Come On Down…..you are the 41st Contestant on…..

Wow! Again? I am humbled and rather overwhelmed.

Many many thanks to Scott  http://scottsholar.com  for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award. It is thrilling to accept such an honor.

The rules again folks….

First and foremost, THANK you Scott.

Secondly, let me tell you a few things about myself that perhaps you do not know. This will be difficult since I am such an open book but I shall try…..let’s see,

1. When I was born, apparently I had so much hair that the nurses in the nursery had to give me a hair cut.

2. I am the 7th child out of 11.

3. I have been to South Africa on a wonderful holiday

4. I am a bi-lateral breast cancer survivor.

5. I LOVE the Lord Jesus above all else….

6. I taught myself everything to do with the computer way back in the Commodore 64 days!

7. I have written 3 or 4 novels that have not been published but I have had one short story published in several books.

Now to nominate other bloggers whom I feel deserve this award. This part will be easy.

http://bigsheepcommunications.wordpress.com

http://coffeekatblog.wordpress.com

http://prairiewisdom.wordpress.com

http://blog.dianehenders.com

http://serafim6.wordpress.com

http://media4lifeministries.com

http://gogreygirl.wordpress.com

http://angrymiddleagewoman.com

http://fiftyfourandahalf.com

http://oldgirlnewtricks.wordpress.com

http://leftonwalnut.com

http://connieemeraldeyes.wordpress.com

http://thismansjourney.net

http://loriannfranks.wordpress.com

Each and every one of these and indeed many others deserve your reading what they have to say. They will make you LAUGH out loud, may make you cry a little, will brighten your day and will become like dear cherished friends to you.

Congrats to you all!

COLD Bermuda

First of all, I defer to my esteemed adversary, http://oldgirlnewtricks.wordpress.com. She does make some valid points in her accusatory post today. Don’t feel too sorry for me, guys, just because my own big sister is attacking me oh so viciously. In fact, it is fitting that it  should be so on this auspicious day (the day many web sites have gone black in protest to our freedom of speech on the internet). Let her attack and accuse…..I am strong enough to take it and brave enough to send it right back at her!!!!

OK so Canada is cold. No doubt about it. In fact, I survived the first 21 years of my life there.
But Bermuda’s cold is not easy to accurately define. Let me tell you a wee little story (true). The first year I was married and living here, or should I say the first WINTER I lived here, I honestly thought I would die! I was dressed in so many layers of clothes and my bones were still frigid. I had blankets wrapped around me in the evenings, three pairs of socks on, the fireplace going and an oil heater going full steam. I was SO cold that I was quite sure if I were to look out the window, there MUST be snow falling! The walls are concrete and WET; one’s sheets feel wet upon getting into bed (Thanks be to God for the inventor of the electric blanket). I cried with the cold. It just didn’t compare to Canada’s relatively dry cold with HEATED homes!

There!

Enough said.
I win!!!!!!

 

don’t I???

 

YOU be the judge…….

 

Baby It’s Cccold Outside!

My Rebuttal to my sister’s post today on her blog       http://www.oldgirlnewtricks.wordpress.com         “I’m mad at my sister”

OK. The gloves are well and truly off!

My sister has opened a can of worms with her complaining about my complaining and she’s in trouble now.
Let it not be said that this little sister is shaking in her boots! (And it is SO cold here today that I am wearing boots!) She has thrown me a challenge and I am ready and raring to go.

OK so enough of the cliches (next she’ll be telling me off for overuse of them; she IS a teacher, after all)

Bermuda is a SUB tropical island in the Atlantic ocean.(Note the word SUB….) I would urge you to google us. You may be surprised to see how far north we actually are. The only reason we don’t get snow or freezing (per se) temperatures is because the Gulf Stream runs right by our shores. We are almost directly across from North Carolina. BUT and this is a huge BUT, it is chilly, very very chilly sometimes.

No, it’s NOT the uncivilized cold that you Northerners experience but when one touches the wall in one’s home and it feels WET and COLD and CLAMMY, rest assured, one feels wet and cold and clammy.  We do not have heating in our homes. Many of us have heaters but if you knew how very expensive electricity is here, well that is just not an option except at bath time. We have fire places and use them frequently, ok so maybe only 3 or 4 times a year but…….

