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Saturday, December 30, 2017

The End Is The Beginning, The Beginning Could Be The End

2017 is definitely coming to an end and it’s the time for looking back through the year and the changes it brought. For me, one of the fundamental changes has happened south of the border. Throughout my life I have always had a great deal of admiration for the United States. At one point I even wanted to move to America.

Today, I’m glad I didn’t.

Is the United States about to become an Oligarchy? 
Over the last year, more and more signs of an authoritarian leadership have shown up in America. Democracy may still exist pro-forma, but the reality looks quite different. Vital parts of public life is being determined by billionaires, which are part of the population’s 1% being the richest people in the U.S.

If we look at who have voted these oligarchs into power, we find that the majority of them is comprised of people belonging to the lowest income class in the country. But make no mistake, naturally, the right-wing agenda has also appealed to the very same 1% who are holding most of the wealth in the country. After all, the recent tax reform has saved them millions of tax dollars every year. Trump himself congratulated his cronies to their increased wealth.
And so it becomes more and more difficult to understand why the lower income class thinks that Trump and Co. is gonna help them to more money and more jobs when all they bother with is increasing their wealth.

When the president is saying that he is above the law, other people start thinking along the same lines. Child molester Moore in Alabama thought he could overturn the result of the state election by SUING the heck out of it. What kind of lack of respect for the law is prevailing in his head?

Hundreds of experts have found Trump to be mentally unfit to serve in the Oval Office. When his disturbed brain is combined with a total lack of knowledge of how to handle international relations, it becomes a real danger to the entire world.

General Robert Neller, commander in chief for America’s Marine Corps, just warned American Troops in Norway that a “Bad-Ass War” is underway and that everybody should be prepared.
The bare fact that the Trump administration has already brought the world to the edge of a Nuclear War is so incomprehensible, that it hasn’t gone up for most folks yet.

I guess we will all stand witness to the unfolding events in 2018.
The deck of cards is mixed and ready to be dealt.

So here is to the hope of a successful midterm election in 2018, and that it will be a Happy New Year for the world and you.

Frosted Beauty

And the “Fun” continues towards the new year. This morning we could enjoy –20C again and even though the wind had slowed a bit, it had now turned to north-west coming right off the polar regions of Canada. But it all comes with a multitude of photo opportunities. And again I was heading out to look at all that sea fog coming off the water. First I headed down to Welshpool Wharf which was barely visible. Next stop was the Mulholland Lighthouse vis-a-vis Lubec. There it was, appearing like a ghost. The bridge showed through the sea fog. Everything looked so cold and frozen, yet it showed me the beauty of the winter.
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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Minus 22C Makes Us Stay Inside

When I let out Dixie this morning I chanced a glance at the thermometer and it showed –22C. (-7F) This is by far the lowest temperature we have ever seen here out east. At the same time the wind was blowing like crazy. I have seen –53C (-63.4F) in Alberta, and that is really COLD, but there was no wind. Today the windchill was –32C (-25.6F) and it would have been dangerous to be outside for more than 30 minutes without face protection. Sea Smoke was covering the Passamaquoddy Bay, making for some special photo opportunities. But most of the following images were taken through a cracked open side window, because it was just too cold to step outside. And for the rest of the day we stayed put in front of our wood stove, Dixie included.1-DSC_0486

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1-DSC_0528                                     Welshpool Wharf  1-DSC_0529

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1-DSC_0530                                          FDR Cottage

1-DSC_0473                    Dixie’s new tailored coat   

Udate: This afternoon I had to take a cross-border trip for gas. When I got back, I could not find my VISA card, though I knew I had put in my pocket. Well, I had to call the bank and got it cancelled, you know, just in case. Later in the afternoon, Bea was outside with Dixie. Moments later Bea brought in my VISA card. Dixie had found it carrying it around in her mouth. What a great dog we got!!!           

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Windy Christmas Days

At –16C (3F) and a windchill of –24C (-11F) we are waking up to the 2nd. day after Christmas, the wind howling and rattling around the house. A look at my watch shows 6am. I have to go down and re-start the fire, before it gets too cold in the living room. I shiver as I walk down through the hallway, but the kitchen is a little warmer. Peeking into the dark living room I can feel that the stove is still warm. But the fire has died down. Not a problem. Dixie starts groaning in her crate and I let her out. Slowly, she emerges, stretching her legs and crawling up on my lap. When the fire is going good, I move to the kitchen to start the coffee.  Then I attempt to get Dixie outside. I am dressed like I go to the North Pole. (The pic below is from yesterday)

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Dixie is hesitant to get out into the frigid dark morning, but I know she needs to go. I finally get her going with a treat. She’s very fast, runs straight back to the house.

With my first cup of coffee I cozy up on the couch – close to the fire. Dixie joins me.

I check the weather forecast for this week: It’s gonna stay extremely windy and extremely cold, with morning snow showers tomorrow.

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Isn’t that something to look forward to?

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Day Winter Storm

 MERRY CHRISTMAS
Y
esterday it was still looking like a brown Christmas, but it was about to change. Today we have a white Christmas, but it’s not of the pretty quiet variety. Oh no, we got a winter storm blowing snow out of the north-east, causing a high surf on the beach.
The weather is so bad that not even Dixie likes to be outside. But once in a while she NEEDS to get outside, and while I was dressed like I would for a polar adventure, I took the van and headed down to the beach where the NIKON got these images. I am sure that if you look at it you feel sorry for not being here right now…or what?

T’is life on the Island.
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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Life And Death

When I was young I was never comtemplating
about Life and Death, but since I have seen family members and friends pass away, my views have changed to deeper grounds.

