Monday, June 30, 2014


It's finally here. The kids are out of school, the weater is typically sweltering, the landscapers have planted all the flowers for the season, and the construction road-work has begun. Yes, folks, summer is finally here. And with the beginning of summer comes SUMMER VACATION. 

For the last few years my family and I have been vacationing "back home."  Journois, located on the west coast of Newfoundland about two hours from the ferry is where our grandparents grew up and raised their own families. They gathered and lived in little shacks at the mouth of Journois Brook, hence the name Journois, and made a living from the ocean.

Today, only a few houses remain. At the very end of the road there is a B&B my aunt, on my father's side, opened a few years back. 

My mother's sister and her husband live just down from there. 

My partner's father lives in a small home, closer to the shore. 

My brother and his family live farther down the road. 

This is where I live when I am on vacation. It's right next to my brother's house. I run an electrical cord and I'm all set.

At the end (or the beginning) of Journois is where my mother lives. 

What brings us back is the salty ocean air, which helps in the treatment of the following conditions:  

respiratory tract illnesses: chronic inflammation of mucous membranes, rhinitis and sinuses, throat and larynx, bronchial asthma, chronic inflammation of bronchi and lungs, and pneumoconiosis.

allergies and hypothyroidism (abnormally low activity of the thyroid gland, resulting in retardation of growth and mental development in children and adults).

vascular-cardiac ailments: circulatory insufficiency, post-infarction conditions, hypertension.

dermatological ailments: skin inflammation, psoriasis, eczema.

psychosomatic illnesses: neurosis, depression, exhaustion, stress resistance decrease.

As soon as we get off the plane at Stephenville Airport we immediately notice a difference in our breathing. Stuffed noses become unplugged, chest feels light, breating is less-labored.

After a week of walking on the beach, every muscle in my body is working in tip-top shape, my digestion has improved, my lungs inhale more oxygen, and my rosacea has cleared up; my hair is super-shiny, my skin doesn't need moisturizing, and my feet are as smooth as a baby's bottom. (Sand is a natural exfoliator.) 

Salt air contains trace amounts of the following minerals:

Calcium -increases defensive forces of the body resistance to infectious diseases, normalizes autonomic nervous system, prevents antiallergic reactions, and reinforces bone systems

Sodium - supports acidic - alkaline balance in the body, osmotic pressure and cell energetics

Potassium - acts against heart arrhythmia, against edemas and diuretically. Improves conditions of neuromuscular system and motor coordination

Magnesium - accelerates sending nervous impulses to muscles, acts as smooth muscle relaxant and as calming factor, anesthetizes, speeds up wound healing, lowers arterial blood pressure and prevents convulsions

Copper - improves function of the producing blood cells, increases hemoglobin level and decreases sugar level in blood, speeds up knitting fractured bones together, has anesthetic and anti-inflammatory effect

Bromine - lowers arterial blood pressure and prevents convulsions

Iodine - has anti-sclerotic effect, normalizes fat transformation in the body, and protects against radiation

Fluorine - strengthens bones and teeth, stimulates immunity and protects against radiation

So, if I can't sell you on a trip to Newfoundland, then make sure your summer vacation is near a body of salt water. Spend time at the beach, it not only heals the body, but heals the mind and spirit. 

Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, June 29, 2014



Many times, if someone doesn't ask for your advice, then they don't want it. Even if a person is broadcasting their plight to you, unless they ask, they don't want to hear what you have to say. The least you can do is allow them to vent. Just shut up and listen because often, unless you are asked for your opinion or advice, then it is not appreciated. If you respect that person, then who are you to think that you know what is better for that person? If you respect them then trust that they know exactly what they are doing. There is a reason why people do the things they do. Everyone is different and there is no one way of doing things. You are meddling if you believe that you know what is best for another, unless you are dealing with a child or senile person.

