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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Enjoying Winter

After living 25 years in winterland NORWAY I thought I wouldn’t be able to enjoy winter days ever again, which eventually led us to spend 7 winters in sunny California, and I am certainly not regretting it. Yet, I am now able to enjoy winter days again, especially when the sun is out transforming a snowy landscape into a Winter-Wonder-Land, like it did today. And of course having a rambunctious puppy makes a walk along the beach even more fun. So here are the pics of today’s outing along the beach.
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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Oh My, It’s Almost Christmas

We took in the Christmas tree on Thursday and got it all decorated on Friday. So now it’s in place with all the lights and shiny golden and silvery ornaments. And the wonderful smell of a fresh green tree is filling our livingroom with all the memories of long-gone times.
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A wonderful warming fire in the wood stove just adds on to the great time we are having when enjoying home-baked cookies and freshly brewed coffee in the afternoon.
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And if that wasn’t enough for the Christmas mood, it has started to snow this evening. So tomorrow we are gonna have a white yard.
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This morning I was out helping a neighbour with mounting on a heating wire on his roof. It will make the snow run off the roof before it can pile up in front of their dormers. Then I took our weed-wacker and cleared an area in the rear of our property. I plan to drive our truck up there to the edge of the forest to make transporting out firewood a lot easier.
1-DSC_0013               And some times I use firewood in a different way

Dixie just had her first meeting with real snow. I let her out for her business, and she raced like a rocket up to her usual spot and came back like a bullet. “Iiiiiiijjjj…..this so wet and cold, Dad”.  Curled up in front of the wood stove is soooo much better.
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And to make it all official, Lubec will have its Parade of Lights tomorrow. Of course, we will go there and watch how Santa comes to town.

Have a great time!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

BEACH DAY

Alright, it’s December 7, but the weather suggests a day in October, so we go to the beach. Sun is out and warming and Dixie is running around full of joy, sniffing up the beach. So much fun! We try a detour on the way back, move over to Lake Glensevern and are finally met by water flowing across the trail. So we track back to the beach. The strong wind the other day made the sea flood into the lake and had brought driftwood into the outlet of the lake blocking the water outlet.
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Dixie has a field day. We train her on recall and she comes running, for there is always a treat waiting for her.
Then we try a forest trail. This seems even more exciting for Dixie.

We feel blessed to have her and be able to live in this paradise.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

On A Day Like Today

On a day like today the city of Halifax was almost entirely obliterated by the biggest exlosion the world had ever witnessed at the time – 100 years ago. I have posted about the Halifax explosion previously and you can read the posting here.

On a day like this, December 6, decades ago I was racing from my room to the windows of my parent’s house to check on my shoes, I had placed there the evening before.
Nikolaus on horse
Yes, it was Saint Nikolaus Day, and the custom for little kids at the time was awaiting the morning of December 6 with the greatest excitement and anticipation, for during the night, Saint Nikolaus would have placed chocolate candy in the shoes placed on the window sill. Our parents made sure that my brother and me were never disappointed.
St-NicholasWe truly believed in Saint Nikolaus and Santa Claus. It was magic and it put a cloak of secrecy and wonder on our lifes. I don’t remember when facts of reality started to sink into my mind. I think it happened before I was 10 years old. I sure wonder whether there are still kids out there growing up in such strong beliefs.

If we allow ourselves to scan back into our own past we will discover things we thought we had forgotten. And good people will reflect upon it and draw the right conclusions. Conclusions of value for the future. And hopefully, it will lead us to discard a lot of the commercialism we are surrounded with today.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

A Little Town South Of The Border

There is no doubt about that the hey-days of Lubec,ME are long gone, and there is no better time for that realization than if you walk Water Street on a chilly day in December. This street, once lined with big salt-shacks, smoke houses and fish canneries, is appearing almost empty. A few remnants are still reminding the visitor of the town’s past. Speaking of visitors, there are none today, that is if you don’t think of us being visitors. We just came across the bridge from Campobello to walk our dog along Water Street, in hopes of meeting some talkative people along the curb. Dixie still needs to meet more strangers. But looking down the street, our hopes are vanishing. A few parked cars along the curb – that’s all we can see. And Christmas seems to be still a long time away, as no decorations have yet been mounted.
1-DSC_00111-DSC_00141-DSC_0017                       Bea and Dixie on Water Street
However, once being in town, I am trotting behind Bea and Dixie, swinging my camera here and there. The row of buildings, some containing souvenir stores, seem to be in a state of hibernation, awaiting the next warm summer with scores of visitors to fill the parlors and stores. The Brewery is open though and a few beer enthusiasts might
be coming along to quench their thirst.
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Lubec used to have a lot more residents, but that was while there was still fish to catch and to process. When the salt-shacks, smoke houses and canneries closed, people lost their work and left town in search for a better life in a bigger place. What they left behind was boarded-up buildings and a sense of despair for those who remained in residence, mostly the older population.
Prior to the decline, there were 20 smokehouses in Lubec producing 50 to 60 thousand boxes of fish annually, bringing employment and prosperity to the town. In 1797, Daniel Ramsdell cured the first herring by smoke, a process of preserving fish he had learned in Nova Scotia. Lubec would become the national leader in smoked herring production. Smokehouses and the many brush weirs that supplied herring lined the shore. Weir construction also brought a measure of prosperity to area farmers who cut the necessary stakes and brush needed to build and refurbish the herring traps. So great was the demand for the large herring preferred by the smokehouses that Lubec began sending vessels to the Magdelen Islands in the quest for fish. The 1855 Maine Register reported: “During the 1850s it was said that the smoked herring business employed every male resident over the age of 10 in the Washington County town of Lubec.”
It’s hard to believe but due to increases in retail activity, fishing and fish processing employment opportunities, shipping and farming, Lubec’s population grew to 3,000 by 1850. The town boasted three post offices, four churches, several fraternal organizations including Freemasons, and a ferry connecting Lubec and Eastport. People migrated to the town in search of work and, with money to spend, shopped at the growing number of stores on Water Street.
Lubec seaside               Ferry boat in 1936, Below: same place today
1-DSC_0021Following a period of decline during the Depression, World War II revitalized the industry with factories on both the east and west coasts working at capacity to supply the Army and Navy with three million, one-hundred can cases per year. Seven new factories were built in Lubec. With the end of the War demand for canned sardines decreased sharply and the overbuilt industry began to decline. By 1976 there were only two factories operating in Lubec. The last cannery was closed as late as in 2001.

