How Environmentally Conscious Are You?

Think.  I do a lot of that these days. I think about the world and how we take care of it. Are we going forward or backwards?

When I was a child in Pasadena, Newfoundland, you couldn’t buy a bottle of water. Pop and beer bottles were made of glass and groceries were brought home in brown paper bags or cardboard boxes. If you wanted a book you visited the library. There were no cell phones or computers to discard. People kept cars until they were worn out or it cost more to repair them than to purchase a new one. People were lucky to have one or two pairs of shoes and walk in closets were unnecessary. There were few fast food restaurants and people grew their own vegetables. Many families had a cow, pig or horse.  Children played outdoors and learned to get along.  While there were things that I would not want to go back to,it seems we were friendlier to the environment 50 years ago. 

How will the environment be for our grandchildren? At the rate that garbage is being thrown in our oceans,and rivers are being polluted by sewage and Mercury, how can we visualize a clean world? It seems our hands are tied to change the advancement of industry, of big business, of the movers and shakers in our modern world. I can understand how citizens feel lost to making a difference. 

In some cities of the world air quality is so bad that seniors and others cannot go outside. Children with asthma cannot go to school. The smog impedes visibility and alerts are announced so that people can stay inside if the air is really high in pollutants. 

In many towns water boil orders are on for months. Why has our water become dangerous for human consumption? We have only ourselves to blame. If we avoid taking responsibility how can we blame others? We need to attend town meetings, stand up for our rights and environment.  We can contact out government leaders. We can help organize clean-ups and rallies. We can involve our children and seniors.  So much to do and everyone involved would make an easier process. What are your thoughts? 

Feel free to share your experiences and how we can encourage actions to improve our environment. 

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Looking Back

Do you ever wonder if anyone cares about your life, how you fill your days, weeks, months and years? Do you look in a mirror and wonder if you could make your time amazing, memorable-the best experiences to suit you? I wonder this a lot. The cliche ‘Live each day as if it’s your last’ pops into my head and I berate myself for too much television, too much sitting doing very little. 

So I decided to find out what would I like to do more than anything else and here are my findings. See if any of this might set a fire under you!

1. I read about the saints. I started with Padre Pio and Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I perked up and thought about my journey and how I could help others, instead of wondering if I’m not doing my best to make me happy.  I’ve ordered a book about 100 saints. Now that should really make me think!

2. How can I use my creativity? I’ve written three books with three more partially finished.  I’ve done nearly 500 blog posts. I’ve sewed many quilts. One day I decided to take up abstract painting and I love it. I’m no good but friends like what I paint. I give my canvasses and paper creations away. I love gifting others with my brightly coloured pieces! I’ve even signed up to do a printmaking course and have enjoyed hours trying new techniques. Who would have known if I didn’t put myself out there?! 

3. Hiking has made me happy since 2013. I’ve walked three different caminos de Santiago, two alone. I’ve seen many villages, cafes, churches, albergues and sites. I’ve made many friends from many countries. Now my Slovenian friends are coming here to walk the East Coast Trail with me!  I don’t like walking the same trail each time or going the same loop each day but I can walk 15-25 km a day for 20,30 or 40 days! So have you tried walking trails alone or with a friend? You might love it too. Walking the Via Francigena is now on my Bucket List!

What are your discoveries/passions?Let us be inspired by your story 


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American Lady Murdered on Camino Frances

Today was a very sad day for me to discover that Denise Theim, a 41 year old hiker on the Camino France’s, was identified by her DNA and a 39 year old Spanish farmer has been arrested. Apparently he was known for harassing women on the trail. He even changed arrows to parallel the trail which led to his farm. 

It has been reported that he had been a suspect from the beginning after he exchanged $1000 for euros. He was 100km from his farm when he was arrested.  With thousands walking the trails each year, people interviewed in the area were shocked that such a terrible deed was committed close to them.

So many people were on the lookout for Denise and according to her family and friends she loved to travel and kept in touch wherever she was. Fellow Camino walkers met her and told stories of their interactions. 

My condolences and prayers go out to Denise’s family and friends. 

