Keji Adventure 2018

…..or Into the Woods.

  I was overdue for another backwoods adventure. Kejimkujik National Park always fits the bill. By the time my daughter and her friend and I came up with a mutually agreeable date all of my favourite campsites were booked. We would go for two nights. I chose site 44 for the first night, a bit further than I would have liked at 14.3 km but do-able, then back to site 1 for the second night, then a short 1.3 km hike out to the parking lot the next morning, leaving us plenty of time to get Sarah and Lindsay back to the city.

Before.

 

We left Big Dam parking lot (not to be confused with the ‘big damned parking lot’) and headed down the trail with our homes on our backs:

The weather was fine, we had plenty water and food, and the forest was beautiful but we harboured a few worries; would our packs become overwhelming? Lind’s shoes were not tried and true, would we have enough water? It was to be a hot day.

This hike Big Dam/Frozen Ocean is shady almost the entire way and there are no stunning panoramas or scenic vistas but it is still a beautiful place to be. Often the lake can be seen just through the trees and the blue is the happiest of blues. The first day we saw no people until our final stop but met an assortment critters. There are no harmful snakes in Nova Scotia by the way.

Thamhophis sirtalis pallidula Allen or Maritime Garter Snake.

There were also hobbits but we didn’t actually see them, just their footprints leading into their hidey holes.


And so we ambled along, having a grand day out, congratulating ourselves on making it the ten km to site 46, where we stopped for a long rest, not looking forward to having to do four more km before supper. I’ll spare you all the nitty gritty details but here’s a few highlights:

The Good:

  • Walking behind Lindsay whose load was a cheery red, yellow and blue. I think it made me so happy because it was the primary colours found in the story books of my childhood. 
  • All of my gear performed well. I should qualify that it was fair weather camping, the only kind I plan to do now if I can help it.  The hammock tent continues to please. The new sleeping bag which is a cross between a bag and a quilt was cozy and warm.

    Hennessy Hammock Tent.

  • I rediscovered how yummy KD is when combined with a pouch of tuna.
  • The flies were tolerable.
  • The Gandalf pole Sarah made for Lindsay when she decided to soldier on with a sprained ankle.
  • The good Samaritans who invited us to share site 46 when we were unable to continue on to site 44.

    Catherine and Chris we are eternally grateful.

    The Bad:

  • For Linds: The split second when she stepped off the boardwalk onto a rock and kept on going, spraining an ankle.
  • For All: The moment we agreed we couldn’t go any further towards our designated campsite.
  • For Sarah: the sound of the trotting paws and strong stink of the coyote in the middle of the night.
  • Stepping off the trail and squatting to pee and then suddenly recalling the sign I had read earlier. Thankfully my error in not pre-examining the underbrush was not consequential. 
  • Craving salt so badly I tried to lick the sweat off my upper lip only to discover I had recently coated it with insect repellent. They really should give that stuff a better flavour.
  • I decided to use a rehydration tablet to counteract the extreme sweating in the 29 degree heat. I popped it into my water bottle, and watched it promptly turn into a towel. Which would you have chosen; the blister packed white tablet or the white tablet loose in the baggie?

    Label your tablets, folks, please label your tablets.

    The Ugly:

  • The duct tape ankle splint I contrived.

    It got more elaborate with time.

     

    When all was said and done it was a memorable hike. I saw 4 toads, 5 squirrels, 2 snakes, 1 brown bunny, a pair of fishermen, only one hiker who was going it alone, and a whole troop of day-hikers in matching T-shirts. We never really reached the point where, in the words of Lance, “You know you are having an adventure when you wish you were home in bed.” and I learned that my limit is really about ten kilometers with a fully loaded pack and moderate terrain. I will always remember to bring duct tape. Now I wonder where I can go next.

After.

© Judy Parsons 2018

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The Great Migration 2

Lancelot and Judith finally reach Nova Scotia. 

Judith: It’s so cold.
Lancelot: That’s the polar vortex dear. It should warm up soon.
Judith: I sure hope so or I’m going to find somewhere with a tropical vortex.

Judith: Does shivering count as exercise? Are you sure this isn’t Iceland?
Lancelot: Well, this map is about as useless as a screen door on a submarine but I’m pretty sure we are in Nova Scotia.
Judith: Well, we might as well settle in. We might have to keep the refrigerator door open to warm up the camper though.

Meanwhile, not too far along the same shoreline: 

Joodles: Whatever happened to global warming?
Lannie: Must be all the ice cubes breaking off o’ the polar ice caps.
Joodles: Well tis so cold as a well digger’s ass here tonite. You sure we didn’t overshoot the place?

