Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A scent of laundry Part 1

Sometimes it’s the barest trace of scent in the air that can flood the heart with so many memories.

Today it was while I was doing the laundry for daughter and me. I opened a jar of new environmentally friendly laundry detergent and there she was. My beloved Aunt Daisy.

She had a back kitchen and a front kitchen. The back kitchen, all glass and overlooking the walled back garden was where the washing happened. And she had all the equipment for it long before anyone else. My aunt had married well, you see. And her husband literally adored her. So she only had to bat her eyes and anything her heart desired materialized. She had a car before women really drove in Ireland in the 1950s. And was always piling it up to the roof with kids and heading off to the strand.

Her voice was distinct - throaty and always full of laughter and the cigarettes that laid an angora fog on it. Her door was always open and neighbours and relatives poured in and out of it all day like it was Grand Central Station. Everyone called her Dais. Her hair was jet black and in my time it hung to her shoulders in a mass of curls. She made everything from making fancy Russian salads to smocking hand sewn viyella dresses look easy. There was always fresh baking and fancy confectionary sitting on her counters.

Her big Aga stove in the front kitchen with the skylight above it was always going, heating the water and pumping out teacakes and biscuits, fresh bread and roast meat and poultry.

My uncle got concerned she might be over working herself with five children to take care of and got her a maid but Dais didn’t know what to do with her so spent a few years chatting with her over endless cups of tea and listless hooverings and then got her married off to a nice boy who worked in the shop next door.

I never knew her to have a bad mood or lose her temper or complain when both her mother and his mother moved in with them. I often found myself having tea there along with twenty others, some related to me, more often not. Fairy cakes and triangle sandwiches would appear as if by magic. No one ever left her house hungry and her door, opening on a busy main road, was never locked.

As children, we played endless hide and seek all over the house as it had a front stairs and a back stairs. She never said anything about the noise that countless running and screaming children made pounding through her house. The only time she yelled was to tell us there was icecream in the back kitchen or a tray of chocolate biscuits out of the Aga. And we’d all stop what we were doing as if by magic and find her, a cigarette stuck on her lower lip, one eye shut for the smoke, and always serving us, snotty dirty little kids, on her best plates, urging us in that wonderful voice of hers to eat up as there was more.

There was always more at her house.

See Part 2 Here
And now I'm off to catch up on some blogs...

In the words of my people:
Athbhliain Faoi Mhaise Dhaoibh, a chardai go leir!
Have a wonderful new year, all my dear friends out there!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Simple is Best

(Irish Peace Knot)

Boxing Day. St. Stephen’s Day. Mummers’ Day. Wren Day.

What a lovely time my daughter and I are having. Lazy days in front of the fire. Reading, chatting, reading chatting. Occasional knitting (me. Then on to the shore in this mild weather for a long walk. She collecting small shells, me collecting small flat stones for a patio I’m planning. A patio surrounded with a driftwood fence and the recycled cans I’m going to paint and screw to the driftwood and fill with herbs and flowers.

I made a moose stew on the wood stove yesterday. Beyond fabulous.

Today it was rice pasta and shrimp and French beans in a garlic asiago sauce. Bliss on a plate.

No TV, no radio on. Just the crackle of the flames, the odd sigh from the dog and our voices murmuring back and forth. We plan to take in “A Feast of Cohen” tomorrow – an annual show in St. John’s featuring many local stars and the words and music of Our Man Leonard. My niece is coming down (I make it sound easy but the poor wee thing has to drive 300 km) and joining us for this girls’ night out. That is if I can get tickets when the box office opens tomorrow at noon. No web booking. And that’s OK. This is just about our pace at the moment.

With hopes that all of you out there are full of peace as well.

It starts within. It spreads without.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's a small world after all

I think I get it. I feel it happening. You know how the lives of older people appear to shrink down to a more manageable level? Not quite as bad as having a whole day revolve around a visit to a doctor or the next day to an oil change for a car – I’ve seen far, far too many old people do this. Almost to a comical level in some cases. Like not being able to go out to dinner on Wednesday because they have to pack for a trip leaving on Friday. Much too frequently. Spare me this as I age.

I mean in the broader sense. A global sense. I rail against the political shenanigans, the lies, the abuse of human rights, the outright thefts and predations of the theocorporatocracy, the smug satisfaction of the patriarchy. No more of this in the new year unless I feel my head exploding and I have a choice of venting here or dying pitifully in a state of apoplexy.

I resolve to write of the small, the meaningful.

Like today, sadly sans camera, I walk by the shore with the Wonder Dog and a recent storm has again shifted the landscape. I just love the power of the water, I have a marvellous up close and personal relationship with it here. A little bridge was wiped out a couple of years ago in a storm, so we couldn’t advance along this part of the shore at high tide. This latest storm has shoved the widened stream banks about 6 feet to the east against a very old wharf, narrowing the river bed to a jumpable level (even for this old geezer!).

Well, we were just delighted today. The other side of the stream is far more interesting as it has rabbits and hawks and the odd sea lion or otter. As a matter of fact, Ansa spotted a rabbit in a hawk’s mouth and went on chase, the rabbit was dropped, hawk flew away, Ansa was on the point of leaping on the rabbit herself (she is an amazing hunter, ask any shrew) when I called her. I was more than pleased when she returned immediately to me, foregoing the hunt. She has responded remarkably to all the training over the last few years and confirms yet again how super intelligent she is.

I anxiously await the arrival of my daughter tomorrow, Christmas Day. She comes here for 10 days while the grandgirl stays with her dad. We are going to get caught up, reading a lot in front of the fire and planning the annual Nollaig Na Mban do here on January 3rd.

The best of this lovely season to all of you out there and peace, seriously, on earth.

Top 25 Censored Stories of 2009

Here's 10, just for an appetizer:

1. US Congress Sells Out to Wall Street
2. US Schools are More Segregated Today than in the 1950s
3. Toxic Waste Behind Somali Pirates
4. Nuclear Waste Pools in North Carolina
5. Europe Blocks US Toxic Products
6. Lobbyists Buy Congress
7. Obama’s Military Appointments Have Corrupt Past
8. Bailed out Banks and America’s Wealthiest Cheat IRS Out of Billions
9. US Arms Used for War Crimes in Gaza
10. Ecuador Declares Foreign Debt Illegitimate

This is the link to the mains with details.

