Saturday, November 12, 2016

Lest We Forget

When you wear that poppy

Hello There, Viv here once more to share this year's Remembrance Day Ceremony to thank the men and women who bravely served from our region.  We gathered in the gym of  our little school. and the ceremony began with the school choir singing.

Our Master of Ceremonies, Courtney Wall, also read the Gospel, and a poem, Last One Standing, written by Alexa Sjodin, Haley Batson and Natalie Thompson.
Courtney Wall, as always, a perfect Master of Ceremonies

Our local veterans proudly assemble

Our veterans proudly assemble to be honoured and remember their comrades who gave their lives for our freedom.
This event, as it should be is one of the most well-attended events in our tiny village of under 350 people.

This event, as it should be is one of the most well-attended events in our tiny village of under 350 people.
The March on the Flag by our young cadets

The Voices United Community Choir seen here in the background.

Assembly with songs by Voice United Community Choir

The March on the Flag was performed brilliantly by our young cadets.

After the March on the Flag, the school choir and Voices United Community Choir led us in singing "O Canada". I am so very proud to be a Canadian and always get goosebumps when I am privileged to join in singing our national anthem. The best of all blessings, is to have my husband beside me, who became a Canadian citizen 3 years ago. As we also sang, God Save The Queen, we were reminded of his British heritage and how fortunate we are to have a choice of where we live. Canada is home and we thank God for our little village, which Brian says reminds him of how England used to be when he was a young lad. 
The Reverend Bill Drysdale gave a beautiful invocation prayer, after which the School choir and Voices United Community choir sang O God Our Help In Ages Past.

The poem, In Flanders Field was read by Meg Troop.

Last Post and Reveille we played by Jim MacTavish, on either side of The Act of Remembrance, Two Minutes of Silence.
The Wreaths had all been laid, the school choir sang, We Remember

The wreaths laid, the school choir then took their places to sing a beautiful rendition of We Remember.
Sonny McCarron assists Val Fagan to lay a wreath
Sonny McCarron assists Valerie Fagan, our last remaining WWII veteran with laying a wreath.
Veterans Val Fagan escorted by Sonny McCarron
With pride and honour, he then escorts our, Val out after the parade.
On Rembrance Day, we can't help but think about all our loved ones and neighbours who have left us, especially since this past year. As we convene again in this gym, we remember having to leave quite quickly last year for the funeral services of two of your young men in the village, Colby Callender and Chad Alder who died that week in a terrible car crash. My heart breaks for their families and friends.

It was so hopeful and encouraging, though to see Jason Bourque and how far he's come in a year. He's fought a tough battle and has a long road ahead, but he looked so handsome today with his poppy on.

Sonny McCarron was visibly emotional as he thanked everyone who attended the ceremony for the support of our local veterans, saying, "It really means a lot to have such a great turn out." When I spoke to him outside to thank him for his service and the dignity with which he escorted and supported Val Fagan, he said, "It is so nice to see support for the younger veterans is now happening and increasing". I agreed and reiterated that they have fought, and are still fighting and need their country to support them and their families with humble gratitude for their service.

Reverend Bill Drysdale gave the Benediction and a Blessing before the March Off the Flags and we dispersed to once again go back to our peaceful lives paid for by the brave men and women who have paid, many with their lives for us to have this privilege.

Until next time, hold each other close. Be kind to one another. Remember the wounds of war cannot always be seen and everybody is fighting some kind of battle.


Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Comfort of Knowing Where My Food Comes From

Hello there, Viv here to share with you a little bit about a day in the life of my friend, Nancy the farmer. We buy our eggs from Nancy and her husband, Earl, who have a little farm in our village, are wonderful friends and Nancy is just a fun, hard working lady. Her profile picture on Facebook is Wonderwoman, no wonder!

She had a calf whose mother would not feed her from birth, so Nancy has bottle fed this sweet little beauty, Faith with all the tender loving care of a mother and she's not so little anymore. When I would go to buy eggs, she would tell me about her and looking down at my shoes said, "You can't go to the barn in those shoes". :)
So recently on my egg buying run, it was a sunny day so I put my red and white 'wellies', as we call them in England on and announced I was ready to go to the barn. Poor Nancy was all clean in her indoor clothes and had to get her rubber boots and coat on to take me on a tour.
We went to see the hens first. I was taken aback by an ammonia smell being a city slicker and was soon told "That's chicken poop"! We laughed about that for a couple of days. Nancy arrives in the hen house and says, "Hello ladies", then gets them some water, collects some eggs and all the while telling me where to stand, moving buckets around, filling buckets with water.
The hen house

This is a woman, around whom, it is almost blasphemous to stand around and do nothing. I just did as I was told and I had a blast on the hen run with Nancy! She inspires me with her work ethic, her constant sunny disposition and her dedication to her family.

