Greetings all of you ‘Covidiens’.  How are you doing with your respective lives in isolation?  Here in our little piece of East Coast paradise we are coping quite nicely, thank you. It’s certainly not perfect but we are beginning to see a tiny bit of light on our horizon….beautiful welcoming orange morning light.

Francois has found a new passion. Torching stuff. He builds it then he burns it. It’s an ancient Japanese method of treating wood called shou-sugi-ban to preserve wood by scorching the cuticle of the wood to seal and protect it. For a brief video of his method click here IMG_1331.

He built a lovely bridge to span the incoming stream at Duck Pond and finished it with this method. Burning with a propane torch then lovingly rubbing every square inch of  it with linseed oil. The process became a neighbourhood curiosity. One neighbour dropped by (socially distanced of course) and ask what the heck he was doing. She had been watching the build process from her home across the road but when the propane tank and torch came out her curiosity got the better of her.

Bridge over Calm Waters

One early morning, I looked out our bedroom window and saw our friend Fred perched on the bridge, bright red umbrella and fishing pole in hand. He’s quite a quirky character, always bringing a smile.

Old Becomes New Again

Francois also used the same burning method on our outdoor furniture transforming  each piece from Ikea tan to rich Asian black tea.  Quite a striking difference!

Papa’s Bridge

My daughter and son-in-law, loved the bridge so much that they asked if Francois could build one for them too.  She ordered the materials, had them delivered and paid for his services with virtual hugs and free beer.  Not a bad deal.

For Hugs and Beer

Speaking of hugs, Mother’s Day came and went. My daughter parked down the lane near the shore so we wouldn’t see her car, then the three of them toddled up the hill. Her four-year-old asked if he wore his mask and held his breath, could he give Gramma a hug. However heart-breaking, the answer was ‘no’ but I will remember the moment forever.

Mother’s Day Surprise

Nature continues on its spring journey oblivious to what’s happening in the world. Grass is green and lush. Birds are choosing partners and homes for their future families. Swallow Condo has at least three tenants now and from time to time we can see little heads poking out. I love sitting on the deck with my early morning coffee watching them dance and soar, listening to their happy song.

Swallow Condo

Francois has started a relocation program for some of our visitors. Monsieur and Madame Marmotte (our groundhog couple) are now several kilometres away, repositioned in a much less populated area. And Rocky Racoon and his Missus – the true Covid mascots, with masks and incessant hand-washing – have been deposited deep in the forest as well.

Uninvited Guests

Our gardens too have come to life. The tulips Francois planted last fall are in their full glory. The seventy-five bulbs from Holland commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Netherlands’ liberation following the end of World War II….a sea of beautiful orange blossoms.

Liberation 75

We both are enjoying our Crow’s Nest, planting seeds and watching them poke through the soil in the heat of the day. In the past I’ve bought seedlings from local green houses but with so many restrictions in place this year we’ve opted for online/no-contact seed and other supply buying from a company in Halifax. Mostly everything grew, surprisingly, considering it was our first time gardening on this scale.

Francois was quite proud to pose for you in the warmth of the ‘shed’ holding a flat of healthy greens for Naked Gardening Day.

My (almost) Naked Gardener

Four weeks ago Nova Scotia entered phase one of loosening restrictions. We celebrated with lobster, cooked and prepared at the world famous Shore Club. Paid in advance and pick-up time-slot assigned, deliciousness placed contact-free in the trunk of our car. Each year they host a Mother’s Day Celebration with a seafood feast. Three seatings, each sold out well in advance…but these are not normal times and we were more than happy to support their modified event in the comfort of our own home

Shore Club Lobster

The best part of this phase-one of isolation relaxing was the hugs. Hugs upon hugs upon a million hugs. A day spent with our ‘bubble’ family…and those million hugs…was the best therapy I could ever have asked for.

Healing Hugs

Papa Hugs

How to Calm a Wildling

Now that our provincial beaches are open I can begin to make use of my birthday gift. I’m not very stable yet so the 14 knot cross winds made me nervous….yes, she who has no problem heeling at 30 degrees in a storm can’t handle a puff of wind in a few feet of water. I will persist.  Francois was a champion though. Even a tumble into the frigid water didn’t phase his at all.

Trial Run

Sad little RED sits patiently in the driveway, winter cover removed, waiting for whatever summer months might bring.  We’re not sure when she will be splashed but lobster season is now over in our south shore area with traps removed so it might be soon. I remain hopeful.


So now you are up to date. As you can see our ‘day to day’ is not quite so ‘day to day’ as the ‘groundhog day effect’ might suggest. There is more than enough variety to bring us pleasure. We’re loving the simpler slower pared down version of our previous life and hope its continues. The other day, Francois mused that after isolation is lifted he would like us to remain isolated. Some things may have to change in order for that to happen – like being able to say ‘no’ more often. But we have time yet to work on that.

Thanks for stopping by.  We love it when you do, keeping connected in this rather disconnected way.