A visit from St. Dymphna- Blogmas 24

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and all through the hospital,

Not a creature was stirring, not even an animal,

The bedsheets were hung from the ceiling with care,

With hopes that Saint Dymphna soon would be there,

The patients were all locked down snug in their beds,

While visions of dead people danced in their heads.

And the nurses in their scrubs and the doctors in their coats,

Had just gotten ready to get the fuck out,

When up on the roof there arose such a clatter,

Security rushed out to see what was the matter,

Away to the buzz door they rose in a flash,

The patients were ready to get into a clash,

The exit door lights lit the linoleum floor all aglow,

Hints of red shone down on the patients below,

When what to their wondering eyes should appear,

But Saint Dymphnas and her confessor Gereburnus dear,

With two trusted servants and the King’s only fool,

Fleeing from her father’s evil, big, long and hard tool,

More quickly than a cheetah, along Saint Dymphnas came,

She whistled, sang and called the patients by name,

They gathered around her and formed a neat row,

Their strength to resist temptation did grow,

She meticulously tended to each patient’s need,

Showed love, empathy and compassion, indeed,

She did not leave until each patient was helped,

And she laughed out loud in spite of herself,

And when each patient had had their needs met,

She took the bedsheets and created a large safety net,

Only then did she turn to see her father with dread,

And with his sword, Damon cut off her sweet head.

The patients now cured were all filled with sorrow,

Knowing today would unfold to Christmas  tomorrow,

Their suffering took on a holy new strife,

For them, Saint Dymphnas gave up her life, 

In the mental hospital, the patients will all be alright,

And so they call out, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”


Saint Dymphnas is the patron saint of the nervous, emotionally disturbed, mentally ill and those with neurological disorders.  She is also the patron saint of psychiatrists, neurologists and psychologists. 

Dymphnas was born in Ireland in the 7th century. Her father, Damon, was a pagan and her mother was Christian. Dymphnas also became Christian. When her mother died, her father was overcome with grief and vowed only to remarry if he found a woman who compared in beauty with his dead wife.

His grief led him to become mentally unstable and his daughter was resembling his dead wife more and more each day. He vowed he would marry her. Dymphnas fled to Geel in present-day Belgium with the help of a priest, Gereburnus, two servants and a fool.

When she arrived in Geel, legend has it that she built and ran a hospice for the sick and the poor. However, her father was able to track her location using the money trail. (Pretty fucked-up, without computers, right?) Anyway, King Damon had his soldiers kill the priest who helped her escape. And when he found his 15 year old daughter who refused to marry or go back with her father, Damon cut off her head with his sword. Saint Dymphnas is also the patron saint for victims of incest.

I think we can do better… Blogmas 22

Hospitals and Christmas shouldn’t go together but sometimes it’s inevitable. 

Christmas is often a very hard time for a lot of people. Is that statistic still relevant? The one about Christmas time being when the most suicides happen? I believe it.

Christmas is such a special time of year for a lot of people. People with families, friends and money. But for others, it’s a lonely time. Shut-ins. Seniors. People who are estranged from their families. Those who live in poverty.

Sometimes people are secretly struggling and you don’t know until it’s too late or maybe they reach out for help in time, but no one listens. Or the doctors say it’s not serious enough. It isn’t until they rant and rave for hours on end or when they say something about how they took pictures of Christmas eve for the kiddies. “What did you take pictures of?” Santa and Mrs. Claus fucking. 

Take the time this Christmas to remember those not as fortunate as yourself. Instead of money, share your time. Ask people how they’re doing, not in that superficial way, but how they’re really doing. And listen. If we all stopped being such big liars, maybe people wouldn’t hide their fears, feelings and anxieties. We’re all fucked up. We all are. But we hide it. We hide it with lovely photos of our families, friends, vacations on Facebook. But when you dig deeper, every one has secrets. Ugly secrets.  They’re there. And if you try to tell me your life is all roses and lollipops, then just wait for it. There’s someone or something waiting around the corner to smear shit on it.

Maybe if we stopped judging others for being weak…if we started supporting each other more… I think we can do better. 

