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,