Sugar Woods 2017

I am fortunate to live near a sugar woods with three active camps. It is just ten minutes from my studio. Every year I go (almost) and every year I come home inspired. It feels like the most natural thing in the world to gather sugar from the maple trees. 

What is so inspiring about it is you see people working so hard doing what they love. Most camps have people there lending them a hand. Everyone is working together in the simplest of conditions. People are there making syrup, and have been for generations because they love what they do. 

The scent is comforting. The steam is rolling. And people are making…just making.

Most of my morning was spent working on a rug but it was lovely to take a hike this afternoon with members of the local trails society and see the maple syrup and candy being made. I always come home feeling ready to get back to work. 

 

25 the Anniversary Pattern

25th-anniversary-rug

I ‘ve decided on an anniversary pattern and it will be geraniums.

Why geraniums?

Well they are hardy, like you have to be if you have been in business for twenty five years.

They are a simple plant, no fuss, and there they are from May to early November, showing up everyday, still blooming. Sometimes I forget to water them, other times the rain pours on them. Either way they manage with just a little bit of attention.

They also remind me of how I see a community. I want to be the person who chooses to plant geraniums to make their community a little prettier. Somehow geraniums remind me of the importance of giving back. It is such a simple thing to do and it reminds me that small things matter a great deal in a community.

You’ll notice the four white houses in the background of the pattern. They are there to represent community. When I moved my business into town , one of the things I decided was that I would commit myself to the community. It has been good to me, and I must try to be good to it. Building and supporting my community is an important part of  my everyday life.

So is beauty. I love to see the storefronts in our downtown in full summer bloom. It makes coming to work, walking the street, and driving by a little sweeter for everyone.

I think of geraniums as an old fashioned flower. It is traditional.

But it isn’t meek. It is quite showy. And I kinda like that about them. Plain but showy. I relate.

So this is a very simple pattern but it is meaningful to me and part of my celebrating twenty five years.

We have listed it on the online shop here.

That old black ice got a hold of me

I fell down walking up Victoria Street. My niece and I were talking when I saw that part of the sidewalk was covered with a skiff of snow. I stepped on  it.
It was not an easy fall. It was one of those falls that you are in the air first and then you land face down. It was a fall like the ones in the cartoons. A dramatic big time real life smash.

Luckily I had on my big fake fur coat which gave me a nice padding. Not a thing was hurt. Not even my pride. I have fallen a couple of times lately. Once I slipped on all the rotten apples under the tree when I was doing the pine boughs. I thought wouldn’t those bare branches with apples look so good in my window boxes. Wham right into the rotten apples. I was covered with brown scum but I continued with decorating. When I came in the door I took off the dirty clothes right by the door. I felt like a kid again.

It is strange how falling makes you feel like a child. As an adult though , when you get up ok, you are filled with this great sense of relief. Thank goodness nothing was broke. You just know you will be stiff. And I am. Stiff and sore and relieved. That sense of relief makes you happy. Oddly enough, after a fall you have this sense of elation. “I am ok, whew that was close.”

“That old black ice took a hold of me”…but I got up , continued to walk with my niece and just counted my blessings. Today, however, I will walk at the rink. I should be fine on that nice rubber floor as I walk slowly and stiffly trying to juice up my muscles and apologize to them for my clumsiness. 


This is my niece and I prior to the dramatic slip on the ice where I pummelled into the air before hitting the ice with a thud. It was misty out so we were protecting our hair with our scarves. Had I known I could have also worn some hockey gear.
  

Winter sets in

It happens so suddenly, that after Christmas feeling. Just a few days ago we were awaiting the magic and now it is past.

Personally I feel a kind of peace to have things back to normal, but also I feel a sense of loss.

I love the idea that it can be Christmas all year long, that we can keep that Christmas spirit, but if that was perfectly true the magic of Christmas would be lost.

I love gathering. I love the beauty of the lights. I love the season.

On the other hand, I do not love the winter. I just try to accept it.

I must adapt to this new season. This season of  winter, with all it’s faults, beholds a great deal.

It is a time to renew and prepare.

It is a time to collect out thoughts.

A time to collect out thanks.

In all the barren and bareness, there is so much joy and hope.

So much anticipation of what might become.

Those bare branches will bloom again. I just have to wait.

Over the past four months I have visited a local Syrian family who has moved to our community. I have watched them adapt to winter so easily, with such gratefulness and acceptance.

It is cold, yes.

It is slippery. It is wet. It is windy.

There is also a fire in my wood stove.

The pantry is stocked.

Life is good here.

Watching someone else appreciate the peace here has made me more grateful in general.

When I start to waver I remember that others have come a long way to be in these blizzards.

Many other wait, and dream of the day that they can build a snowman with their children.

So there is loveliness in the bare trees.

When the roads are bad I will try to  just settle in,

find some hand work,

say my prayers,

and be grateful even when things about the winter are getting own my nerves.


img_0707

The pond was fit for skating yesterday. Today it is ten degrees.

img_0735

This photo of my friends was taken by a photographer from the states who was here on a Rotary International Film crew. It is so beautiful.

img_0698

I am hooking neutrals…..

img_0827

Bringing the Light into the Season

 

Today as I look around the studio and the women’s store I feel the season of Christmas fast approaching. Remembrance Day has passed and we are busy prepping for the holidays. Windows are glittering with white lights and shiny balls.

At night at home I have little lights on timers that come on at five until ten and when I come home in the evening they are waiting for me. I try to think of winter as a festival of light. I miss the early morning and evening light that came naturally in my window so I reinvent it with a little sparkle. I put small white lights on shelves to lighten up the long hours of darkness in my house studio. They make me feel cozy and warm.

Our windows in both shops are simple but they too focus on the warm white light that we need in winter. Georgina, Susan (30 Church Women’s Clothing) and Denise put the windows together today. Watching them really got me in the mood for this long season of celebration.

I just do not engage in all the negative hype we hear about Christmas. I think it is a miracle season. It is a time when we look outside of ourselves to help, or cherish others. I still see the beauty in giving and receiving gifts and love the symbolism of it. The wisemen brought frankincense and myrrh to the baby and it turns out, he too , already had everything. Gifts can be simple, joyous, and useful. We do not have to overburden anyone.  I love to give gifts.

I look forward to the little celebrations that people have.

The joy and comfort. The hope, peace, and charity that prevail at this time of year. It still makes me believe in possibility. It reminds me of the importance of faith.

It is our season. It is my season. Time to spread a little joy. Time to remember others’ kindness.

There is no way that I am going to diminish the beauty of this season. It is a celebration of birth. I want it. I want to share it. I want to celebrate it.

These months of darkness need a blessing.

And Christmas is just that, a chance to celebrate what we have, what we had, and what we hope for.

So the season starts, not with endless shopping, though I will do some of that.

Not with endless plans for fancy evenings and complicated foods.

It starts with a little white light in the window.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where thou art…

You cannot be everything all at once.

You are what you are.

Beauty is on the inside.

We know all of this . We have heard it a hundred times. Yet we wonder.

Am I enough?

We would not be saying, “I need to lose ten pounds.”

We would not be comparing ourselves to others if we were sure we were enough.

Recently I was surprised when  a few of my friends and myself all agreed that sometimes we felt not enough.

We talked about it. It was our own thing, we owned it. It was not that people made us feel that way. We were just that way.

A few years ago there was a photography trend on the internet where people wrote “I am enough.” on themselves a had their picture taken. You have probably seen them.

I liked them. It is good to reinforce the idea that you are enough.

Then I started to feel that gnawing feeling. If she is enough, how come sometimes I don’t feel enough.

My friends and I  were honest with each other. Sometimes we compare ourselves with others. Sometimes we feel that we are not enough. Not  enough, not good enough, not loving enough, not kind enough, not thin enough.

Lately I have been hearing many women say…”Oh I am past all that.”  Some are. I am sure.

But some I am sure, are not.

Some are past it some of the time.

Many struggle with it occasionally.

It is only human to wonder if you are enough.

Some days I am enough.

Some days I am more than enough.

But frankly, some days I could do better.

Some days  I could be kinder, more generous.

Maybe I returned home with kitchen envy.

Maybe I ate a big pistachio square at the local deli.

Maybe I snapped at my husband.

Maybe I looked at the beautiful people across the room and felt frumpy..

Maybe I did not do any of those things in the  last week but I know I am fsusceptible and know they might happen again. Cause sometimes I am  good and sometimes I  feel I’m a bit …well you know… a bit “not good enough”.

I just want to say that this struggle seems real to a lot of us.

“Comparison is the thief of joy” said Theodore Roosevelt, and that was before instagram, Facebook and photographic filters.

That was before we were all faced everyday with the marvels of social media where no one ever posts that they picked their nose. Warning: If you are thinking of doing that just to even things out a little, don’t. It is not a good idea. It is just something we don’t need to know.

The thing is comparing ourselves to others might be the thief of joy, unless it makes you strive to be a little more, a little kinder, a little healthier, a little better.

Only a few of us have been blessed with the kind of self possession that keeps us from looking around at what the other fella is doing. If you have it, good for you. Honestly, that is great.

For the rest of us, we are only human.

Sometimes we might forget our blessings.

We have been given hearts to love and minds to think so it is natural to wonder.

And sometimes we might even wonder about ourselves.

img_8968

img_8973

img_9040

img_3507

img_3490

 

 

img_0287

img_0165

img_0227

img_0242

img_0244

Instagram and Me and Tanis Fibre Arts

There are lots of weddings today around here. I know these things now because we dress people for them at 30 Church Women’s Clothing across the street. It is a lovely thing to help people get ready for big important days in their lives. Who knew I ‘d like it but I do.

I am midway through a project of 51 small squares that combine landscape and abstract. It has been so lovely. 51 because I am 51. I take small square pictures on my walks and then hook versions of them. Sometimes I still think I am 50, When I hang them I might make myself 49 because that would be 7 by 7.  I am one of seven sisters and I like symmetry, so I’ll be 49 when I hang them if hang them  7 by 7. I think I will actually have to make 60 or so to get the right combination, but I’ll not be sixty for nine years. It is fun to talk nonsense isn’t it? A little foolishness is good for ya.