I can hardly stand the Weight- Blogmas 21

I’m baked. Not high. I mean I baked all day. I’m baked as in I’m so exhausted I feel out of it. So a short post for you today. Here are some recipes that you may enjoy.

20171221_145002.jpgBlueberry Pie

For the crust, just use the recipe on the shortening container. The trick to flaky crust is to put the pie dough in the fridge for a bit before rolling out the dough. It’s the melting shortening combined with the flour that makes pie crust flaky.

The filling I made

  • 4 cups frozen WILD Nova Scotia blueberries
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice

Place blueberries and syrups in pot. Heat. When blueberries start to form liquid, add tapioca and lemon juice. Continue cooking until thick and all the tapioca has dissolved.

Then add filling to your pie shells. Make sure to cut slits in your top crust. Bake at 375 F for about 30-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

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  • 1 lb. butter (454 gram) or margarine
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 4 cups flour

Cream the butter. Add sugar slowly. Add flour slowly. Mix well and chill for at least an hour. Roll out dough and use cookie cutters to create shapes. If no cookie cutters, just form into balls and press balls down with a fork.

Bake at 300 F for 15 minutes.

Allow to cool and frost if desired.

 

 

wp-1513910098253.jpgRed Velvet Cake

The original- the red in the cake was created by the beets. Store bought Red Velvet uses food coloring.

  • 2 cups fresh beets pureed
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder (not dutch processed)
  • 3  tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix beat puree, oil and eggs until well mixed. Add sugar and vanilla.

In a large tupperware container with a cover mix the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Put cover on top and shake the hell out of it. If cocoa sticks together either use a whisk or a fork to separate it.

Stir the flour mixture and the milk to the batter alternating in batches. Turn up mixer to high once flour has started to incorporate in. (You don’t want flour all over the place!)

Put into buttered cake pans (9 inch) and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when placed in the middle.

Ermine frosting 

Traditional Red Velvet Cake doesn’t have cream cheese icing either. This icing is to DIE for!! It’s so good. I use it for everything now and it’s pretty easy to make.

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp and 2 tsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 pound of butter or margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan, combine milk, sugar, flour and salt. Boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. I mean it, all the time. No messing around!

Allow to boil for 5 minutes. Do not mess with the boiling. Every step must be exact.

Strain mixture using a metal mesh colander into a mixing bowl. Cool to room temperature. If you don’t do this, your icing will look fine at first but will turn into a runny mess that looks like… um… well… something you don’t want to eat that comes from a man’s nether regions.

Stir in vanilla.

Add butter a little at a time and whip. Once all butter is added, whip on high for 5-7 minutes until smooth and fluffy.

Frost your cake and ENJOY!

I don’t have any finished photos of my shortbread cookies or Red Velvet Cake because I’m still working on the icing. I didn’t let it cool to room temperature because I was tired and just wanted to go to bed. So I tried to take a short cut. I put my icing in the fridge and I’m hoping I won’t have to re-make it. I’ll keep you posted.

Authentic Red Velvet cake is a very different item to serve and everyone seems to love it.  Either that or they are LYING which is a cardinal sin.

If you make any of these recipes, please let me know. I would love to see your pictures or hear about your own variations.

Christmas, Christmas time is near
Time for junk and time for beer
I eat good, but this can’t last
Hurry Christmas, hurry fast
Want to be thin like Betty Boop
Maybe use a hula hoop
I can hardly stand the weight
Please Christmas, don’t be late.

 

The Adventures of an Ass- Blogmas 19

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Today I’m starting a new regular feature for my blog. I will be exploring new places around the Maritimes in Canada and Northeastern Maine, U.S.A.. I will be taking my ass to these places and sharing some of the beautiful gems that can be found in the North Atlantic region. Yesterday, my friend Donna and I took my ass across the border to a little town in Northeastern Maine called Eastport. It’s very close to Calais- pronounced like those hard bumps that form from working with your hands or walking too much, “callus.” Although, I enjoy pronouncing it the French way, “Cal-ay” because it sounds more sophisticated. From Calais, you take the Coastal route 1 along the Atlantic coast heading south to Perry.  And just after you come to Perry, there will be a turn on the left for Route 190 which will take you to Eastport. It is 27 miles from Calais and will take about 35 minutes to get there.

