Disability Advocacy…time to walk the plank not talk the walk….

As a person with an unseen disability and friend and family to multiple others with disabilities, I see daily the walls that are put in place by our society that are near impossible to climb. When will we stop “talking the talk” and “walking the walk” and begin to realize that advocacy is far more than just writing policies??

By its very own definition advocacy is defined as any action that speaks in favor of, recommends, argues for a cause, supports or defends, or pleads on behalf of others. Yet it is interpreted/implied as making a true physical/spiritual/literal change by many in the general population, but by definition alone it is just “talking the talk”. When does advocacy truly become action?

Case in point- my mother is deaf, she started out as hard of hearing but, according to the definition of the difference, she is now considered deaf as her hearing aids do not provide her the ability to understand most people’s speech. In fact, many of the sounds we take for granted are lost to her and by her own definition, “removing my hearing aids puts me in a world of silence”. In spite of this fact, most people assume the hearing aids provide her with this ability and even think that if she doesn’t understand them that yelling will open a magic gateway for them! This is so wrong and disrespectful of the information we try so hard to get thru their obviously functional ears that they do not listen with.

We hear so much about advocacy for the disabled yet at every turn there is a crossroads which is less a simple stop gap but an insurmountable mountain with many crevasses, mudslides, rockslides and sheer drops that have no warning signs and quite often feel to be mislabeled the majority of the time. Add in beaurocracy and it now has an ocean of malcontent added in!

Recent occurrences have made me look into the definition of advocacy and why it appears to such a go to phrase. Its use in all forms of media peaked at around 2010 and while it has shown a minimal decline, the use of the word still far exceeds its second peak in 1965 (it’s first peak was around 1876) and yet the obstacles that are out there despite many technological advances!

One of the most annoying yet hilarious is the inability of deaf persons to communicate via new technology. My Mother is as independent as they come with her physical limitations. She insists on doing many things on her own, including contacting various entities to carry on her own private business. She uses email as her main form of communication; she does not own a TTY machine as she does not have a landline, her cell phone she uses to text people in her circle as needed. All of her emails start put with “I am Deaf and cannot use a phone and do not have a TTY machine” and end with “contact me thru email or text at …-…-…. . Yet almost every email return says “We cannot use email as a way of verifying, please call us”…..I am amazed that she does not have a pile of destroyed laptops as her frustration builds with every email.

With the growth of technology one would assume that new avenues of communication would open up making it easier for the deaf to communicate with official agencies. Let me state that, in my own opinion, these agencies tend to cling to the oldest forms of technology such as faxes and TTY and ignore the fact that secure online possibilities could be made! Instead of TTY, direct face to face interfaces can be created with captioning ability to erase the need for obsolete machinery.

Having met and battled with standard practices that declare an inclusive nature for disabled persons, I am constantly told that I am not welcome in because my Mum wears hearing aids. When we inform them otherwise, we are met with obstinance, nasty facial expressions and bad attitude. This has only worsened with the current pandemic’s tightened restrictions with the result of disabled and elderly persons left without interpretors, medical advocates and worse; yet the same facilities seperating these needed support persons from their charges all have “accessibility policies” in place!

The problem with having accessibility policies is the need to ensure that the people within the organization have the training to understand what the policies truly mean! Case in point, many disabled persons are having more issues getting proper medical care during the pandemic. Policies are supposed to allow entry of support people yet they are being turned away and disabled people awaiting medical care have no assistance to get to the toilet while sitting for hours in a room with no one to advocate for them or assist them with simple care tasks most take for granted. I issue a challenge that all people reading this, attempt to use a wheelchair for a day and attempt to use the toilet without cheating, now imagine a person with very limited physical ability hampered by pain or accident and how much harder it is for them to do so without the aide they might normally have!

Advocacy becomes a boulder when it fails to follow thru on its own voice and instead just “talks the talk”. Policies can be created all they want, they look ever so lovely and inclusive when written upon the websites and the walls but unless the policymakers are willing to walk the plank and experience life as a disabled person, if only for a day, they are as useless as the paper and walls and digital media they are printed upon. Advocacy without action and enactment to follow thru only leads to disenchantment, disruption and dismay.

