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Vol 32 â€¢ No 03
12 Pages of Puzzles!
Suffragettes in the City Guy Earle: Master Mariner The Accidental Prison Colony
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Have adventure in your heart? Start with the ocean beneath your feet.
Your perfect summer vacation begins on our ferries. Book your crossing today.
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life is better Published monthly in St. John’s by Downhome Publishing Inc. 43 James Lane, St. John’s, NL, A1E 3H3 Tel: 709-726-5113 • Fax: 709-726-2135 • Toll Free: 1-888-588-6353 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.downhomelife.com Editorial Editor-in-Chief Janice Stuckless Assistant Editor Elizabeth Whitten Special Publications Editor Tobias Romaniuk Editorial Intern Steven Tapper Art and Production Art Director Vince Marsh Graphic and Web Designer Cory Way Illustrator Mel D’Souza Illustrator Snowden Walters Advertising Sales Senior Account Manager Robert Saunders Account Manager Barbara Young Marketing Director Tiffany Brett
Warehouse Operations Warehouse / Inventory Manger Carol Howell Warehouse Operator Josephine Collins Sr. Customer Service Associate Sharon Muise Inventory Control Clerk Heather Lane Warehouse Associate Anthony Sparrow Retail Operations Retail Floor Manager, St. John’s Jackie Rice Retail Floor Manager, Twillingate Donna Keefe Retail Sales Associates Crystal Rose, Emma Goodyear, Jonathon Organ, Nicole French, Elizabeth Gleason, Melissa Wheeler, Rebecca Ford, Erin McCarthy, Mackenzie Stockley, Marlene Burt, Jackie Burt
Subscriptions Sr. Administrative Assistant Amanda Ricks Customer Service Associate Ciara Hodge
Finance and Administration Junior Accountant Marlena Grant Accounting Assistant Sandra Gosse Founding Editor Ron Young Operations Manager, Twillingate Nicole Mehaney Chief Executive Officer / Publisher Grant Young President Todd Goodyear Chief Financial Officer Tina Bromley
To subscribe, renew or change address use the contact information above. Subscriptions total inc. taxes, postage and handling: for residents in NL $39; AB, BC, MB, NU, NT, QC, SK, YT $40.95; ON $44.07; NB, NS, PE $44.85. US and International mailing price for a 1-year term is $49.00.
Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement #40062919 The advertiser agrees that the publisher shall not be liable for damages arising out of errors in advertisements beyond the amount paid for the space actually occupied by the portion of the advertisement in which the error occurred, whether such error is due to the negligence of the servants or otherwise, and there shall be no liability beyond the amount of such advertisement. The Letters to the Editor section is open to all letter writers providing the letters are in good taste, not libelous, and can be verified as true, correct and written by the person signing the letter. Pen names and anonymous letters will not be published. The publisher reserves the right to edit, revise, classify, or reject any advertisement or letter. © Downhome Publishing Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission of the publisher. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada.
Printed in Canada Official onboard magazine of
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86 pedal power
54 Living off the Land In Part 1 of this series on agriculture in Newfoundland and Labrador, Elizabeth Whitten gets in the trenches (vegetable trenches, that is) with local farmers who have a lot to say about their trade today and their concerns for tomorrow.
86 Happy Trails What makes the Newfoundland cycling experience unique and largely unexplored Tobias Romaniuk
92 Suffragettes in the City
summer sweets www.downhomelife.com
The Other Women Walk takes to the streets for a second year. Elizabeth Whitten
110 No-Bake Summer Desserts! With only a few weeks left to summer, donâ€™t spend it sweating over an oven. Enjoy whipping up these instead! August 2019
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homefront 10 I Dare Say A note from the editor 11 Contributors Meet the people behind the magazine 12 Letters From Our Readers Look who’s 100, seeking stamps and what are “flummies”?
20 Downhome Tours Explore Egypt
in love with Egypt
22 Why Is That Why do we count sheep to fall asleep and why do roosters crow at dawn? Linda Browne
24 That’s Amazing Wild news from around the world
26 Life’s Funny Definitions of Dirt Betty Kellestine
27 Say What A contest that puts words in someone else’s mouth
summer on paws
28 Lil Charmers Icebergs Ahead! 30 Pets of the Month Smell the Flowers
32 Blast from the Past Remember pagers?
34 Poetic Licence Twin Lakes Song Roland Hull
36 Reviewed Readers’ picks for top summer reads 4
32 pager out of history 1-888-588-6353
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44 wonder at the wheel
66 scenic eye
38 What Odds House hunting with Paul Warford 40 In Your Words The Slut Art Keeble
features 44 Master of the Trade The life and times of Guy Earle, schooner captain and navigator extraordinaire Kim Ploughman
48 Playing the Field Locals both young and old bring the passion of football to Newfoundland and Labrador. Steve Tapper
50 The Myrick Light Still Shines A visit with artist and musician Michelle Myrick. Wendy Rose
what did you call me? www.downhomelife.com
62 Return to Grey Islands A trip to a long abandoned community through the memories of a former resident. Dennis Flynn
66 Sure Shots Featuring photographer Patrick McKeown August 2019
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explore 74 Whatâ€™s on the Go Exciting events happening around Newfoundland and Labrador 76 A Peek at Pond Life Todd Hollett 82 On the Right Path The East Coast Trail Association marks 25 years of marking and preserving world-class hiking paths. Dennis Flynn 98 Exploring the Art in Nature Elizabeth Whitten takes the Boreal Poetry Garden tour.
food and leisure 106 Everyday Gourmet Newfoundland Berry Trifle Andrea Maunder
118 Down to Earth How to mass plant shrubs for late summer and fall colour Ross Traverse 6
a newfoundland twist 1-888-588-6353
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122 vintage style
reminiscing 122 Flashbacks Classic photos of people and places
123 This Month in History The day HMS Calypso joined the war
124 Visions and Vignettes Gnat, do you mind … Stampedes? Harold N. Walters 128 Newfoundlandia The Last North American Prison Ship Chad Bennett
About the cover Reader Nicole Burke was rewarded with this view of Torbay Point during her hike on the East Coast Trail. Turn to page 82 to learn more about this world-class hiking network.
Cover Index 12 Pages of Puzzles • 148 Faces of Farming • 54 No-Bake Desserts • 110 Happy Trails • 82 & 86 Suffragettes in the City • 92 Guy Earle: Master Mariner • 44 The Accidental Prison Colony • 128 www.downhomelife.com
130 Looking in Through My Kitchen Window Dolly Butt 132 The Fire of ’58 How one day was seared into the memories of this Newfoundland family Joy Philpott
136 Between the Boulevard and the Bay Ron Young 140 Mail Order 144 Real Estate 146 Marketplace 148 Puzzles 160 Photo Finish August 2019
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How did a convict ship bound for Australia end up in NL? p. 128
The internal clock of the crowing cock. p. 22
Vote for your favourite soft serve Downhomelife.com/conewars
Join us on Instagram Instagram.com/downhomemagazine
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Submission Guidelines and Prize Rules
You could WIN $100! Every reader whose PHOTO, STORY, JOKE or POEM appears next to this yellow “from our readers” stamp in a current issue receives $10 and a chance at being drawn for the monthly prize: $100 for one photo submission and $100 for one written submission. Prizes are awarded in Downhome Dollars certificates, which can be spent like cash in our retail stores and online at shopDownhome.com.*
Submit Today! Send your photo, story, joke or poem to
Downhome 43 James Lane St. John’s, NL, A1E 3H3 or submit online at:
www.downhomelife.com *Only 1 prize per submitter per month. To receive their prize, submitters must provide with their submission COMPLETE contact information: full name, mailing address, phone number and email address (if you have one). Mailed submissions will only be returned to those who include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Downhome Inc. reserves the right to publish submissions in future print and/or electronic media campaigns. Downhome Inc. is not responsible for unsolicited material. www.downhomelife.com
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i dare say “Time, time, time, see what’s become of me” (The Bangles, Hazy Shade of Winter)
Todd Young photo
As we go through life, many years simply sink to the bottom of our memory banks with nothing noteworthy tied to them that might bring them to the surface from time to time. Whereas certain years have such significance that our minds keep them within reach, ready to be snapped back to the present at the first note of a song or the smell of a perfume. One such year for me is 1989, the year I graduated high school. It just hit me the other day (again!) that 1989 was 30 years ago! That year, a postage stamp cost 38 cents, NAFTA was brand new, and Newfoundland and Labrador went through three premiers: Brian Peckford until March 22, then Tom Rideout until May 5, when he was replaced by Clyde Wells. In August 1989, I was shopping for a publisher for my novel and putting off post-secondary until I knew for sure I couldn’t get rich as a novelist. (I got published, didn’t get rich, but I do have two college diplomas.) That same month, Downhome introduced a puzzle drawn by Mel D’Souza. Different Strokes featured a fellow and his dog in a collision with a Newfoundland moose. The assistant editor, Bruce Roberts, named the guy Ern, after a buddy from Twillingate. Founding editor Ron Young named the little black dog Coal Bin. Since then, Mel has drawn at least 360 Different Strokes puzzles featuring Ern and Coal Bin, and other NL folks met along the way, and he’s published two books of these puzzles. For the anniversary, Mel created a special Different Strokes featuring all the recurring characters from over the years (see p.158). Happy 30th anniversary, Mel. Custom says to give pearls, but I’ll give you this: You’re a gem!
Janice Stuckless, Editor-in-chief email@example.com
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Meet the people behind the magazine
When it came to getting the August issue ready and into your hands, Downhome had a little help from our editorial intern, Steven Tapper. A journalism student at the College of the North Atlantic St. John’s campus, Steven was just finishing his first year before he stepped into our office. As a student, he’s taken a variety of classes that cover news writing and audio/video storytelling, which gives him plenty of experience with different areas of journalism. “I originally wanted to go into journalism because it offered radio and audio related stuff in the program,” he says. “I’ve also always been really into sports, so being a sports reporter/writer was also a big factor in me wanting to go into the program.” Downhome sent Steven out into the field to score us a story about a lesser talked about, but passionately played, sport in this province – football (see his story on page 48).
Last April, Gail Moore and her husband gave each other the perfect 40th wedding anniversary gift: a dream trip to Egypt, Israel and Jordan. When they got home, Gail shared some of their photos on DownhomeLife.com, and you can see them on page 20 in Downhome Tours. From posing with the pyramids on her way to King Tut’s tomb, to checking out the Great Sphinx of Giza, Gail was never without her copy of April’s Downhome magazine. “I loved the pyramids and that was my favourite excursion. We went inside four tombs in the Valley of the Kings, including King Tut’s tomb. Riding a camel was awesome, and so was the dawn balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings,” she recalls. “The cruise down the Nile was spectacular. We visited many temples and the monuments and the hieroglyphics were stunning. And on one of the nights we dressed up in Galabeya (traditional Arab dress), danced and played games. Seeing the Sphinx was pretty cool also.” Sounds like the trip of a lifetime! August 2019
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Benjamin at Stoyles Fish and Chips
After discovering Benjamin’s picture was in the June issue, we picked up a copy at Stoyles in Cambridge, ON. A lady also bought a copy and asked for his autograph! He was delighted. Vicki Schofield Stratford, ON
Looks like someone is “Downhome famous!” Thanks for sharing this photo of Benjamin, Vicki, and the earlier one that started it all.
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Couple of Questions I am an expat who left the island when I was very young. I have a couple of questions that I’m looking for answers to. What is the meaning of Tibb’s Eve on December 23? And a recent issue featured a cook-up photo of fried “flummies.” What are flummies? Are they like toutons or fish cakes? I would love to have these answers. I thoroughly enjoy reading your great little magazine. Keep up the good work.
