Sunday, 29 July 2012

I have chocolate in my hair

I would like to say that this week was full of adventures and tremendous twists and turns in the road but there wasn’t. It was a week lacking of any fun outrageous activity and I quite feel that I have had my first week of nothingness.

The chocolate shop continues to run as smoothly as soft butter and cream cheese on a toasted bagel and my own tasks at work are equally fluid and efficient. After a brief hiatus Claudia and I returned to the cookie baking and we no longer require the aid of the timer to tell us when the cookies are done. Our pastry chef instincts tingle at the precise moment and like a well timed waltz we open the oven doors, embrace a piping hot cookie sheet in our hands, spin to the right and gently slide it onto the cooling rack.

By the end of the week making cookies everyday put Claudia and I into the loopy zone and the slightest bit of nonsense turned us into a pair of gigglers. Sometimes the fan in the oven gets a little over zealous and blows the parchment paper on the cookie sheets in a funny direction which turns the cookies into peculiar shapes. On Friday afternoon the oven was particularly mischievous and blew the parchment paper in all sorts of inconvenient directions and all of the cookies looked like pencils! But what made me laugh to the point where I almost peed my pants was Claudia’s reaction: “Hey look! The blower in the oven made the paper go all ruffly!” Now I know this doesn’t seem that hysterical of a statement but let me remind you it is Friday afternoon, I have been making cookies and chocolates all week, and the smell from both has gone straight to my head. I burst out in uncontrollable laughter. You know the point where you laugh so hard your cheeks are so high they squish your eyes and you can’t see anything? Oh I reached that point and then I went further. I tossed my teaspoon on the table, crossed my legs and held my nose and literally put myself in the corner, every fibre of my body fighting against the urge to pee my pants. You will be glad to know that I succeeded and the chocolate shop remains a pee free zone.

I pulled a small Sunday afternoon shift and spent most of it loading potato chips onto the enrober. However I absent mindedly scratched my head while I was cleaning up, forgetting I had chocolate on my hands thus resulting in chocolate in my hair. Sigh. I can’t escape chocolate! I will probably have chocolate on every part of my body before the summer is out.

To finish off today’s post I will end with one another funny story. In church on Sunday morning we had a pile of visitors and new faces. When the children were dismissed for children’s ministry there were at least 20 of them ranging in ages from 2-6. The congregation was truly surprised at the number of little ones and before I could stop myself I said, “Sweet Jesus that’s a lot of kids! Thank goodness I’m not in kids ministry this morning.” What made this blunder even funnier is that I didn’t know how loud I had said it until twelve people whirled around in their seats and stared at me and then we all burst out into muffled snickers.

Ah yes, this week may have been lacking in adventures but I wasn’t hurting for embarrassing giggles compliments of my big mouth and twisted sense of silliness.

I forgot to add this picture last week. This is Debra and Andrew when they came to the chocolate shop to bring me some birthday cheer. That's me in my work uniform and flattering hair net. 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Fire in the hole! Watch your elbow! Happy Birthday

I have had a fabulous week! On Monday and Tuesday Claudia and I were making cookies as easily as breathing. We fell into a seamless rhythm and every batch we turned out was perfect! Whenever one of us placed a tray of cookies into the oven we called out, “Fire in the hole!” just for kicks of course, and to warn everyone else that there was mad bakers at work and to approach with caution, actually it’s probably better not to approach at all. Because the industrial oven is so close to the stove when Claudia calls out “Fire in the hole,” she adds a little safety tip as well, “Watch your elbow!” But even with the warning of the hot oven door swinging out to bite my elbow as I meticulously stir the melting butter I still get burned. Oh well, here’s one for the battle scars.

By Tuesday we had completely run out of packaging for the cookies and were forced to stop baking until we received more packaging. To tell you the truth it was a relief to hang up the cookie sheets for a while. We were shuttled back to the chocolate end of the kitchen and rolled creams and enrobed chips for the rest of the week. It was a pleasant change of scenery and a joyous reunion as we had the chance to work with the other women in the factory. We had our heads buried in the oven for so long we were starting to forget what our co-workers looked like.

