Saturday 28 January 2023

All Things Nice . . .



The hills of home are little hills,
But oh I love them so;
The purple tinted sweep of them
Against the evening's glow,
The way a tall tree bows its head
Like an old man when prayers are said.

The stony pastures climbing up
Against the mountain's base,
Whose dear familiar lines are known
Like a beloved face;
An old rail fence whose corners hold
Wild asters bright as guinea gold.

For elm and ask and stunted oak
Grow on these hills of mine,
Butternut trees and hickory
And clumps of knotty pine;
Wild apples in an old ravine,
A white birch like a virgin queen.

O silent hills I lift my eyes
To drink deep of your strength,
The comfort of enduring things,
Peace for the journey's length,
From petty cares and daily ills,
I lift mine eyes unto the hills.

Finding in them a sweet release,
A zone of comfort, joy and peace.
~Edna Jaques, The Hills of Home
The Hills of Home, 1946

For those of you who are not familiar with Nova Scotia, I live in a beautiful valley nestled between two mountains, The North and the South Mountain.  Members of my family have lived nestled between these two mountains for hundreds of years now, tucked safely into the bosom of the Annapolis valley, so called because of the Annapolis River which winds along its breadth.  My maternal ancestry is woven into the very fabric of the valley's being, and that is a wonderful feeling . . . to have roots and a place where you know you belong. My ancestral DNA is a part of the soil we tread and one day, too, my DNA will join with theirs in their eternal song of love, sweat and tears . . . 

This is the old homestead which is situated on the South Mountain looking down on the valley. It doesn't look like much now, but in its hey-day it was a going concern. My Great Grandfather and Grandmother had a working farm, with orchards, and sheep, cows, vegetables, etc. It was on land which had come down to them from one of the very first settlers in this area, a man named Abel Beals.  My sister and I love to go up there and look at it, even though it is now largely neglected.  There are supposed to be two little girls buried in the woods back behind the fields and one day we hope to go and look for them. I wonder what their story is.

My mother was born in that house and her mother before her. If you were to stand on the front porch you would have a beautiful view down over the valley. Mom used to tell us that she could remember being a little girl sitting on that porch with a spoon and a turnip, scraping and eating the flesh of the turnip with the spoon.  Tales too of colored Easter Eggs, hidden amongst the grass around its foundation. I remember going there once to visit one of my mother's cousins with her. The kitchen was a step down from the back entry way. It is a dim memory and I wish I remembered more.


The progeny of Abel Beals is dotted all over this Valley, and that is only one line. I have indigenous lines that intermingle with it and German lines, Scottish, English, Acadian as well.  I guess that makes me a Canadian through and through! 

There are worse things I could be. 😄

If you look very carefully you can see the crystallized glint
of frost on the rooftops across the way.

This is the most unusual January this year. The ground is hard and frozen this morning and covered with frost, but very little snow is about.  The temperature when I got up this morning was -6*C or 21.2*F. So quite cold. My heat pump is working overtime this morning to warm it up in here. 

On the south end of town where the river lies the river has burst its banks and lies across the fields, we have had so much rain.  Years ago, when I was a child, they rerouted the river through this town because it had a tendency to flood and swamp the homes at the lower end of town.  A river never forgets however as that area, the flood plain, is also flooded at this moment. If we get much more rain, people will have water in their homes. And of course, the frozen ground cannot absorb it fast enough. I think I am safe where I am, and my sister is safe where she is also.

Nutmeg holds court in his basket at the front of my little home.  I had put some peanuts out there on the porch yesterday, thinking that the bluejays would come and get them, and entertain the cats in the process.  So far, they are still laying there undiscovered.  Although he has gotten to watch the new neighbor across the way take his golden lab out for its morning constitutional. Nutmeg doesn't know what to make of this large creature that appears from time to time. He has never seen anything like it before.


In the meantime Cinnamon is sitting on my unmade bed entranced by the shadows of the crows in the back yard as they make their way back and forth picking up the bread that neighbors have left out for them. They make an awful racket, but are of great interest. 