Susan James Turns 100
Cron Yetman Oakville, ON
On September 20, 2019, my grandmother, Susan James, will be turning 100 years young. Sue was originally from South East Bight, Placentia, NL but moved to St. John’s many years ago. She raised four boys in the Mundy Pond area on Blackmarsh Road. Sue and her husband George ran a little take-out in the mid 1960s, conveniently named James’ Take Out. I’ve searched through old family photos, but I cannot find any pictures of the old take-out, so I’m turning to your readers to ask if anyone would have old photos of James’ Take Out, or from the little dance hall they had attached that once held Saturday dances, with music supplied by the Jukebox.
Great questions, Cron. Tibb’s Eve (or Tipsy Eve) is traditionally celebrated on December 23, the night when folks visit with their neighbours for a few social drinks. Additionally, there is no saint named Tibb, so saying something would happen on St. Tibb’s Eve meant it was never going to happen. “You’re getting a sports car? Sure, on St. Tibb’s Eve you are!” Flummies are fried bread dough, similar to toutons. The term is more used in Labrador, where it’s also called “trapper’s bread” because it’s easily made up for cooking at camp. In fact, there’s an award-winning traditional aboriginal band out of Happy Valley-Goose Bay called The Flummies.
Robin Falkowski Springside, SK (formerly of Holyrood, NL)
Seeking Stamp Collectors
If anyone has photos of James’ Take Out in the Mundy Pond area of St. John’s, from the 1960s, please contact us and we’ll put you in touch with Robin. Wouldn’t it make the best birthday present? To Susan, we hope you have a most wonderful birthday. www.downhomelife.com
Recently, I was asked to look at a stamp collection an older person had that the person’s estate wanted to sell or scrap. Being a very active seller, buyer and collector of postal history, stamps etc., I couldn’t refuse such an offer and after viewing it very briefly, I ended up purchasing 12 boxes of stamps. Upon getting this home, I opened up the boxes, one at a time, and was August 2019
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find corky sly conner Hidden somewhere in this issue is Corky Sly Conner.
Can you find him? Look carefully at all the photographs and in the text of the stories. If you spot Corky, send us your name, address and phone number, along with a note telling us where he’s located. Your name will be entered in a draw and the winner will receive a coupon worth 25 Downhome Dollars redeemable at our store, or through our website.
Send your replies to:
Congratulations to Irene West of New England Settlement, NB, who found Corky on page 70 of the June issue.
amazed at a paper I found. It was a 1979 special collectors supplement from Canadian Stamp News and all 20 pages of it were about Newfoundland postal items and history of your island. It is entitled “a postal anthology,” and has articles by Gary Lyon and others. Several collectors of Newfoundland stamps were eager to purchase said item, but it is not for sale. Instead, I copied it for three club members and gave it to them for free. This has rekindled an interest in Newfoundland stamps, as we have a very difficult time locating any. If you can pass on my email address to anyone who might be interested it would appreciated. I’ve been a subscriber to your magazine for the last four years, ever since our last trip there. I have found a very nice young mail clerk at our local office who is from Newfoundland and we talk every time I go to the post office. I don’t know her 14
Corky Contest 43 James Lane St. John’s, NL, A1E 3H3
firstname.lastname@example.org www.downhomelife.com *No Phone Calls Please One entry per person
Deadline for replies is the end of each month.
name or the place she came from, but I do remember her saying she came from a city or town where there was a street called Hazard Lane and we had a good laugh at the connotation of this name. I thank you for any help to get in touch with stamp collectors etc. who would be interested in trading, selling or just chatting about your postage. Roy Hele Via email
Roy, did you ever notice that on the opening page of Letters From Our Readers is a vintage Newfoundland postage stamp? We received a stack of them from a reader years ago and digitized them. We change the stamp every month. Here is Roy’s email address for any fellow philatelists who’d like to get in touch with him: email@example.com. Letters continued on p. 16 1-888-588-6353
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Mystery Photo The photo on page 127 of July 2019 Downhome magazine was taken in Channel-Port aux Basques. The building on the right is the Post Office-Court House. The one on the left is George Battiste’s General Store. Both buildings are still standing. Between the buildings there was a War Memorial. The people were probably attending a memorial service. I have no idea when the picture was taken. The War Memorial has since been moved near Hotel Port aux Basques. The person who found the photo said her grandmother was born in Cape La Hune. I was also born in Cape La Hune in 1936. I wonder who her grandmother was? Our family moved to Channel-Port aux Basques in 1948. I now live in Botwood. Frank Dominie Botwood, NL
Thanks for the information, Frank. Other readers – Florence Anderson, Donna Seymour and Keith Windsor – concurred with Frank about this location and that it was likely a memorial service. Joseph W. Roberts, formerly of Port aux Basques and now living in Conception Bay South, added that the photo was probably taken in the 1940s or ’50s. Here’s that photo again.
What is This?
We found this today on the beach. We are very curious to know what it is and where it came from! Janna Coles Roddickton, NL
Anyone with an educated guess about what this might be, please contact us. We’ll print your replies in a future issue. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; or submit your letter online at Downhomelife.com/submit; or write to Downhome, 43 James Lane, St. John’s, NL, A1E 3H3.
Letters continued on p. 18
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Peculiar Discovery Found this wooden “long hammer” stuck deep under some large rocks in a Codroy Valley beach. The nails that hold it together are very old-type looking. I’ve asked around but still have not found out what it is. Maybe a pry bar? Anyone know what this is, or if it’s something used then but not now?
Found on Facebook
Codroy Valley, NL
Caitlyn Olivia Hiscock Seven-month-old Scarlett sitting in the model boat her great-grandfather built. Anyone know what this might be (or have been)? Email your best guesses to email@example.com; or submit your letter online at Downhomelife.com/submit; or write to Downhome, 43 James Lane, St. John’s, NL, A1E 3H3.
CORRECTION In the June article “Follow the Readers,” we incorrectly placed the home base of Pirate’s Haven ATV tours in the Codroy Valley. It is, in fact, located northeast of the valley, in Robinsons.
Would you like to comment on something you’ve read in Downhome? Do you have a question for the editors or for other readers? Submit your letter to the editor at DownhomeLife.com/letters or write to us at 43 James Lane, St. John’s, NL, A1E 3H3.
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Homes Needed for Newfoundland Ponies They say that love knows no bounds. Truer words were never spoken for the Newfoundland Pony Society’s Re-homing Committee who work hard to find temporary or permanent homes for Ponies. They’re always looking to hear from people who share their love for the breed, and have land, a stable, or other resources to donate. Ponies are given up for any number of reasons. Some are abused and neglected, but there are many cases where people just can’t look after them any more and give them up to the NPS. With a critically endangered breed, this is the most responsible thing to do. Breeding ponies could have been lost forever if their owners hadn’t given them up to NPS to be rehomed to responsible breeders. We know Newfoundlanders are scattered far and wide across Canada and the U.S. and are in places where Ponies need help. If you are able to foster a Newfoundland Pony, adopt one, or have pastures where they can spend part of the year, please contact Korrine Affleck at firstname.lastname@example.org, 1.613.267.9786 or Tammy Webber, email@example.com, 709.222.9566. Potential homes will be checked, and references sought. (By the way, not all ponies who need homes are old; we often have babies and young ponies who need homes.) What do you get in return? We think the face of 2-year-old David Reed says it all! David’s family recently adopted an elderly Newfoundland Pony whose family couldn’t care for her any more. In exchange, Maggie will love them to the end of her days. Above: David Reed and Maggie in Perth, Ontario.
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homefront Downhome Tours...
Gail Moore and her husband, Michael (sitting on the camel), pose for a photo in front of the Pyramids of Giza on their recent trip to Egypt. The Pyramids of Giza are three structures, the most famous and oldest being the Great Pyramid of Giza, also called the Pyramid of Khufu. Built around 2560 BCE, itâ€™s one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, as well as the only one thatâ€™s still largely intact. For 3,800 years it was the tallest man-made structure in the world, until the Lincoln Cathedral was completed in 1311 AD. 20
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Hail to the King
Here’s Gail again, this time posing outside Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings, in Luxor. In 1979, the Valley of the Kings was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. One of the most popular attractions is the tomb of King Tutankhamun (King Tut), who reigned from 1332–1323 BCE, during the New Kingdom period. His tomb was discovered in 1922 and unsealed in 1923. For decades, there were rumours that a curse had befallen the British archeologists who’d disturbed the tomb.
Pucker Up And finally, Gail getting up close with the Great Sphinx at Giza, Egypt. This limestone statue towers over the west bank of the Nile River in Giza, Egypt, and was likely built sometime between 2575 and 2465 BCE. The Sphinx is a mythological creature that consists of a body of a lion and the head of a human. It would demand people answer its riddles. Fail and be devoured!
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Expert answers to common life questions. By Linda Browne
Why do we count sheep to fall asleep? There’s nothing like falling into a peaceful slumber at the end of a long, exhausting day. But when you have to fight to get a good night’s sleep, you’ll likely do anything in a desperate bid to hitch a ride to dreamland – even count imaginary, fluffy farm animals. But why do we count sheep to help us fall asleep – and does it actually work? There are a couple of popular theories about the origin of this practice. One is that it originated with shepherds in medieval Britain. Supposedly, they would put their worries to rest at night by counting their flock to ensure that all members were safe and sound. Another theory, according to a course blog for Penn State University, points to the Disciplina Clericalis, a collection of fables from 12th-century Spain. In one tale, a storyteller spins a yarn involving counting sheep to appease a king who doesn’t want to hit the hay (with the storyteller himself falling asleep in the process). This suggests that the practice of counting sheep to fall asleep is an idea that predates the 12th century. But is it effective? Most say no, including the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), a US-based non-profit that aims to improve health and well-being though sleep education and advocacy. 22
“Relaxing imagery or thoughts may help to induce sleep more than counting sheep, which some research suggests may be more distracting than relaxing,” states the NSF on their website. According to the NSF, most experts suggest that if you don’t fall back to sleep within 15 to 20 minutes, you should roll out of bed and do something relaxing like listen to music or read a book until you feel like nodding off. Dr. Emerson Wickwire, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the Insomnia Program at the University of Maryland Medical Centre, also has a few words of wisdom. “The single most important step is to create a bedroom environment that is sacred for sleep – this should be cool, dark, quiet and uncluttered,” he says via email to Downhome. “For patients with racing thoughts, 1-888-588-6353
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we encourage a pre-sleep, wind-down journal. A few hours before bed, use a black-and-white notebook to record any thoughts, worries or concerns. And
always end on a positive note by listing three things for which you are grateful. This exercise will help put your thoughts to rest, so you can sleep.”
Why do roosters crow at dawn? There’s nothing quite like the ear-splitting crow of a rooster to jolt you out of dreamland (however you’ve arrived there, be it via the aforementioned bedtime journal or counting sheep). COCK-A-DOODLE-DOOOOO! Why do roosters make such a ruckus at the crack of dawn? Are they so excited at the first hint of sun that they just can’t contain themselves? A research team from Nagoya University in Japan set out to find whether the crowing is a result of an internal clock or external stimuli (e.g. sunlight). They placed several groups of roosters in separate light- and sound-tight rooms. In one experiment, they exposed the birds to 12 hours of light, followed by 12 hours of dim light, for two weeks. They noticed that the roosters started to crow “approximately two hours before the onset of light,” according to their paper published in the journal Current Biology. In the second experiment, the animals were exposed to 24 hours of dim light over two weeks and, again, began to crow near dawn. “Our observations prove that the rooster breaks the dawn every morning as a function of his circadian clock,” they concluded. In other words, it’s not sunlight, but roosters’
circadian rhythm (which helps them determine the time of day) that triggers their wake-up call. However, this behaviour isn’t restricted to the early morning. Crowing is a rooster’s way of communicating: for example, to show their territory or warn others of potential danger. In another study by the same researchers, published in the journal Scientific Reports, they also found that if there’s more than one rooster in the group, the top-ranking rooster crows first with the others falling in line in order of rank. If the top cock is late sounding the alarm, “subordinate roosters are patient enough to wait for the top-ranking rooster’s first crow every morning and thus compromise their circadian clock for social reasons,” they add. So if a rooster’s incessant crowing is getting on your nerves, there’s not much you can do about it (besides investing in a good pair of earplugs) – it’s just their nature.