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Abstract Art Does It For Me

Besides my five grandchildren’s visits,  right now nothing gets me as excited as working on a piece of abstract painting. I’m too new to the process to call it art.  I’m also a little self conscious to feel it is good for anyone who sees the pieces of work. Mostly I do the paintings and give them away. Some day I hope the creations hang where many can enjoy them.  Right now I try and try again.  I play with colours and tools and canvas.  I read about it and I watch YouTube videos. No one is more surprised than me when a new technique works or a finished piece actually feels finished. Sometimes I know when I’ve done enough, but mostly I get back to a piece and do something differently the next day.

I’m just practising right now and someday I might actually like a piece enough to sell it, but that is not my goal. I just want to express myself and hope others enjoy and see something worthwhile in the pieces. As long as I’m enjoying the painting process I will continue to dabble in abstract art.
I hope you enjoy these pieces.  


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The Claddagh Inn St. Mary’s, NL

Refurbished in the style of a traditional  Irish Inn, this establishment is like a breath of fresh air for those travelling the Irish Loop. The adjoining small pub Padraig’s Folly is welcoming with its selection of wines, spirits and whiskeys. 

The view from the main dining area is breathtaking on a beautiful sunny day. You can enjoy a two course breakfast with homemade jams, French press coffee, herbal tea and whatever your heart desires or their pantry holds. You can reserve four course fine dining Tuesday thru Saturday. A steak dinner is available every Sunday throughout the summer, but calling ahead is necessary.  Their brochure explains all the wonderful meals. You can also view their menu online on their website .

Many will appreciate the history of this fine inn. The inn began in 1775 in Ireland with Nano Nagle who founded the Presentation Sisters and whose devout followers for over 100 years constructed convents along the southern shore of Newfoundland. The convent in St. Mary’s was erected in 1859 where the inn sits today. The original structure was replaced in 1971. In 1995 the Yetman family returned the property to an inn as it had served as a learning facility from 1992-1994. Remodelling had taken place in 2002 and thus we are blessed with this wonderful building. The hosts Patrick and Carol Monsigneur are very proud of their inn and treat patrons with friendship and respect. During my visit I was impressed by their love and dedication to their business. I noted the respectful way they encouraged locals to visit and be a part of their day.

There are six comfortable en-suite rooms with digital satellite, wi-fi, luxurious spa and other amenities. You can speak to Patrick or Carol by calling toll free 1-888-578-5454 or locally 709-525-2229.

During my lunchtime visit I spoke with Patrick and enjoyed my turkey sandwich with cabbage roll soup. For jewelry lovers there is a selection of Celtic rings and pendants. 

I would call this inn a diamond or emerald on the rolling hills of Newfoundland! The outside is typical of other well built Newfoundland businesses but the inside is riveting! Drop by for an afternoon or evening meal. I’m certain you won’t be disappointed.




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Philip’s Cafe- Eat there and/or Stay at Rosedale Manor B&B

Visiting Placentia anytime soon? Well, just stop by for a night or come by for a breakfast or lunch or snack to eat on the ferry. Philip is cooking up a storm and Linda, his wife, is very friendly, and will take the time to show you the place. She also runs Rosedale Manor B & B which has 6 rooms and breakfast is included. The B & B is for sale, as well as the cafe.  

Today my friend and I tried Philip’s Special with fish cake, baked beans and a touton. We chatted with the two lovely men who serve there. We even knew some people from Petite Forte, who we discussed.  They were kind in their manner and gave us a second coffee to enjoy outside on the deck.  I wanted some cinnamon cookies but I was too full!

Linda showed us the room above the cafe with a million dollar view which one can rent, for $129. It contains a fridge and microwave, so food can be stored and/or heated.  The table and chairs look out over the water. The room is large and newly renovated, with a private bathroom. I could picture myself relaxing with a book sitting in front of a window. The name on the door says Crows Nest and there are some paintings of crows outside the door. 

So if you visit Placentia or are on your way to the ferry, stop in for a visit. You will meet the owners and other friendly people.  And the food is not bad either!  You can relax inside or outside if the sun is shining.  Read a book, write in a journal or chat with the owners.  You won’t be disappointed.