In fact, I was so impressed or should I say disturbed by my sister’s post today, that I left my snuggly warm bed and my sweetly sleeping husband to come into the ccccold den and address the issue of Cold in Bermuda…..

and you know what? I love a good cold Bermuda winter day…..cuz truth be told….we have way too much nice warm and too often HOT weather!

So, take that, OldGirlNewTricks!

And yea, Maureen, I still love you no matter what…………

LOL

Writing in Sand

In 1967, I met my one true love.
I was a small town girl in my first year of Nursing School and he was in his third year of University, also a small town kind of guy but this guy was from an exotic place….the islands of Bermuda.

We began dating on September 16th and we have been together ever since.

University finished for the year in early May and so Ray would be flying home to Bermuda for the summer. We were totally in love and the thought of being apart for 4 months was devastating. There were tears and promises and letters and weekly brief long-distance calls and then of course more tears (did I mention that I was the one weeping soulfully?) and letters……we wrote to each other EVERY day ( We still have all our love letters too!)

On a phone call in June, he posed the question to me…well not THE question but rather the question that would start me on a whole new path in life….”Sweetheart, will you come to see me in Bermuda for your holidays this summer?” Ah…Er…um….oh YES I shouted into the phone. I mean I had 2 weeks off in July and what else would I do? BUT Since I had no money at all, he insisted on paying for my ticket. Then came the most crucial part of the great hope to jet off to paradise….Eagerly I went to my parents the next weekend to ask permission. My mother was so shocked that I would even ask. “It’s not as though you are engaged or anything! A girl can not go to stay with a boyfriend’s family. I mean he seems nice but what about his family? Will they even be there???

It just wasn’t ‘done’ I those days, at least not where I lived. The only way she would even consider this at all, is if his parents wrote a letter to invite me. Even then, she wasn’t too keen on it. Well long story slightly shorter…..his mother sent a beautifully written invitation to my parents and so it was decision time again. Mom was definitely not thrilled about the idea. Was it that she had a deep mistrust of ME or could it be those flashing dark eyes of my handsome beau?!? Hmmm. Bermuda was a foreign country after all…she may have thought of it as some third world country or maybe even a wild Club Med kind of place. I was so upset and frustrated. But I knew better than to over-argue my case. The next afternoon, my Dad and I went for a drive into the country and after a little while, we stopped at a local beach. It was still very cold and not yet beach weather in Nova Scotia but we often took walks along the craggy shores to think and reflect.

this could have been me…..

 

 

In my own little dream world, I picked up a stick and started drawing Ray’s and my initials in the sand in a big heart. My dad came over to me and after a few moments said, “The next time you will be writing in the sand, it will be the pink sands of Bermuda” I was elated!

My parents were old-fashioned and very loving and together they had decided on this way of telling me I had permission to go. Tears ran down my cheeks and I hugged my dad so hard. He too started to cry with joy. He and Mom knew even then what a special young man Ray was.
Three years later, Ray and I were married in a church in Bermuda…And so here I am living with my one true love in our beautiful island paradise home.

IMG_9987

 

 

Bermuda’s beautiful pink sandy beaches

The Shaving of Mr. Hillman

My heart fluttered and my pulses raced.  I smoothed my uniform and checked that my shoes were clean and shiny. I tucked a loose strand of hair up under my nurses’ cap and glanced in the mirror to be sure it sat just so. My blue eyes were wide and the excitement was evident. This was to be my first day on a new ward at St. Martha’s Hospital and I felt a little trepidation. I prayed silently that I would do a good job and impress the head nurse and my supervisor. I knew I was being graded each day I walked those wards and today was particularly important.

At 7:30m after the report from the night nurse was read,  we students each received our assigned patients for the day. At 18 years of age, this was pretty serious business. And so….. Mr. Hillman was to be my first patient of the day. He was a diabetic and blind.  A senior student nurse would take care of his medications….I had yet to go through this class; however, my big job was to bathe and shave my patient, all  the while I was to learn more about him etc. I prepared the bowl of hot water after meeting him and letting him know he was in my care for the morning. He was a lovely older gentleman and we chatted easily while I set everything up. Having watched my dad shave numerous times, I was sure I could easily take care of Mr. Hillman’s stubble in good time. The thing is, before I really got underway, and for reasons unknown to me, my blind patient decided that he could do a better job himself. He wrestled the razor out of my shaking hand (ok so maybe I was just a tad nervous and he sensed it….) and he began to shave his now lathered face. NICK! Ouch….”Mr. Hillman, really, I…..” NICK! More urgently, “Mr. HILLMAN, Please…..let me…..” NICK! I was beside myself as he insisted on continuing the fine job he was sure he was doing. The fact that he now had 5 or 6 major NICKS and blood running down his face did nothing to ease my anxiety or his determination. He kept right on….NICK! By now, my voice was taking on an air of authority, “Mr. Hillman, DO give me that razor NOW…..!!!Mr. Hillman!!!!” he smiled at me and hushed me soundly just as the Doctor, Head Nurse and my Supervisor walked into the room. There was blood everywhere and my face was beginning to drain of any of my own blood. WHAT A DAY!