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My ass at St. Croix Island

Along the way, you’ll find many cute little parks and rest stops. We stopped at Saint Croix Island National Park which is designated an International Historic Site as well. If you’re familiar at all with the Europeans arrival in North America, you may be aware that in 1604 Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts and Samuel Champlain came with a small group of French men to what is now modern-day New Brunswick and Maine to settle and trade with the First Nations people. They chose to settle on Saint Croix island in the middle of the Saint Croix river because the position would allow them to trade with the Aboriginal peoples on both sides of the river. Champlain left the group to map the coast of “Acadie” which would later be known as Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. What the French settlers didn’t realize was how harsh the winter would become due to the influx of Arctic air from the north.  The men were not prepared for the severity of the winter weather conditions. The ice in the river froze creating ice floes too small and dangerous to cross. Isolated from the mainland with no access to fresh water, food or wood, the men began to die from scurvy. Of the 79 men, 35 died and just over 20 were near it by June of 1605 when Champlain returned. Because it is the first known settlement by European people in the Maritimes and Maine, and because of what happened to the people, it is considered to be a place of historical importance. It was closed because it’s winter yesterday, and all of the interpretative displays and monuments were covered up. But there is a beautiful view of the St. Croix River and of St. Croix Island.

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A view of my ass and the St. Croix River

 

After enjoying the view, (and not much else) at the St. Croix National Park, we continued straight for Eastport. Once you turn onto Route 190, you cross two causeways to reach Eastport. That’s because it’s on an island attached to the mainland through causeways. Eastport is on Moose Island, but to get to Moose Island you first have to drive over Carlow Island, also attached by a causeway. It is a scenic drive of ocean views most of the way to the little town of Eastport. When we finally arrived in the little town, I said to my friend Donna, “Doesn’t this remind

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Water Street in Cabot Cove…er…I mean, Eastport

you of Cabot Cove?” I kept expecting to see Jessica Fletcher come cycling around the corner any moment. I apologize to those of you who may be too young to understand the references here; it’s from a television series, Murder She Wrote. Jessica Fletcher was a murder-mystery writer who lived in the fictional town of Cabot Cove in Maine. Every week someone got murdered and it just so happened that the police were always incompetent. Luckily, Jessica Fletcher would always weasel her way into the investigation and help solve the case. Surely, Cabot Cove in Maine must have had the highest murder rate per capita in the world.

 

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“Whacko” diner

We arrived in Eastpoint around lunch-time (Atlantic time) so we ate at the WaCo Diner. Not as in Waco, Texas. As in “whacko.” I didn’t really see anyone who looked like a whacko in the diner. Probably the only whacko in town that day was me. Imagine it- I carried my donkey head on a stick all over that little town and took photos. And no one seemed to take a second look! The WaCo Diner had a beautiful view of the water and we  sat right next to the window. It is your typical diner with reasonably priced food and excellent service. We didn’t have to ask for our drinks to be refilled, the waitress brought us fresh drinks as soon as our mugs were empty. Donna had a coffee, so I wasn’t so much surprised at her refill. But I had a hot chocolate with whip cream on top and she also brought me a fresh one with the whip cream as well! They had all day breakfast so Donna had the special (steak, eggs, homefries, and toast) and I had the “Eastport Scramble” which went straight to my ass. My literal ass, not my figurative one. Actually, maybe it is my figurative one? It is my figure, after all. In any case, it was delicious and well worth the cost.

 

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S.L. Wadsworth and my ass

After we ate we walked around downtown Eastport and explored the shops on Water Street. There wasn’t much open. We discovered that all the shops in Eastport are closed on Sunday and that only about half of the shops in Eastport are opened on Mondays. Tuesday-Saturday all the shops are open. However, it seems the local pub is only open Wednesdays-Saturdays. Of course, we did visit in December. They may have different hours in the summer. The first little store we went into was S.L. Wadsworth & Son. I guess it is the oldest ship chandlery in America; that’s what it says on their business card. I don’t even know what a ship chandlery is, but it seemed to me that they sold a lot of the kinds of things you might find at a Canadian Tire in Canada but on a mini-mini-MINI-scale.  The part my ass was drawn to

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This fisher creeped us out. It seemed like he was watching us. He’s scarier than Paul Bunyan in Bangor. I would hate for this guy to come to life like the statue in It. He’s armed with a giant fish!

was the gift shop area. Most of the items were nautically themed or ocean related. And if you are a pirate, this is the store for you! It must have the largest selection of pirate gear that I’ve ever seen. Aye, Aye, matey! If you’re having trouble finding it, look for the fisherman statue. It’s right across the street.

