Month: August 2013

Seasonal Change

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Our crazy house just got crazier! Last Thursday a tiny, starving kitten made it’s way into our house and into our lives. The little thing ate practically everything we threw at it and then made his mark in the household. At first we worried about the kitten, who we first named Emily, and then discovered a certain body part we overlooked, and then had his name changed to Chance. No worries about the little guy, he can take care of himself.

We figure he is about ten weeks old, and from what we see, it looks as if he was abandoned only recently.  His claws were groomed and he was very clean. He did, however, have eating problems. He didn’t know how to eat hard food. Perhaps he was weaned from the mother and then dropped off in the community where I live. That happens a lot around here. People clear their conscience by abandoning their pets in rural areas rather than bring the animal to the local SPACA or SPCA. Our of sight/out of mind I guess. I have so little respect for people like that.

The dogs think he is a plaything, and he really doesn’t seem to mind. If only people could get along so well.

There were other changes in our home as well. I took a job at a local gas/convenience store. 40 hours on my feet per week. It  will take  some getting used to, and my blog will no doubt suffer, but with a wedding on the way next summer, some extra cash will come in handy. I will be here whenever I get a chance, either to post my latest story or to read some of the fine work that is presented by the very talented writers on my blogroll.

Trifecta Week 91: The Trial of Edgar Rice

In the basement of an abandoned hotel, six bodies were discovered. Of the six, one was a mother of three, the others were a doctor,  a teacher, a lawyer, a priest, and finally, an author.

The victims appeared to have been tortured, set on fire and left to die. A cloth wrapped around the forehead of each victim concealed a brand burned onto the heads of the victims. The brand resembled that of a Child Abuse ribbon.

Police officers quickly surrounded the area, and in minutes, forensics studied the area and removed the bodies from the scene. It was determined that each of the victims had records with both the police department and the department of child protection.

The main suspect was that of Edgar Rice, a respected social worker and sworn protector of children everywhere. The man had celebrity status and was a hero to all who lived with the pain of child abuse.

At the hearing, Edgar Rice stood without a lawyer. He did not plead for his life, instead he chose to plead for all the children  forced to suffer the pain of abuse. As the crowd in attendance watched and listened, Edgar explained his reasons for the slaughter.

“The mother of three beat her children every day. Her kids lived in total fear and nobody would listen to them.”

“The doctor noticed bruises on  the kids, but because he was having an affair with the mother, he chose to remain silent.”

“The kids revealed the abuse to their teacher. She did not believe them.”

“When the mother was finally arrested for her crime, the lawyer got the charges dropped, setting her free.”

“The priest heard her confession and forgave her.”

“The last victim was a writer. He was writing an expose, and since he did his  homework and discovered the truth, it was up to him to do something to protect the kids.  He did nothing.”

The judge, a victim of child abuse himself, dropped all charges.

this is my entry into this week’s TRIFECTA CHALLENGE. The word is Brand

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Berry Pickin’ Time

When I was a kid,  I loved picking berries. I used to break summer up into four seasons; June was Strawberry picking season, the first part of July was Raspberry picking season, the latter part was Bakeapple season, and august was Blueberry season. In between some of those seasons, we picked other berries, mostly for selling. Those varieties included Gooseberries, Squashberries, and Red Currants. I made a ton of money selling berries, and still do.

In July, the wild strawberries grew abundantly around our house. Dad figured that some of his tame berries mixed with the wild varieties, giving a bigger than usual berry. During Strawberry season, the air has a sweet smell that really lets you know that summer has arrived. It is still a fragrance that I enjoy.

I have always loved picking  Raspberries. I don’t really like the berry, so I can actually pick more than  I eat. Raspberry picking has its challenges, such as the thorny bush that it chooses to grow on, and the fact that the biggest berries always seem to grow in hard to reach places.  I remember having my bucket almost full and climbing to the top of a bank  to retrieve the biggest berries, and falling and losing all my berries. Greed isn’t a good thing!

The other challenging part about Raspberry picking is that the berries always sink in the bucket, so filling the plastic beef bucket seems to take forever. I used to get $35 per  bucket of those berries, good money for a kid.

After the Raspberries had all  fallen to the ground, the Bakeapples (or Cloudberries as they are sometimes referred to) begin to ripen. Bakeapples grow in bogs and marshes in the back country. While working as a logger, myself and my Dad spotted a bog hidden  among the thick forest. The bog appeared red in colour, and upon investigation, we found the entire area covered with ripe (but not too ripe) Bakeapples. We filled every container that day, and we have returned to this spot many times throughout the years to pick the delicious berries. The Newfoundland variety of Bakeapple is one of most delicious, with its robust apple flavour, and the tasty jams and jellies that can be made from the berry.

The Bakeapple doesn’t live very long, the berries turn very soft and almost jelly like within the first week after ripening. This brings us to the tastiest berry of all, the Blueberry. There are three different varieties of Blueberry, and they all grow in basically the same area. One  type grows on a stalk,the other in bushes; while the other type grows close to the ground.  The three of them have distinct flavours, and when mixed in a jam or jelly, the taste is fantastic. Talk about something good coming from something bad. Wherever a major forest fire has burned timber and did its damage, the blueberry makes its presence.

