Thursday, 27 November 2014

Time and Time Again

Time and time again I fall into old ways. I lose my direction, my discipline, my good habits. Where do they go? To the land of good intentions where they languish and loll about, awaiting my recommitting to them. Or so I imagine.

Labrador continues to bewitch me - it is a cold old icy day though and my walk with the gal was short. Yes, I do keep that discipline. She cannot be ignored and put away - like my sketchbook, manuscript or sitting practice!

To be fair, much is going well. I've got a job working at a rehab centre. It is good work, meaningful and engaging. I know it will have moments of great frustration but I'm not there yet. I'm still just filling in here and there, making my way - so no true structure as of yet. Yikes! That might be a good thing too.

I've been doing a lot of sketching - joined an online skool (yep - that's how they spell it!) and have been having fun painting and drawing daily.

I just reconnected with a friend I haven't seen in about 14 years - we are going to exchange manuscripts - that'll be very good I think.

I've started a script with a local gal - we're going to put on a murder mystery evening set in the early turning of the last century. We'll put it on in February - on one of those bleak cold nights when all fun seems gone gone gone!

So I continue my sojourn in Labrador - making my way - not so solitary as I was last year. And as soon as this blasted ice goes I'll be back to long meanders on the shore and in the woods.

Here are some photos ~

the Mealy Mountains
 One Tree Island (yes it has three)
 Bella hunting fun

from the bridge on the way to work

 my friend Annie and I when she came for a short but sweet visit!

and as always - the glorious view from the beach ...

Monday, 13 October 2014

Thanksgiving and an anniversary of sorts at Uncle Dick's cottage

Well, it was around now that I came to live in Labrador and live a very uncomplicated life. I have liked it so much, despite missing family and pals. The beauty and simplicity suits me to a tee and I'm learning how to be a Labradorian.

This weekend we drove about 400 kilometers to the cabin that was built by Ron's uncle. Uncle Dick had wanted Ron to go with him last Thanksgiving but Ron was unable to as he had to meet my plane! Unfortunately Uncle Dick never did go as he became ill, dying in the new year. We decided that it would be nice to drive up and stay overnight and the lovely pal of Uncle Dick's who inherited the place agreed.

Here are a few photos including some of a wonderful fat little fox we saw coming home...

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

slow down

I feel like I just got here and I've been back from Nova Scotia about forty days. I'm sleepy and can't get a grip on anything. It all seems difficult to do. What is it I have to do?

Get some important tax info to my preparer. That is underway - a dear friend has gone to retrieve the files from my old house. Lots of skyping and phoning and groaning going on.

Apply for a travel grant for this workshop I'm going to. Printer isn't working suddenly. Can't take it in tomorrow anyway because my dear dear niece is arriving some time tonight and will only be here a very short time before haring off again. Plus - it is tricky - one can't make any travel arrangements until the grant is safely in and being reviewed and so the prices don't make any sense - especially in a place with such wildly expensive travel. If there is any reason to dislike our national carrier, then its stranglehold on the North is a good place to start.

Do my meditation for the day and the chants. Will do both as soon as I'm done this. That I can do - then dismantle my shrine (easy) and bring it down to our bedroom as lovely niece will be staying in that room. Get out towels and so forth - beds are always ready here at Hotel Strivver (the affectionate if obnoxious name the youth call North West River).

Put laundry away and decide on tonight's meal - something I can reheat for hungry travelers though they wouldn't have gotten to Blanc Sablon before noon and they have a good ten hours traveling after that.

Maybe cauliflower soup? I'm making a nice rich broth right now so that would be good. And easy to reheat. Maybe a chowder? Yes, that would also be good and we have plenty of fish, potatoes, onions, carrots and cream.

Wait wait wait to hear about job. I think that is what is bumming me out and making me anxious. Nothing to do but wait.

Also - in that nig-naggy way, I have to get my clearance from the police department which should be there by now, get my hair cut a bit, register for local health insurance, and so on. gah. Oh, get a new driver's licence from here too. There then.

What a boring bunch of stuff (except for my niece coming). No wonder I'm sleepy.