Yesterday Tanis from Tanis Fibre Arts , a beautiful knitwear designer and dyer came by the studio. If you are a knitter you should visit her site to see some great designs and colour ways. While she was there she gave me some great tips on doing My instagram is….

DeanneFitzpatrickStudio

I think Instagram is a great way to get inspired. I use it like a magazine with a cup of tea, and scroll through it following people who post beautiful images. Tania also showed me how to edit my images. I thought you could just do filters but  you can also highlight, lighten etc. She showed me quickly and now I am instagram happy. You can see some of the squares on my instagram. I encourage you  get the ap and follow Deanne Fitzpatrick Studio and Tanis Fibre Arts.

I think what I loved about Tanis visit is her willingness to teach and to share. I also loved that someone who surrounds herself with colour on a daily basis was inspired by the colour we create in the studio. She really got me thinking about pallettes, about making things even more beautiful than they might already be. You see beauty has no limits, it is like love. The more we share with each other the more we become aware of our own possibilities and those of others.

Summer shots below, and my rugs of the Pugwash estuary…..

IMG_0137

IMG_3556

IMG_3630

What if I just let it happen? What might happen?

Why do you do it? Why do you live in a small town?

It is not a question I ask myself because the honest truth is I just found myself here. I never decided to live in a small town. Life does not happen that way for many of us. We live where we live for all kinds of reasons. It might be love, it might be family, it might be work.

Myself I just responded to what came up, love and family then turned into work, which turned into art, then turned into business.

It was never written in a journal. It was never dreamt up. It just simply happened.

There is so much pressure these days to plan out a great life. To seek abundance, to be more, to seek out your dreams, to be the most you can be.

Yesterday I saw a chalkboard that said, “Do something amazing every day.”

Really? How about “Do your dishes everyday.” or maybe “Pack your lunch everyday.”

Maybe just, “Be kind to others.”

I get a lot done but there is no way I can do something amazing everyday.

It makes me think about our studio motto, “create beauty everyday”…let me assure when I say that I mean that a sandwich can be a beautiful thing. I also mean that tidying your sock drawer can be too. Don’t take any pressure from me, beauty is surely in the tiniest of things.

I keep seeing journals with things like “Live your dreams ” written on it. They scare me. I’d rather a blank one so I can write in it things like…”I made macaroni for supper. We were out of cheese so I just ate it with butter. Yum.” I don’t need pressure from inanimate objects around the house.

Even my “think” sign sometimes gets on my nerves.

No one tells you you can end up being an artist and business person just by responding to what comes up. No one seems to say that if you live in a place where the people you love are then you will feel safe and comfortable and you might take a few more risks. People don’t seem to like to say that  you can carve an opportunity out in any place.

We so easily forget the little things, that really are the foundation for the big things. You can’t just “dream” cause the cover of the book tells you to. The conditions have to be right.

Everywhere I look there are quotes telling you to seek, to shine, to grow.

Yesterday I saw a box that ” Stuff I pretend is important.”  I was tempted to buy it just because it was honest. I didn’t.

Believe me, I love change and growth. I think it is important to dream. I just don’t want pressure to do those things because pressure to do those things is exactly what can stunt it.

Let’s try….

“It is okay to flounder.”

“Say your prayers.”

“It can happen anywhere.”

 

 


Diane Krys: Jordi Bonet

When I’m driving downtown and heading east on Jasper Avenue I say a little prayer to the traffic light gods as I approach the 121st street intersection. I’m not wishing for a green light as you might expect, instead I have my fingers crossed for a red light so I can stop and face the 1960 built Jasper House apartment building. High on a smooth facade sits a sculpted mural I never tire of looking at. It’s stunning and dramatic like a beautiful brooch on a sleek column dress.

IMG_8059

I love the collage of colourful squares set atop a doodle of line work. It’s a contraction with lines that look so delicate and threadlike yet stand strong and endure the elements year after year. The shadows intrigue me as much as the piece itself and create a playful kinetic quality.

IMG_8066

IMG_8068

It was created by Quebec artist Jordi Bonet (1932 -1979). He was a painter, muralist and sculptor. Although he primarily worked in Quebec, his works are peppered across Canada in places like a metro station in Montreal,Quebec or a mural in Moncton, New Brunswick to name a few spots. Often his work is integrated into our landscape and daily routines and because of that we relate to it differently I think. It seeps into our soul and intellect from a different angle compared to when we go to a gallery or museum with an intent to view and analyze. This piece in particular opened my eyes to all the little known gems that live without fanfare in our cities and towns yet offer so much. I’ll let Jordi Bonet have the last word in this post. I’m always moved by this quote.

To often we work in solitude, far from the fields of action where our destiny can blossom, towns are built around us but we are not there. Yet art is as at ease in the streets and public places, as in the museums, it is the collective richness of all men, everyone has a right to find it in their homes, in the objects they use, everywhere in the country where they live.

If as artists, we must express the anguish of our tormented civilization, then our work must, above all, express hope and what we will become.
                                  
Close our eyes, open our minds, see
                              
“Art is the scripture of visions to come”

Jordi Bonet  

Catherine Bussiere: Beckwith Bash

Saturday August 15th is our annual festival
the Beckwith Bash
I believe it’s the 7th edition

over the years our crowd has grown
some years we get a big crowd
some years we get less
no matter what we always have a fantastic line up of musician

early comers can join in a yoga session
it is hosted in live dome that my boys built a few years back
talk about connecting with self and nature
my friend and yoga instructor Mary has graciously lead that practice for three years now
it’s a lovely way to start off

the stretch is followed by a drum circle
this time on the lounge
calling in the people
getting good vibes echoing through the grounds

when the music starts it goes and goes
only to break with a spell of spoken word and story telling
every year we try something new
we’ve had belly dance, circus act, hula hoop workshop
something for all

if you are in Nova Scotia this week end and are looking for a good time
do join us Saturday
gates open (there are no gates) at 2pm
yoga at 3
music starts at 4:30

full schedule and details can be found HERE

have a good week

ps. I will most likely not blog next Sunday

getting ready

DSC_0100

small drumminhula

Richard

DSC_0170

DSC_0194willie_3

 

Catherine Bussiere: Hope

I met Hope this week
I didn’t know Hope
I went to her apartment complex where she resides in River Hebert
she used to live on a farm
but at 80 some she now lives in a much smaller space
with two cats
although residents are not suppose to have cats
actually one of her cat is missing
which is troubling her some

I met Hope because I was to interview her about seed saving
going to a seed saving workshop recently I was presented with some beautiful beans that had been saved and planted for decades
in awe of that I had asked if I could interview the lady that did so
and so I ended up in Hope’s apartment

Hope is a lovely lady
she answered my questions graciously
I found simple, plain wisdom in her comments
I kept telling her that I wanted to hug her so content I was with the turn of our interview

to the question why save seeds her answer is this
keep seeds from plants that grow well in your region
keep the best ones
save them, trade them
they are the best seeds you can get

to the question why garden and why buy local
her answer is this
grow your own food or buy from a local farmer because the fruit you get is the tastiest
period

now of course there are political reasons
we can save seeds to fight Monsanto
we can grow gardens to lower our carbon footprint
we can do so for financial reasons
for physical and mental health
(yes, it helps my mental bits to hang out in the garden)

for Hope it boiled down to taste

it made me wonder
have we forgotten what home grown food taste like
think about a fresh, perfectly ripen, strawberry
a tomato still warm from the sun
fresh shelled peas
carrots with their tops and a tiny bit of dirt just pulled from the garden

there are many reasons to grow a garden
save seeds
even forage for wild edibles

Hope said she likes to know where her food comes from
it taste better
I agree

1Q9A1886

DSC_0002

DSC_0013

Deanne’s Diary: the Baccalaureate Address

This spring I was really honoured when I was asked to speak at the Baccalaureate Address for this years Grade twelve class at ARHS. Both my children and my husband, as well as many good friends were in the audience. Here is what I had to say:

Lots of times people ask you, “What would you tell your younger self?” That is , at forty or fifty if you could go back and give your younger self advice what would you say. To be honest I never thought much about it until I was asked to speak to you tonight.
As I wrote out what I wanted to say to you here in this place, as you graduate, and go out in the world I thought a lot about who I was as a young woman, both what I believed and what I needed to hear and this is what I came up with:

When I was young, your age, I knew some of these things, but some of them I have come to know later.

Know how truly beautiful you are.
They say beauty is wasted on the young because you don’t know how truly beautiful you are. To those of us in our forties and beyond, each of you is pretty, each of you is handsome. You have not been blemished by time and wrinkles, but you will be. Every day you look in the mirror appreciate the good you can see, your young skin, your bright eyes, and don’t take it for granted. Enjoy it for it is fleeting. Stop being hard on yourself, and appreciate it . Youthfulness is the gift you have right now, know that you will not own it forever. It comes and it goes and it is meant to be savoured.

2. Feed Your Spirit.
We are constantly told to feed our minds and our bodies but society has basically stopped telling us to feed our spirits. You , right here and now, are more than just a body in a chair. You have a soul, and spirit inside of you that is both sacred. It is the part of you that never grows old yet it is ancient. You will need to nurture that spirit inside you as you go through life. As we face challenges it is that quiet space inside of us that will rise up to meet us and help us along the way. Find the source that you need to feed your spirit. For me it is through prayer. You will find your own way, just make sure you remember that sacred part of yourself for you will need it.

3. Create the Life You Want
All kinds of people will tell you what you should do but no one really knows what you outta do. Listen to the advice of those you love and respect but always make your own decisions. If you don’t know what to do next, just do something. Learn something, be active and engaged. Do not go down your parents basement and spend a winter playing video games. Always work always learn, and take a few chances because all those turns in the road will add up to your life.

