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

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Granny's Pitcher

 Granny's pitcher had been around for a long time. She used to say that it  was a wedding present and  that she had decided as a young bride that she would use it everyday instead of letting sit in a cupboard with the other fancy  dishes. Her mother had given it to her and told her that  she should use it  instead of waiting for some special occasion. She said that too  often in life  people put their good things away  for some purpose in the future and all too often they get to the end of their lives realizing that they never enjoyed them. They regret not having had the pleasure of using  the fancy dishes, tablecloths, towels and other gifts they received because they thought that they were just too nice for everyday use.  So when Granny  started out in life, she took out the pitcher and set it on the kitchen counter and she used it.  Some days it was filled with water  to set on the table for her husband and the neighbours who had come to help him shear the sheep. When the children were small, it was filled with fresh milk and passed around the table. Some days she filled it with wild flowers and sat it on the windowsill. It always made her smile  to see it  sitting there as it was always so pretty.
When her mother passed away, she filled it with lemonade and served her friends a cool drink  when they stopped by to visit.   She knew it would have made her mother happy to see it fulfilling another purpose.  In the winter time, when the children came in from playing in the snow, hot chocolate filled their mugs  from the treasured pitcher.

The years passed and as an old lady Granny found herself in the big old house alone. The children were now all grown up and  busy raising their own families.  She bought each of them their own fancy pitcher and told them to use it everyday. Years later  the children gathered at her house after her funeral. Looking around  they found the pitcher sitting on  top of the fridge.  Inside they found a note and a sealed envelope.

My dear children,

You have found my  pitcher, the one thing I used everyday since I married your father.  It was always a reminder of my  mother and the wisdom that she passed on to me about living life to the fullest.  It brought me so much happiness. I remember pouring  the milk over your bowls of porridge  in the morning before you went to school.    Remember the daisies sitting in it every summer and  the time we brought home the goldfish  and used it for an aquarium for a couple of days.  I will never forget when  I used it to fill it with  cold water  so that I could wipe your foreheads when you had a  fever or when I would stick your hand in when someone burnt themselves.  We did have fun didn't we. This pitcher now belongs to  you Ellie, for you are the baby and the only one who asked for it.  I expect that you will use it everyday  and that when you  invite your brothers and sisters over for a visit, you will serve them  some lemonade in it.  During these last few years, I  still used it everyday by reaching up and putting  a dollar in it.  It made me happy because I knew that someday you would all gather here like this and you would find my note and this gift.  Every morning I would look forward to putting in the money because it gave me and the pitcher a purpose. I felt like a child doing this and I would smile just imagining this moment. I hope I am somewhere  so that I can see your reactions.

And so  open the envelope and  you will find a key to a safety deposit box  where you will find  my final gift to you.  Spend it wisely together as a family by going on that  trip to Ireland that I always meant to take.  Never mind your schedules and excuses. Just do it for time waits for no one.   I love you all so much and I want you to know that  each of you were a special gift in my life. Enjoy the trip and make some great memories. Have fun.

Love Mom  

 A beautiful song  to end this blog post......

 Have a great day ... Mary!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

An Old Gaspe Rocking Chair

 No one sits in the old rocking chair anymore.   It is  weather beaten and  rickety. Time has taken the color from its wooden surface and  has left it with dull grey shadows instead of a coat of green paint.  The only rocking that it now does is when the wind picks up and  sweeps away another layer of dust.  There is no one left to rock the babies and soothe the scraped knees of  the little girl that  tried to climb the tree.  No children are  racing to see who gets to sit in the chair once  Aunt Janie goes back into the house.  Mom is no longer sitting there  sniping the ends off the big basket of string beans freshly picked from  the garden.  There is no smoke from Father's pipe at the end of a long hard day of  working in the woods.

No one is sitting in the old chair anymore. The kids grew up and Mom and Dad  passed on.  The old chair sits waiting for someone to come back and sit again. It wants to listen to the stories that were told while rocking back and forth in the cool  breeze on a hot summer's night. It misses the clicking on the knitting needles and the reading of a story to a small child with a toothache. It misses being able to comfort a woman as she sits in it crying because she is afraid of what the winter will bring if they can't afford to  buy the children boots again this year.  Oh the stories it could tell about  the people it had rocked.

