Monday, October 31, 2016

Way Way Too Many Pumpkins

My friends, family and neighbors have all let me down.  Many a pumpkin was offered, and very few have left my yard.  Even my pumpkin thieving, (loving) sister didn't take very many this year.  All in all, I was only able to give away around 20.  When there are nearly 500, 20 does not make a dent. 

So, I set to work painting and carving the ripe ones.  The kids and the husband carved a few each. The green ones have been used as props for the orange guys.  Even if more had turned orange in time for Halloween, I'm sure they still would have been used in the same way.

On the deck and in front of the house, there are just over 300 pumpkins.  That is not counting ornamental gourds of which there were around 200, and they are scattered here and there.  I had a fantastic gourd patch this year.  There were so many different types, I never knew what I was going to find when I went out to pick a few.

You know what I really love about my Halloween decorations?  Ninety-nine percent of them are compostable.  I get to start from scratch every year, and I do not have to store them. 

Here are the numbers - Outside in front of the house and on the deck - 300.  Scattered around the yard - 25.  In the house - 50.  And left in the garage are 85.  Of course, as far as squash go, there are many, many more that are being stored for winter eating.  Acorn, buttercup, butternut, spaghetti and zucchini all produced abundantly this year.  I need a Pinterest board just for squash recipes.  

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pier 21 in Halifax

Pier 21 stands out in my mind as the most emotional, interesting and memorable museum I have yet had the pleasure to visit.  Located on the Halifax Harbour, this port is where some 1 million immigrants landed in Canada between the years 1928 - 1971.  There was an incredible amount of information to take in.  I immersed myself most deeply into the personal stories, but what really moved me was experiencing, in a couple of hours, the evolution of our country, and how much has changed in how we treat each other.  While I got a strong feeling of the positive changes that have taken place over the years, I was still left with a heavy feeling of how much further we have left to go.  Not hopelessness, not at all, just the weight of of a very gradual change.  We're moving forward, just at a pace that is frustratingly slow.

Here are just a few things that stood out to me, and I will spare you the detailed history, but will include links to websites if you would like to read more about these events.

The museum does not try to shed a rose coloured light on Canada's history.  This is the first exhibit visitors
are greeted with upon entry and it instantly sets the tone for the rest of the tour.
After being denied entry into the country, and their safe return to Europe, over 200 of these passengers
perished in the holocaust.  You can read more about this event HERE.

An interesting ad from a newspaper.  I love the artwork.

Many of these original homesteads are still in existence today.  But as the old buildings
decay, and farms get bigger, they are slowly becoming unrecognizable.
 Of course, I was familiar with the Titanic, but I was shocked to learn of this devastating event.  It was one
of the most difficult exhibits to get through.  There were many sad stories, and terrible photos from the event.
You can read more HERE.
This letter was found more than two months after the disaster and was eventually returned to "Roger", who had
survived.  It caught my eye because it was from my home province of Saskatchewan.

I would not, not ever get back on a boat after surviving something like that.  Amazing.

A sad, but interesting part of our history.  Read about it HERE.

This photo speaks volumes, doesn't it?  The look of disappointment and sadness in their faces captured my attention, and even
now in a photograph of a photograph, I feel their pain deeply.
Emerging from the museum, you get the feeling of being on a ship moving through the water.  I actually even felt a little
sea sick.  But this was a beautiful place to sit and contemplate everything I had just learned.  The incredible scenery
also helped lift my mood a bit.