Dressing Up Today

It seems many adults ‘celebrate’ this day. People; I guess, like to dress up and act outrageous. Just wait till you are my age and you can do that everyday. Well at least I feel I am entitled to do so.



When I was a kid, we made our own costumes from rags around the house, Mom’s best sheets (Sssh), Dad’s favorite necktie and in general anything we could get our grubby little hands on. Seriously I NEVER ever heard of a parent helping a child choose a theme and there was no such thing as buying costumes!!!! EGADS! especially in our little one horse town.  As I recall we usually didn’t choose anything more frightening than a ghost or maybe a witch. No fake blood and ooze. No dagger sticking out of our skulls. What happened along the way? Give me the good ole days; we had fun…….so much fun! There was no worry about poison laced candy. We could walk anywhere in the town and feel 100% safe. Parents did not have to accompany their children. They shooed us out the door with a sack or pillow case and told us to be home when we were finished. One of my brothers was a law unto himself. He was so enthusiastic that he made sure to go to EVERY single home in our town, arriving home somewhere between 10 and 11pm with a pillow case FULL to the top with candy and fruit. Oh yeah, we gave out and received fruit, not just candy and I LOVED that.

Today I am expecting some of my grandchildren to stop by but not all of them though they live only 10 minutes away. It is considered unsafe to be out driving. Isn’t that sad?  They have to stay close to home and of course their parents are all over them. Well, this is a reflection of the world we live in.

When we belong to Christ, we know that as His children, we are IN this world but not OF this world. Thankfully our real citizenship is in Heaven!

I Got the Puppy-Dog Blues….

It’s been a lovely rainy Sunday and while I do enjoy such days, today I am sinking down into a low place. I got me the sleepy time puppy  blues. One of my dogs, Jerry of Ben & Jerry fame is unwell. At least he is pretending to be so. He had me up so many times last night that I am worn out today. Up till about 3 hours ago, he seemed pretty good today. Then “Brummmp!” Yup, the little beast started letting go all sorts of weird and halloweeny sounds and I knew it all spelled trouble with a capital “D”. Yes, D! for that dreaded disease….diarrhea! OH NO! so I found myself walking through the puddles, trying to allow him to empty himself. There…..now we can go in out of the rain, I thought. Whew…..10 minutes later the sound effects begin again. And to make it worse, he starts complaining. If you think a dog that size (15 lber) can’t complain then you don’t know my Jerry! He moaned and groaned and yelping and schelped until I had to don my boots and wander out again through the mucky mess. You’d think with the inclement weather, he would choose the first available bush but no, he’s gotta sniff and poke and explore until it’s just the right place. CRAP….as I write this, he is calling out to me again. I swear if I knew how to download and upload a digital recording I would…..he sounds like the devil himself when he starts. I HATE pets. OK OK so don’t get your knickers in a twist…..I hate hypochondriac pets. I am convinced he has a wee little bit of indigestion but he’s making off like the worst case of…..hang on a min….gotta go and take the little bastard out AGAIN………………….And my darling husband is off the island until Tuesday. I bet you a hundred bucks he will be FINE when Ray returns. DAMMIT………..why did I think having a cute little pup or two would be…ah…er….cute????? As you may note, I am a very patient person….NOT. I mean it’s worse than having a set of twins bawling at the same time……I am POST-MENOPAUSAL guys and I can’t take it ANYMORE!!!! In fact, earlier to try to regain some semblance of sanity I called my sister to let off steam. She did cheer me up and made me promise to keep on the right side of the law here….We ended up laughing and I felt a new woman until 5 minutes after we hung up. Look at him, all mopey and sad-eyed….I KNOW YOU ARE TRYING TO PLAY WITH ME JERRY……I am not falling for your sappy look.  Perhaps if I let him spend some quality time on our covered and snug little patio, he will relax. Be right back…..nah, that didn’t work either. He wants MOMMA and guys, that’s me….let me run for now.