The wind blows and it rocks... but no one hears it.  It waits for the day when someone will sit again and enjoy  the steady rhythm  of its rockers moving back and forth and back and forth.

Please click link below to enjoy  the Old Rocking Chair  song

A Little Wisdom for Today

"Everything you take for granted is a blessing. Everything you fear is a friend in disguise. Everything you want is a part of you. Everything you hate you hate about yourself. Everything you own does not define you. Everything you feel is the only Truth there is to know.
Everything you wish for is already on its way to you. Everything you think creates your life. Everything you seek for you will find. Everything you resist will stick around. Everything you let go of stays if it's supposed to. Everything you need is right where you are.
Every time you bless another you bless yourself. Every time you blame another you lose your power. Every time you think you can, you can. Every time you fall you must get up and try again. Every time you cry you're one tear closer to joy. Every time you ask for forgiveness, all you have to do is forgive yourself.

Everyone you see is your reflection. Everyone you know mirrors you. Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to live in joy. Everyone seeks a higher purpose. Everyone breathes the same breath. Everyone needs love to survive. Everyone has a purpose to fulfill.

  Everyone's the same as everyone else. We just get caught up in labels, names, skin color and religion. Everyone's the same as everyone else. No one wants to feel the pain. Everyone's the same as everyone else. Everyone is dying for love to remain."
                                                                                                    Jackson Kiddard

Friday, July 19, 2013

Gaspe's Summer Daisy

He remembers the first time he met her
He remembered the first thing she said
He remembered the first time he held her
And the night that she came to his bed.

He remembers her sweet way of sayin'
Honey has something gone wrong
He remembered the fun and the teasin'
And the reason he wrote her this song.

I'll give you a daisy a day dear
I'll give you a daisy a day
I'll love you until the rivers run still
And the four winds we know blow away.

They would walk down the street in the evening
And for years I would see them go by
And their love that was more than the clothes that they wore
Could be seen in the gleam in their eyes.

As a kid they would take me for candy
And I'd love to go taggin' along
We'd hold hands while we walked the corner
And the old man would sing her this song.

I'll give you a daisy a day dear
I'll give you a daisy a day
I'll love you until the rivers run still
And the four winds we know blow away.

Now he walks down the street in the evening
And he stops by the old candy store
And I somehow believe he's believin'
He's holdin' her hand like before.

For he feels all her love walkin' with him
And he smiles at the things she might say
Then the old man walks up to the hill top
And gives her a daisy a day.

I'll give you a daisy a day dear
I'll give you a daisy a day
I'll love you until the rivers run still
And the four winds we know blow away...
 To listen to the song click link below


The Old Shoemaker from the Gaspe

Monsieur Isidore lived in  a small house  in a  little village on the Gaspe Coast. He  made shoes, belts and  bags of all sorts. He  lived alone  except for his three cats that spent their time in his tiny workshop.  Monsieur Isidore was a quiet friendly man and kept for the most part to himself. No one really knew much about him except that he had moved there about thirty years earlier. When he first arrived he had  bought a small piece of property and built himself a  simple little house with a workshop  on the side.  He got to know the local people and helped them out when he was asked but never really got mixed up into their affairs.  He became known for his quality  winter boots that did not leak and  harnesses for horses. He made the ladies their  buttoned up  shoes and   fancy little purses.  He was said to be able to make something out of nothing.  Women brought him their husband's old leather boots and he would turn them into small shoes for their children. He  wasted nothing and would add the bits and pieces of scraps to the finished items as little  embellishments making his items unique.

Monsieur Isidore never talked much about himself so no one knew his story.  He had no family and said that he had never been married. Many of the single women in town  tried to catch his attention but he declined their invitation to stop by for a piece of fresh apple pie.

 Monsieur Isidore did have a story and he had lived a full life before he moved to the Gaspe. He was in fact from Montreal. He had been an only child and he had worked in a shoe factory that once belonged to his father. It was there that he had learned to work with leather. He loved a girl named Florence who had been hired by his father to sew the shoes. At first he had been too shy to talk to her but after a few months,  her machine broke and he  started a conversation that lasted for two years. He had never been happier. She was beautiful and  they did everything together. They planned to get  married.  Life was good and  he  thought he would  always have Florence in his life. 

