Monday, September 30, 2013

We Received An Email…

Even though I’m running a risk of letting this blog drift off into politics, I thought I’d show you guys the email we received today. But before that I must say for our American friends that the background for this letter is the recent political proposal of the Province of Quebec to prohibit the wearing of all kind of religious symbols in public jobs. Of course this has started a very hot burning discussion throughout Canada. Canada has always looked at itself as the country where multiculturalism was the backbone of Canadian democracy and freedom. But when f.ex a police officer shows up wearing a turban instead of his uniform cap then people are getting excited in a negative way. I, myself have met one of those back when we were still in Alberta. And I didn’t like it a bit.

So there’s gotta be a truth in the following letter, which I won’t keep away from you any longer. If you feel for it write a comment, if not it’s OK as well. And at the end of this letter you can read my own comment.


mapleleaf Congratulations to our fellow Canadians in Quebec who had the courage and conviction to exhibit their common sense in officially banning the hijab for certain transactions where identity is mandatory. It's a start. It's a privilege to be allowed to immigrate and to live in this country - not a right. When this hit the e-news a few weeks ago, there was overwhelming support by the readers who AGREED with Quebec 's action.

The letter below says it all. Keep it going.
A Letter to the Editor (excellent letter)
So many letter writers have explained how this land is made up of immigrants. Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people why today's Canadian is not willing to accept the new kind of immigrant any longer.
Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to Canada , people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in Halifax and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times.                         

They made learning English a primary rule in their new Canadian households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home. They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new and better life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture.
Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labour laws to protect them. All they had were the skills, craftsmanship and desire they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.

Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. Canadians fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France, Japan, China, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Sweden, Poland and so many other places. None of these first generation Canadians ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Canadians fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan . They were defending the Freedom as one people. When we liberated France , no one in those villages was looking for the Ukrainian-Canadian or the German-Canadian or the Irish-Canadian. The people of France saw only Canadians.
And we carried one flag that represented our country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be a Canadian. They stirred the melting pot into one red and white bowl.
And here we are in 2013 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges, only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules - one that includes a Canadian passport and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being a Canadian is all about. Canadians have been very open-hearted and open-minded regarding immigrants, whether they were fleeing poverty, dictatorship, persecution, or what ever else makes us think of those aforementioned immigrants who truly did ADOPT our country, our flag, our morals and our customs, and left their wars, hatred, and divisions behind. I believe that the immigrants who landed in Canada in the early 1900s deserve better than that for the toil, hard work and sacrifice of those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags, fighting foreign battles on our soil, making Canadians change to suit their religions and cultures, and wanting to change our country’s fabric by claiming discrimination when we do not give in to their demands.
Its about time we get real and stand up for our forefathers’ rights. We are CANADIAN.  I am a Native of this Country and proud of it!
And while we're on the subject - allow CHRISTMAS back in stores and our schools!

I want back the country of my birth.

Hope this letter is read by millions of people all across Canada !!

We are letting people live here that hate our way of life!!!!!!!!


My comment: Since this discussion started in Quebec I must say that it did surprise me a little. As is known the Province of Quebec tends to act a bit special and uncanadian at times. First I will mention Qubec’s repeated attempts to separate from Canada. Second there is the fact that the Province does not allow any English in public places. And I am talking about English company- or product names. Walmart is not Walmart in Quebec but “Le Magasine De Walmart” and stuff like that. So, naturally I’m a bit cautious about applauding to the full extent of the above letter.

Also i know that many immigrant communities in the early 1900s hung onto their homeland language. Icelanders in Manitoba spoke Icelandic for a very long time until they slowly changed to English. The same happened to German, Norwegian and Dutch communities. Mennonites are STILL speaking their old German language.

But of course there is a difference between what I am doing in private when I speak to my wife and what I’m doing in a public office.  Canada has 2 official languages plus the native languages of the First Nations. Police officers with turbans break with the rules of having a publicly recognizable uniform. This country maintains certain standards – in spite of multiculturalism. What people do after their job I do not care about.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

What A Shame!