In closing, I will say that I am adamant about one thing….someone is gonna sleep tonight…..I got me some nice little blue pills…..wonder if pets can…..nah, better not!

My Favorite Movies Ever

We don’t subscribe to any movie channels mostly because they all pretty well….STINK!

This could be a film star from the 1950's

If you take a look at movies I have loved,  you will understand why today’s flicks fall short!

!. Song of Norway

2. Sound of Music

3. The Parent Trap (original with Hayley Mills)

4. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

5. Ben Hur

6. The Unsinkable Molly Brown

7. The Sting

8. Sleeping with the Enemy

9. Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

10. The Bridge on the River Kwai

11.The Postman Always Rings Twice

12 .It’s a Wonderful Life

13. Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller (kids movie)

14. Von Ryan’s Express

16. My Fair Lady

17. Pollyanna

18. Where Eagles Dare

19. The Magnificent Seven

19. Breakfast at Tiffanys

20.The Odd Couple

What are some that you like?

Nurse on an Island

One of the most interesting jobs I had as a young RN (Registered Nurse) was Private Duty Nursing.  The pay was terrific and the jobs were varied

A few times I worked in the hospital with a patient but mostly I worked in people’s homes.  Generally the patients were very wealthy and so I was exposed to luxurious homes all over the island of Bermuda. Working the afternoon and evening shifts, I dined with the rich and famous. I wandered about their palatial like homes and became friends with the Butler, maids, the chef and the Chauffeur. It was wildly exciting for me. The patients themselves were rarely seriously ill. They just had lots of money and needed someone to be there to give them medication, dress a wound, and watch over them. The photo I have included here shows the view of one home situated on its own private island. When I arrived at the dock, there was a huge brass bell I had to ring and the boatman would come over to collect me for work. Though the patient was one of the wealthiest men in the UK, he hired everyday locals to run his household. Here you see me with the boatman rowing me over to my patient’s Island.

At first I was somewhat intimidated by the splendor of their lifestyle but I soon fit in and learned to really love my patient. His wife of 50 years was deeply unhappy and she tended to take it out on her young nurses. She had a walking stick and would sometimes try to hit us. She used her manicured nails to try to scratch us but once I realized that she was so unhappy, somehow I got through to her and she became the sweet gentle old lady I believed her to always be. Because I was the evening nurse, I was a part of their ‘social’ events. We often went to cocktail parties together, entertained in their massive salon with Marie Antoinette tables and crazily expensive antiques.

I learned about wines and though I did not partake of such, I listened and learned.

The lesson I held onto always since then is that no matter how many race horses one owned in 6 different countries, this was not what brought peace and love into a home. Oh I had been taught that all my life but in those 8 months at that job, I lived this message.

On Becoming Neighborly

We have lived in the same house now for over 30 years. It is a fairly quiet and peaceful neighborhood, especially since my 4 children have grown and moved out. Our immediate neighbors we have always known, it seems but anyone further away than three houses, we may have recognized them in town but then again perhaps not.

Across the street from our home

That all changed when we decided to become “Puppy Parents” 6 years ago.

At first we still pretty much kept to ourselves since I sank into an immediate frenzied kind of depression. Let’s not call it manic depressive…that is too sane an explanation. For those of you who may have read my Post from October 14th, you may have a smidgen of an idea of what my life was like for at least the first 2 years. During that trying time, my puppy/dog walking was confined to strategic areas not far from the escape of my humble home so I did not mingle with other neighbors.

My darling husband was the first to venture further afield when ‘she who must be obeyed‘ (that’s me guys) instructed in that ugly high-pitched hysterical voice, “Caesar Milan insists they need more exercise so unless you begin to work them out until they are totally fatigued, then I shall give them away to the first fool who admires their impish ways!”  and so it began, this journey into our real neighborhood.

My husband has become something of a celebrity now. When he goes onto the main highway here with his charges, Ben and Jerry, everyone who is employed on this island has to drive past them and as is the norm for all Bermudians, they honk and wave and even stop to chat in the middle of the early morning rush.

