Tag Archives: Canada

I’m a proud Canadian blogger

My computer is in the shop again!  😦  I am grabbing a few minutes at home to write this quick post before going back to Dad’s … and no computer.  
I want to tell you about the lovely red maple leaf you see on my blog, the one that says “Proud Canadian blogger.”   I got this pretty badge from Joanna Clark Dawyd who has a wonderful blog … to a PRETTY LIFE.
You can also find it through her main blog  here where she has some interesting stuff.  🙂
Thanks, Joanna!
If you are a Canadian blogger, contact Joanna through her website and find out about using the maple leaf on your blog, too.
Do you do anything special on your blog to make it stand out, or to promote who you are?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂
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Thanksgiving and being thankful

I’ve been absent.  Did you notice?

My blog ideas have run low. Unfortunately, I have not kept up my writing of story drafts for 12×12 in 2012, either. My Muse is a little weary, I guess.

I’m behind in reading emails, sending responses to things, reading other writers’ blogs.  But wait, there’s more …

Because of a fall that happened on Labour Day, and from which I’m still recovering, I’m going for laser treatments on my knee. It may be another month before the healing is complete, but now there is much less pain and I’m starting to sleep a little better – for which I’m thankful.

Can anyone out there relate to the following? …

When on my alternating weeks at home I have had such a very frustrating time with my internet service. We have Fibre Optics at Dad’s, but the phone company we deal with has not found a feasible way to even bring high-speed out my way, and the dial-up connection is painfully slow. How slow is it, did I hear you ask? So slow that I have nearly nodded off while waiting for pages (even here on my blog) to load.

True story! The longer I kept dial-up, the worse the service became. How long could you put up with that? I don’t know how I did it for as long as I did, but it had become such a point of stress for me that I finally said NO MORE!

We now have wireless internet – for which I’m thankful. It’s been all of one day, I’m already feeling better, and I LOVE IT! There was far too much stress the other way. My blogging, business stuff, emails, Skype calling, everything … had become such a chore, and with being a caregiver now, too, I was about to walk over the edge. I am bordering on the blues leading to depression, and something had to change. The Internet c0nnection I now have at home is much faster, which gives me breathing space. (If you know anything about stress, depression, anxiety .. you will understand about breathing space.)

What bothers me is I’m so far behind – according to my own expectations – and it seems my weeks at home are not long enough. I just settle in when it’s time to go again. But that is my life now, for as long as it takes, and we can still make this work – for which I’m thankful.

The air has an Autumn chill, the leaves are changing colour, the Fall harvest is being gathered, and here in Canada it is Thanksgiving weekend. Today is a truly beautiful day – for which I’m thankful.

To close, I’m including a few images captured this morning. I thought you might enjoy these wonderful signs of the season. Descriptions are below.

 
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1. Morning fog rising off the river – a view from my deck                     
2.  A showing of colourful leaves above the river
3 & 4.  Cortland apples (for pies) – given to us yesterday by a neighbour
5 & 6.  Three varieties of squash from my parents-in-law’s and our garden
7.  Only sunflower that grew for me this year; seed dropped by birds in planter! Bloom’s end.    
8. Leaves changing colour on a tree in our yard.

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 Let’s all be thankful for God has blessed us.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL CANADIANS!

For what are YOU thankful?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!

Book Review: Watching Jimmy – by Nancy Hartry

Book: Watching Jimmy
Author: Nancy Hartry
Publisher: Tundra Books
Date: September 11, 2012 (reprint edition)
Genre: Historical Fiction for young people (age 9 and up)
Pages: 160; paperback
Price: $9.95
My Rating: exciting and absorbing from start to finish
 

I received this book from Library Thing in exchange for an honest review.

This little book was a surprise. I knew it was coming, but I didn’t expect it to be so big for its size. By that I mean, this book may be small but it is jam-packed – in such a nice way.

Nancy Hartry grabbed my attention right away with how she began this tale. She set the scene in chapter one, then hit with a gut-wrenching punch in chapter two. Even so, this interesting – yet painful – story that’s easy to read, easy to follow, easy to understand, is hard to put down until the end. And once there it evokes a satisfied sigh and leaves the reader thinking it all over.

Carolyn and Jimmy were best friends. When Jimmy got hurt, Uncle Ted’s story was that he fell off the swing. What nobody knows is that Carolyn saw the whole thing, but who can she tell? And what good would it do?

This story is set in 1958, after World War II, during a time of struggle and recovery in Canada, a historical time that will change the nation. Nancy Hartry writes in a way that illuminates that era without the reader realizing there is a history lesson being presented.

This book is well worth the read. It is very believable and captures the reader for a step back in time to learn what life in Canada was like then, and what it means to be courageous, dedicated, and truthful.

Watching Jimmy by Nancy Hartry was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, and the Ontario Library Association’s Golden Oak Award.

If you enjoy historical fiction you will certainly appreciate Watching Jimmy by Nancy Hartry.

You can find Watching Jimmy listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

HAPPY CANADA DAY!

Today is my country’s birthday.

Canada became a nation on July 1, 1867, making her 145 years old today.

Happy Birthday Canada!

Does duct tape (or duck tape) help your writing?

I LIKE DUCT TAPE.

I can’t tell you specifically why, but I really like duct tape. I find uses for it quite often. If something is broken or loose or needs a patch, I’ll be the one to say, “Did you try duct tape? Use duct tape on it.”

Often I have heard it called “duck tape”, which makes me laugh. Apparently it has been called one or the other since the 1940’s, and was useful as duck tape to WWII soldiers.