Most likely your future, what you end up doing, where you end up living will be a big surprise. Be open to the twists and turns that arise. Some of you are on a straight path and will end up exactly where you plan to go. But those of you are the gifted few. The rest of us are blessed in another way and we need to be open to the possibilities. We have to remain curious and learn and discover where we are going by being open to the possibilities that surround us. I was really impressed this year when a young business student I know took a job working with autistic children. I loved his willingness to follow his spirit and try something that was off the beaten path for him. Maybe he’ll discover something totally different about himself, maybe this decision will change his life. Or maybe it won’t. Either way he will know. I say to you remain curious in the next few years and through out your life. Curiosity makes like more interesting. Be open to change, because it to is interesting.
Don’t expect your path to be easy because for many it isn’t but still it is beautiful and we are put here to experience this beauty.

4. Honour your parents
Right now take a moment to honour them. Your parents are your home base, they are your compass. They are passionate about you and they more than anyone else in the world believe in your goodness.
Yes I know They may have made mistakes. My parents did with me, and I did with my children. Plenty of them. But I know that parents try hard, and that they do the best they can with what they have to give. So as you take control of your future, and I encourage you to do that, to make your own choices, not the choices of your parents, always repsect and honour your them for they have got your back.
…and when they text you at one in the morning answer them. They just want to know you are okay.

5.Remember Where You Came From
Never ever, never ever forget where you came from and the community that raised you. Always come back home. We are the community that loved you and we are the community that is waiting for your return.
Please , always speak well of the place and the people that rallied around you, always let your compass guide you back here, for no matter where you go, what you learn, how successful you become, this place here, is home, and with all it’s humility it will remain your home.
And remember this, wherever you go, this community loves you.
We love you now and we’ll love then.

IMG_1157
IMG_1160

 

My friend Aline filmed the talk and if you would like to watch it you can click on this link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9IydAL15CIqU2U5RVJXejNyN1k/preview

Catherine Bussiere: week end

attending a workshop on medicinal herbs
I learned that the burdock root is not only eatable
but tastes as good as parsnip
that plantain is good for bites
and flower tea can be brewed by the sun
with leaves and flowers
collected from the lawn

went to visit someone who saves seeds
has a greenhouse
which is
at the moment
filled with tall plants of all sorts
some flowering
others about to

before too long
seeds will be collected
then sowed early fall
various greens will grow through the winter
providing fresh nutrient
in the leanest time of year

got transplants at my nephews
( they have big greenhouses )
tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants
contemplating the promise of wholesome food
rows and rows of greenery of all size
I get some lemon basil too

saw my niece who has an 8 months belly
little baby boy soon to be born
her first
she glows

spring time
some days already feel like summer

1Q9A0432

1Q9A0441

1Q9A0467

1Q9A0486

1Q9A0474

Catherine Bussiere: Jenn & Cadence

it’s a cool morning
chances of frost last night
I decided yesterday to wait a couple more days before I transplant my sunflowers
I did transplant kale last week
my greenhouse is full of it
I like to let some plants go to seeds in the greenhouse
at the moment I have a carpet of young kale, dill, cilantro, and the odd lettuce

I woke up early this morning
sun right onto my bed
I finished a book that I had read a few years back
I like to reread sometimes
some books are like friends that you need to visit every now and then

I pulled the blankets off
– chilly –
I put them back on in a hurry
I assess the situation
t-shirt on the dresser, sweater near by, those cozy leggings that I could wear one more day
a farmhouse can be cooler in the spring then in the middle of winter
either you’re out of wood or you feel it’ll warm up soon enough, no need for fire
the wood stove is going on a diet

I visited my friend Jenn and her daughter Cadence a couple days ago
both will celebrate their birthday this week
one will be six, the other 35
I came to have this ongoing discussion about age
I was curious to know what Cadence had to say
she was thrilled to be interviewed

I have to tell you that Jenn is a potter
a few years back she left a secure job with Canada Post, build herself a cozy studio, and became a full time potter
she makes beautiful mugs, plates, bowls, vases, you name it
she started off selling at the local farmers market
when I visited her she had just completed a big order for a shop in PEI

Of course Jenn isn’t only a potter
she’s a mom, a gardener, a cook, she weaves, sows and knits, she teaches, she dances, she plays
she smiles and laughs easily
a lovely person

In a way it wasn’t much of a surprise when I asked her about age and aging that really, she didn’t think much about it. Here is what she had to say:
“My goal in life is to be in every moment, so to think so far in the future,
which is what I think when I think of age; it ends at some point, and that’s why people think about it … If I get ideas in my head about getting older I just roll down my imaginary window and I throw them out (laugh) like I’m driving a car.”

“I think that there’s so many things to do there’s no possibility that I will ever get them all done. So I trust in myself to be doing the things that I wanna be doing and that’s as good as I can get. I think that’s the best I can do, and if I start not doing those, I feel it, I just don’t feel like I’m in a good place, so then I change them (laugh).
I don’t know if it’s a good thing, I can’t make myself sit still.”

You’re an older lady; how do you see yourself?

“I wanna be a roaming around the world 80 year old … I wanna be fearless.”
“I think about attachment and I don’t want to be attach to anything”

Nice

Wiggly Cadence in her seat, mini cup of tea in hands gracefully answered my questions. She too doesn’t think much about age. Obviously there’s better things to think about when you’re five. Like her big brother not letting her play nintento at the level she’d like, how many friends she will invite to her upcoming birthday, and that hen that has been sitting on eggs for days… So much things to think about.

Cadence

What does age mean?
“How old you are.”

What is old?
“31 is old”

Is there a number you’re excited about?
“ 12 “

Why?
“I just like that number”

Is there something special that happens when you’re 12?
“well … it’s my birthday”

Jenn: what are you going to do when you are a grown up?
“ I will visit you sometimes “

mama’s heart swells, we drink more tea

I think I will visit someone today.

1Q9A0292

1Q9A0295

1Q9A0330

1Q9A0344

Catherine Bussiere: homecoming

it’s been one week today
one week actually yesterday, we arrived on a Saturday
the first two nights I’d wake up in the middle of the night wondering where I was
trying to figure out how our windows fitted in what I thought was my Moroccan room

then I slept better and slept a lot
jet lag I guess and recovering from the journey itself
as if I didn’t realize my batteries were low and needed a full charge

the weather has been wonderful and tons of snow have melted in the past week
I started cleaning up the greenhouse
pruned around an apple tree
got a piece of ground ready to plant garlic

the ice on the pond is still holding but there is an opening near the beavers house
I saw the beavers come out looking for grubs
I should bring them my apple clippings

I saw a couple deers in the orchard and in the garden
I was happy about that
I heard form my neighbor that there are three dead ones in our woods
winter’s been hard

I visited a friend and she has some work for me
I went to a community talk on wild edibles and met a few acquaintances
we’ve shared a meal with family members, made tagine and drank some wine

slowly, bit by bit, as familiar motions take place
I am getting home
it’s been a long journey after all

ps. people are asking about highlights from the trip, there are so many, here are a some visual highlights

pps. I am planing on doing a blog series about women and age. I want to keep that conversation going.

 

DSC_0285 DSC_0302 DSC_0089 DSC_0045 DSC_0059 DSC_0336

DSC_0108alambra DSC_0029 DSC_0062 DSC_0063 DSC_0201 DSC_0210 DSC_0238 DSC_0243

 

Catherine Bussiere: Home

it was a long journey
we almost missed our last connection Montreal – Halifax
but all and all it went really well
several hours of transit brought us to a sunny Nova Scotia spring afternoon
where Isaac and Haley kindly picked us up at the airport and brought us home

the mud road to our house is overrun by melting snow
little rivers everywhere eating away at the mud
I’m impressed with the amount of snow left to melt

we walk in the house
it’s warm, and has the smell of a cottage that has been left alone for a season
Sam got here the day before to get things going
the fire is crackling, flies are buzzing in the windows
I will get the vacuum out later to take care of those

it’s interesting to walk around
everything looks quite good
a cd case left near a window is washed out, bleached by the sun
the trip “to do list” is still on the kitchen table
most of the items are crossed off
I guess we did what had to be done

Eric goes to the basement
he had made a batch of wine before we left
6 months later we are ready to try it
celebrate our return
the wine is tasty

our cats are back too
they look quite content
Grammy took good care of them
they each carry a few extra pounds
round purring ball of fur they are

it will take a few days to fully settle in
we’re back
it seems somewhat unreal after being on the road for months
seeing and meeting and experiencing so much
time to reflect
time to embrace a new season
time to look for work!

DSC_0001 DSC_0002 DSC_0004

 

Catherine Bussiere: Blue Kaouki

Blue Kaouki
it’s the name of a hotel
in Sidi Kaouki
long beach, pounding waves, surfers, camels, goats, dogs with teeth that mean it
travelers, campground, hotels, restaurants, surf shack, bicycles
low key
laid back
lovely

our job here is to welcome clients, make breakfast (on the rooftop patio), keep the place tidy
easy

there has only been few clients at a time
only so much to do
we end up chatting, hanging out throughout the day
sharing a little of our lives
I love it
we met a few germans, some english folks, a lovely french couple

Claudia turned 30 while she was here
the big three o
on Friday the 13th
I made her some nice fluffy pancakes with honey syrup
good start to her day

I like this job of easing people’s morning
serve coffee and fresh pressed orange juice
flip an egg
serve that delicious Moroccan bread
(it is delivered warm around 8 every morning)

we will be here until the end of our trip
over the next four weeks
I’ll introduce you to some of our clients
a snapshot and a quote
(yes, yes, I am inspired by humans of New York, the clever idea is not mine)
here’s the first

Drusilla

This lady came in with a cane, luggage and bottles of wine. She told me her doctor told her not to travel. She has been coming to Morocco for years. She is now writing a novel that takes place here. She likes to write at night with a glass of wine and a cigaret. Classic.