Needless to say, I somehow survived that fiasco. In fact, the gathered medical hot shots made it their duty to comfort me….ME? He was bleeding everywhere but it was me they were concerned for. Actually it turned out that this was not Mr. Hillman’s first attempt at shaving himself, much to the consternation of other student nurses. He was a very stubborn man but turned out to be a lovely patient. I just knew after that day to keep the razor well within my grasp no matter what.

Home on the Rock

Bermuda is such a small wee little island.  We are blessed with a mild climate and a somewhat relaxed pace of life. It is the “island” effect. We have glorious vistas, magnificent beaches, colourful people and an ocean surrounding us that defies description.  So many shades of blue in its depths are a feast for this girl’s eye,  I who love blue. It seems to me that music dances throughout the life here and that too is varied and colourful. Bermuda is certainly imperfect and we have our social ills as does anyplace. Oftentimes, I consider what it might be like to live elsewhere. Indeed I have a special place in my heart for other places but when it comes right down to it, this is my home. While we face our own challenges, it is here where I want to be. We have too much violence as of late and my heart aches for this wonderful place. But here I shall stay. And for Bermuda, I will continue to pray.

Having been born and brought up on the north-east coast of Canada, I have a deep love for that country…..but again, this island is home.  After living here for more than 41 years, these little highways and byways bring me peace, and happiness. When, on occasion,  I find myself travelling to other delightful places, my heart always yearns for home.

I have missed blogging on this recent holiday with too many computer issues to be able to post and publish.

But I am back again……back home on the rock!

 

Storm Chased in our RV

 

At present I am off the island and having some computer issues so I am posting something I wrote some time ago….hope you enjoy!

Helen/RVingGirl

STORM CHASED

(or Running ahead of the storm that’s a-coming!)

Friday September 3rd ….at the crack of dawn….

 

 

 

Well, here we are on Highway 2 running for our lives. Ok Ok so we’re not actually in fear for our lives but nonetheless, we are feeling motivated by the fact that as we sat last evening in our once considered rather large and perhaps somewhat grand Motorhome, and then upon hearing that a big bad-ass storm was heading directly for us in our now acknowledged teeny weeny motorhome, we had best get out of Dodge and fast!

Being the savvy Islanders that we are and therefore having ridden out any number of Hurricanes inBermuda, we may appear to some of you as chicken-hearted or even yellow-bellied. I know; I know, it does look that way, but you only have to spend one dark stormy night with torrential rain and thunderstorms in this Rig to feel the anxiety of the thought of any wind more than 20 mph. So we made this decision and we have cut and run…..

Yup, we are hightailing it into midlandMaineto wait out the furor of Hurricane Earl.

So after just spending some time reading my Bible and no not just because of this storm am I reading it… I stand or rather sit at attention in the co-pilot seat, being at the ready to serve and aid my darling husband…..that is, keeping him alert with my witty and interesting conversations and being ready to read any of the signs along the route. For example, you might like to know that about 50 miles back, we passed a wee town here in New Brunswick, famed for having the last fatally fought duel wherein at least one of the challengers was shot and killed. Then only 20 miles ago, we passed a town that claims to have “the world’s largest axe”…yes, AXE!!!! What life lessons we are learning on this marvelous journey.  Later I plan on sharing with my beloved husband some fond memories from schooldays long past. Do you think he will be interested in my naming every one of my teachers from Primary through to Grade 9 when I first fell in love with a rather dashing handsome male teacher (who incidentally married my older cousin and left my heart in pieces) and then on to the one teacher who decided I would be best served repeating the 11th Grade? Well my parents agreed by the way but I managed to finagle myself intoNursingSchool without ever doing Grade 12. AHA! And it was not even a male director of Nursing but rather a Nun. …..