The 3 D’s are corrosive as they wear away at the patience of a group of people who have been waiting for too long to be heard and included thru no fault of their own. Ignorance is no longer acceptable as there has been much education on the “benefits” of inclusion, yet the reality is that accessibility is still very much a fantasy not reality.

The time has come (no, not the Walrus) to stop talking and start doing. Start living by the reality and make as many places truly accessible. If you are clueless as to what accessibility is then put on a blindfold and go for a walk. Learn why those wierd raised dots on sidewalks are and what they mean. Interpret the world as a blind person; try the challenge of being partially blind and the challenges that can bring. Get into a wheelchair and negotiate bathrooms, ramps etc. Find out how exhausting it is to push oneself around! Put plugs in your ears and attempt to lip read and watch people’s reactions when you don’t respond because they cannot see your hidden disability (make sure you don’t try to negotiate traffic!).

Once you discover what it is like to walk the plank of disability you should have a much larger appreciation of the world you are fortunate to live in; where you are not fighting against an unforgiving tide just for access to live as a person with respect and self esteem; to not have to deal with humiliation and shame. Everyone deserves accessibility as a right not a concession or a favour; make a difference and stop being just an advocate and start being an action.

The Power of Words

Watching Anne with an “e” on Netflix. I am probably one of the few people who did not get the pleasure of reading Anne of Green Gables as a child as it was not a book found in used book stores and my parents could not afford the indulgence of an expensive new book.

The shame was it was not a book used in the Canadian school system when I attended; for if it had been, I would have found a kindred spirit in the imaginings, musings and realities of the world of Anne Shirley. Perhaps I would have not felt so alone in school.

Nothing can replace books for growth of imagination. Once the love of words has struck you to the depths of your soul, there is nothing more comforting than the pleasure of opening a book and feeling as if an old friend has returned to your side.

Love of the written word cannot be replaced by any other thing for with words you can transport yourself to another time or place or even world. Allow yourself the ability to live another life not your own or to bring others into your life with your own writings.

The world without words is a very poor place indeed and words have far more power than anyone can imagine, if they only let themselves do drawn into the magic of the writings of others.

I always dreamed of being an author, for I had the imagination that allowed me to vividly see the words I read as moving pictures in my mind, as well as elaborating on all the stories I enjoyed!

Perhaps my dream will come true as I compile my musings of many years of being a dog groomer into the written word.

Or perhaps detail the perils of growing up in a large family of five and all the adventures and ensuing issues that came with different personalities.

We shall see…

Sugar Free Brownies

Okay, this is my problem…I start baking and I can’t  stop! So you are getting 2 for 1 today!! Another converted recipe. I find that BSS (brown sugar subsitute) does much better for baking recipes than regular sugar substitute! I believe it has something to do with the composition of the product.  But I am slowly working more of my recipes with more of the BSS and watching the difference and might not use SS in the future at all for baking.

So here we are with another group of ingredients! I always gather first to make sure I have all I need, nothing worse than realizing you don’t have the amount you need of a specific ingredient!

So, for Sugar Free Brownies you will need:

1/2 cup melted butter

1/4 cup SS (sugar substitute)

1/2 cup BSS

Vanilla (about 1/2 t, I just drop the amount I feel.like)

2 eggs (farm fresh of course)

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup applesauce

4 Tablespoons Cocoa

Nuts (I used pecans)


Preheat to 350°- the oven not you!( menopausal women will get this!)

Mix well!

Mix the first 3 ingredients well, as the BSS seems to like to seperate to the bottom.

Crack farm fresh eggs into a seperate bowl always! Sometimes you might get a surprise if you don’t! And if you are not sure of the freshness of the farm eggs do a float test!

Add the eggs into the buttter/sugar mixture and mix well, then add the flour and mix again.

Always scrape the bowl well

Now add the baking powder, the vanilla and cocoa and mix well again.

Add the applesauce, and guess what?? Mix well them stir in the nuts.

Your misture should have a nice glossiness to it.! Pour into the greased 9×9 pan and put into the oven.

Time to clean the oven, I Know!!!

Bake for approximately 20 minutes. They always say til the toothpick comes out clean but I figure by sight and touch. It should be firm with a light sponginess but not sink!

