Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Old Front Porch

Bessie no longer sat in her favourite chair on the front porch anymore.  She took sick last fall and has not been able to leave her bed.  She knew her time  on earth was  almost over. She had been born in this house and lived here all her life. She brought up nine children and cared for her parents until they took their last breath. She lost her husband  twenty years ago and it was then that the old house grew lonely with only her to entertain it. Her oldest daughter came back home to look after her and she knew she was very lucky, otherwise she would have to be in an old people's home wearing hospital gowns and being poked at by nurses and doctors.
 She was still able to eat a little and took the best medicine in the world to relieve her pain.  A  few sips of brandy and honey  six times a day kept her comfortable... what more could she ask at ninety one years old.  She had lived a full life and had went through many rough times. Yet today as she laid in her bed listening to the wind chimes blowing in the wind, she remembered the good times. It kept her occupied to think back on when she first met Peter. He had been such a good looking man and  he made her smile the first time she saw him.  After more than sixty years of marriage, he had still been able to bring out the best in her.  She hoped he would be there to meet her when she arrived in heaven and that he would once again take her hand and make her smile.  As she closed her eyes for the final time, she could hear  everyone out on the front porch on a warm summer's night. They were laughing and dancing to the music. The children were all there, eating her homemade ice cream. Peter was playing  the mouth organ and her brother had the fiddle.  Her mother and father were there playing with the children and enjoying the fun.  She was young and full of energy as she left her home for the final time....

Take the time to watch  some old time fun on a front porch from long ago...

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Gaspe's Household Tips

 Here on the Gaspe Coast, we are  very resourceful. Here are some tips to make life easier and save money as well!

Toothpaste: Buff a CD/DVD
Apply toothpaste to a cotton ball and wipe the disc. Wash with water afterwards and you’ve got a brand new disc!

 Cornstarch: Untangle Knots
Sprinkling cornstarch into tough knots, such as shoe laces helps loosen them.

 Walnut: Buff Dings out of Wood Furniture
Get rid of unsightly scratches and dings on wood furniture by rubbing a walnut on the areas. The blemishes will vanish quickly and your furniture and pocket book will be saved.

 Club Soda: Make Your Breads Fluffier
When baking, where recipes call for water, add club soda instead to make pancakes, waffles and any other breads fluffier.

  Salt: Keep Windows Frost Free
Pour a cup of salt into a liter of water. Sponge the liquid onto the inside of window to prevent frost from forming during the winter months.

  Rubbing Alcohol: Remove Permanent Marker
Dab the surface that has the permanent marker on it with a cloth or cotton ball covered in rubbing alcohol to make it disappear quickly.

   Chap stick: Stops Bleeding When Nicked Shaving
Cut yourself shaving? Just swipe some chap stick over the cut to stop that constant bleeding. No more tissue squares!
Apple Juice: Removes Dandruff
Don’t ask how it works, but it does! Instead of buying a special shampoo, just wash your hair in apple juice to rid your scalp of pesky dandruff.

  Aspirin: Get Rid of Armpit Stains on T-Shirts
Grind up an aspirin tablet or two, then make a paste out of it using water, lemon or vinegar. Spread the paste on the stained area and let sit for an hour before washing.

   Olive Oil: Make Pets’ Coat Shinier
Add a bit of olive oil to your pet’s food to give them a healthier, shinier coat of fur.

  Newspapers: Clean Windows and Mirrors
Instead of using a spray and a streaky cloth, use only newspaper to clean off your mirrors and windows for a streak-free finish.
 Baking Soda: Remove Bugs from Windshield
Mix baking soda with warm water to make a paste. Spread the paste over your windshield for fifteen minutes. Then wipe or spray off with a hose.

  Bleach: Extend Life of Flowers in Vase
Add a few drops of bleach to vase water to prevent the build-up of the slime caused by bacteria. It works just like chlorine in a swimming pool.