After a noiseless summer void of a natural and righteous symphony I had my first Island thunder storm. It came on swiftly and with one goal in mind: to be heard and seen. I was wrapped up in a blanket on the couch one evening sitting by the window journaling when a gust of wind rushed up the street. A chilling quiet followed the temperature plummeted 8 degrees and the sweet smell of rain surrounded all my senses. At first it sounded like crickets clapping, and then a stern mother shushing her rowdy children and then the skies opened and thick curtains of rain swiftly fell upon Charlottetown. Thunder rumbled and cracked through the air like a drummer in the ecstasy of a drum solo. Lightning illuminated the sky with blinding brightness outlining the eerie shape of the storm clouds. For ten glorious minutes a symphony of sound, smell, and sight performed before me. I looked out at the raw unmatchable force and tingled with delight. I love thunderstorms! But just as quickly as it came upon me it just as quickly blew out and vanished. After the music was over a vibrant chorus of colour filled the sky. The sun began to set and the clouds turned to nocturnal purples, sleepy pinks, and dream like yellows. Ribbons of heavy blue weaved around the sky calming the calamity that still hung in the air. Before I could race down to the harbour to take advantage of this photo opportunity the sun fell swiftly to the west and was laid to rest.

On Friday I had some very silly visitors surprise me at the chocolate factory. I was partially tucked in the back corner of the shop with my back turned to the huge store windows, tediously labeling and stamping the dates on truffle boxes, when I felt someone watching me. I turned and saw a pair of goofy friends waving frantically at me wearing party hats and bouncing balloons! Andrew and Debra had come to bring a little early birthday cheer! I rushed out to the store front and greeted them with giggles. We hugged and laughed and briefly chatted about my line of work, and then they took advantage of my stylish work uniform and we snapped some pictures of the three of us whackos! It was so sweet of them to drop in like that. The following day I met them in Victoria Park and we strolled for a while shooting the breeze as good friends do, when suddenly roaring up behind us was a caravan of cars all decked out with wedding flowers and bells. A wedding party rolled past us honking and shouting announcing their recent union. Conveniently they stopped right in front of us, got out and began taking pictures down by the water. Andrew, Debra, and I shamelessly climbed up to the lookout by the canons and stared down at the wedding party smiling at their funny poses, and admiring the dresses and colours.

At 6:00am on Sunday July 22nd I bounced out of bed tingling with anticipation for this special day. My birthday! The celebrations began with a pancake breakfast I cooked for my church. It was a riot! With the help of my wonderful friends Natalie and Lindsay we flipped over a 100 pancakes. We made blueberry, banana, chocolate chip, and plain. We sliced strawberries, whipped cream and softened butter. The doors opened at 9:15 and a flood of hungry and happy people graced our presence for some pancakes. Yummy!! It was a hoot to see everyone’s smiling faces as they gobbled down as many pancakes as their bellies would allow. The chatter alone made my insides jump up and down. I felt so blessed to be able to make the church family I love pancakes on my birthday. I highly suggest doing such a thing at some point in your life, it is better than any birthday gift you could ever receive. In turn my church returned the blessing and sang Happy Birthday to me before the worship service, I felt like a queen.

As I was packing my roommates car with my kitchen and pancake gadgets after church she called me and told me to look in the trunk. I opened the trunk and out popped four balloons! How fun! They were blue and green and one was particularly shiny and they all had butterflies on them. Butterflies are my favourite insect. I was so giddy I couldn’t stop smiling. As I drove home I let them hang out the trunk and bounce in the breeze letting all of Charlottetown know it was my birthday and no body was going to rain on my parade!

