Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

to everyone and Happy New Year! Wishing each of you all the best for 2010.

Update - The Raging North Atlantic

Just a bit of an update -- our friend Paul dropped by Tuesday evening (the same night I wrote my last post). Paul is a native Newfoundlander, he was a fisherman (before the moratorium) as was his father before him. Paul grew up by the sea and on it. He earned his living from it. He's witnessed a lot of different things over the years. When we first moved here and would comment (more like get really excited and wide-eyed) about the sounds of the ocean, Paul would really have to listen to 'hear' what we were commenting about. He was so used of the sounds, they did not stand out to him as they did to us. But...the other night...even he was shocked at the feel of the ground shaking and the noise. He wanted to know if we could feel it inside the house....said he'd never, ever seen it like that.

The ocean continued on like that for quite awhile, well into the next morning. The ferocious waves did settle down a bit...but it was still rough and loud. Even today the waves are continuing and the ocean can still be heard...thankfully not to the extent of Tuesday night.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Raging North Atlantic

The ocean was rather tumbly today...make that very tumbly lol....

It's been windy here, again, with wind gusts upwards of 100 kmh (60 mph). Before the winds picked up though, the ocean became quite rough. It sounded like a freight train was coming .... or perhaps a lot of jets flying around way off in the distance. It was loud!

Then the winds picked up....and then the ocean became even rougher.

It's been interesting to watch and a little scary to experience. The churning, twisting waves, the white water, the deafening noise and the vibration we can feel through the feels so angry! All day the vibration from the raging ocean has made the house a little shaky and at times, the dishes in the china cabinet rattled. The force of the ocean is something else.

The waves were unbelievable as they crashed into the rocks. Here are a couple of pictures I took....but in actual fact, the waves got even higher than this. Sometimes, they were so high, the grassy section was completely covered (but try as hard as I did, I was unable to snap a picture at the right time in order to capture it)

Click to enlarge pics. Sorry they're not the best..but I took them from inside and the rain and ocean spray really shows up on the windows.

This picture is taken about 300 ft away from the ocean.

(Sorry about the flash)

The kids and Larry wanted to venture out into the back a order to get a closer look. Not to worry....they did not go back too far, just out in the back area a bit. They all came back amazed at the overall power and noise as well as the saltiness of the air. The spray of the ocean was everywhere and they were soaked. They could feel and taste the experience beyond belief and words. will quiet down soon.

White water rafting....anyone???

At least most of our snow is gone.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Real Wind!

The Wreckhouse.

The name alone sums it up quite well.

This is the name given to an area in south western Newfoundland .... and it certainly lives up to its name! It is said the be the second windiest area in the world (winds of a category 2 hurricane), and from the news reports and stories, I can believe it. The winds are so strong, trains have been blown off of their tracks (well, when we had trains) and blows tractor trailers over on their sides.

Here are a couple of pics from CBC.

Picture One

Picture Two

We've travelled through this area many times on our way back and forth between Ontario and here (there is no choice...the Trans Canada goes through it and it's the only way to get from one side of the island to the other). Although, we've been fortunate to not go through during an extreme windy time, there has always been noticeable winds to some extent.

We've always found driving through the area to be a rather eerie feeling. I love driving through it now....but must admit, on our first visit to Newfoundland, not so much (and we didn't even know about it). You see, one goes through this section about half an hour after getting off of the Ferry. I remember, that first time, wondering (to myself and out loud)....just where exactly we had came to ..... and why?? It kind of reminded me of the moon (or what I pictured being on the moon would look like).....barren, scrub vegetation, mossy grassy stuff covering the ground, the odd tree...if you can call them that...all twisted, very small and look like they've been permanently blown over by a wind. It was quite flat....except for the odd looking blobs of rock type things that seem to ring the area (which turned out to be the Long Range Mountains....but who knew?). There were no buildings or people and was certainly different than the area we were coming from. We wondered (and were somewhat concerned) if this is what all of Newfoundland was going to be like. Thankfully, it was not...and became one unique, beautiful section of a unique and beautiful province in which we chose to make our home.

But still....those winds!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ahhh....It Has Arrived!

Winter...that is.

Yesterday (Sunday) we had our first snow storm of the year....and it was a doozy! The winds were high...100 km/h (60 mph) and according to the news tonight, we had 39 cms (16 inches) of the white stuff. Seeing as it's fairly early in the season for such a storm....I hope it's not a sign of things to come.

Time will tell...

Here are some pics I took over the course of yesterday and today. (Click them to enlarge)

The calm before the to speak. Taken yesterday from our back deck before the storm started. has arrived. Taken a couple of hours later...around noon I believe...

These next couple are taken from the same vantage point as the first two pics. Hmmm...where has the ocean gone? It's still just can't be seen for all the blowing snow and cloud.

