Wednesday 28 May 2014

Nattering on about nothing much . . . .

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This was the view from our upstairs library window when we lived down south.   The orchard just past our hedge.  This was in the spring when the apple trees were coming into bloom.  Such a pretty sight.  Having spent a goodly portion of my life living in the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, a primary apple growing area, I hold a special fondness in my heart for apple blossom and for apples.  Each year, about this time . . . they hold a special festival there, called "The Apple Blossom Festival."  Established in 1933, this weekend marks the 82nd Festival which has been held.

Early colonists from Europe introduced the sweet scent of apple blossoms to the Annapolis Valley as they brought seeds, grains, fruits and vegetables to the new land. A plaque on a reconstructed gristmill in Lequille, Annapolis County, notes the site as the first “farm”. From the 1600′s on, production of apples was an industry with both the Planters,  and later the Loyalists planting orchards up and down the Valley. In peak years, nearly 3 million barrels of apples were harvested so they were valuable crops indeed!

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The aroma of the blossoms in May and June, along with the natural beauty of the bloom, made the advent of spring even more of an occasion in the valley. Local boards of trade and community councils had talked of a spring carnival at blossom time but it was not until 1933 that the talk turned into action and the first Apple Blossom Festival was held.

The original objectives of the Festival were to make the Valley’s apple industry better known throughout North America and Europe; to publicize the scenic beauty of the area and the historic background of Longfellow’s Land of Evangeline; and to provide an opportunity to foster and develop local talent through participation in Festival events.    Each year a different valley town vies for the honor and  is picked to host the festivities with that town's mayor being the master of ceremonies.   The year my eldest son was born, my Doctor was the Mayor of the town which was hosting and my son picked Apple Blossom weekend (The day of the parade to be exact!) to be born!!  Most inconvenient for the Doctor!

Each community in the valley picks a girl to represent them during the festival,  a "Princess."  There are "Teas" in the weeks running up to the Festival itself, with all of the princesses in attendance.   One of these young ladies will be crowned "Queen Annapolisa."  It's a really big deal.  They are considered to be the cream of the crop where "Valley"   girls are concerned.

Throughout the festival there are a variety of events such as Teas, Suppers, Games, etc.   The Queen is usually crowned at a ceremony on the Friday evening and  on the Saturday there has always been a grande parade, which thousands turn out to watch.  There used to be a formal ball on the Saturday evening, but I don't know if they still do that.  It was always a very elite and formal affair and people are just not that formal any more are they . . .  although I am sure there is still a dance of some sort.

Last year the Festival was twinned with the Goosnargh and Whittingham Whitsuntide Festival.  Goosnargh is a village here  in the North West of England in the Preston, Lancashire parish.   I find that fascinating because Preston is one of the major historical points of where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints got started, and that is why a Temple was built in it's vicinity, called the Preston Temple, and where the Missionary Training Centre is here in the UK.  It's kind of nice to have a special link between my home here in the UK and my home back in Canada.

 Todd and I were sealed in the Preston Temple for time and all eternity, so it holds a very special place in our hearts.  We love to go there as often as we can.  

I just thought I would tell you a bit about the Apple Blossom Festival this morning since it is my son's Birthday tomorrow and I always think of the Apple Blossom Festival at this time of year and picture the orchards back home all in bloom.  This time of year makes me a tad bit homesick . . .

It's hard to believe that just a year ago I was getting ready to fly back to England from Nova Scotia, after my mother had had her operation and gone through all she went through.   It's amazing how much can change in a year.   Mom is still suffering the after effects of all of that, although thankfully no cancer remains or has come back.   She has short term memory loss still, and her toe is still healing and causes her a great deal of discomfort at times.   The VON are still coming in several times a week to care for it.  Her Doctor says were she a much younger woman, all would be well by now.  It takes much longer for things to heal as you get older.

And too, it's been almost a year since my sister and her partner moved to Nova Scotia to care for my mom.  Now they have my dad there as well, which is a blessing for us all.  I am truly grateful for all that they do for my parents.  I know it's not been easy for them.  They still have not been able to find full time work and their unemployment benefits will be running out soon.   Please pray that something will come up for at least my sister's partner soon.  Thanks!

My friend Suzan is having a difficult time at the moment.  She has been the primary care giver for her mother and father these past number of years and it has come to the point where her father, who has Alzheimers disease (hope I spelt that correctly), is needing to go into a home.  It's a very sad occasion for them all.  As you can imagine a lot of red tape goes along with this process and they have run into a few snags.  Could you please pray for Suzan and her family at this time, that everything will be sorted before it needs to be and that this process will run smoothly for them all and they will have the strength to get through it all.  Thank you so very much!

I have babbled on long enough this morning, so I will leave you with a thought for today . . .

✻ღϠ₡ღ✻ (¯`✻´¯)
“Give every day the chance to 
become the most beautiful day of your life.” 
~ Mark Twain  ✻ღϠ₡ღ✻

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today  . . . .  deliciously simple Chicken Lazone.  We loved this. It was easy to make and fabulously tasty!  Quick too!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!  Don't do anything I wouldn't do!