When you are discussing things with other people, everyone tends to give their opinion or tell a story about a particular topic when they are asked, each person relays their own personal belief. It is a form of meddling when you try to make another one believe what you believe about something. In other words, trying to convert another person is a form of meddling.

Sometimes you may find that you are listening to the same problem that the same person may have. What do you do? Listen. If they have asked you before, and are asking again, try not to give the same answer, help them in a different way, because if you continually offer the same advice it may be considered meddling.

See to your life, see to your own family, if someone asks for your advice then give it, but give it with love and understanding, give it because you want to genuinely help that person in their time of need, but never for your own personal gain.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014


My aunt Beatrice passed away on May 22, 2014, and upon hearing the news I drove to see my partner and cried in his arms. Beatrice, my father’s sister, had been like a mother to me, and a very important part of my childhood. She was the first person to show me the reward of hard work, the gift of giving, and the importance of never giving up.

Beatrice Mary Cormier was born on February 20, 1928. She was a burly woman with short jet black hair and dark eyes. She had the eyesight of a hawk, the swiftness of a fox, and the strength of four horses. She was a heavy walker and plowed through life. Her never-ending energy kept her up all hours of the night. It was said that she was a night owl, but I always thought she was something more. And everything she did was hurried and so I was hurried, and I guess that’s why everything got done. She wasn’t a believer in wasting time. "Chew on both sides!" she would tell me. She wasn’t a believer in wasting anything. If I needed toilet paper, she gave me two squares and expected it to be enough. I would have to wrap brown paper or leaves in it, so my fingers wouldn’t go through!

I first remember Beatrice coming to visit my family in Flat Bay in the early 70s. I believe that she was the main reason why we moved to Robinson’s Jct.  Looking back, I can’t remember if that was the smartest thing to do, since our father abandoned us shortly after. However, she was dedicated to me and my two younger brothers and she and our Uncle Hubert, my mother’s brother, helped to care for us when our father left. She helped clothe us, put food in our stomachs, and shoes on our feet.

Growing up with Beatrice and Hubert was quite the experience and I wouldn’t change a thing if I could. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I had my arguments and troubles with her, but in the end she inadvertently taught me a great deal about life.

Beatrice was the Mother Teresa of our time. She was a great humanitarian and philanthropist. She gave more than what she should have and never asked for anything in return. I remember her as Mrs. Claus, driving down from Robinsons with a truck full of presents at Christmastime. I don’t know where she got the money from, but it seemed to me like Beatrice had a bottomless wallet where money just kept flying out. Everyone got a gift. She was a very generous person and thought about everyone. She was always concerned about others. Some may have called it meddling, but I believe that she was genuinely worried about people and wanted to help.

She would always say that I was sitting on my fortune and at the time I didn’t understand what she meant, but perhaps if I had my life would have turned out differently, I might have become a millionaire by the time I turned 21. Instead of explaining to me what she meant by “sitting on your fortune” she took me with her to work at the Midway Motel, where I learned how to clean the rooms, make a bed with sheets and pillowcases, dust, and vacuum. I also did laundry and hung the sheets out to dry on the clothesline. There were only ten rooms in that motel, but the work was hard because she was the only one who worked there. I remember sitting to the table with her after all work was done, patiently waiting for my share while she counted her pay. “One hunded, two hunded, tree hunded…” It was only natural that my first job after high school was in a motel as a housekeeper. 

You could always get a lunch and cup of tea when you went to visit and you ate what was offered no matter what it was, whether it was chicken baked in a ½ cup of lard, or bologna just warmed up in a frying pan full of butter.  I don’t know how Hubert didn’t get heart disease. However, he must have gotten fed up at one point because after seeing a TV cooking show called Wok Wit Yan he went out and bought a wok and started cooking and, apparently, he was quite the chef.