Happy hens just clucking away

Then we went to the poulets house. They too lay eggs, but they lay smaller eggs. In the feed there is something that makes the egg shells hard. Again eggs are collected, feed is scattered and water put out for them and I am so happy that the eggs I buy are from happy hens who are loved by the farmer. :)

Nancy gathering the eggs

The first couple of eggs. Beautiful!

Next it was into the barn where the calves are. When I started research for this post there were two calves. Faith is hereford, brown and white, and she now has a barn mate, black angus and hereford cross, as pretty as she is but shy around people because he wasn't hand fed like Faith was. They are now yearlings as you will see below, have such pretty eyes and they are sooooo cute.
Mama and Bully
The sweetest part of this tour was meeting Bully the little bull who was only 4 days old.

It was the time of day to bring the big cows in and Nancy instructed me to stand a little back from the barn entrance because they may not come in if they see me there. Isn't nature amazing? Like children, it's an instinctual thing to trust those they know and be a little leery of those they don't. Earl says she raises them because she likes them. He tells me they grow from calves to yearlings and over a year, they're called feeders when they get older.
Cows out in the pasture

Before calling the cows in, she swept away hay from their stalls. Then she forked fresh hay from a stall beyond the manger so when they come in they can feed. Water buckets are filled from a tap in the barn, kept from freezing with electrical wire and we're ready to bring in the cows.
The pasture gate

Nancy went out to the pasture gate and opened it, calling to them, "Come on in Ladies" and I'll be darned, if they didn't just all turn towards her and file in in a line. Just amazing to me. They lined up one by one in their stalls where she had raked some hay around where each would spend the night.
The yearlings, happily in for the night.That is little Faith and her barn mate all grown up! As the cows take their places, Nancy closes the self locking head gates , and they all happily begin chewing away on the hay.

They can lay down and stand quite comfortably in the head gates, which Earl tells me are only used on small farms.
This routine she calls, "chores" and it's all done in a matter of 30 minutes. Chickens, cows, everyone settled down for the night. She says, "Goodnight ladies. See you in the morning" and closes the barn door for the night. Annette and I were visiting once when I didn't have my camera, but we had so much fun following Nancy on her rounds, I made a date to come back and take photos for my blog. We usually do our egg run together and sometimes stop for a cup of coffee with Nancy and Earl. Annette was away on photo day, but both hailing from the city, we agree that we so love knowing where our eggs come from. This is just another thing that contributes to this wonderful country living.
Until next time, hug those you love, eat well and count your blessings. I sure do.
All Natural Pet Care

Sunday, February 28, 2016

My First Experience with Tai Chi Right Here In Our Little Village

Hello There, VivBounty here to share with you a new discipline, Tai Chi, which is already having really positive effects on my mobility and general well being.

Much to our good fortune, the Province of New Brunswick has provided a grant through the Wellness Branch of the Department to the Port Elgin and Region Health Centre (PERHC) for an introduction to Tai Chi. Thank you to Instructor Rick Toupin from the Cumberland group Canadian Tai Chi Academy for providing a complimentary, 12-week introduction to the health benefits of Tai Chi.

Rick Toupin, Rod Morris, Canadian Tai Chi Academy Instructors along with long time students demonstrate the first 15 movesInstructors from Canadian Tai Chi Academy along with practitioners, Brenda Toupin, Rod Morris, Joan Allen, Sharon Wall and Serge Morin kindly demonstrate the first 15 moves.

I was so excited to have a Tai Chi class locally, and by that I mean really locally, not having to drive to Amherst or Sackville, our nearest towns for most services, I called all my friends who might be interested and happily posted it in the church bulletin! The class has been full and then some in our little school gym, where you last saw my Remembrance Day post. We started a week later than planned, on Monday February 15, 2016 due to a snow storm (hardly surprising for February in the Canadian Maritimes and will run 12 weeks, excluding March Break and Easter Monday) at 7:30 pm on Mondays.

After our first Tai Chi class, I noticed increase soreness in my trouble spots, ie shoulders and neck, but let me tell you that through that discomfort in the 24 hours following that first hour-long class, I felt something unlock. The result of which was being able to actually sleep on a pillow for the first time in 2 or 3 years!  We heard testimony that first class that one of the volunteers who came with the instructors to help demonstrate, had a frozen shoulder, had been through physiotherapy without any success, was able to unlock her shoulder and regain range of motion after just 6 months of  practicing Tai Chi. In the video below,  see how deceptively gentle this exercise is as Rod and Rick give a review of the first 3 moves we learned in our first class. These moves are called 1. Opening move raising hands, 2. Left grab bird's tail and 3. Right grab bird's tail.