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Port O’ Call and my ass

 

The next shop we visited was called Port O’ Call. I really enjoyed this store. It was full of unique gifts and trinkets and even clothes items. You can even go to their website and order some of the neat items in their shop. I’m going to feature a few of the things I thought were interesting but I know that many of you may find some neat finds by browsing their online gift shop. Almost immediately after we walked into the store, I was drawn to the Scramble Squares puzzle display. Anyone who solves the puzzle in less than 5 minutes wins a puzzle of their choice. I love puzzles. So I was game. (Get it. I was “game.” I kill me.) I started at it as my friend Donna browsed through the rest of the shop. I was probably there for 30-40

 

minutes, lost in a spell of trying to solve the puzzle and determined to do it before realizing my 5 minutes was long up. I only realized it because Donna had finished browsing through the entire shop before I had even went past the puzzle display. I ended up buying two of the puzzles, one with hummingbirds for my mother and one with puffins for my grandmother-in-law. Then finally, I browsed through the rest of the store and was drawn to were these necklaces with round pictures on them. I’m not even sure what the pictures are made of. For some reason, they made me think of Jenny Lawson‘s taxidermied raccoon, Rory and her taxidermied mouse, Hamlet. I’m not sure if the animals on these necklaces were dead, but for some reason, they remind me of her dead stuffed animals.

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Hamlet and Rory???

Because it seemed the rest of the shops were closed on Water Street, we crossed over from Port O’Call and into the Moose Island Bakery. We were still full from our lunch over at the Whacko Diner (spelled WaCo), so we just viewed the treats and didn’t indulge. The bakery is open year-round and is locally owned and operated. The lady at the counter explained that her sister owns the bakery and if we wanted anything ordered special for Christmas that they are taking pre-orders. Of course, for Donna and I that wasn’t really helpful information since Donna will be spending the holidays in New Brunswick and I will soon be returning to Halifax, Nova Scotia to spend time with my family. Next time we visit, we will be sure to save some room in our tummies for some of the bakery treats at the Moose Island Bakery.

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Just an ass hangin’ out in an Art Gallery

Finally, we looped back up to where we had parked and stopped in to The Commons Eastport. We both adored this art gallery, but what I was surprised to learn when I was referring to the brochure to write about our adventure is it is a “destination gallery.” Above the gallery, there are rental condos for short or extended stays. The gallery is open year-round and features artists from Maine, the Maritimes and the Passamaquoddy Nation at Sipayik Point. The lady at the gallery was very friendly and knowledgeable about all of the artists, and there were also Christmas ornaments created by many of the artists. Gallery photos:

 

I discovered the work of Bonnie Stewart while at the gallery (above and below). She is a local artist who uses small objects found in nature like pine cones, shells, sea rocks and the like to create intricate works of art. I absolutely love them. I can’t imagine the amount of time and thought that must go into creating each one of these unique pieces of art.

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I think I like this one best of the three Bonnie Stewart pieces I viewed. I like how she added the sea glass and sand dollar and the pops of blue and green colors.
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A fish out of Heinz tomato juice… and my apologies to the artist, for I can’t remember your name! (I blame my ass for forgetting to bring a notebook.)

It is a delightful shop and the inclusion of artists from both Maine and the Maritimes highlights the close relationship that exists between the two regions. We are connected by the land and the sea and often rely and assist each other in times of need. I remember in Nova Scotia when we were hit by category 2 Hurricane Juan in 2003 that the power corporation in Maine sent up workers to help restore power. And, of course, every year, Nova Scotia sends a Christmas Tree to the city of Boston in Massachusetts as a thank you for the help they sent after the Halifax explosion on December 6, 1917. It was the largest human-made explosion prior to World War II. Two ships collided in the harbour, one carrying explosives. It was an accident, but it leveled much of the city. The Maritimes has always had a deep connection with the New England states. Well, maybe not during the American Revolution or the War of 1812, but other than that, we were pretty tight.