When I look across the border I am saddened by the hap – and hopeless situation in the United States. It’s a situation which throws a dark shadow also  towards Canada, as we are the biggest partner in commerce. We are political and defense allies as well and as such the situation between the Senate and the House is all but encouraging.
It goes to show the limitations of democracy when partisan considerations seem to weigh in higher than the wellbeing of the country.
The ACA was legally voted in to take effect in 2014. Some people have problems accepting that decisions based in the rules of a functioning democracy are legally binding. They take to blackmail in order to force their political adversaries into submission, even though it means that their citizens are going to suffer. It also goes to show a huge disrespect against the sitting government.

It’s not only in Canada that people are shaking their heads about such foolishness. European press has long since spread the bad news all over it, and it has produced a lot of head shakes over there.
When Tuesday rolls around with no deal in sight stocks will fall all over the world. United States credit rating will take a hit, and  millions of people will not receive their government cheque. Companies working for the government will not get paid and their workers will be laid off. Road construction on federal highways will stop. And TSA security on International airports will shut down. I gather customs officers will still go to work?
Yet the same folks who plan and force the government shut-down have voted to uphold payment for the military. Are they worried on behalf of the soldiers or is it that weapon dealers had a word in it? 
These were also the same guys who would have preferred to start a new war in Syria. No problem with financing THAT!

There doesn’t seem to be any worries about International repercussions on a government shut-down either. I just thought of all the terrorist organizations based around the world. They are probably planning a big party on Tuesday. And how embarrassing is it really for the old super power America having to admit that it has reached a political impasse and is basically broke?

What I am really missing here is COMMON SENSE. Common sense went missing a long time ago. Hopefully it can be restored at the next American election.

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Another Beautiful Day And We Take A Little Trip

Even though the morning was a bit chilly it was only because we had a clear sky. I love those days when one can see so far across the water. It is invigorating to just step outside and breathe the fresh air.
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Bea was working today at the Motel so I was just puttering around the house until she returned. Took Molly for a walk along the beach, made a potato salad and enjoyed the day on the porch.
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After Bea returned we took the convertible and had us a tour across the border. The small town of Lubec had a little vendors arrangement along water street and we needed to check it out. Sadly, and in spite of the nice weather there were very few people around.
Anyway, we went on to Martha’s to get our delicious bread ration for the next week, and from there we went to the West Quoddy State Park. The West Quoddy Light House is located just opposite of Campobello’s southern most point (Liberty Point) It sits on a rather high rocky cliff overlooking the Gulf Of Maine. It’s markings are 8 red and 7 white painted rings. As opposed to our own East Quoddy Light House it is built of bricks. We were amazed to see that there was a lively traffic of visitors around the premises. But then there could hardly be a better day for getting out here.
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Always good to come home after such an outing. We had picked up those yummy Italian sausages on our way home and of course they landed on the Weber BBQ.
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West Quoddy Light House is the Easternmost Point of the U.S.

It was still warm enough to take our supper on the porch. Eating outside has always been a lot of fun for us. We know that many people won’t do that, but for us there is no real summer day without having our meals outside.
Thanks for dropping by again!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Yahouie Summer Was Back Today

Oh what fun it was today to see a blue, blue sky and the bright sun. With temperatures around 68F (20C) it was downright hot if we stayed in the sun. And everybody felt that we deserved that change in the weather. Since last Saturday it has been cold, very windy and interspersed with rain showers.
After puttering around today with our trailer I felt so tired that I fell asleep in my chair on the porch. Well, I slept not very long, but yet I felt invigorated enough to suggest a walk along the Herring Cove beach. When we got down there, we were looking at a sea soooo calm, so calm. There was not a breeze over the entire area. Molly thought it was too hot and we know she is getting thirsty pretty fast. I would have liked to get my hands on a nice cold pop myself. We met only one other couple and they gave us a friendly wave when passing.
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The storm winds of the last week sure have changed the shape of the beach again. Lots of sand has been washed away leaving a sharp edge about one third down from the grassy edge. Always amazing to see how mother nature works its ways.
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A sharp edge marks where the recent high water took a lot of sand away.