One time I remember, I was about 12 years old, my Aunt Ruby, who was a year older, and I were craving for some take-out but we didn’t have any money. Now the owner of the motel also ran a gas station and restaurant, so one day we got it in our heads to go over and order a couple of snack packs of fried chicken and fries and charge it on Beatrice’s tab. So we went over and told the cashier that Beatrice wanted two snack packs charged on her tab. We got away with it so the following week we went again, then a few days later, we decided to go again, but this time we got two snacks each because we tried to make it look a little different so the cashier wouldn’t get suspicious. Of course, God, in his infinite wisdom, decided to punish us by giving one of us diarrhea, I won’t say who squatted in the bushes, but it wasn’t me. After that, we learned our lesson. I have always wondered if she ever found out that it was us who did it.

Beatrice and Hubert lived in quite a few different buildings before their forever home. I remember visiting them in an old school bus, then later they bought the small house next door, which burned down, then they lived in a small trailer while a new house was being built. 

I used to visit them at the small house and try to play Hubert’s organ and when he bought a new one, something called a one-man band, he gave me the smaller one. I was really disappointed when their house burned down, not because their home burned down but because that little organ burned. One time they came home from shopping and I went there. She hadn’t put away all the groceries yet, and she was cranky from being out all day. She opened one of the bags and gave me a dress she had bought for me. I looked at her as if to say, “You didn’t have to do that,” but she interpreted it the wrong way and she went ballistic! I ran home feeling so bad that I hurt her feelings, but I didn’t know how to explain that to her. Heck, I was just a kid! Later she came to the house and told my mother what happened. They were not pleased, but I got the dress anyway. Those two memories and something about jumping beans is all I remember from when they lived in that house. 

“Jargie, Jargie!” Beatrice raised George King. I’m not sure what the problem with conception was, but Beatrice and Hubert didn’t have any kids and I believe that is why she gave so much to everyone. She treated everyone as her own. How we used to tease Jargie when we were kids, it’s a wonder that man never shot one of us! She took care of Jargie up until he moved away from the area, and she still visited him whenever she went into town.

Oh, and she was such a woods-woman, netting the river for salmon, picking berries, snaring rabbit, a real native. That woman never stopped. She kept going until the very end. I would consider myself lucky to live a life as full as hers.

I never knew what her medical condition was, but the words epilepsy, fits, seizures, come to mind. I don’t know if she had an actual medical condition, or if it was some kind of defense mechanism to get Hubert to stop arguing with her. Hubert used to drive a truck and mostly on Sundays he, Beatrice, my mother, and us three kids, would go visit my grandparents. Now, one time I remember Beatrice mouthing off about some thing or another, she was always doing that, and Hubert got mad. He packed us up in the truck, and was driving us home, fast. Well, we weren’t in the truck two minutes when her arms and legs went flailing and flapping like a drowning person. We tried to get out of the way, but we were packed like sardines in that truck. Hubert pulled over and we fell out as soon as the door was opened. He tossed Beatrice on the ground and we waited. When we finally got back into the truck, Hubert drove slowly and Beatrice kept her mouth shut. That woman worked in mysterious ways.

It’s not going to be the same without her, but nothing ever remains the same. Change is ongoing and there can be no life without death.

I will always remember this woman for her goodness and unselfishness, her incredible knack for exaggeration in story-telling, her way of instigating trouble, and her sometimes “foul” mouth. She was certainly one of a kind and I will miss her all the days of my life. Farewell, Aunt Beatrice, and Godspeed.


This poem was inspired by my nephew who, as of June 14, turned 3  years old. He was only a few weeks old when he underwent surgery to correct a condition whereby part of his intestine was being "pinched" by muscle and his formula would spew out of him a few minutes after eating. His mother knew there was something wrong and kept bringing him to the doctor, but they kept telling her it was the formula she was giving him. However, she felt different and demanded they do more testing. Sure enough, they found the problem and it was corrected and now he is a healthy, happy, toddler. 


I came to see you the other day
You looked at me in a peculiar way
One eye was open, the other one closed
And you had the cutest little button nose

You were a wonderful shade of pink
With strawberry blonde hair
And when they asked me to hold you
I said, "Oh, I don't dare!"