Philip and Linda, thanksfor the great customer service and appetizing food we enjoyed today!


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The Network Cafe In Pleasantville

I’ve been to the Network Cafe three times and I like what I see, taste and feel. 

The cafe is full of many tables and chairs and many big windows. It has display cases with many desserts and other food.  The workers are dressed professionally and chat with everyone. The menu is simple and the soups and wraps are explained eagerly. The Red Seal chef is waiting for orders in the kitchen. 

The food tastes delicious, with unique flavours and medium sized portions. I’ve tasted several sandwiches and soups and I’d order them again. The coffee is better than most I’ve drank around town. 

Sitting at a small table I sat and wrote in my journal and did not feel rushed at all, which I feel is good in a cafe. A person must feel at home and not pressured to buy anything. Jamie, one of the employees, chatted with me about many topics. He remained friendly and welcoming during each visit. So I felt good going back each time, and knowing that this is a nonprofit business made my visits that more enriching. 


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The Ferry Last Stop (Bed and Breakfast) Cafe

Are you up for a different cafe with an eclectic collection of art, artifacts, souvenirs, books and Newfoundland memorabilia, and two of the friendliest ladies you could ever meet? There are two rooms available in the house for couples or singles, with a $130 a night charge for bed and an awesome breakfast. Paulette King, the owner, is refreshing and interesting, and I’ve been told “a wonderful chef”. I tasted her Bavarian cake and never wanted to leave! The bottomless cup of coffee for $2.25 is wonderful as well. Gotta love no one counting how many cups you drink! My kind of place!

Lobster bisque and lobster salad are available fresh, as Paulette’s helper and friend Leslie provides seafood obtained from her fisherman husband’s daily catch. Codfish is fried to perfection, I’ve also heard from Leslie.  I can’t wait to return for a lobster dinner!

Organic food is provided to customers as Paulette strives to cook with only the best ingredients.  She is passionate about life and food. While I enjoyed my coffee she was making a nonalcoholic drink for Leslie with a recipe only she knows. Her imagination and zest for her business is obvious from the first minute you walk through the door.  The stone steps bring you to a space like no other.  Many rocks and plants within the space help to make you feel grounded. 

The band Generations is playing there this coming Friday, if you would like to pop by for some tasty grub and some good local music. At other times there are meetings for drumming and music.   Regina Wright, a local energy worker, presents her Dream workshops here. 

So check out this cafe/bed and breakfast located at 2 Loop Drive in Portugal Cove-St. Philips, Newfoundland.  You won’t be disappointed.  Bring along a friend or two to enjoy this unique cafe. Like me, it might become one of your favourite places to visit!


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Ette Boutique in Pasadena NL

If you visit Pasadena Newfoundland this year you should spend an hour with Jeanette or one of her employees, searching for something for your home or a dress for that special occasion or a trinket for a special friend.  

When I visited this boutique Mrs. Ette was very helpful and I wanted to buy at least a half dozen items before I left.   There was a nice selection of dresses and pillows. There were knicknacks for many occasions. Put it this way “there were a lot of gems in a small space”.

Food land is adjacent to this boutique and makes your day easier, buying a gift or dress at the same location as ingredients for a bbq or family dinner. There is ample parking and opportunity for that much sought after  item. Have fun on your visit and spoil yourself a little. 

Customer service is great, I’ve found, and supporting local businesses is a bonus.

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5 Nights at The Last Stamp May 16-20/2015

The first three nights were okay. The other pilgrims were very respectful. The ladies at the desk were helpful and friendly. The albergue was in a great location, close to the cathedral and the bus stop. No problems!

Then two French pilgrims came and life as I knew it changed. One fellow was sleeping above me. He turned on lights late. He sprayed some kind of strong smelling linament on his legs, which gave me a headache. I complained to Paula on the desk who offered to move the men. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, thinking the guy would not spray on the second night. But he did! So I got moved and slept only two hours that night. So I was falling asleep all that day. 

Great albergue and great staff! 


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