Monday, May 31, 2021

A Party! What Else?


The Last Day of a month with good weather and our hopes up for the future. That would sum it up. May has always been my favorite month. I like the light green of the new leaves, the clear air and even the dandelions popping up everywhere.

And then of course, there is May 30. It is a day full of memories for us. Dandelions were plentiful on the day 34 years ago when we married in a 1000-year old wooden church in Norway. 

The ride from church, the 1928 Chevrolet open car, the many people passing us, waiving happily.

Now we can look at the pictures of the day, we are there together with our parents. We are now older than our parents were at the time of our wedding.

We have reason to be happy and content, and so we invite a few friends for a get-together. 

                   Norweg. "Kransekake" in the back

A neighbour brought a Norwegian "Kransekake". It was a "first" for her. We had the forms for it, she made it from almond flour and sugar. So beautiful. This traditional Norwegian cake is made in Norway at many occasions: Weddings, birthdays, the National Day, Christmas and anniversaries.

We couldn't sit outside yesterday. The day was grey with showers in the afternoon. And it still rains this morning. But the water from the skies are welcome. It has been very dry and people fear for their wells running dry.

Before the change of the weather, I started putting up the cedar shingles along the wall. It's tedious, but one can see the immediate progress.

The border issue is still much in the news. American politicians have pressed on, so far without any luck. Canada is not ready yet. We have to show more patience. 

For the sake of cross-border families and the tourism industry I hope for a border opening soon. Most likely people will need a vaccination passport to cross borders. The European Nations are already demanding it. So if you want to travel, you better tell your state governments to use common sense. I realize that common sense is a rare commodity these days. And it's not only in America that common sense is rare, but also in most of the rest of the world. 

"Thoughts and Prayers" will not resolve the problems.

Friday, May 28, 2021

I Can See A Light In The Tunnel

 And the above statement has a double meaning. Of course there is an end of the tunnel when the light shines at the end, For our work project it means we have finished the part of insulating and re-sheating the walls with OSB-sheats. 

We even put the house wrap up today and doesn't it look like a new house? The last target will now be the re-shingeling of the walls, which is much more fun than working with the fiberglass insulation.

The other reason for the light in the tunnel is that our province has announced a plan on how we are getting back to normal this summer. And if the figures are holding, it is all coming through much faster than expected only a few weeks earlier. The most interesting and relevant part begins on July 1. (Canada Day)

Phase 2 will begin July 1 if at least 20 per cent of New Brunswickers aged 65 or over have received their second dose, said Shephard.

Registration for travel within Atlantic Canada, Avignon and Témiscouata will no longer be required, and Nova Scotia will be included.Travellers from across Canada with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed into the province with no isolation required. The same will apply to travellers from Maine, pending changes to the federal regulations, Shephard said.

International travellers with two doses will not be required to isolate, pending changes to federal regulations, and designated isolation hotels will no longer be required.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Still Working On It

 It seems like the month of May may be a good one for us. Sun is out most days, though some rain could be good for the garden and for having enough water in the well. But dry weather has also been on my wish list for our outdoor insulation project. It is still going on but I've arrived at the last section of it. A couple of more pieces of Plywood to the wall and then it'll be time to nail (thousands?) of shingles to the wall. As usual, it all turned out to be way more work than anticipated. 

And while this has been going on we also got the first renters for our RV showing up. 2 nice ladies from our own province came across by way of ferry. They sure enjoyed their stay here. On May 21st the Herring Cove Provincial Park opened for the season and got their first guests as well.

One of the restaurants has been open for a coupla weeks already, though traffic has been slow so far. 

I took a few days off my project to "heal" my old bones and to enjoy a few wonderful hikes on the island. 

         Above: "Raccoon Beach" as seen from the Sunsweep trail

Spring time is truly the best time of the year for me. Campobello Island is blessed with a scenic nature and thousands of blooming apple trees. Well, there are cherries and a few pear trees as well. Most of the apple trees are in bloom now and make for great pictures.

Old Island Home

But I also found time to visit a friend of mine. He is a great artist with rock art and sea glass. 

