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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pendulum Mystery

Pendulum Mystery

I do energy work.  For that, I use not only my hands, at a comfortable distance away from the person's body, but also a pendulum, for sensing a person's energy fields, their chakras, and any energy field disturbances.

With my hands and with the pendulum, I'm seeking information that helps me to assess, clear and re-balance the energy fields.

I've had a silver and amethyst pendulum for years, a gift from someone close to me.  Since I was ill last year, it hasn't seemed to have worked as well, but then, neither have I.  Slowly, I am becoming balanced and energized and well again.  Healing is about more than the freedom from illness or disease, more than the recovery from an assault on the body's defenses and more than curing a physical ailment.  To have health is to have a balance and harmony among the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and relational aspects of the self.  I am getting to that balanced place again.

It seemed helpful to seek out a new pendulum, a fresh energy start.  I'd been looking for months and happened upon one that I was immediately drawn to, at a recent  Holistic Fair in Riverview, NBThe vendor was Sarah Jones, owner and manager of "Mystic Moons." 

I found a pendulum with intriguing patterns of pink, gold, green and grey streaks.  I asked Sarah from what stone the pendulum had been carved.  She searched her books for an answer and found none.  The Fair was busy, so I left the pendulum there at the booth.

I've been thinking about the pendulum ever since. Today I visited her shop at 729 Ammon Road, Irishtown, NB and purchased it.  She is still unable to find it in all of her books.  I am still wondering what it is.

Anyone have any ideas about how to find an answer?

In addition to exhibiting at Holistic Fairs, running "Mystic Moons" in Irishtown, Sarah is at the Moncton Farmer's Market each Saturday.  Her website is http://www.mysticmoons.ca

Both photos are mine. Words in red will take you to another website with additional information, if you click on them.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Post-Tropical Storm Irene

This is a blog entry I wrote yesterday but couldn't post until today because of the storm.

August 29, 2011

There is no electricity in 56,000 homes in New Brunswick right now. The power went off early this morning; trees are coming down, but the heavy rain has stopped.

The house is rarely so silent.  Strange yet comfortingly peaceful without the hum of refrigerator and freezer, without the blinking lights from the microwave, computer and television.

The only sounds are the wind gusts twisting the trees, leaves turning inside-out, shaking like fingers anxiously tapping on the wind.  A garbage can rolls and dances on the street somewhere out-of-sight;  the sound of an empty plastic barrel thump-thumping scraping over the pavement.  A clock ticks in the kitchen.  Outside, a truck's back-up beepers pierce the wind-blown silence.

The cats are agitated sitting in their usual chairs by the windows, peering out at the fierce movement in the yard and meowing at me for an explanation.

The sky is smoky grey-green, sombre and malevolent.  Periodically, the sun breaks through for seconds or minutes trying its best to make the day seem more normal.

No one is on the streets walking.  A Town of Riverview truck is slowly patrolling this older neighbourhood, looking for more downed trees.

In the distance, I hear sirens of emergency vehicles warning of their approach.

Post-tropical storm Irene is stomping her way through the Maritimes.  Storm surges, pounding 10 foot waves and heavy seas are expected, as well as flash flooding from the rainfalls.

Though the wind still twists tree branches, yanking and pulling at limbs, a neighbour (with no large trees in his yard) is mowing his lawn.  Albeit slowly, having lost his ball cap to the wind several times.  He and his small black dog are oblivious to the flying debris racing about the neighbourhood.  Amazing!

That was yesterday.  Today, the 30th of August has dawned peacefully sunny.  We are left with only bits of branches and leaves to tidy up here.  We were so fortunate.  It could have been (and sadly was, for many) much worse!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

St. Martins -- Magnificent Views

St. Martins --  Magnificent Views

St. Martin’s was once named Quaco, derived from a Mi’kmaq word meaning “haunt of the hooded seal.”  The area west of the village is now called West Quaco.  After our drive through the St. Martin’s area of New Brunswick recently, I think the whole place should have a name that means “magnificent views.”

I took plenty of photos, as we travelled through spots with intriguing place names:  Little Beach, Bay View, Macs Beach, Quaco Head, Honeycomb Point, Griffin Pond Road, Rogers Head, Cliffview Road, Tynemouth Creek, Duck Pond Road and McCoy Head.

There was fog in the area when we arrived, obscuring the clarity of where the water meets the sky.  The views were lovely just the same.