Lannie: This map might be as useless as a back pocket on a T-shirt but I’m pretty sure we have arrived.
Joodles: Well fire up the generator; I’m missin’ American Idol.
Lannie: Right after I unhook. I wanna head back to that Horton’s place – they must have pretty good barbecue with all those pick-ups in the parking lot.

© Judy Parsons 2018

The Great Migration

…Spread Your Tiny Wings and Fly, Little Snowbirds.

On the Road to Canada

Judith: I told you we should have stopped for directions, dear. Now we’re totally lost.
Lancelot: Well I marked the map to Lunenburg.
Judith: Dear, that’s Lunenburg Massachusetts, you’ve got marked there, not Lunenburg Nova Scotia.

Judith: Well, we might as well take a break and enjoy the scenery. I’ll get some knitting done. We’ll need some warm sweaters for the foggy nights where we’re going.
Lancelot: We’re no more than 35 miles off course but I didn’t see a gas station anywhere. We might not have enough fuel to get back to I95. We burn a lot more towing the camper.
Judith: Do you hear a car?

Lancelot: Hello!! Hey!! Can you help a fellow out….
Judith: They look a little frazzled……

Earlier, another pair of snowbirds:

 

Lannie: This don’t look like no Canada.
Joodles: North, ya nimrod, Canada is North.
Lannie: Must’a had the map upside down.

Meanwhile, two days later.

Lannie: Look at that couple wavin’ their hearts out. I don’t know where the heck we are but they is mighty friendly up here. Dig out the map will ya.

Lannie: The sign said Lunenburg but I can’t even find no highways on here.
Joodles: I told you we should’a got sumpin better than a restaurant placemat map.
Lannie: Well, We gotta be on here somewheres.
Joodles: If we just drive opposite to the sun it’ll be East and we’ll hit the ocean eventually. We can start North again from there. But first I gotta pee.

Joodles: Can ya see me from the road?
Lannie: Most of ya, but ain’t nobody up here ta see anything Anyhow.
Joodles: Well hold up that blanket for me will ya.

Joodles: We might as well settle in and have some supper.
Lannie: Might as well. We shoulda picked up that roadkill rabbit back the other side of Waltham.

Joodles: There’s nuthin’ quite like a cup of tea in the woods.
Lannie: Nuthin’ cept a six-pack. How ya like yer hot dog, raw, almost cooked, cooked all the way through, or burned black?

© Judy Parsons 2018

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What Am I At Now?

….or Still Making Stuff.

I’m trying to get a few things finished before the grand migration. First up is a basswood relief carving which will adorn the back of my kitchen sideboard. (I think the sideboard originally had a mirror but was replaced with a piece of plywood with a gold swan decal.) The inspiration for the carving came from a book about the lumber industry in my area in Nova Scotia. Don’t look too closely please.

Mess hall, camp kitchen, and a cup of tea in the woods.

 

Dining with his horse.

 

And here’s another 3″x4″ sketch of the day:

Karaoke night at the Mexican restaurant.

I’m currently in a non-productive phase and whiling away my precious time by watching back episodes of The Great British Bake Off. Pastry porn at its best.

© Judy Parsons 2018

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Easter Down South 3

…..or Happy Easter

Down at Florida Seaside Villa

Randolf: This is the best Easter ever. Want to trade this big blue egg for ten of your little ones?


Kendra: Hmmm, maybe you shouldn’t have eaten all yours before breakfast.
Randolf: Aw come on. Fifteen then?
Kendra: No less than twenty.
Randolf: Deal.
Kendra: Golly, I can’t believe Grandmother and Grandfather are still perpetuating gender stereotypes with the pink and the blue.

Meanwhile, over at the trailer park:

Randy: Best Easter ever. Can’t wait to show my buds the alligator, snake and turtle eggs I collected.
Candy: You bet. But the mall bunnies were kinda weird.

And for once, the Florida Seaside Villa folk agreed.

 

 

 

Happy Easter, wherever it finds you. 

© Judy Parsons 2018

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Easter Down South 2

….or Company in the House

Down at Florida Seaside Villa

Samuel: Wherever did you find that Dad?
Lancelot: Designed it and built it myself. Takes a little while for the colours to wear off after Easter but we love the rainbow scrambled eggs. Best stay outside the fence now, the girls can get a little aggressive from the steroids.