A few years ago, once I rid myself of the doggie depression blues, I began to wander about with the little beasts too. Especially when Ray has to go abroad or attend some important meeting or such….Anyway I find the exercise just what I like…We walk for 5 steps, then stop whilst they sniff and pee and sniff some more. We stroll along another few feet and then have a chit-chat with Mrs. Brown down the lane. I steer them out of Mrs. Foggo’s garden and guide them deep into the “Match-Me-Can” roadside shrubbery to do whatever business they must and then Mr. Smith’s granddaughters stop by on their bikes to pet their new friends.

I continue on the excursion then and the Mailman on his motorbike, stops to give them a word or two. Little children come running as excited as if I were the ice cream person tinkling their alluring music. We have begun to become fast friends with all our neighbors and even those from far across this vast (21 sq miles) island. I daren’t go walking with the fellas if I am in a somber mood and need quiet time…..it just cannot be done. On the other hand, it is a good pick-me-up when I may be feeling a little under the weather.

This week my grandchildren are on mid-term break and so my ten-year old granddaughters  have offered to walk the dogs for me.
















I actually stand on my kitchen patio and watch the whole adventure to be sure they are safe.) They are meeting our friendly neighbors and are loving this daily ritual. And me, I can sit by and watch them becoming a very real part of this terrific neighborhood. It will be a great foundation for their growing years nearby.






How friendly are you with your neighbors?


Our Friendly roach-eating FROG

Having re-read with great pleasure an old edition of the Bermudian celebrating 400 years, I now pause to reflect on some interesting tidbits found therein. Historical facts and figures, exciting moments throughout the years in Bermuda and the one vital statistic I have found to move me the most is that in 1875 toads (aka FROGS by locals) were brought into Bermuda from South America to control the cockroach population. I hereby declare that we need to bring more here and as soon as possible!

Years ago, on any warm summer evening, if one were driving along our pleasant lanes and byways, there was every likelihood that one would either splat one of these delightful creatures under one’s wheels or at least, find the remains of one every few hundred feet or yards. When is the last time you have encountered the road-kill on your comings and goings? I, for one, have not seen one in years! And that is a sad fact….not because I really want all frogs to die a horrible death on our roads but it is evidence that we have let the cockroaches WIN!

we mourn the loss....

And even after 41 years in Bermuda (I came as a young girl !!!), I still HATE those flying frightful ruiners of many a “lovely-Bermuda-evening“.

We need frogs!

I hereby claim that we MUST put a stop to the rapid growing population of cockroaches!

I know, I know, many of you are terrified of FROGS but come on, guys…what can a frog do to harm you? It does not slither and hide in your supply of brown paper grocery bags (soon to be outdated forever but that is another issue to be addressed at some time in the future)? Does a frog creep up your leg when you are sitting in your cutest sundress at a friend’s outdoor party? Does a frog fly straight for you when you convince yourself you are brave enough to swat it? Does a frog make itself known in front of guests by crawling onto your patio table when you serve lovely little cakes with tea giving said guests juicy newsy gossip to bring back to Canada, the USA or the U.K.when they go home?  The answer to these questions must be a definite NO!! Frogs do not like to be seen; they hide and eat their prey happily. They will not surprise you  unless you go digging through your gardening tools in dark dank corners. And should you encounter one, be assured that though he is rather grotesque and homely, he will just sit there and stare at you till you get back to your own business! BE NOT AFRAID, folks….frogs are here to SAVE us from the much dreaded cockroach.

the only good roach is a DEAD one

When I think of the thousands of dollars I spend every year on “pest control”, I could cry! Pest-control? Those folks must be laughing all the way to the bank!  “But Madam, we can’t stop them from flying onto your property!” they say with a hidden smirk.  No as far as I can tell, there is NO control of this dirty pest, the most hated species around