Gradually the fog burned off and the day was perfect, slight breeze and comfortable temperature, smell of seaweed and salt in the air.

We could have taken a picnic lunch, as there were many places to pull over and get out, to walk along the coast. 

The coastline around the St. Martin’s area was amazingly natural and protected and largely un-crowded.

Anyone, we did meet was friendly and full of information about where to go to see even more magnificent views.

We stopped again at Desideratum Studio & Gallery at 2559 Route111, NB, and spoke with artist Gwen Buchanan. She gave us hints about where some of the best views were to be found. This time, at the Gallery, we did a little early shopping for Christmas.  I bought a small painting by John Ackerson for me; so delicate and warm, I couldn’t leave it behind!

Gwen is a wonderful photographer and if you click here, you will go to her blog site, where you will find the most amazing photos of the area, views she has captured and shared.

If you click on any of the words in red, you will get to another website with more information.  All the photos in this blog entry are mine.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mountain Ash or Rowan Tree

The Mountain Ash or Rowan tree is a popular ornamental tree with a long history and many attached legends.   It was strongly associated with witch craft and the occult; considered magical by many cultures.   Some traditions have evolved from the belief common among Celtic people (the 15th and 16th century) that the tree could offer protection.  Necklaces of Rowan berries strung together with red thread were believed to ward off evil spirits.  It became a symbol of paganism and the supernatural.  To learn more about the legends associated with the Rowan tree, click here.

Besides magical properties, the Mountain Ash has many practical uses.  In North America, berries and bark were used by First Nations.  The wood is easily bent and was used for canoe frames, snowshoes and bows.  In addition, the berries and bark can be used to make a rich black dye; the berries, for brewing spirits.  When cooked, Rowan berries are supposed to have a healing effect on digestion, the liver and the lung.  Warning:  berries must be cooked first before use.  Recipes, click here.

Our Rowan tree or Mountain Ash (not a true Ash) is a striking deciduous tree, 20 feet high.  Now, in late summer, it is covered with rich green feather-like foliage and clusters of vivid orange berries.  In spring, the Mountain Ash was sprinkled with flat-topped clusters of tiny cream coloured flowers.  Later in autumn, its leaves will turn a sunny gold before falling.  It provides an ever changing visual treat with intriguing, lacy shade patterns.  Even in winter, the smooth grey bark is striking against the snow cover.

Soon, when the berry clusters ripen and turn a red-orange, a flock of birds…perhaps cedar waxwings, or grackles, or grosbeaks will descend on our tree to feast their full and will strip it of its vibrant berries in one visit.  I hope to capture that event with the camera.

Mountain Ash trees like to have sun and moist well-drained soil and do well planted at the higher end of a yard.  Ours is midway up the edge of our steep driveway so there is slope enough to keep the excess moisture draining away.

The feasting birds will spread the Mountain Ash seeds in their droppings.  Already, we have two small new trees sprouting at the edges of our property, more beauty, more colours and more magic!

If you click on the words in red, you will go to another website which will provide additional information.

All photos are mine.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Skateboarding on the Street

Skateboarding on the Street

Young men are enjoying a late summer skate
on a clear, warm evening.

In front of the house seems to be a perfect spot.  Newly paved with sparse car traffic, the street provides an ideal wide smooth surface.

The ladder is there because they are using it to create a vantage point, from which to video record themselves zigzagging down, working on various moves.

Some of them will return home with less flesh, as they’ve spent a portion of their skating time with skin-on-the-pavement.

They seemed to really enjoy themselves. 
I wonder if their recording has been successful.

Boys being boys!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Layton Brought Dignity to Politics

This is a letter to the editor of Moncton's Times & Transcript, written by Eldon Hay of Sackville, NB.  Today is August 24, 2011.

Layton Brought Dignity to Politics

To the Editor:

Common to many, I have been touched by the untimely death of Jack Layton, though I did not know him, and have never met him.

I cherish the hope that the civility he helped bring to the House of Commons may continue.

I delight in the positive sentiments about MPs, politicians, councillors, Jack brought honour to these terms.  I also cherish the hope that these positive attributes could attach to other MPs, politicians, councillors.  In my experience we Canadians are singularly blessed by genuinely good men and women in our political life.  We may not agree with their policies or platforms, but we can attest to their honesty, diligence and hard work, irrespective of party.