To give Molly a chance for a drink we walked over to Lake Glensevern. We had to entice her a bit to walk into the water and she finally drank a little of the lake.
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DSC_0244Picture showing map over Herring Cove Beach with Lake Glensevern along the beach

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September landscape – waiting for the storms to hit…

Mountain Ash Berries in the afternoon sun

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Sunny spot on a mossy spot                             and the “claws” of a tree

Bea made a nice supper with half a chicken and one her signature salads with bell peppers and home-grown tomatoes. We have actually enjoyed a lot of fresh lettuce over the summer and are now blessed with a huge tomato harvest. Gawd, how I relish these full-ripe tomatoes. What a great taste, especially if you compare with those store-bought tomatoes which mostly have no taste at all.
Yep, our garden has provided us with great food and an extension is already planned for next year.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 23, 2013

They Came Via Toronto…

We knew that they would be coming before the end of this month. Indeed we had received a few emails over the last 10 days, the last one was sent off from the Acadia National Park, which is only 3hrs away. Then on Saturday a motor home from CANADREAM rolled up our driveway. They had arrived. It was the daughter of one of Bea’s cousins with her husband traveling all the way from Germany via Toronto. Neither of us had ever met Bettina and Jochen, but they turned out to be the nicest campers you could imagine.
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Jochen is quite familiar with North America as he had studied in the U.S. and both have been traveling in British Columbia earlier. Unfortunately, just this weekend the weather wasn’t all too great and Sunday it was raining a whole lot. We went through the Roosevelt Cottage in the morning but spent the afternoon inside watching one sky burst after the other coming down. And that’s a good enough reason to comfort ourselves with lots of good home-cooked food.
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Today the weather looked a lot better but we had a very strong and cold northern wind. Yet we all took off exploring the Head Harbour Lightstation and famous viewpoints of Campobello.
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The oldest light house in the province 1829 and 55ft high

Not a day to walk around in shorts though but after all we got outside for a spell. Bettina and Jochen were back on the road this afternoon and even though the sun peeked out we stayed inside as it was pretty cold  outside.
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Visible sand bar – at low tide only          and something big came drifting

Hopefully we will see these guys again one day.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Went Shopping And Fixed Our Entrance

After an extremely beautiful morning we decided to take a drive to Calais,ME to go look for a fitting floor cover in our little west entrance. Now “West Entrance” sounds like we have entrances in every direction, but we have only two, namely one in the back and one in the front, like most houses have. The one in the front is kinda new, meaning we did build a little hallway to buffet the wind from the west. Thing was this hall had been standing unfinished for 2 years and somehow we got weary of it. That’s when I kick into action. Sometimes I even need a kick start in the behind administered by Bea. After enough pestering I had dry-walled and sanded and painted the walls. I had even build the trim around the window and the doors. But there was the still unsightly floor. It was raw untreated plywood, now even adorned with white spots from the mudding and vanilla cream colored spots of the wall paint.
Just leaving Campobello….
We figured either a vinyl flooring or a laminated floor cover would be nice. In Calais is a store just close to the border where one can find all kind of deals. It’s called Mardens and they change their inventory ever so often. They buy up leftover parties of just about everything. Once you’ve bought it you own it and have to cart it off. No returns Sir!

Like with so many other stores, the trouble with Mardens is that one can get easily and heavily distracted. The deals just seem too good to pass up and then of course I had Bea with me. Generally speaking I HATE shopping. To me it’s a total waste of time.

So first, our path along the aisles led through the shoe department. I know, I know. I needed new shoes real bad. So let’s go and look for shoes. It didn’t take us long to find a pair of a fitting size, original price tag showing about a 100 bucks but slashed to a mere $35. Brown shoes in a fitting size and all in real leather – what a deal.
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I was heading farther along towards the east end of the store where I knew the flooring department was. Tons and tons of laminates and a lot less of vinyl flooring. The choice of quality, and colour paired with a price was threatening to cause me a headache.  Then Bea arrived. She had been browsing somewhere else where I had no business at all. We ran around the stacks of laminate like two puppies around the food bowl.

