Outdoor Art During COVID-19

….isolation brings out the creativity in people

Walking through the neighbourhood these last seven weeks I’ve come across some pretty amazing art. Some are very simple messages hung on trees, others are temporary works of art on the sidewalks and others clearly took some time and thought. Here are a few of the works I’ve come across.


I finally found Waldo……

Words of Hope and Love

A very good friend of mine who lives alone has started a project that involves all her friends. She recently asked us to all create ornaments with words of inspiration written on them that she could hang on her white Christmas tree. She still has the white lights on it and she thought it was the perfect back drop for her tree of Hope and Peace and Love.

Her original idea was to cover it with ornaments in the shape of moons, suns and stars. We were all given carte blanche and the only caveat was that they not be too big and that there were  personal messages written on them to send out to the world.

My whole family is getting involved but I think I’m the first to complete the task. I decided to show you my work in the form of a video with music in the background. I learned something new today as I have never done anything like this. Now I’m hoping I’m able to send it out to you.

Covid-19 Has Kept Us Busy

…as a result I haven’t been posting very much or replying to a lot of emails

As some of you may know my husband and I were planning a trip to the UK to see our new granddaughter. In fact we should be on-route as I write this post but clearly I’m not on a plane to anywhere right now.

Early last week we were just getting over the sad news of three deaths in our extended family (not related to the virus) when my husband’s doctor strongly advised him not to take this trip. His suppressed immune system put him in a very high risk category for catching the coronavirus. It was a difficult decision but the right one not to go.

Now I had to decide if I would go without him and spend the first five days with our daughter, granddaughter and son-in-law and then the next eight days alone but close to our son, daughter-in-law and the new baby. I had a lot of mixed messages from colleagues and friends. Some said I should go and enjoy the new baby and others were worried that I could return and infect my husband and 93 year old father.

By Wednesday evening the airline that we were flying on offered a rebooking option without a penalty fee but we had to take the trip before September 1st. That did not work for my daughter and her family because of the summer camp that they run. However, as you know, every hour things changed quickly in the world and by Thursday evening the airline came back, after a lot of backlash from the public and extended the rebooking offer to December 31st.

All of us rebooked for mid October. On Saturday my husband and I ventured out to the mall to finalize our travel cancellation and rebooked our trip at the same time. We were happy the we booked through the Flight Centre because they did all the grunt work for us. After taking our information they sent us home and within a couple of hours we were notified that all was taken care of. Our daughter on the other hand spent a lot of time just trying to get through to the airline because they had booked on-line. Once they finally got through they were on hold for almost an hour but in the end they also were able to cancel this flight and rebook for later.

When we were at the mall Saturday afternoon we were surprised how empty the mall was. People certainly weren’t stocking up here for anything.B3-C1113-D-8-AE5-46-F9-8-CA6-89-F62-C6-D5-DC3

On Thursday our 13 1/2 year old dog, Frances, was clearly not well. She wasn’t eating, had difficulty walking and controlling her bladder. She slept most of the time and when she was awake she dragged her back legs and moved sideways. We had seen similar symptoms with our last dog and we knew that if she had the same thing she would recover but it would take a few days. On Friday we took her to the vet and she was also pretty sure that Frances has a vestibular disorder that affects her balance. She gave us some more medicine for her arthritis and some wet food that would stimulate her appetite. I’m happy to say that she’s already feeling somewhat better. She is eating and drinking more and even wanted to go out for a walk today. She still walks lopsided and you can see in the photo that her head is still tilted to the side.334-A405-E-ACE2-47-D4-99-F7-2337-FB697796

I hope I haven’t alarmed anyone with the heading at the top of this post. No one in our family, neighbourhood or amongst our friends has the virus but the global epidemic has affected our lives and will continue to do so for the coming weeks. Practise social distancing, wash your hands a lot and stay healthy and please don’t hoard things you don’t need. It makes it very difficult for people, especially seniors who need those things to get them.

Be positive and stay calm.

Carol (aka Mama Cormier)

Problems Again

….not sure if I’ve been hacked

Almost a year ago I experienced some issues with my WordPress account because I couldn’t like any posts or leave comments on anybody else’s blog. It turned out to be a Safari problem and thanks to some of my readers I was able to correct the problem.

The same thing is happening again but this time going into Safari looking for the same setting is not the issue. I’ve contacted WordPress and they’ve informed me that the problem rests with my ‘over’ usage of my blog. Here is exactly what they said.

…..please note that your account has been flagged for an excessive amount of social activity which made your account appear more like a spam-bot than a human being.

Please keep in mind that our like features are designed to help you keep up with your favorite blogs, give easy feedback to their authors, and nurture direct conversations. They are not to be used as a means of promoting your site through mass notifications.

Does this sound like me? Many of you have probably wondered where I’ve been because I haven’t been able to keep up with all my emails in the last two months. To keep from getting too far behind again I’ve tried to read emails as they come in and many of those I do ‘like’. I’m probably reading 50 emails a day on average. Is that considered over use?

When I questioned them on what is considered excessive this is the answer I received:

To clarify, I’m specifically referring to the amount of times you’ve been using the Like feature. When you like content on WordPress.com, the owners of that content receive notifications each time. This is intended to inform content owners about who is interacting with their content and is not intended as a system to attract mass attention to your content.