What do you like about Morocco?
– I like the people. People don’t care about how you look. They care about who you are.

What makes you happy?
– The lack of pain.

What bugs you?
– Rudeness

DSC_0026 DSC_0030 DSC_0034 DSC_0050

Catherine Bussiere: Chaouen blues

On the ferry we saw the edge of the Rif mountains
Africa
looking for a culture shock
looking for extra heat

we had been told many things
the cabs, the haggling, the food, the art, the hospitality
go to: Chefchaouen, Fes, Marrakech
do this, don’t do that
and
it won’t be much warmer

we experienced the cab first thing
an old Mercedes
the grand taxi
from Tangier port to the city
a good half hour drive
full speed

as soon as we step out a young boy is offering us direction
I know where I am going
I have my map
it’s around the corner
still he is one step ahead of me
pointing to where I am going
I tell him I have no money
which is true, I will need to find a bank first thing to get some local change
it doesn’t make any difference
one step ahead of me he goes

we’re at the hostel
still the boy and now another one are waiting around for us to be done with checking in
they want to take us to their uncle or other relative for dinner
we are exhausted and just want to settle in
it has been a long day
the clerk who knows them shoos them off

welcome to Morocco

Next day Chefchaouen or like people say Chaouen
the blue city
the Medina (the old city) is so pretty
just big enough to think you may get lost
but really, small, so you don’t

cats are everywhere
most of them look good
I think it’s a good sign
our hosts at the Riad are most welcoming
our house is your house
truly

we venture around
I click away
every door, every step
every shade of blue
catches my eye

there are shops everywhere
everything is beautiful
I don’t dare let my eye linger too much
the vendors know
they will catch me
once your caught it’s hard to get out

eventually I get caught
come to see this carpet shop one says
I will take you there
innocently I go
sure, let’s have a peak
we are treated the royal way
the place is large
mounds and mounds of carpets and blankets
all of them absolutely gorgeous
two men are busy picking several out to show
unrolling them on the floor
tea is offered
we agree
it’s a ritual
it’s also a trap

I really didn’t have any intention of buying anything that day
I was going to be smart and inform myself first
I had been told to bargain
I was not going to buy anything big
we are backpacking

you see where this is going

a couple hours later I came out with a large carpet
two small ones
and two blankets

did I bargain?
no
I couldn’t get myself to do it
the craftsmanship shown to me was so beautiful
how could I undermine it

later I felt a bit like a fool
my daughter and I, on another walk, got caught in a different shop
the vendors are so slick
so nice
like fine fisherman, they know how to hook you and slowly get you in
I am the biggest fish around
he offers prices that are way below what I just paid
I feel tired, I had enough
we manage to get out of this one empty handed

my daughter tells me what we got was way better
thanks Charlotte

there is much to adjust culture wise
as a foreigner I don’t want to offend anyone
we are in Muslim country
what do I know
much to learn

we are in Fes today
biggest Medina in the world
this time we will get lost

here are some Chaouen photos
enjoy

DSC_0014 DSC_0029 DSC_0030 DSC_0037 DSC_0038 DSC_0039 DSC_0043 DSC_0052 DSC_0156 DSC_0161 DSC_0182 DSC_0198 DSC_0202

 

 

Catherine Bussiere: la Taha

two more days until our visa expires

on another journey we go

this one has been good

the kind of good that makes you feel like you could stay a few more days or a few more months

that you could easily slip into this community

be yet one more wanderer that stumbled upon this place and never left

we have found generous people

that took us in

shared what they had

made us feel at home

tomorrow we will cook a big gumbo

invite a few neighbors

make one last almond cake

today we will go for another walk

maybe not the great big one we had planned on

but at least a little one

I was hoping to see almond blossoms before we left

even the trees in their greatness granted me my wish

DSC_0052 DSC_0053 DSC_0056 DSC_0057 DSC_0061 DSC_0064 DSC_0065

Catherine Bussiere: Atalbeitar

long days, short week
where does the time go
officially by 9am we should all start working
it’s about right, más o menos quince minutos

Alma goes to school
she is four years old
has curly blond hair
and the features of an angel
morning revolves around getting her to the bus in time
like any other household with a child in school

there is a breath of relief, a sense of achievement, when she is off
we did it again
we can go on with our day

a long list of various task is written on a large piece of paper pinned to the kitchen door
everyone has something to do
sanding, painting, fixing, building
ongoing maintenance of a restored house
very different from our house
this house has rocks for roofing
the ceiling of my bedroom is made of large beams holding a wooden structure that supports loads of rocks
the walls are made of blocks of cement covered with plaster
it enable a creative person to shape them as they wish
to insert rounded selves and small alcoves
I quite like it (I love it)
I want a house like that

it is snowing this morning
first snow we see on our trip
we are way up in the Sierra Nevada mountain range
it’s not unusual to have a little snow this time of year

although Christmas has gone by this snow makes us feel like Christmas

everyday we go for a walk
this village is tiny
it has a church, a bar (run by a gentleman named Jesus) and a handful of houses
most of the time you won’t see anyone in the streets except for cats
I have been thinking there may be more stray cats then people living here
I’m not too far off

the houses are all white
every year they get a fresh coat of lime wash
apparently it has antimicrobial properties
you can spot the villages from a distance
white slashes on the mountains

I like it here
every single time we go for a walk I end up picking either: almonds, walnuts or chestnuts off the ground
mostly almonds
people grow almonds around here
I keep writing this word: almond, because it pretty much blows my mind
it’s a dream come true
picking almonds off the ground, cracking the shells with a rock and eating them
I can scratch that off my bucket list
but I don’t want to
I want to live in a place where I can have an almond tree

do you think I could have one in my greenhouse?

time for another cup of tea
it’s Sunday, it’s snowing, I might just go bake an almond cake

DSC_0016 DSC_0080 DSC_0085 DSC_0112 DSC_0120 DSC_0154 DSC_0155 DSC_0167 DSC_0168 DSC_0454 DSC_0456 DSC_0474 DSC_0475 DSC_0502 DSC_0515

Catherine Bussiere: walking

one of the thing I like about being in this city is that I can walk to places
walk to get fruits and veggies, meat, bread
walk to the theater, to the museum, to the park
walk to the beach and even to a hill top high enough to overlook the whole city and beyond
we’ve been walking several km a day pretty much each day since we got to Barcelona
I love it every time

here’s what caught my eye

DSC_0192 DSC_0209 DSC_0210 DSC_0214 DSC_0216 DSC_0235 DSC_0248 DSC_0265 DSC_0332 DSC_0333 DSC_0335 DSC_0342 DSC_0348 DSC_0349 DSC_0358 DSC_0360 DSC_0363 DSC_0364 DSC_0366 DSC_0368 DSC_0374 DSC_0377 DSC_0379 DSC_0380 DSC_0381

 

Catherine Bussiere: Christmas

December 21st
it’s hard to believe
I see the Santas here and there
a few decorations
but really walking around Barcelona
wearing a light shirt under a sunny sky
I don’t feel like Christmas is in a very few days

My son Sam joined us this week
we had said good bye to the hills of Provence
spent a day in Marseille
got off the bus really early one morning in the city of Gaudí
and a few days later Sam was here, on our door step
not in my computer talking to me on skype
but right there in front of me
sleepily standing between his brother and sister who picked him up at the airport
Could I possibly want anything else
my three babies for Christmas
my three adult babies
maybe that’s even more special

Barcelona is great and I should tell you all about it
but in a way
at this point in our trip
it is more like a shell that holds us all
a beautiful shell I must say
it is where we get together as a family for a precious amount of time
where we walk and talk
shop (mostly for food) and cook and drink
laugh and snuggle
where we just hang out and enjoy being together

it is precious isn’t it
once the kids grow up
once life takes us apart
when we all fly our own direction
to be able to take the time
make a pause
and reconnect with our dear ones

of course there’s always someone missing
make that a plural
my son’s fiancé
our moms and dads
brothers and sisters
nieces and nephews
the list goes on

But for what I have I am thankful

I wish you who may read this blog a happy Christmas
I wish you to spend time with anyone who is dear to you
may it be family or friend, make the best of it
Merry Christmas!

DSC_0002 DSC_0008 DSC_0015 DSC_0039 DSC_0040 DSC_0047 DSC_0052 DSC_0057 DSC_0069 DSC_0085 DSC_0346 DSC_0375

 

Catherine Bussiere: Mr. Robert

monsieur Robert
is a gentleman
of provencal decent

at 82 (almost three)
he embodies
the essence of his time

one short meeting
and we are invited to his dwelling on the hill
an offer to a typical meal follows

salade sauvage is on the menu
excited we walk alongside the wise men through the olive grove
looking for a leaf an another that really
to me
looks like dandelion

the cabanon is simple and oh so cozy
in the corner an open fire burns
I – love – the – fire – place
it looks like olden days
later he will put a grill on the coals and roast some lamb chops
cooking on an open fire in an open room
I want this

Monsieur Robert speaks provencal
he speak french with a southern accent like everyone here
but he also speaks provencal
which has it’s own twist and flavor and sounds a little spanish to me
way cool

the meal starts with “l’apéro”
today an anise liqueur diluted in water
one may add currant syrup and call it “une tomate”
one could add mint syrup instead and call it “un perroquet”
fruit or bird it’s a good way to start off

we try anchoïade on croutons
anchoïade is an anchovy paste mixed with garlic and olive oil
yes, it is salty
and what is salty is also tasty
and addictive
add needs to be washed down with “l’apéro”
one must know how to dose
it’s all good

Monsieur Robert made us a “gratin dauphinois”
the french are very clever in naming dish
all sounds terribly fancy
when in fact all is mostly terribly rich
a gratin dauphinois is a potato casserole with lots of cream, some garlic
it is topped with cheese and if that was not enough Monsieur Robert likes to finish off with a yolk glaze
now we all have to agree that gratin dauphinois does sound regal
and it is
hence the spelling

Monsieur Robert treats us well
the chops are cooked to perfection
wine is served
conversation flows
all are content

then
after a little while
when we think we are done
one realize we forgot the salad
“Oh mon Dieu!” we can’t skip the wild one
and so it is washed and dressed and we all get a good portion

at the table I am facing: my daughter Charlotte, my son Isaac and his beautiful fiancée Haley
as we are all eating the most bitter salad we ever got to taste
(imagine a full bowl of dandelion leaves)
I refrain a growing amount of laughter from cascading out
everyone’s face is slightly distorted as we chew
it simply tastes awful
to our palate lets be clear
we’re just not use to this
we all do our best and mostly finish it all
Monsieur Robert, innocently asks us how we like it
he knows
secretly he is having fun with us Canadian

hours later after coffee, a shot of Chartreuse, some ice cream
after the game of Rugby
on tv
Toulon won
that was a good thing
hours later we leave
cheek, cheek, kiss, kiss
with this provencal saying:
“À l’an que vèn ! Se sian pas mai, que siguen pas mens”
which means:
“Until next year! If we are not more, let’s not be less”

Thank you monsieur Robert

DSC_0440 DSC_0446 DSC_0451 DSC_0452 DSC_0458

new this week: a french post on my website

 

Catherine Bussiere: Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse: a traditional Provencal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille.