 

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                              American Can Company 1935

Tourism can be credited to have kept the town alive. The establishment of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park and the construction of the FDR Memorial Bridge was incidental to bring visitors to the region. B+Bs, souvenir stores, and restaurants have opened since, providing much needed services for summer visitors.

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As we reach Cohill’s Inn facing a cold wind off the water, we are overlooking the boat launch. The parking area is filled with trucks, belonging to the fishermen who are still out trying to get a good catch before Christmas. They are part of the current remaining population of about 300 fulltime residents, less than a tenth of what it was in 1910, when Lubec’s population reached its peak with 3364 residents.

We conclude our cross-border visit with a stop at the local IGA to get a few weekend goodies.

                Have a great 1. of Advent!
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Sunday, November 26, 2017

It’s Like Having A Kid

Our days have changed – a lot. Ever since we got this little “kid” Dixie, we are constantly occupied with either watching over her, making sure she gets outside when necessary, feeding her, training her, walking her and playing with her. And it is all so much fun. At 6:30am I have to get up and let her out. Good thing is that I normally never used to sleep in, so I am the type A human being. That being said when I hear the storm howling around the house, my motivation to get up that early has its limits.
When I am ready to stoke the stove, Dixie has taken in her customary position in front of it, making it somewhat difficult for me to retrieve the firewood. We have dubbed her the “Stove-Dog” as it is the place where she spends a lot of time during the day. Little puppy feels cold, little puppy likes to be in front of the wood stove.
1-20171126_113950She also enjoys looking into the flames. It is like TV for her.1-20171121_142232
Bea has started to take Dixie on some longer walks off the property and down the village streets, but Dixie’s level of energy seems boundless. She has grown somewhat and last week she weighed in at 18.4 pounds at the vet office. Tomorrow we gotta go there again to get her the last booster shots. Then, hopefully, there will be a while until we see that guy again.
1-20171126_115051                                  Chewing on an apple
1-20171126_115000                         Dad did a “Selfie” with me.
Reading over what I just wrote, It occurs to me that I am sounding like a new-baked father who is reporting on the progress his new-born kid is making. But, really, if you look at it, it’s not so much difference. We have become dog-parents again and we take that pretty darn seriously.

Once in a while we try to do something different and head down to the beach. Here are a few shots I did the other day. We are still blessed with a lot of blue skies and sunshine.
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Monday, November 20, 2017

Dixie Goes To The Vet

Yesterday afternoon we noticed that Dixie had a problem. She was peeing much too often, like several times over 30 minutes and we couldn’t keep up to lead her outside. Females are prone to bladder infection and today we had to go see the vet, and it was quickly determined that we had been right. It was indeed a urinary tract infection. Now, that is not too dramatic in itself as the good doc had antibiotics right there in his office. 2 weeks with that and the problem should be gone for good. Meanwhile, until the drug kicks in, we still have to deal with that problem. Good thing is that Dixie still seems to be a happy dog and doesn’t seem to be depressed. We’ll see what happens over the next 2 days.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Dixie Meets Summer

Summer is a Standard Poodle and belongs to our neighbours. They had been so kind to offer to let Dixie meet Summer. And that’s where we were headed this afternoon.
Arriving at their place, Summer, who is a 6-7 months old puppy but much bigger than Dixie, was acting totally wild behind the fence. Wild enough to make me think she would easily crush little Dixie.
They would first meet with the fence between them, than both dogs walked together – each on a leash. Then the moment came we all were anxiously awaiting: Both dogs got off the leash.

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And the race was on.
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1-DSC_0228Both dogs chased through the enclosure like the devil was after them. It was obvious to all of us watching that Dixie had a great deal of fun and it didn’t take long until she was chasing the poodle around, even jumping over him, both dogs rolling around, taking aim for the next jump. I saw Dixie wild-eyed looking straight at Summer. She looked crazy, but had tons of fun with that poodle even though summer was at least double her weight and size.

It is safe to say that Dixie surprised bigly. While we had thought her to be somewhat timid, she showed us her real temperament.

While we were told that Dixie would be a cross between a Great Pyrenee and a Border Collie we think we have found out her real make-up. We have a picture of her mother, an Anatolian Shepard but her dad remained unknown, – until now.
pups9            The entire litter with mother in background

Dixie is almost a true copy of an English Pointer, which most likely is her dad. The left pic is Dixie, the one to the right an English Pointer.
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Below: And this is how she might end up looking as an adult.
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