  Kitchen Dish Soap: Flea-Killing Dog Shampoo
Kitchen dish soap (not dish detergent) can double as dog shampoo for its flea killing abilities.

  Coke: Remove Blood Stains from Clothing
Soak the stain in coke until the stain is dissolved, then wash the clothing as usual. Wash before the coke dries, though.

  Honey: Remove Blemish Overnight
Have a blemish you need to get rid of by tomorrow? Put a dab of honey on the blemish and cover it up (it’s best to use a Band-Aid) and the honey’s natural antibacterial properties will clean out the bacteria by the morning.

  Wax Paper: Clean Can Opener Gears
Run a few small strips of wax paper through the can opener to clean out of the bits and pieces that have built up in the gears throughout the year. The wax will also rub off on the gears to protect for future use as well.

  WD-40: Remove Crayons from Walls
Use the lubricant and a cloth to remove stubborn crayon marks from the walls just by spraying the wall and wiping with a cloth.

  Chalk: Keep Ants and Slugs Out of the House
Ants and Slugs Won’t Touch Chalk. So, simply draw a line in front of your doorway where you are having problems with these pesky critters and they won’t cross it, meaning they won’t be able to get into your house.

  Vinegar: Kills Weeds and Helps Flowers Grow
Vinegar is a magic wonder when it comes to gardening. It not only kills weeds but they help flowers grow as well. Douse vinegar all around your garden to prevent weeds from popping up and to help your flowers to grow healthy and strong.

  Mayonnaise: Remove Bumper Sticker
Spread mayonnaise on the bumper sticker and let sit for at least thirty minutes. Then, rub the sticker off with a towel, leaving a clean bumper!

  Tin Foil Ball: Replace Dryer Sheets Permanently
Instead of using a dryer sheet ball up one or a few sheets of tin foil and toss it in the dryer. It removes the static electricity from your clothes and one can last up to a year.

  Banana Peel: Polish Leather Shoes
Use the inside of a banana peel to give shoes a professional and natural shine that will last for quite some time.

  Mouthwash: Cure Athlete’s Foot
Pour mouthwash on cotton balls and then swab your feet. The alcohol will disinfect the bacteria completely if you continue this for a week or so.

  Baking Soda: Clean BBQ Grill
Mix a cup of baking soda with half a cup water to make a paste. Dip your brush into the paste and scrub the grill. The caked on pieces and black residue will come off much quicker and using baking soda is much safer and cheaper than using cleaning chemicals.

  Coffee Grounds: Fertilizer
Coffee is full of nutrients and vitamins that are very beneficial to soil. That’s why some people include it in compost piles. If you want to get the most out of your coffee, pour the grounds on areas where you want more grass or flowers.

  Olive Oil: Shaving Cream
The smoothness of the oil can replace the need for shaving cream, and it also provides great moisture.

  Dryer Sheets: Gets Rid of Static Electricity
Use dryer sheets to remove static electricity from things such as clothing, TV screens or your own hair. Tame fly away strands by running a dryer sheet over them.

  Freezer: Freeze Candles to Make Them Last Longer
Put candles in the freezer for at least 2 hours before using. Once you burn them, the wax will melt at a much slower pace, making them last much longer!

  Two glasses of water: Cure Headache
Water is the cure to most common headaches. To make the headache go away quickly, drink two cups of water very quickly.

  Lemons: Deodorize Garbage Disposal
Toss whole slices of lemon into the garbage disposal then run it. The acidity of the lemon will rid your sink of all odors and leave a fresh scent that usually lasts for a few months.

  Alka Seltzer: Remove Burnt-On Grease and Food Stains
When letting your pots and pans soak, throw in one or two Alka Seltzer tablets and the caked on residue from cooking will come off easily when you scrub/wash.

  Apple Cider Vinegar: Relieve Diarrhea
Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into eight ounces of water to soothe your stomach. The taste may not be the greatest, but the antibacterial properties of the vinegar will end the unpleasantness of the bowel problems.