Remove from oven and let cool then cut into squares and store in a container! I tend to refridgerate Sugar free baked goods or freeze them in small batches as they tend to mold faster than any regular baked goods. Enjoy!

The best part about baking other things than cookies is the ability to sit down and relax for a few!

Let me know if you are interested in more sugar free baking recipes!

Sugar Free Lace Cookies

Well the grooming gourmet has retired and now I am just reinventing myself into the new old me! Grooming was my life for 34 years and it has been difficult to stop revolving around that world. A few weeks ago hubby asked me what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, because I was stull getting caught up into grooming drama. I thought carefully about it and said I was thinking about really blogging and vlogging about the smallholding and rediscovering myself…

So here I am!!

Yum yum baked goods in the making!

I have always loved to bake and I adore Amish and heritage recipes so those are the ones I focus on. I also convert recipes to sugar free for my diabetic husband and do pretty well with those! I am definitely an apron needed gal while baking because I tend to wipe my hands on what I am wearing and not intentionally either! And then there are those OOPS moments where a cloud od flour dust manages to get me!

Best Apron ever! Edwardian apron from Recollections.biz

So today since it has finally decided to cool down from a hot hot summer here in On, Canada, I promised hubby to bake him some cookies! So I will  be sharing a converted recipe for the sugar disabled persons out there!

Collect ingredients first!

So today I am sharing a converted Lace Cookie recipe from a book that my Mum handed down to me from WW2 regulated Britain. Not all recipes in this book are from the war- that is just when the original book was printed with its wartime recipes section and vitamins in types of foods chart, which is quite an interesting few pages to read. Many recipes predate before the war and this is one of them.

Preheat always for baking!

So preheat your oven to the temp of 375°. Collect the ingredients, you will need:

1 egg (farm fresh is best!)

1/4-1/2 cup Brown Sugar Substitute (BSS for short)(I use 1/4 cup for my recipe)

1 teaspoon melted butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I make my own)

1/2 cup oats (I used quick oats this time)

1/2  cup chopped nuts (walnuts)

1/2 cup shredded coconut (used what I had which was sweetened)

1/4 teaspoon salt (I used salted butter so omitted this step)

Butter, egg and BSS

Melt butter, let cool, beat in egg well, add BSS & vanilla.

I use my mortar and pestle to break down the nuts!

Add remaining ingredients, mix well. Place by teaspoons(I always use a cookie scoop) onto parchment covered sheet

Remember to cool for several minutes or they will fall apart!

Bake 375° for 12 minutes or until brown. Let cool on sheet several minutes to firm up before removing to wire  to cool completely(not possible- man must eat warm cookies!!!!)

So there you have the Sugar Free Lace Cookie recipe!

I have found that a lot of the heritage recipes do not make large batches, since sweets were considered a treat!

Another tip I picked up on for heritage baking is to get eggs to room temps and seperate them for cake baking and really whip up the egg whites to add lightness to a recipe. If you want you can do this for flour based cookie recipes as well.

Most eggs in the UK are kept at room temperature, unlike North America, because they are not washed as a matter of routine before being packaged for sale!

Eggs are pourous and washing off the bloom makes them far more easily contaminated!

Hopefully you will find this an enjoyable recipe and it does not take much time to prepare at all, just a matter of minutes….the baking takes the most time!

On current events…racism is a terrible thing but I see people sharing all the negative stories about LEOs and nothing positive. This does not help the situation! Now people are blocking LEOs and FDs from situations where they are truly needed; putting innocent bystanders at risk!

I myself have had several reasons not to trust cops. Twice I have been pulled over, only to have the LEO to back pedal quickly once they realized I was not alone, which led me to believe the pullover was bogus, and on the part of the LEO for personal intimidation leading to nefarious means.

I am also very cautious when I do get pulled over because a man impersonating a LEO killed 3 women in my area as a teen; with one of the bodies being found months later 1/4 mile from my parents house by a hunter. So I definately have trust issues about LEOs.

The situation in the US is highly volatile yet having lived there I can say I have lost the shell shock of these such incidents. They have happened many times over my years there so while it despairs me, it also does not hold the shock value it did when I was a teen and first moved to the US. I have seen too many incidents with people afterwards rejoicing in the incident itself, looting stores, mistreating their own neighbors that I have little hope for the human condition to really change itself.

