Endless Chill


The urge to go outside is intense.
Everything is aglitter, you say, but you see my nose press against the window and the fog of my breath on the cool glass.
You acquiesce. When I step into the wintry air, I wait for a whisper of a moment, then gingerly, silently, push on.

059 (1024x752)Since my last outdoor foray, our familiar garden by the sea has transformed into an alien, frozen world, gilded with ice. Each bramble and bush laminated in a thick, crystalline coat, every amber blade dressed in its stiff raiment of frost. With a watchful step, I venture out on the crust of snow.

060 (1024x784)Nothing wiggles in the undergrowth. That is the weird thing. No voles to hunt. No shrews to track. No grass birds to chase. Somewhere, they hide, somewhere, they abide, sequestered away. A vague memory surfaces of another time when the earth, with all its movement and life, lay frozen. Will they return as before?

061 (1024x611)The wind gusts, my whiskers twitch. You did warn I wouldn’t like it.
My home is filled with warm comforts, flush with love and water and treats and a full bowl of food.
I wonder why I am here in this bleak and boreal netherworld.
057 (1024x527)My paws, by this time, are numbed by the pitiless cold.
Each tender little pad glows bright pink, like frozen raspberries.
064 (1024x782)The bliss and warm embrace of my domestic nest beckons. Despite my feral, tigerish airs, I am not a wild beast.
I have no need to brave the savage bite of winter.
I have had my fill of this endless chill and plod home, eyes on your face, gaze questioning:
Is spring only a rosy dream?

 Weekly Photo Challenge: The Rule of Thirds
Writing Form: Prose Poetry 

Friday Bouquet #15

Mark Bialczak is a prolific blogger, writer, veteran journalist, and columnist in the Syracuse, New York area. He shares his thoughts on a variety of topics such as community, music, movies, sports, life, and he even offers himself as an advisor. Being an avid movie lover myself, I have enjoyed reading his reviews on a number of current films.

Today, however, I share a link below from his periodic feature, Free Advice.


from Getty Images

In Mark’s own words:

My qualifications: 57 years of open eyes and ears but no stalking charges…Four decades of writing in public about people, places and things. Send questions to markbialczak@gmail.com. Anonymity is assured.”

 “When’s A Flirt Not A Flirt?” — Confused

Comments are disabled here in hopes you will comment on Mark’s blog.

Heck, why not send him that question you’ve been struggling with and need advice on? :)

A Valentine from Vivian

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I know you may think that I look kind of lazy
But not every day I’m as fresh as a daisy

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Precious few are so perfect to wear halos above us
So we look past the faults of who we love and who love us

Like where did this dog toy come from, we inquire
When there are gorgeous kitty cats here to admire?

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But I won’t dwell on that, just an oversight, maybe
I’ll forgive and forget and not act like a baby

And we won’t envy Jennifer with her life that’s just ducky
‘Cause we know of a time when she wasn’t so lucky

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So don’t be concerned if you haven’t seen Cupid
Don’t be down on romance because that would be stupid

Just realize your True Love may not be that far
And besides, you are wonderful just as you are!

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If you still find you’re sad and alone on this day
Take a look at our cuteness to chase troubles away

And please, pretty please, know we love you like crazy
Happy Valentine kisses from me and from Maisie. <3

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The Daily Post Prompt:
Cupid’s Arrow – Write an ode to someone or something you love. Bonus points for poetry!

Winter’s Glaze

A Chilly Welcome ;)

A Chilly Greeting?

A couple of weeks ago, we weathered yet another “lovely” ice storm. The freezing rain painted every surface with sleet, resulting in slippery walks, treacherous roads, and a thick coat of glittering rime on just about everything. Oh Joy!

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Our neighbour’s view of our point of land, with the ocean view lost in the fog beyond

151 (1280x1008)If you’ve never heard about the phenomenon of “ice-fog”, this is what it looks like.

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A ghostly mist hangs in the air, glazing everything in a sheet of ice.

I hoped to capture some shots of sunshine on the glitter, but the forecast wasn’t cooperating. Not one to miss an opportunity, however, I headed outside to see what artistry I might find under the heavy grey overcast of gloom.

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026 (1194x1280)The scene is still, frozen in windless silence. I find a stalk encased in a shell of ice.

181 (1280x853)174 (1280x779) Abandoned clothespins encapsulated on our summer neighbour’s line.
Who knew they would prove useful for this shutterbug?

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My Clothesline

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A Frozen Bud

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Fences are crusted with frost, and icicles trickle in abundance.075 (1280x852)147 (1280x853)118 (1280x853)

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A Twig in its Icy Tomb

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The fog begins to clear…

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 …and the clouds lift a little, allowing a few thin milky rays to shine through.

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All at once, everything glows with a sparkly sheen…

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…and the “batty catters” take on a cold blue tint at the ocean’s edge.
A wide band of slobby ice meanders in the water near the coastline.

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Grass that reminds me of  glass straws

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The opening sky colours our sea blue once again.

So far, we’ve enjoyed countless sunny days and not too much of the white stuff.
But that may be about to change; a winter storm alert is issued for the weekend.