  Toothpaste: Remove Scratches from Glass
Apply toothpaste to scratch, then rub with a cloth until the scratch is gone. Make sure the glass is clean beforehand.

  Cheerios: Relieve Pain from Poison Ivy, Chickenpox and Sunburns
Pound one to four cups of Cheerios into a powder and add to your bath to soothe your skin while you soak. You may not feel relief while in the tub, but you will soon after.

  Buttons: Sort Earrings
Organize your earrings and prevent them from becoming entangled by using spare buttons as holders for each pair.

  Corn Oil: Prevent Hairballs for Pets
Add a few drops of corn oil to your pets’ food to prevent hairballs from forming. The thick oil helps the fur pass through the animal’s system much quicker and easily.

  Whipped Cream: Remove Gum from Hair
There are many remedies for removing gum from hair, but this is a lesser known one. Give it a try rather than peanut butter the next time you’re in need.

  Coke: Remove Oil Stains from the Driveway
Oil stains are very difficult to remove pavement, but one method guaranteed to work is Coke. The highly acidic drink will eat away at the oil until clean.

  Brown Sugar: Facial Scrub
A scrub is good to do about once a month to remove dead skin and bacteria built up in pores and remove excess oil from the skin. Brown sugar does just as well as expensive products and will definitely result in a clearer and smoother complexion.

  Dryer Sheet: Lint Brush
You already know that dryer sheets remove lint in the dryer. Well, it can do the same thing out of the dryer, too. When you’re in a fix, use a dryer sheet. It works just as well as a lint brush, and if you like the scent, it’s an added bonus.

  Newspaper: Deodorize food containers and Food Drawers in the Refrigerator
For that stinky Tupperware or smelly refrigerator drawer that is too much to deal with, toss in a sheet of newspaper overnight before you deal with it. The paper will absorb the smell greatly reducing it or eliminating it completely.

  Olive Oil: Unstick a Zipper
The oil will help the zipper slide more easily, fixing the problem!

  Salt: Cool Something Quickly
You know that feeling when you’re having a BBQ and someone asks for a drink and you realize that no one has put them in the cooler? There’s nothing worse than a warm drink on a hot day. Chill a drink quickly, by adding salt and water to your ice. The drinks will be cold in a matter of minutes; saving your party and making you look smart all at once.

  Scotch Tape: Prevent Wall from Chipping When Nailing
The wall can leave unsightly chips when hammering in a nail. Prevent this by simply placing a piece of scotch tape over the area you’re going to nail. The wall will be held tighter, preventing chips from occurring.

  Alka Seltzer: Soothe Insect Bites
Dissolve two tablets into a glass of water. Then use a cloth or cotton ball to apply it to the affected area. The red will go down and most importantly, the itchiness will vanish usually in fifteen minutes.

  Lemon: Whitens Whites
Add about half a cup of lemon juice to your load of whites to makes them extra white. You can use lemon juice with bleach or detergent, so don’t worry about mixing chemicals with the acidic lemon.

  Banana Peel: Whiten Teeth
This may sound a little odd, but rub the inside of a banana peel on your teeth twice a day for two weeks and you will receive the same effect from a teeth-whitening kit. Plus, you’ll save yourself money and the hassle of using chemicals.

  Hair Dryer: Free Photos Stuck on Pages
If you have a photo stuck on a page that you can’t get free, try using a blow dryer on the back of the page. It will loosen the photo from the page and the adhesive holding it there.

  Banana Peel: Heal Most Skin Problems
Bananas are the magical fruit, because they heal many common problems on the skin. By rubbing the peel on your skin, you can heal bruises and cuts and eliminate rashes, itching and warts. Basically if you have a common skin problem, it can be cured by this fruit.