Are you surprised? Well, duh!

And I'm positive there are 100s more.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Solstice Promise

I took this photograph {click on it to enbiggen} a couple of days ago, standing on the front deck of my house. The sunset bathed everything, including the road, the traces of snow, the water, in this breathtaking pastel pink. All was drenched in a misty rose. So difficult to capture on film. But I tried.

The snow has now vanished. And the last two evenings had no visible sunset.

This was like a tease, a preview, a trailer. A solstice promise of the long beautiful days of summer to come.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Letting Go: Anybody else out there like me?

I had one of those finds in Salvation Army a couple of years ago, a brand new pair of slippers obviously donated by an unhappy Christmas giftee in January. The most gorgeous pair of slippers I’d ever seen at the remarkably high price (for Sally Anne I mean, get a grip!) of $5.00. I wore them night and day, they’ve travelled six times across Canada with me and once to Europe. The soles are so thick and good and strong I could walk outside, hell I could do work outside, climb up to my clothes-line stage, run across to the beach, pick up some fire/driftwood. The most serious pair (goodbye silly pink fluffies) I’d ever owned. In my life. Dark grey so they’d never show a scuff, some classy those slippers.

Last week, the heartbreak began. I was out in the bit of snow we had (subsequently gone) picking up the daily newspaper and my toes felt wet.

I sat down in front of the fire to examine the slippers. And there it was, a split between sole and upper. 730 days they’ve been worn. They owe me nothing. So much joy for .006849 cents (sorry, that’s the accountant in me) per day.

So in the past I would have put out word that hey, Mama needs a new pair of slippers for Xmas. But we don’t do Xmas anymore. And this was a bit of an emergency.

So today, I get these gorgeous sheepskins above, dark brown, warm as toast. Good, thick, no nonsense soles on ‘em. We won’t talk price it being a gift ‘n all, albeit to myself.

And this is it. I bring them home. I put them on. I admire them, my feet are toasty. And then I go to Grayzies, who’ve served me daily for all that time. I want to cry. I want to keep them, repair them, maybe bronze them, I know I can’t, maybe they’ve got another couple of weeks in them? How can I do this to them. Yes, I can. No, I can’t. Yes, I can. There, they’re in the garbage.

And so help me, two hours later and I so want to haul them out. And I do, to take this picture for posterity:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Solstice Everyone!

Winter Solstice

We’re tired of you, get out of here.
You’ve been hanging around too long.
Here’s a proper send off for ya.

You want a party? Here it is!
See, now I’m lighting the candles!
Why don’t you go and hide somewhere?

You ask me why? So’s to make room!
For she can’t live beside you, b’y.
You’re much too dark for her, ya know.

Ah g’wan b’y, sure we’ve had enough.
Of cold wet tears with you moanin’
Your sad and melancholy days.

Oh, here she comes, running, laughing,
Sequins on her dress, rainbow eyes,
Peeping over the solstice dawn.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

How About all Those Sexual Assault Warnings?

We get them on email, we get them on newspapers, on texts, we even get victim blaming ("she shouldn't have been out alone at night") ad nauseum. Over at I Blame the Patriarchy this is the best warning list I've ever seen:

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work

1. Don’t put drugs in women’s drinks.

2. When you see a woman walking by herself, leave her alone.

3. If you pull over to help a woman whose car has broken down, remember not to assault her.

4. If you are in a lift and a woman gets in, don’t assault her. You know what? Don’t even ogle her.

5. When you encounter a woman who is asleep, the safest course of action is to not assault her.

6. Never creep into a woman’s home through an unlocked door or window, or spring out at her from between parked cars, or assault her.

7. When you lurk in bushes and doorways with criminal intentions, always wear bright clothing, wave a flashlight, or play “Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)” by the Raveonettes on a boombox really loud, so women in the vicinity will know where to aim their flamethrowers.

8. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If it is inconvenient for you to stop yourself from assaulting women, ask a trusted friend to accompany you when in public.

9. Carry a rape whistle. If you find that you are about to assault a woman, you can hand the whistle to your buddy, so s/he can blow it to call for help.

10. Give your buddy a revolver, so that when indifferent passers-by either ignore the rape whistle, or gather round to enjoy the spectacle, s/he can pistol-whip you.

Don’t forget: Honesty is the best policy. When asking a woman out on a date, don’t pretend that you are interested in her as a person; tell her straight up that you expect to be assaulting her later. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the woman may take it as a sign that you do not plan to rape her.

About bloody time, I say. I've been Taking Back the Night for far too long.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Moral and Political Degradation

There is an extraordinary essay over at Crooks & Liars by Ian Welsh on the current political and moral status of our neighbour down south.

He writes this:

It is also noteworthy that spending billions on turning brown people into a fine red mist (a.k.a. the Afghan war) is acceptable, but health care (a.k.a. saving actual American lives) is something which can't cost money. What an interesting--and clearly evil--set of priorities that reveals. I guarantee that real healthcare reform would save more American lives than the entire war on terror—assuming said "war" hasn't cost more American lives than it's saved, which is almost certainly the case.

and also of Gitmo North where prisoners who can't be convicted for lack of evidence are held without trial:

people whom the government judges there is not enough evidence to convict, will be held indefinitely without trial. This is the very definition of tyranny. Any nation which does this is a nation of men, not laws. America has forsaken its fundamental premise and proved its degradation. Yes, this started under Bush, but as Obama embraces this, it because a bipartisan project and the new elite consensus. This is now something which has been confirmed as US policy which is extremely unlikely to change no matter who is in power.

The whole article is well worth reading in full, along with the comments.

It is heartbreaking for so many, many Americans, who had the glimmering of hope and now see it utterly destroyed.