I can’t say how long I’ve wanted to eat bouillabaisse
growing up I read Marcel Pagnol, a god amongst Provencal literature
his series: Marius, Fanny, Cesar take place in the heart of Marseille where Cesar, a lively choleric character, runs a bar
the world of Pagnol is a world like any: family, friends, love, foes, food, drinks
it is lively, it is flavorful, the language sings
it is french from the south, from the sea, with accent, punctuation, words like no others
The bouillabaisse is a classic dish from this part of the world
as it requires specific fish and spices one can really only eat the “real thing” here

Friday night we were invited to a party of ten at “la table D’eux” restaurant to eat the famous soup
and I was excited
as we walked into the restaurant I was taken aside right away to the kitchen to see a basin filled with odd looking fish covered with garlic, saffron and who knows what

Our host have been fantastic
we help out all week
we’ve mostly been cleaning up the olive grove; mowing, chopping, making it nice
we get a lovely place to stay, the best grocery, (I have a tab at the boucherie where I’ve been trying all sorts of local specialties)
and on Friday we go out

Now we could just go out and eat but Geraldine (she likes to be called Gerry but Geraldine is so pretty and she does look a little bit like Geraldine Chaplin) goes above and beyond
She knows we are curious so she makes sure to introduce us to the locals
She arranged a couple tours to local olive mills
Took us out to try the Beaujolais nouveau

In the kitchen of the restaurant the mother of the cook explains to me how the soup is made
the various fish have been sitting in a wonderful mixture of spices for hours
The broth is made
veggies are cooked
one by one, depending on their size, the fish will be added at the last minute so they cook to perfection

in the restaurant the table is set
as we wait we are treated to a few rounds of sparkling wine to celebrate Isaac and Haley’s engagement
the traditional plate of charcuterie sits on the counter
someone tells me to try this and that
I try everything

We are now ready to hit the table
Bouillabaisse has a special order of thing
first the broth is served pipping hot topped with rouille spread on croutons
rouille is like a spicy homemade mayonnaise with garlic and saffron

The broth is heavenly
rich, flavorful
the crouton soak just enough of the broth for an easy chew
the rouille tops it all
I am in heaven

Then comes two huge platters of fish
it has all those crazy fish I saw earlier in the kitchen plus mini crabs, mussels and squid
I try everything
Next you place any of the fish you want in your plate
grab a few potatoes if you wish and cover that with the broth that has been kept hot

we all go for several rounds
wine keeps filling our glasses
our bellies are getting fuller and fuller
there is so mush fish to be eaten

several hours later
that’s the way it goes here
a proper meal takes hours
the fish is gone and we are served an expresso followed by a few shots of Lemoncello
jolly and filled to the rim we exit the restaurant with kisses on the cheek to the cook, his mom, the waitress

another meal in Provence gone by
I am looking forward to next Friday
DSC_0381 DSC_0386 DSC_0387 DSC_0396 DSC_0403 DSC_0405 DSC_0407 DSC_0412 DSC_0413 DSC_0421 DSC_0422

 

Coffee with Deanne Episode Five

Well here is another one….I am really having fun doing these videos. I guess you may have noticed I am doing these instead of writing right now. At least for a little while.

This weekend is our big Grand Opening of Thirty Church : The Women’s Store so I am excited about that. We have a ribbon cutting with the mayor at 11:30 on Saturday.

This fall has been really exciting. On Monday we had a book launch with The Bethany Group in Halifax. It was an honour to be received by them and hosted. We all had a good time.

Today I plan to hook, and order wool in the afternoon but I am working in the women’s store in the morning. I love to be busy in the days and follow that with quiet evenings to replenish.

GrandOpening-2

Catherine Bussiere: Belgentier

it is later Sunday
almost 9pm
it was a busy week end
yesterday Eric, Isaac and I went for a nice long hike
about 18km up a cliff and mostly up and down a nature path that took us through forest, ruins and some fantastic stone pillars called “les aiguilles” (the needles)

the walk also took us to a monastery, closed this month, where the monks are famous for a liqueur they make called Chartreuse
apparently only three monks know the recipe
it involves about 130 different herbs
we were hoping to get some
maybe we will if they open their doors in December

Today we had a car so we took advantage of it and visited Toulon, Cassis and “les calanques”
Toulon had a great outdoor market
I bought some olives, fruits and veggies
we stopped at a bakery
every bread here, even the various forms of Baguettes have a name
I can’t tell you
I look at them all and say this one and that one
and maybe this one too
they are all so good
I could make a whole blog about that

My brother told me before I left that the bread was better here then back home
and so was the butter
now we do make really good bread home and have quite a variety
but the butter
it is so good
like it’s sweet, maybe less salty, maybe it’s the milk
I don’t know
the butter is very very good

The thing about the bread is that every single bakery I tried so far was great
The one in the village here makes the most decadent almond croissant
it has more than just a little almond paste in it
it is filled with this gooey almond mush that makes your knees go weak
so good
People buy bread everyday
it’s part of the daily routine
the baguette under their arm
totally true
daily
also bread and chocolate
you will often see kids being picked up from school chewing on some pain au chocolat

there, I was barely going to talk about this and you got me going
bread and butter
never had so much of both
I could also talk about the cheese but not right now
(so amazingly good if you love cheese)

what else
there were many highlight this week like trying the Beaujolais Nouveau at the local bar
that was fun
you order a glass and in comes a whole plater of charcuterie to go with it
after four glasses and as many plater you feel like you may just consider moving permanently to this lovely place

on Friday our host invited us to the other bar in town where the special was “moules frittes” (mussels and fries)
the fries were some of the best I’ve ever eaten
large cuts perfectly golden
crunchy and tender
the mussels were serve in a lovely little pot
they were bathing in a large quantity of broth made with generous amount of cream, wine, onions and secret spices
I had a word with the cook
I said please pretty please would you let me sit in one of these days and watch you cook
he said ok
he loves to cook and could tell I love it too
I can’t wait

DSC_0210 DSC_0220 DSC_0226 DSC_0237 DSC_0243 DSC_0254 DSC_0257 DSC_0263 DSC_0270 DSC_0303 DSC_0304 DSC_0316 DSC_0302 DSC_0321

 

Catherine Bussiere: highlights

when one doesn’t know where to start; start with highlights
Paris is already gone by and I barely said a thing busy we were soaking it up
and before Paris there was Canterbury
didn’t even mention that did I
images are worth a thousand word, I will use this

Canterbury: awe, solemnity, beauty, moved to tears when I entered the crypt
why?
I think the sense of time, history, people, us in some ways passing through, achievement, faith, war, love, peace
I don’t know
and didn’t need to think it
the feeling was there and was enough
I loved Canterbury
later on we went back to hear the choir
we went to mass
I never go to mass
it was beautiful
the whole ceremony punctuated by a mixture of voices all tones and range mixed in unison in this huge sacred place

that was Canterbury cathedral
highly recommended

then Paris
an overnight bus ride from London that took us on the ferry in the middle of the night
long and groggy is the feeling
in the middle of the night we go through border
the French one
I’m a little nervous again, borders tent to do that
Charlotte is ahead
the officer says “bonsoir”
she says “bonsoir”
he then says “and in the morning you say…”
She is puzzled for a second then responds “bonjour”
“and in the afternoon…”
that’s the trick question, one must know that to go through border
Charlotte answers: “bonne après-midi”

I go after Charlotte
He says: “Bonsoir”
“bonsoir”
“She looks like you”
“She’s my daughter”
the officer winks, stamps my passport, “Bon séjour”
off I go
I love France already

True things about Paris: people are not rude
or at least no more then anywhere else
also, I was under the impression that there would be dog droppings everywhere
that was an old rumor
Paris is clean, surprisingly clean
Paris highlights: everywhere you look is beautiful, the bakeries, la Seine, the multiple bridges, la tour Eiffel at night, walking and getting lost, our hosts
Paris was thrilling and exhausting
you just can’t help wanting more of it

We are now settled in a beautiful nook in Southern France
up against a cliff looking down valleys
olives trees lined up on “restanques” (dry-stone wall terraces)
a 2 km path takes us to the nearby village (and bakery)
today we’ll explore a different path that leads to a monastery
the monks are known to produce “Chartreuse” and honey
worth investigating

at this point in our trip we have been reunited with my son and his … fiancé!
he proposed in London about a week ago
sweethearts
so it’s five of us for the month in Provence
we will be clearing the orchard, helping out on the land
it is a country where thyme and rosemary grow wild
as my son said “herbes de Provence” could just as well be “weeds of Provence”
we love it

canterbury nightCanterbury 2Canterburypetit tout nu pétanquesversailleentréefenetretour eiffelcabanonolivier olives

Every year is a little different than the last

Dear Diary,

This time last year I was making tons of kits for Christmas at the coliseum in Moncton. Megan and I decided to do the show to promote the studio in the little city just north of us. We had a good time, sold lots of kits, and gave out over 1000 brochures and let people know we were here.

