All posts by Diana

My husband, Ian, and I moved east (bucking the trend) to Nova Scotia (the warmest province in Canada!) in the fall of 2011. We have never looked back. We were able to purchase an operating business and an 1800-square-foot house on nearly 2 acres for less $110,000. Couldn't do that in Ontario!

Love Me Pets Taking Shape but Oh So Sloooow-ly

Have your days been full and busy, but few of your goals actually seem to have been accomplished? That kind of describes 2015 for me. We were busy. We slept maybe six hours a night (if we were lucky) and worked away the rest of the time. Spring was slow in coming. The winter (of 2014-2015) with its record snowfalls encroached on spring more than usual.  Everything seemed to be late:  that welcome spring thaw, the warm dry air, the end of the mud.  The mud especially needed…

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Our Future: A Blank Whiteboard as White as the Snow All Around Us

The Lord loves His children to be open to His will. Ian and I were more than open after the closure of our Smiths Cove store in the fall. We knew we were too young to retire. But what to do with our time, talent and resources? We had bits and pieces of ideas for our business to come, but no clear game plan. I felt like a blank dry erase board waiting for the Lord to write His marching orders on.  Our options were limited due to…

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Flies on Teddy

Teddy was one of those impulsive decisions that worked out. I was actually working on a Saturday shift with two developmentally challenged ladies the day I met Teddy. It was the early summer of 2001, and we were yard-saling (a favorite Saturday activity) when we stopped in at a farm about which I had heard near Prescott. It was a rescue mission for stray dogs.  Ian was just in the beginning stages of building our new farmhouse on our 220 acres at the end of Pettem Road. We…

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Nancy and Lucy (Oops – Lucas or Luke!)

  One lonesome kitten just doesn’t work. After the tragic death of his sister, Sweet Pea, to viral pneumonia, Munchkin needed a new pal. The terrible virus, the plague of the Smiths Cove felines apparently as it didn’t appear to be widespread elsewhere, lingered on with our poor Munchkin. Day after day — his nose was a seemingly endless fountain of thick goobers. He napped most of the day on the leg of one of our big stuffed toy bears (interestingly, the one that bore the name tag…

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An Odd Nighttime Visitor in the Backyard – An American Mink!

I was still in the store working on a freelance editing project at about 10 PM one clear June night (the sun had just set– it was basically the longest day of 2014), when the still silence was broken by a loud shrill sound that was enough to sever my concentration. There was no doubt that it was the scream of a distressed animal. My thoughts went immediately to our adult cats. Mercifully, kittens Munchkin and Sweet Pea were safely inside (they had been out on the deck enjoying…

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Back Down to Our Four-Cat Limit After Anna Bee Passes Away – But This Is Blown Again by Two Kittens!!!

  In Nova Scotia, it is a challenge to find some types of pets, but felines are not one of them. In most areas, there is a serious cat overpopulation. After our oldest cat, Anna Bee, passed away in early April at the ripe age of 20, we were content to return to our long-standing four-cat limit, which we had established back in 1993 but had broken many times since then. In Nova Scotia there is a concerted drive to cut back on the feral-cat population. An organization in…

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Mom Comes to Stay (What’s Buying One More House?)

My mother, Betty Isabel (nee Miller), was the main reason I ended up moving to Canada.  She was born in Brockville, Ontario, in the early 20s. She met my father, an American from Indiana, during World War II. Brockville, a city of approximately 20,000 situated on the St. Lawrence River, was home at that time to an officer’s training camp. My father was keen to join the war effort and couldn’t wait for his own country to get involved so came up to Canada to enlist with the Canadian-British…

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Annapolis Royal and Port Royal

Once we had moved to Nova Scotia, Annapolis Royal (which sits on the Annapolis River) became for Ian and I our replacement for Brockville (which sits on the St. Lawrence River).  We first became acquainted with Annapolis Royal while still living in Brockville as it was the closest actual town to the commercial property we were interested in purchasing.  I was surprised when it was referred to as the “historic Annapolis Royal”.  What made it “historic”? In the beginning, we didn’t delve much into its history. We…

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Traveling by Sea to and From Nova Scotia (on a Ferry!)

Our first whirlwind visit to Nova Scotia (during which we made an offer on the Dee Wee store and were shown a variety of houses for sale) ended with a ride on the Princess of Acadia. The Princess of Acadia is a ferry operated by Bay Ferries that connects Digby, Nova Scotia, to Saint John, New Brunswick. (Bay Ferries operates a second ferry line that runs between Caribou, Nova Scotia, and Wood Islands, PEI.)  Riding on the Princess instead of driving cuts off a long…

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Close Encounter with a Hummingbird

One morning in July 2012, I was bringing water around to the area in front of the house where we tied Rebecca before heading off to the store when I spotted a small unusual object.  It was a ruby-throated hummingbird laying still and lifeless in the grass. With our five cats uppermost in mind, I quickly picked up the tiny bird.  I was relieved to discover that it was alive but stunned.  I assumed it was a youngster who hadn’t learned to fly well yet, although it was…

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