I had put her on the windowsill at one point so that she could watch them closer to hand, but she would rather watch the shadows it seems.  There is probably much more of an air of mystery lingering about the shadows that is infinitely more interesting . . . 

What is that?  You would do well to ask, and I will tell you. It is a small eye glass cleaning shammy that I had purchased a number of months back.  It came as a set of four.  I gave one to my sister and kept three.  This one was adopted by the cats, Cinnamon in particular.  She likes to carry it about the house. It shows up everywhere.  I will tuck it away and lo and behold, it appears again as if by magic, her having routed it out from its hiding place. It is a game we play with each other and keeps us both happy.

Nutmeg is very noncommittal about it. If you cannot eat it, he's not really interested. A typical male.

It occurs to me this morning that this same camera I am using to picture these moments in my home is the same camera that used to look out upon the backs of the terraced houses behind my place in England. It still brings me joy, and  . . .  Home! Home!  I have built myself another Home!  And it is a very happy one and I sense that I DO belong here.


It was on this day, January 28th, in 1813 that Jane Austin published her book Pride and Prejudice. I doubt that she could have known that this many years later this book would still be delighting audiences, and audiences all over the globe as well. That it would have inspired and delighted generations of women and been immortalized as well in moving pictures with sound to further delight the soul.   What a brilliant legacy.   I think later today I will find a version of it on the television to watch as I sit and crochet my scarves.

Which is your favorite version?  I do confess that I much prefer the Colin Firth as the brooding Mr. Darcy.  What is it about brooding men that entices us so  . . .  

It is the same with Ross Poldark  . . . is it that we want to tame them? That brooding intensity is very attractive I find.  But I am no Demelza . . . 

And with that I best fan myself and get on with my day!

A thought to carry with you . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
  ˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
 ˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★
*Diversity is the one true thing
we all have in common . . . 
Celebrate it every day.
~Winston Churchill•。★★ 。* 。

In The English Kitchen today  . . . Easy Italian Sausage Rigatoni.  Quite simply delicious and sized just for two. 

I hope that you have a beautiful Saturday.  Whatever you get up to be happy and content.  Don't forget! 

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ 
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════   

And I do too!    



  1. I remember that home..I thought you would get more snow? I guess you are protected in a valley:)Bon weekend.

    1. Normally we get a lot more snow Monique! This year is most unusual, but then again, Winter is not over yet! We could get really slammed towards the end of the season! God forbid! Bon weekend to you also! xoxo

  2. Such entertainment for the cats. Lovely to have roots where you live. I love researching our family tree. More snow heading out way tonight and tomorrow. Out to get a few groceries before then. Enjoy the weekend.

    1. I really enjoy family history Linda. You need to join I know it is owned by the church, but trust me when I say they will not interfere with you at all. Both my sister, sons and brother belong. It is the largest family history data base in the world and it is free, totally free. Once you get a few generations entered on your family tree, it will start to link up with other generations and you will find out things you never knew before! People also add photographs and documents such as birth and marriage certificates, census records, etc. I think you would enjoy it. Stay safe! xoxo

    2. Thank you Marie, have uploaded my recent family tree and will search and see what I can find.

  3. Lovely post today - so interesting about your family history. What a beautiful area that you live in.
    And those kit kats! Love 'em!
    Hope your cold is almost over!

    1. Thanks very much Mary! Just a few sniffles left now. I am trying to keep it from coming back! Love my kit kats too! xoxo

  4. I think it quite amazing to be able to live in an area so many of your family...your distant ancestors even, lived in...seems that truly would feel like home. I guess there is really no spot in my life, that feels like that...too many moves. But one can be content most anywhere too. Thanks for sharing your story!
    Elizabeth xoxo

    1. Thanks Elizabeth! I agree I am very lucky. I have moved many, many times in my life as well, but I always return here and much of my family is settled here. I have relatives that have never been beyond the capital of our province! You are right about one being able to feel content almost anywhere though. I have loved most of the places I have lived, in fact, I cannot think of a place I did not enjoy! xoxo


Your comments mean the world to me, and while I may not be able to address each one individually, each one is important to me and each one counts. Thanks so much!