Coyote or Fox?

As we returned to our vehicle at the old stadium parking lot we saw a coyote walking down the sidewalk towards the lake. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I wasnt sure if was a coyote or a fox. My husband said it was a coyote. I had seen a fox many times, even in my backyard, but this animal had a very bushy tail and a different gait.

I haven’t heard anyone else mention a coyote. Or a fox either. I just wonder if either can be dangerous if hungry or if cornered.

Oh, the mystery of my life! Can it get any richer? Anyone who saw a coyote or fox in St. John’s recenly feel free about leaving a comment. I welcome more information about the wildlife walking down our streets.

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Winter Has Set In

This week has been cold, close to 20 below, with two days of shovelling. It certainly has put my muscles to a hard test. The ice was the hardest to deal with and even my studded boots didnt make me feel confident. I did not want another broken arm.

I quite enjoy all the movement in the neighborhood. One fellow cant get his driveway cleaned fast enough. He now has a blade on his quad or else his brother has loaned his to him. Another younger neighbour uses his muscles and seems to enjoy the shovelling. He has an ergonomic shovel which I covet. And my neighbours on adjacent lots do a lot of shovelling, using a blower when the snow is high. The small children are outside more than usual, playing for hours, which warms my heart.

The noise pollution is brutal at times with snow plows and snow blowers wrecking my peaceful place. But c’est la vie! If I choose to live in Newfoundland I need to accept Winter.

The fluffy whiteness of the newfallen snow delights the soul. The trees laden with the flakes of snow and ice are beautifully inspiring. I love awakening to the clean covering of newly landed flakes. I loved this as a child and I still enjoy it.

Everything but the walking on ice and heavy shovelling are the only negatives. Anyone driving on surrounding roads would be wary of possible accidents. It all goes with Winter.

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This is a Winter photo from a visit to Carleton Place.

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Favorites At Christmas Time

First when I was married I made dozens of shortbread cookies topped with red and green candied cherries. I was queen of the easy fruit cake, too. I made the cakes months before Christmas and froze them in saved cookie tins. Turkey was and still is our favorite meat, with the traditional jiggs dinner of cabbage, turnip, carrot, potato and peas pudding. My mother always fixed raisin and molasses pudding in large juice cans. We found that our children preferred peas pudding.

Now many decades later I make snowballs and date squares. This year I made an apple pie for dessert on Christmas Day. My sister in law gave us a lemon pie, so we are eating it today, Christmas Eve.

Years ago we hung up stockings to be filled with small treats from Santa. Christmas songs played on the radio as they still do today. Lights are put on the front of the house to put everyone in a Christmas mood. Yesterday we took a drive around St. Shotts to admire all the beautiful lights. Mummers would be on the go during the 12 days of Christmas and on occasion I would join some friends and go to a few houses.

Going to mass on Christmas Eve is customary. It wouldn’t be Christmas without the full church and beautiful choir hymns. And the smiles on children’s faces.

Christmas Eve was always my time for watching Scrooge and eating Pot of Gold Chocolates. When our three sons were small I dressed them in the same color cozy sleepers and took photos. We read The Night Before Christmas and then the three went to their rooms to stare at their small Christmas trees until they fell asleep. A note and lunch was left for Santa earlier in the evening.

Now our sons live in other provinces with their own families. We send gifts to the children and phone on Christmas morning, except for the lucky Christmases when we travel to see them, or they get to come home.

One small tradition that I’ve started after the birth of our grandchildren still continues today. I buy a special ornament for each child during the after Christmas sales and give it to them the following Christmas. It brings a smile to their little faces. This year I went through all my ornaments and picked out 15 for each son, some were made by them when they were young, some bought and placed on their own small trees in their bedrooms.

Just another small write up to remind us of the Christ child, who lives among us in the faces and hearts of our children and grandchildren. May you all have a happy,healthy and peaceful holiday season. Pay it forward this year by helping a friend, or stranger who might like a kind smile or a meal.

Felix navidad! Joyeux Noël! Merry Christmas!

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Special Deal for Christmas on my book Strong Camino Woman

As a gesture of thanks this Christmas I have lowered the price of my book to 99 cents. It is an easy read about my solo Camino Frances adventure. There are quotes, journal and blog entries, and prayers. Stories about people I met along the way are included.

I am very pleased with the number of downloads of the 15% free portion of my book. And I look forward to comments and reviews of the book. Please feel free to be honest in your appraisal.

You can get the free portion or all of it at http://www.smashwords.com by typing in Strong Camino Woman.

Thanks and Merry Christmas!

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Helping Others This Christmas

It is far better to give than to receive. This has been said by many people and I believe it is true. I love to give my husband and family gifts but would rather others give their money and gifts to those less fortunate. Often we hear ‘But who are the less fortunate?’

I’ll share with you some of my thoughts on who these people are. They can be those without food and shelter. The man or woman sitting on the sidewalk downtown could be one of these individuals. The lady in the line ahead of you at the second hand store, the one holding on to her little child’s hand, rooting in her pocket for her little bit of change. The two old people walking slowly with no one around to help with their groceries or their walkway in Winter weather, who get by on small pensions, could be in this category. The mentally ill who feel misunderstood and unloved may be people who need our kindness.

Some people think they have to give hundreds of dollars. That is not the only way to give. Dropping off a meal to a neighbour or surprising a single parent with a chicken or turkey is an option. Sharing your extra coats or boots with a person who has none or passing out muffins or sandwiches to people on strike-all are in need of your generosity.

I once met a lovely lady at Cabot College who shared a story about how each holiday she and her family set an extra place at their table in case some lonely soul drops in. I thought about this story often over the years. Another family provides snowsuits, boots, caps and mittens for another family in their neighborhood, giving up any gifts for themselves.

So this Christmas instead of your usual way of sending money away, decide how you might help others closer to home. Perhaps you can be creative and help the starving in Africa and the needy down the street.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Third Anniversary on WordPress

After 452 posts, 105 followers and 25000+ views and many comments! I’m pretty psyched today. Thanks WordPress for providing this platform for ordinary writers like me to express ourselves without spending a dime!

A lot has happened in these three years and many memories have been shared on my blogs! I hope you continue to read and perhaps you will be inspired to write your own blog.

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Have You Ever Thought About This?

It is strange as I stare at my clock at 5 a.m. that I think these bizarre insights. I am sure others think them but never write them down.

There are too many fast food businesses these days and people find it way too easy to frequent them.

Of certain wonderful stores such as The Travel Bug there should be one in every city.

People who leave their garbage all over the place should be given hefty fines and made to do community service.

Instead of buying there should be more bartering and exchange of services.

Friends should drop in on friends at least once every month.

Families should eat at the table at least once a day.

Books should be shared and magazines offered to neighbours and friends.

All dog owners should walk with their dogs and pick up their mess.

Trails should be monitored so that everyone feels safer.

Downtown streets should have cameras and visible police presence at all hours of the day.

Good nutritious foods such a fruits, veggies, milk, flour, fish, meat and spices should be cheaper so all adults can afford them.

Gambling machines should be removed from restaurants, bars and neighborhood establishments.

Pubs and bars should be responsible for bringing drinkers home.

Repeat cab customers should have a discounted rate.

Feel free to add a few of your own. I will post some of them.

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       Map seen on Camino Portugues

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