Do you have a burning life question for Linda to investigate? Turn to page 9 for ways to contact us. www.downhomelife.com
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AMAZING Wild news from around the world
A piece of the long-lost Lewis chessmen set was recently discovered in a drawer in an Edinburgh, Scotland, home. The chess set was made from walrus ivory sometime in the late 12th to early 13th century and was unearthed almost 200 years ago, but a few pieces quickly went missing. A family member had bought the piece for £5 in 1964 and it could be worth £1million at auction.
A wild raccoon made his way into a German zoo’s raccoon enclosure and refused to leave his comfy new digs. Due to a 2015 EU ruling, the zoo isn’t allowed to release “Fred,” as he’s been nicknamed, into the wild because raccoons are considered an invasive species in the country. But this might not be a big win for Fred because in order to stay, he’ll have to be neutered.
During a recent Avalon Pond Cleanup in the St. John’s area, volunteers found plenty of discarded trash around the area’s ponds and walking trails. One item was a purse with a driver’s licence inside. Using the information on the licence, the owner was soon reunited with her purse, which she said had been stolen 17 years ago! 24
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They may be an unwanted weed and a blemish on an otherwise perfect green lawn, but dandelions mean business to a German company that uses them to make rubber that they turn into bicycle tires. These tires were recently debuted at the Tour de France and dandelion is being hailed as an alternative source of rubber.
Not OK in UK
For six days this summer, an elderly couple in Knott End-on-Sea, Britain were unable to leave their home. Every time they tried to go out the front door, a pair of angry seagulls would swoop down and attack. The birds were protecting their nest, and until the chicks hatched, the couple had to sneak out through their garage.
When a woman in Richmond, Virginia found a lost cat near her home one night, she took the creature in and posted a picture of it to Craigslist, hoping to find its owner. People were quick to contact her – not to identify the owner, but to warn her. It wasn’t a lost kitty she’d taken in, but a wild bobcat!
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homefront life’s funny
Deﬁnitions of Dirt My husband and I live in Ontario, and one year we decided it was finally time to visit Newfoundland. Before arriving in Newfoundland, we drove over the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia, where a lot of construction was going on. After two weeks of that, our car was covered in dirt. We crossed on the Marine Atlantic ferry to Port aux Basques, NL, and after spending the night in Codroy Valley, we arrived in Corner Brook. There we filled the car with gas and I said, “We have to get the car washed.” I told the car wash attendant we needed a car wash just to get the dirt off. A gentleman standing in the office told me, “My dear! There is no dirt in Newfoundland. The only dirt here is what you’ll hear on the radio!” Betty Kellestine Ontario
Do you have any funny or embarrassing true stories? Share them with us. If your story is selected, you’ll win a prize! See page 9 for details. 26
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me… e e s u o y w o “N t!” ’ n o w u o y l l a the f Linda Garﬁeld Green –
Say WHAT? Downhome recently posted this photo (sent in by Jody Martin) on our website and Facebook page and asked our members to imagine what the moose might be saying. Linda Garfield Green’s response made us chuckle the most, so we’re awarding her 20 Downhome Dollars!
Here are the runners-up: “Where’s the berries? Me tongue is near falling out for a feed.” – Joanne Greene Delph “’Na Na Na Boo Boo – you can’t catch me!’ according to my five-year-old…” – Amanda Elizabeth “Can’t hold my licker!” – Thelma Edwards
Want to get in on the action? Go to www.downhomelife.com/saywhat
“Like” us on Facebook www.facebook.com/downhomelife August 2019
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homefront lil charmers
Icebergs Ahead! Out for a Drive
Layken enjoys a day on the water getting a close-up with icebergs. Tina Glover Wareham, Bonavista Bay, NL
Benson Doucette finally gets to see his first iceberg in Torbay, NL. Alana Doucette Via Downhomelife.com
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Handy to a Berg
Ben loves iceberg hunting along the shore. Cassandra Bishop Cupids, NL
On the Look Out
Three-and-a-half-year-old Amelia Lambert from Ragged Point, NL, uses her Poppyâ€™s binoculars to spot icebergs beyond the sea ice in the cove. Marilyn Blake Whitby, ON
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homefront pets of the month
smell the flowers Among the Dandelions
Jack loves his daily walks, but sometimes you have to stop and just be in the moment. Carla Tulloch Petawawa, ON
Big Blooms Louieâ€™s taking the time to admire the flowers. Joanna Green Harbour Breton, NL
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Sweet little Frisbee relaxes in the neighbourâ€™s flowerbed. (Hopefully the blooms bounce back!) Michele D. Verge Rockland, ON
Navi has her very own chair with a view and surrounded by pretty greenery. Carol & John Parsons Fort McMurray, AB
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Remember Pagers? The year Newfoundland was entering Confederation, a Canadian named Al Gross was busy inventing the telephone pager. It would take another 30-odd years before pagers became a common sight, though. Al was a radio communications enthusiast and inventor: he’s also credited with inventing the walkietalkie and CB, or Citizen’s Band, radio. His pager used radio signals to send a message to the pager device, also commonly known as a beeper. It was first used in the Jewish Hospital in New York City, and for decades pagers were used exclusively by medical and emergency services professionals. In 1959, Motorola came out with a pager that used radio signals to send a message to an individual
device. Limited in function and use, it was a precursor to the pager that rose to popularity in the 1980s and ’90s. These little devices, typically carried on a belt, had a small screen that would display a message or number. The device came with a phone number people could call to leave a message or a call back number. When a message was received, the pager owner would head to the nearest phone to retrieve the waiting message. With the rise of cellphones, the pager became redundant and fell out of widespread use. But they aren’t totally gone – they’ve just returned to their roots. Because pagers use radio signals, they tend to have better reception than cellphones, and are still used by medical professionals.
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homefront poetic licence
The following is an old logger’s song, written in the 1930s by Roland Hull of Springdale, NL. Composing and singing such songs was a tradition among men in these camps as a way to help pass the time in the woods. These lyrics were submitted to Downhome by Vincent Snow of Robert’s Arm, NL.
Twin Lakes Song By Roland Hull
Last night as I sat in my own cozy corner, A-thinking of a few dollars to make, My wife, she says to me, “Why don’t you try subbing? They’re making good money up on the Twin Lakes.”
So right there and then, I then made my decision, The very next day preparations to make; I got home some firewood and packed my old kit bag, And then started off for the shores of Twin Lakes.
I said to my wife, “I don’t know what about it, For I don’t want the AND Company to break; I’m afraid they won’t have enough money to pay me, If I have a month’s subbing up on the Twin Lakes.”
I arrived at Twin Lakes being late in November, The thought of the subbing could make your heart ache, If I live to be a thousand I’ll always remember The year I went subbing up on the Twin Lakes.
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I arrived at Twin Lakes being one fine Sunday evening, About four o’clock, if I make no mistake; The bunks were all filled and I slept on the table, The first night I spent on the shores of Twin Lakes. Some in their bunks they were piling up timber, While others were shouting, “Pass down the short cake!” Such silly old nonsense, I cannot remember The lads they were using up on the Twin Lakes. I awoke in the morning in very cold humour, Straightaway to the forepeak by bucksaw to take, A good choice of timber, I heard in the rumour, ’Twas not to be found on the shores of Twin Lakes. You’ll go in the woods with your bucksaw and measure, You’ll work like a slave your wages to make; You’ll think it so grand but you find it no pleasure, In using those bucksaws up on the Twin Lakes. www.downhomelife.com
Come all you young peddlers that stand ’round the corner A-waiting a poor subber’s money to make, But when you sits down to your fresh pork and cabbage, Think on the poor subber subs on the Twin Lakes. Come all you young men who are seeking employment, Take a poor subber’s warning, don’t make no mistake, Get aboard of an express, go over the Topsails, Keep clear of the subbing up on the Twin Lakes. Come all you young ladies who are seeking a husband, Take a poor subber’s warning, don’t make no mistake, If you want a good home and plenty of money, Don’t marry a subber subs on the Twin Lakes.
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We asked our Facebook friends to recommend books by Newfoundland and Labrador authors. Some of their favourites were oldies but goodies, so while they may not be recent releases, you may find them in your local library, at a used bookstore or stuffed into friends’ bookshelves.
Kit’s Law Donna Morrissey Penguin Random House Canada
This debut novel from author Donna Morrissey takes place in an isolated outport in the 1950s. The story centres on 14-year-old Kit, her mentally handicapped mother, Josie, and Kit’s grandmother Lizzie.
Flannery Lisa Moore Anansi/Groundwood
Flannery Malone has plenty of problems filling the days of her 16-year-old life. Her friend has forgotten about her, her mom can’t pay the bills, her class partner isn’t pulling his weight. And she’s invented a love potion that’s gone viral. “It might be young adult, but it’s worth reading!” enthuses Karen Parsons on Downhome’s Facebook page.
River Thieves Michael Crummy Penguin Random House Canada
“At the turn of the 19th century, naval officer David Buchan arrives in the Bay of Exploits with orders to establish contact with the Beothuk or ‘Red Indians,’ the aboriginal inhabitants of Newfoundland facing extinction. When Buchan approaches the area’s most influential white settlers, the Peytons, for advice and assistance, he enters a shadowy world of allegiances and old grudges that he can only dimly apprehend,” states the publisher. 36
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Wilful Desire Victoria Barbour Flanker Press
Victoria Barbour is a best-selling romance writer from NL, whose lusty escapades are often loosely set in this province. In this edition, Mae Mercer is trying to resist the charms of the handsome sailor who left her high and dry the night before their wedding. “Will might be a force of nature when he’s hunting down pirates and drug dealers, but that’s nothing compared to the way he capsizes Mae’s world when he returns home to Heart’s Ease.”
MotherFumbler Vicki Combden Murphy Breakwater Books
“I always knew I’d be the perfect mother. So far, I’ve perfected the fetal position,” writes author Vicki Comden Murphy, a blogger who turned her hilarious admissions into a laugh out loud book. Murphy… “reminds us that when it comes to parenting, we’re all motherfumblers, feeling our way along in the dark, doing the best we can, hoping to come out with our minds intact and a kid we haven’t screwed up – too badly,” writes the publisher.
Mattie Mitchell: a biography Gary Collins Flanker Press
This adventure story looks at the life of Mattie Mitchell, “a hunter, trapper and guide of Mi’kmaq descent whose daring feats became known worldwide, but which history books somehow forgot,” states the publisher.