It was an experiment. I had not done a show in over ten years and I wanted to get the feeling of them again. Typically we over prepared and carried way too much stuff to Moncton but it was good to see what the general public felt about rug hooking. At my shop nearly everyone who comes in has already declared an interest. You are talking to the converted I suppose. When you head out to a show it is not as warm and easy going. Only a few people know about rug hooking, and fewer still know your history in the craft. It was a really great learning experience and I was reminded how much work it is for all those beautiful crafts people who carry their work from arena to arena to arena for craft shows. It is expensive as well to do those shows, and hard work. I have chosen to stay home this year and think of other ways to get the word out there about rug hooking. It is important to keep finding new rug hooker and getting young people interested in the craft.

Last year, Don Miller’s cousin, Lori Lever took the picture below of me at the show. She is a Halifax Photographer  and happened to be at the show and recently sent me the picture below.

I guess I find that craft shows are not the right place for me. Years ago I opted out of them because my children were little and travelling was difficult. Trying it again last year I found that I do not love doing them. I really like to make contact with people about rug hooking but I find it hard to just stand there all day to do so.

Every year is a little different than the last. This year I am not going to do a craft show. As you know I have started a new women’s wear store across the street and I plan to be very busy there leading up to Christmas. We are also going to do our Five Artist’s- One Studio again on November 15 the from 10 to 3 in the studio. I have made a series of small rugs for that that I have framed in the thin black modern frames. They look really good so far. There is still some to be framed. The other four artists are Roberta Hancock, Don Miller, Dan Walker, and Ghita Levin. It was sweet last year and we are hoping for good things again this year. We are hoping for Janie’s cinnamon buns for that day…Lorna is going to give her a call.

I am also planning a book launch in Halifax for Monday , November 24th. I’ll keep you posted on that. mark your calendar! It will be late morning, and the details will come.

deanne

Catherine Bussiere: Margate

Margate, seaside town
I love: the early quietness, the sounds of seagulls, the salty smell in the breeze
I love looking out at the sea
some morning there is no line between water and sky
variation of blues blend in one another
coming from Nova Scotia I should be use to this
but in Nova Scotia I don’t live by the sea
We are lucky this week to have a flat that looks onto it
and huge windows to boot

highlight of the week
a very long walk along stunning chalk cliffs
Chalk Cliffs
I didn’t know cliffs could be made of chalk
it feels like they should be all dissolved already
there is a castle sitting on an edge
it’s been made into condos
there are big walls protecting the cliff
to the water you’d go little castle

Broadstairs
it’s the name of a town
we walk all the way to it
highlights: pasties at the meat shop
ooooo the nice meat shop
something so nice about a shop that knows it’s business
we buy several pasties
pasties: take some dough, could be flaky, could be like pie dough, make it good either way. Add just about anything in the middle of that dough. Like a sausage, a burger with condiment, a whole breakfast: bacon and eggs and ketchup too, a beef stew, a beef stew with veggies, the list goes on…
I think the English invented a fantastic to go food
if it’s done well it is quite good
the ones we had were delicious
the best: an apple turnover loaded with apples

Other food highlights
because isn’t food an ongoing highlight when you travel
we have free tab at the local pizza shop
the ladies we are staying at and helping out are back in London and own a fine pizza place
they can’t cook for us, we get as much pizza as we want
by now we have tried all of them
by now we are a little sick of pizza
but, the one that stands out, because it is a combo I’ve never had before on the thinnest pizza dough I ever bitten into is the Blue Cheese and Pear
notice that I used capital letters for Blue Cheese and Pear
it’s that good

yesterday because we all had enough pizza I made a chicken pot pie
that was quite delicious
comfort food

what else
it was Halloween and plenty of local fireworks kept exploding everywhere
Friday and Saturday
???
November first is All Saint’s Day
Day of the dead in Mexico
I bet they have lots of fireworks there too
we don’t do that in Canada
November 5th will be Guy Fawkes day
all around England people will light big bond fire
to celebrate a failed attempt to blow up King James 1st
???
the poor guy was found maybe minutes before he was to light the fuse that was to blow up the houses of parliament
to the Tower of London you go!
and for your mischief we will light fires all over England forever
that was four hundred years ago

interesting how habits and customs come about

well I must go help and paint some more
maybe we’ll go on another big walk later today
few more days in Margate and off to Paris
oh la la
looking forward to croissant, cheese and wine

DSC_0044 DSC_0045 DSC_0066 DSC_0071 DSC_0082 DSC_0102 DSC_0110 DSC_0111 DSC_0113 DSC_0123 white cliff

 

 

Catherine Bussiere: bricks and tiles

it’s been over a week
of course, as one would expect, it feels like more
in a few days we have done various tasks
painting, cooking, sewing, gardening
done carpentry (not me, that’s what the “we” is for)
London helping our first host
helpx, did I mention it yet, look it up, it’s worth a peek

That was the work part
then we did what tourists do
we visited the: London museum, the British museum and the Tower of London
we walk and walk and walk
we got caught in major tourist jam
they have a place downtown London called Oxford circus
and that’s exactly what it is

some highlights:
as I turn around a corner, downtown, there in front of me is Big Ben
I knew it was big but somehow it was BIG, like bigger than I thought
The British museum entrance
I like these amazing huge entrance
that are so big it makes you feel enlighten
bigger than yourself
like you can pretend for a minute that you live there
that you are that important
it doesn’t matter that you are not; it’s that awe feeling
maybe because it was built by men
cathedrals are like that
something reverential about them
highlight

Then of course all the stuff in the museum
saying “stuff” should be criminal
I shouldn’t be using that word
so all of the amazing artwork, history, artifacts, …
is also overwhelming
there’s a feeling of unease
as in why are some of these very precious, sacred relics
why are they here
in the middle of Britain
when it is written how special they are to their place of origin
I gorge on them anyway
isn’t it what we do

highlights: seeing a few live Van Gogh, Monet, Seurat, Rousseau
walking, walking
eating some “proper” fish and chips
888,246 ceramic poppies in the Tower’s moat
words, words that I may not use and I have to adapt to
like “subway” stand for that underground pathway that goes from one side of a street to another
if you’re looking for transportation call it the “tube” or the “underground”
You “queue” if you’re standing in line
which actually is very french as we “faire la queue” for the very same thing

all and all it’s been a lot of fun and quite incredible for country folks like we are
to be immersed in a huge city
London

we just arrive in Margate for a whole other week of wonder
quite different it will be
and so much to look for
talk to you soon

Big Ben 2 art wow van gogh telephone stairs St Paul shadow seurat red moat red moat 4 red moat 3 red moat 2 monk london bridge entrance eagle downtown downtown 3 downtown 2 detail central hall budha British museum

 

 

paying attention to the what’s on the go right now

Dear Diary,

Yes, I am back to writing dear diary because I  feel as if I am writing to myself when I start like that. It is so much less intimidating. You will have noticed I am blogging less. I will keep trying to post once or twice a week.

I have to say I am excited about my new book…the best book yet…with out a doubt. Not only is it in hardcover but it is full of surprises and interesting instruction as well as my more personal writing. Simply Modern…I can hardly believe I wrote it.

My friend , Donny Miller, said one of the things he does not love abut me is that before I take time to appreciate one thing I am on to the next thing. We were talking early this fall, being honest with each other and that was his honesty with me. I really heard what he said. I was not like I did not know it. I know myself pretty good. I know that I might relish the moment but as soon as I do I move on to the next thing. It is a weakness and I plan to work on it. In fact I am working on it right now. Relishing my new book. Relishing the new store across the street. And it isn’t easy for me.

When I was in my thirties I sometimes thought that if I could do it, then it wasn’t a big deal. I took it for granted . That has since changed but I remain speedy. One thing done, on to the next. In my life there are lots of quiet and slower times but I am always thinking about the next thing. What should we do next? I think for the coming year, though I have some projects I am working on, it is important for me to think about how can this be the best?

That is what I did with my book., Simply Modern. I thought a lot about how it could be the best possible book. It is what I have done with my studio and it is what I want to do with our new womb’s clothing store, Thirty Church. I want to work on, instead of move on, taking Donnie’s advice seriously.

It isn’t easy for me. It’s a goal I suppose, to relish things more. To savour. Not to eat it all so fast that you barely get to taste it.

This is what I’ll start saying to myself…”Take yer time girl, yer not running a race.” or maybe I’ll try “Deanne , Deanne, don’t do it just because you can.” It is going to take some adjusting but this fall I want to savour, I want to relish, I want to love what I a;ready have, what has already been done for it is try;y beautiful; and it deserves my full attention.

 

IMG_4167

 

IMG_4169

 

IMG_4168

 

IMG_4175

Catherine Bussiere: thanks dinner

I am walking around this morning
I go to the lounge
it is another stunning morning
crisp, fresh, covered in dew
the lounge sits empty yet I can hear the rumor
yesterday the two tables were filled with friends, family, neighbors

before our trip and just for shear pleasure
we decided to host a thanks dinner
for your support, for looking after us, for your friendship

there is something I really like about hosting
sitting people around large tables
having counters filled with food and beverage
being outdoors on a rainy windy day
and not caring because of a warm sweater and good company

I love to mix people
to introduce and say, this is so and so, she is an artist, he is a gardener
the conversation rolls
glasses and bowls are being refilled
people relaxing, taking time, enjoying

It was busy, it was good
we were thankful and we were pleased

DSC_0044 DSC_0048 DSC_0056 DSC_0059 DSC_0060 DSC_0063 DSC_0065 DSC_0066 DSC_0067

You have to have each others back.

