Tuesday, 31 October 2017

KISS: Keep it Simple, Sometimes!

KISS: Keep it Simple, Sometimes

Today’s technology is fascinating, dynamic and largely beyond my comprehension. Self-driving cars. Siri. Drones that deliver groceries to your door. It's amazing.

Drone Delivery

Then there is yesterday’s technology. Overwhelmed by the glitz of modern advances, do we fail to appreciate the "simple" technology of yore? Consider knitting needles, for example. “Sticks” as one of my favourite knitting students called them at her first lesson.


With those plain steel double-pointed needles and a couple of balls of yarn, I can make beautiful mittens. Simple.

Mittens in Progress

I spend hours musing about the technology of sticks and knitting.

Knitting and Musing 

And then there is my Amazing Applesauce Maker, a wonderful piece of yesterday's technology I inherited from my mother. I love it. Look at those legs!
Applesauce Maker circa 1940s

I cook the apples whole, stalks and all.

Pot of Apples

Then I dump those apples in the Amazing Applesauce Maker and crush the softened mash with the wooden pestle. The process is most satisfying. 

Softened Mash

It is remarkable how little waste is left after this process. So efficient! So simple
Apple Waste

And I end up with applesauce that looks like this! Trust me, it's simply delicious.
Delicious Applesauce

And if you need instructions on how to knit or how to make applesauce, you just go to YouTube!  New technology helps keep old technology alive!

Technology moves forward at lightning speed and most of us are along for the ride, knitting needles in one hand and cellphone in the other! 

...Until Next Time...

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Don't Quote Me on That!

Don't Quote Me on That!

One of the highlights of my day is cracking the cryptoquote in my beloved Daily Gleaner. Do not say "What a boring life she must have!" before you try it. Have you ever watched The Bletchley Circle? I pretend I’m one of those highly-skilled, mathematical women. There must be some advantage to stretching my imagination that far!


The cryptoquote is a word puzzle written in code where one letter represents another. In The Gleaner, there are no hints, so you look for apostrophes, single letter words etc. to get you started. In Saint John’s Telegraph Journal, you are given one letter to get you started. And there are TWO cryptoquotes in that paper everyday!

The Cryptoquote, Untouched

In our Gleaner, the cryptoquote is usually a thought-provoking quote from a famous person. So the benefits of completing the cryptoquote are at least twofold. First you get the satisfaction of breaking the code. And then you get the longer-lasting pleasure of thinking about that quote all day long. Exercise for the brain; fodder for reflection.

Cryptoquote, Solved

In recent months, my room-mate has taken to doing the cryptoquote. Because we only get ONE copy of the Gleaner each morning, and it was originally MY past-time, he does the crypto in his head before I get to it. Show-off.


I have been doing the cryptoquote for many years. When I was a working woman, it was my after-supper-on-the-couch-with-a-cup-of-tea activity. If I was really fried that night, and could not get it, I could call my Aunt Margaret for assistance. She was just across the river, and I knew that she would have cracked the code earlier in the day. She did the cryptoquote well into her nineties.

Aunt Margaret: Crypto-Queen

If I’m at the camp and working on the The Telegraph Journal crypto, I can call Aunt Gladys as my lifeline. At the age of 94, she continues to conquer the crypto with the aid of a magnifying glass to facilitate her failing eyesight. I have pretty smart aunts.

Aunt Gladys (age 94) 
with Great Granddaughter Grace (age 6)

My good friend, Janet, is my Fredericton lifeline now. If my room-mate and I can’t get it, and I simply can’t wait until the next day when the answer is in the paper, I text Janet. She ALWAYS has the answer!

Janet the Crypto-Whiz

When I was a teacher, I used quotations in an effort to foster introspection, reflection, and contemplation in my students. I would have them search out quotes that were meaningful to them in some way—represent their beliefs, provoke thought or feeling, provide inspiration etc. Or I might write one on the board, or hang it on a piece of paper in my classroom—exposure in a non-invasive way. My theory was they would read it and could not help but think about it. Quotations pack a punch in very few words.