MY New Lyrics to Send in the Clowns


Isn’t it rich, Bermuda is so fair
Roaches are here on the ground
And EVEN in mid-air
Send in the FROGS
It isn’t  bliss, I don’t approve
They keep scurrying around
One  can’t even move
Where are the FROGS
Send in the FROGS
Just when I’d stopped opening screen doors
Finally knowing that Baygone was only yours
Doing a barbeque again with my usual flair
Worried about them flying
Roaches here; roaches there.
Don’t you love a farce,
Ag & Fish are at fault I fear,
I just wanted them gone forever
Sorry my dear!
But where are the FROGS

There ought to be FROGS
Quick send in the FROGS

What a surprise,
Who could foresee?
I’d come to hate those pests

What about you?
Why only now when I see
That they’re flying astray ?
What a surprise…
What a cliché…
Isn’t it rich, isn’t it sad
Killing the roaches would make me GLAD
SO where are the FROGS
Quick send in the FROGS

Please tell me that at last they are HERE!

….the Bermuda Cockroach!

The Colours of Bermuda

I was born and brought up in Nova Scotia, Canada.  I have lived the past 40 plus years in Bermuda but looking back,  I recal that each Season seemed to have its own dominant colour.

Winter….white, white and more white;   Spring various shades of green, budding forth; Summer was pastel to me and Fall was rusty-reds.

Here in Bermuda, we are surrounded by so many colours at all times of the year that I wanted to share my view with you…..in photo format… need I say more? I thought not…




There WAS Something about Mary

Her name was Mary  and I was an 18-year-old student nurse.   That early morning in March, 1968, when I was first assigned to be her care-giver for the day, I felt a knot deep inside my stomach. I had heard so much about Mary and I was terrified.

You may think it is because she was a difficult and demanding patient.  You may surmise that she was at death’s door and likely to pass at any given time….But Mary was the bravest woman I have ever met in my entire life!
Mary was full of cancer and in the 1960’s all too often there was no hope. We knew she would die of this horrid disease but it seemed, at that time, as though she would be with us forever. She was dying, yes, but oh so slowly and ever so painfully. To make matters worse…..

Well, let me tell you first why I was so terrified.  I was told that she was a quiet old lady but so filled with cancer and infection that she had to be in Isolation.  In that small hospital, the Isolation Ward was dark and dreary but what was probably the most frightening for us students was the horrible smell and the ugliness of the rotting flesh. I shan’t describe it any further than that. Because we had to gown up and wear masks etc., I gathered all I would need before entering her room so that I could clean her and change her dressings without having to go out for additional supplies. Mary was blind and she was frail. She had a small voice despite her big heart. I could tell that she craved company, being alone all the time like that. Sadly no one visited and certainly no one (myself included) just stopped in to chat. It was painful to be there and I was, like most of my fellow students, a coward. Still I tried my best to be loving and gentle with her. When I had to remove her dressings, I could have cried but what still, to this day, makes my heart stir, is that though she was trembling in severe, agonizing  pain, all she did was whisper, “Thank you Jesus; thank you Jesus” I could not believe the faith of this poor woman; I didn’t understand then that we truly can cast all our cares on Him. But Mary taught me about that the very first day.  I recall vividly that when I had finished doing her dressings and seeing to her other needs, I left that room a totally different person than when I had entered it. Still, though her faith touched me, I hated to be assigned to her because it was so very difficult. In the  three years I was in training (Nursing School), Mary was there  and I  often wondered why God waited so long to ‘take her home’ but now I realize that perhaps it was so that she could be a testimony of Great Faith and Love to so many of us young students! Mary was grateful for every little thing that any of us did for her. I know I could have done far more and I still regret my immaturity in this regard. It probably wasn’t until I myself was going through a battle with bi-lateral breast cancer myself over 10 years ago that I began to understand  how Mary could,  during her pain and suffering, thank Jesus. You see, I experienced His loving arms about me when I was at my worst. I knew that He held Mary close to His heart each and every day. Looking back now, I believe He was there with us in that dark room.