Some of my best friends I have had since high school. I love the fact that people have known me a long time. It wraps around me like a quilt. I enjoy making new friends, meeting new people but the comfort of those relationships that have outlasted your school girl whims, your irresponsibileness of your teenage years, and the self centred years that we all put in as we grew into ourselves fits like an old sweatshirt. You know it belongs on your back.

The girls I knew in high school, well we ran around together like a band of thieves (we never stole, just a metaphor). We were just tight looking out for each other. There were missteps along the way with each other as there are with young women. There were even years where we did not keep in touch.  Sometimes even now we go months or a year with out seeing each other but I still feel that they are in my corner. I still feel that one cup of tea after a long absence would fill the space between us.

Friendship needs to be easy at my age. It needs to be void of expectations, and we need understanding with out explanation.

Yesterday a friend came in and said she was going to the Jann Arden Concert in Moncton with two other good friends. They did not invite because they booked it in May and they knew that I would never commit to September in May. I just jumped in and said, “Can I come?” “Sure, get a ticket”. I got a third row seat all by myself but travelled with those guys and went to dinner with them. It never occurred to me I was not wanted, I just knew that they did not ask because I say no to lots of well planned events. I like to go on the spur of the moment. Jann Arden was great by the way. I was mocked for inviting myself. I admonished them for not inviting me. None of it was serious. We knew our roles and responsibilities having gone from play group to university with our children. Again, long old friendships.

Not to devalue the new ones. There is nothing more fun then hearing a new story. I love to hear someone new is moving to the community, and getting to know them. There is joy in discovery as well. In friendship you just have to be able to assume they care about you. You can’t go getting slighted too easy. You have to be quick to forgive. Honesty and understanding are necessary if you want to get past the first few years because once you do there is often an endurance that will sustain relationships for a long time.

 

IMG_3990

IMG_4027

IMG_4036

welcome to a new normal

This summer I took it pretty easy because I knew the fall was coming and there would be a lot of action both in my studio and with Thirty Church, The Women’s Store opening. I am glad I did make those day excursions this summer. I am glad I walked on the beach, read books and knit.

After two weeks of extreme busy “ness” : we opened a new store and with in a week I had to buy for the spring season. My own studio is always busy in September as well, I am on my first day of “normal”. I actually had time to drink my coffee this morning. I wore my jeans. I feel good. Yesterday I started missing my studio. I had not worked here for two weeks. That has never happened before.  Good to be reminded that things run without you.

Routine has been my mantra for years and it has been interesting to see it shaken up. I really liked it. It was good for me. Now as fall settles in I ‘ll work on creating some new routines but I think I will keep in mind that I do not need the same routine every day . Even as I write this I can hardly believe it. Me, a creature of habit, suddenly realizing that supper can be late, and a walk can happen later and it does not matter. There is such a thing as a new normal, and I can like that too.

Now with two businesses going there is no way I can be everywhere. Sometimes I am here, sometimes across the street. Well who knew I needed that. It makes me realize that things happen just as well with out me in the centre of it all, all the time. “My , My” she says to herself, ” things roll along quite good with out you. ” Isn’t that something we all need to know. How to step back. Who would ever guess that throwing myself in at full throttle and opening a new store would teach me that even if I cannot be two places at once, things can go really well.

We all like to feel important, it’s true. It is nice to be wanted but really we are all just passing through. Each of us has certain gifts that make us valuable, but not invaluable. It only feels like that. When we take a step back from things we make room for the gifts of others to emerge. We make space for new flowers to bloom. As much as I like a tangled garden, there is something undeniably lovely about a cultivated one too.

Shots from the last four weeks:

 

IMG_3968

IMG_3975

IMG_4016

IMG_4018

IMG_4022

IMG_4067

Catherine Bussiere: Back

I am back from a trip to Québec (again)
my mom was giving me her old car (not that old)
I have been without wheels all summer (that was fine)
but the freedom of a car (even an old one that isn’t that old)
is thrilling

it’s an overcast day in Beckwith this morning
we started the day with some of the most amazing almond chocolate croissants I’ve ever had
I picked them up in Trois-Rivières just before I left yesterday in a traditional french bakery
One must love art and tradition
that bakery is the embodiment of that
I must let everyone know in Trois-Rivières
such places must thrive
it’s called “Les Gâteries D’Oli”
Look it up if you’re ever there

I went out for my Sunday morning photo shoot
it’s the end of summer with some things in full maturity and some fading already
I go around my property so often
sometimes I don’t see things anymore
it takes a little walking around to get into it and find a few images that I like
sometimes you must work harder to be content

my Charlie cat follows me around
I have two cats
Buster and Charlie
they couldn’t be more different
in appearance and in temperament
Charlie is the embodiment of the independent cat
yet, pretending he is not, he is following me around
we just happen to go in the same direction (says he)

it is drizzling now as I am typing away
there’s always a little melancholia that follows my return from Quebec
leaving family, culture, language, … new found best croissant ever…

I’ll make tomato sauce later today
time to harvest!

DSC_0063 DSC_0064 DSC_0069 DSC_0076 DSC_0083 DSC_0086 DSC_0091 DSC_0096 DSC_0099 DSC_0100 DSC_0111 DSC_0113 DSC_0119 DSC_0121 DSC_0123 DSC_0125 DSC_0126

 

 

Playing Barbies

When I was fourteen I had to give up playing barbies, I did not want to. I just knew I had to because I was getting too old for it. I felt embarrassed that I was still playing. I used to make my own clothes for them. Mostly simple wrap dresses with belts. It was though I did not know it at the time a creative outlet for me. I loved it but I felt pressure to stop. What was a fourteen year old doing playing Barbies?

Today it occurred to me, on the second day of opening, Thirty Church, The Women’s Store across the street from my studio that I had found a way to play Barbies again, it just now that they come in all shapes and sizes.

Men know of course, that all women are beautiful. Women, themselves sometimes forget, that all of us, all our shapes and sizes are wondrous. Size six, or sixteen, it does not matter as long as you are healthy, happy and embrace yourself. We can spend far too much time wishing we had another body shape when in fact the one we have gets us up in the morning and carries us around all day. For that I am grateful. Grateful for every little, or big, bit of myself. I am not trying to make an excuse to eat a bag of kettle cooked chips . I am just trying to stay realistic about myself and be comfortable in my own skin. Watching women the last few days I see so much beauty in that, being comfortable with yourself.

In the last few days I have dressed so many lovely women in all shapes and sizes and I am reminded why I loved playing Barbies. It is so fun to see a woman go into the dressing room with items, then pop out all dressed up, looking good. Women can look so good in clothes. The right colour can brighten their eyes. The right style can turn her into dynamite. I saw it happen today in fact.

Clothes are just clothes of course, but I know that when a woman feels that she looks good, she feels good about herself. Sometimes it is just a simple necklace, or a scarf tossed over a shoulder, perhaps a bright pop of colour that brings an outfit to a new place.Sometimes it is the right cut that brings out the best of her shape. I am new at this and I am learning. I am learning that I love a new adventure, that I love seeing a woman take pride in herself and feel good about what she has on. I am learning that every shape has things that suit it. All women are beautiful. Those men are so smart. Wouldn’t they love to hear that? Don’t tell them. Let’s keep it to ourselves.

P.S. I drew a new rug on the frame today and I have my knitting at the Women’s Store. So no worries I am still at it. 

IMG_3959

 

IMG_4007
IMG_4036

IMG_4048

 

IMG_4049

 

Thirty Church: The Women’s Store is opening soon

So if you are wondering what I have been up to I can fill you in here! Today I bought the flowers for outside….I have been busy trying to get everything read for the new women’s store across the street. I bought some cedar trees just like a city store. The inventory has come in and we plan to open next week. We are getting so so close.

I feel like a child with a new amazing toy.

Thirty Church : the Women’s Store  looks beautiful. You can like us on Facebook at :https://www.facebook.com/thirtychurch

We’ll have a website up in the next month or so we hope.

I did though sew some backing on the frame and finished a set of small rugs this week.  I knit four rows today but my ball of yarn is tangled. Do you think that a sign?

Harry the Printer is on his way down the street with an opening soon sign. My goodness I am so excited. I just had to tell you that I am thinking of you and that I am still hooking and knitting and creating beauty everyday.

I hope you are too.

IMG_4045

 

IMG_4046

Catherine Bussiere: Festival in Beckwith

there is plenty going on in August
people getting married, trips, reunions, festivals

Festivals!

do you know about the Beckwith Bash
I did mention it last August and now a whole year has gone by
yes, the time has come again
yoga, drums, music, gumbo, baklavas
the works
there is a lot to do but it’s a lot of fun and it’s next Saturday
August 16th
on our property in Beckwith

On my to do list:
make roux (for the gumbo)
paint signs
get the art shack ready for kids

if you are in Cumberland County it’s worth a drive
look for the yellow signs in Port Howe
and outside of Oxford

for the line up and more info click Beckwith Bash

getting ready lounge stage hula buster tarping tent city small drummin property Beckwith Bash

Legends in their own time…. Kaffe Fasset and Brandon Mabley came to town

Sometime in the eighties I came across the work of Kaffe Fasset and like most of the people who see it I was stunned. Over the years I ran into it again and again and always I was inspired when I saw it. Mostly , like an artist I wanted to deconstruct it. I looked at the layers of colours , the materials used and tried to  see how he did what he did. That is how artists often look at other artists work.

After reading his biography, A Life in Colour, in 2012, when Megan Ingman asked me if we could bring anyone to town, without hesitation I said Kaffe Fasset. His biography told the story of his life and his art and I was interested in meeting him. I liked the way he created so much and there was so much abundance in his work. I knew he had to work fast and instinctually and that is the kind of artist I am most interested in. I was not dissapointed.