After lunch I settled down for a very special Skype date with my family. They had all gathered at my sister Yolanda’s house and with the help of technology we celebrated together. They had cheese cake in Ontario and I had myself a cheese cake the night before so I had cheesecake as well. They sang Happy Birthday and my nephew Landon was dubbed the honour to blow out my candle for me. The one thing that I love about my family is all the silly, outrageous, and random phrases that come out of their mouths. When I told them I was going to the beach later they all gave me different pieces of advice for swimming in the ocean. All of their advice was so wise I feel it my duty to share it with you:
Mom: “Don’t swim alone! Watch out for the tide and sharks.”
Dad: “Swim with a buddy and don’t get eaten by shark.”
Peter, my brother-in-law: “Swim with a boy.”
Chad, my brother: “Swim naked!”

I am so blessed to have such a knowledgeable and concerned family, it’s like the very wisdom of Solomon as touched them. Haa haa!
While at the beach I did in fact go swimming. I didn’t go swimming with any boys and because there were children around I opted to keep my swim suit on, there were no threat of sharks but I had a close call with a jelly fish. It still blows my mind that when I go to the beach I am in the Atlantic Ocean. When I went to the beach back home it was Lake Huron. The water was divine! It wasn’t as cold as the last time I went swimming so I was able to jump right in and splash around. I love the way the water carried me, waltzing me through the tides. I floated on my back and gazed out into the deep horizon and thought of all the wonderful and magical creatures there were swimming beneath me. The ocean is a mysterious place, we could discover every inch of it and learn all its secrets and still it will change and stir up uncharted waters and riddles. I take great comfort knowing that we will never learn all secrets of the world.

As the sun set on the North Shore I stood at the edge of the water and breathed in every crimson, golden, and copper ray of brilliance. With every hush of the waves crawling up the sand to touch my feet I drank in the dense and refreshing chill of the water. I love the ocean.

As I reflect on this day I shake my head at what God has done for me. He blessed me with an amazing church, a hilarious and deep hearted family, the most beautiful breath of beach and the most radiant painted sky. This has been one of the best birthdays I have had, and I got to spend it on Prince Edward Island! Thank you Jesus for a fabulous birthday.

Shamelessly creeping the wedding party

Making pancakes!

Lindsay and Natalie

Lindsay and me, look out! We have spatula's!

Natalie and me

Yummy, my birthday cheese cake

The ocean!

Happy Birthday me! That stunning scarf was a gift from my Mummzy. I love it!!

Another fancy shot of the awesome hat and scarf


Sunday, 15 July 2012

Tasty indeed

This past week was a busy one in the chocolate shop. With our new product “Moo Munch” hitting the store shelves my fellow pastry chef Claudia and I were hard at work making cookies all week. The first few days were trial and error, error, error, but by Thursday and Friday we had fallen into a rhythm of success. Each batch we turned out was better and better and the cookies were crunchier, more golden, and in general more delicious. We were able to pack away eight full cases of Moo Munch in the freezer and sent out four to the store. On Friday afternoon we heard that we had three sales of Moo Munch and it sent Claudia and I to cloud nine! It is so satisfying to hear that people are purchasing our product that we had made only hours earlier. Moo Munch is best described as a very thin version of a Skor chocolate bar with dark chocolate sandwiched in the middle. It is divine.

We are on summer hours in the chocolate shop which means we are open 7 days a week. I was scheduled to work on Saturday and to tell you the truth it was a lot of fun. There was half as many people in the shop as normal and it was very quiet. I was sent to the kitchen to skin truffles and cut toffee and found the emptiness a haven of solitude. With no one else around I freely and loudly sang and skipped through the kitchen as I went about my work. It was refreshing to have the absence of the all the extra machinery noise  buzzing, whirring, clanging, or stirring. A steady hum from the milk chocolate enrober wrapped the shop in calming buzz and we were all able to turn our hands to our work and our thoughts to else where.

