Weekend Family Fun

 Last Friday, we took a trip to Lead Cove, the little outport community where my children grew up.

193Time spent with fun-loving family…

10550980_10152529410910395_7292094118337443846_n…on a warm summer weekend, is high on my list of favourite things to do.

197 Around the bay, the pace slows down where time together is savoured and enjoyed.
(Our boy fell and skinned his knee after I took this one, but let’s not talk about that.)

206Nico explores with Poppy, making the most of his freedom from the leash.

Our little girl spends a pensive moment beside the sea.

214Nico joins her.

238Perhaps they are watching the fishing boat near the horizon.



When we return to the summer-house, our chef checks on the roast he is smoking with maple chips.


Nico finds a shady spot.



Pulled pork sandwiches with all the fixin’s. Yum!















Everyone loves it. <3






Nico is savouring every minute.




So nice to see the kids playing and spending quality time with their mom.


 Later, we light a fire and serve up spider wieners.

342 Happy girl.


What fire would be complete without s’mores? My first one in decades. :)

Relics of Rome

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Seeing the above World Heritage Sites, the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain while in Rome, was unforgettable. Being able to get up close had an enormous impact on me. Have you ever been inspired by a work of art that is also a relic of the past?

See more here:  Scenes from Italy: Rome

Friday Bouquet #3



I found the Kindness Blog only yesterday, and am now a follower. I love the types of stories they find and share with the world. Some are heartbreaking to begin with, yes. But when you read on, you find out how someone’s kindness made a difference.

It is uplifting to know there are such compassionate souls out there!

In their own words:

Sharing media featuring kindness in all its varied forms.

Since the Kindness Blog started, the response received from you lovely folk out there has been literally overwhelming. We’re truly honored and touched by your support and encouragement. In this regard, we’re also very conscious that any congratulation received, is due solely to the kind people whose stories we share.

These are the people who freely give help, that lend a listening ear to a sad soul’s tragic tale, that share what resources they have, that tolerate, that understand another person’s plight and actively work to uplift others from poverty, oppression and loss.  This blog celebrates the angels of kindness that walk among us every day.

From the simplest acts of charity through to grand, life-changing gestures of kindness, we publish images, videos, real-life-stories, personal reflections, quotes and other various media which all have one special thing in common…Kindness.

  I have selected two of their posts for you to check out. The first one tells of an act of kindness to an animal.

After Being Rescued From 50 Years Of Abuse, This Old Elephant Actually Cried.

This one tells of a stranger’s kindness to a little girl with autism.

Dear ‘Daddy’ in Seat 16C


I have closed comments in the hope you will visit and comment on their blog. Be “kind” and let them know Jennifer sent you.   :)

Cats in Contrast

Happy Monday, my darling peeps!

Vivian here again, returning to guest host on Jennifer’s Journal.

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 Today’s update is actually in answer to the Photo Challenge: “Contrasts” over at the Daily Post. Yes, we know it’s a tad late, but Jennifer was busy blogging about other stuff.

Hmmm…which makes me wonder: what could be more important than CATS?

Particularly, Moi?

Even my sister Maisie is somewhat miffed that we were put on hold for other posts.

Never mind I was centre stage in three of the last seven journal entries; everybody would rather hear from Adorable Me than yet another post about boring writing, appreciation, and now, bouquets… blah, blah, blah. Am I right?

You’re nodding, aren’t you?

Now, on to the Challenge. Maisie and I are a study in contrasts, that is a given. Yes, we are cats, yes, we are sisters, and yes, we both love Perry’s Point. But our personalities differ greatly. I don’t like bananas, Maisie loves them. I stand on my hind legs to please my daddy master, Maisie wouldn’t dream of it. I love licking Maisie and cuddling with her, she merely tolerates me. If we were human, you would probably surmise that I’m an extrovert and Maisie is an introvert, and you would be correct.

But this is a “Photo Challenge”. I haven’t figured out how to use a camera – yet – so Jennifer took the following shots (and the shot above) and tweaked them a bit using lots of contrast in her photo editor to achieve these results.

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This one shows my dreamy, romantic side.


Jennifer says she's going to paint this one someday. (rolls eyes) Since I'm her muse. Whatever!

Jennifer says she’s going to paint this one someday, since I’m her MUSE, she tells me. (rolls eyes) Whatever!


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I was on the Hunt here, too preoccupied to pose prettily. “Here, Mickey…here, Tweety…wait! I think I see a flutterby!”


Maisie playing with the camera strap. Get a load of those talons. Yeesh, overdue for a mani-pedi?

Maisie playing with the camera strap. Get a load of those talons, will ya? Yeesh, someone overdue for a MANI-PEDI?


Ooh, even I have to admit this one was quite a capture. Sis looks like she sees something lipsmackingly delish. Did someone open a BANANA?

Ooh, even I have to admit this one was quite a capture. Sis looks like she sees something lipsmackingly delish. Did someone peel a BANANA?


My staff caught me unawares in this one...zzzzzzzzzzzz

Jennifer caught me unawares in this one….zzzzzz….but she let sleeping cats lie.

Jennifer says she thinks she’s onto something with the heavy contrast. She says the greater definition may help her draw or paint images from photos done this way. I’m iffy about it, but what do you think?

That’s it for me today. Vivian here signing off, but I leave you with my favourite quote:

“Of all God’s creatures there is only one that
cannot be made the slave of the lash,
that one is the cat. If man could be crossed
with the cat, it would improve man, but it
would deteriorate the cat.”