You see I was more than a little nervous because
Your Mom said you had a build-up of mucous
And I wouldn't know what to do
When that would happen to you

So I watched your Mom feed you
And you burped when she patted your back
But then you threw up
And I almost had an anxiety attack!

But your Nan was there to help clean you up
Your Pop was there too, he came with a mop!
Your Mom felt bad because you were in such a way
And your Dad couldn't help because he was away

Everyone waited to see what you would do
We looked at you without a clue!
Then your Pop started talking to you
And you looked at him and went "Coo."

We were so relieved to see you smile
And you stayed up for a long while
Your Mom took a break and gave you to Nan
And your Pop kept talking to you
He's such a nice man

Well it was plain to see you were in good hands
You're loved very dearly with so many fans
So this is what happened, it's what I say
When I came to see you the other day

Monday, June 16, 2014



On November 3, 2000, at 7:55 pm, you were born unto us forever changing our lives. Since then you have never stopped giving us joy and happiness. We are so proud of the beautiful, kind, loving person that you are.  As long as you are around there is never a dull moment. Our days are full of laughs and craziness. We have all been through so much together and I hope that when you are older it will affect you in a wholesome way. You have strong morals and values and you are not afraid to speak your mind, a very admirable trait indeed. I have no doubt that you are going to be a person who will make change, whether it is in your own life or the lives of others. People will be lucky to have you as a friend because you are loyal and trustworthy. Your Confirmation Day brings about thoughts of your Nanny who passed away and it is partly because of her that you have been raised in the Catholic faith; I am sure she is looking from Heaven with a sense of pride at the steps you have taken in your faith. Being blessed with the Holy Spirit on this Confirmation Day will help you through life as you continue on your spiritual journey. We wish you nothing but peace and joy in your life. May you always be blessed with the strength and courage of God. Remember that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. 

May 23, 2014

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Christmastime is always a busy time of year with people scurrying to find those last minute gifts, buying all the trimmings for the Christmas feast, and trying on clothes for all those cocktail parties.

I was no different. I got up early to hit the stores. I still had a few gifts to buy and there were a few things I needed for Christmas dinner.

My first stop was the Metro grocery store where the Butterball turkeys were on sale. I didn't waste any time and cashed out at the self-check-out. I grabbed the bag and ripped the receipt out of the machine and was on my way. 

As I was driving to the next store, I realized that I had entered a cash back of twenty dollars, but in my haste I forgot to take it out of the machine's slot. 

Well, there goes twenty bucks. I sighed, but kept driving, knowing full well that the next person to use that check-out was now twenty bucks richer. 

I went to the other food store but couldn't get out of my mind the twenty bucks I had just lost. I finished getting the rest of my groceries and before going home decided to go back to Metro; it was a long shot but I just had to try or I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing that I didn't do all that I could have to get that twenty bucks back. After all, I wasn't rich.

I went to the cashier, but there was a different cashier there. I checked the cash back slot, but there was nothing there. I spoke with the cashier who was currently on duty and told her what happened. 

"Sorry, but I just got here," she said. 

I was about to thank her and walk away when she suddenly remembered something. 

"Hold on," she said as she opened the cash drawer and started rummaging through its contents. Then she showed me a note that said: Customer left this behind in slot 202. And attached to the note was twenty dollars!!!! 

"This must be yours," she said, handing me the note and money.

"Oh my God!" I  yelled, "I don't believe it!" I was ecstatic. I profusely thanked her and wanted to wrap my arms around her! I just couldn't believe it. I always think the worst of people around this time of year because the world just seems so hopeless these days, with our lack of jobs, our corrupt government, and our never ending struggle to make ends meet. People are desperate. 

I left the store with a big smile on my face and was a bit ashamed that I had forgotten that some people were still good and kind, and as I drove home I realized that this was just the universe's way of reminding me that the Spirit of Christmas was alive and well.