On Sunday the ladies of the church were invited to celebrate Elinor’s birthday. As you may remember Elinor was a friend of mine who passed away this past January. Her children invited us to her farm in Wood Islands to have a picnic, walk the grounds, eat cake and drink lemonade. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky, a healthy and swift ocean breeze, and fresh golden sunshine. We laughed, and talked, and walked, soaking up each others company and the presence of Elinor. After our picnic lunch we were invited inside for tea and coffee and then we lit candles on a lemon poppy seed cake and sang Happy Birthday. At first I thought it odd and was a bit uncomfortable singing Happy Birthday to Elinor when she wasn’t physically present but as we sang, staring into the candles on her cake it seemed like the natural thing to do. I had a vision of her sitting there smiling widely and glowing with joy not selfishly that we had all come to celebrate her but she was looking back at us and celebrating us. After cake and more giggles we spent time in her families flower nursery. Each flower was a different smile and blessing from Elinor. Every where I looked I felt the over whelming soft eyes of Elinor blessing me. Everywhere I walked I felt Elinors hands cradling my elbow walking along side me as I strolled through her world. There was no path I couldn’t walk, no picture I couldn’t take, I was completely welcome to walk through the glass and taste an unreal dimension of friendship and sunshine. The presence of Elinor was perfectly indescribable.

I am leaving this week on a high note. Work has been successful, the weather has been scrumptious, and the company has been delectable. It has been a tasty week indeed.

The shed at Elinors Homestead

The barn at Elinors Homestead

Coffee and tea with Elinors china

Lemon poppy seed cake. 

Chatter, chatter, chatter

Giggles at Lisa's expense. We were really proud that she didn't break the tea cup. 

At the nursery

Colby running through the sprinklers at the nursery. 

Thousands of Elinor smiles :)

Sunday, 8 July 2012

The little things . . .

To be honest I haven’t had the best of weeks. To put it politely there have been a few flies in the milk to turn me off cereal for awhile.

Nothing too earth shatteringly awful happened to me this week it was more a build up of small frustrations. I was designated to decorate the blue berry creams but the chocolate wouldn’t cooperate and come out of the squeeze bottle smoothly and I had some epic failures. For the most part they turned out fine, but they could have been better. It turns out the Island does get hot and humid and this week was a good example of that. The shop was particularly humid which affected the chocolate making the butter creams very soft and difficult to roll them cleaning, it also made it difficult to enrobe them. I was asked to pull an order for one of our stores and it took me the better part of the day to sift through the cases of chocolates. My dyslexia did not help matters and eventually the numbers all started to run together and I became more frustrated and ultimately I forgot to add a few boxes of sea salt caramels to the order. Thankfully it was caught in time and no one went without their caramels, goodness knows the world would have ended had they gone without. On top of all that there was a general cloud of displeasure shadowing the chocolate shop this week. It was just one of those weeks where no one really cared to be anywhere and we all just wished we could be alone.

On Friday night after the havoc of the week was over I b-lined it for the beach as fast as was legally possible. The beach was nearly deserted and I quickly tossed off my shoes and lingered along the shore breathing deeply. I found a piece of drift wood to rest on and watched the sky inflame as the sun went down. The ocean waves constantly roared with rolling laughter as they tossed themselves upon the sand. Jellyfish twirled involuntarily as waves swept them up and carried them to open water.

I was content to just sit there and watch the water. The waves were mesmerizing. They flowed consistently and yet changed with every break upon the shore. I bravely rolled up my pant legs and ventured into the chilly water up to my shins. With each wave that washed against me I felt a ribbon of Gods promise wrap around me telling me I would be ok, everyone has bad weeks, this was mine, just keep breathing. He had known it was a hard week for me and He remained at my side even when I didn’t want Him there. I was able to open up my lungs and stretch my head back and inhale the density of ocean air and the density of Gods faithfulness. This was my moment to sink and let Him breathe for me for a while and allow Him to be the brave one. To make the moment even sweeter I may or may not have stolen a reject raspberry cream from work and as I stood there drinking in a moment of rest I popped the chocolate into my mouth. The chorus of raspberry butter cream and dark chocolate made my lips crescendo into a smile. As the sun fell into rest I too pointed my way home to my own bed and fell into a delicious slumber.