Finally, we settled on a light oak which would match up with what we already had in our inner hallway. I calculated 3 packages would be needed so that’s what we had on the cart when we were heading towards the till. A few other items were added underway.

We got out of the store with a receipt for having spent $132.00, which wasn’t really too bad considering the pair of shoes in the deal.
Before we rolled up our driveway Canada Customs had asked for $15.00 in sales tax on our purchases and they were nice enough not to count the shoes.

We plumped right down on our chairs and enjoyed coffee and the rest of yesterday’s cookies before I sprang to action with the laminate flooring. Just couldn’t stand the thought of having to wait until tomorrow.

Now, like I said the entrance is facing west which translates into a bright and hot afternoon sun hitting the place. Our entry hall sure felt like a cook stove when I first got in there. With both windows and the doors open I started to get things done. Carried my miter saw around, brought out measure tape and pencil and just before supper I had only one more laminate panel to put down. Typically it was the very last panel which made it necessary to open the third package.

Looking at it I get the feeling that something was accomplished today. Bea bestowed a bright smile on her handyman and THAT is all the pay I ask for.

Thanks for stopping by again.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Gathered Up A Few Friends And Bused Into The Park – And Then I Lost A Key

A while ago we had gone a nice forest path along the water’s edge, just along the south end of the island. Most of Campobello’s south is part of the Roosevelt Park. There is a place called Fox Farm and another place called Cranberry Point. I haven’t seen any cranberries out there and foxes….. well, once they had a fox farm there. That must have been before Brigitte Bardot got active. anyway a long time ago they raised foxes there for their fur. There’s nothing left of the fox farm … just the name.

So a thought had formed in my head to invite our friends for a nice lazy afternoon walk along said path, for so indulge in a coffee/cookie frenzy out on Cranberry Point. We have 2 buses, so this afternoon we deployed both of them. One, driven by Bea went ahead, loaded with all kind of equipment, coffee, hot water for tea, and cookies. Molly went along there as well. I took the other bus to pick up our friends and brought them out to Cranberry Point as well, where we put the goodies our friends had brought along into the other vehicle and pick up Bea and Molly. Then we went back to Fox Farm, from where the nice woody path starts.
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The total length is only about 1km, but for us “older people” that is plenty long enough to walk and certainly nobody wanted to walk any longer before we got to the reward with coffee and cookies waiting for us at the other end..
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The weather was outstanding – another day of summer - mercifully bestowed on us from above.
So we stopped and looked across the channel - the Narrows – keeping the States from Canada. There was “The Sparkplug” the mid-channel lighthouse which can only be reached by boat, there was the span of the International bridge connecting two countries. Was there a Falcon in the air? And look at the beautiful Mountain Ash with its red berries.

All too soon we reached Cranberry Point. We opened the parked bus and got all the goodies out on the park bench. There was a single lady parked with her own car a bit apart of us. She was working on a painting. We offered her coffee and cookies – but she refused. One of us went and apologized to her for disturbing her solitude. I’m sure she was shocked when that bus had pulled up, and then later a bunch of loudly chatting wanderers popped out of the woods.
We sat there for well an hour, munching each other's cookies and enjoying the scenery.
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At about 5pm the sun was getting behind a few trees and it was cooling off. When we gathered everything off the table the painter lady came over asking for how late it was. Did her car didn’t have a clock?

She was nice enough and accepted a glass of lemon tea. Bea was driving back to where the other bus was parked and we all got home. I was home first, while Bea brought our friends home. It was then that I couldn’t find our house key. I knew I had stuffed it into my pocket, but it wasn’t there. It wasn’t in the bus either. So I waited for Bea to come home. There was only one place the key could be – at the spot where we had stopped and I had gotten into the Dodge – pulling out the bus keys.

We had to go back and look for it.  When we got there Bea spotted the key right away. It had a bright pink tag and was in the grass where I had gotten into the Dodge – just as I had assumed.

So, needless to say the day ended on the most positive note and everybody was just happy with the afternoon.

Gotta do that again. (‘cept for loosing the key :-))