Unveiled Carolyn Morgan Flanker Press
“The Louvre has the Mona Lisa. Canada has the Veiled Virgin. In the 21st century, Rebecca Howell is transfixed by the beauty of Giovanni Strazza’s masterpiece the Veiled Virgin,” writes the publisher. This is Morgan’s second novel, in which her heroine travels all over Italy following the story of this sculpture and the model who posed for it, and how it came to be in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Some of these titles are sold by Downhome. Turn to our mail order section beginning on page 140 for contact information, or visit ShopDownhome.com. www.downhomelife.com
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homefront what odds
a house, a home By Paul Warford
But I’ve spent The ceiling is a little low. I mean, the seems nice enough – spacious – but the my life on the kitchen pale yellow cedar-smelling slats of the second run, cramming floor are a hair’s breadth from my own curly hotel shampoos locks. My wife, Andie, and I are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the real estate agent we’ve and conditioners just met. The three of us trod through the buninto my shave galow’s innards, mentioning its most charming as if we’re complimenting a spinster just kit, only brushing features back from a makeover. “Oh, this is cute here, I with the tiny like this.” “That looks new!” Andie has been browsing house listings for toothpastes. Perover a year, and while I’ve been less enthusiastic haps I’m not about home ownership (I make less money), it ready for this. finally seems like she and I should be looking. This Pouch Cove startup is our very first address and it’s an obvious pass. I mean, I have to be able to use the entirety of my neck on the second floor of a home that we buy, so I assume this place is a “thanks but no thanks.” The resulting realization is a tad awkward, since the agent is describing the condition of the water boiler while I’m already trying to decide on a restaurant for supper once we’re out of here. The process feels a bit like a first date, and now I’m gently trying to weasel my way out of a second. “Well, it’s nice and you’re nice, so maybe we’ll call you sometime.” Are we indebted to keep using this person now? Is she our real estate agent? Is that how people get them? I snap out of it when I realize the viewing is ending. The agent is handing land inspections and business cards to my wife, and Andie is assuring her we’ll be in touch. Relieved, I usher us to the safe canopy of our car, where we can discuss the experience without hurting anyone’s feelings. We decide that this house is indeed a pass, but we buzz with a new exhilaration as our engine
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idles and hums a whisper of possibility. For dinner we decide on the Guv’nor. My wife dreams of us owning a house where she can plant raspberries and let the dog run full-tilt along our perimeter, huffing excited cough-like barks as she only does at full-tilt speeds (the dog, not the wife). Andie wants a home and I want one, too, but my wife comes from PEI, a place where an acre-and-a-half of remarkably fertile land is considered “a bit small,” so I feel like I’m going to need to temper expectations. While I’m convincing her that what she really wants is a tenth of an acre of fallow rubble on which to build our homestead, I’ll have to figure out exactly what my own expectations are. Frankly, I have no idea. The prospect of homeownership feels like competing in motocross or playing hacky sack on the moon; a challenge I could never face. Regular Downhome readers might know that I’m a tad malleable – I’d even risk saying “dynamic.” I’m not intimidated by change, and some of you will remember that I went sailing on an oil tanker for two months when my previous offshore experience amounted to North Sydney ferry crossings furnished by Marine Atlantic. I went on a seven-week tour of comedy clubs in Ontario with no real plan for accommodations, yet boarded the plane to Toronto without a second thought. www.downhomelife.com
But this? This is different. This is cleaning the rain gutters on a stepladder. This is conversations with bank managers; credit checks, mortgages… This is the last of the first steps towards retirement. I operate best without a plan, and owning a home requires constant planning and regular “preparing for the future.” Well, my future tends to stretch to the end of the week and I never push my luck to think beyond then. I’ve always breathed easiest pretending I don’t have a future. However, this isn’t about me. Life is “us” now, and I wouldn’t change that itinerary for anything. But I’ve spent my life on the run, cramming hotel shampoos and conditioners into my shave kit, only brushing with the tiny toothpastes. Perhaps I’m not ready for this. Then again, we can’t own a barbecue when our “yard” is the block of sidewalk in front of our porch, and my wife and I have things to grill! And if the adult thing to do is stake our claim, sign the deed and lash the barbecue to our new deck with bungee cords so the wind doesn’t blow it against our neighbour’s shed, then maybe I’m ready to try. Paul Warford began writing for Downhome to impress his mom and her friends. He writes and performs comedy in Eastern Canada. Follow him on Twitter @paulwarford August 2019
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homefront in your words
The Slut By Art Keeble Musquodoboit Harbour, NS
The late 1980s found me doing some work at the Fisheries College in St. John’s, NL. One day I required a cylinder of dry nitrogen for a demo, and my contact at the college offered to take me to get some over the noon hour. After the pickup we stopped for lunch. It was a rainysnowy, dreary day. Over the meal we talked about our lives, families – normal small talk. He told me how he had recently remarried and how much he enjoyed being in the woods, hunting etc. When we left the restaurant, it had turned into a gorgeous sunny day. “Great!” my friend said. “If the weather holds, I’ll get me slut and me dog and go into the woods.” As we drove along I asked if his wife liked the woods as much as he did. “No, b’y. Why do you ask?” “Well,” I replied, “you said you would get your slut and your dog and go into the woods if the weather held.” He took to laughing so hard he drove the vehicle onto the shoulder of the road and back. “No, no! Me slut, it’s me kettle!” He then went on to explain that a slut was a tin kettle with a large flat bottom so it could be heated quickly in the woods over a birch bark fire. They were often made at school as a project in shop class. I apologized, which only made him laugh more – making me feel better, as he was a very large man and had he taken offence he could have broken me in two! When I left the hotel I’d been staying at, the desk clerk handed me a box. In40
side was a tin kettle and a note: “Art, this is a slut! Thanks for the course.” Over the years I have related this story to many people and have come to believe that the word “slut” meaning kettle is a localized term because a lot of Newfoundlanders I have met are unfamiliar with it. I still have the kettle and note, and whenever I look at it I can’t help but smile.
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life is better Sunset on Exploits Island, NL Jordan Woolfrey, Grand Falls-Windsor, NL
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The life and times of Guy Earle, schooner captain and navigator extraordinaire BY KIM PLOUGHMAN
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OVER THE PASSAGE OF TIME,
the Atlantic blue lured a steady stream of heroic seafarers, and one of its most brilliant and revered navigators in the past century was a Newfoundlander, Captain Guy Earle. Born November 24, 1917, Eric “Guy” Earle came into an era that saw the sun setting on great and gritty seafarers who mastered the clipper ships. The eldest son of six children raised by Skipper Arthur Earle and his wife Effie (Saunders), Earle was born, it seems, with salt in his veins. He grew up in Carbonear, a port heavily engaged in the salt fish trade using schooners, the backbone of the Newfoundland fishery. Earle came by his fishing passion honestly. He was descended from a long line of fishermen from Plymouth, England; and when his own father obtained a schooner and outfitted fishermen for the Labrador fishery, a family fishing dynasty was launched that is still held in high esteem today. Guy was eight years old when he first joined his father on fishing voyages north. On that first trip in 1925, his father tied him to the schooner’s mainmast to cure his seasickness (which clearly worked). At 14, Earle entered the family firm, Earle Freighting Services, and when he was just 16 he skippered his first solo trip to Labrador in 1933. www.downhomelife.com
Guy Earle, age 21 in New York
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By the early 1960s, Earle Freighting Services became the first fully integrated fishing company in Newfoundland and was exporting more than a quarter of all the salt fish on the island. Earle and his brother Fred would go on to launch a sister company, Earle Brothers Fisheries. REMARKABLE RECORDS In a recent conversation with Earle’s youngest son, Dr. Phil Earle (now residing in Carbonear), he reflects on his father’s sea legacy and records. “Two years later, after he took a schooner to the Labrador, Father forged his birth certificate to earn his master mariner’s ticket.” So in 1935, at the age of 18, Captain Guy Earle became the youngest licensed sea captain in North America. Phil also recalls some of the heroics of his famous father, including two “unbelievable” sailing records that he set. The first came in 1938. As part of the Triangle Trade, Earle travelled to the West Indies selling salt fish. Phil Earle remarks: “In 1939, at the age of 21, my father completed a record trip to the West Indies and back from 46
Newfoundland – a mere 21 days. He delivered a schooner full of salted cod, which he traded for molasses.” Then in 1941, as captain of the three-masted schooner Betoine, he sailed to Portugal. “It took him only 11 days to cross the Atlantic, and this was during World War II, when the sea was full of danger,” Phil says, noting that the record has never been beaten. SKIPPER OF THE SS KYLE By early 1961, the Earle brothers purchased the Arctic Eagle from the Shaw Steam Co. in Halifax for use as a sealing ship until 1967, giving it back its original name, SS Kyle. Phil vividly recollects the trip he took to Halifax with family members to bring home the refitted vessel. “I was a kid, and we brought her back down in a storm. It took us two to three days,” Phil says. “I felt like I was on the Queen Mary.” Earle would be the last captain of the Kyle, the last of the coal burners. In the spring of 1965, after being crushed by ice and grounded against a 10-storey iceberg, Earle steered the 1-888-588-6353
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limping vessel back to port. Two years later, on February 4, 1967, the damaged Kyle was torn from her moorings in a storm and blown to Riverhead. There she rests to this day, in the Harbour Grace mussel bank beach – a watery monument to a way of life long gone; now a cultural icon and attraction to a great many tourists.
Guy’s son, Phil, looks through his father’s sextant, once a key navigation tool. END OF AN ERA Captain Guy Earle’s life was cut short at the relatively young age of 50, when on February 19, 1968, he died of a heart attack in his sleep. Legend has it that Earle’s funeral was the biggest Carbonear had ever seen, www.downhomelife.com
even to this day. His son recalls: “There were over 2,500 people at the funeral; and when we came out of the church with the casket, over 400 fishermen from all over Newfoundland and Labrador were standing there. They were crying like they had lost their son.” Above even his seamanship, Capt. Earle is remembered as being devoted to preserving the Newfoundland fishery and way of life. “He believed that a fisherman was as important to Newfoundland as any other job,” says Phil. With a son’s pride, Phil regards his father as “the most incredible man” in the last century in Newfoundland. “He was one who loved his fellow man, and he especially cared about his workers. His trade was people and the warmth he spread in dealing with them,” he says, adding, “He could not see another human being hurt; and every day of his life, he gave. The most important and incredible thing was that it was done in silence.” In all his time as captain, Earle never lost a single life at sea. Further, his son has records the captain saved nine souls from drowning, including a 10-year-old-boy who fell in the harbour at Harbour Grace in 1939. Phil says, “He was an unbelievable swimmer, but he completely ignored the possibility of losing his own life.” In the winter of 2019, Phil set out to pen the untold story of his dad and the gifts he shared, to pay tribute to his legendary father and the cultural history of Carbonear. He corroborated stories and personal recollections with people and at the archives. He hopes to have the book published this year. August 2019
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the Field Locals both young and old bring the passion of football to Newfoundland and Labrador Story and photo by Steve Tapper
The summer afternoon air is broken by the blasts of referees’ whistles, athletes calling plays on the field, and fans in the stands cheering them on. Nothing unusual about summertime sports in Newfoundland and Labrador – unless you’re talking about football. In a province more known for hockey, curling, softball and soccer, people might be surprised that league football has been a thing here for almost 40 years. That’s how long the St. John’s Touch Football League (SJTFL) has been on the go, says league president Mark Hynes. Mark grew up in Corner Brook, NL, where football is also played. “I spent my whole life there. Played touch football out there for four, five years, 48
and moved here for work back in 2008,” he says. “And football is doing well there. The league back there had four teams; I think there now they have up to six teams.” There is enjoyment in his voice when he talks about the people who watch their games every week. “You come down here on a Saturday or a Sunday and it’s nothing to see 50 or 60 people around the sidelines,” Mark says of Brother Egan Field on 1-888-588-6353
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Warbury Street in St. John’s. “You might see some of these people up on their patios watching the games, and kids playing over here.” He adds it really gives their group a community feel and gives the neighbours free sporting entertainment every week. “I would say this field allows the players to bring their kids, to bring their family on the weekends,” he adds. “And given the fact that we generally play all weekend and some weekday evenings, it gives people the chance to watch during the best times for them.” The SJTFL supports both a men’s and a women’s league. “The women’s league is thriving right now; they’re doing really well,” he says. “Three or four years ago we only had four teams in that league. Now we’re up to six. I feel like we can go even bigger than that in the next year or two. More and more women seem to get involved.”