We got word the other day that an  area just west of my home was covered with blueberries. About five years back, a large forest fire devastated the area and now we are able to reap the benefits. In just three hours, I had three gallons  of blueberries, most of which will go to fill homemade pies, muffins, and other recipes. The rest will be eaten whole  in cereals, or made into my favorite jam, Blueberry! There were so many plump ripe berries that you could grab them from the bush by the handfulls. I think I may have ate a gallon of the berries while picking them.  Love them!

Can’t eat too many of these tasty berries though, the super anti-oxidant super fruit can also lead  one to the bathroom quite often if too many are ate. Some  good though!

Wow, 100 followers!!!

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Just noticed a big accomplishment, 100 followers. I am honored. I would like to thank each and every person who took the time to stop by and read my work. I really appreciate it. I also love it when readers leave comments. The comments left by my followers (listen to him, he sounds like some sort of cult leader…) have helped my writing so much. Keep reading and I promise that I will keep doing my best to make things interesting.

Trifecta Week 90: The misadventures of Dicky Doo

A few years back, I worked at a department store. The store owner was a straight laced gentleman who took no bullshit and did no nonsense. On one occasion, he and I went to a trade show to order new stock for the store. There were reps from all over the country, and Tom held his own with the big city store managers. Later that evening, Tom went to a special supper for all store owners/managers. I chose to remain in the lobby and chat to an old friend. All of a sudden, this guy comes up to me in a frantic hurry and asks if I had seen ‘Dicky Doo’ anywhere.

I didn’t know anyone named Dicky Doo, and I was confused to why he would have asked me in the first place. “I don’t know that guy, but if I see anyone going by that name, I will be sure to let him know you need him.” I said, politely.

“You know him, the two of you came here together. He is a heavy set guy with grey hair.” he said. “I know that guy, but his name sure isn’t ‘dicky doo’. I said.

Later that evening, Tom joined me in the lobby. He was obviously drinking, now he looked hung over. I asked if he knew anyone named Dicky Doo.

He began to laugh out loud. “I sure do know Dicky Doo, Dicky Doo is me.” he said.

“What the hell? Your name is Tom, not Dick, who is Dicky Doo?” I asked.

“It is me. Look!” he hollered to the crowd in the lobby. “My belly sticks out further than my dicky do!” he said.

I had to wrap my mind around this one to grasp what I was seeing.

Later that day I had to promise never to mention this day again. The sober Tom would frown on such things. Some people should never drink!

This is my entry into this week’s Trifecta Challenge. The word is Grasp

Ugly Sadie the Principal’s daughter

 

Sadie was the most popular gal in school. Being the principal’s daughter, she had lots of dates. Sadie was no beauty, in fact, one would describe her as being ‘long in the tooth‘.

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This is my entry into this week’s Trifextra Challenge. The word is Tooth.

My American Cousin or Taking off your shoes

Back in the early 60’s, my cousin met an American soldier who was stationed at the Ernest Harmon Air Force Base here in Stephenville, Newfoundland. The two of them married, and she moved to North Carolina with him to start a family. From time to time, my cousin and her family visited the tiny community where I grew up. I remember having a difficulty understanding their strong accents, and I imagine that they had an equally rough time understanding ours.

I never really spent much time with my American cousins, either due to the fact that we did a lot of camping back then, or simply because they only visited every few years or so.

A few years back, when I first got into using Facebook to find family members, I got re-acquainted with my relatives. In fact, I actually set up two Facebook groups, one  in honor of my great grandparents on my father’s side, and one of my grandparents on my mother’s side. On the pages, I included old photos I had gathered from family members’ albums. I scanned them off and placed them  in the Facebook groups. From there, I allowed people to join the groups, and in no time at all, each of the groups had over two hundred members. I have a rather large family.

One of the people who signed on to my great grandfather’s page was my cousin RL. Through facebook, we chatted about the differences in our lives and about our parents. RL’s mom and my dad grew up very close, actually living  a hop, skip and jump from each other. We found ourselves commenting on hockey pictures, (he is a Carolina  Hurricanes fan and I am a die hard Habs fan) so we ended up poking fun at each other every time one team bet the other. When I posted pictures of my family during Christmas or at birthdays or anniversaries, RL always commented on the pics, and made sure that he showed his mom the pics as well. His mother made me promise that I never discontinue my Facebook, as it provides her a link to her past and to her family living over here on the Rock.

Last evening RL and his wife dropped by for a visit. They were over here as part of a family reunion for his mother’s family. We had a great chat, some laughs, and a generally great time. As we spoke, it was easy to see how different our lives progressed, mostly due the fact that although  the same age, growing up in different countries tends to make a big difference.

The first thing we noticed was that when RL and his wife came into our home, they did not remove their shoes. Both me and my lady looked at each other with a confused look. This was especially due to the fact that I had just spent most of the afternoon  cleaning the house, and making sure that the floors were spic and span. They just strolled to our living room, shoes on their feet, like it was completely normal. Here in Canada, it is considered rude to leave your shoes on inside.

I took a quick trip to the bedroom and googled American traditions vs Canadian Traditions, and I was surprised to find that it is customary for Americans to leave their shoes on their feet when they enter their friends homes. The article went on to explain that Canadians are among the most mannerly and respecting people in the world. I never realized this. With this new information, myself and my missus were able to enjoy our American cousins company for the rest of the evening.

It is funny how little things are overlooked sometimes. Maybe the next time we get out of country visitors, we should do some information gathering first. It was nice to have them over, and they plan to revisit us before they leave next week.