Then one day, Monsieur Isidore came home to find a letter from Florence.  She was gone. Florence wrote that she could not marry him.  She did not say why and she did not say where she was going. She told him  that she loved him and that maybe someday, she would return. He waited and believed that she would soon come back to him. Five years later, he was still waiting. Then one day, his father died. He did not want the business. He sold it and moved to the  Gaspe Coast.  He left his address with the new owner just in case Florence came back and wanted to find him.  She never did and still he waited and lived a simple life as  the friendly shoemaker on the Gaspe Coast.

A little banjo music from the Gaspe to enjoy!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Hot Afternoon to be Ironing

Summer is an amazing time of the year. School is out and we are all trying to spend as much time as possible outside.  With B.B.Q's and walks along the beach, it seems like it is a carefree time of the year. People are on holidays and the canteens are busy because people don't want to be cooking on  hot summers days. Ice cream cones and  watermelon slices are cool treats on a hot afternoon, while sitting around on the patio with friends. Summer time and the living is easy.
Yet I remember my mother standing in the kitchen ironing on many hot days. With eight children, it meant a lot of cotton blouses and pants to be ironed. Poor Mom, never complained and the clothes basket always seemed full.  After a long afternoon of taking care of our clothes, it was then time to make supper.  There were definitely no canteens or any fast food around back then. It was  meat and potatoes, homemade bread and gingersnaps for dessert.  It was  all in a days work but there must have been times when she wanted to sit back and enjoy some  time off..... 

Here is a little Gaspesian music to enjoy on this beautiful day in July!!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Family Matters


If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair, you'll be going, 'you know, we're alright. We are dang near royalty. Jeff Foxworthy

Today I am sending you a link to a video that will show you the power of love in the family.  It will definitely make you realize what love can do...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Pirate's Treasure in the Bay of Chaleurs

ocean, old, pirates, sea, ship, sunken ship
 The ship was sinking.  They had left Ireland over a month before, heading for New York City. The captain had died on board leaving  the ship without direction.  They knew they were in trouble when  their food supplies and water was running out.
Annie was twenty years old and had been full of hope when she said good bye to her Aunt Edna.  Without any other relatives, she decided to leave  her small town and go to a place that promised  to be more exciting.  One evening a storm set in and  the ship  was no match for the mighty waves that  crashed against it.  Everyone on board  took shelter below deck and in the darkness prayed for  their survival.   The winds lasted for two days.   When it had calmed down, Annie  noticed the water slowly seeping in  around their feet.  Everyone now went up on deck  in a panic.  The ship was sinking and they were going  to have to swim if they wanted to survive.  They could see land ahead but it was still too far for most people to make it.  Mr. Anderson, a carpenter  took over and made sure they were all fed  with the remaining supplies.   With the help of  the other men, they  tore apart pieces of the ship's wooden structure to make  floating  devices that would help them reach the shore. 
 When they left Ireland, there had been  sixty two people on board. Now there were only thirty nine passengers left. Many had perished during the storm.  They would not be able to bring  much  with them because they  would have to use all their strength to hold on to the floating  pieces of wooden debris to get to shore.  Annie went back to the lower deck to pick up her leather satchel that contained a small amount of  money that her aunt had given her before she left.   As she walked along the  darkened corridor, she passed the captain's office.  A small amount of light was streaming in from  where they had ripped boards apart  to make the floating devices.  The water was seeping in and was now up around her knees.  How sad she thought, Captain Moore had been such a kind man and he had been so protective of her when she first came on board.  He had told her  stories of  his life at sea  and some of the interesting people he had met.  Turning around to leave, she seen a small wooden box  with a silver clasp floating in the water beside his  desk. She  picked it up and  put it into her leather  satchel which she tied across her back. Up on deck, Mr. Anderson gave them instructions on how to swim their way to shore by holding on to the pieces  of floating lumber.
Within two hours, they had all made it to dry land.  Exhausted but thankful that they were alive,  they  gathered  together in a prayer of thanksgiving as they watch their ship slowly sink into the Bay of Chaleurs.
Annie opened the first general store in the  area and became a rich young woman.  She sold  everything from tea cups to gun powder.  She married Thomas Leblanc and had six children.  She sent money to her Aunt Edna and had her move to Canada to live with her.   Annie often told the story of  the wooden box that she had found on the sinking ship. Inside she found a few gold coins and a bank note that led her to New York to claim a long lost treasure that had once belonged to a rich man without a family, except for her, his new wife. Yes Captain Moore had told her many stories about a young pirate named Peter that he used to know well. Peter Moore had died on that sunken ship that she had watched go down in the Bay of Chaleurs.  He had not always been the respectable captain of a ship and she was sure that he would have been happy that his stolen fortune had been used to give a poor Irish girl a new start in life.   