~ Mark Twain

Friday Bouquet #2

Diana Schwenk is, without question, one of the nicest bloggers I’ve met since I started here at WordPress. She is friendly and fun, loyal and positive, and puts a smile on my face every time we interact (I hope I get to meet her in person someday!).

And she happens to be a fellow Canadian from one of our biggest cities, Calgary.

In her own words:

I believe in collaboration. I believe in building community. I believe in tearing down the walls that separate us. I believe in conquering fear through love and understanding and building tolerance. I believe we all have a mission and we are equipped with the exact right talents, education, experience and passion to accomplish it…



I have put the spotlight on her post below from Canada Day because it is delightful and speaks to my love of our mutual homeland. I invite you to pay a visit to talktodiana, her wonderful blog, and don’t forget to tell her Jennifer sent you.

So…Yesterday, I Went To A Birthday Party…

Comments are closed in hopes you will comment on this blogger’s page.

What’s Up, Writers?

Anyone who knows me or has followed my blog for a while knows that my most beloved pursuit is writing. Poetry and fiction writing fills many of my days, and I relish the attempt and challenge of producing professional work.

In the desire to write better, and simply because I love it, I consistently turn to my second favourite pastime, reading great books. As with my craft, I prefer fiction over non-fiction, and never tire of immersing myself and my imagination in a good story.

But because I want to improve my ability, I’ve enjoyed some wonderful non-fiction books about the art and craft of writing. Here are a few I have read recently:

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White

I have enjoyed these books, as many have, and highly recommend them as valuable, insightful tools for any writer. The last one in particular deals with the nuts and bolts of good writing: principles of composition, rules of usage, and style.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post. We have always been taught to use proper punctuation in our writing, and I continually strive to do just that. So why have certain authors decided to depart from the rules of punctuation, in particular, omitting quotation marks around dialogue? Well-known writers such as James Joyce and Cormac McCarthy didn’t use quotation marks, and an increasing number of literary authors are following them.


 I am reading the novel, February, by Lisa Moore, an acclaimed Newfoundland writer, and she too has dispensed with punctuating her dialogue with quote marks. I love the book so far, am greatly impressed with her style, and have no difficulty differentiating the dialogue from the rest, but I have read some readers do have trouble with it. Cormac McCarthy said he doesn’t like seeing all the “weird little marks” on a page, and that a good writer doesn’t need them.

I also read that it is a sign of a “cool writer”, or a literary writer, to omit such punctuation. I have a suspicion, however, that if I submitted a manuscript without quotation marks around my dialogue, the editor, agent, or publisher would send it back in a jiffy, refusing to even read it. Is it only a right of the well-established to bend the rules this way?

What do you think? As a writer or as a reader, where do you stand on this issue? Does it bother you, or are you fine with it? What style do you prefer in your own writing?

Are there any books on writing you would recommend?

*All books above are linked to Amazon for review. Check them out.


My First “Friday Bouquet”

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Isn’t she beautiful?

This is a drawing of my cat, Vivian. My blogger friend, Kath Unsworth, of Minuscule Moments, put my name in for a chance to win a pet portrait last month, and I won! She drew Vivian with soft colour pencils and mailed it to me all the way from the Land Down Under.

Kath writes and illustrates children’s picture books. She lives on a dairy farm in Australia with her husband and family. I find her artwork dreamy and magical, perfect qualities for a child’s eyes, or anyone’s, for that matter.

Check out these other selections from her blog.









This marks the beginning of a new category on my blog I call Friday Bouquet. I am excited and look forward to this new adventure. Most Fridays, I will toss a bouquet to deserving bloggers who have caught my attention doing something worthwhile and positive in the blogosphere, and in their lives.

This is not a new idea, as I follow a blogger or two who pay it forward like this (you know who you are ;) ), and just as they do, I am disabling comments here, in hopes you will visit the blog I spotlight and comment there. Simply click on the link below for a visit and tell her I sent you. Thank you again, Kath! xo

 The Artist in Me by Minuscule Moments

A Lesson in Compassion


One of the most valuable lessons we can teach our children is kindness and compassion for all living things, no matter how big or small.


This topic is on my mind because I was disturbed to read this morning of yet another local case of animal cruelty. How does a person exist, and sleep at night, who can commit such cruel acts against an innocent and defenseless animal?


I find it difficult to believe a child raised to respect and empathise with the feelings of all creatures can grow up into someone who can treat an animal with cruelty. My dad, in particular, taught us how to care for all living things. We grew up with pets, as many do, but it was more than that. He taught by example. He not only loved that little spider that he picked up and brought outdoors, he wished it well.

I wish every small child could experience that kind of lesson.


Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar. ~ Bradley Miller


Our task must be to widen our circle of compassion, to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. ~ Albert Einstein


It is widely believed that empathy training for children can prevent violence, against animals and human beings. What are you doing to teach children compassion?

Sweet Daughter

05-10-~3 (2) My One-Year-Old Daughter and Me

Denise was born on a beautiful sunny day, just like today. She decided to show up three weeks before her due date of July 6th. Born at Carbonear Hospital, she was the smallest baby there at the time, weighing a dainty five pounds, seven ounces.
My life as a very young mother had begun!

Little Smiling DeniseDenise at Six Years Old

Denise was a happy child, but she was also softhearted, intelligent, and focused.

Bachelor of Nursing Graduate

She always worked hard to realize her goals.

012Her Beautiful Family

Happy Birthday, Denise! I am so proud of you, and can’t imagine my life without you in it!
Love Mom <3