I find that the bigger the public response is with marches and propoganda, the less change seems to happen. People go back home and go back to their same lives, feeling they have done what needed to be done. And they think little of changing thenselves and changing the conditions in their own neighbourhood, village, town etc.

Perhaps because I have always worked in services, I have seen the more personal sides of peoples lives. Been their confidant, shoulder to cry on and own personal ‘bartender’ when they weren’t the type to frequent one. I have seem more than the usual share of human lives and have always tried to help change theirs if I can, even if it was just giving of my time to a lonely person.

This is where we can help change things, by giving our time to people in our communities; by seeing the human condition a little more closely, one learns to judge the surface less and look more at the person. Compassion and empathy tends to grow stronger when you learn to judge less.

There is a lot of truth to the saying “Eyes are the mirrors of the soul” for the eyes truly do open your ability to communicate with one another. A person can smile but it’s the eyes that tell you whether its a real smile or faked. Sometimes people will refer to a childs eyes as the eyes of an old soul and sometimes that is so true; children see a lot more than one realizes and sometimes have seen far more than one would want them to.

As the world turns rapidly around us, We all need to look inwards and reflect in how we view one another and how we view others may have changed lives for the better or worse. How often do we let our own personal experiences colour how we view everybody we meet? Or judge other based on how they judge us?

I get nervous by flashing police lights- do I ignore them or try to avoid them? No, I pull over and if they stop behind me, have often explained to them my nervousness, which usually creates a better base for us to work from. Most are very understanding and it allows them insight into future experiences and how they can handle things differently.

We all say “Don’t judge a book by its cover” yet right now many are judging all LEOs by their cover. As protests turn violent, do not judge the LEOs by their riot gear, judge the fact that they are human and have families too-families that want them home safe yet they have chosen to uphold the law and will wear what they need to protect themselves from lawbreakers. Remember that they are scared too, because a select few broke the rules they were sworn to uphold and now they are viewed as less than human.

While I am not a religious person I find the words of Psalm 23 turn over in my mind for in its words there is true meaning; that both sides of this conflict could draw strength and meaning from and be united in knowing that the meaning is the same from different perspective. Let this conflict not divide us more but unify us!

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations


With all that is going on in the USA I find it annoying how many people are telling others they are racist or unenlightened without really listening to what the person is saying. I am an equalist, was raised one by my parents who truly taught us to treat all people how we expect to be treated. Have I been taken advantage of by people over the years? YES. Do I change? Not Really. But I also expect everyone to try to do their share as well.
To put forth their best effort.

A few years ago I was on a board on the Internet, one of the people was interested in using my services. We chatted, spoke on the phone and she set up an appt. When she entered my shop, she announced herself and asked if I was surprised. I replied “No you sound like you did on the phone, why?”. Her reply “Because I’m black!” I looked at her, looked at myself and cried out “OMG I’m white!!” She just looked at me for a minute then laughed and said “It doesnt bother you at all does it?” Nope!

I don’t form preconceived ideas of what people look like from their posts on the Internet or their phone conversations. In fact, I can say I am always wrong! I won’t call out someone who I suspect is closeted, in fact 2 of my best elderly clients I called the B**be sisters( the name their client file was under), when I knew in fact they were not sisters (even got called out on it by a gay coworker and told him I knew what they were but its noones business to out them in a public setting and I knew they weren’t sisters because I saw their names on the check they wrote) stayed with me for many years, moved shops with me and was the shoulder to cry on when one passed away. I had probably the biggest LGBT clientele in the area because as one stated “You dont give a dam, you treat us like anyone else” and I told her ” I don’t see any reason to treat anyone differently”

If I treat people coolly or with a slight suspicion it is due to wariness born by previous experience, not predjudice or racism. In fact I tend to be wary as a whole now because of past experiences but once I accept you into my life, I tend to open my home and life to anyone and treat them like family, it was how I was taught by my parents, in fact my Dad was somewhat known for handing a hammer to any guest that came around. We tended to get a laugh out of their expressions that they were not treated as guests but expected to lend a hand at whatever he was up to!