Monday, July 15, 2013

Clothes on the Line

If you were born on the Gaspe Coast, you probably know what it is to see clothes blowing  on an outdoor clothes line.   I can remember my mother filling the clothes basket with  neatly divided piles of laundry. She would separate the clothes by colour and size and hang them accordingly on the line. It was a lot of work but I know she took pleasure in watching them blow in the wind. It meant clean beds and clean children sent off to school. Mom took  pride in making sure that we looked presentable at all times. We weren't rich but Daddy said that there was no excuse for us to be dirty.
I remember in the winter, poor Mom would hang the clothes out in the cold winter temperatures. I never could understand why because when she would bring them in, they were completely frozen.  As kids we would laugh because the frozen pants could stand up by themselves. She would then  have to hang them again on clothes racks to dry  in an upstairs bedroom that was near the chimney. 
Today when I hang my own clothes on the line, I make sure that I divide them  carefully by size and colour as well. I remember Mom telling me  that people judged you on  how you hung your clothes outdoors. It they were placed haphazardly, then you were said to be a messy housewife. It makes me laugh now, but  I still make sure that my pants are hung by the waist and not the legs.  Shirts must be hung by the bottom and not the shoulders.  Mom would be proud of me for I have never forgotten this and so many other lessons that she taught me.
Today hanging clothes on the line has also became a symbol of freedom. It gives me a sense of stepping away from the busyness of life where there isn't time to do anything except the basic rush  necessities.  I stand back and watch them blow in the wind and  feel a sense of connection to my upbringing.
Yes today my life on the Gaspe is about doing things that matter.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Some Fiddling Music from the Gaspe

Don Johnston/All Canada Photos/Getty Images © (Bing Australia)

What a place to call home! I have lived here all my life and am still in awe of this beautiful place.  Today I have found you a great piece of stepping music.  We as Gaspesians have always loved to have fun and many great Saturday nights were spent on the dance floor to this type of music. I remember my mother and father would go to dances at the town hall when I was a child. They would get dressed up and my mother always said Daddy was a great dancer.  It was so nice to see them having fun together. They worked so hard bringing up eight children  that there must of never been much time left over for them as a couple.  Before leaving the house, they made sure we were okay and then  they focused on each other. They both loved to have fun, so I could always imagine them on the floor. Daddy who was tall dark and handsome and Mom who until the day she died, love to  dance and laugh.  Thank God for memories.....


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Make a Wish

Make a wish and place it in your heart… anything you want, everything you want. Do you have it? Good, now believe it can come true. You never know where the next miracle is gonna come from, the next smile, the next wish come true. But if you believe that it’s right around the corner, and you open your heart and mind to the possibility of it, to the certainty of it… you just might get the thing you’re wishing for. The world is full of magic, you just have to believe in it. So make your wish; do you have it? Good. Now believe in it… with all your heart. ~ Anonymous

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Born in Miguasha She wanted to be a Doctor