I think that if anyone has any questions about  craft being art Kaffe Fasset has already answered them in his work. He is an artist with a vivid imagination. He makes knitting art.  It was great to have him in town for five days. He did a talk on Friday night with a slideshow at the Baptist Church. Because of the stained glass windows and the evening light filtering in we could not see the colour as well but that was no fault of theirs. Still people had a good time. He talked mainly about his inspiration for colour and how he found it .

The bonus of having Kaffe is that Brandon Mabley his studio partner joined him on this tour.  Brandon is  as astute and sensitive an artist as I have ever met. He sees and he does, it is as simple as that. Together they create art quilts, needle point, rugs, paintings, drawings, knitting, the list goes on. They have been partners in the studio for nearly twenty five years and they work together daily with immense respect for each other.

The following four days were workshops. Three on Colour with Kaffe and Brandon and one on knitting with Brandon.  Before they came to town I had no assumptions about how it might go. I just assumed they were artists who when not teaching would want to do their own thing. My job was to get them here so they could do the workshops. It turned out that my job was also to feed them, and in doing so I got to enjoy their company every night. We’d eat a good home made supper at my house then sit and do handwork for an hour or two. It was lovely.

The workshops themselves used rag rugging as they refer to it to help you understand colour. What they wanted was to help people identify colour and use it in their mats freely and easily. They were not the typical workshops we are used to where it is a bit of a free for all. One woman said, “You just have to be ready for it, this is a workshop with a true artist, not someone from your local guild.”  Those were her words not mine! 

I knew what she meant. You were working in the presence of a master, some who had devoted his whole life to colour and textiles. It wasn’t just a hobby for him it was the meaning of his life. He used textiles art to express himself, to create meaning in his life, to show himself to the world. Together they played a good cop , bad cop role with Kaffe being the task master and Brandon softening the blows.  They wanted people to get right down to work. They played lively music through out the day and they discouraged talking. As Brandon said in his knitting workshop, “Don’t ask the woman next to you, ask me, that’s why I am here.” He explained to me that he wanted people to get into their projects and he did not want their rhythm to be interrupted. They worked hard all day. It was the same in the colour workshops, they discouraged chatting, no time was wasted with introductions and where you are from, they just got right down to business. It was a workshop about being an artist because that is what being an artist is really like. You put your head down and go at it, diligently and sometimes with fervour. You work alone mostly and you let the rhythm of your work and the colours lead you.

This was a shock for some who have attended. As rug hookers we are used to a gab fest. Kafffe and Brandon really promoted a quiet environment where you worked diligently along. The harder and faster you hooked the happier they were.  Everyone agreed it was an experience, and the majority loved it. A few were taken aback or imagined that it would be different. Most people who came had been planning it for almost a year. It was an event in our community and I am proud that I got to host it. Just spending the day with someone who has contributed so much to creativity in textiles was the experience. As one participant Sally Austin said, “Really, it is just about hanging out with Kaffe.” If you read his books you would quickly learn that the way the workshop was presented was how he works himself. He looks outside of himself for colour and pattern inspiration and that is what he was trying to inspire the participants to do.

For me I can tell you it was a beautiful week because I got to spend time with two great artists who know so much about the textile industry. They were generous and sharing of their thoughts and ideas. They were easy to please and to feed. On the third night I said, “Tomorrow I can get you lobster.” They said , ” Sure.” but as the conversations continued it came out that they’d be just as happy with chicken. They did not want to put me out and did not need  a fuss. Chicken it was. I liked that very much. Simplicity and ease.

The week was an definitive experience for everyone who particpated , including me. I learned stuff. On the last night when Brandon and Kaffe took Megan and Denny out to dinner we were talking about knitting and I said something about my yarn getting tangled, Kaffe, the tall man that he is was standing over the table and in a very firm and clear voice he pointed at me and said , “You need to read my book.” Then he held out his strong arms about two feet apart, and admonished me, “manageable lengths…it’s in the book, manageable lengths.” I heard him, it made practical sense, and I smiled. There I was being bossed around by Kaffe Fasset.

 

IMG_0674

Brandon is leaning in about to offer some advice. One woman said she got up from her chair. When she cam back she found Brandon hooking on her piece.

IMG_0675

 

Erin Mckenna and Susan Morin working away.

IMG_0679

Kaffe looking on his mind at work. I wonder what he is about to say. Get ready.IMG_0680

 

Charlene was lost in her work. That is what they were aiming for, trying to get people to that “flow”

IMG_0681

Celia Charlton finished her piece in record time…Kaffe and Brandon kept chanting hook faster. They were not worried about the loop but the whole. Kaffe is looking on at a someone else’s work.

 

 

IMG_0683

The Cape Breton Contingent are hearing what he has to say. They were ready for it. What a marvellous group they were.

IMG_0684

Brandon jumps in after Kaffe has his two cents worth. We laughed because Brandon would say one thing, then Kaffe another. It was part of their charm and honesty, confusing but the truth is you ultimately have to decide for yourself what goes here in your piece.

IMG_0685

Catherine Bussiere: passion

If you read my previous blogs you know that I spent some time with family in Quebec.

I’ve been back for I week now and I miss them all already.

During my stay I spent a lot of time with my nephew Eliot and my niece Léonie.

It was precious.

For them I made this short video. It’s about passion, creativity, beauty, nature. It’s a little dreamy thanks to the music by Chan Wai Fat.

The commentary, by Eliot, is in french.

Here is the translation:

“I make flies since I’m 6 or 7. It’s my dad that showed me. I like it a lot. Since then I make lots.”

“I like to know that this fly will go on the water, fish will see it. It’s fun when you catch a fish and it’s you that made the fly.”

“I like to fish because; you’re on the water, you see fish, you’re in nature, all of those things that brings you close to nature.”

“When I’m fishing… I feel like… with all my equipment, in the middle of the river… I feel good… I don’t know how to say it… I lose a bit the notion of time… I can stay there a long time… so much I like it… That’s it.”

 

Catherine Bussiere: bike ride

DSC_0164 DSC_0168 DSC_0172 DSC_0176 DSC_0179 DSC_0181 DSC_0184 DSC_0186 DSC_0188 DSC_0192 DSC_0193 DSC_0195 DSC_0197 DSC_0199 DSC_0202

it is sunny
it is warm
it smells like fresh cut grass
it smells like a warm summer forest
there’s bugs
there’s birds
and fishes
and wild flowers

it’s the country
another country side
a hilly one
with fields, forests, tractors, and hidden ponds
with nephews and a niece
and bikes

it’s June
and it’s summer

Catherine Bussiere: traveling with my mom

DSC_0164 DSC_0167 DSC_0171 DSC_0174  DSC_0179 DSC_0180 DSC_0184

I know it’s fathers day
but
I’ve been hanging with my mom lately

My mom came to visit me in Nova Scotia
almost a month
she lives in Trois-Rivières, Québec
a city gal that can appreciate the country

as adults we may not spent a lot of time with our parents
with the distance that separates us I certainly don’t
but when I do it’s usually a chunk of time

the interesting thing about a long visit is that you have to adjust to each other
each others life style and environment
if someone comes for a day or two you most likely give all your best
on a longer visit the full you starts coming out

it took about a week for my mom to settle in
to adjust to our country rhythm
to adjust to our personalty
to make herself fit in

my mom lives alone and has been living alone for years
it takes adjustments

it’s funny how we both have a tendency to put each other on pedestal
(I didn’t grow up with her)
but face to face, day after day, the pedestal got shorter
we both became more human
with our faults, our imperfection
it’s a good thing
it’s real, it needs work and it works

I drove my mom back to Québec last Wednesday
we stopped in Kamouraska for the night
treated ourselves to a beautiful B&B
if you ever drive through Québec do stop there
this little village on the shore of the St-Laurence river is so beautiful

I’m in Trois-Rivières now
for a week
a country gal that can appreciate the city
it’s good to spend time
beyond the surface there is so much to learn

Maritime Mary: This Week

It has been a week, a week mired in raw emotions of fear, sadness, relief and pride with communities coming together in support of police, families and neighbours. That is what we are called to do, create beauty in the midst of all the ugliness. Flags are half mast, flowers accumulate in memory as tribute to the fallen and their families.

We are the human race, social beings who need people, who need community for support.

In another such note, on Saturday my husband and I helped out a bit at our town’s annual Relay for Life. It is the culmination of a year’s worth of fundraising for the Canadian Cancer Society and about celebrating cancer survivors. A large committee and many sub-committees work year around to make this twelve hour event go off smoothly. The Relay is heartwarming, hopeful and a tearful time all wrapped in positive energy.

People supporting people in good times and in bad, that is what we are meant to do.

20140610-061944-22784175.jpg

20140610-061943-22783096.jpg

20140610-061945-22785349.jpg

20140610-061946-22786679.jpg

Catherine Bussiere: day off

DSC_0119 DSC_0120 DSC_0122 DSC_0124 DSC_0127

I can easily keep busy all the time
just one little task after another
my mom who is visiting is shaking her head

so after being busy for days I finally took the day off to hang out with my mama
first I took her to church
I don’t usually go to church but decided to stay as two teens that I knew were having their confirmation today
the ceremony was quite moving
how beautiful to see these youth engaging in something as big as faith
to say yes to goodness in front of their congregation
I was glad to be there

then I took my mom to visit a friend of mine who is a potter
I did have to do a short interview for a project that I’m working on but only for a minute
My mom marveled at her pottery and bought a few pieces
that was lovely

We kept going up the shore to have a bite at Whirligigs, a wonderful restaurant that specialize in delicious breakfast
we had some smoked salmon Benedict
I think I like anything Benedict

by the time we were done it was time to go to an opening at the Tidnish art gallery
A young friend of mine was having her first opening
she is 15, has been home schooled all her life, you should see the art work
it is done through a computer program with math equation
it is beyond my understanding and the result is a series of beautiful abstract images
loved it

as we drove home along the coast we decided to stop at a beach in Northport and went for a little walk
the water on the edges was nice and warm
my mother sat on a rock to let her feet soak for a while

Sunday June first in the maritime
I couldn’t ask for more