Have you ever watched The Red Green Show? It’s a popular Canadian sitcom that was on television from 1991 to 2006 in Canada and the United States – and continues in reruns. The main character, Red Green, found all kinds of crazy and ingenious ways to use duct tape. He would say it’s “the handyman’s secret weapon” because his motto was “if women don’t find you handsome they should at least find you handy.”

I have been saying for some time now that I have to find some duct tape in a colour other than the usual grey, and I want pink. Just because I like pink.

Look at what my daughter found when she was shopping in a local  hardware store recently —

Oh … my!  A whole display. And look at all the colours and patterns! She likes the zebra one — second one in on the bottom left.

I told my husband about it, and when I came home for my week off — look at what he had bought for me —

PINK DUCT TAPE!  What a guy!  🙂

Now take a closer look —

The company picked up on the other name and marketed it. Duck tape duct tape. How clever! And the pink is called Funky Flamingo.  Hilarious!

How can I relate this to writing?  …

Have you ever been writing along and suddenly you are on what seems a totally wrong path for your story?

Perhaps your character starts acting out in a way you didn’t plan, or the plot takes an unexpected turn. Instead of trying to pull it all back to what you first had in mind, try going with it, ‘market it.’ Maybe that duct tape you thought you had turns out to be a roll of duck tape. Doubly good. Underneath it is the same, but on the surface you are about to go on a wonderful adventure that will be even more meaningful when pieced together.

Have you ever started out with one idea and ended up with something entirely different? Or with added twists that make your story even better?

Remember, duct tape … or duck tape … is used to hold things together, and to repair things, and to create new things. Have you used any lately, figuratively or for real? What difference did it make?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

the New 7Wonders of Nature: vote for Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy

Have you heard of the ‘new 7 Wonders of Nature‘ campaign?

 

The Bay of Fundy (Nova Scotia) is Canada’s only finalist among the twenty-eight vying for recognition as one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature.  If you have never seen the Bay of Fundy – I have to tell you that you are missing something unique and incredible – and you really must include it in your vacation plans.

We have the highest tides in the world here, five to ten times higher than anywhere else in the world! Did you know that the amount of water in one tide cycle that comes in and out of the Bay of Fundy is enough to fill and empty the Grand Canyon? Imagine it! The tide can go from high to low in only six hours and thirteen minutes! And it cycles twice a day.

Twelve different species of whales live in the Bay of Fundy. Ever go whale watching? If you come to Nova Scotia to see the Bay of Fundy you shouldn’t leave out a good whale watching expedition.

Fossil discoveries made here have surpassed those in other areas of the world. This and other amazing facts which you really must read, can be found here:  http://www.votemyfundy.com/about-bay-of-fundy/

I am always in awe over the Bay since I love everything about the ocean — the tides, the salty and seaweed smell, the power, its aquatic life.  The ocean is my healing place. It is restorative, terrifyingly wondrous, my place to sense the power of God like in no other way.

Please, I would appreciate it if you would go to http://www.votemyfundy.com and place your vote for the Bay of Fundy to become one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Voting time ends November 11.  Once you’ve done that, make plans to come to Nova Scotia to experience the wonder and beauty and awe of an amazing wonder of nature. Then you’ll see why I love it here. 🙂

What wonderful stories do you have to tell about this amazing wonder of Nature, or perhaps any others of the 28 finalists?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Bitter, Sweet by Laura A. Best

Bitter, Sweet by Laura BestBook Reviewed: Bitter, Sweet
Author: Laura A. Best
Genre: Young Adult; historical fiction
Pages: 144
Price: $10.95
Released: October 2009
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing, Halifax, NS
My rating: Great read for young adults and adults of all ages

In December 2009 I read Bitter, Sweet by Laura A. Best.  Her book was released in October of that year and late in November I purchased a copy at a local bookstore the day Laura was doing a book signing.  It was a pleasure to meet her in person.  I urge you to take the opportunity to meet authors when they are putting themselves out there to meet the public at book signings.

This week I re-read Bitter, Sweet and I must say that I enjoyed it even more the second time through.

Laura based her story in Dalhousie Road, Nova Scotia, Canada, in the 1940’s after World War ll, and captured a glimpse of the history of rural Nova Scotia sixty years ago. The family she created comes alive with interesting authentic dialogue and cleverly written point of view that holds the reader’s attention.  I was drawn in right from the first words in chapter one.

The Burbidge family of six moved around a lot, but then finally settled into an old house in a secluded area.  They struggled to get by, especially when the father went away to work and soon stopped sending money home.  With him not in the picture anymore, and their mother becoming very ill, the four children have to learn how to survive and stay together should they end up alone.  Their mother teaches well her older daughter, Pru.

Laura wrote in a way that lures the reader emotionally into the lives of this family whose story is told mainly by Pru.  I found I was dismayed by the actions of one child, annoyed by the attitude of a nosy overbearing neighbour and disappointed by a trusted adult who turned out to be untrustworthy in a time of need.  I felt the desperation of the children and sided with them in their trying situations.

Without giving away the story  – in case you haven’t yet read Bitter, Sweet – I will hint that the challenges of life touched by those who had gone before added an interesting dimension to the story.  There are unexpected twists and the reader is left with unanswered questions to answer however one wishes, and not in a disappointing way.

I encourage you to add Bitter, Sweet – by Laura A. Best – to your library.  It has received much attention since its debut and is a book well worth reading – twice!

You can find Bitter, Sweet listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Watch for an upcoming interview with Laura A. Best.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!   🙂