I think a great day was had by us all, and I want to thank the people of Eastport for being so accommodating and welcoming to me and my ass. Not everyone wants to put up with an ass, but the wonderful, kind, and friendly people of Eastport were happy to do so. I think when you can go to a place carrying a donkey head on a stick and people don’t judge, that you’ve found a safe place to stay awhile. If you ever get a chance, I encourage you to take a detour off the beaten path and check out Eastport, Maine. Tell them you heard about it from Ocean Hayward’s ass.

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My ass had a wonderful trip to Eastport! Highly recommended by and for asses everywhere!

 

 

Design our Freak-Team flag contest!

Enter the Freak Flag Contest!

Cyranny's Cove

3x5ft_your_design_here_example

Yes, I am organizing a real contest! And yes, there will be a prize!

Will it be fun? Well, that’s mostly up to you Lovelies! Because as much as I will encourage you to participate, I can’t do the work all by myself.

So, what’s this all about, right? Let’s recap on today a bit (if you want to whole story, click here) Earlier today, Sonofabeach96 dared me to hold a contest, and ask people to design a flag (he had me at “flag” actually…) to officialize and represent the online freak circle.

Now, freak might sound a little heavy to some of you. But I think we all share a little (or totally not little) odd, weird, awkward, crazy, looney side, don’t we? I am at peace with mine, and you know there wouldn’t be much action in The Cove if I didn’t expose it constantly.

Do you…

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“I knew you wouldn’t like it.” Blogmas 15

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216api‘Tis the season for another exciting Blogmas post. It’s a busy time of the year. People shopping, shopping and shopping. Those who say online shopping is killing the mall haven’t spent any time trying to navigate the malls during the Christmas season. The mall parking lots are full now and it won’t get any better any time soon. Finding a parking spot at the mall is like winning the lottery during the Christmas season. And if the spot is near the entrance, it’s like a glorious early gift from Santa. Santa, I’m sure, has no problem finding parking. He just lands the sleigh on the mall roof, and he’s good to go.

216akfI’ve got almost all of my shopping wrapped up now. Literally. As soon as I get home with a present, I wrap it. No luck for any snoopers in my home. Maybe it’s because of one of my good friends in middle school. She went snooping and found an Esprit shirt her mom had bought her for Christmas.  Then she wore it to school before Christmas with the tag still on it. Then she put it back where she found it. I would never have been so lucky to get away with such a thing. I would have spilled food on it for certain. I did snoop one year, but realized that it wasn’t any fun on Christmas when you already know what your gifts are. Then you also have to be an amazing actress. The only upside to snooping is if you open a gift that is totally not you. It’s easier to hide your disappointment when you already know a gift you hate is coming.

216as6My mom is the worst for picking out gifts that I don’t like. I’ve realized over the years that I have to be very careful when I go shopping with her. What she tends to do is pick something up, and ask me what I think of it. Now what I used to think when she did that was, “What do you think of this for me?” But after receiving items that she asked me what I thought of over the years, I now know that “What do you think of this?” actually means “What do you think of this because I’m going to buy this for you for Christmas.”  So now when mom asks me, “What do you think of this?”, my first question to her is, “For you or for me?”

216a9rOne of the worst gifts I got from my mom was the year I asked for a plain white bath robe. What I got was a bath robe with sunglasses and lipsticks sewn on. I may have mentioned this before? But the best part was my reaction when I opened the gift. I couldn’t hide my disappointment. It looked like a plain bathrobe at first, but then I pulled it up out of the box, my face fell. My mom says and I quote: “I knew you weren’t going to like it.” She knew I wasn’t going to like it. But she got it anyway.
I love my mom and she tries so hard to make Christmas special for us all. In fact, she goes overboard every year, even now that my brother and I are well into our 30s and 40s. She braves those mall parking lots every year with arthritis in her legs, hobbling sadly around trying to find gifts that she knows we’re not going to like. She’s Santa with a wheelchair parking pass, and a list she only half reads. Instead of a red suit, she has red hair, but only because she dyes it. But she’s my Santa and I love her dearly. I can’t wait to see what things she knew I wouldn’t like this year!