Always make time for a little fun


Always make time for a little fun..
“Anything that looks like chaos and calamity in your life is just the Universe’s way of saying ‘Trust me and we’ll make a life together that is beyond your wildest dreams.’ The key is to trust. There’s a bigger vision and purpose inside you that your small brain or Ego can imagine. The Universe has bigger and better plans for you. It’s your job to be of service and not get in your own way. You can only receive what you believe. When you trust you open yourself up to greater possibilities outside of your control or imagination. So what’s it gunna be? Fear or trust?” 

Hank and Henny from Down the Bay

Now Hank and Henny grew up next door to each other in a small town on the Gaspe Coast. Henny's  father, Mr. Henderson, worked  for Judge Morrisette as his legal aid. Her mother  raised Henny as well as her six brothers and sisters. They had a fine home and were well respected in the small town.  Hank didn't have a father because his mother told him that  his father had died before he was born. His mother was a school teacher and  she  struggled to keep a roof over  their heads. Hank was an only child and  fell in love with Henny as a small boy. Every Sunday afternoon, he and his mother were invited to visit  Mr. and Mrs. Henderson's and stay for supper. Hank looked forward to this special event every week for he got to play school with Henny. They would dress up and spend the afternoon  pretending that they were grownups. One day he told her that when they really  did grow up, he would marry her. She said yes and so they spent the rest of their childhood knowing what  they would do later in life. Everyone in town would smile when they talked about Hank and Henny. They were best friends and even at school, they could always be found playing on the same baseball team and standing in the same row singing in the choir.
When Hank was fourteen, he fell  off the roof shoveling snow at school.  Instead of landing in the snow bank, he  fell on the railing of the back veranda. Henny heard him scream from inside, for she had been waiting to walk home from school with  him.   Hank  lost his sight that day. He  could no longer go to school nor participate in any   physical  events for he had broken his leg as well. It never healed properly and he  spent the rest of his life as a cripple.   Henny  refused to let him feel sorry for himself and every day after school she stopped by his place and  helped him recuperate his mind as  well as his body. She  would spend hours each week helping him with his school work so that he would stay focused on  getting better.  Often  Hank would tell her  that she would have to find someone else to marry for he would always be a blind cripple who would not be able to do anything worthwhile in life.  She took a part time job the following summer and saved enough money to buy him a fiddle. She told him that would be his job. He never had any interest in music and told her that she had wasted her money buying something that would only gather dust in  the corner of his room.
Hank and Henny got married on a beautiful sunny day in June. They were  both twenty years old and   the community watched the amazing young couple exchange  their vows of  forever.   Looking into each other's eyes, they knew they were fulfilling a promise that they had made to each other  when they were children. Henny became a teacher and Hank a much sought after fiddler player. He played at weddings, concerts and community events.  They never had any children  but they always had each other.

Click link for a little fiddle fun

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Cracked Pot

The Cracked Pot
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.

"I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"
"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

Monday, July 22, 2013

You are my Sunshine

No matter what kind of a day you have been through, this song seems to be able to soothe away the sorrow or worry.   It was written  in the 1940's and  it was a singer called Jimmie Davis who first recorded it. I remember my mother singing it at different times in my childhood and as an adult.  I used to sing  it to my daughter when I rocked her in my arms as a small child.  I have a beautiful memory of all three of us singing it together. Mommy had a beautiful voice as did Erin. We  sang it in three part harmony and our voices blended in well with each other's. I think we sounded good and we had so much fun  singing this one and many other songs together. Whenever I hear it now, it makes me smile and feel a pinch of loneliness for those days gone by.

You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are grey
You'll never know dear
How much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

 The other night dear
As I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you
In my arms
When I awoke dear
I was mistaken
and I hung my head and cried

You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are grey
You'll never know dear
How much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

I'll always love you
and make you happy
If you will only
Stay the same
but if you leave me
To love another
You'll regret it all someday

You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are grey
You'll never know dear
How much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

You told me once dear
You really loved me
and no one else could come between
but now you've left me and Iove another
You have shattered all of my dreams

You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are grey
You'll never know dear how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away

Click here for the song