Can you see the ocean in this one? Same deal as the previous's there somewhere...we can certainly hear it!

Still comin' ....around 4:00 in the afternoon.....

The wind blew all evening and it continued to snow.

This is what it looked like when I opened the back door this morning....

A closer look....

Out front (I couldn't get the front door opened over the snow) Click the picture to enlarge it and notice the snow in the trees toward the back and on top of our shrubs in the front.

Closer up of the shrubs

Jake and I decided to take a walk. Standing in front of our house looking up the driveway toward the road.

Standing at the other end of the driveway, looking down toward our house. We have a long driveway...about 200 feet....which makes for a lot of snow to blow out. Thankfully, that wind took care of some of it....but still a lot to move.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Annual Christmas Shopping Day

Every year since we started homeschooling, we take one day off to do Christmas Shopping. It's always a weekday, usually in the beginning of December. We don't take snow days, or P.A. days, so other than regular holidays, it's the only one we take off all year. It's become a much anticipated yearly tradition with our family.

This year's Christmas shopping day happened this past week. Larry had the day off, so it was a perfect opportunity. We headed into town around 8:30. We spent the morning shopping, followed by lunch at Swiss Chalet (I think this is Larry's favourite part of the whole day lol). After lunch, we finished up our shopping, completed a few errands and then headed home. We were even home in time to get the tree up.

I guess, this would be our official start to the Christmas season.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Battle of the Sexes

We had two chocolate sales to go to on Saturday (and I forgot my no pictures).

One was the Farmers' Market and the other a women's breakfast.

Seeing as Brittney and I are the only women, we went to that one. We first had to eat a beautiful buffet breakfast....bacon, sausages, ham, eggs, fresh fruit, muffins, hash browns, toast, orange juice and coffee ...... was rough but somebody had to sacrifice and do it....who better than Brittney and I? *wink*

Jake had been excited for a few weeks....declaring it "The Battle of the Sexes". He was determined his team would sell the most and win.

He was rounding up support all week....telling everyone he met.

Saturday morning came, we headed off. Larry and Jake dropped us off and continued on to their show. Jake was on pins and needles all morning....but had his game plan down. Larry even left him alone, at the booth, while he scooted back across town to pick Brittney and I up.

After the shows were over, we headed home to tally up the money. Jake could hardly contain himself as Larry counted......................

and the winners were:

The Women!!!

I kinda felt bad and was worried Jake would be so upset. He tried so hard and is very sensitive. I do believe, out of the four of us, he worked the hardest. As I pointed out to him was two totally different venues. Ours was a one time deal....theirs is a regular weekly event. Ours had 200+ women, with only 6 vendors....the market has several vendors (many of them food) from which to choose.

Surprisingly, he was ok with it all. He congratulated Brittney and I, shook our hands and patted our backs....with one warning,

"Just you wait until next year.....things *WILL* be different."

Oh my......

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Dad!!

My Dad turns 83 today/tomorrow....(depending on when this posts --- November 19th)

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Doing what he does best

Jake talking to a shopper at the St. John's Farmers' Market.

Answering questions and showing pictures where necessary...

We've been busy with the St. John's Farmers' Market these Saturdays. As I've probably mentioned quite a few times...Jake loves to sell and this no exception. He's up early, has breakfast, makes us some sandwiches, helps load the van and ready to go by 7:45.

It's about half an hour drive to the market, but when we arrive, he helps unload the van, finds out where our table is and then helps to set up. After pinning on his name tag...he's ready to go.

It's become a game of sorts for him. He would never let me 'pay' him, nor would he let me give some chocolate (always insisted on buying it from me)....but after me suggesting I put him on commission (and an explanation of what that was exactly).....he thought that sounded like an excellent idea. Sooo....commission it is. Mostly Larry and I stand back and let him go....he does most of the talking (with me answering some of the chocolate-related questions) and Larry overseeing/checking Jake's math skills (adding up purchases and making change).

It's become a great learning tool for him....and enabled the rest of us who aren't so outgoing, to step back into our comfort zone. Next Saturday though, we have two shows. Jake and Larry will go to the Farmers' Market. The other one is a woman's Brittney and I will attend that one. Time for Brittney and I to step back out of our comfort zone. Jake doesn't help much.....he's declared it battle of the sexes and is pumped to see which team sells more. Time will tell ;)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Another sunrise

over Pouch Cove....hope you all don't mind...but I never get sick of the gorgeous sunrises. I only wish I had a half decent camera to take pics of the moon and how it shines on the For now....sunrises will have to do.

Taken from our deck this morning.....(click pics to enlarge)

Thursday, October 29, 2009


It's difficult for me to believe....but Brittney turned 15 last weekend. We had a family birthday...out for lunch, bowling and home for presents and cake.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pouch Cove.....First to see the Sun!