Finally, minority communities lost one of their most committed, long-time allies.  Jack Layton cared deeply about social justice for all Canadians.  He recognised the fragile beauty of our Charter, and the power of hope for freedom that Canada offers to the oppressed around the world.  One of the best ways in which we can honour his years of service to the fight for equality is to carry his dedication forward.

Eldon Hay

Well said!  Thank you Eldon, and thank you Jack.

If you click on any of the words in red, you will go to another website with more information.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mosquito Murder

Mosquito Murder

Two weeks ago, our “electronic insect killer” died.  It hangs from a tree in our yard and is designed to lure and kill a wide range of obnoxious flying insects, over a one acre area. The ultraviolet light lures the insects.  They are killed when they contact the electrically charged gird area, then fall through the open base to the ground. The outer protective cage prevents pets, birds, butterflies and people from contacting the charged grids.

When it stopped working, we dithered around about whether to replace it.  Went over the use of electricity, worried about accidentally killing good insects, discussed political correctness and reviewed the number and size of mosquito and black fly bites on my skin. I am allergic to mosquitoes and to black flies.  Even when using spay-on insect repellent, I end up with welts that can be 2 inches across and ½ inch high each.

Welts won!

To celebrate the new “electronic insect killer”, I have written a cinquain!  “Cinq” is five in French; hence it is a 5-line poem.  A cinquain has no rhyme, a 2-4-6-8-2 syllable pattern and expresses a thought or image in one or perhaps two sentences.


new one, hung on
the maple, orange cord
wrapped round trunk, plugged in and ready
to kill.

I have received no remuneration for this blog from the Stinger manufacturer – the blog, which as it turns out, could be misconstrued as an advertisement.  I do love my new Stinger though…is it bad to be so content, with a murderous contraption?

Photo is mine.  If you click on the red words, you will go to another website with additional information.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Canada Geese

Yesterday, at the river, the tide was out and the geese were in.

Water levels were so low that the geese could easily stand
 at the shoreline and catch their food going by.

Later, much time was spent by the adult geese
giving various vocal instructions to younger ones,
 about proper procedures for water manoeuvres.

Other large wild creatures were also able
to forage for nourishment along the water's edge.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Poetry Submission

Poetry Submission

My blog entries have been sporadic. Why?  I’ve been working to meet a deadline for a poetry submission and have spent an average of four to five hours a-day writing.  I’m nearly there.

Nearly there, but not there.  Yesterday, I decided to take another look at one of my poems.  It is good, but not great, a narrative with a bit of a story.  The pieces are well-made; they just don’t hold together the way I want and I’ve re-written that poem scores of times.

I’d like the poem to fold, to be about one aspect and then to turn into another.  In order to literally obtain a different perspective, I printed a copy and then scissored it apart into strips of phrases. Then spent time fiddling with rearranging the bits like puzzle pieces to explore other possibilities.

It is more true to itself now; still not perfect.  I will re-type it, update my cover letter and mail the submissions.  Better to have my work out there than to leave it in the drawer.

Writing doesn’t often spring full-blown and complete from my brain, it requires hard slogging and myriad re-writes; research and time spent with reference books.  Though, occasionally, the words spill in a passionate rush, followed by more hours of word-crafting.

Poetry is always about making images, making thoughts and sounds come alive, making music with the words, creating a new way of seeing, a fresh sharing.

I hope I have done that!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011



When I was around nine, I became fascinated with tamarack trees.  They were different from the other evergreens, pine, spruce and fir that grew in the heavy woods around our home.  I wasn’t sure why they were unlike the others.

I was drawn to them because they felt quite welcoming when I touched them.  I could lean into the tree and spread my small arms the length of the branches without getting poked or scratched.  The needles were soft, delicate and pliable.

The needles of a tamarack are indeed soft, flexible and gentle to the touch.  They grow one-by-one in whorls along the shoots, unlike the needles of pine, spruce and fir that grow in clumps or bundles that are stiff and prickly.

Another intriguing tamarack difference, they are the only evergreens that lose their needles, deciduous conifers.  In the fall, tamaracks turn a vibrant golden-yellow and shed all their needles.

NOTE:  This beautiful photo is from the fine photography site of Josh Ellis.
You can see more of his work by clicking on this link:

In winter, their naked trunks and branches stand in contrast to most evergreen conifers that retain their dark green colours all year long.

In spring, the tamarack begins to grow new pale green needles.  By early summer, though they seem to be a paler green than other conifers, a light blue-green shade, they are again fully needled, lush and soft.