The weekend came as a glorious relief to the crumby week. My Saturday activities included creeping on my friends via Facebook for the better part of the morning and in the afternoon I broke out the creativity and fashioned a few cards to send to family and friends.

Sunday was joyous! The sun was happily shinning, the breeze was tingling with mischief and the aroma of Charlottetown air was a mixture of waffle cones, soft serve ice cream, warm pavement, and fish n’ chips. What made Sunday especially wonderful was the solo road trip I ventured on to Dover. You may be saying, “I don’t know where Dover is.” Neither do I and a neither does a decent chunk of Islanders. I discovered that once you get to the very eastern part of the island destinations are marked by land marks and family farm names, however Google Maps doesn’t have that setting when plotting a destination, if they did I probably wouldn’t have gotten as lost as much as I did. But I made it, in one piece and it only took me an hour and a half as opposed to the 40 minutes Google Maps suggested it would take. When I arrived at the house of my dear friend Debra, I was greeted by one of the boys I lived with in university, Andrew. He has moved to the Island for the summer to be with his girlfriend and her family. Debra and Andrew gave me the grand tour of Debra’s farm and I got to meet all of her animals. There is Dexter the horse who ‘kissed’ my chest, more like bit me. Daisy the calf who sucked on my fingers. There is nothing like letting a calf suck on your fingers to melt away the stress of a difficult week. They have two pigs, who remain nameless so let’s call them Bacon and Sausage, and two kittens who were shy at first but after some coaxing from Mama Jo and some treats they came out and allowed me to pet them. Oh it felt good to be on a farm once again, it made me miss the stretch of my own homestead.

To kick off our many summer adventures we have planned we decided to start at the beach. Debra, Andrew, myself and a smash up Debra’s family and friends spent an evening at the White Sands beach by Murray River. As you stand on the shore and look out over the water off in the distance you can see Pictou Nova Scotia on the opposite shore. I was fascinated that I could see Nova Scotia just across the water. The distance didn’t seem that far of a stretch and I got the idea in my head to kayak across it one day. I don’t know if it will happen this summer but you will certainly hear about it if I do.

The cliffs on the White Sands beach were fabulous for climbing. Like a squirrel scampering up a tree I nimbly scaled the cliffs as high as I could go. It was spectacular! As I climbed higher and I higher I could see the Nova Scotia horizon clearer and look out over the stretch of beach at more cliffs and caves to explore. Had we but an hour more of sunlight I would have climbed them all, but as the sun began to set it was time to head back to our camp fire.

There is something magical about the first camp fire of the summer. It’s full of treasures, lost stories, good friends, and the snap and crackle of fire licking away at spruce wood. Hot dogs were roasted, marshmallows were burned, one of the blankets almost caught fire and much laughter at each others expense was made. When the conversation faded I was encouraged to bring out my guitar and play a few songs. I have never played my guitar around a beach camp fire before and I was surprised at how natural it felt to me. Concerts, performances, leading worship and other such high pressure musical territory I am well experienced in. But picking up my guitar on a whim and strumming out a few songs without hours of preparation I couldn’t really wrap my head around. We sang some well known worship songs but it was nothing too extravagant, just a handful of youngsters filling the evening with music and fellowship. It felt right. I didn’t even mind hitting a wrong note once or twice, the snap of the fire always filled in where I fell out. The night was simply beautiful, a gateway to what the rest of the summer will be.

Lobster traps on the way to the beach. 

The beach after a hard week. 

Sunset through drift wood. 

Daisy sucking my fingers.

Me and Bacon. 

Here kitty, kitty, kitty. 

Hello! Nova Scotia!