Christmas, Christmas, don’t be late; Today is Blogmas Number 8

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It’s December 8 and the 8th day of Blogmas. Today I thought I’d share with you what I’m going to call “Fromage Friday”- some of the cheesiest Christmas songs and movies that I know of with audio and video clips included for your enjoyment (Thank you, Youtube!)

  • The original “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth” by Spike Jones and his City Slickers- from 1948. No video, just audio:
  • Christmas with the Chipmunks- Vol. 1
  • Christmas with the Chipmunks- Vol. 2
  • Mini Pops Christmas- 1984
  • Babes in Toyland- 1986 version- TV movie with Drew Barrymore and Keanu Reeves!

 

Even though they’re cheesy, they bring back great memories, right? I’d love to hear your Fromage Friday pics too. Happy Fromage Friday, everyone!

A Christmas Dumping Day and Creamed Lobster- Blogmas 7

Living where I live, on the East Coast of Canada,  in a region known as “the Maritimes,” the ocean plays a significant role in our lives. No matter where you live in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and/or New Brunswick, the ocean is generally not too far away. It should be no surprise then, that the fishery is one of the main industries in the area. In fact, Maritimers are often stereotyped as being just a bunch of ignorant, fisher people. In fact, only some of us are. And the rest of us live in trailers.TPB

That being said, Christmas and seafood go hand in hand. Instead of Thanksgiving, “Dumping Day” is our unofficial kick-off to Christmas.  Dumping Day is not emptying our bowels to get ready for the Christmas bingeing. It is not about dumping out old things to make way for new gifts. It has nothing to do with dumplings. Dumping Day is the first day of the lobster fishery when the fishers go racing against each other to “dump” their traps in the most prime locations. Probably the most popular seafood and export in and from the Maritimes is lobster. lobsterThe lobster fishery is divided into 20 districts which all have different seasons. Most of the lobster that is available during the Christmas season comes out of Southwestern Nova Scotia and Southern New Brunswick. There are Hercules Helicopters circulating because fishing is a very dangerous occupation. Very often during the race to drop their traps, accidents happen. However, for most Maritimers who are not fishers, rarely a thought is given to these brave people who risk their lives so the rest of us can feast on lobster during the Christmas season.

One of the first signs of the Christmas season is the lobster fisher on the side of the road, in a pick-up truck, with a hand-written sign: “Fresh Lobsters” and the price per pound. They set up shop on corners of high-traffic roads in the cities, for many making a 5-7 hour round trip in order to sell the lobsters. Christmas Eve is probably the most popular day for lobster sales because one of the most common Christmas traditions in the Maritimes is a seafood extravaganza. In our house, our feast was an appetizer of fresh boiled mussels with melted garlic butter followed by the main course: fresh, whole, lobsters, also boiled on the stove. Do you hear what I hear? The screams of lobsters being boiled alive? It’s synonymous with Christmas carols in our neck of the woods.

Another uniquely Maritime Christmas Eve tradition is the kitchen party. Basically, it is kind of like those parties shown on films like American Pie except with adults and no one leaves the kitchen. Also, a lot of times people show up with fiddles and play Celtic-type music and everyone sings along. But generally the drinks are provided in those red plastic cups. The biggest difference would be that food is provided, and it is generally seafood.

I’m going to leave you with a Maritime specialty made by many Lobster fisher families in the region. It is a tradition many families here enjoy on Christmas Eve. I am personally not a fan of it, but I will also die if I eat shellfish (oh, the irony! Living in a seafood mecca and having anaphylaxis to any fish with a shell!)

Nova Scotia-Style Creamed Lobster

Ingredients

Photo Sources:

Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association. Cape Breton Lobster. <http://capebretonfish.com/sustainability/management/> December 7, 2017.