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░L░O░V░E⊰✿⊰✿⊰✿⊰✿⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
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  1. Thank you for your shout out Marie. Most of the day has been spent on a huge mistake made in a government department. This afternoon four people sat around phones and hashed it out. Eventually our financial planner found the error. Hopefully that one is resolved.

    Tomorrow is being spent filing papers at the nursing home. After all this drama I am leaving nothing to chance.

    We still need to work out why dad's ophthalmologist has reversed his decision about dad's blindness. This has me quite perplexed as the poor man is so very blind,

    God bless .

  2. Thank goodness they found that error Suzan, one problem down! Now lets hope that you can get your father diagnosed as blind again. It's terrible that the opthalmologis is reversing his decision! Perhaps you should see a new one?

  3. It's no wonder that the apple festival brings back such fond memories for you. Happy birthday to your son tomorrow! I will be praying for your friend Susan and her dad . Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

  4. Sorry Suze..:(I have read when you have spoken..and admire all you do..
    Red tape..bureaucracy..etc..
    If they eventually walk in your dad's shoes or shoes..they may all of a sudden see a clearer light,
    Fingers crossed for the jobs Marie!
    Love apple blossoms!

  5. Prayer - what would we do without it? I love the thought you posted about prayer being the greatest wireless connection. I will need to send that out in my nightly thought. I've been e-mailing out nightly thoughts for approximately 3 years now and this one is perfect. Praying for you and your family/friends.

  6. Thank you so much for your prayers Pam. I know Suzan appreciates them as do I!

    Thanks to you as well MOnique. It sure isn't easy being a care giver to the elderly. I really admire Suzan for what she does.

    THanks Marsha. Thanks also for the prayers for everyone. You're a treasure! xxoo

  7. It was lovely reading about the festival..I have seen the valley often in teh sutumn and have sent many a happy hour picking the gorgeous apples with my friends and their families...I thought at the time how lovely it must lok in the springtime...
    Hope you have had a good day, been misty and drizzly all day down here and not very warm...
    Many prayers beinng sent for your friends and of cousre always for you and Todd xx

  8. I love all the blossom that arrives in the spring time. It just makes you feel so much better. Marie, is your temple the one you can see from the motorway around Chorley way I think? I'm sure its the one I've seen when visiting Botany Bay. Its beautiful which ever one it is. Have you been to Botany Bay? I'm sure you'd love it. People sell their crafts there and Marie you could deffo sell yours. Could bring you some income in. Prayers being said for your friend Suze. Its a terrible time for anyone never mind all the extra hassle. You could definitely do without it at a time like this. Much love xxx

  9. Marie, Prayers going out for your friend. Alzheimer's is a horrible disease and unfortunately it is worse of friends and family than the patient. So very difficult to put a loved one in a "home" of some kind but it truly gets to the point that it is the only answer. I need to know how long your foot is from heel to toe while standing (and Todd's) and I will get started on the socks. One must have warm feet in the damp and cold weather.

  10. Thank you all so much for your prayers for Suzan and her family. They are very much appreciated I know.

    Sybil, it was yukky and drizzly here yesterday and today is more of the same! I have picked apples too. Don't know of many valley kids that did not pick apples at some point! The worst is picking drops. That's what they use to make juice and cider with. A lot of stooping!

    Kate, yes that is the temple I am talking about. It is even more beautiful inside than it is on the outside! I have never been to Botany Bay. I've never been sure as to what it is!

    Lynn, I will measure our feet once Todd wakes up! YOU are so kind. I will trade something with you for them. Cards come to mind. ☺

    1. Hi Marie. When you go to the temple try and go to Botany Bay. They have about four floors with different things on each floor. I was serious when I said you can sell your artwork there. Lots of people sell alsorts of things. My sister used to have a small costume jewellery business and she sold goods there. You don't have to be there, they sell the stuff for you. Obviously there is a charge or commision but it was worthwile for my sister. Even if you weren't interested in selling its worth going to have a look round. You'll be amazed by the things you see there. Word of warning. ...don't go in the run up to Christmas, there Christmas goodies are to die for. You won't be able to leave empty handed!! Check out the website. Much love xxx

  11. Thank you everyone. I truly mean it. Last night was long and then this evening we spent hours at the hospital. The doctors have said that care is our only option but of course there is little to do to expedite the situation.

  12. You are so welcome Suzan. It's the least we can do! Wish we could do more! xx

  13. I really enjoyed learning about the Apple Blossom Festival. I love these kinds of events. I imagine it is a beautiful area. I hope someday to visit England. Many of my ancestors are from there.
    I will certainly pray for your sister and her partner and your friend.
    I know personally how hard it is to care for parents and my father had Alzheimer's and had to be placed in a care center.
    Thanks for the update on your Mom; I have wondered how she was doing.
    Blessings, prayers and hugs for you.

  14. Thanks LeAnn, I know Suzan will appreciate your prayers as well! And my sister and her partner also. You are a dear, dear friend. I hope you do make it over to England one day!

    Kate, you're going to get me into trouble, lol! I love craft places. I'll be sure to check it out next time! Thanks! Love and hugs! xxoo


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