Posted subsequently:

My friend Annie writes of a child soldier (the first in the world being prosecuted for war crimes) being included in this obscene US travesty of justice. He has been held without trial since 2002. The Canadian government is complicit in this by its silence.

Monday, December 14, 2009


*Not to be confused with “GEEZER GLEE” - posts that celebrate awesome service and great stuff.

I remember the day when I could go to a movie and not be assaulted by non–stop commercials (I’ve timed this invasion of my senses over a few years and one such event topped out at 30 minutes including previews) for crap products. I.E. I’m paying the theatre to infest my brain.

I remember the day when I could buy a VCR tape (now DVD) and not have it littered with commercials for other crap movies they want to flog me. See above, I’m paying them to steal my time.

Hello? Small print on teeny tiny dooshy little bottles and boxes and labels - some even that are specifically elder products?

Telemarketing companies circumventing the “No Call List” by pretending they are “expanding” upon an existing product I may have.

Auto maintenance shops that insist I arrive at their premises at 7.30 a.m. after a 100km drive and even then can’t guarantee my car will be serviced that day and will not make an appointment, even though I’m a senior. Yeah, this senior is expected to drive 200km daily until serviced. I’ve counted four of them here in St. John’s who have that policy. Seriously.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Still Missing, One Child.

It rolls around again, this date, this oh so important date, December 9th.

More important this year. For this year she is forty. My missing daughter is forty. A milestone age for some. Maybe not for her. Who knows?

None of us knows, you see. We her family. Her extended family and the friends she left behind. Last we heard she was in Bristol. She has chosen to cut herself free from all ties to her past and live without a visible familial history.

I speculate as to how that feels. To float freely in the universe without acknowledging either parent. Or your sister. Or your niece or your uncles or your aunts. Would one wonder about them at all? Would childhood memories surface? Would the twenty eight years one lived with one’s mother intrude on the present? Does any of that matter?

Meanwhile, I’m making a scrapbook. Of photos, of little bits and pieces, report cards, cards she gave me over the years like the one above.

And I light a candle for her. And hope that she is well. And my heart aches. And I reach out to her father and her sister in our shared hurt and loss.

Happy Birthday, baby.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Canada’s Hang Dog Shame

Alberta Tar Sands - the total area such as this is the size of England.
There are many, many flights going back and forth daily between Newfoundland and Alberta. Some have it that Alberta keeps Newfoundland’s economy afloat right now with all the Newfoundlanders who work there. Part of their substantial earnings package is a flight between the 2 provinces: 22 days in barrack-like camps on the oil fields and then 8 days back here where the money is spent on luxurious new homes and boys’ toys (think Hummers, huge quads, jumbo screen TVs, etc.). Many such Newfoundlanders contribute greatly to the support of outport economies. Some have it that the Newfoundland economy would collapse without the Alberta money pouring in.

The impact on their home-based families here is huge – it is usually the father who’s away so he loses physical contact with his children for 1/3 of their growing up years. Some of the away fathers establish secretive relationships with Albertan women. And their wives are the last to find out. I know of a few such cases.

The money is enormous and there is nowhere to spend it in Alberta unless one succumbs to vices: alcoholism, gambling, drugs et al. Most don’t. These talk of getting enough money out of Alberta to start a business here, or take early ‘retirement’.

Meanwhile, the toll on families is immense. The effect on the children left behind is immeasurable, apart from the loss of the mainly absentee parent there is also the impression that money is the only goal in life of which huge toys and rampant consumerism are the rewards. A very alien concept to most Newfoundlanders who place enormous value on community and the self-sustaining life style (fishing, hunting, growing food, gathering of fruits) of their ancestors.

All of this is laid at the feet of the oil sands. Was there ever such a pit of devastation and degradation on the landscape of Canada? And I mean that both physically and metaphorically. Was there ever such a brutal and environmentally destructive way to squeeze out oil from the earth?

George Monbiot is a writer whom I’ve admired for years. He writes brilliantly of the impact the oil companies and their stooge – our conservative government – are having on this land and its people. He maintains that Canada is the greatest threat to world peace. He is right. He calls us a corrupt petro-state. And he is right.

A tiny, glimmering ray of hope is Maude Barlow who happens to be one of my heroes. She heads up the Council of Canadians who fight tooth and nail for our rights to a clean environment, water and the commons – not just for Canada, but for the world. She has been advocating vociferously against the tar sands project and has been behind documentaries floodlighting this environmental disaster.

On days such as these, I am ashamed to be a Canadian.

Sorry, world.

Friday, December 04, 2009

On Rambling Around the Grocery Store - AKA Mental Asylum - Tonight:

They were short and round and frazzled, this old couple. They stood in the middle of the cereal aisle which is 50 yards long and 4 yards high full of every kind of cereal imaginable. She was wringing her hands in between pushing her glasses up tight against her eyes as she spun around in total bewilderment.

“Oh Harold,” she said, “Harold, what are we going to do? What on earth do children eat these days?”

“If you don’t shut up at once,” said Mama to the whining three year old girl in the grocery cart, “Daddy won’t share his jumbo bottle of Pepsi and his nachos and cheese with you tonight, isn’t that right Daddy? Now show her what she’ll be missing if she doesn’t shut right up.”


“I CAN SO tell the difference, listen to me,” yelled the man on the cell phone as he leaned over the meats in the delicatessen, “Will. You. Listen. To. Me. They come in round only. They don’t come square. I’m going to hang up on you if you don’t shut up and listen. They don’t come square. Do you want round? I said, do you want round? I’m hanging up NOW!” Click and an almighty “F***!”

“ Good Lord, “ I said to the woman ahead of me at the checkout. “Twelve pounds of cream cheese? It looks like you’re going to be doing some baking!”

“Well, I’m not bakin’, ” she said, “Not me. But I asked them all what they wanted for Christmas and they said cream cheese.”

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Psst - Wanna Hear a Story?

One of my stories is up at As Time Goes By.

Some of you may recall that I lost a very dear aunt last year. She was just shy of her 99th birthday.