Just look at the beautiful thing he has made for the upcoming birthday of his daughter. Every bit of glass has been drilled through to hang it. almost 200 pieces plus the beads have been hung, and secured with a tiny knot. It's a work of several months, and no, you wouldn't be able to pay for it, besides he never sells anything.

In a few days we will have a double reason for a celebration. May 30 marks the day of our 34. wedding anniversary and the 19. year of our landing in Canada. It seems unreal that so many years have passed.

Of course, some times I am feeling old, but yesterday I read an article about the United Nations which stated that the term "old" has changed over the years.

My grandparents were considered "old" when they were 60. But I would think that today the term "old" has changed over to the age bracket of 75 - 80, while 80 - 85 is considered "elderly", and 65 - 75 would be thought of as middel-aged of most people. Well, what ever it is, as long as our mind is young we will still think of us as young.  

Thursday, May 20, 2021

The Honey-Do-List Keeps Getting Longer

 I had an uncle who wasn't able to get a nail into the wall to hang a picture. He never knew what a honey-do-list was. His wife spared him the embarrassment of failure, which I really think was very nice of her. 

But men who own a hammer, a screwdriver and a saw, know all too well, what a honey-do-list means. It means spending hours, if not entire weekends to fix things around the house. There might be the squeaky garage door, or a wobbly shelf, or (God forbid) an entire kitchen or bathroom remodeling, keeping dad from seeing his buddies, or even hand-washing his beloved SUV. Honey-do-lists have probably been around just as long as humans have lived together as man and wife.

Now, I am the first to admit that I am a willing victim of a honey-do-list, that is as long as the project, small or big, finds my general approval and ranks in the top-ten list of my very own priorities. 

And I like to finish a project before starting another. As you might guess, the home-owner-insulation project has not been completed yet, so my ears were not in full receiving mode when the best wife of all, dropped a broken steel contraption on the ground asking whether I could weld the thing, as if she wouldn't know that I do have a small welding unit in my over-filled garage. Such requests are, if not entirely ignored, automatically ending up at the bottom of my list of priorities. Needless to say, she had nonchalantly dropped the thing right in front of the garage door, making sure that I would be stumbling over it every time I entered the garage, thus reminding me of my duty as the honey-doer. But I am pretty good at "forgetting" about it and then, a coupla days later, the "thing" had disappeared. It's not a permanent victory, no Sir, just put off for now. Make no mistake, the honey-do-list will retain the task for sure.

A garden fork was placed in 2 pieces at a corner of the shop. In passing, I heard something like, "can you put the handle back on?" OF COURSE, I could, but not when I am busy insulating the house. I need to get focussed on that fork and this is not the time. The next day she had fixed that fork herself. Wow - now THAT I call a victory.

And how is it really going with the insulation project? 

I took a break from it. Really, I did. Or rather we both agreed that it would be safer. See I was off today to get my 2. Covid shot. And we had just heard enough stories about people getting all kind of side-effects from it. So, I figured that I wouldn't want to have the last section of the wall all open, if I was forced to deal with a headache or worse for a couple days.  Better safe than sorry! 

But luckily, I seem to be quite OK after the shot which I got this afternoon. We'd be knowing more tomorrow morning, I take it.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Oh Busy Day...

 We got a project going. 

When we purchased this over 100yr.-old house back in 2009, we thought of it as a summer residence only. Well, we were snowbirds and never thought that we would stay here during winter.

Well, as we now know. that wasn't really in the cards. We have been staying north since the winter 2014. And during those winters we learned that old houses without insulation in the walls can be..well, a bit drafty, to say the least. We always had enough firewood to heat the house, but you know when the fire dies out and you don't want to incur massive electricity bills for using that badly engineered furnace, the place gets cold pretty quick. The Norwester is a bad enemy out here and the house is in his way - in a way of speaking.

So, enough said, we decided this year would be the year when "project insulation " would be launched. But we had made us one promise: No construction mess inside the house! The living area has still old-time plaster on the inside of the walls so we really didn't need all that mess to come loose. So the job would have to be done from the outside.