I do have my Personal Favourites quotes, many of which have become more meaningful to me as the years slide by. 

My father was fond of:            

  What do they use for brains!

My mother often said this in her later years:


My grand-nephew, Jayden, coined this one at the age of four!

                  You’ve got to have balance!

Further Fodder for Reflection:

Helen Keller

Go for the cryptoquote adventure. As my Little Brother Noel would say, “It’s so satisfyin’.”

...Until Next Time...

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Charlotte's Tea

Charlotte's Tea

Charlotte, Age Two

Charlotte’s Tea is held in honour of a lady who was keen on history, loved desserts, and made a fine cup of tea!
Proper Tea Service

Charlotte Amelia Henderson Miller Fullerton was born on August 16, 1916, in Holderville. She lived most of her life on the Kingston Peninsula and contributed generously to the local historical society.
John Fisher Museum, Kingston NB

Charlotte raised a large family on a busy farm. Should you arrive at meal time, an extra plate was quickly set and a chair pulled up to the table.  Meals were hearty and always included a delicious dessert.
Thurlow Henderson (Father) 
George Fullerton (Father-in-Law) 
Vara Smith (Friend and Neighbour)

Long before “eat seasonal” became trendy, she adhered to that practice with Rhubarb Pie in May, 
Rhubarb Pies

Strawberry Shortcake in June, 
Strawberry Shortcake made with Biscuits 
and REAL Whipped Cream

and Raspberry Whip in July. 
Raspberry Whip

Cottage Pudding took care of any stale white cake, although very little ever went stale in her house!  
Cottage Pudding

A neighbour recently confessed that, as a teenager, he kept coming back to the arduous hayfield mostly for the Gingerbread with Whipped Cream.  
Gingerbread with Whipped Cream

And everyone who entered Charlotte’s kitchen knew where to find the cookie tin full of Soft Molasses Cookies, kept at child level for easy access.
Soft Molasses Cookies

The welcoming abundance at Charlotte’s table reflected the love and warmth she extended to those of us fortunate enough to have known her.
Charlotte, Age 93

Charlotte preferred her tea black, perfectly steeped, in a china cup and saucer, if you please! 

Charlotte’s Tea is held in August at 1810 Carter House in Kingston, NB. You missed it this year, but plan to attend in 2018. It is a sell-out event, so get your tickets early!!

1810 Carter House, Kingston, NB

...Until Next Time...

Monday, 31 July 2017

Save the Wharf!!!

Save the Wharf!!!

In my youth, oh so long ago, I spent a great deal of my leisure time at White’s Bluff Wharf... 

White's Bluff Wharf, 2017

...not that I had a great deal of leisure time, being a career girl since the age of three.

Novice Career Girl

The wharf was the place to be in the summertime. Once we were allowed to swim unsupervised, we wanted to swim at the wharf in the deep water, jump off the piers, socialize with friends, maybe even smoke the odd cigarette and partake in some underage drinking! I won't even mention "spooning" and skinny-dipping. The wharf was particularly appealing after a long day in the hayfield.

Experienced Career Girl

Wharf School
I've spent enough time at the wharf over the last 50 years to be considered "experienced", if not "expert." Of course, one does not become a Wharf Expert immediately. There are developmental stages to Wharf Expertise, much like grades in school. Once you have mastered Tiptoeing Down the Side Stairs... 

Side Stairs 

...and slipping quietly into the water, you progress to Grade Two, Side-Jumping. If you are particularly precocious, you might even do it backwards.

Liam Roche

It could be a bit frightening at first. Remember, it is deep, and rumour has it there is a jeep, a Lincoln-Continental and two motor-cycles down there! 