Do any of you recall some of my narrative that I sent your way when we drove 2 years ago through the Prairies and the delight of our chance sightings of many forms of wildlife inAlbertaandBritish Columbia? Well so far inNova Scotia,PEIandNew Brunswick, we have had several close encounters of the trashy kind. Yes, we have passed at least a dozen raccoons who grace the highways and byways of the Maritimes as road kill. There have also been quite a few evidences of nauseating after-smells of skunks though we were fortunate enough not to have met any face to face and then of course there are the flying wildlife abounding here …..damn mosquitoes! But nary a deer nor moose have we seen. Still the provinces are filled with amazing beauty….the lush thick forests and the sparkling lakes and rivers…..the coastal seas pounding along the craggy shores. We love it all but most importantly, the people. Having been born and raised as a native Maritimer myself, I take pride in the people who live out their lives in this beautiful and oftentimes cold and stormy countryside.  We have enjoyed meeting up with cousins again and dear old friends. Though the years have separated us, we were welcomed back.

We are at the Border now so I shall close down the computer while we deal with American Customs etc…….

 

Oh darn! They confiscated our citrus. We only had 2 tangelos left and though I begged the agent to wait whilst I quickly consumed them, I was denied though he couldn’t have been nicer about our loss. It was when I watched him throw them into a trash receptacle, that I could contain my emotions no longer and I cried out that he was committing a gross sin. (Really this is true) and fortunately he did not arrest me or even threaten to lock me up but rather sheepishly apologized and promised he would hit the nearest confessional once his shift ended. Ok so that last part is a fabrication but he did say he was very sorry for my loss. I vowed then to lie through my teeth at any customs border but Ray put me in my place and told me that was a definite no-no!

Saturday…….September 4th at Katahdin Shadows Campground somewhere in the thick forest of inner Maine:

 

You may be pleased to note that we were successful in avoiding Hurricane Earl and any winds related to same. We did however, and much to my delight, spend a night listening to a constant deluge of torrential rains. This morning we awoke to a rather subdued array of fellow campers wringing out their soaked sleeping bags. They were for the most part happy but somewhat envious at seeing how dry and cozy we were as we exited our Motorhome to walk our dogs. We  had to don full storm-rain gear and with the dogs wrapped in their designer doggie raincoats, they sniffed their way through puddles to find just that perfect spot to leave their marks.

The campground is filled to overflowing as many campgrounds along the coast had to be evacuated. Many crept in to set up in the wee hours of the morning.

 

And so we are doing very well. There is such a sense of rest and peace in living out this dream….that is, trekking along the highways of this beautiful vast country, meeting people from all walks of life as we make our way here and there. For example, yesterday at the border, we spotted another Motorhome couple who somehow had managed to end up in the queue that was meant for cars only. When one is driving a 40 foot Rig and towing a car or truck, it is next to impossible to quickly change lanes and actually impossible to reverse. In such a case, one has to get out and unhook the tow vehicle and then somehow turn oneself around. So, being the kind hearted folks we are, (ahem), we invited them to squeeze in front of us. In order to do this Ray had to do some fancy smancy maneuvering and they just managed the shift into our lane. They were most grateful and called out a “Thanks, Y’all” to us. It just so happened later that they had stopped at the same rest stop as us to have lunch and so being the gracious southerners they are, the came up to our door to thank us…..

What a pleasant surprise when later at our campsite, there was a knocking at the door and the southern belle Judy came to ask us to join them for birthday cake. We had a pleasant evening getting to know the retired Delta Pilot and his lovely wife. We’ve even exchanged email address and so on……hurray more friends for Helen and Ray. We are now up to an acceptable level so we feel no further need to be nice to anyone. Ha ha ha

And so I close for now.

Ooops, I almost forgot to mention that I am now the Gin Rummy Champ of the Bermuda Belle, having wiped the floor with Ray’s feeble attempts to beat me. HA!

 

Helen

I HATE that AD

Wow…already I am inspired to write another post……

this is so rare and unusual that I am just going to GO with it….

I just HATE that ad on TV these days with Mariarh Carrie and her weight watchers body! First of all, GET OVER yourself girl! secondly NONE of us real people could ever hope to have that bod no matter what and thirdly and what I hate the most is that Flippin song you are shouting…over and over and over and over…..

Did I ever mention how intolerant I am becoming as I ease into my 60’s. (ok so I am already 62 but ya know what I mean, right?)

I always have detested repetition though…..and now I could throw something at the TV…..