ALL AGES WELCOME Adults aren’t the only ones getting their kicks at football. Thanks to the www.downhomelife.com
efforts of Football Newfoundland and Labrador, kids of all ages can get in the game. Boys and girls aged four to 12 all play flag football, learning the rules of the game without the rougher physical contact. Youth aged 12-18 can choose to continue playing flag football or move into tackle football like the adults play. At Wishingwell Park, near Ropewalk Lane, a younger generation of athletes takes to the field. The U15 and U18 teams practise here every week. Brian Hillier, a Grand Bank native, is one of the coaches. He’s also president of Football NL, which might be surprising when he says, “There’s actually no football at all in Grand Bank.” League football is only currently played in St. John’s, Corner Brook and Labrador City. As a coach and a football fan, Hillier says he hopes the kids he practises with learn a lot from him as they play. “I really hope they learn responsibility, taking ownership, dedication, and I hope they know how to act both on and off the field.” August 2019
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She has the same name as her famous lightkeeper family, but her beacon points in a different direction.
By Wendy Rose
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returned home to Newfoundland and Labrador this spring, bringing her latest body of work along with her. The St. Shotts native made the most of her time on the island, performing at events in St. John’s and Hermitage on the south coast, after selling out six shows in the province just last year. Michelle’s last name may jog memories for some. She comes from a long line of Myrick lighthouse keepers – six generations, in fact. Her father was the lightkeeper at Cape Race “in his younger days,” she says, later taking up the same post at Cape Pine. The Cape Race replica of the 1904 Marconi Wireless Station – The Myrick Wireless Interpretation Centre – bears the family name. Perhaps this unique lineage of lightkeepers explains Michelle’s interest in guiding others through self-exploration, with art and music acting as her beacon of light. Ahead of her April “Song Series” show at the Monastery Hotel in the capital city, Michelle sat down with Downhome magazine to discuss her life as an artist, and the wild, unpredictable path that led her there. It’s a journey dotted with love, loss, tragedy, passion, curiosity and unexpected circumstances. Before learning why she was coming home, it was important to know why she left. (Michelle lives in Norway.) “Short and simple – a man,” www.downhomelife.com
Michelle says with a laugh, referring to her Norwegian husband, Reidar Olsen. The pair met more than 25 years ago, when Michelle was managing a bar in downtown St. John’s. Finding it difficult to maintain a long distance relationship via letter – there was no texting, emails, Skype or social media to keep in contact – they eventually broke it off. Years later, Michelle moved abroad, living in Saudi Arabia, South Korea, United Arab Emirates and later India, where
Michelle and husband Reidar August 2019
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she reconnected with Reidar in 2012. “When that happened, we were like, ‘OK, universe, you’re trying to tell us something. We need to listen.’ And we’ve been together ever since,” she says. They married in 2015 and moved to Norway. In marriage, Michelle took Reidar’s last name. The initials of her new name, including her rarely used legal first name – Anne Michelle Myrick Olsen – forms the acronym AMMO, which has become the banner under which Michelle operates her creative endeavours: AMMO Artworks. “I’m so young to the painting thing – this only started with me two and a half years ago,” she explains. In response to the look of surprise on this writer’s face, Michelle begins to laugh. “Listen, there’s nobody more shocked than me!” Michelle says she made her first foray into painting about 15 years ago, “out of pure poverty.” Christmas was approaching and she needed gifts for friends. She put the brush to the canvas for the first time, eventually creating nine paintings for her gal pals. Many still have theirs today. “I painted whatever came to my mind. Some were abstract; some were figures,” she explains. After the holidays, Michelle put her art supplies away. She didn’t haul out those Wal-Mart brand paints and canvas again until years later. “I felt something. I just felt something different inside me,” she recalls. “When we went back to Norway, I bought more supplies and just kept painting… I almost lost myself in it. It was meditative. I just enjoyed it so much. “I painted this one picture, and I posted it on Facebook. I was damn 52
delighted with myself,” she adds with a laugh. A friend purchased the piece, and more friends wanted original artworks of their own. “So I kept going,” she says. “I got more and more curious about [art] so I watched YouTube videos to figure out how to mix paint, create different textures, use a palette knife. There was just so much room for creativity, so much to explore! I kept following my curiosity.” Michelle creates abstract pieces of all sizes, as well as landscapes, still life paintings, and mixed media work, churning out a whopping 138 pieces in her first year – and selling 99 of them. But Michelle is not “just” a visual artist. She’s a writer and musician, too, creating music for more than 35 years and even writing with the late, great Ron Hynes. Today, her music ties in with her artwork, following 1-888-588-6353
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her husband’s suggestion to paint her songs, many of which are based on her life experiences. “The link is self-belief; that runs through all of it – the power of your
was planned for this summer with hopes to bring it to Newfoundland and Labrador sometime soon. All of Michelle’s events are about inspiring attendees to begin “trusting
“I want to use my art to help people, and to help myself believe in my own abilities, to believe in myself, that I’m worthy, that I’m enough…” thoughts. Your thoughts direct your life. Your thoughts influence how you behave and how you react to life’s circumstances,” she explains, adding that the songs and paintings are a vehicle for the message, which is – very generally speaking – to believe in yourself. Michelle also delves into other universal themes, including love, loss, heartbreak and happiness. At the April “Song Series” event, Michelle guides the crowd through a series of emotions via storytelling, song and art, with each musical performance paired with a visual. “I want to use my art to help people, and to help myself believe in my own abilities, to believe in myself, that I’m worthy, that I’m enough,” Michelle explains, echoing some of the questions many of us ask ourselves regularly. Michelle also asks these questions during her Team Building Seminars, which she offers to organizations, corporations and groups, and in her Self Awareness Talk + Art sessions. The creative woman has more events planned, including a Soul Sister Summit, a female empowerment and healing conference. Her first one www.downhomelife.com
themselves, trusting their decision making, getting in touch with who they are, their instincts, their inner voice, their truth,” Michelle says. “It’s all about getting that message out, to empower people to believe in themselves and what they have to offer to the world – to believe they actually have something to offer to the world,” Michelle says wisely. “Just start there. Believe you’re OK, believe that your life matters.” About her arts career, Michelle says, “Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe that I’m actually doing this.” In a more recent conversation, she updated her progress on some exciting projects. She’s finished recording a new album of music and has written a book about her extraordinary, unconventional and, at times, tempestuous life. Both are in the editing stages as of press time. If the past two years are any indication of the creative capability of this singer, songwriter, musician, artist and author, it’s clear that Michelle Myrick of AMMO Artworks is taking aim at greatness, and shooting for the stars. August 2019
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For as long as I can remember,
whenever my mom visits her sister in Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador, she often comes back with a bag filled with some type of root vegetable, typically potatoes. They’ve never seen the inside of a grocery store and sometimes they still have a bit of soil clinging to them, which washes away easily enough before being cooked up for Sunday dinner. We call them “Jim’s Potatoes,” after my uncle Jim Ade, a farmer from a long line of farmers. He’s lived his whole life on this one plot of land that’s been in his family for generations. While Jim’s retired now, there’s still plenty to keep him busy. Before he even sits down for his own breakfast, he heads out to feed the hens. “Around a farm, there’s always something to do. Always. There’s never nothing to do,” he says, whether it’s animals and crops to care for or equipment to repair. “And the way it is on a farm, small farms like this, you were a jack-of-alltrades; you had to be able to try to fix stuff yourself.” Jim adds, “People will say, ‘Ah, you’re working on your own, do what’cha like, when you like.’ But it don’t work like that. What you don’t do today gotta be done tomorrow, and then you’re behind!”
Not only did he grow vegetables, he’d also buy cattle to butcher and sell the meat to people in the nearby city. It was common practice back in the day, when men like him were called “hawkers.” They’d have regular customers and would drop off a delivery of cut-up meat and vegetables once a week, all year-round. Once they ran out of veggies in the winter, it would just be the meat. “It’s how they made a living out here,” Jim says. “I never ever minded killing cattle or anything like that; that was no work. And if you like something, as you know, it’s not work. If you don’t like it, it is the hardest work. So that’s the way it was with me anyway… I was a pretty lucky fella that way.” These days, Jim works a very small bit of land and it’s changed over the years. Trees have taken over the field where cattle used to roam and graze.
Left: Jim Ade teaches his grandson about farming on his family land in Conception Bay South. www.downhomelife.com
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Some of the best farmland in eastern Newfoundland, in Kilbride and the Goulds, has been turned over to housing. “It’s all built up now, pretty well,” Jim says. “Jeez, you wouldn’t know it; it’s all subdivisions everywhere.” And it kind of flies in the face of current concerns around food security. “That’s all they’re talking about now, every time you pick up a paper, pretty well: try to be a little bit self-sufficient in the production of food. And I mean, then you go along and you’ll see the best farm area in a place being all built up!” But you can’t really blame property owners for selling quality farmland if they’re not farmers. After all, if you inherit 15 acres but you don’t farm, what do you do with it? Jim asks. In an ideal world, that land would be bought by an interested farmer, but farmers don’t typically have that kind of money. Still, it’d be nice to see that land protected or some sort of government buy-back program to ensure that valuable land isn’t gobbled up by houses. There’s also the looming issue of the aging population of farmers, and in Jim’s area he mostly only knows older men about to retire. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, the number of farms in Newfoundland and Labrador decreased 20.2 per cent between 2011 and 2016, which was the biggest recorded drop in the country. But it’s not all bad news: while there are fewer farms overall, the report notes there are more women getting into farming. It’s not easy to get a young person to give up an urban life or office work to go farming when they’re used to 56
money coming in all the time, Jim says. There’s unpredictability in farming. “You could set the crop the year and Jesus, it don’t come every year. Everything don’t work the same every year,” he says, adding if you have a family to support, what can you do? “You’ve got to be kinda cut out for it or geared up for it. There’s no guarantees with it. But it’s a great way of life if you like it.”
Forging Food Attitudes
Along Brookfield Road, about where St. John’s meets Mount Pearl and just a stone’s throw away from the busy road, are fields of green and swaths of earth covered in plastic sheets protecting the growing plants beneath, and long stretches of massive greenhouses. This is Lester’s Farm Market. The Lester family has been providing food to the province for more than 160 years, making Susan Lester a sixth generation farmer. While she did work in other industries for a time, she eventually returned to the farm to continue the Lester legacy. She is also chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Young Farmers Forum (NLYFF), helping young farmers connect to discuss common issues, as well as forge a sustainable agricultural industry and promote food self-sufficiency in the province. “There’s not one right way or wrong way; there’s many different avenues for farming. So it’s very important to have constant learning opportunities,” Susan says. Throughout the year NLYFF hosts conferences and workshops. It’s a great resource for young farmers 1-888-588-6353
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An overhead view of the rows of greenhouses at Lester’s Farm. Tobias Romaniuk photo
because while people can look up things online, the information won’t necessarily be right for Newfoundland and Labrador’s conditions, cautions Susan. For instance, they recently had a workshop on NL soil conditions. Membership is open to people between the ages of 18 and 40 who are actively farming and gardening as their livelihood. You’ll get people whose family goes back generations in farming meeting with newcomers, along with those who are interested in farming and are now making the transition, she says. All across www.downhomelife.com
Canada there are chapters of Young Farmers Forums, so farmers in this province are also able to network across the country. The average age of a farmer in NL is around 55, which is a concerning number because as these people get ready to retire there aren’t the same number of farmers taking up those posts. The NLYFF reaches out to those who could be or want to be the next generation of farmers in this province. Making the shift from office job to farmer can be a big adjustment and it’s not for everyone, Susan cautions. August 2019
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“It’s a full commitment. It’s not just physical labour, it’s mental labour. There’s more to it than just one task. Everything is kind of like a domino effect.” Susan explains, if you’re not good at seeding or don’t properly water your fields, that means you won’t have a good crop. “I guess a lot of people are starting to… realize this can be their lifestyle. And it’s not just a job – it really is a lifestyle. It’s not a nine to five. There’s crops out there, there’s animals out there, you’re up early hours and late hours at night with the animals, putting in the irrigation system for the frost, so it’s very unique and diverse of what you do each day. And some people, that’s what they want. They don’t want the same thing day in and day out. In farming, no day is the same, for sure.” Farming is a profession where people need to be willing to constantly learn, adapt and grow, and Susan has some advice for those interested in becoming farmers: “I would definitely say, never get discouraged. Farming is hard work.” There will be years where you do everything right, and for whatever reasons, it still fails, “It’s really important to never get discouraged and never base your next season on your past season’s failure. Because if you did that, you wouldn’t get very far. If we did that, we probably would have stopped back 30 years ago or even more.”