Conquering one of the many cliffs. 

Contemplating lives mysteries while staring at Nova Scotia for inspiration. 

Andrew and I, a pair of Ontarioians scaling a PEI cliff. 

Race you to the top!

Marshmallows and hot dogs. 

First camp fire of the summer. 

Andrew looking very mighty. 

Myself, Andrew, and Debra acting silly. 

La la la la la la la :) 

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Red Ritsema Returns

Alas the days are growing longer, the sun shines with an angelic brilliance and the earth is rich in vegetation. The Red Ritsema turns her face to the morning sun armed for the long trek ahead of her. Her trusty steed that is her bike has been released from the repair shop and though it carry’s dents and scratches of valour from its battle, it remains a steady and sure ride. The Red Ritsema mounts her bike two weeks after her near death experience and pedals into the streets of Charlottetown early Tuesday morning. Traffic is slow and yet gradually building in density as she rides through the streets dressed in a traffic cone orange shirt. With every hill she faces she pushes on, breathing rhythmically and focusing on one pedal stride at a time. Red faced, out of breath, but exhilarated she arrives at her destination, the palace sized Anne of Green Gables Chocolates. Bursting through the doors like a soldier coming home from the front she cries out her victory and is met with a resounding “Hurray!” from her co-workers. She made it all the way to work and met no vehicular foe.

I am back on my bike, fully healed unafraid and ready to roll. But biking to work and surviving both physically and emotionally was not the only victory for the day. As I took my place at the cream table we began hand rolling a batch of raspberry butter creams. They were immaculate and as soft as a babies bottom. I felt like I was spinning silk and we had almost no issues with rolling them to the acceptable weight. As they traveled through the dark chocolate enrober it was to my delight that a small handful came out the other end less than perfect and unworthy of display. But I encouraged the little cast offs and gathered them into the loving embrace of my belly, mmmmmm, raspberry cream!

It was a full and fabulous day of work and I had an excellent day all around. Work has been great this past week, busier than a fleet of ants rebuilding their home after someone kicked it, but great. We are a little behind on our production, it seems that every time we fill an order and it goes out the door we are left with nothing and back to square one. But like the tortoise we push on, slow and steady and solid.

The bike ride home from work was the real victory though. The Island is in another week of rain, rain, rain and just for good measure rain, oh and don’t forget those strong east winds. It didn’t look like it was raining when started for home but the funny thing with rain is that it come at the most inopportune moment. I was pedaling up a particularly steep hill, against the wind, along side a thick flow of 5:00pm traffic. Just as I crested the hill and made my descent down a safe street it began to rain. Speeding down the hill the rain fell in fat drops feeling more like a shower of grenades than rain. But I pushed on, taking this assault as a gift. I knew the hard part was yet to come. I decided to bike along the harbour because the streets were wider and the side walk would be void of pedestrians making it safe. But the wind gushed at me from the side, trying to push me beyond the safety of the sidewalk and into traffic. I fought hard, holding my ground and ignoring the windy assault. I knew it was just the wind being mischievious because when I turned up my street it pushed me from behind and guided me home. I arrived save, soaked and smiling.

The victories continued to escalate from there. On Saturday I took the plunge and got my ears pierced for the very first time. Let me inform you that I am 23 years old, and I am just getting my ears pierced now. I didn’t go anywhere special, just Claire’s at the mall, however I did have friends offering to do it the old fashioned way with an apple and a needle. Getting your ears pierced at Claire’s is a pretty decent deal, you pay for the studs and cleaning solution but the pain is free. What a bargain. When I inquired about getting ear piercings the woman looked around and asked if I had a younger girl with me. I told her it was just me, and she naturally assumed I was getting my ears pierced for the second time. I told her it was my first time. She looked genuinely surprised, “Are you serious? How old are you? This is your first time?” She instinctively tucked a wisp of hair behind my ear to get a better look. It turned out to be true, I had bare holeless ears.