Judith: So what are you all up to these days?
Tamara: Oh my God, we’re so insanely busy with the kids. I hardly have any time for my book club.
Judith: Oh, I’m in a book club too, we’re doing Hillbilly Elegy. What book are you doing?
Tamara: Oh we don’t have time to read a real book; we just bring in our used magazines and throw them on the table and  then we drink wine and eat sex-in-a-pan. It’s the only night I have to myself – the kids need so much schlepping.
Judith: Oh. What are they in?
Tamara: Well, Randalf refuses to be in anything that doesn’t start with a B. He’s in basketball, beach volleyball, the Mysterious Benedict club, and biathalon. He had to drop badminton because it clashed with baseball.
Judith: (eyes glazing over)  ..and Kendra?
Tamara: Oh she’s only in Irish dance, chess club, hockey, and toastmasters and Tai Kwon Do, brown belt don’t you know. I don’t know what we’re going to do next weekend when her Foosball tournament is on at the same time as Randalf’s 50 mile bike race and Samuel refuses to miss his Diogenes club……pour me another generous glass of that chardonnay would you, please and thank you.
Judith: (shouting) Honey, where are the grandchildren? It’s almost time to take them to get their picture with the Easter Bunny.

Lancelot: They’re in the playpen I built them. Just got to fill the hen’s water dispenser and then we can go.
Samuel: Any chance of sampling a little of this first?

Randolf: I can jump it if you can. Just climb down onto the honey-pot.
Kendra: Okay. But I don’t have my epi-pen. You got yours?

Kendra: You feel kind of creeped out?
Randolf: Yeah, like we’re being watched or something.

 

Henny: It’s a girl!!

Penny: Wow, girl, that would be a golden egg if it wasn’t pink! And you’d never pass the drug test.
Henny: My bum hurts.

Meanwhile, over at the trailer park:

Joodles: So he loads ’em up on skittles and steroids.
Tammy: And the hens don’t mind?
Joodles: Heck no. Least not until they see the turkey fryer comin’.

Fenny: Mighty nice egg thar’.
Jenny: Yeah, but my ass hurts.

Candy: Daddy, why do they call it an egg hunt when you can see all the eggs.
Sammy: I dunno, go ask yer Pappy.

Lannie: Well sweetie, it’s not so much about huntin’. It’s all about who can get the eggs before the gator gits em. Or gits you.

Randy: S’okay Sis, I got this. This’ll jam up his jaws fer sure.

Tammy: I can’t watch!!

Candy: Can I have this one Pappy?
Lannie: Okay, but only fer decoratin’. Them big ones is not so much for eatin’. Yer Grandma ate one last year and she grew a beard and a third ear.

Stay tuned ……

© Judy Parsons 2018

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Easter down South 1

…..or Company’s A’Comin’

Down at Florida’s Seaside Villa:

Judith: Honey, can you come give me a hand to put the leaf in the table. Tamara called and said they’re bringing the kids over for Easter.
Lancelot: In a second dear, gotta check on the chickens.

Lancelot: Oh my little pretties, save your appetites. Have I got a treat for you.

Henny: What’s Mr. Fancy-Pants doin’ up on the roof of the coop?
Penny: Fixin’ up our special Easter cocktail – champagne laced with steroids and food colouring.


Lancelot: Heh, heh, this’ll get those little pullets a peckin’.

 

Meanwhile, over at the Trailer Park

Joodles: Git yer car parts out’a the spare room. Sammy’s on the phone; they’s bringin’ the youngsters up from Tampa fer Easter.
Lannie: Better go get the chickens goin’. Or will Missus Fancy-Pants eat eggs that didn’t come in a carton?

Joodles: What are ya at? They’ll soon be here and the spare bed is covered with bumpers and alternators.
Lannie: Just gotta plumb in this Easter fountain. Traded the passenger door of a 1969 Mustang Mach 1 for it.
Joodles: You had one job to do…………

Candy: Wow. It’s just trees and mailboxes and more trees.


Randy: And snakes and hogs and turtles and possums. But mostly snakes.

Tammy: Now no talkin’ about politics or religion or relatives or work.
Sammy: That jes leaves gators, guns and NASCAR.
Tammy: No talkin’ about guns.

Stay tuned for more Easter adventures.

© Judy Parsons 2018

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What are Ya At Now* 3

…..or Still Makin’ Stuff

Last year I posted pictures of two stained glass panels I did. They were of two corners of my Grandmother’s kitchen; a place very near and dear to my heart (oh dear, that’s so cliché); a place where I never felt anything but loved. This winter I completed the other two corners:

Doo doo doo, lookin’ out Granny’s back door.

