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Molly :)

Yes, we still have Molly!  Here she is.  She's 4 years old now, and sleeps as much as she can get away with.  When she's not sleeping, she's sneaking into the pond and getting nice and stinky.

We also have Harry, whose full title of course is Prince Harry, as he is a ginger tom, and known around these parts as "the ginger ninja".   ;)  Harry will be 2 years old in January.

Darn this getting older

I can't find my secateurs (that's hand pruners to you).  Must have put them down somewhere.  Walked all over the garden but they're nowhere to be found.  They're bright Fiskars orange, so you'd think they'd be easy to spot in all this green.



Planted pole beans and zucchini this morning, as well as another couple of rows of peas.  Also put a bit of compost around my rhubarb, and around the base of the ailing plum sapling.  Got everything done just before the rain hit.  Torrential all day.  At least the rain will water in the seeds, and mush the compost down.

I got a lovely compost bin a few years ago with (of all things) Aeroplan points.  It's great, except for one design flaw: when you open the door to dig out some lovely compost, there's no way for the door to stay open.  How are you supposed to dig out compost when the door keeps falling back down on your shovel?  And you only have 2 hands (and they're on the shovel!) ???  Things like that really annoy me.

Dirty Hippy

At times the hippy filth I find in this place disgusts me.  For example, right now I'm taking apart an old table so that I can remove it from the guest bedroom.  It's old, but not antique - it's decrepit and all the screws are rusted in place and every screw is a different type and length and a couple are nails ... even the top of the table looks like it was salvaged from somewhere else and just stuck on.  It's a nasty, dirty old table and I don't want it in my house ... but I have to take it apart to get it through the bedroom door (how they got it in there in the first place, God knows).  So I'm painstakingly unscrewing, by hand, every screw.  And it's not the first thing we've found since being here that's disgusted me.  There are garbage pits all around, and I mean everywhere.  Barbed wire, metal pans, plastic sheeting, old bicycles, car parts, even an old snowmobile, all sorts of stuff just tossed into a hole in the ground, at various spots around the perimeter of the house.  It makes me mad because it smacks of sheer laziness, a couldn't care less attitude, not to mention the complete disregard for the wildlife and environment.  They were draft dodgers, after all: cowards, the scum of the earth, according to my father, a proud WWII vet.

Then I get to thinking about how it must have been for them.  Running for their lives, terrified, taking off in the middle of the night and just driving, as far away as they could get, first get through New England, then into Maine and keep heading north, finally at the border, and holding their breath until they made it across, and just keep driving, as far and as fast as you can, hit Nova Scotia and still not far enough, keep going, keep running, cross the bridge to Cape Breton Island, and keep going ...

Then park your van in the middle of the forest, back as far in as you can go, 2 miles off the main drag, to the very far corner of the woodlot, further back, further back ...

And build a tiny tar paper shack.  And sit there for years and years, hiding in the forest, you can't go home, you can't go and visit your mom, because that would be the end.  Hiding ...

And suddenly my having to take apart their nasty table doesn't seem so bad.  And cleaning up their filth, decades later, in safety and peace and comfort.  Dirty hippies, back then, maybe yes.  Cowards?  Up for debate, these days.  But they acted in accordance with their conscience and suffered the consequences.  Would I do the same? No, I would serve my country.  But I'm an air force brat so that's a part of me.  I can't judge their choice.  I can only take care of their place, now my home, as best I can.  And that includes cleaning up the garbage they left behind.

Woman Being

I'm hosting a women's retreat in September, called Woman Being. Instead of Human Being, get it? Woman Being .... awww nuts. ;) Anyway here is the flyer. It's at our place on the Cabot Trail in Middle River, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, 2 nights stay, Friday September 9 - Sunday September 11. Only $199 for Early Bird registration, which ends on August 9. Registration deadline is August 31.

Please go on the website, check out the details, share it with your friends, like our page on Facebook, share the post, etc. Believe me, I need all the help I can get. Thanks gang!

Here's the link to the web page: http://www.willowretreat.com/womens%20retreats.htm

And we're back.

We've been away a long time, I know. Wordpress drove me crazy - but that's not why Willow has been so silent for 2 and a half years. We had a cancer scare. Yes ... but it's all fine now, major surgery done, recovery complete, and on we go. I don't really want to talk about the details. But we're back, and ramping up the retreat business again. It's tough to get that boulder moving up the hill after such a long break, but I'm trying ... believe me, I'm trying.

I hope everyone has been doing well. I'd love to hear about all your adventures. In the meantime, my hands are once again blistered from too much gardening, I'm exhausted, but it feels good to get back at it. Maybe I'll even get some retreat guests this time around.

Take care,

P.S. Check out the new website design: willowretreat.com and we're now called Willow Healing Space. :)

And the days go by ...

Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again, after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground
Into the blue again, into silent water
Under the rocks and stones, there is water underground
Letting the days go by, into silent water
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground

Time goes by so fast, I can hardly believe it's already December.  For some reason I have this Talking Heads song stuck in my head ... I always thought the lyrics were "and the days go by, water flowing under rocks" but anyway - the correct lyrics are reproduced here.  It's an atmospheric song that evokes feelings of nostalgia, almost regret, but not quite ... the inexorable passing of time, I guess ... anyway it left me in a contemplative mood, suitable for my announcement, which is that Willow Retreat is quitting Livejournal.Read moreCollapse )

Now that`s a fire

One of the things we really enjoy is a good bonfire.  We had a ton of wood stacked up from various clearing projects around the property, and it was actually so big that we worried it might get out of hand.  We waited for an evening when the wind was not too high, and we`d had some rain so the forest fire risk was low.  Then we let it rip!  And boy, did it go up.  Check it out: Read moreCollapse )
Hi there! Wow, what a year for apples. We have so many different kinds: wild apples, crabapples, Northern Spy, Gala and Macintosh. We took the opportunity to play with our new press, and made our first couple of batches of cider! We're hoping to end up with some drinkable hard cider, otherwise known in our homeland as "scrumpy". Check it out:Read moreCollapse )

Into the Mists

From time to time at Willow Retreat, but especially in the fall, we see a phenomenon where the mist comes down and blocks out the mountain, so that effectively it looks as though the surrounding mountains have disappeared.  It's quite disconcerting, and makes you feel as though you've been cut off from the outside world, and that nothing exists beyond the curtain of mist. Check out these spooky shots!Read moreCollapse )

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