This story is based on one of hers.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I don’t mind

I don’t mind when brows march north to meet my hair
And nose slides south to thinner lips
I don’t mind when thickest hair turns thin and spare
And feet spread wider than my hips.

I don’t mind when coughs are leaking more than tears
And stature’s shrunk from tall to small
I don’t mind when small print fades and blurs and smears
And chin sprouts beard: No, not at all.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Is when the leader of the Free World, and the latest Nobel Peace Prize winner is planning on sending another 30,000 innocent men and women to slaughter untold thousands of other innocent men and women in an unwinnable invasion of a sovereign country, Afghanistan.

Is when said Nobel Peace Prize winner refuses to ban land mines and thus becomes the only nation in the world in that exalted position (reminder – these mines killed and maimed over 5,000 innocent men, women and children last year).

Is when Goldman Sachs, with tax payer bailout money, has set aside 16.7 billion dollars for executive bonuses and only pays 1% in corporate taxes.

Is when nearly a million American homeowners have their homes foreclosed on in the the 3rd quarter of 2009.

Is when 10 US states are on the verge of bankruptcy: California, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island.

Is when federal budget deficit is now over 12 trillion dollars.

Is when 47.4 million US citizens live in poverty and 3 million citizens, and climbing, are homeless.

Is when 50% of US children need food stamps to eat. To eat!

Is when, in 2008, 46.3 million US citizens were without health care. It is much worse today. There are 45,000 preventable deaths from lack of health care every year and of these 17,000 are children. Children. Not to mention uncountable health care bankruptcies. All meaningful amendments to Health Care Reform, of course, have been stripped by the lobby driven Senate, and this weak diluted bill will only come into effect in 2013 anyway, post-apocalypse.

Is when demand for guns and ammunition in the states has reached an all time high and the 200 companies in this business can’t keep up with the demand for bullets.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

25 Priceless Metaphors!

These were sent to me via email from a dear friend today, I can't choose a favourite, they are all so good!

Every year, English teachers from across the country can submit
their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high school
essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of
teachers across the country.

Here are last year's winners.....

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides
gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like
underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a
guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of
those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking
at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without
one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was
room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes
just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.?

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated
because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge
at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way
a bowling ball wouldn't.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag
filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie,
surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and
Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you
fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across
the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having
left Montreal at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Vancouver
at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences
that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had
also never met

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the
East River .

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only
one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil,
this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not
eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either,
but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land
mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg
behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with
power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as
if she were a garbage truck backing up.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Boat at Anchor - Mall Bay 11/22/2009
Chill of coming winter
Coating the boaty bones
Riding high on the
Wavery water of Mall Bay.

I blow into my cold hands
Stepping around deserted
Crab pots and lobster pens
Mourning summer’s passing.

Remembering the rush of
Foliage and bright blossoms
Bursting fiercely forth
From the pungent earth

And boats sailing in
Weighted down, creaking
Beneath the ocean harvest.
All is silent. Waiting.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Getting, Gathering, Guarding and Grooming.

“The world is too much with us; late and soon
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers"

This wonderful quote of William Wordsworth was sent by a blogger friend the other day in response to my post on Crackberries.

It got me thinking.

Then again most things these days get me to thinking.

As in: most of our lives revolve around stuff. The getting and gathering of it, the guarding of it from predators, the grooming (i.e. maintaining and cleaning) of it.

I’ve been as guilty of this as anyone. Maybe it is the elder years that throws a clear sharp floodlight on to our own behaviours. It is only now I see that all of it is so empty and frivolous and meaningless. One only has to go to a mall and sit on a bench and be absolutely and completely astonished at what people are doing there. What is everyone buying? Really. And is there ever enough of it?

Lately I think that what brings me the most pleasure is the interior life that is only satisfied with stuff that can’t be bought.

The sunsets that I resolved to see daily since the beginning of the year.
The daily walk on the shore or around my daughter’s locale with one of our dogs.
The perusal of driftwood or a lovely stone or a shell.
The satisfying woodpile beside my stove.
The glowing faces of dear friends and family across the dinner table (and I’ve had a surfeit of that in the last two weeks and still want more!).
The smell of cooking and baking on the wood stove.
The recounting of the daily doings of friends and family,
The knitting of a few rounds of a sock,
The CD painstakingly copied by a friend because he knew I would enjoy it.
The revisiting of pictures of the work of the architect Gaudi with dear friends,
The multi-generational chat with my daughter and the grandgirl of a book all three of us had read,
The news of an upcoming wedding of a nephew in Ireland,
Being privy to the lives of a whole batch of young nieces and nephews who’ve befriended me on Facebook,
The plans for a dinner dance in my village this Friday.
And getting out of Dodge while fam and friends are still telling me my stay was far, far too short.
I return to The Rock tomorrow. To my beloved Newfoundland.

{Photo above is of the Toronto Eaton Centre}

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Separation of Church & State Much?

Moral high ground=Roman Catholic Church and it's now putting all its considerable bullying power into ensuring the citizens of the US are not all treated equally.

Well, Catholic laymen are treated equally as long as they’re heterosexual of course. The males of the cloth can be of either persuasion. Mainly homosexual as it appears that a higher than average percentage of them died from AIDS in the eighties. 4 times higher than the general population as a matter of fact. But lay Catholic homosexuals or LGBTs are not entitled to marriage or child adoptions or child fostering.

And as to female Catholics? Don’t get me started on the second class citizens who can’t participate fully in its machinations with not even rights to their own bodies. Whatsoever. Particularly when it comes to breeding. No matter how brutal and reprehensible the inpregnation or the age of the female. And the piece de resistance was the church’s threat of excommunication for all involved in supporting an abortion following the rape of a nine year old girl by her stepfather. It seems their hypocritical advocacy for the rights of children ceases when the child exits the birth canal.

And I haven’t even touched on the consistent and pernicious paedophilia which has been rampant in their ranks for centuries and is only now seeing the light of day.

By its very nature the church attracts the sexually dysfunctional and deviant. Who call the shots. Who hold sway over the legislation of the US government.