Tamaracks are slow growing hardy trees that do well in a moist, acidic, well-drained soil.  The low lying areas in our yard would be perfect.

Do we have any tamaracks?  No.  Not yet anyway.

I loved them when I was a child and love them, still.  Now I understand what makes them so unique, this magic tree of childhood.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bad Hair and the Stinks

Bad Hair and the Stinks

After enjoying, relishing and celebrating three delicious days-in-a-row of sun and summer temperatures, this morning I woke to more rain.

All day, it's felt like "one of those days."  I can't hurry; I can't seem to get out of my own way.  I am uncoordinated; I step on the cat.  I forget to remove my watch before showering and don't notice it, until I am all through the shower.  And it's not a waterproof watch!

My hair has an appointment for a cut on Friday, but suddenly it is out-of-control.  I don't know if I can stand it until then; it's too long, it's too fuzzy, it's too everything.

The mosquito light outside isn't working, so our yard is plagued with mosquitoes and black flies, and I'm allergic to them...so I can't go outdoors.  The insects are ravenous and I'm lunch.  There's no getting out of the house.

I feel bloaty and cranky and yes, I have the "stinks."  When we were children, my mother used to make us go out to play in the woodshed when we were all cranked up and couldn't stand ourselves.  She couldn't stand us either and put us outside to "blow the stink off."  It still seems to be a workable term.

I know these days happen to everyone.  I am not alone.  I know it will all dissipate in time, but for now, the "stinks" have me.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cornhill Nursery, Artists in the Garden 2011

Cornhill Nursery, Artists in the Garden 2011

Yesterday was a delightful summer day.  The weather was a dream-come-true, deep blue skies dotted with cloud puffs
and a light breeze that ruffled through the heat-held air.

We drove Route 890, the scenic road between Petitcodiac and Sussex, to the Cornhill Nursery for their Artists in the Garden event, held yesterday and today from 10 am to 5 pm.

There were dozens of people attending.  Everything was superbly well organized, down to guides to direct car traffic,
to parking in the newly-mown fields,
across the road
from the Cornhill Nursery.

A brief wait would get you into the Cedar Cafe for lunch. Or one could, as we did, buy a sausage or a schnitzel from the Degenhardt BBQ kiosk, a glass of wine or beer from the bar under the shady canopy of the grapevine arbor, or an ice cream cone from another vendor. Food in hand, we were then free to wander the grounds.

Danny Gillespie and accompanist provided live music throughout the afternoon.  We visited with a blacksmith, several potters, a weaver, a knitter, ceramic artists,
three jewellers and three woodworkers, 
all artists of the New Brunswick Crafts Council.

The booths and artists were interwoven amongst the inspirational gardens and sales displays
of the Cornhill Nursery. 

The whole afternoon was a feast of colour, flora and fauna and crafts, accompanied by olfactory pleasures, as we brushed by the sun-warmed plants and trees and breathed their scents.

The delicious varieties of food and the enjoyable music
gave the Cornhill Nursery 
the ambiance of a truly blessed place
to spend a perfect summer afternoon.

It was delightful!  And is open again today from 10 to 5. 

If you miss it this year, make a note on your August calender for next year, and treat yourself
by visiting Artists in the Garden
at Cornhill Nursery.

These photos are all from the Cornhill Nursery website and are from Artists in the Garden 2010.

Any words highlighted in red will link you to another website, with additional information, if you click on them.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Marion Reid's Desk--Is It?

Marion Reid’s Desk—Is it?

We have a new/old desk at our house.  After months of searching for a suitable writing desk for me to use, we found a unique older desk on http://www.kijiji.ca/  last week.

The couple, we purchased it from, shared an intriguing story about the desk’s history.  They told us that it is an old-style teacher’s desk, which they bought on Prince Edward Island (exact location unremembered.)  

Originally the desk was medium brown colour, with different drawer pulls and a key.  They refinished it in a reddish hue, except for the inside of the top of the desk and the inside of the desk drawer, which they didn’t change or touch.  As an antique, those changes make the desk not particularly valuable, but as a desk with a story, it certainly is!

The sellers claim that the desk was used by the Honourable Marion Reid, who was the first woman Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, from 1990 to1995.  For more information about Marion Reid, click here.