Above: The boards under the shingles

                   Above: Almost ready for insulation

Getting covered with OSB Sheats

Like most eastcoast houses, ours too has white-cedar shingles, nailed on to massive 1-inch thick spruce boards. And all that, including the big boards, had to come off. The most handy tools of the day is a crowbar and a hammer with which I have to pry off both the shingles and the boards. Being more than a hundred years old, the boards are nailed with giant square, hand-made nails and all of them are rusted, meaning very hard to remove. With other words it's a back-breaking work I have started. Most days I keep at it for about 5-6hrs only. And I am doing it in sections. After that I am feeling like I am 85years old. The 4-inch wall is being brought up to 6-inch standard, by nailing 2x3s crosswise horizontally to the studs. The extra thickness should warrant a much better insulation against the cold. At least it did when we renovated an upstairs bedroom the previous winter. Difference was, that the work was done from the inside then.

Bonus of this project: We are getting heaps of kindling into our wood shed. Matter of fact we are almost out of space. It's gonna last for years, especially if we can start going south again this winter. But we can talk about that when the time has come and the border will be open again.

Meanwhile, we have both gotten our first Covid shots and are due for the 2. shot soon. 

Tourism is still a ways off and if any we will only see folks from our own province, as it is impossible to travel here from other parts of Canada, not to mention the U.S.

Bea is still cultivating her garden and has recently started selling tomato and bell-pepper plants. Her customers keep coming back year after year. Our greenhouse has become the most important part of her operation as it really makes a huge difference in protecting plants from cold temps at night.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Mayday, Mayday May Day

Finally we reached the month of May. May has always been a time of expectation and gladness for finally having left behind the unreliable weather patterns of April. They say April does what he  will, and sure enough did we have all kind of weather during April. From very warm to bitterly cold and from sprouting lawn to 2 inch of snow we have had everything in between.

But aside of better weather, the 1. of May (also known as May Day) is also recognized as the International Workers Day and as such celebrated in many countries. In Europe it is a statutory holiday. The date was chosen in 1889 for political reasons by the Marxist International Socialist Congress, which met in Paris and established the Second International as a successor to the earlier International Workingmen's Association. They adopted a resolution for a "great international demonstration" in support of working-class demands for the eight-hour day. Canada and the U.S chose a different day, the 1.Monday in September, as their Labour Day.

But May Day is not the same as Mayday, which is used as an international distress signal, mostly by aircrafts and mariners. The emergency call has quite the different history, and not related to May Day.

The "mayday" procedure word was conceived as a distress call in the early 1920s by Frederick Stanley Mockford, officer-in-charge of radio at Croydon Airport, London. He had been asked to think of a word that would indicate distress and would easily be understood by all pilots and ground staff in an emergency. Since much of the air traffic at the time was between Croydon and Le Bourget Airport in Paris, he proposed the term "mayday", the phonetic equivalent of the French m'aidez ("help me") or m'aider (a short form of venez m'aider, "come [and] help me").

Following tests, the new procedure word was introduced for cross-Channel flights in February 1923. The previous distress call had been the Morse code signal SOS, but this was not considered suitable for voice communication, "owing to the difficulty of distinguishing the letter 'S' by telephone". In 1927, the International Radiotelegraph Convention of Washington adopted the voice call "mayday" as the radiotelephone distress call in addition to the SOS radiotelegraph (Morse code) signal.

So, as we talk about the month of May there is certainly lots of coming to mind.

For most people in the northern hemisphere it still is the month for more 
stabile and warmer weather.

Every year I take a drive around looking for some nice photo opportunities. This year we are probably a week or so behind, but some maple trees in protected locations are showing off the light green of sprouting leaves. Dandelions are also showing their bright yellow blooms and yes, the other day, I had to mow part of our lawn.

          Above: At the cemetery of the Anglican Church
     Above: In the Roosevelt Campobello International Park

                             Above: Salt Marsh

I am always looking forward to the beginning of May as the grass starts growing and the first leaves are popping, followed by the blooming fruit trees. 

The very first bright colour in our garden comes with the yellow forsythias. For the gardener it is also a busy time to nurse the seedlings to become sturdy producing plants. And of course, let's not forget that the first hummingbirds are showing up at our feeders. Bea discovered the first one today. And that is actually 5 days earlier than last year.