NOTE - UPDATE: Today, March 9th, 2017, after more than a year! I have been told to take the YouTube video of our Tai Chi class down. It seems that one of the instructors, after giving me permission to record it and put it on my blog, now says he told not to put it on YouTube which is just a blatant lie. So I will not apologize for you not seeing the video because this is his fault.

Tai Chi can lower your blood pressure, reduce or even remove pain from arthritis, reduce the risk of alzheimers, improve strength and balance. Moy Tai Chi has 108 moves developed for health and brought to Canada by Mister Moy Lin- Shinn. This is a perfect compliment to my twice daily yoga and daily reiki practice. As I said, I am already experiencing for myself the many health benefits offered by this gentle aerobic exercise imported from the far east, and being very open to it as reiki also came to the west from Japan. I know what gentle movement or energy shifting can do and highly recommend anyone try Tai Chi. Rick from the Canadian Tai Chi Academy, is a great instructor who put us through the paces with humour and gentle encouragement.

In our second class, through much giggling and fun, we added a 4th move called whip out dead bird hold by tail. Thank you class participants for allowing me to record this video below.

NOTE UPDATE: Over a year later, suddenly I have been told to take the video down! Again, this instructor with a memory problem is the reason there is no video below. I wish people would say what they mean and mean what they say! Blaming me for his lapse in memory is just plain wrong!

With Rick and the other seasoned practitioners' permission, I was able to take some video and a few photos of our second class. By this time the soreness had disappeared from my neck and shoulders and as I was explaining to Brenda, yes I felt pain, but that only indicated to me that the Tai Chi was working. Continuing through the discomfort with my twice daily yoga practice, I have regained range of motion in my shoulder and sleep so much better. As she said and I agreed, "If you do nothing, it only gets worse and you're stuck there."

The video below is what we aspire to. All of the wonderful folks who teach and practice at the Canadian Tai Chi Academy in Cumberland county, Nova Scotia, kindly gave us this demonstration of the first 15 moves. The hushed voice you hear is that of Serge Morin explaining that there are a total of  108 Tai Chi moves and to do them all in practice takes 15 minutes. I  can certainly find 15 minutes in my day to improve my health. Can you?

NO VIDEO HERE EITHER! Told to take it down over a year later! Shame on him. The only people to benefit from this video is them getting free publicity. Sad.

Thank you again to Rick Toupin, Brenda Toupin, Joan Allen, Glenda Allen, Sharon Wall and Serge Morin who contributed to this post for your permission and your participation. I look forward to learning much more in the 10 weeks to come and imagine I will be so nimble, I'll be hard to keep up with. :D

You can't take care of anyone if you don't take care of yourself first, so do that then hug everyone you love because tomorrow is not promised.

Until next time.

Bountiful blessings,


Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Reverent Remembrance Day Ceremony in Our Little School

Hello There, VivBounty here to share with you our experience of the Remembrance Day Ceremony to thank the men and women who bravely served in our little school. We gathered in the gym and the ceremony began with the school choir singing.
Port Elgin Regional School Choir, VivBounty
Voices United Choir, VivBounty
After the march on the flag, the Voices United Community Choir led us in singing our national anthem, "O Canada", and other songs and hymns so beautifully sung by both choirs were O God Our Help in Ages Past, We Remember, God Save the Queen and Go Now In Peace.
The parade forms up and vigil is mounted followed by march on the flag. Our cadets did a super job.
2335 Port Elgin Army Cadets, VivBounty
Cadets alongside our veterans, VivBounty
Missing in photos because of where I was sitting is the MC, Courtney Wall who read the Gospel, announced the dedication of the wreaths, and kept the program organized, Joe Simpson who read the honour roll of the veterans, There were poems by Marissa LeFurgey and Jesse MacQuarrie and Invocation Prayer by Reverend Bill Drysdale.