 Ellen Hill  was born in Miguasha and wanted to grow up to be a doctor. When she broke her leg as a child  falling from a ladder, Doctor Allen had looked after her. It took months to heal and many visits from the kind gentleman. She asked him questions about what he did and how he cured people.  He was always patient with her and told her that maybe she would grow up to be a nurse.  She agreed but in her mind she knew that she would become a doctor and healer.
 As a teenager she would go with him on his visits to the sick. She borrowed his books and  read everything she could find about medicine.   When school was over for the summer, she helped out around his office meeting patients and taking appointments. He finally hired her  because he said he needed her  to keep the office going.   Over time she  was  helping him deliver babies,  tending wounds and telling patients how to take care of their  ailments.
When she turned eighteen, her parents wanted her to go to nursing school but she refused. She  had spent most of her young life studying  medicine and she did not want to waste her time going to school to learn what she already knew. 
She told Dr. Allen her plans to be a doctor and he agreed that she would make a good one. She had a gentle understanding nature and a natural ability to heal.  Unfortunately  there were few women doctors  and it would not be easy to get accepted into a college of medicine.  Her parents were against it because they said they could not afford to send her to four years of medical school. Nursing only required one year's training. 
 Ellen had saved enough money working part time  with Dr. Allen to pay her first's year's tuition.  Without telling her parents she  filled out the necessary paperwork and applied  to the five colleges.  One day when she went to work, Dr. Allen called her into his office and handed her  an acceptance letter from the same college he had attended to get his degree.  Special arrangements had been made and she would be attending college in the fall for one year.   With her years of working in the field of medicine with a doctor from their institution, they had agreed that  she would attend school for one year and then work as an apprentice for the three remaining years under the supervision of Dr. Allen.  During that time, she would be required to  study and write all the pertinent exams required to complete the  college course. She would have to  attend an intense month of training  at the school each year and be able to pass the practical  theories of hands on medicine.  It would require  a lot of hard work but she was determined  to be  what she knew would make her happy.
 Fours years later, Dr. Allen was sharing an office with Dr. Hill. 
“One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar." Helen Keller

Monday, July 8, 2013

Great Quotes from Great Women

 Florence Nightingale
 It is only by listening to the voices of  other women that we can better understand ourselves.
Take the time to watch this short video clip.. you may just find the right words you need to try again.

Becka's Inn

Vintage Gypsy Image
Becka Snowdon  was born in a small town. Her parents were normal folks who worked hard and brought up their five girls to be strong independent women.  Becka was the youngest and most  head strong. She never accepted doing the ordinary and always seemed to want more out of life.  When she was fourteen she told her mother that she wanted to run away with the circus. Then at fifteen, she wanted to be an actress. At sixteen she fell in love with a  travelling salesman and had her heart broken.  At seventeen she ran away from home telling her parents not to worry about her.
 When she was twenty she returned home with two children and no husband.  She moved back in with her parents and  decided that she wanted a house of her own. Her father tried to explain to her that she  could not afford it and her mother just  turned away and  helped her raise the new grandchildren.
 Becka spent her first year  trying to decide how she was going to  make a living and buy the old Duncan's house. It  had been abandoned ever since she was a child. Apparently  it still belonged to their son who had never came back again after his mother died  ten years ago. It was a big dusty old place with broken windows and  faded paint.   The yard was all grown up in trees, bushes and burdocks and Becka wanted it.
Without telling anyone she found the address of  the owner and wrote to him. He answered and said he had almost forgotten about the place, since his attorney  paid  the taxes  without ever  discussing it anymore. He would make a trip to town  next month and would be willing to meet with her and discuss the possibility of selling it.
Becka told no one. When he arrived, they met at the old place.  He was in disbelief at the state of   his childhood home. It had once been a magnificent  building that his parents had been so proud to own. Unfortunately there had been a disagreement over the estate after his mother died. His uncle claimed he had  loaned his brother money  years before and wanted the  house as a payment towards  his loss. Without any proof, the judge dismissed the case.  Once  his rightful ownership  had been settled,  he left and vowed to never set foot in the town again.   He closed the place up and went on to  make a fortune as a real estate developer in  Western Canada.   Becka could see that he was  dealing with what seemed like regrets from  the past and  the fact that he had  left the house fall to such ruin.  
He asked what Becka wanted to do with the house and she told him she wanted to renovate it and turn it into a small hotel for travelling tourists and business men.  
Two years later,  on a sunny morning in  June, "The Becka Inn" was opened for business.  It was a beautiful building that had been completely renovated  inside and out.  A new addition had been added to accommodate more  visitors and have greater potential for  profitability. The gardens were in full bloom and the scent of lilacs filled the air.  The townspeople were all invited for  the open house celebration. Becka's family was all there and her sister was going to help her run the place. Her new husband was at her side as well. He had returned home to sell an old house and found himself  selling everything he owned to  fix it up  and turn it into an Inn with his new wife.
Life is a journey with many twist and turns and you must  never say never!
You are now at a crossroads. This is your opportunity to make the most important decision you will ever make. Forget your past. Who are you now? Who have you decided you really are now? Don't think about who you have been. Who are you now? Who have you decided to become? Make this decision consciously. Make it carefully. Make it powerfully.
               Tony Robbins, is a best-selling author and motivational speaker.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Day at the Beach

