Maritime Mary: Tulips


An eyeful of beauty

No matter the colour,

Bringing sunshine inside,

Providing hope for finer weather,

Tugging at my Dutch heartstrings,

Reminding us of our Canadian connection

To the Netherlands. 

Beautiful tulips,

A gift of thanks

Celebrating life and safety. 

Spring is in my kitchen. 


Maritime Mary: Lilacs

Tulips have faded and withered and the forsythia flowers have fallen and created a golden carpet. Now  lilacs are having their turn at brightening our spring days. 

My neighbour across the street has a lovely lilac bush and when the winds are favourable, we are treated to the sweet and distinctive scents from these flowers. 

Just the other day, my friend Margaret and I were completing our walk when we came upon a lovely but lonely lilac bush. Soon we were both walking down the street with beautiful bouquets in hand. What a sight we must have been!  

So for this short time, while they are in their prime, I am enjoying lilacs. Next, wild roses? 


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






Maritime Mary: Spring Greens

We had a fabulous May long weekend here in Cumberland County. Our house was full, the skies were blue and sunny and the air was pleasantly warm. It was a great time for yard work, neighbours were happily digging, mulching and mowing.

The greens of spring are lovely, so young and fresh. My hostas are standing tall, waiting for more growth so their leaves can unfurl. Miniature soft leaves are on the trees, soon to grow full size. They are light in weight, light in colour.

The land is wake and spring greens bring smiles.






Catherine Bussiere: rhubarb and fiddle heads

I woke up to a warm morning
how glorious is a warm breezy morning in the country side
no bugs yet
no bitting bugs anyway

I put the kettle on for coffee
looked around… no husband
I thought, and I was right, he must be gone looking for fiddle heads

the water wasn’t even boiling that my son was up
to my surprised expression he responded: happy mother’s day
smile (awww)
then offered to make a smoothie

the smoothie was on it’s way when my daughter came down
with a gift and a card in her hand
I really was not expecting anything

I like to make the most of my adorable, most willing to do something for me, children
I had invited my mother in law for brunch and was about to make the first rhubarb pie of the year
to the garden we go, help me gather enough for a couple pies
the rhubarb isn’t high yet
but with three sets of hands it didn’t take long
as we were picking my husband showed up with a bag filled with fiddle heads
it’s the first year that he gathers them
last fall he found edible mushrooms in the wood, now fiddle heads
there’s something quite fantastic about foraging
it has to be some of the best food one can eat

the meal consisted of fish cake Benedict (that is a fish cake with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce), steamed fiddle heads and rhubarb pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert
we had some white wine with cassis liquor and frozen strawberries to go with that
which may explain why this blog is posted a little later than usual
a nap had to follow that scrumptious meal

it is a blessing to be a mother
to honor the ones that have nurtured us and to nurture in return

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Maritime Mary: What Lies Hidden

This is my daughter’s first spring in her new home. When she moved in during the late fall, the trees, shrubbery and perennials were spent. We raked leaves and guessed about what species of trees and plants lived rooted in the ground.

Last week while Susanne and I were poking through the earth looking for new growth, assessing some overgrowth and considering the future of some of the trees to make more room, a neighbour appeared. She told us about a previous owner and her love of planting and gardening. We asked about the shrubs and trees and to our great surprise, one of the trees we had planned on reducing is a magnolia tree. It produces beautiful blooms lavishly. So plain during the dormancy months, it had us fooled. That magnolia tree is staying, now we’re excited to watch it change.

Like the shoots peeking through the earth, there is hidden beauty everywhere preparing to unfold. Now we must wait, wait, wait and watch and be patient as Mother Earth slowly unveils her offerings to us.

I love spring, it’s my favourite season. But I guess you knew that.





Maritime Mary: Junk Week

Spring has arrived and albeit cool, we here in Cumberland County wait for green grass and tree buds. And something else is occurring. It’s not pretty but it serves a real purpose. It’s what we, in my home call Junk Week.