I fully believe that when I walk through the gates of heaven into eternity one day, one of the first people I will see is a glorified and rejoicing Mary. For I know that “our” Savior has gathered her into Paradise with Him.  All her  tears and suffering have been removed from her forever!

Thank You, Mary!

Aviation Malfunction

It couldn’t really be called a “plane crash” though we did need to be rescued on the high seas,  so borrowing from  a phrase made famous by Janet Jackson with her clothing accident one Super Bowl Sunday, I shall henceforth refer to this incident as my first and only (thanks be to God) Aviation Malfunction.

It was the summer of ’73 and my first visit to the Bahamas;  Bimini, specifically. If any of you have ever been to the Bahamas and not stayed in a 4 star resort then you may understand a little of the scene I am going to set for you. Arriving in the Bahamas in itself was a huge eye-opener; and then flying into Bimini was …well, the stuff legends are made of, I am convinced! At the time I had already been living in Bermuda for more than ten years. Up to that point I found island living here rather a culture shock.  But after my brief sojourn in the Bahamas, I realized that Bermuda is MUCH more sophisticated and a part of the present century. Not so Bimini. My husband had to go there for a week for work. His company had a small branch office there and he was required to do his stint. It was rather exciting for us both.

I should have known that this would be a momentous experience for us when the small plane we boarded from Miami which seated 14 people, landed on a small island to fuel up and take on other passengers. The problem was, there were only 14 seats…they were already full so the co-pilot gave up his seat for one of the passengers and an old worn orange crate was brought out for the other. I kid you not!!!!! We watched this open-mouthed and were too stunned to do or say anything. Well, we thought, it would be a 15 or 20 minute flight into Nassau. All was well, so far…..We did land safely and were only too happy to disembark to wait for our next flight over to Bimini.  Typical laid back ‘island time’ , this next flight was a few hours late. I believe it was because the pilot was chatting up one of the car rental girls but I couldn’t be sure.  Still we held onto our tempers and finally our flight was announced.

I didn’t realize till we walked outside to board, that it was a seaplane…… YUP! Chalk Airlines. I felt a moment of panic but again was assured by my husband that they had a terrific flying record. (he had somehow neglected to tell me that we would take off and land on the water but….)  Ray and I boarded first and so sat immediately behind the pilot and whew co-pilot.

The plane slowly filled up and everyone had an actual seat with seat belts and all. I must say that the take off was wonderful…..not unlike a terrific amusement park ride (did I mention that I am terrified of roller coasters and such?) But once we lifted into the air I decided I quite liked this. It was lovely. We listened to the conversation of the two pilots and by the time we landed safely in Bimini Harbor, both Ray and I felt we could have taken over the controls. Ahem… Well the next thing that is supposed to happen is, the wheels come out so that the plane may taxi onto a ramp and on dry land. Before anyone else on the plane realized there was a problem, Ray and I (as co-co-pilots) knew it.  Listening to their concerned voices and watching them both trying to pull some clutch thingie or something, we were already in full prayer mode. Still the rest of the passengers were totally cool. By now the plane was going round and round in circles while they struggled with the hydraulics. They kept revving up the engine and still….nothing. So I could not help it, I called out to them, “Let us out here. There are lots of boats around. Someone will take us to shore!” But they ignored me and kept on trying.  The wheels were stuck, they whispered. I was in a state of panic just about now and then all of a sudden, a huge Bahamian Momma called out in a screech, “The engine on fire! The engine on fire!” and sure enough, flames were licking up the side of the plane.