On this beautiful Sunday in July, take the time to run away to the beach. Forget your troubles  and play like a child, full of carefree wonder and laughter.
I remember a few years ago I heard a story about an older woman I knew who had been diagnosed with some serious health problems.  She had always been a lady that loved to laugh, yet like all of us she had  lived a life of ups and downs. She was in her seventies and  I admired her because she was so creative and energetic. 
One day when her daughter was visiting, they went to one of her favourite brooks from her childhood. She removed her shoes and walked into the water, like she had so often done when she was a little girl out to take in as much fun as possible.   I am sure that her heart filled up with joy that day and  her old body no longer felt the pain and worry of the disease that was slowly taking her energy and time on this earth.

She passed away several months later but she left me a  valuable lesson.   When I think of her  I  imagine her walking in the brook and  laughing. I can almost hear her voice  saying... " get in here." She reminds me that I have to take advantage of  the precious days of my life. Like my mother used to say... time waits for  no one.
Today I ask you to find a place to be a child again. Laugh and let go of the person you think that have to be... go play in the water! 
Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it."

- Groucho Marx, was an American comedian and film star famed as a master of wit

Saturday, July 6, 2013

You are never too old to experience new dreams

 I am sending you this video  because it says so much. Life is not about settling for what is... it is about taking action for what could be....

Watch it and feel the hope of possibility.. the chance to try again,



The Best is yet to Come

 I have decided that  the best is yet to come in my life, although this is the scariest time  I have ever lived. I am living each day with faith and the belief that all will turn out just right.  

Believe in your Dreams despite all odds.

If you need something to help motivate you today, take a few minutes to watch this video. It is so worth it, I promise you! Determination against all odd  is what you need to work towards your goals in life... your dreams. Do not let your tears, disappointments and fears stop you. Someone greater than yourself believes in you.



Mr. Emmets General Store

Sandra  Morton had carefully prepared her list that morning to go to town. She  always looked forward to stopping by Mr. Emmets General Store to look around while waiting for her list to be filled.  Every time she went she would find herself  looking at the beautiful bolts of fabric with their  flowery patterns and  imagine how pretty a new dress would be, if only she could afford it.  Maybe someday, but now was not the time.

 She had moved to this town five years ago with her new husband. It was an exciting  time and they had worked hard to turn  their new home into a comfortable place to build a life together. Randy had   fixed the roof and put in new windows  because the old ones were all broken.  He built a new kitchen for her and some much needed furniture.  The poor old house had once belonged to  a family that let it go to ruin.  He had been so proud of  his work and she had never been happier in her life.  They would fall asleep in each other's arms at night making plans for the future. She was  to be a dress maker and he was going to build canoes for the  sport fishermen who spent their summers on the river. They would have children and a big garden and so many other plans.

Those plans had changed and Sandra was now alone.  Randy had been  working on the log drive and the river had been high that spring two years ago.  As the  massive timber rushed down the river, he had  been standing on the logs to  keep them from jamming up. He lost his balance and fell into the cold waters. One of the big pieces of pulp crashed into him and  he drowned that day. The other men told her that he never knew what hit him and he didn't suffer.

She lived alone now and although she had been invited to the local dances and community suppers,  by some of the eligible bachelors, she had no interest.  Instead she spent her days  sewing  in her bedroom.  She made clothes and repaired clothes.  The small amount of money that she made kept her going and paid for the mortgage on the house. This had been  Randy's dream home and she intended to keep it.  Someday she told herself, life would get easier... someday she would feel alive again and maybe  know what it felt like  to not have any worries. For now she found happiness in the little things in life, like a trip to Mr. Emmets General Store.

All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won't succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy. Wayne Dyer

Friday, July 5, 2013

Life has Infinite Potential for You

This life has an infinite number of potentials for you; we live in a made to order Universe. Whatever you believe is possible for you and take consistent action upon is what becomes your reality. If you keep telling yourself that your dream isn't possible, you will come to find that you are absolutely right.