Jennifer Hudson….now she SHINES in her WW ads. Love it.

Ok…that;s it for tonight folks. ttyl

HELP

Ok…so as I start this post, I have actually no idea where I am going….

I have been nominated for 2 more awards in the blogging world and I am truly at a loss for words or at least intelligent words…..but…..

I guess I should start with, “Thanks to my dear friend, fiftyfourandahalf…..so thank you my dear pal!”

Now, I find that the rules and regulations on accepting this award are beginning to weigh me down and I am not sure I am even up to begin the process. YES, it is a process (this is for those of you who just read blogs all day long and don’t compose them…..)

AND I am off the island and working on a different computer. It took me three hours just to get online and I am totally NOT kidding. At first I sat in our Vermont home with my cute little IPad2 reading blogs and making cutsie comments and feeling rather smart and superior and then when I attempted to actually try to post…..well, my hubbie had to help me sort out the desktop….you do realize I went through MOST of my life thus far as a blonde, right? or should I say, eh?

I really would rather talk about just about anything else rather than pat myself on the back for awards but I feel I must again mention several other bloggers who deserve awards far more so than me….

OF course, there is http://www.fiftyfourandahafl.wordpress.com

as for the others I am being lazy and asking you kindly to refer to my immediate previous post to see all those I named.

Now I HAVE to go and think of something clever and witty to post asap so that you readers will not lose interest in what I compose here, there and anywhere……

Ah….er…..um…..

I am on the road tomorrow, travelling to see my sister and other sister and 3 brothers….so I shall say adieu for now.

Love you all.

Helen

PS I am going to post a photo JUST to try to make this a little more interesting…..Oops, I already messed up …let me try again. I told you I am struggling……

My Great Grandmother.....I'm wearing the same hat today!

A Blogger’s Fireworks

What a way to end the old year and begin the new. My own kind of New Year’s Fireworks are all around as I sit here and think about the fun of blogging and its many rewards.

I am honored to have been named for 2 awards (versatile blogger and 7X7) by my fellow blogger extraordinaire, Prairie Wisdom.

So, something that most of you do not know about me is that though I have lived in Bermuda for over 41 years, I still have my VERY strong Canadian accent. Weird, hey? My husband, kids, grandkids and 90% of my friends are Bermudian but I sound like I just got off the logging truck in Nova Scotia.

First of all many congratulations to her. I have enjoyed following her blog since I first became a part of the blogging world. She indeed brings wisdom passed on to her through the ages. She is witty, interesting and always lots of fun. She makes me smile, makes me laugh, makes me proud and makes me want to meet her.

Earlier this month, fiftyfourandahalf also nominated me for the 7X7 award and again I am deeply touched. In fact, I was so stunned that it has taken me this long to acknowledge it. Many thanks to another terrific blogger. There seem to be a group of us following each other around. Wouldn’t it be fun to get together one day and share a cup of tea?!!!

Now the hard part. For the 7X7 award I have to discuss some of my own posts over the past few months. This is difficult but I shall try.

Most Beautiful…..in my opinion it should be “Why Not Me?”

Probably my most helpful could be “Packing in the 00’s” or even “Mastering the Art of Collecting Poop” (perhaps the funniest too)

Most Popular was definitely, “Dancing with the Stars”

Most controversial would have to be “Bermuda Homecoming” (I was SO annoyed that day)

The most surprisingly successful was, “Her Hair is Better than My Hair”

I think the most underrated is “His Loving Arms”

and my most pride worthy is “We’re Singing Mother into Paradise” (The title says it all)

Now I have the pleasure of nominating 7 other blogs that I would encourage you to get to as soon as possible. As well as the 2 mentioned above,

Let me tell you, I LOVE:

http://www.Scottsholar.com

http://www.thisman’sjourney.net

http://www.jessiejeanine.com

http://www.joycedevivre.wordpress.com

http://www.coffeekatblog.wordpress.com

http://www.oldgirlnewtricks.wordpress.com

http://www.notquiteold.wordpress.com

http://www.simplycharming.wordpress.com

OF COURSE, IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT…..

http://www.prairiewisdom. com and

http://www.fiftyfourandahalf.wordpress.com

BOTH deserve the awards they have already been nominated for and I urge you to follow their posts daily. These are some TERRIFIC people, guys!

Believe it!

Happy New Year all.

May the Lord be in your hearts and bring you His peace in the midst of a troubled world.

Helen