And no one is calling them out on it.

No, instead they wield enough influence to affect health care coverage for those deemed not quite human or equal. The poorest, most marginalized and most needy.

Whatever happened to “the meek shall inherit the earth’?

Whatever happened to the separation of church and state?

And hark! that faint, oh so faint whisper of "liberty and justice for all"?

PS I have previously posted on the Catholic Church here in these posts.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Crackberries & Other Distractions

I don't know about you, but I have enormous difficulties with people not being in the "Now". As in when I'm with them, they're constantly texting or on their Blackberries or checking the time or staring lasciviously at the server in a restaurant or drumming their fingers on the table or jangling their keys or taking non-stop pictures or movies.

I don't understand it. Why are they filling in time with an activity when they'd rather be somewhere else or doing something different?

Like the other night I was at a dinner party and this friend was there and her device (leash) was tinkling constantly and she'd sheepishly say:

"Just another couple and I'll turn it off" but she never did and even at the dinner table she had it on her lap and was texting away. We're not talking a teenager here. We're talking a woman of 67 years old. She wasn't present at all. Plus she's stealing time from the friends who've turned off their devices to be in the moment with dear friends with the sound of her device constantly blasting and breaking the moments.

Or call waiting? Drives me mad. I never use it but my friends do even though they know how I feel about it. Like I'm going to take another call that's more important than yours while you're on the line with me?

Maybe I'm coming across all self righteous and geezerish about this stuff, but my life is just as busy or even more so than yours but when I'm with you, I'm really, really with you. Is it too much to ask that you're really with me?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Report of a Day in the City

Yeah, I'm there. I'm in the groove again (do they even use that term anymore?). She's back. City Woman.

I had breakfast with the grandgirl. Rare. Very rare. She is a going concern. for her to cook us waffles before school and sit down across from each other and eat, in the morning, well, amazing. She is fifteen after all.

Then it was on to meet my blog buddy Annie for lunch. Neither of us had ever done such a thing before. Meet, in the flesh, another blogger. A first. It was wonderful. Well over two hours chowing down on some great Thai food and nattering of families and travels and the east coast and the west coast and Canada and politics and grandchildren, well, you get the picture.

Then I decided to walk downtown from where we were, along Bloor Street and down Yonge St - the longest street in the world. 1896KM. Ha! - no, I didn't walk it all but did cover what my father could have called a goodly hike.

Memories get stoked. Of working in this area back in the sixties and seventies in office atmospheres similar to those described in Mad Men. Seriously. It amazes me that Mad Men captures that era so well. I lived it. In the office buildings on Bloor Street.

And then, and this makes the city soooooo worthwhile, it really does, a friend treated me to August:Osage Countyat the Canon Theatre. 3-1/2 hours in the theatre that fly like 10 minutes. Theatre so good you never want it to be over. Estelle Parsons at 81 giving the performance of a lifetime with a supporting cast that never puts a foot wrong.

I was spellbound. Entranced. I love the city.

Monday, November 09, 2009


Outport Woman in the City

Sirens blow, traffic weaves
Swift, careless, callous
Around and about and
Over and under my paralysis.

Leaving me breathless,
Sound breaking into bits
Inside me, me relearning
By brute force, city life.

I see the smudged colours of
Pollution laced sunsets,
Smoky orange, smeared crimson
Behind uncertain tall buildings.

And squeeze far too tightly
Memories of the lilting swirl
Of lavender and rose and lemon
On the willing waters of the bay

Photo courtesy of the grandgirl.

Saturday, November 07, 2009


{Photo taken by my daughter of our two dogs, happily exhausted, who are mutts and not related}

I've always loved the word. I've had so much of it in my life. Do our thoughts attract like? Can we manifest connections to each other? I do believe the power of our minds is extraordinary. And we only tap into maybe 10%.

Like today. I was thinking of a fellow blogger whose life-style is greatly similar to mine. We are currently in Toronto and have never met and I was thinking: gee, I should email her, we should get together. And I open my email this morning and there she is, saying let's do lunch.

I'm currently doing research on WW1 for a book and I pick up "The Atlantic Monthly" in the airport yesterday and inside is an article on WW1 and its far reaching effects even into today and when I get to Toronto I find my granddaughter's current project for school is on, you guessed it, WW1.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Blog Jam

View from my room.

I’m in the Heaven of HighSpeed. Safely ensconced here for the night, off at the crack tomorrow to fly to Toronto and Da Fam & Fwends. I’ll be there for a couple of weeks safe in the bazooms of loved ones.

I had the Doldrums of Dial-up Dementia (I’m looking at YOU, Government of Newfoundland & Labrador and I’m not going away until you fix this outrage) for the past 5 months and at times I nearly went mad. In the middle of research, d-i-s-c-o-n-n-e-c-t without warning, uploads taking 30 minutes when normally it would be minute. Downloads the same. Very, very difficult to run a business. I think it takes twenty times longer and my head feels like it's exploding. Not to mention writing a blog, loading up pics or watching YouTube. Facebook is painful and I tend to avoid it as everyone’s albums are so tempting but what takes you 5 minutes will take me 100.

Rant over.

BTW: If you’re ever going to book a hotel, don’t go directly to the hotel site or call. Book through Expedia on the net. About half the price. Seriously.

We had the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall here for about 4 days. One of our outports will soon be celebrating 400 years of British Settlement. Quite a ho-hum reception, apart from the pols tripping over each other. In some areas the security outnumbered the actual audience. H1N1 virus fear was part of it, but in general most feel the monarchy is irrelevant. I’ve always liked Prince Charles, didn’t much care for Diana, I feel he has come into his own since the shadows have been lifted from Camilla. Here he talked green and environment and military and architecture - his passions - and enchanted the school children.