The wash-stand by the pantry.

 

Here’s the quick message my sister sent after I showed her the panels:

“This piece makes me feel all warm and cozy – life out the bay – Newfoundlandy – non-stressful  way of life. Visiting Granny: always seemed to be sunny and soft there, bright sun rays glinting off the water in your eyes, rocks to climb over, bluebells to pick, birds always singing up in the hill where the well was, Grandfather and his Orange Crush, Granny always busy inside, or sitting in her rocker with those bowed legs crossed at the ankles, a welcoming place, best salt water view from the house on the rock, bowls of brown and white eggs (one staler, one fresh), smiling granddad who came and went so quietly to the “Kwap Store” (co-op) I remember Grandfather washing his face in a pan of stale water on the washstand. How often was it changed I wonder. Can still smell it. And in the tiny pantry there was a bin which fascinated me. I always thought she kept flour in it but that’s probably wrong.  You pulled the handle towards you and it just pulled forward right from the floor in a V shape.”

Thanks Sissy. For the record I think the funky smell came from the shaving brush. I vaguely recall that v-shaped cupboard but not what was in it. My favourite thing was the wooden box on the wall with the little drawers and the pincushion on top. I know she kept her post office key in one drawer and I always longed to see what was in the others but was too short to reach them and look. Bet I’m tall enough now but the house is long gone.

As a reminder here are the two panels I did last winter:

So now that Granny’s kitchen is complete I’ll have to move on to other things but I am reluctant to leave that place – I could write a book about those memories. Hey, maybe I will some day.

© Judy Parsons 2018

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Happy Valentine’s Day 2018

..from the South.

 

Judith: I’m so excited, I haven’t been to a fair in years.
Lancelot: Me neither. Wonder if you can still win a Kewpie doll.

Lancelot: Dang it, should have known better than to buy a used car from “Mostly Good Cars”. She’s not gettin’ her gas. Must be the solenoid.
Judith: Oh dear, and on Valentine’s of all days. Do you need a hair pin or a nail file this time?
Lancelot: It’s okay, I think I got her now.

Judith: Thank goodness. I’m not too sure about this neighbourhood.

Judith: The fair was such a great idea.
Lancelot: Wish we could do this every evening.  Happy Valentine’s dear.

Judith: Ooh thank you Lancelot; this was the best Valentine’s day ever!!

Meanwhile down at the trailer park:

Joodles: What are we doin’ fer Valentime’s?

Lannie: Aw Crikey. I was just about to lift the engine in our new car. I would never have bought a car at Mostly Good Cars if yer brother didn’t own it.
Joodles: Well I wants to go to the fair.
Lannie: How we gonna get there?
Joodles: We can hitch-hike.

Joodles: Wheehee, ride ’em cowboy. This is the best time ever!
Lannie: It’s all rigged I tells ya, the games is all rigged.

Joodles: That was so awesome! I won a horse, a bear and a toilet plunger. Best Valentime’s ever.
Lannie: Only cause your other brudder runs the games. It’s all rigged I tells ya.

♥ Happy Valentine’s Day wherever it finds you. ♥

© Judy Parsons 2018

email comments to jgparsons@judypstickletrunk.com – that’s the only way it works.

What Are Ya At Now* 2

……or W’as Goin’ On Now? #2

To which I reply “Same ole t’ing, maid, same ole t’ing. Makin’ stuff and den eatin’ some of it. Eatin’ a lot of it, to be shore.” Like these Coconut Milk Sweet buns I made yesterday in my thrift store breadmaker using my thrift store breadmaker cookbook.  Big buns. I had to rush most of them into the freezer so I wouldn’t eat them all before I went to bed.

Also working on my drawing skills. This is a colour pencil sketch from my sketch a day journal although it was not drawn on the day I saw it, but more recently from a photo I took with my phone at a Saturday afternoon session at a Cape Cod pub on my way down here in the late fall. I call it “Margaret’s Drink.”

That’s our friend Bill playing a pocket-sized banjo. I guess they are trying to make them small enough to hide now, but do what you might, you can’t hide the sound of a banjo of any size. It would have been a lot easier to draw IF THEY WEREN’T ALL WEARING PLAID! Just sayin’.

* “What are ya at?” is a Newfoundlander’s way of asking “What are you doing?” Not to be confused with “Where’s ya to?” which means “Where are you?”

© Judy Parsons 2018

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