A Fresh Face in Farming
Right now, looking down at her field in Conception Bay South, Trina Porter has what she calls a grocery
store in the ground. At her farm, she grows celery, cilantro, parsley, “real turnip” (different from rutabaga, which she also grows), as well as rhubarb, bok choy, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, three varieties of winter squash, plenty of root vegetables and cabbage; basically, “whatever you put into your Jiggs dinner,” she adds. With three hectares to work with, she has to plant every portion of her land. So between rows of cabbages, lettuce heads are popping up; nestled among the bok choy are radishes. This kind of intensive farming helps deal with pests and weed problems. After all, if the space is already filled with vegetables, there’s no place for weeds to get in and cause trouble. Trina’s a first generation commercial farmer (her great-grandfather farmed, but the two never met). When she was growing up, her family, like many, had a carrot patch and grew some potatoes, but just enough to feed themselves and their immediate family. The land she farms now has been in her family for several decades, something she considers fortunate, as buying that much land today would be very expensive. Cost is another reason she was motivated to farm her own food. She’s a vegetarian and fresh vegetables can get costly at the supermarket. It made sense to grow what she could, “And then it turned out that I could grow an awful lot.” The idea for a farm started a few years ago with a greenhouse Trina shared with her parents. Initially, her crop of choice was tomatoes. They grew so many and so well that they had too many for them to eat, so 1-888-588-6353
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they thought maybe they could make a business out of it. That was back in the fall of 2017. The next year marked their first commercial season, and now Trina and her parents operate the Foxtrap Access Road Market (FARM). They also run a Community Shared Agriculture program where members sign up and get a regular bag of produce throughout the year, depending on what’s in season – similar to what Jim Ade did on his farm for years. Farming is a profession that requires long hours and it’s not for the faint of heart, Trina says. “If you put it on paper how many hours you work, it sounds absolutely ridiculous. And it’s hard to capture, too, what we get out of it because it’s a bit of a hobby gone wrong,” she says. “So when people ask me what do I do in my spare time, I’m like, ‘I garden?’ It’s my hobby, it’s my work, it’s my relaxation and then it’s also putting food on my own plate.” And Trina doesn’t mean that figuratively through the income it brings in – the food she gardens ends up on her plate. Working with the earth was pretty far from her expectations for the future when she started her masters in political science two years ago. www.downhomelife.com
Trina Porter in her vegetable garden – a hobby that has turned into a full-time occupation. Wanda Porter photo
“No, this was not in the plan. It was really at the time how I managed my stress from being in a masters program. I was going out to the greenhouse to just clear my mind and just loved it a little too much, I guess.” While it’s a commonly repeated August 2019
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refrain that growing anything on “The Rock” is a Herculean task, Trina’s more optimistic: “There’s so much to be done here, and if you have the privilege to have a greenhouse, it’s even more so.” People assume that to grow tomatoes here, it must be done inside the protective embrace of a greenhouse, but Trina plants her 200 tomato plants outside. Trina would love to see more people growing what they can in their backyards, even if it wasn’t with the goal to become completely self-sufficient. Imagine being able to go into the backyard and grab a bit of lettuce and a fresh tomato for your burger?
Currently, Newfoundland and Labrador ships in 90 per cent of the food we consume, and that needs to change. There have been times in recent years that bad weather has kept the boats from getting into our ports and as a result, grocery store shelves went empty. With climate change, we’re told to expect more severe weather more often, so here we can expect shipping delays to increase. “We need a lot more food than what we’re able to produce each year, whether that’s vegetable food, animal food, whatever it may be. So the more people [farming], the better,”
Susan stresses. And Susan’s seen a shift in attitude when it comes to food in the last decade. People want to have a connection to their food and know where it’s coming from. There’s also been a surge of people interested in growing their own food. These are probably all factors that have appealed to the newer generation of farmers. Like Susan, Trina’s also seen a hunger for locally grown food. People don’t want food that’s been shipped from one end of the country, loaded onto a boat and driven across the province before it finally makes its way onto the shelf of a grocery store. Not only is local better for our economy and the environment, “it has such a different taste, too,” she says. Trina says she knows people who won’t eat a tomato at all in the winter because they only eat local tomatoes and say that grocery store ones just don’t cut it anymore. From Trina’s experience selling fresh produce, the demand for local is booming. She regularly goes to the CBS Market and has a stall at the St. John’s Farmers’ Market where she sells veggies, herbs, seedlings and potted plants. “By the end of the day, if you come too late in the day… you won’t get fresh produce at the Farmers’ Market because I just simply don’t have enough.” And for a farmer doing business, that’s a good thing.
Join us next month for part 2 of the Future of Farming series when Downhome talks to people in government and education who are supporting our farmers in the important effort to increase Newfoundland and Labrador’s food security for the coming years. 60
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Greta French (seated) and her friend, Eileen Shea. 62
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As I nurse a weekend mid-morning coffee, my cellphone rings. I don’t recognize the number and almost don’t answer. I am glad now that I did. After my hello, a warm female voice with a soft lilt that I recognize from Conception Bay North says, “You don’t know me and I don’t know you, but I have something you should hear. My name is Greta French and I am 92, but I am actually calling on behalf of my younger friend who is 74, and she has wonderful stories about growing up in the Grey Islands, which have been resettled. I think you might like them, but she was too shy to call, so I did.” It was by far too wonderful an unexpected invitation to turn down. So on a rainy evening in July, I’m in a living room overlooking Bay Roberts harbour, about to be regaled by Greta and her friend, Eileen Shea. Greta tells me she was a teacher, mainly math and English, at St. Michael’s in St. John’s and at Ascension Collegiate in Bay Roberts. But then as if to say, “Enough about me,” she waves a hand and turns my attention to Eileen. With a smile, Eileen says she, too, was a teacher for a while. “I live in Bay Roberts now, but I was born in St. Anthony at the Grenfell Mission and was raised until the age of nine on the Grey Islands, which are about one and a half hour’s steam by boat from Conche off the Northern Peninsula.” I am sort of familiar with the Grey Islands, in that during a visit to Conche in 2009, I met a lady selling T-shirts to raise money for the upkeep of old cemeteries in the abandoned – but obviously not forgotten – Grey Islands. The lady explained how there are two islands – Bell and Groais – that were used by French fishermen as far back as the early 1500s. The last people to live on the Grey Islands left there in the mid-1960s. www.downhomelife.com
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Eileen adds, “They are very remote and somewhat barren, but there is something special about the Grey Islands that draws people there. My father was a fisherman and grew his own crops, raised a few animals and made a good living for the time. The waters were full of fish in season and seals in the winter. We burned birch wood for fuel and there were no cars, no electricity, no running water, no TV or anything of that nature. We lived off the land, and the men hunted rabbits and any other small game. The women picked berries, made preserves, tended the crops and animals, and the children had lots of chores, but also lots of fresh air and fun playing outside. “It was a Catholic settlement with about 20 families at the time, but of course I knew them all since it was a close-knit place where everyone looked out for each other. Nobody locked any doors and we all went to each other’s houses in the evenings. The adults would play cards, and
sometimes they would have a dance at the school with an old-fashioned accordion player providing the music,” Eileen recalls. There was a one-room school where children studied to Grade 9. Eileen says many of their students went on to successful careers, having studied hard in school with “no modern distractions.” The school was heated, as many were in those days, by one pot belly stove. Eileen says, “…it had an old pipe that went through the wall that would turn red with the heat, and you know there must have been six or seven layers of wallpaper right where it joined in, but we never had any problems with it.” While boil water advisories abound today, there was none of that in Grey Islands, says Eileen. “You hear in the news all the time about people getting sick off of community water all around the country, but we had a dug well for drinking water and it was the best you could have. Let me tell you, there was nobody ever got
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“The rainwater was used for bathing all the six children in a large galvanized pan. It was best if you went first because if you went last you had the same water everyone else used. Still it never did us any harm and we never had any of the complaints and sensitivities and allergies folks seem to have now. Maybe the rainwater was better for us than we knew?” sick off of that well. The same went for our crops. There were no chemicals, only just natural fertilizer from the fish offal, the same as was used for centuries, and the food was so good. We were healthy. There was no doctor or dentist on the island, still all of our family right up to the end have all our own teeth. No sugar, no candy, so no cavities, I guess.” It wasn’t for drinking, but the water they used for cleaning was drawn from a barrel placed under the eaves to catch rainwater from the roof. “The rainwater was used for bathing all the six children in a large galvanized pan. It was best if you went first because if you went last you had the same water everyone else used,” Eileen says wisely. “Still it never did us any harm, and we never had any of the complaints and sensitivities and allergies folks seem to have now. Maybe the rainwater was better for us than we knew?” So the stories go – of ghosts, and games of marbles and hopscotch; of a single hen’s egg as a notable gift on Easter Sunday; of all kinds of wonderful adventures outdoors in the fresh air; of getting an apple in a sock for Christmas; of helping making www.downhomelife.com
soap and ice cream; of spinning wool on her grandmother’s antique wheel; and of sharing a pair of boy’s skates with her older brother. “We had a komatik [small sled] and a dog team that Father would sometimes come and pick us up from school on if the weather was bad,” Eileen remembers. “One time they were in the woods and a storm came up so sudden they could not find the way back, and Father said to the lead husky, a beautiful white dog named Silver: ‘Take us home.’ And that dog went and got them out safe in the blizzard, probably saving lives in the process.” Eileen’s family relocated to St. John’s, but years later the children brought their father back to Grey Islands for a visit, staying for several nights in a cabin. “It meant a lot to him and all of us,” she says. “I’d love to go back there now. It was a simpler way of life from a child’s perspective, and we were taught that we were needed and to help and to be self-reliant – which made us connected to our parents, our families, our friends and the community. We miss that in the world today in some ways.” August 2019
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sureSHOTS Featuring photographer Patrick McKeown
From cars to cruise ships, berries to birds, Patrick McKeown has photographed it all in his decades behind the lens. “I began taking photos when a family friend gave me an old 35mm camera when I was approximately 12 years old,” he says. In high school he took a photography course and discovered it went right along with his love of cars, especially race cars. He began investing in better cameras and equipment. Throughout a career in sales, photography remained a passionate hobby.