Graham. Berwick Shellfish Company. <http://berwickshellfish.com/merry-christmas-to-all-our-customers-friends/> December 7, 2017

Trailer Park Boys Image. 4k Wallpapers. <https://www.qrcodematrix.com/trailer-park-boys-christmas/> December 7, 2017.

Recipe Source:

Harris, Clara. “Nova Scotia Creamed Lobster.” Saltscapes.com. <http://www.saltscapes.com/kitchen-party/recipes/item/nova-scotia-style-creamed-lobster.html> December 7, 2017.

 

#BlogmasNOT: Blogmas #4

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So it’s Post 4 of the Blogmas Challenge.  December 4, the fourth day of Blogmas. I’ve been exploring lots of other blogs through the Blogmas twitter hashtags: #blogmas #blogmas2017 #blogmas17. There is so much excitement throughout the Bloggersphere over “Blogmas” which from my limited understanding as a Blogmas virgin is a period of time from Dec 1-Dec 25 when you write a Christmas-related post every day. (If I’m wrong please correct me and know that the rest of this post/rant is based on the assumption that Blogmas entries have to be Christmas related.) A Christmas post each day is fine for those of us who celebrate Christmas, but it’s not very inclusive.

In my short period of time as a blogger (Am I really calling myself a blogger now?), what I’ve noticed about the blogging community as a whole is that people tend to be supportive of one another. So far I’ve been making connections with people from all over the world. But one thing I know for sure: not everyone in the world celebrates Christmas. Could we not also have Blogzaa, Blogukkah, Milad un Blogbi or a Blogivus, for example? Or Holiblogs? Or if changing the name is not an option, could we not at least make Blogmas open for writing about other holiday traditions? All the posts I see are about Christmas decorations or how to make eggnog.

So December 4 post, my 4th Blogmas, is a request to those who celebrate non-Christmas holidays. Notice I say non-Christmas and not non-Christian. I did this for two reasons. Not everyone who celebrates Christmas are Christians. Some do it because they’ve always done it, but they haven’t stepped foot in a church in 20, 30 years, if ever. Some do it because it’s fun. I have heard of some Muslim families here in Canada celebrating Christmas just for the fact of fitting in. It’s not about the birth of Jesus for these families, it’s about the gift-giving. From what I understand, the Islamic faith focuses greatly on passing on your wealth and good fortune to others. Hmmm…. who else did shit like that… Jesus, I just wish I could think of that guy! You know the one… born for the sins of us “all”, died on a cross. Jesus, what is his name again? If anyone can help me out there, it would be wonderful. I mean, Jesus Christ, I feel like I’m losing my mind sometimes.

Anyway, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, do you celebrate another holiday? If so what holiday do you celebrate? What are the traditions? What’s your favorite part? What’s your least favorite part? Why do you celebrate it? What does the holiday represent? If you don’t celebrate a December holiday, what do you do during December? I think this would be interesting particularly if you live in a Christmas dominated region. One of my good friends in Elementary and Junior High was a Jehovah’s Witness so her family didn’t partake in the reindeer games of Christmas. I remember during Christmas concerts, she wasn’t allowed to practice our songs for the Christmas concert. She had to sit in chairs and watch. That’s how we became friends. I noticed her sitting all alone and asked her why she wasn’t practicing with the rest of us. It came to be that I would often try to sneak away from rehearsing to spend time talking with her, because it didn’t seem fair that she wasn’t included and she had to watch us practicing. It was weird going to her house in December and no decorations would be up. All the walls were bare; there were no presents. As a 12 year old, I thought my friend’s life totally sucked. I’m sure it had to be hard to be her, having Christmas crammed down her throat like Grandma’s disgusting Fruit Cake from 2 Christmases ago.

So to reiterate: if you are a blogger who doesn’t not celebrate Christmas, write a piece about what you do instead during the Christmas season. We’ll call it #inclusiveblogmas. I’m also fine with it if you want to use #blogmasNOT or #FuckChristmas or #FuckYouBlogmasForLeavingMeOut.

Please reply to this post with your blog posts and/or comments on December holiday traditions or non-holiday activities that you celebrate. I’m going to ask for posts via Twitter as well.