Of course, the poem, In Flanders Field was read by a cadet, officers saluted during O Canada & God Save The Queen sung by the School Choir and Voices United Community Choir, Last Post & Reveille bugled by Jim MacTavish, and 2 minutes silence.
Amidst the laying of the wreaths, of which there were so many, some had to be laid ahead of time, we had our last surviving World War II veteran, Valerie Fagan, Korean War veteran, Lionel Halfkenny, our Mayor, Judy Scott, the RCMP and Terry Murphy who was attached to the Fort Gary Horse in Cyprus, 1966 67.
Laying of the wreaths. Remembrance Day 2015, Port Elgin Regional School, NB, VivBountyVal Fagan, Port Elgin's last living World War II veteran, VivBounty Mayor Judy Scott lays a wreath, VivBounty
Lionel Halfkenny, Korean War Veteran, VivBountyTerry Murphy, veteran lays a wreath, VivBounty

RCMP present at Remembrance Day Ceremony Port Elgin, to lay a wreath, VivBounty
It was very touching to have begun the ceremony with a moment of silence for the two young men Colby Callender and Chad Alder who died tragically in a car accident last week. We also had fewer cadets this year as many were too grieved to perform today after losing their friends. The gym was full for the Remembrance Day Ceremony and there was a palpable sadness in this tiny close-knit community. The cadets who did participate represented the whole valiantly. There were time constraints because the funerals to be held at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. this afternoon were being broadcasted by livestream to the school in anticipation of the large attendance.
As I posted on Facebook today, in memory of my father-in-law, Derrick Edwards who served in
World War II in the R.A.F., this day was even sadder as it brought back the sadness of losing my own godchild, much too soon, 4 years ago.  I remember the shock, I remember the many, many people who came who knew us as far back as our grandparents and their friends and all the young people. We too needed more pews, more space at the funeral home and a very, very long procession of cars to the cemetery.

So in remembrance, we received Benediction and blessing from Reverend Carmen Webb, and then the gym had to be set up for the funerals.

Thank you to all our veterans, the ones we knew and so many we never will who sacrificed for us, brave warriors who made our freedom possible. We are eternally grateful.

Until next time, hug the ones you love, particularly your children, appreciate and encourage them today because tomorrow is not promised. Thank every veteran who ever served in any war as it is they who have paid for your freedom.

Happy Remembrance Day,


Sunday, July 6, 2014

My Friend Avery Created An App

Hello There, VivBounty here to brag a little about my friend, Avery Carter who won a prize for creating an App. Yes, even here in the country, we have high-speed broad band Internet and like every where else on the planet, WI-Fi and most people own a mobile gadget of some sort.

Avery attends Tantramar Regional High School in nearby Sackville which is part of the Anglophone East School District, recent proud host of its first ever science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) exposition held at Harrison Trimble High School in Moncton. 

In the competitive portion of the event for students in grades 6-12, Avery won 3rd prize; a $100 iTunes card for creating his Borderlands 2 Weapons Guide App. Congratulations Avery! We are so very proud of you. That's our handsome Avery in the middle of the photo below courtesy of MACLEOD PHOTO.

We have all heard debates about how much time kids spend with their electronic gadgets and devices and what the effects are or will be on them and society, but here's one story with a positive outcome. I, for one, am so glad Avery is so techno savvy and I'm sure his mom is too. The other day when she couldn't find a symbol on her cell phone, guess who came to the rescue? Yup, our boy, Avery did! He found the keyboard short cut and got her all hooked up in seconds. 

In doing some research about this, there seems to be another mom who agrees with me in Idaho. See her article here with 10 reasons why she will continue to give her children hand-held devices and just for the record I have been known to "google" many things like recipes, cooking times for various cuts of meat, blanching and preserving the many gifts of garden produce my lovely friends and neighbours give me, craft making, rug braiding and so much more. My mum in her 70's does the same. She even has a cell phone now and texts more than she makes a phone call to me. I suppose we must just get used to the fact that it is a techno world and that is not always a bad thing. 

I hope you encourage your children when they do something well, even though the world may look a lot different than it did when you were their age and you may not always understand it all. Each generation feels the same about the next one. We might as well keep up. 

Enjoying the country life, 

Joyfully changing lives

Monday, June 23, 2014

My Flower Bed 5 Years Later

Hi There VivBounty here to share with you my flower bed 5 years later. My mum, determined to turn me into a gardener brings me flowers from her own garden each Spring. The horse chestnut tree in our garden back in the Spring to 2008 was dying and so a friend kindly cut it down for us before it might have fallen to cause much damage to the house. Instead of having the stump removed, I decided to create a little flower bed around it.