How are you braving the winter?
Are you longing to put this season behind you?
Or are you finding beauty in unexpected places?

Behind the Door

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The knock came softly yesterday. Unexpected,
perhaps too late. Today she watches the bolted door
from inside, and waits. With trembling fingers, 
she summons the strength to turn the key,

To swing wide the barricades, to open her heart
and her trust yet again. She weighs the risks,
of losing another piece of who she used to be,
or gaining some back. She holds her breath.

There is no anger, no bitterness, her thoughts
tempered by the warmth of a childhood memory. 
Alas, today, a second look and a second knock
confirms what 
she had already known.

The sad knowledge that she wishes him well
without her seeps through the cracks. Wistful,
she peeps through the hole at a sacred promise
broken, and 
she stares in the face of guilt.


Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.
- Johnny Cash

Don’t let people disrespect you. My mom says don’t open the door to the devil. Surround yourself with positive people.
- Cuba Gooding, Jr.

A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push. 
- Ludwig Wittgenstein

*photo: Paris


Have you ever been impressed by the beauty of a door? The world is filled with doorways* and entrances, but here are several that left me either pleased by their quaintness, awed by their workmanship, or entranced by their immensity and grandeur. All before ever setting one foot inside.

For starters, a charming little one from the Barbour Heritage Village in my town:


This entrance in Bonavista with its crisp contrasting colours and symmetry:

In Montreal, the beauty and craftsmanship of this splendid doorway: Montreal 2009 016

…and how about the opulence of this entrance in Cannes? No, we didn’t stay there… ;)
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We stayed here, our inviting little home away from home:
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The view through our balcony doors was also appealing, beckoning us outside.
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Hard to top the view of Lake Maggiore from our patio doors in Stresa:
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Here’s a closer look of the northern Italian lake:
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In Paris, the entrance to the Notre Dame Cathedral is imposing…
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…and so elaborately adorned.
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How about this golden carved door in Florence?
test1 128Gotta love the Renaissance.

I saved my personal favourite, also in Florence, for last.
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*Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme: Doorways @ wheresmybackpack.com

Friday Bouquet #14


I’ve followed Sue on Travel Tales of Life for some time now and love her beautiful blog. From her About Page:

“Living in Calgary, Alberta, married to my best friend Dave for over thirty years and Mom to adult children; my decades as a nurse have shown that in a moment life can change completely. Passionate about social justice, volunteerism and not letting the phrase “What would people think?” or my own fear get in the way of trying something new; the possibilities are endless.

Travel Tales of Life has been featured in-depth by More Time To Travel in speaking to cycling tourism for those over 50. My posts have been featured in The Caribbean Daily, What’s Up Tasmania and About Basque Country online magazines and the HIS Vancouver travel website.

Enjoy the tales and I hope you will be inspired to try something you have been thinking about doing.”

Check out her latest post below for some captivating photos from around the world:

Where Would You Like To Travel?


Comments are closed here in the hope you will visit Sue’s blog.
If you do, please tell her Jennifer sent you. :)

Dad in The Big Land

These days, few of us experience the old-fashioned pleasure of receiving a letter by standard mail. So imagine my joy to find, tucked inside a Christmas card from my aunt in the U.S., a handwritten note, along with a handful of photos sent to her from my father.


She writes:

“Dear Jennifer – A note to enclose with these snapshots sent to me many years ago. They are precious to me, but belong in your heart and your home. It was a great adventure that Ralph shared with me over the phone lines. – Lovingly, Irene.”

Discussing this with my aunt recently, she was unable to nail down the year they were taken, but she believes Dad made the trip to Labrador in the mid to late fifties. That would make him, at the youngest, twenty-one, and still single.

An added bonus: his familiar handwriting scrawled on the back of each snapshot. 

I have captioned each one with his words.

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On Gander Runway

A closer look:
I love his outfit. Lots of layers, warm boots, yet he is wearing a jacket, shirt and tie, and his hair is perfect.

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Our plane at Gander before takeoff 4:30 pm

This begs more questions: why did he fly out of Gander and not St. John’s? Who was he with and who took the pictures? Why did he make this trip to Labrador? Unfortunately, we are fuzzy on all the details.

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Crossing the bays to Hopedale

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Deserted shack and our dog-sled at Big Bay between Hopedale and Davis Inlet.

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At Makkovik with “husky” pups.

 No surprise to me at all that Dad would love the little animals!



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  If only he and I could sit down and have a chat together about his adventure in “The Big Land.” In any case, I cannot put into words how good it feels to see my father’s young face again. 

Have you ever gotten mail that made your day?

Is there someone you love and miss with all your heart?

Further Reading: Labrador, the distinct, northerly region of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador

Overdue, but here’s my Review

Thanks to a reminder from The Daily Post today, Drawing Insight From Your Annual Report, and with January nearly over, I’ve finally gotten around to sharing my 2014 review. My bad.

A special shout-out to the bloggers below who always take the time to visit and leave encouraging comments. What ever would I do without you? <3

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.