We are the most easterly place in North America....making us "First To See The Sun" (our town's motto)

Click to enlarge pic....See the sun just starting to peak?

As the sun is taking longer and longer to rise these days, we are usually up for quite awhile before he (she?) makes his/her daily appearance (although some here would point's been weeks since we've actually seen it shining brightly in the sky lol).

On Saturday morning, we were in luck! We were up at our usual time and just happened to see it as it started to peak over the horizon.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Storm on the Avalon

Wow....we had a doozy of a storm on Wednesday! The worst one by far, since moving here. Reports indicated 60 + mms of rain and winds of over 100 km/h with gusts up to 140 km/h ..... and judging by the looks of the ocean (huge, ugly-looking waves), the swaying trees and the creaking sounds the house was making....I'd say it was at least that much.

It was like that all day long...but for some reason it sounds worse at night after dark. I laid awake in bed listening to the howling wind and the creaking house as I tried to identify exactly what was creaking. Sometimes, it seemed like the windows and other times it seemed like the roof.

The weather network guy said it would subside around midnight....but...I think it went on much longer. I did not sleep too much....hoping the wind would just die down.

Morning finally arrived. As with a lot of storms, the day after was beautiful....not a cloud in the sky...the sun was shining brightly and the sky a beautiful shade of blue. Hard to believe we'd just been through a storm.

I ventured out to check the house. I don't like doing this...nervous of what I may find. All was good though...the house and all of it's parts were still in tact. Strong house we live in. A friend of mine who lives not too far said houses in her area did not fare as well.....shingles and siding off. One person even mentioned there were trampolines in trees....oh my.

Amazingly though....we did not lose power. Areas of St. John's were out for a couple of hours. We did not have any snow either (well maybe a few very wet flakes...but no whitening of the ground)....some parts of NL had 15 cms (and they're welcome to keep it!)

We knew this storm was coming and tried to be prepared. One major concern was our winter's wood supply. There were 7 pickup truck loads (that seems to be how it is measured here) that had been stacked outside all summer, drying quite nicely. Surely all that forecasted rain would not be good for it.

Even though the day before was forecasted to be good weather, Larry wouldn't be able to stack it should he have to work.

What to do?

I was more than a little surprised when Tyler volunteered....see....he hates anything to do with the wood stove (It's his job throughout the winter season to bring in loads of firewood as the wood box gets empty.) He's mentioned, more than once....he will never ever have a wood stove when he gets his own place (although that may change when he sees the difference in cost between wood and all other methods of heat ;))

As it turned out, Larry did not get a call to work, so the two of them started at 7:30 in the morning and worked right through until Tyler had to leave for piano lessons at 12:30. Larry continued on until he had to leave for tutoring. When Tyler returned from piano...he went right back to the woodpile and worked away until 8:30....well after dark. He brought it all in...except for 7 wheelbarrow loads...which Larry finished early Wednesday morning before the storm started. Woohoo!

Kind of a double bonus.....all the winter's wood is in *and* we weathered the storm.

Another one is forecasted for tomorrow least we'll be warm.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is the Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. I am not sure of our plans as of yet, but we will either have a turkey dinner here, or perhaps go out for lunch after church on Sunday. We tried to buy a turkey today....but the smallest they had was 30 lbs....quite a bit for 5 people.

I have a lot of difficulty with all of the major holidays....they are a huge family time but our extended families have always had other plans....which leaves us on our own. I find it difficult to get through the day, while all of our friends around us are getting together with their families. It really magnifies the fact we are not. I feel bad for my children too as they will not have the memories of family holidays. When I think back to my childhood Christmases....they were the best....getting together with family, hanging out and just spending the day together. We've spent quite a few years alone now and one would think it would get easier....but I'm finding it gets more difficult each year. This is why I am verbalizing this hopes it will help me better deal with it. Through my homeopath and a friend who is training to become a homeopath....I am learning emotions and feelings *are* very important....they cannot be dismissed and discarded. They must be dealt with and those that are the end do us a lot more harm than good. We should not feel bad or guilty about the way we feel. It's what makes Just because it would not bother someone else, does not mean we should deny it bothers us. We are all different and we really are the sum of everything that happens to us.

Sorry if this sounds like a downer post...I didn't mean for it to be that way. I really wanted to wish all those who are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, A Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Part two of our day

We all enjoyed the first part of our day. After we left the CBC studios, we headed off for some lunch and a bit of shopping before my Dr.'s appt. We had planned our day well, everything was spaced nicely so we wouldn't be too rushed.

Usually, when the kids and I head out (which isn't that often) we take the van. Today was different though, as Tyler wanted to drive. The fact he has never driven the van and we were going into some heavier traffic areas, we opted to take the car and let Larry take the van to work.