 Last Winter was a very long, harsh winter and seeing my flower bed come back to life in the Spring was so heartwarming and a reminder of resurrection. I read on a blog,
While our culture is currently glorifying death,
the Lord is wrapping every dead looking thing
in light, declaring over it, "Not the end."
Whether it is a dead looking tree 
or a dead looking dream, 
He comes to remind us that
everything is about resurrection.
Within the dead looking thing
lies the mystery of what will yet be.
It is not the end.
 In this flower bed this year I have irises in purple and yellow, day lilies, some ground cover called Homestead Verbena, 2 kinds of hostas, also known as Plantain Lilies; 1 is a broad leaf hosta and the other a Royal Standard hosta. I also have a little pine tree given to me by a very dear friend. On the other side of the garden I have the forsythia she gave me.

Here are the first views of my little garden this Spring. I will post more as the garden develops.

Stay tuned for the flowers as they bloom. They really are gorgeous this year!

Bountiful Blessings for a wonderful Summer!

All Natural Pet Care

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Giving Thanks For Canadian Citizenship This Thanksgiving

Posing with RCMP Canadian Citizenship Certificate
The Certificate
Hi There, VivBounty here to share with you my gratitude this Thanksgiving season and on the 6th anniversary of our arrival in New Brunswick. In my case returning home to Canada after 17 years living abroad.

On October 9th, my hubby became a Canadian Citizen. There were 39 new Canadians taking the oath of citizenship at the Capitol Theatre in Moncton that day from 17 countries: New Zealand, Scotland, England, USA, India, Nigeria, Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Congo, Russia, Haiti & Romania, for example. Some had family with them, some had friends as guests and one that we know of seemed to come alone.

ICC, The Institute for Canadian Citizenship, a national non-profit charity that engages Canadians in active citizenship hosted a most enjoyable informal pre oath-taking roundtable discussion. Volunteer facilitators under the management of Mandy Joseph (ours was Irina from Romania of Hungarian descent who became a Canadian Citizen 20 years ago) asked questions like, "when did you first feel Canadian", "what makes you decide now to become a Canadian Citizen"? Our MC for the day, Marshall Button, the artist-in-residence at the Capitol Theatre in Moncton, the man behind "Lucien" , kept us entertained with Canadian anecdotes like having Tim Horton's coffee intravenously as initiation to being a Canadian. Tim Horton's coffee, tea, cake and of course, TimBits (TM) were provided for our enjoyment. He welcomed us on behalf of Moncton City Council Mayor, George LeBlanc and the other dignitaries.

Marshall Button (left) joins our roundtable with Irina (right)

As the volunteer spokesperson for each table stood to share in short what we discussed we heard words in both French and English like freedom, clean air, space, opportunity for employment, security, ability to vote, random acts of kindness, importance of education, and a sense for wanting to work for Canada, our land "True North Strong and Free", things many of us take for granted.

The Hon. Herménégilde Chiasson, former Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick presided over the oath-taking ceremony in English and French, in a very welcoming and moving way. He thanked the new Canadians for choosing Canada as their home, shared some of Canada's history, welcomed them home, acknowledged the struggle for many to make it to this point while affirming that they would thrive here as positive additions to the diversity of Canada's population. The oath was taken en mass, and we were told each new Citizen had to be seen saying the words for it to be official. If you chose to use a religious book, you began your oath with "I swear", alternatively you would begin with "I affirm". Finally, each Citizen would go up on stage to receive their official Certificate of Canadian Citizenship.
Presentation of Canadian Citizenship Certificate
Brian received certificate
I stood at the wrong side of the theatre because that's where the press box was, so only got a picture of Brian's back, but managed to get a video of his oath.

In a gift bag to each new Canadian Citizen, besides various small souvenirs of the day, was a Cultural Access Pass which provides complimentary admission to more than 1000 of Canada's cultural treasures from coast-to-coast-to-coast. The Cultural Access Pass creates opportunities for Canada's newest citizens to discover our rich cultural history, world-renowned artworks, historical figures and stunning parks, including discounts on Via Rail. Thirty five years ago when I became a Canadian citizen, our gift was a bible and in the absence of the pre-oath discussion, seemed a shorter, more solemn, albeit momentous occasion for my mother and I.

Marshall Button interviewed several new Canadian Citizens, including Brian, for his Friday morning show on CBC radio, which we were able to get the link to here. The auto start audio was a bit loud, so we provided the link instead of embedding the show below:

Citizen Marshall Button interviews New Canadians - Click here

Although our family and friends were not present at the ceremony, they were with us in spirit, in our hearts and evident in the cards and messages of congratulations and pride we received. My dad did not live to see this day, but he was represented by the bible upon which Brian swore his Canadian citizenship oath, which was given to my mum by her employer in his memory at the time of his passing.

After all was said and done, Marshall asked Brian what was the first thing he was going to do as a new Canadian Citizen and he said, "I'm going across the street to have a steak, mate".

Bountiful blessings and a very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!