Indeed, Marion Reid did begin a teaching career on the Island in 1946, at age 17.  “Apart from a few years leave when her children were young, Reid continued her teaching career for 21 years.”  (Library and Archives Canada)

Marion Reid’s accomplishments are amazing:  wife and mother to 8 children, teacher and school principal, Member of the Legislative Assembly, Speaker of the House, Opposition House Leader and Lieutenant Governor for the Province of Prince Edward Island.  Her political achievements were “firsts” for any Island woman.

Throughout her teaching and political careers, Marion Reid remained active in community service and in women’s issues.

It is fascinating to think of writing at the desk of such an extraordinarily accomplished woman.  If she did, in fact, own or use this desk, it makes the desk an inspiration that comes with a great story.

The name “Marion Reid” is handwritten on the inside of the top of the desk, as you can see from the photo.

Regardless of whether the story is true, this desk is perfect for me to sit and write.  I cherish the feeling of history, and of furniture that has been loved which come with this older piece.  I wonder what other tales this desk might hold.  And what tales it will encourage and inspire.

Note:  Any of the printed words which show in red or blue will link to web pages, with additional information, if you click on them.  All photographs are mine.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

St. Martin's, NB

St. Martin’s, NB

Travelling along Route 111 in New Brunswick, through the rolling emerald hills from Sussex to St. Martin’s is a refreshing day-trip.  The drive offers visual treats, tidy green and gold fields on immense farms, roads edged with seeding wildflowers and chocolate-hued cattails, vibrant green woodlands, lush with feathery larch.

In St. Martin’s, we were delighted to visit Desideratum Art Gallery at 2559 on Route 111, and more than satisfied with the welcome and the artistic creations we found there.  (Read my blog entry from yesterday, August 9, 2011 for more.)

The weather was the usual dreary soggy stuff we’ve endured all summer long.  Despite that, there were breaks in the rain which gave us time to walk the tumbled stone beaches.

We saw the sea caves carved into red rock along the shores.

St. Martin’s has two covered bridges and colourful fishing boats.

The shoreline and protected waters invite people to kayak or walk about and enjoy the quaint ambiance of this seaside village.

Our Sunday meanderings were cut short by the fog rolling in to re-possess the land, followed hard by heavy rainfall.

We left before we had seen all that we had hoped to visit.  A great excuse for a return day-trip very soon!

Note:  Any print words that are in a colour other than black will lead you to more information, if you just click on them.

All photos are mine.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Desideratum in St. Martin's, NB

Desideratum in St. Martin's, NB

Last Sunday threatened to be another in a drear series of sombre soggy days, so we decided to drive to Sussex to lunch at the Broadway Cafe and then to explore some shops.  We arrived and everything was closed...ah, Sunday!

After a snack at the local Tim's, we were still up for adventure.  Having had none to this point, we headed to St. Martin's, NB.

The rain held off for the next 40 minutes, while we travelled the rolling green hills, past lush farmland and healthy forests; a soothing visual delight all the way to the village of St. Martin's.

In St. Martin's, we headed straight for the Desideratum Gallery at 2559 Route 111; easy to find with its vibrant turquoise double doors.  The Gallery houses original paintings, metalwork, handmade art and jewellery, photography and art cards by Gwen Buchanan and John Ackerson.

I've been following Gwen's blog at   http://gwenbuchanan.blogspot.com  and was delighted to meet her and John in person, and greet her welcoming committee of well-mannered and friendly dogs.

Gwen has recently posted a blog entry all about the gallery, with stunning photos of her art and jewellery work, and of John's art work. If you'd like to see, click here.

It was busy at the Gallery, but Gwen made time to talk with us, to explain the evolution of the gallery and of her work, to suggest other things to do and see in the village of St. Martin's.

She is lovely and warm, an extremely talented woman.  I thoroughly enjoyed her and was so impressed by her creative gifts and the wide range of work she produces.

The earrings, prints and card I bought have all found home with me, (though I intended them for gifts).  I will be returning to Desideratum soon to buy gifts for others, really others, this time!  Well, maybe...except for a couple of pieces for me, including a painting of John's, a touching, delicate romantic portrait, with which I am in love.

Gwen's art website   http://gwenbuchanan.blogspot.com

John's art website     http://johnackerson1.blogspot.com

If you haven't been to see Desideratum Gallery yet, do go!  It is a treasure!

I'll post another blog tomorrow of what we saw in St.Martin's, before the fog rolled in.

Text in red or blue contains links which will take you to other webpages or sites, where you can learn more.  Just click on the coloured words.