Everything went well, until we got on the road heading for the appt. Just after we went through an intersection, the car started to slow down. I thought Tyler was slowing the vehicle down but when asked, he said the car was stopping. I suggested he pull over as close to the curb as he could get (there were no shoulders...just the sidewalk), which he did....just before the car died completely. As this was only the second time he's been out since getting his licence, I was really proud of the way he handled the situation. He did not panic (gets that from me...wink wink)...and immediately put the hazard lights on.

Things just went down hill from there.

We tried and tried but to no avail...the car was not going to re start. Of course, we are out on a busy four lane road to boot.


That's ok....we have CAA for such emergencies, I'll just call them. After digging through my wallet to find the number (we hardly ever call), phoning directory assistance at $1.50 plus airtime, calling them and giving her my info, she advised me Larry must be there to sign for the tow truck. (Grrrr...we're entitled to 5 calls per year.....we're lucky if we put in one per year....and now she is telling me I will have to pay outright for a tow truck unless Larry is there to sign.)

Meanwhile....we are *still* sitting in the middle of busy traffic, blocking a lane.

What to do. I did not have enough cash to pay for a tow truck ('cuz...we have CAA....and that's what it's for....right?)

It's almost 1:00, Larry is working until 2:30, we're *still* blocking traffic with a dead car (my fear was another car would not see us/get stopped in time and smash into the back of us), I have a Dr.'s appt at 1:00, Jake is in the back upset and crying.....sooo...I had no choice but to call Larry, get him out of class and eventually out of school. Thankfully, they let him leave (now they will need a substitute for the substitute). Had we been sitting on a side street or a parking lot....we would have just waited until his classes were done for the day....but being in the middle of a busy road....I felt we had no choice.

I was surprised at how quickly Larry was able to get there, but very glad to see him. He called CAA and they dispatched a tow truck. We waited for what seemed liked forever and after about 30 minutes....he called back again to see where said tow truck was....after all.....we're *still* blocking traffic.

Her response? "'re in Newfoundland.....waiting time is one hour there." Ummmm....excuse me???? You're in Newfoundland???? I'm not sure what that was supposed to mean (well .... actually, I do know....grrr...she was located in some other area of Canada...has no idea what it's like here...yet talks away as if she does.....probably thought the tow truck driver would need that much time to get through those year-round 15 feet deep snow banks we have

Within five minutes though the tow truck arrived, hitched us up and towed the car to the service centre.

It ended up being the fuel pump and the battery...both needed to be replaced. It turned into a rather costly day for us, but at least we were not hurt. A couple of positive things though about this.....I am thankful it was a beautiful day (rain and or fog would have made it worse). Also, because the car died on the other side of the intersection, meant others had to either slow down or stop for the lights. They were not up to speed by the time they got up to us, which aided us in not being hit from behind.

I did feel bad about pulling Larry out of school. The vice principal of that school called Larry the other night...she wanted to book him for another day. Before she asked about that though, she asked him how we all made out and if we were all ok. After Larry made arrangements with her, I asked to speak to her. I also apologized for which she told me not to give it a second thought...she totally understood and would have done the same thing. She went on to say... she knew we had no family or anyone else here to call and was just glad we were all ok....our safety was her first priority. How nice was that?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

CBC tour

Our homeschooling group toured the local CBC station today. It was awesome! We all learned a lot and saw so many neat things. One of the highlights was being in the studio and meeting some of the tv personalities (ok...that was two...but there were a lot and it's difficult to narrow it down to just one.)

Here are some pics of our tour. Click on them to enlarge:

We were in the Here and Now production studio Our tour guide was on air tv personality Jonathan Crowe . He was a great tour guide and very patient with us...sometimes explaining the same thing three times (there were so many of us....we all didn't fit into a room at the same he did it in groups)

Here is the weatherman... Ryan Snoddon...who graciously agreed to pose for a picture with Tyler, Brittney and Jake. He was a great guide too...answering all of our questions. One interesting note, he comes from the same area of Ontario where we are from.....small world or what?

Tyler and Brittney on the Here and Now set.

Here, Ryan Snodden is explaining the technology to us. This green wall is all he has to work with and the camera imposes the weather map onto the monitors at the side('s something like was too technological for me....but it was really cool!)

Here's where it got even cooler....they brought out some green capes and if the kids held the green capes over them...the camera would impose the weather map onto the green part. Because Jake was wearing a green shirt......the camera imposed the map over his it looks as if only his head is on the map. (If you look closely you'll see his arm holding his yellow jacket). How cool is that?

More of the on the pic...Can you see Jake?

And again..

Tyler is in the middle at the back. Brittney at the far right. They were standing against the green wall, but this is the picture on the monitor.

What a great morning...many thanks CBC, Jonathan Crowe, Ryan Snoddon and all the folks at CBC!!.