In fact my Dad was so on par for treating people equally, many years after he did a military stint in the late 50’s in Singapore, one of the Gurkhas from the unit serving alongside them, was visiting Canada, knew he had immigrated there, tracked him down and took him out to dinner to thank him personally for treating them as equals. My parents left the UK to move to Canada in the 60’s because he could not break the glass ceiling in his industry there because he was from the wrong side of the tracks and didn’t have the ‘right’ education.

Sometimes I am amazed he turned out that way despite his parents- my Gran wouldn’t hang up my wedding photo because of my brother’s ‘coloured’ fiancee in it- but it goes to show that it is possible to overcome environment and remove predjudice from your thinking.

It’s always amazing how many times people will try to act superior to one another, even at Walmart( where I have a PT retirement job), people will give an attitude to the workers, as if working there makes us lesser in their mind. It goes to show that everyone needs to change up their thinking.

I think my Mum’s way of explaining race to my eldest brother when he saw his first black person in the UK and asked why that person was differentin the best. She took him to a planting of flowers and likened people to them, asking him “Would you like it if all flowers were the same?” To which he replied “No” and she then explained how boring it would be if all the flowers looked alike and smelled alike and wasn’t it wonderful that we had so many different kinds and each one with its own special qualities and isn’t it wonderful how the world had so many people that were different? And he agreed.

Many years later my brother would share an office with a black man and they would jokingly call each other by slurs. My brother was overheard using an expression and the black man was pulled out and told he could press charges on my brother. He replied”Have you ever met his wife or seen what his family looks like? If you had you would know we’re just joking around” In fact, the black man had said something else in return but the other person never heard it as he was so focused on the word my brother had used(which was not a real bad one ‘Boy’, the returned word was far worse!)

So, as children, we had an extended ‘immigrant family’ due to many of my Dad’s coworkers also being immigrants and being just immediate family units, we had ‘aunts & uncles’ from many walks of life, accents and skin colours! And we never knew anything different!

Isn’t it wonderful to be surrounded by so many ‘flowers’? There is a lot of truth in the expression “Take time to smell the Flowers” for if we begin to appreciate the beauty in each other and enjoy the differences, maybe, just maybe, we can change the way everyone thinks and begin to understand why we are all so varied as People and Love Ourselves.

May Flowers

Well its May and time has been flying by as usual; I keep swearing I will keep working on the blog and life gets away from me as usual. But that has always been my norm.

Spring has been a slow process here in Eastern Ontario and the leaves are now fastly showing themselves and the hints of apple buds are starting to show

I have been working on clearing some brush piles and moving some wood whether legs or fence posts or rails in a rush to prevent the grasses from overtaking them for another season and making good progress.

With Covid19 and the dangers it poses to family and the fact that my husband crosses the border every single workday I have taken time off from work as, according to the lockdown rules, any person in contact with another who has been out of the country should self isolate. So it has given me time to work on not just my farm but my mental health.

Before I took leave I was beginning to experience some old issues associated with my PTSD and while in the past I might have ignored them, I know better now that to do so usually leads to degraded health in the long run. And with my Mum being a huge risk for dying from this disease if she was exposed, that further degraded my mental health.

So with time on my hands I have been able to take some time to reflect on my smallholding and where I want to see it go. So after loosing most of my flock to coon attacks, I pulled out my incubator and hatched out a spring group of babies, hopefully some are from the eggs laid before the flock was decimated, along with some from my other coop birds.

I also built a brooder for them to grow out a bit in the workshop and will be building an area in the coop for them to socialize thru the wire with the older birds so they will be more readily accepted in the flock.

So these little personalities are the flowers of May this year as opposed to actual flowers which aren’t really blooming yet!

I recently have made a few videos and posted them to my youtube channel

Uisge Ruithe

So if you would like to see the smallholding I have done a few walks. I will also be posting more as I go along as I make progress on the different projects.

While the whole world is going mad around us, the peacefulness of Flowing Waters keeps me centered. So enjoy a luttle bit of my corner of the world and expect big things a little bit of growth at a time!

December Thoughts

We are now in the end of the fine month of December here at the smallholding and I hear many times a week the lament that the snow has come and how another winter has come and yet I think many times “Well it’s Canada?!?!?!”