Which brings me to the secret service sitting at the table next to me at dinner tonight. I pretended to be reading while listening. A favourite hobby of mine. There were three: one woman, two men. The woman was from Newfoundland originally, the men were from B.C. and Quebec. They had met only through this detail and were going back to their rooms later to write up full reports (the royal couple left late yesterday). I loved the feeler bits of the conversation, the scratching around to find the common ground. After the first beer, they found it. Fishing. They all fished. But the woman’s stories were astonishing. Her father had employed her on his boat in the summers in her university years. Her biggest catch had been a 380lb tuna which still held the record in her fishing family. She told of landing a shark which she thought she’d killed but when she was taking a picture of her uncle with his hand on the head it turned and snapped at his arm which involved a tourniquet and him being lifted off the boat by helicopter after a mayday call. It took 80 stitches along with staples to fix his arm and hand.

Dining alone sure can have payoffs.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Mary Molloy Todd MacKay 1917-2009

I loved her. She was who I wanted to be when I grew up. Wise. Artistic. Kind. Opinionated. Well Read. And downright sexy.

She died tonight. It was time. Her mind was sharp. Her body not so much. She did it quietly. Turned her face to the wall. And left us. Richer.

I am so struck by how she looked as a child and how she looked the last time I saw her in May and had the foresight to take a picture. The same intelligent,direct gaze. The same gorgeous hair.

I am so glad I wrote the following for her on her birthday this year and sent it to her. She loved it. And showed it to her friends. I could tell her anything. And she would tell me stuff she couldn't tell her daughters.

Sleep with the angels, my dear friend. You were so loved.

A Tribute to Mary Molloy Todd MacKay on the occasion of her 92nd Birthday.

The facts were this:
Born 1917, Donegal, Ireland.
Emigrated Canada, 1921.
Married twice.
Children two.

Unwritten was this:
Handsome, intelligent.
An artist, a reader.
A seamstress, a raconteur.
Elegant conversationalist.
Lover of fine food and opera,
Opinions on life and love were
Well thought out, sympathetic.
And sometimes argumentative
But never cruel. Shy (but why?)
Humourous, mischievous.
And still counts her numbers in Irish.

And this may surprise you:
She harboured a dream.
Of wearing top hat, glitter vest
And black satin shorts.
While dancing in fishnet stockings
On shimmering high heels.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Yeah, I admit it. I'm a very cheap date.

I've always been a fan of little awards and hugs and attagirls. Yeah, you could call me a whore for fame, even of the tiniest kind. Festoon me with glittery baubles and bright shiny beads and I'll be yours for life.

But Green Stone Woman went a couple steps further today and gave me not one, not two, but three shiny objects which have me bedazzled.

Now I'm not going to spell out the people I'd adorn with them. You know who you are, you faithful throng. So help yourselves to one or all. Ah go on, you know you want to.

As for me? I'm off to hang them in my hall at the left. To hell with the decor.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Getting away from it all

I took the photo from my deck and I got to thinking about the new house in the middle of it and wondering if he ever took a picture from his front porch.

It’s odd isn’t it? The fact I am someone else’s view. My old saltbox house across the bay is a feature in the vista from his fancy double decker “cabin”.

They say he’s a townie lawyer, this fellow who spent the money and built his dream getting-away-from-it-all. Though he doesn’t escape much looks like. For now and again I point the old binocs his way and I've yet to see a car in the curlicue driveway.

Then again he might have gone completely fancy and built himself some underground parking. You just never know, so I’ve been told, with these fancy lawyers and their townie ways coming to the outports now and again to escape from it all. If they can spare the time.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weird Food Combos

Does anyone else do this? I mean combine foods together that wouldn't 'normally' be married. The weirder the better.

Like: I love a fresh Montreal bagel, topped with peanut butter and hot salsa.
or: a mound of mushy green (dried, marrowfats) peas slopped between two slices of absolutely fresh out of the oven white bread.

As a child I would love french fries (chips) sandwiched on white bread.

My mother would mix chopped fresh lettuce and shallots with hot mashed potatoes.

One of my good friends loves chocolate covered raisins tossed on hot popcorn at the movies.

I make a scrumptious vegan soup with peanut butter and pumpkin and coconut.

Any other food weirdos out there?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Healthcare Math 101

Al Franken (Senator – Democrat – MN) is a breath of fresh air. He blows it all over the U.S. Senate Judiicary Committee yesterday.

It seems like medical bankruptcies in the USA are occurring in unprecedented numbers and Mr. Franken is asking some brutal questions in his concern for the unfortunate victims.

People like this woman going into bankruptcy because of her dead son’s medical bills, (he died of cystic fibrosis at 4-1/2) incurring 5 million dollars in debt, losing their home and couldn’t afford even the fee for bankruptcy:

Kerry Burns described to senators the 13-month illness of her son, Finnegan, who died in a Washington hospital last March at the age of 4½. Burns and her husband, Patrick, had taken leaves from their jobs in order to be at the boy’s side through several surgeries at three hospitals, living on disability and unemployment pay and falling so far behind on their bills that they could not recover financially.

“The emotional hardship my husband and I endured over the course of our son’s hospitalization pales in comparison to what we have felt since his loss,” Burns said, referring to their “financial ruin,” as she called it, and the humbling experience of filing for bankruptcy.

In particular, Burns singled out the bankruptcy system’s requirement that she and her husband take a computerized class in credit counseling. It was “sort of a slap in the face.” The Burnses said they felt insulted by the tone the class, which included questions “about why we were going bankrupt and how we could have avoided the situation in which we currently find ourselves.”

This seems totally alien to those of us living in countries which have universal health care: Like the other day, I receive in the mail from my provincial government an unexpected drug card. Yes, because I’m a senior, I’m entitled to free prescription drugs along with my free medical care. Just show my card at the pharmacy. Any pharmacy. I'm not under review by the death panel yet, obviously.

And for an etcetera: there’s a little sheet telling me to be sure to stock up on my free drugs if I plan to take an extended trip outside of Canada. This must seem like fables from another planet to those living in the USA,”Land of the Free for Nobody-at-all”.