Patrick and his wife Barbara moved from Ontario to Pasadena, NL, in 2017. Now retired, he has plenty of time for personal pursuits. When scouting with his camera, Patrick looks for a fresh perspective on things. “Finding a unique vantage point or capturing something others might miss is all a part of what I practise to capture,” he says. Currently, Patrick has three cameras that each have their purpose. “I recently purchased a Nikon Coolpix P1000 that features a single lens that goes from wide angle to a 3000 mm telephoto. I also own a Nikon 401X DSLR that is compact and uses a wider angle zoom lens as one of the two interchangeable lenses I have for it. Finally, I own a very compact Nikon KeyMission camera that easily slips into a shirt pocket. I’ll carry this 66
into an indoor event where a larger camera may be uncomfortable to use. I have also taken this little gem on holidays. It’s perfect for making certain that you always have a camera available.” Living in Western Newfoundland, Patrick says there is no shortage of interesting things to shoot. Gros Morne National Park is one of his favourite places – you can’t get much more inspirational than that. But Patrick also finds his muse in Corner Brook harbour. In fact, it’s the location of a very special project he’s working on. “I have made a filming project to photograph the arrival of the different cruise ships in Corner Brook this year,” he explains. “The size and beauty of these ships are varied; however, the Queen Mary 2 is one of 1-888-588-6353
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my personal favourites. Last summer it arrived in poor weather, so I’m hopeful for better conditions (and results) this year.” Sometimes a striking image is a lucky shot or happy accident. Patrick recalls a print he made a number of years ago for a home show. “As I used slide film in those days, I began sorting through my work, to pick a few candidates I felt worthwhile. One slide of a sunset in the Agawa Canyon slipped out of my hand and landed squarely on top of a macro shot of some shiny red berries,” he recalls. “Together they looked incredible, somehow other worldly.” He had one 11" x 17" print made of the combined slides; Patrick recalls the print shop had such a difficult time reproducing the image that they 68
refused to make any more. He mounted it in an oak frame and made it the centrepiece of the show exhibit. When an elderly lady stopped to admire and ask about it, he was about to explain to her the complicated process of combining the two slides when she commented that she’d never buy it. “Why not?” he asked. “I took a picture exactly like this, with my Brownie Instamatic.” While certainly humbled, it didn’t deter Patrick’s photography ambitions. It’s been years since that encounter and his joy for the art form doesn’t seem to have dulled any. In addition to wildlife and landscape photography, he says, “Cars still appeal to me, too, so if there’s a local car show, I’ll be there!” 1-888-588-6353
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Get your photos in before submissions close August 31! Submit your best photos of scenery, activities and icons that illustrate the down-home lifestyle. We’re looking for a variety of colourful subjects – outports, heritage animals, laundry lines, historic sites, seascapes, hilltop views and so much more – and photos from all four seasons. In addition to free calendars and a one-year subscription to Downhome for all those chosen for the calendar, one lucky winner will receive a free trip for four aboard O’Brien’s famous whale and bird boat tours!
Here’s how to submit: Online: www.downhomelife.com/calendar By mail: Downhome Calendar Contest 43 James Lane St. John’s, NL A1E 3H3
Digital photos must be at least 300 dpi, files sizes of about 1MB Must be original photos or high quality copies. We can’t accept photocopies or photos that are blurry, too dark or washed out. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you want your photos returned.
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what’s on the
July 29-August 5
Botwood In the 1930s, if you wanted to fly as a passenger across the Atlantic Ocean, your only option was in a flying boat leaving from Botwood. The floating airplanes aren’t in service anymore, but they aren’t forgotten, either. The annual Botwood Flying Boat Festival commemorates the region’s aviation history while offering up fun for the whole family in a town-festival style.
St. John’s George Street, that famous strip of bars in downtown St. John’s, turns into a huge street party for the annual George Street Festival. The multi-day music event has a different headliner each night, featuring local and touring acts from a mix of genres. This year’s acts include City and Colour, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers, and others.
August 7 (weather permitting)
St. John’s The Royal St. John’s Regatta is, at its core, a day of rowing races. But it’s also the biggest garden party in the city, with games, food trucks and booths, prizes and entertainment on the shores of Quidi Vidi Lake. Whether you’re there to cheer on your favourite race team or get stuffed full of cotton candy and fish tacos while playing games of chance, it’s something everyone should experience.
Brigus In its prime, many years ago, Brigus was a bustling centre of shipping and fishing, with several captains and merchants calling the harbour home. These days, those old houses remain and the town has become a quaint holdover of those days. And once a year, they celebrate the glorious blueberry with the garden party-style Brigus Blueberry Festival, complete with live music, arts and crafts, and plenty of foods featuring the Smurf-coloured berries.
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Bay de Verde
The 43rd annual Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival, an outdoor event in beautiful Bannerman Park, is a must-see event for anyone with even a passing interest in folk music. Although officially running Friday to Sunday, there’s a Thursday night For The Love of Song show, featuring Andy Irvine, Daoiri Farrell and Matthew Byrne. There are too many acts to list here, but Rum Ragged, Tim Baker, and Jim Payne and Fergus O’Byrne are among the more well-known acts performing this year.
A celebration of craft, creativity and handmade tradition, the Bay de Verde Festival of Quilts is for makers and admirers of this traditional skill. The festival includes a display of quilts from local makers as well as a quilting challenge. For more information, visit the “Festival of Quilts – Bay de Verde, NL” page on Facebook.
Forteau The Bakeapple Folk Festival is celebrating its 40th anniversary. This year’s featured performance is The Ennis Sisters, one of the province’s legendary folk groups, who have released 12 albums over their 20-year career. Labrador’s own Sabrina and Laquita will open the show. The Ennis Sisters
Port au Port Are you ready for Conquer the Cape: Port au Port Gran Fondo? Bikes, beer, food and culture – that’s the focus of this group ride hosted by Cycle Solutions, a bike shop in Corner Brook. On the 17th, there’s a 120-km ride around the Port au Port Peninsula. A recovery ride on the 18th will go to Fox Island River. Both rides start at Secret Cove Brewing. Registration is capped at 100 riders and can be done online at cyclesolutions.ca/register.
Gros Morne National Park Writers at Woody Point, an annual literary festival, features writers, of course, but also includes performances by musicians for a rounded cultural experience set against the beauty of Gros Morne National Park. Hosted by CBC’s Shelagh Rogers, the festival includes readings, talks, food events and art exhibits. www.downhomelife.com
Shaun Majumder – actor, comedian, festival organizer – created The Gathering to bring attention to his hometown. And it worked. The music and food festival has become a highlight of the summer festival circuit. The Navigators, Novaks and Randy Matthews are among this year’s musical guests. The Chef Hike features the culinary magic of Stephen Quinton, and the Brook Picnic features chef Mark McCrowe. There’s also a shed crawl, comedy show and Jiggs dinner.
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As a kid I loved to spend time on the bank of a still pond or a slow-flowing stream watching, and often catching, those long-legged black bugs that we called water hoppers. I never gave much thought to what other wonders lurked beneath the mirror surface. But in my years of studying nature and my career with wildlife, and having a keen in interest in all kinds of insects, I’ve probed much deeper into this underwater world. There are hundreds of known species of aquatic insects throughout the world, and Newfoundland and Labrador is home to many that most of us don’t even realize exist. How many of these have you seen – or how many will you be looking for now? 76
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Predaceous Diving Beetle Dutiscus sp.
Also known as the water tiger, this voracious predator can bite if handled. There are 500 species of it in North America and 5,000 worldwide. Predaceous diving beetles can get as big as 5 cm long. They are dark green, brown or black, often with yellowish markings, and have a distinctive elongated oval shape. They may appear to have only two front legs as the other four are often tucked away. The two back legs, oar-like with feathery hairs, are for propulsion. These giants are most active at night, sometimes seen moving between water sources â€“ they prefer slow moving water, such as streams, marshes, pools and ponds. Excellent fliers and attracted to lights, it is not unusual to find them crawling on pool and patio furniture or taking a dip in a backyard pool. But they are sensitive to pollution and will not survive in contaminated waters. They eat tadpoles, frogs, leaches and other insects, and will not hesitate to attack prey larger than themselves.
Todd Hollett photo
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Water Scavenger Beetle Hydrochara spp. Todd Hollett photo
Giant Water Bug Lethocerus americanus
The giant water bug is like something out of your nightmares! It is often called the toe-biter for its painful bite if you step too close or handle it. Despite their large size, 4 - 6.2 cm, they are rarely seen due to their perfect camouflage. Their brownish bodies are oval, flat and resemble a dead leaf, and they may play dead. They have large, strong, very noticeable foreleg pincers used to hold prey while delivering a strong bite and injecting digestive juices that liquefy the prey, allowing the bug to drink it in. The hind legs are somewhat flatted and aid in swimming. They are commonly found in ponds, marshes, lakes and slowmoving streams with muddy bottoms and heavily vegetated edges. They are sometimes drawn to light (hence their other name: electric light bug), and are often found around and inside backyard pools. They can tolerate slightly polluted water. Voracious predators, they consume small fish, insects, crustaceans, newts, snails, tadpoles, frogs and even snakes. Multiple bugs will sometimes hunt together and share the same prey. 78
Scavenger beetles are beneficial to any water ecosystem. The predatory types eat aquatic insect larvae, including mosquitoes, and naturally help reduce summer bloodsucker populations. Others are herbivores and scavenge from water plants. The larvae are omnivorous, eating small insects, dead animals, algae, detritus and other debris in the water. Found in or near almost any type of water body, these excellent swimmers have streamlined, hydrodynamic bodies (1.4 â€“ 1.9 cm long, green or black in colour) and feathered feet, letting them zip through the water. They are strong fliers, often attracted to lights, and can be seen in swimming pools. They are capable of staying underwater for extended periods â€“ including all winter, when they burrow into the muddy bottom.
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Water Strider Aquarius remigis
Todd Hollett photo
Whirligig Beetle Gyrinus sp.
Whirligig beetles come by their name honestly, as they swim rapidly in circles when alarmed. There are 48 species of them in the US and Canada. Whirligigs have flattened, elongated oval bodies that are black, bluishblack and, rarely, dark metallic green. They are 3 - 8 mm long, have long, slender front legs and very short, flattened middle and back legs. They have two pairs of compound eyes that are divided, allowing them to see above and below the water at the same time. Widespread and abundant, they frequently form groups of a few to hundreds â€“ called rafts, swarms or schools â€“ that can be observed swimming in a gyrating fashion on the surface of ponds and streams. They will scatter and dive if threatened. Whirligigs are predaceous, feeding on dead and dying insects trapped on the water.
This aquatic insect is also known as the water hopper, water doctor, pond skater, water skipper and Jesus bug. Water striders have the unique ability to literally walk on water. The feet have a number of water repelling hairs, more than 1,000/mm, that provide enough surface area for it to move across the water without falling in. The body is covered with microhairs that prevent them from being weighed down by drops and splashes. The middle legs are used for rowing and the back legs for steering. The front legs are used for grasping prey and for communication. The body is greyish to black, slender and elongated, and measures 1.1 - 1.6 cm. Striders are sometimes found in groups of up to 20, preferring ponds, pools and streams. They feed on spiders and insects that fall onto the waterâ€™s surface. They will share large kills with others and will even eat their young if prey is unavailable.
Todd Hollett photo
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Mosquito Larva Culicidae
Todd Hollett photo
Backswimmer Notonecta sp.
This common pond insect gains its name because it swims upside down, and if handled carelessly it will bite. The backswimmer is a good example of nature’s countershading, as its light coloured back, seen from below, blends into the water’s surface and sky. The rest of it is darker and, when seen from above, blends in with the bottom of the water body. It propels itself with fringed oar-like legs and is able to fly well. Often abundant in still areas of muddy or clear ponds, spring-fed pools, shallow lake margins and other still water, backswimmers feed on small insects, tadpoles and fish. 80
All mosquitoes pass through four distinct stages of life: egg, larva, pupa and adult, with the entire lifecycle taking about four weeks. There are 3,500 species worldwide. Mosquito larvae (a.k.a. wigglers, wrigglers and tumblers) have a large head and thorax, a narrow worm-like abdomen and no legs. They typically hang just below the water’s surface. They breathe through air tubes at the end of the abdomen and swim using either propulsion from bristles or by jerky movements of the body, diving below the surface if disturbed. The pupa are much more inactive and curled like a comma. Mosquito larvae feed on algae, bacteria and other microbes by filtering them out using well developed mouth bristles. A few types prey on other mosquito larvae. The larvae usually inhabit still or stagnant water, including swampy areas, pastures, marshes, streams, puddles, gutters, buckets, houses and old car tires.