I find it hard to grasp why people constantly complain about something that comes every year; it is not as though it is a surprise that winter is coming, it is actually a season to me of practicality, for without it we would not get the pleasure of Spring and the renewal of growth. Winter is a period of rest and preparation for renewal of life. It is also a great time for reflection and and can be useful in getting things accomplished during the long quiet winter evenings.

Not too many years ago Winter was when new clothes were made, shoes were repaired or new ones cobbled and fabric was woven on looms from the fall harvest of natural fibers, whether wool, cotton or flax. It was also a time when many children had the chance to go to school since they were needed on the farms during the growing and harvesting seasons more often than not.

Women were the heartbeat of a household in many ways for without them the home could not function. People have forgotten how little we need to do to live. Now we buy our clothes, food and goods from stores with little regard for the labour required to create them. When one considers that people had to raise the fibers required for their clothing, then harvest it, prepare it for weaving, weave it then actually make their clothing, you can understand why people had fewer outfits.

Living on the smallholding with an objective to growing our own with the goal of self sustainability makes you read a lot of books and many of them give you insight to our ancestors way of life. Lessons learned the hard way, sometimes the easy way. Neighbours were important and community was small many times but large in others.

An example is in the small village I live outside of, a friend opened up a small thrift store in the spring of 2018. It has been an amazing experience of locals contributing goods which we then sort, turn around and sell to the community for low prices they can afford. The shop is staffed by volunteers with all the profits going back to the community. For Christmas we provided working families with 40 turkey dinners and 66 children of varying ages with presents as well as stockings. Not a small feat for our small group and it has allowed me to meet many people in our new hometown.

(The owner also brainstormed a most amazing Remembrance Day window!)

Sometimes the hardest part about moving to an area totally new to you is having to make new connections, new friends.

Serendipity is amazing in the way I met the owner. A few years ago we had an exposure of a secretive movement on the part of county counsel to sell a waste disposal property with a 20 year old approval. In setting up a meeting place for the first meeting that the public attended I met her through her access to a meeting place. Over time and through the beginning of the thrift store we have become friends with a lot in common. On a side note we received the news just before Christmas that our Environmental Minister has stripped the certificate of approval from the site!

I like to think of this picture as the caped crusader of victory!

So as December closes and we rapidly move towards 2020, I look back on what the last year has brought to my life. Reflection is always an adventure as it teaches you what is important and what is not. Quality vs quantity trumps all.

Life moves on and we are just along for the ride, players on the stage. Winter is a time to rejoice for the next season ahead.

Christmas is Love

Merry Christmas to all! Here on the smallholding the temps are quite moderate for Canada, only 0C! It’s a quiet Christmas, having no children at home and our only Grand living hundreds of miles away, it reminds me how much Christmas is about children. The time and nurturing put into keeping the Holiday a happy one for kids is only truly noticed when there are no children in the house to do such for.

But here we are also enjoying this quiet part of our lives and relaxing while our newest household member plays around us. Smudge came to us shortly after losing Fauve, my pet for 18.5 years. She is everything Fauve was not so it is a total turnaround. Where Fauve was distant, Smudge is affectionate. Fauve was a one person cat and Smudge knows no strangers! Smudge’s picture is from this morning and Fauve’s is the last taken of her.

Smudge was a gift from a coworker who had taken in a young barn cat who was carrying a secret and presented them with kittens a few weeks later. I have always wanted a white cat and as soon as I saw the litter I prayed she would have bi colour eyes so she wouldnt be deaf( her eyes were blue at birth and for weeks after) and shortly before she joined us her 1 eye started to change colour! A deaf kitten would have been too much fun for Dolly who loves to play with cats!

Animals are.proof that Love is never an empty vessel but continues to flow over, adding to our lives in a constant steady method. At Christmas we celebrate love in many ways to remember.

This has been a busy year and many things have happened since I last posted on the blog. I always tell myself I must be more regular and this year that is my goal! In September my daughter married her long time partner in a close intimate wonderful wedding that was perfect for them.