Allow me to answer the lingering question before I go into the gory details of the rest of the experience. Why did I wait this long to get my ears pierced? The simple answer is that I finally felt ready. Growing up I was never the most elegant of little girls. My head was often a magic land of fair maidens searching for their inner princess, or World War II underground resistance. When I ran around the back yard slaying invisible foes I did it with far less grace than what was portrayed in the movies. And while I believed I was never lacking in spunk and fight the elegance that great women of war carried with them onto the battle field I hadn’t found yet. They had some inner courage that pushed them on and held their heads high. They had a beautiful and deadly grace about them. And now I feel like I have gained that secret courage, I am a lady, not only do I feel beautiful but I believe that I truly am. And over that past few months my admiration for jewelry has increased and so has my collection. So I thought why not this weekend?

It was important for me to get my ears pierced this weekend because of a few things. For one it’s Cananda Day, so I might as well add another celebration into the mix and it is also the gateway to my birthday in 22 days so I thought it would be an early birthday gift to myself. All of those reasons pointed to the colour red, and red is a very important colour in my life. This weekend seemed a glorious red to me: red for Cananda Day, ruby red for July, rusty red for the Island and I have red hair to boot. So it was divinely decided that this would be the weekend.

I climbed into the chair and got down to business. I filled out the ear piercing form and was walked through the procedure. She asked if I wanted both of them done at the same time and I said sure, not realizing that that means they will do both ears at the same time  Suddenly there was an assistant fiddling with my other ear and there were two ear guns loaded, locked and ready. They stood on either side of me, counted to three, and bang! It was done. It felt like getting stung by a bee and I felt the necessity to say, “Ow” even though it didn’t really hurt. The one girl was in and out like a bandit but the other as stuck. The gun wouldn’t release so I sat there as she tinkered trying hard not to rip out my ear. Eventually I was released and had a chance to see what they looked like. I looked at my ears in the mirror and said, “Oh it feels weirder than what I thought it would! But I really like it!” And I truly do. I have my ears pierced!

I had the profound privilege of spending Canada Day in the very placed where Confederation was signed. Today was a very special day for me and to tell you the truth I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. I went to the beach with Bernice as we seem to do every Sunday, we found more beach glass and I strolled aimlessly along the low tide shoreline as I always do. I arrived home late and exhausted but mustered up enough energy to wander down to the water to watch the fireworks. Friends of mine invited me to partake in their Canada Day plans and we sat on the opposite shore of Charlottetown and watched the show. Several dozen boats were anchored in the bay and a huge cruise ship was docked at the harbour. Across the water on the Victoria park shore we could hear live music and shouts of celebration of other proud Canadians. The fireworks were a magnificent symphony of explosions of bright colours and sounds. After the final firework exploded and fizzled into the night sky the crowds erupted in cheers, boat horns honked, and the cruise ship sounded their fog horn trembling the air in a low timber resonance. Traffic crawled homeward and all was put to bed for another year. I love this country, I love the people, the land, the fresh and salty water, and the freedom we have here. We aren’t a perfect country by any means but we have a lot to be proud of: beavers, maple syrup, vast landscapes, Mr. Dress Up, hockey, Winnie the Pooh, the Group of Seven, winter, and the list goes on. Living in the city where Canada was signed, sealed, and delivered 145 years ago is a fabulous indescribable feeling. I feel that by standing on the same ground where Confederation was signed that the history of my country has been written deeper on my heart and I need to uphold, care, and fight for her. Happy Birthday Canada! I am proud to call you home.

AH! What am I doing! 

Oh it's not so bad. 

And then the gun got stuck. Please don't rip off my ear. 

All done! 

And I even get a free sucker to take home. 

How many pieces of sea glass can you see? 

This little snail was cruising under the water. 

The aimless wanderer.

Yow! That's chilly. 

Pretty appropriate for Canada Day

The birthday place of Confederation