As we just have lost a friend and neighbour to cancer, the matter of dying is at the forefront of my mind again. Maybe it is just that my parents always shielded me from this most substantial matter of human life, but I still struggle with the fact that someone close, someone I knew and someone I just talked to is gone forever and will never be there again. Sure, we all know that everybody, whether rich or poor, some day will go, but from there arriving at the factual passing away, is still a huge step for me.  In my mind I am playing over and over the last conversation, the last discussion, the last words. Likewise the image of the person, as I saw it the last time, will never fade. I can wake up at night mulling over and over what just happened, and it will keep me from falling asleep again.
This is a complicated matter for me to speak about at all, so bear with me if this just sounds like a big mumble-jumble. It does help me to write things down, almost like it is manifesting its meaning, becoming the unchangeable truth.

Whether I will ever get better at dealing with Life and Death I don’t know.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Wind And The Sea

It’s always there for you, the wind and the sea. Not to mention the long beautiful and natural beach of Herring Cove. So the nice weather was another temptation for a walk along the beach. And if you think “OH NO NOT AGAIN”  I will tell you that every day is a different experience. Today it was all about the surf and the wind. Tomorrow it might be totally quiet or entirely wild. The wid might come from a different direction or driving snow will obscure your view alltogether.

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Beaches are there for us to enjoy. They entice us to deep thoughts or just a lovely experience with our happy dog.

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The beauty of it all will be in YOUR eyes. 1-DSC_0367-001

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Only 3inch Snow But I Got Quite A Morning Work-Out

It began to snow yesterday evening and this morning we had a winter-white landscape with 3 inches of fresh snow. Not a whole lot, but enough to test the shoveling muscles.

Our driveway is a 150ft and the road plow is always leaving a heap at the foot of the driveway. Being done with that I threw the scraper into the van and headed down to the community library. Their walkway up to the door was done in 10 minutes and I could continue around the corner to the Welshpool Wharf. Cleaning off the snow there is usually taking an hour. So also today. The heaps of snow plunged into the water as I pushed it over the edge. There is not much activity down there these days, only 3 boats from the aquaculture company. Their salmon pens are currently empty. First in the spring they will restock with new young fish.

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1-DSC_0379-0011-DSC_0387-0021-DSC_0382-0011-DSC_0385-0011-DSC_0386-001While I was working with the snow Bea played with Dixie in the snow. Though she is a southern Dixie Bell, she seems to enjoy Canadian snow and winter. Her fur is growing as she also gains weight and gets a little bigger every day. She now weighs 28 pounds, is about 20inches tall and almost 30 inches long. How big she is getting – we don’t know for sure, but expect her to reach 65-70 pounds and a shoulder height of 30 inches.

Besides of playing with Dixie, Bea did some nice shots of our birdies coming to the feeding stations. As you can see we got a Cardinal guesting. Actually Mr. and Ms. Cardinal have become regulars with us. With the backdrop of fresh snow they are quite a sight. This morning Ms. Cardinal was not seen. She probably was hanging out somewhere near in our Hawthorne tree watching her husband.

Only a few more days until Christmas now and I am thinking of the families which have lost their loved ones in the recent train crash in Washington State.  It is sad enough when accidents like this happen, but when it happens right up close to Christmas it seems even worse.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Double Whammy Long Johns Day And A Monster Shows Up In Our Yard

OK, this was good enough as long as it lasted, but it’s over – at least for now. The cold has arrived. This is the day I put on the double  whammy Long Johns. Day-highs will basically stay at frigid  minus 7C (19.4F) and a fierce ice-cold wind out of the west will bring the windchill down to –16C (3F), which means any living creature with a functioning brain will stay inside the house. And tonight’s temps will reach –11C (12F) with persisting cold winds.

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Between necessary outings, Dixie has settled in front of the stove again. That dog is sooo smart. She is even ringing the bell quite literally whenever she needs to go outside.  It was Bea’s idea to teach Dixie how to make her desires known. So when Dixie nudges the bell with her nose she gets a treat. But wouldn’t you know it, this morning I observed her stopping by the bell nudging it, then giving me an expectant  look. Of course she had just come in from the cold and clearly, the reason for ringing that bell was the desire for another treat. Well, we need to fine-tune that.

And then, halfway through the morning, I looked out the window and saw a strange figure wandering around our property.

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THE SASQUATCH? Close to the monster was our little Dixie. Had she been kidnapped? What was going on?

Ah, it just was Bea having thrown on her big artificial furcoat against the cold wind.

Speaking of monsters, Dixie is convinced that we have a monster in the basement. Every time we open the basement door she is taking refuge around the corner in the dining room. The reason might be that the vacuum cleaner is stored at the top of the stairs and that it makes this awful ear-deafening noise. “Tis” the world of a little puppy.

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Part of her world is also watching me preparing meals in the kitchen. Her prefered daily menu now also includes raw carrots. But most stunning I find her interest in alcoholic beverages like beer.

Most females are interested in fashion and the most favorable looks, and this morning it was Dixie’s turn  to playing model for some warming garments – which, sadly, proved to be too small for her growing body.  Votes on the most fashionable outfit are expected.

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UPDATE: The sun came out in the afternoon and after all the temps weren’t too bad if one stayed out of the wind, which was the reason we decided for a walk through the Provincial Park. Dixie went off-leash and she was always checking back on us, of course, always rewarded with a treat. On the way back she raced so fast that she almost fell over her own feet. We had to laugh at her, it was just too funny watching her romping along the trail.

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