Our town, like many others, has designated weeks to set various unwanted items curb side. Some people put ‘stuff’ out early and so the perusing begins. People drive slowly through neighbourhoods with pick-ups, browsing and ready to relieve some of those piles.

In my home, we enjoy this time. Not only do we clear items out of the garage, we also, from the vantage point of our porch, enjoy watching the picking.

I am not an innocent as I’ve been known to see a purpose in someone else’s unwanted goods. My reinvention makes me quite proud.

What is leftover, when the garbage truck arrives, is then the garbage. This system, I believe, is recycling at its finest, a rite of spring!



Catherine Bussiere: Easter pancakes

Beautiful sunny day here in northern Nova Scotia

I was gone for three days last week with my daughter to a conference in Sydney.
Through multiple presenters we learned how and why the arts and crafts are a leading economy. It was interesting and inspiring; the creative economy is one to be reckoned with.

When I came back home a few things had happened that were of great excitement. First, the ice on the pond was gone. It may not seem like much but with the ice gone the pond gets fixed (by the beavers, instantly it seems, they come and fix any little or big leaks and the water goes up). A pair of ducks arrived for their annual visit and the peepers will soon, any day now, deafen us with their high pitch chorus. The sound of the peepers is one of my favorite. It’s the sound of nature celebrating the end of a harsh winter and the prospect of life about to blossom.

Oh, I love this time of year.

This morning I’m waking up to the smell of home made baked beans. My husband has been making them with beer and smoked pork lately and they are just divine. There is bacon slowly cooking and pancakes will be made. Of course this whole lot is also home made. Maybe I should share the pancake recipe with you on this Easter morning.
When I make pancakes I don’t bother, I grab the bag of premix flour, add an egg, milk, little oil and bam we go. They’re good. Fast and easy.
When my husband makes pancakes it goes up several notches.
First he takes say 8 eggs (maybe a dozen if they are small or 6 if they are extra large)
He separates the whites from the yolks. He beats the whites like he was making a meringue and set that aside. Then it’s the usual. Mix the yolks with milk, melted butter, a little vanilla if you wish. Add the flour but do not add any baking powder. See that’s the beauty of these pancakes, no baking powder or baking soda, none of that taste. When your pan or griddle is ready to go, gently fold the fluffy egg white in your pancake mixture. It’s like incorporating cloud bundles. Then gently scoop that up and cook it.
The result is the spongiest, tastiest, most syrup absorbent pancakes you will ever have.

I hope today is as beautiful and warm for you that it is for me. Enjoy spring, fine food and the presence of family.

Happy Easter!

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Maritime Mary: Springish

Often while enjoying a cup of coffee in her sunroom, one of my friends will say that she is purring. She’s not a cat, just contented. And don’t we love those moments, sometimes fleeting, when we feel satisfied, happy, full of life, whatever the emotion, whatever puts joy in our hearts?

Yesterday I had these wonderful feelings as I stepped out into the spring air. It was sunny and the thermometer rose to eight degrees. We have been under winter’s determined cloud for quite some time so the sunshine was very welcomed. While walking I heard the sweet trickle and gurgle as melting snow made way to manholes. There were puddles just waiting for children to jump into and empty. The snow banks are beginning to recede and spring wants to stay.

And yesterday, I too was purring!





Maritime Mary: A Seed is a Promise

A seed is a promise of new life, of the approach of spring, of tender shoots poking through the earth, of flowers to please the eye, of vegetables to nourish the body. A seed is a promise.

Three weeks ago I began my quest for spring by planting geranium seeds and placing them under grow lights in my basement. They require an early start so they’ll bloom in the warmth of summer. I enjoy my daily visits to check on the growth but I am particularly satisfied as I watch the familiar leaf of the geranium take shape.

According to my plant count in the tray, I’ll have an abundance of red geraniums in my yard this summer.