Mr. Franken goes on to question Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Diana Furchtgott-Roth when she insists that those countries with universal health care also have citizens who declare medical bankrupticy:

FRANKEN: I think we disagree on whether health care reform, the health care reform that we’re talking about in Congress now should pass. You said that the way we’re going will increase bankruptcies. I want to ask you, how many medical bankruptcies because of medical crises were there last year in Switzerland?
FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: I don’t have that number in front of me, but I can find out and get back to you.
FRANKEN: I can tell you how many it was. It’s zero. Do you know how many medical bankruptcies there were last year in France?
FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: I don’t have that number, but I can get back to you if I like.
FRANKEN: Yeah, the number is zero. Do you know how many were in Germany?
FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: From the trend of your questions, I’m assuming the number is zero. But I don’t know the precise number and would have to get back to you.
FRANKEN: Well, you’re very good. Very fast. The point is, I think we need to go in that direction, not the opposite direction. Thank you.

The fact that all this is being debated, in the year 2009, is an absolute travesty and symptomatic of a corporatocracy gone wild.

And will it be fixed? There may be some minnows thrown to the great unwashed, but when a victim of wife-battering or rape is deemed to have a "pre-existing condition" and is denied basic health care, is there any real hope at all?

And U.S. "Medical Exiles" here in Canada are now becoming visible (and more outspoken).
Kathleen Kelly is an American who married a Canadian. They now live on Bowen Island in British Columbia with their six-year-old son. It sounds idyllic. The trouble is, she'd like to have the ability to go home -- to California. But she says she can't because of her son's health. And in her view, that makes her a medical exile.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Your friend gets the news thirteen months ago.

You think to yourself, hey, this is wrong, someone’s made a huge mistake: she’s a life long vegetarian, an emergency room nurse, a volunteer, a great woman to all who knew her, her sons are still too young and she's just within seconds of having an overdue retirement.

Where she can travel a bit to her family in Nova Scotia, maybe visit me for a week or three; the plans are rich, expansive. Kayaking, she loves kayaking. And hiking, boy, she really leaves us eating her dust when we’re out. She's lost her dog in the last wee while, was planning on getting another one. See? She'd far too much on the go. It wasn't time.

Always good at advice, one of those who’s very unobtrusive. But wise. She’d throw lovely little parties with unusual ice creams and organic cakes and candles everywhere. Even on her small deck. She was like that. She could be relied upon to bring something interesting to the Annual Ladies’ Brunch that I hold every year in Toronto. And she’d present you with flowers out of the blue. Because.

Her last emails were full of the harvest on her balcony. Clipping her lettuce. Watching her Japanese maple grow to 9”, gathering her tax papers to ship to me, doing her meditations.

Inoperable fucking brain cancer.

She died at 10.00 p.m. last night.

RIP dearest Diana.


A little poem I wrote which was read at her memorial service:

For Diana

Death is only for the living:
The bereft standing there
Embracing the sharp edges
And chilling silence
Of your vanished vitality.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blog Jam

We had a bad storm on Tuesday night. Winds howling at over 120kmh in this little outport, even higher elsewhere. Buckets full of snow were blasted at the windows, clinging briefly to the panes and then falling in a puddle on the ground and disappearing. Phones blew out, dialup was a dim memory, dinner was cooked on the fire and gratitude was in the heart for being safe indoors as plans were deferred.

The sun came out yesterday bathing all in its path with that special light that only the aftermath of a storm can bring. A wondrous golden hue to everything. Like the child who shrugs after doing something really bad. "Who, me?"

I wore my aran sweater yesterday. I wear it, oh, once a year. It is too bulky to go under a coat and far too warm for spring and early fall. But yesterday was perfect for it. It will last a couple of hundred years at this rate.

We caught up on one of the deferred plans and went to the fishers' museum in St. Vincent's. Fishermen's Museum really. But I do prefer the more PC term. Because it wasn't only the fishermen. It was the women who toiled and slaved and worked so hard in the houses on the shore.

I was completely bewitched with the quilt shown above. Utterly and completely. I don't think I've ever seen women's work more honoured in one outstanding piece of work like this. In stark black and white.

Profound and gorgeous. I had to be pried away. I wanted to spend all day with it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cartoon of the Week

I posted about Raymond Lahey, Bishop and paedophile, here. It turns out that his associates (read priests and his superior - the archbishop) knew of his proclivities way back in 1989 right here in Newfoundland when he was a mere priest, and chose to do nothing about it. Along with a collection of child pornography in his home in Mount Pearl at that time, he entertained the boys of Mount Cashel. Yes, those boys. He was promoted to bishop soon after and skipped around to various parishes. As is the wont of the Catholic Church when it rewards its perverts.

As to Roman Polanski, much has been written. I am truly devastated at some of his supporters who have signed the petition urging his release and complete exoneration for child rape and as a fugitive from justice. These supporters I had long admired, but no longer.

Shame on you child rape apologists:

Whoopie Goldberg: (and aren't you glad it wasn't your grandchild this paedophile raped?)
Pedro Aldomar: No longer will I enjoy your movies.
Woody Allen: Q'uel suprise!
Martin Scorsese: And you the father of daughters!
Tilda Swinton: Tilda Swinton!
David Lynch: Wake up, man!

It is completely disheartening. Lahey, at least, has now been isolated and ordered to have no contact with children or anyone under 18.

The Polanski paedophile, on the other hand, had access to his own vulnerable children for the past 30 years and many others, no doubt.


My friend Laurie at Three Dog Blog provided me with this link to Calvin Trillin at The Nation
and this marvellous poem:
A youthful error? Yes, perhaps.
But he's been punished for this lapse--
For decades exiled from LA
He knows, as he wakes up each day,
He'll miss the movers and the shakers.
He'll never get to see the Lakers.
For just one old and small mischance,
He has to live in Paris, France.
He's suffered slurs and other stuff.
Has he not suffered quite enough?
How can these people get so riled?
He only raped a single child.

Why make him into some Darth Vader
For sodomizing one eighth grader?
This man is brilliant, that's for sure--
Authentically, a film auteur.
He gets awards that are his due.
He knows important people, too--
Important people just like us.
And we know how to make a fuss.
Celebrities would just be fools
To play by little people's rules.
So Roman's banner we unfurl.
He only raped one little girl.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Ever Wonder Why More Women Don’t Run for Political Office?