Here is a gravestone we found in the cemetery in Mud Lake. The fella thinks that the two were betrothed - he went off to the First World War and she died in the flu epidemic. Quite a story - quite a stone.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Mid-September at the beach

What is the mid-september holiday? Oh, there isn't one? Shall we make one up then? Good. Let's. I think Early Lull - leaves haven't quite turned but it could snow - I felt like going in the water but knew I wouldn't. The dog was chasing the yellow-legs long and long but they didn't seem concerned. They'd take her way out down the beach and then circle back. She got as close to worn out as she is going to, which is not at all. I drew. I'm practicing sketching her - grabbing just the bits I can grab before she dashes off. I take something to put down on the driftwood where I sit as the evenings have been rainy. Today is blissfully lovely - warm, sunny and the sort of light the French impressionists would have died for.

Here are some photos taken the last few days -

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


     Walking is my passion, my practice and my medicine. It never fails to bring to a better place than when I started - perhaps not always cheerful, but usually peaceful and energized. The combination of moving my body through a pleasing environment and letting my mind both settle and stretch is the magic potion.

Today I walked down the beach, through the woods and out to first and then second beach. The air was ever so slightly brisk, a small breeze invigorated the leaves on the trees, and I could hear and see small birds moving through the branches, looking for seeds and bugs.

On the beach I sketched for awhile, went to use my camera and found the battery dead (at least that's what I am hoping is the problem) and sat peacefully. This confuses the dog - Bella likes to be doing, doing, doing. She dug a hole or two and looked to see if there were any Nanascaries to chase, but no. Just the lapping waves and some gulls far out. After awhile we wandered back. I put her on the lead before we came back out of the woods as she went AWOL yesterday for a bit. I found her on the porch looking extremely sheepish when I came back from volunteering at the library.

Here are some photos of where I walked (taken in the last few days)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The fresh start promise of September

Don't you feel it? Long before New Year's Eve became a big deal in life, the start of the new year was September - 12 or more years of school locked that into my psyche. How about you? Today I had enormous plans - write for hours, walk for hours, draw for hours, and so on...but then I remembered I didn't have to do the whole year in one day.

I wrote a letter to one of my grand-kids, and then packed up a little bag with breakfast items (nuts, cherry tomatoes and an apple), a sketch pad and some pencils, and off we went. I wanted to walk to second beach and finally have a picnic there, as I've had so many imaginary ones. We went down this beach and into the woods and out the other side to first beach, then around a bush and onto second beach, but lo, and behold, there was a man and a dog there! We chatted amicably - nice fella, undoubtedly related to the fella, and nice dog - not his - a borrowed white husky named Sophie. Sophie and Bella played for awhile while we chatted and then it was time to carry on. I just couldn't plunk myself down right in view and start eating and sketching. So I pretended that I intended to go on, through the woods again to third beach. And so I did.

There we did stop and I had my crazy breakfast and the dog chased little birds and dug a huge hole in the beach while I sketched. It was very very nice. But I was so long that my whole routine - ON THE FIRST DAY - went klapoooie.  So now I'm back, had a bit of lunch (egg, kale, onion, tomato, garlic and fresh sprouts) and after I write here and on the writing blog, I will commence to writing, or revising as it is really.

Here are some photos of our walk...

Friday, 29 August 2014

One from here now and some from Newfoundland...

Gros Morne


Bay of Islands, near Cornerbrook...

morning on the ferry coming into Cape Breton

home on the beach, isn't it glorious?!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Reflections on the trip out

I finally got my photos in okay shape in the computer from the trip we took from Labrador back to Nova Scotia via Newfoundland. I took over 400 photos and I was having some trouble with my computer back in N.S. so decided I'd wait til I was here to work with them. I'll post a few tonight and then some in the oncoming days ...

These first ones are from the first day - North West River to Red Bay, Labrador - 700 kilometers of gravel road. It was, luckily, a rainy day, so no dust and I thought it was quite atmospheric... they aren't in any particular order...but the loveliest (in my opinion) are the ones as you approach Red Bay...a very ancient Basque whaling port.

yes, an iceberg!

this is the approach to Red Bay - isn't it just fabulous?

 these two (above and below) are from the hill behind the wee house we stayed in at Red Bay

and here is the house!

this is also from behind that house - the tipi looking structures are how Labradorians stack wood.

this is the bad part of the road as there is construction but so delightfully strange I didn't give a care! Just more time to take photos...

this is in Mary's Harbour where you can get a ferry to Battle Harbour (an island and restored historical site)

this is earlier in the day - see how nice the rain keeps the road?