I have never been happier than to see her look so beautiful and happy. She has always followed her own pathway and while her wedding was unconventional it was totally her! Then they bought a house about 5 weeks later! We spent American Thanksgiving with them and enjoyed their new home. Love is a wonderful thing!

Live teaches us lessons daily as we walk thru life and we do things for others out of love. Love is as simple as a cherry pie.

Cooked this morning because my husband asked for it! As well as the coconut custard one I had stashed in the freezer! Love is about giving as well as receving. It also teaches us compromise in everything we do but especially in relationships! Many times you will do things for love that you would not always do on your own, or give up things because it makes things easier in a relationship.

Sunsets are a thing I love as they cast such wonderful colours around us and remind us that every day is a gift granted to us. They temind me that there is a new day just waiting to be born!

Families are all about love, as love allows us to grow thru nurturing and allows friendships to form thru love of 1 person in symbiosis with another you love. Here is my daughter with her cat who grew to love her son because she loved my daughter. Sadly she died young due to cancer but Reese was so sweet to my grandson and mever scratched or bit him even though he was a very enthusiaistic little boy and she was ill although we didnt know it at the time.

Love comquers all they say and I tend to agree. And that is why Christmas is about Love, for whether you are religious or not, this holiday brings people together is a wondrous way by showing us that giving is a far greater gift than receiving!

I volunteer at a local community supported Thrift Store. The owner makes no profit and turns all the profit from the community donated goods sold at the store go to.the local community. All of us who work the store donate our time at no charge.

This year we supported 66 local youth from working poor families to have gifts on Christmas as well as 40 Christmas turkey dinners! The community response was staggering, between donations of money and presents and food, it shows that the spirit of Christmas is alive and well in our little village and larger township!

Christmas is all about Love so make sure you tell those you Love how much they mean to you today and every day! Blessings!

Life Flies By

Spring has gone by, summer has flown by and is almost done and life goes on. It’s always busy here in the St Lawrence corridor and here on the smallholding. We have had 2 clutches laid and hatched out and a few losses due to predation but once again that is part of the life cycle.

We have had 1 hen go broody again and she has had a clutch of purebred eggs from our Chanteclers placed under her so hopes are that we will have sone new chicks that will expand our purebred strain.

Recently in the city of Brockville there was the Tall Ships festival which occurs every 2 years and brings many tall ships to the region.

Recently my longtime companion Fauve passed on and left yet another hole in my heart but we had recently adopted a young male, Artemus, who has become my hubby’s cat, so it has not been as drastic as I had feared. She had a wonderful 18.5 years and rests peacefully on the farm in the orchard which is slowly growing.

Artemus is an unflappable young cat who has adapted to Dolly with no issues and their friendship is growing, he has even learned the art of displacing her from her spots with a few scritches of his claws and Dolly, who has great respect of cats, gives it up as swiftly as possible! And Artemus shows no guilt- typical cat!

And with the cycle of life, our eldest is finally tying the knot with her partner of 8 years this coming weekend! And doing it her own way as is her way, it will be a small gathering of close family to celebrate their new beginning. Pictures will be up in the near future!

So as summer fades into Fall, it begins the new cycle. Many people dislike the change of seasons but I look at fall as the harvest season and the biggest season of change. It never ceases to amaze me how Fall puts many things to sleep for the winter in order to bring forth renewal in the Spring.

Life always marches on despite the fact many people wish it wouldn’t, in fact going to many measures to try to hide the changes time brings. I wish more people would slow down and embrace those changes and celebrate them.

Too many times I hear people complain about the weather, the cold, the snow all things I love to celebrate because each brings us new things from those occurances. So as sad as it is to see things pass us by and leave us, I celebrate the fact that each has had a presence in my life and the joy they have given me. For we are defined by our experiences and as such that which we expose ourselves to shall enrich our lives many times over.

Rainbows are a sign of hope and a promise of renewal and lately there have been a few in my life. And I glory in each one!

It has been a while since I ended my blog with a quote but one comes to mind from Ernest Hemingway, a writer of great renown but a Man I feel had many of his own demons, but I think this quote was a true portrait of why he wrote how he wrote.

Bless us all as time flies by….

‘There are events which are so great that if a writer has participated in them his obligation is to write truly rather than assume the presumption of altering them with invention.”

Ernest Hemingway