After blogging for seven years I think I know how to use the Like feature. I only have 2000 followers, many of whom I assume are dormant. I don’t have time to look for new blogs. Anyway after 24 hours the Like feature will supposedly be enabled again.

I apologize to those who haven’t heard from me in awhile. I have tried to remedy that but WordPress has made that impossible. Hopefully all will be sorted soon. Has anyone else had a similar problem? I’d like to know and any advice that you can give me would be most appreciated.


A Day of Reading and Quiet Reflection

…..my road to recovery has been painless

After icing my jaw all day long yesterday I was happy not to have to do that today. There was little to no swelling this morning so I guess the ice paid off. I started the morning with a delicious peach mango smoothie that my husband made for me and for lunch I had some creamed soup and leftover mashed cauliflower with an egg mixed in for some protein. Both meals were somewhat satisfying and I wasn’t as hungry today as I was yesterday.

One of the benefits of staying home and having restrictions as to what I’m allowed to do is that I was able to get a lot of reading done. I’m all caught up with my emails and I’ve finally started a new book, Road Ends, by Mary Lawson which I’m about a third of the way into. I’ve also been able to research some great art sites for ideas for upcoming art classes at school.

We also got some good news today. My husband went for his quarterly check-up at the hospital this morning and his blood count is still in the normal range. It’s always a little stressful for my husband on those days coming up to his appointments.

Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Pleasure

Knowing that we don’t have to worry about the return of my husband’s cancer for at least another three to six months brings us both a great deal of pleasure.

Pleasure is Nature’s test, her sign of approval. When man is happy, he is in harmony with himself and with his environment…..Oscar Wilde

As we get older we appreciate the simpler things in life. Here are a few things that give us pleasure:

For more quotes and photographs about pleasure check out Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge.

Footwear is Mandatory in Restaurant Kitchens

…I learned that the hard way tonight

I love to cook and since my husband does most of it, I’ve been a bit out of practice. Tonight I was draining the boiling water from the pasta when a large portion splashed out of the pan and onto the floor. Unfortunately my foot was in the way and I wasn’t wearing any footwear other than socks. Ouch!

I sat at the dinner table with a baggie of ice on top of my foot but I probably waited a little too long before I administered first aid to myself. The foot has already started to blister and at the moment it is stinging like crazy.


Maybe I'm taking this drawing thing a bit too far but I really didn't think that the photograph did justice for the the pain I am feeling.

Maybe I’m taking this drawing thing a bit too far but I really didn’t think that the photograph did justice for the the pain I am feeling.

After reading about burns in restaurants I discovered that major burns are a frequent occurrence, particularly scald injuries (hot water from pasta pots). So to all my friends who work in kitchens and cook at home take this piece of advice…..wear shoes on your feet when working around hot water.


How Not to Treat Poison Ivy

…..I’ve only had it 3 times in my life

P1020678In the 25 years that I’ve been coming up to the cottage I’ve become very familiar with what poison ivy looks, where it is, how to avoid it and how to treat it. I’ve only had 2 very minor rashes in all these years and I mean minor, 4 or 5 tiny blisters all in a row. In the past I’ve always left it alone, washed it with Sunlight soap and if the rash became too itchy I would apply calamine lotion.

My son and D’s son, on the other hand always managed to get some serious bouts of poison ivy when they were young boys. Somehow they managed to get it on their hands and where ever they touched themselves that’s where the rash would show up. They had poison ivy on their faces, legs and groin area.

The worst case of poison ivy, oak or sumac (we’re not sure which one she came in contact with) that I’ve ever seen happened to my cottage neighbour and friend, D. After a hike over on Hope Is. she broke out in a rash all over her body but the worst part of it was on her face. She looked like a boxer at the end of a fight. Her face puffed out and her eyes were swollen shut. Her case was so serious that it required a trip to the hospital where they prescribed a round of steroids to reduce the swelling and ease the pain.

One of the side effects of steroids is that it makes you quite aggressive and D found she  had an over inflated sense of her actual strength. We had a delivery of building materials delivered to the cottage at the time and she was carrying twice as much drywall and in record speed than the rest of us. When she started to complain that her heart was racing we made her stop. This happened over 20 years ago and we still talk about it today.

This brings me to my third bout of poison ivy that I picked up two weeks ago at another friends cottage. I saw that the roadside was covered in the shiny three leafed plant and I thought I had stayed clear of it when we went for our walk; however, two days later (it takes a couple of days before the rash appears) I noticed a small patch on my right ankle. It was quite itchy and I tried not to touch it. I remembered a remedy that my friend L swears works every time so I thought I would give it a try.

The remedy involves rubbing salt into the blisters to break them open and then washing away the fluid that would normally cause the rash to spread. I recently received a wonderful salt scrub that I thought would do the job. It felt great when the blisters broke and they seemed to heal right away. The problem was that 2 days later another rash appeared somewhere else on my leg. I repeated the procedure and 2 days later another area broke out.

Now the thing with the scrub that I was using was that the salt was packed in an oil and after I rubbed it all over my legs it left the skin feeling soft and hydrated. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the oil was spreading the fluid in the blisters to other parts of my leg and because oil and water don’t mix the fluid wasn’t being washed away. Too bad it took me three treatments to realize what I was doing to myself. I’ve decided to leave this new batch of poison ivy to dry out on its own without any help from me.

P1020677Live and learn!