Once Side-Jumping has been perfected, it is a natural progression to End-Jumping. The current is stronger at the end, so be cautious. Sunsets are an added bonus.

Owen, Evan and George

When you have mastered Side-Jumping and End-Jumping, it’s time to move on to Pier-Jumping. In my day, you stuck your big toe into the date,1934, carved into the side of the pier, and slid your youth-slim body up to the top, took a deep breath, and JUMPED!!

Amelia Bruce

Now a few things have changed. The date is gone from the pier, worn away by erosion and old age. The youth-slim body is gone as well, expanded by excess and old age. And there is some controversy about that date,1934, which is engraved in my mind. My sister and I disagree on that, as on many things. Aunt Gladys says 1938, and she is probably correct!! 


As you know, diving requires more finesse than jumping. One has to endure a few BellyFlops before you conquer the smooth dive off the side. Be patient----it will come. And then, when you’re 60, it will go. And you’ll get back to BellyFlops.

Summer Tracy and Grace Duplisea

Perfecting the BellyFlop

You move from Side-Diving to Pier-Diving. It’s a beautiful sight, and a beautiful feeling to cut the water and slice into its surface powered by that extra height of four feet. Stretch your arms out, elbows over your ears, hands pointed. Keep your legs straight and together. Expect a BellyFlop or two in your training period.

Trish Clark

As you advance through the stages, you might be fortunate and talented enough to join a Wharf-Jumping-Choreography-Group. You’ll need a coach to master this feat. And a fairly sharp photographer.

Olympic Coach: Beth Quigley

Again, this all takes practice. There will be days when things don’t go as smoothly as planned. Like life in general.

Practice Makes Perfect

There is no official graduation from Wharf School. You'll just know when you've made it!

Wharf Alumni
Kline MacDonald

Wharf History
The wharves along the St. John River were refurbished in the 1930s as a make-work project to counteract the effects of the Great Depression. They served as stopping points for the riverboats that travelled the river until the 1950s, transporting people and produce.

The D.J. Purdy 1924-1946

At the end of the riverboat era, the federal government took over the maintenance of the wharves until 1997 at which time the St. John River Society acquired 13 of the wharves. In addition to providing a site for the leisure activity of boaters, swimmers and scenery-admirers, keeping the wharf public ensures public access to the river.This makes the SJRS, a not-for-profit organization, responsible for insurance and maintenance costs. Not cheap!

Wharves owned by SJRS

The community of the Kingston Peninsula is currently fund-raising in an effort to raise $25,000 for the needed repairs of White's Bluff Wharf, the longest and the BEST wharf on the river.

Surface Damage

Pier Damage

Wharf Fund-Raising
What manner of fund-raising have they undertaken?
Well, there is the monthly 50/50 draw.

50/50 Draw

There is Yoga on the wharf every Wednesday evening.

Yoga on the Wharf

There are Wharf-Related Art Prints for sale.

The Wharf

The Beach

There are Wharf T-Shirts for sale.

Wharf T-Shirts

There was the "Save the Wharf Party" on July 22nd...

...attended by hundreds of supporters. Thank You!

Wharf Supporters

...And made possible by dozens of volunteers in orange T-Shirts. Thank You!!

Volunteer Tory Burke

If you want to be part of this great cause, you can donate money here: White's Bluff Wharf Repair DonationsOr you could attend yoga, invest in a print, buy a 50/50 ticket, purchase a t-shirt.  Then you could say, "Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt!!"

"Got the T-Shirt"
Nora and Ruthie Fullerton

And the fund-raising continues! Upcoming events include a coffee-house, busking at local stores, and a dinner and an auction. 

Busking Event 

If you have never visited White's Bluff Wharf, drop in for a picnic, a swim, a jump off the pier. Access is still public. Sunsets are still phenomenal. You might even see a River Nymph.

River Nymph
Norah English

Your contributions are very much appreciated by the community and the generations to come. 

.....Until Next Time.....