But my friend, if you draw a line in the sand and tell the Universe that your dreams are a reality RIGHT NOW, and take action as if that were the case, you will come to find that you are absolutely right. The question is how long can you live in the fire of your dreams manifestation?

  The price you have to pay to live your dream is facing your deepest darkest fear and the reward you receive from this courageous act is the realization that your fear was an illusion and that your dreams were always real.

  So I ask you, my friend, are you willing to go there? Are you willing to sit in fire and sacrifice the comfort of your known world for the potential of something amazing, new and unknown? Don't you want to find out what's on the other side of your fear?

  Living in fear is so last season, if you want to be happy and really live your dream you have to take a stand and just put yourself out there. You might fail, yes indeed - but, you might, you just might succeed too! Don't you want to find out? Either way your life will never be the same... Can you handle it?"

                                                                                              Jackson Kiddard, author & polymath.

Place your attention on what you wish to experience


Learn to become still and take your attention away from what you don't want, and place your it on what you wish to experience.

Focus on Gratitude

Focus on being grateful for what you have already .. enjoy it!! Then release into the universe. The universe will manifest it.

The Hat Maker

Ellen moved to the city a year ago.  Her father  had always told her that a young woman was expected to find a good man and to settle down and have babies. Ellen didn't want to find a good man because she had seen her friends and older sisters find good men and now all they did was cook and clean.  She wanted more than a vegetable garden to weed and an endless load of laundry to  fold. She loved children but they would come in her future when she decided that  it was time. For now she wanted  to live her life on her terms. She wanted to own a hat shop just like Mrs. Clarkson.  Every summer the beautiful lady would come back to town and open up her parents old house to  relax for a month.  Ellen used to go over and clean the place for her  before she arrived and during her stay. When her work was done she would sit in the kitchen and listen to Mrs. Clarkson tell her stories about her shop in the city where she made beautiful hats for women. Every summer she brought Ellen a new hat and told her that when she grew up, she could come and work for her.
Well at eighteen she felt she was grown up enough and when Mrs. Clarkson returned to the city after her vacation, Ellen went with her. Her mother had cried and her father  turned cold and silent. He knew he had a head strong daughter and there was nothing he could say to change her mind.  
In the first few months after arriving in the city, she learned  how to  make the hats on  the wooden molds using the wool felt and hot water.  Then  came the decorating, using feathers and hand crafted flowers from silk and  velvet.  She learned to dye the wool  and fabrics so that the hats could be designed to suit even the fanciest  demands of the rich ladies  who came into the shop.
One  morning she arrived at the shop early and the back  door was still locked.  Usually Mrs. Clarkson was up and at work by this time and she always unlocked the door for Ellen so that they could sit and have breakfast together. This was the time of the day that  they went over  the orders and decided what had to get done that day.  
Ellen had her own key now, just in case something happened, she  had been told.   If for some reason Mrs. Clarkson had to go away on a buying trip, Ellen would have to open the store and serve the customers. So she unlocked the door and went into the empty kitchen. She called out to her boss but there was no answer. As she went into the living room, she saw her laying on the sofa, still asleep. She called out but there was no answer.
Ellen was now the owner of  Belle Hats. Mrs. Clarkson had changed her will  after Ellen had started to work for her.   She had been diagnosed with a heart condition and without any family of her own, she left her life's work to the one person she knew would keep it going. She had left provisions in her will that if something happened to her, Ellen would be  taught the business side of operating the shop  under the guidance of her lawyer for a year. 
Ellen moved into the Mrs. Clarkson's apartment in the back of the store. She painted it and turned it into a place of her own. She added new styles and a wider selection of hats.  Within  two years, she had increased sales and  was now  a proud business owner.   Just like Mrs. Clarkson, she never married nor had any children.  George had asked her to marry him many times  in her life, but she knew that she could never be any man's wife.  Every summer she returned home and opened up Mrs. Clarkson's parents old house. She always spent a month in town visiting her family and friends. Every year she brought hats for her mother and sisters.  She was a hat maker.
“Leap and the net will appear."
  Julia Cameron, Cameron is the best-selling author of "The Artist's Way".