There was screaming and crying and shouting and everyone was clamoring to get outta there fast! The co-pilot came running and Ray passed him a fire extinguisher. They got the door open and a boat came up beside us to do the heroic rescue. Ray and the co-pilot were dousing the flames and people were falling over themselves to get off the plane and into the boat. Since we were at the front of the plane, we were the last ones…. It was announced by the captain of the little 19 ft boat that there was only room for one more. I looked down at the screaming mass of people on the boat and declared I would not go without my husband! But they insisted and I was forced onto the boat. Tears were streaming down my face as I watched Ray standing at the door of the plane with the co-pilot and smoke billowing out of the side of the craft (they had got the flames out at least) But I was sure I was about to see a huge explosion and watch my beloved go down with the plane. The drama I was experiencing; however, was soon replaced with a sinking feeling. Yes, the boat which was WAY overloaded was beginning to sink! Children were crying; people were praying and many cried out that they could not swim. I realized when the water was up to my waist while sitting there that the driver was going too fast. I kept yelling for people to “BE QUIET” and “SLOW DOWN!!WE ARE SINKING”  Finally he heard me and we crawled the rest of the way. By now perhaps 30 to 50 people were standing on the shore watching the horrific scene. The boat pulled up to the ramp and before I could step onto safe dry land, a burly giant of a man, grabbed me and threw me over his shoulder (firefighter style)! I was mortified because I was FINE but ……He finally put me down and as I set about to gather my dignity, I turned and watched Ray and the two pilots get off a huge luxury boat which picked them up from the plane. Everything was fine. The plane did not explode. And we began our week of adventure in a land unlike any other.
We chose to skip Chalk Airlines  on the return voyage and made it home with nothing but memories of that once upon a time kind of trip!

Am I Still Here?

It’s taken me a few years to be able to write about this event. A precious young lady, not even 25 years old lay dying in the Intensive Care Unit. She had been unconscious for a few days following serious surgery. You see, Lilly (name has been changed) had battled Cancer for well over a year. She was like another daughter to me, and part of our family since she was 11 years old. She had her own loving family but was here in our home so often, one could have wondered which was her home. We had been through the usual teenage drama with her and my youngest daughter loving and hating each other on an almost daily basis. (not unusual).

Lilly had had so many different kinds of chemo that she was like a human sponge. Still the cancer kept growing. She was valiant and a real trooper but a girl can only take so much. She kept active most of the time she was battling this cursed malady and in fact, she had spent her last day before being hospitalized here with us. She and my daughters and some friends spent the afternoon by the pool, swimming and playing and having a terrific time. But just before they went down to the pool, Lilly came to me and asked me to pray with her.  We went into the den and closed the door. I turned to her and asked her, “Lilly, are you ready to die?” We both cried and I talked again (we had had many such conversations over the years) about the Saving Power of Jesus Christ.  Though she actually seemed quite well that day, I sensed an urgency about her. Her family found it too difficult to talk about her imminent death but she needed to prepare herself, she told me . I was there for her. We finished praying and then I joined them at the pool for awhile. It was a lovely afternoon; we took lots of photos and had a wonderful time.

We received a phone later that evening.

All Lilly’s family and closest friends were gathered around that hospital bed a week or so later. The doctors reduced medication so that she was now waking up. Her big brown eyes opened and she said in a clear voice,  “I need Momma Helen.” My husband and I flew to that hospital as fast as we could when her mother called us.  Lilly gripped my hand and said to me, “I want to go and be with Jesus now. Can I go?” I turned to her parents and asked them, “Do you give permission for Lilly to go now?” With tears pouring down their faces, they said Yes.  I was praying quietly now.  Her eyes would close for a time and her breathing was labored. At one point, she seemed to have been startled awake. She looked right at me with shock and surprise and said, “Oh, am I still HERE? I saw Jesus and I want to go with Him….” Several moments later, she closed her eyes and died. She died in the arms of Jesus. This I know. I thank God for Lilly. And I especially thank Him that she became a big part of my family. She learned about Jesus and His love and mercy. She learned that He was there for her through all her pain and suffering and though she was certainly not always an easy or perfect girl, she was most definitely His child and I know she walks today in Glory.

No, Lilly, you are not here anymore and for that we rejoice. One day we shall meet again and will have such wonderful times together.
Bet your “Mansion” is FAB! Just like you, Lilly!