poison and it has the ability to creep in to other facets of your life if you let it.

If I look deep inside myself, I know that removing someone from my life that is close is not the right answer for me. When someone is important in my life, whether its because there is a family bond or just the fact that they are family, bond or not, I think as an example to my children, I need to do everything in my power to make sure I've done my absolute best to resolve everything before letting go. If I haven't told the person that hurt me my reasons for removing myself from their lives, then I haven't done my best. If I haven't given them the opportunity to give me their side of things before letting them go, that's wrong. We can't make anyone be who we want them to be. We can't make anyone love us the way we want to be loved. But we can set an example of how we want to be treated, and what those boundaries are if people are to remain in your life.

So I guess in writing this post, I have given myself my own answers. The beauty of writing and being a writer is that it gives you permission to just be honest. To let your feelings out on to paper ( or computer ) and see what evolves. It always surprises!

It can be odd to send ones personal feelings out in to the blogging world. But I also know that some of my favorite posts from other blogs are the personal ones. The ones that I can say, aha, yes, I know exactly what you mean.....those are golden. So thanks for listening, and don't be shy to send me an email if you have any advice on the topic of forgiveness. It's a heavy one, but a very important one as well.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


Returning home from vacation has been wonderful. We brought home some lovely PEI oysters and we have been having so much fun finding different ways to serve them. I have been creating different toppings and have even gotten my children hooked as well. It's been a lot of fun.

We have also been catching up on all the episodes of our favorite show Masterchef that we missed while away, and as we were watching the other night, the chefs talked about what their favorite meal was that they had ever experienced. It got me to thinking about the restaurant experience versus the home cooking that we so enjoy around here and if I had any special memories of my own best meals of the past. I also was thinking about how food is always instrumental in celebrations, and how scents and smells can bring a memory right back as if it happened only yesterday.

There are some people I have had experience with in life that absolutely abhor to eating out. They never do it, take pride in never doing it, and seem to pass a judgement on those that do. I also know people that eat out all the time, and therefore the exciting and special moments that are created by doing so are somewhat lost. I think the best balance are the ones who eat out once in awhile. It creates a special moment, a memory. You are able to savor the time, the food and the company.

I think experiencing different foods is so exciting. When I eat out, I try to never order anything I would make at home. I want to experiment and try new flavours. I love to explore different cultures through food as well. Thai, Indian, Greek, Japanese, whatever it is, I'll try it once.

So as I was thinking on this topic, I started going back in to my own memories, and what special food moments stand out for me from my past. And there are quite a few. I remember first trying Borscht in a restaurant in Konigswinter, Germany. I was only 11 or 12 but I remember it clearly. I remember the blood red soup as it was served to me and my first bite...unsure, but then happy. I loved it. With that memory brings back the memory of the town, and what we did that day. The sights and sounds. An experience.

I also have memories of eating frites with mayonnaise at a market in Holland. Gone was the ketchup of home and in its place was this creamy mayo. And I was hooked. With that memory I can still see my Mom and Dad standing with me, smiling as I took my first bite, and the hustle and bustle of the market place going on all around me. I can still see the church steeple, and the cobble stone paths, and all the bikes in the stands, row on row.  So now, whenever I dip a fry in mayo instead of ketchup, all that comes rushing back to me. But no frite will ever be as good as that first one.

I remember my first taste of Alaskan King Crab in a beautiful restaurant on the top of Grouse Mountain in Vancouver, BC, Canada and my first visit to a revolving restaurant that overlooked the city, before we went out to see the BC Boys Choir sing in a church in Vancouver. And one of my most memorable food experiences was trying Buffalo for the first time. I was on a trip through the Rockies on a Via Rail Train. It was the first time I had been alone without kids or a husband in years. Because I was alone I was seated for dinner with two nuns from Europe. They couldn't speak English, and I couldn't speak their language. But it didn't matter. We drank wine and ate the most amazing Buffalo. We laughed at our inability to speak to one another, but we were still able to communicate over food. And as I watched the beautiful scenery of Mt Robson and the waterfalls pass it was one of the most amazing moments in my life. I felt so peaceful and free.  It was a moment I will cherish for my entire life. All these memories weren't just about the food. But the experience. The excitement, the sounds, the adventure of something new.

There is nothing wrong with eating out once in awhile. I couldn't imagine going to Italy and not trying the pasta, or visiting France and not enjoying a glass of crisp white wine alongside a delectable Bouillabaisse in a café watching the world go by.

The experiences of food bring along with it an expanding palate as well as memories frozen in time. From blood red soups to fries with mayo to a Buffalo supper I enjoyed on a train through the Rocky Mountains with 2 nuns who couldn't speak English. These are the food experiences that will forever be a part of my life.

Sunday, 1 September 2013


So we are back from the wonderful, magical Prince Edward Island. We stayed in a wonderful vacation rental called Glistening Waters. What a breathtaking place to rest and relax after a week of camping. It was my husbands 40th birthday, and when we arrived at the home we were welcomed with balloons and a lovely birthday card, as well as treats for our Dog. The property was private and serene with a lovely shaded path through forest and past ponds to a lovely beach, where in an entire week we saw absolutely no one.

What I love so much about vacation rentals is that you experience what it is truly like to live somewhere different. For me it is ten times the experience of a hotel. We were able to cook our own wonderful food with all the amenities of home while gazing out the window at the glistening waters of The Northumberland Strait.

Prince Edward Island has so much to offer. From the beauty of its many beaches that range from white sand to the color of pink champagne, and its rolling hills and farmland, it truly invokes a feeling of what the locals call "Island Time." The seafood available is abundant with very reasonable prices and we enjoyed more than a few oysters this trip. We became very adept at shucking our own oysters and we only have a few band aids on after our impressive efforts.

Nearby to where we were staying was also our favorite restaurant on Prince Edward Island. Because we keep eating out to a minimum it is always a very special treat for us all to venture out to a restaurant. But we always try to visit at least one local establishment to try the local fair. The Brehaut's Restaurant in Murray Harbour is not only a favorite with the visiting crowd, but also with the locals, which is always a good indication the food is top notch. We had their award winning seafood chowder with a homemade tea biscuit and I can say from experience, its the best chowder I have ever had.

PEI has it all. Sun, sand, peace and tranquility. It is a slower pace of life that seeps in to your soul and gives you time to breath in the salty air and let it chase your worries away for a little while. As I was unpacking this morning, sand came sprinkling out of my towels and on to the floor and it made me smile. I brought a little of the island home with me. I hope its magic lives on for a little while longer.