{Above image is from Ms. O'Leary's campaign}

Misogynistic Neanderthals of any description usually move me to a kind of helpless rage on behalf of my fellow victims (read women) on this planet.

But a Newfoundland Neanderthal like Randy Simms, mayor of Mount Pearl, broadcaster of "Open Line" and unapologetic misogynist leaves me in appalled disbelief along with anger.

On his Newfoundland radio show Randy offers his following deep insight into women (a record number ran and won this year) in politics here in municipal council:

On Tuesday’s show, during a conversation with Long Harbour Deputy Mayor Ed Bruce Simms said, “There are two men and five women. Oh, my son you have my sympathy (laughter). You and Gary are not going to get your way on anything, you know that don’t you (laughter). It’s just going to be like being at home, buddy (laughter). We’re being nasty to your lady councillors aren’t we (laughter). No, you’re going to have a good crew out there.”
Sheilagh O’Leary (who won a record number of votes), one of the offended councillors, called in to complain about his sexism.

He told her she was too sensitive and to just get over it.

“My God I love that woman and now she’s, now she’s had to make herself out stupid around me. Damn I’m disappointed.”
Then he goes on, to put icing on the cake, so to speak:

“I’m disappointed for her really, not for me…because being part of a fringe element within a legitimate feminist movement is not a way to advance the cause of women’s rights.”

Emphasis mine.

Yeah, Randy. And you sure know about women’s rights, doncha buddy? Colour me fringe element.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Bum of the Celtic Tiger

(Sorry, couldn't resist the headline).

In an effort to save money, (and the portend of things to come, I've no doubt) Irish parents in Carrigaline, Co. Cork - my home county in Ireland - are requesting that pupils be furnished with their own toilet paper by their parents to lighten the economic load of the school.


The school's principal said the measure had been taken in order to save money in the face of education funding cuts.

"We are endeavouring to trim down expenses and ensure we use our grants towards [educational needs],"

Read about it here.

Now I know why I always thought bidets were a good idea.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

And there are those who ask me why on earth I live here.

I rambled a bit off the beaten track when driving home from my niece's yesterday, where I spent most of the weekend.

This is a photo of Rushoon:

And this is a photo of Spanish Room:

I'm only crazy about the names of these places.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Suffer the Little Children, Again and Again and Again.

Bishop Raymond Lahey resigned from his post as Catholic Bishop of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada a couple of weeks ago. Suddenly. Just prior to his resignation it turns out his laptop had been examined by Canadian Customs officers as Bishop Lahey was going through Ottawa airport on his return from an ‘unspecified’ foreign country. Lahey was arrested because of graphic child pornography images found on his laptop. Apparently he was in the business of buying, selling and trading in such images for a long time.

I’m not surprised. I’m sure you’re not either.

However, the headlines of the Canadian papers reflect a totally different sensibility.

“Nova Scotia Diocese shocked by bishop’s pornography charges.”
– please note the absence of “child” in this headline. This is from The Telegram, our Newfoundland newspaper. Pristine you might call it. Emphasis mine.

Of course every source I’ve read doesn’t disclose the fact that old Ray denied (way back in 1999) that he was unaware of the horrific abuse perpetrated by a priest who reported to him:

The last Bishop in charge of Father Kevin Bennett , Raymond Lahey, says he had no idea Bennett was abusing young boys.
In fact, he says, the Roman Catholic church on the West Coast kept no records of complaints against him.
Bennett sexually assaulted more than 30 young boys, and they are now suing him and the church.

And said Ray also “forgot” to keep written records of the abuse reported to him. He was subsequently involved in overseeing the settlement of the millions of dollars to these victims. Setting a few dollars aside, no doubt, as start up costs for his new entrepreneurial venture. (OK, I surmise only, but seriously: where did he get the money? From his parishioners? From the Vatican?)

His acolyte, Father Paul Abbass of Antigonish says, on hearing of the arrest of his boss, with shock and awe of course:

“I’m sad, I’m shocked, I think I’m mostly concerned about our people, our priests and our diocese.”

You will note in above statement that there isn't one smidgin of remorse expressed for the abused little children that Bishop Lahey profited on.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Tiny Things

I never used to get such a charge out of the small things in life as I do today.

A few examples in the last few days:

The dog and I were waiting anxiously for the first frost. A very important event in this outport with masses of wild rose bushes everywhere. That’s when rose bushes give us their final gift of the year: rosehips, which are ready for the picking after the first frost.

Well it happened. And they were. And I made them into fabulous rose hip jam right away. Much to the astonishment of the locals. They pick all the wild berries here, bakeapples (or cloudberries), cranberries, blueberries and partridge berries. But have never heard of doing anything with rosehips until the CFA (Come From Away - i.e. moi) started picking them.

I don’t have to tell you about the taste surely? Incredible. And a surefire cure for a cold or the flu.

And then, as I’d treated myself to a really good thermometer for setting point of jellies and jams, being this fresh reincarnation, The Outport Woman, I decided to make my own organic yoghurt. Temperature is of the utmost importance with homemade yoghurt at all stages of the making. And by gum. Guess what. This yogurt is to D-I-E for. And I’d say about 1/5 of the price of organic yoghurt in the shops.

And finally, as I’d promised myself and family I’d use every inch of wool stash (you have absolutely NO idea) before I bought more wool, I started knitting a cardigan for myself. I’ve always wanted a hand-knitted cardie and have knitted so many for others over the years. My turn. With every colour of the rainbow on it. You’ll see The Outport Woman coming, let me tell ya.

It’s all the perfect antidote to Iran, climate change, the Great Depression and Peak Oil.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Photo of The Week

Starting with you, Chester. Starting with you.

H/T Bartcop

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Any Guesses as to What This Is?

The above photo was taken on Bell Island, Newfoundland, recently. There is something alien and surreal about it, isn't there?

I'm thinking that Grannymar won't have any trouble identifying it.

What about the rest of you out there?