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Todd Hollett photo
Dragonfly Larva Odonata
Dragonfly larvae are considered among the most effective and brutal hunters in the animal kingdom. A dragonfly spends most of its life as a larva, which is five years in larger species and two months to three years in smaller kinds. Larvae are rarely seen, as they live underwater. The nymphs, seen in various forms, are classified as sprawlers, claspers, burrowers and hiders; they breathe with gills. The larva resembles the adult, but reproductive organs and wings are absent. When it is ready to transform into an adult, it stops eating and climbs onto emergent vegetation. It anchors itself, and the skin behind the head slowly splits and an adult emerges. Larvae stick to woody debris or submerged rocks in areas of slowmoving or still water. They are voracious predators of tadpoles, small fish, mosquito larvae, bloodworms and other insect larvae. The dragonfly larva catches prey with an extendable low jaw, called a labium, that is armed with spines and hooks. The labium folds under the body until needed, and then is thrust forward at high speed. www.downhomelife.com
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The East Coast Trail Association marks 25 years of marking and preserving world-class hiking paths. By Dennis Flynn
Dennis Flynn photo
As the heavy morning mist begins to lift, a line of travellers emerges over the ridge line, passing through a natural saw-toothed entryway before descending into the stone and scrub canyon with canteens and cups rattling. Bedrolls and tents snugged tight to knapsacks, they smile and murmur a greeting without breaking step and soon disappear around the next bend.
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(Top) Tinker’s Point Trail Chelsey Hart photo (Right) En route to the Spout Dennis Flynn photo This was a moment along the spectacular Spout section of the East Coast Trail on Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula. While it’s deep in the wilderness on the very eastern edge of the island, it’s not unusual to encounter a number of hikers and overnight campers. It would have been difficult, if not impossible, to experience this 25 years ago, which is what drove the formation of the volunteer-led East Coast Trail Association. Founding member and president for the last 23 years, Randy Murphy, was with me on the ECT this June day, taking part in the annual Trail Raiser fundraising hike. He describes the trail as “an awesome piece of real estate that we have to preserve and protect for future generations. It is a wilderness hiking pedestrian trail, so we have hikers and runners on the trail, covering 336 kilometres long that stretches from Topsail Beach in Conception Bay all the way down the eastern edge of the Avalon 84
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Peninsula to Cappahayden [on the Southern Shore] and passing through 25 different towns.” This year’s Trail Raiser netted $90,500, more than $20,000 above their goal, “so it was a fantastic day and a surprise and a joy for us,” Randy says. Public donations are critical to cover costs such as trail maintenance and expansion, and over the years they have gotten support from individuals, corporations and communities. The value of the work put in by volunteers on the trail system has been returned to the public many times over, in various ways. The trail is used for training and educational purposes by community groups such as Scouts, Girl Guides and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants. It’s also popular with distance runners, keeping pace with the growth of trail running in the province. In fact, the ECT 50K Ultramarathon will be held for the sixth year in a row this fall. Events like these, and the allure of a
network of trails in a mostly undeveloped landscape, draw out-of-towners – and their dollars. Non-resident hikers contribute more than $3.5 million annually to the communities connected by the trail, where tourism is a key revenue source. “We had 15,000 individual hikers on the trail in 2013, and 58 per cent of those were from outside of this province. That number is growing,” Randy says. “Given the product we have, it is a world-class trail which promotes nature, culture, history, community and people – which differentiates us in the market place. It is not only just bringing people in, but it is also about economic development and working together to maintain the trail in the current state and to preserve it.” If you haven’t yet tried any part of the ECT, Randy suggests, “Just come and walk the East Coast Trail. No matter what part you start on or end on, you will never be disappointed. It is all great.”
Fort Amherst to Blackhead Trail Dennis Flynn photo
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“The most important thing that keeps me here, really, is the coastal experience,” says avid mountain biker and trail builder Chris Jerrett. “Especially one as rugged and as rough going as the coastline of Newfoundland, which is really conducive to mountain biking.”
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Dru Kennedy photo
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The terrain is rocky, with a lot of hard roots. It’s technical mountain biking, the sort that presents a fun challenge for the experienced mountain biker on trails that, at times, run right along the coast. “There’s not really many places anywhere else in North America where you can do that,” says Chris, who owns Freeride Mountain Sports bike shop in St. John’s. Mountain biking, and cycling in general, isn’t exactly popular in Newfoundland and Labrador, which is perplexing given the excellent and abundant terrain. Then again, there aren’t that many mountain biking trails. But it’s not a problem unique to this province – bicycles just aren’t as popular on the east coast as they are on the west coast of North America, where mountain biking as we know it today has its roots. And roots, in part, are what make the trails on the island of Newfoundland so good – tree roots, that is. 88
Together with the rocky ground and uneven landscape, they make for the sort of technical and challenging riding that defines the Newfoundland mountain biking trail experience. Although several communities have gravel trails that allow bicycles, including the cross-island T’Railway, these aren’t really proper mountain bike trails, which are also commonly referred to as singletrack (a trail wide enough for a single bicycle); think of the East Coast Trail, but for cyclists rather than hikers. In the St. John’s area, many of these trails are concentrated in two spots – White Hills and Pippy Park. In White Hills, the trails range from Subnet, a technical and challenging trail with rolling terrain through the forest, to Oceanside, a more advanced, steeper and exposed trail that, at times, runs along the open coastline and has a greater elevation drop than Subnet. They’re the sort of trails made for full suspension 1-888-588-6353
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Types of Mountain Bikes With information from Chris Jerrett, owner of Freeride Mountain Sports
XC racer “Specifically for racing.” These bikes are light, fast and made to win races at the World Cup and Olympic level.
Trail “Probably better for more easy going, groomed type environments.” These bikes are meant for recreational riding on mellower trails.
All Mountain – the one that’s smack dab in the middle of it all. “You can downhill pretty effectively, you can climb almost as effectively as a trail or as an XC, then you’ve got big tires and wide tires, so it’s easy on the down.” Dru Kennedy photo
bikes with plenty of travel – in other words, “all mountain” style bikes (see sidebar). Although a hardtail trail bike can be used on these trails, it’s not ideal. Pippy Park, on the other hand, has a network of easier trails, with a mix of doubletrack and singletrack trails, all of which can be ably handled on a trail or cross-country bike. Although easier, these trails still offer a fun ride, and the overlapping, crisscrossing trail network allows you to mix up the route selection each time for a new riding experience. Don Planchet, an employee at Canary Cycles in St. John’s, is also an avid cyclist with plenty of experience riding the local trails. “It’s hard, but it’s fun,” he says of the St. John’s-area mountain bike trails. “But you have to have a certain skill level to ride real trails because it’s just so steep, and rocky, and technical. It’s nothing like the mainland,” he says, referring to the more www.downhomelife.com
Enduro “The next one up. It’s a race classification, too, and those bikes are pretty good… they’re pretty pedally.” As a class of bike, they are made for enduro racing, and tend to be optimized for downhill performance. But unlike strict downhill racing bikes, they can also hold their own on the uphills. Downhill Racer “More race or bike park oriented, like Whistler. That type of bike is not popular here because… there’s no facilities for that type of bike.” These bikes excel at going downhill very fast, taking big jumps and large drops, and racing on the World Cup downhill circuit. Although they have gears and pedals, their weight and geometry make them quite unpleasant to pedal uphill. They are a purpose-built bike, unlike the more generalist bikes in the trail or all mountain classes.
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Dennis Flynn photo
difficult trails. “It’s constantly bang, bang, bang,” says Don, referring to the impact it can have on your body, “so full suspension or big tires, or full suspension with big tires, seems to help a lot.”
Head out on the Highway It’s not all roots, rocks and trails for Newfoundland riders, though. Road cycling also offers something novel for the rider who prefers pavement. “The most unique thing we have is our coastline,” says Don, “so any coastal road is what I call ‘real Newfoundland’ riding.” Don pulls out a road map kept handy near the counter in Canary Cycles. It is folded to the eastern portion of the island, showing the Avalon and Bonavista peninsulas with several looping routes highlighted. It’s what shop staff direct people to 90
whenever they ask about where to go road cycling. The Cape Shore, Irish Loop and Baccalieu Trail each make for a good cycling trip. Each can be done as a loop, so you’re never riding the same road twice. “That whole perimeter of the Avalon is more distance than across the island, with a lot more scenery. So I always recommend people skip the central highway, rumble strip and trucks, and bang around the Avalon. It’s a lot more fun and scenic,” says Don. Leaving from St. John’s, the Irish Loop round trip route is 320 km, says Don, and although he’s done it in a day, most people take two days to do the trip. It takes in such scenic outports as Witless Bay, Ferryland and Trepassey, while encircling the Avalon Wilderness Reserve. The roads don’t have a lot of shoulder – 1-888-588-6353
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Dennis Flynn photo
or any, in some places – but there also isn’t a whole lot of traffic to contend with, which is a pleasant switch for anyone used to riding in more populated areas or along major highways. “If you drive an hour… anywhere out of town, you’d be surprised at how few cars there are,” says Don. “I was out last weekend and I saw five cars the whole time.” Scenic rides with few cars on quiet roads in areas with sporadic cellphone coverage can be a glorious thing, but it also means riders should to be somewhat self-sufficient, cautions Don, who recommends bringing everything needed to change a flat tire. And because the roads can be a bit rough, making flat tires a distinct possibility, racing-style road bikes – with their stiff construction, lightweight materials and ultra www.downhomelife.com
skinny tires – aren’t the best choice. “Getting flats isn’t fun, so we always recommend the heavier duty road bikes that have slightly bigger tires,” says Don. “And you can hit potholes and not break things, so they tend to be a little more rugged but better suited for multi-purpose use.” Off the Avalon, Don recommends the Bonavista Peninsula; in particular, Route 235, which hugs the coast in several places and is a visual feast. It is, says Don, a beautiful stretch of road with lots of hills. The Bonavista Peninsula is also the site of the BonRexton, a 133-km Gran Fondo style (long-distance) group ride happening September 7. With all this talk of narrow roads, long distances and less than perfect road conditions, one may think these routes are only for the experienced rider. But really, anyone can do these rides – the only difference is how fast the route will be completed, says Don. He’s being encouraging, sure, but he’s also seen people of all ages and abilities do these rides. About 150 of those riders stop by the shop every season after having completed one of the longest rides – clear across Canada. “Anyone can do it,” says Don. “We’re the end of the line for coming across Canada, so we’re seeing every type of cyclist. And there’s a lot more older, retired people now.” For more information on the mountain bike trails mentioned here, go to www.trailforks.com and search for “Pippy Park” or “White Hills.” August 2019
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All photos by Ashley Harding
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FOR JUST A FEW SHORT WEEKS this summer, visitors to Bannerman Park in downtown St. Johnâ€™s can step back in time and cross paths with figures from the past. Through August, the Other Women Walk will be giving a tour through an important period in Newfoundland and Labradorâ€™s history. In 1925, the women of Newfoundland (but not Labrador) gained the right to vote. It came after decades of battling and petitioning, of hard work and long hours fighting for their human rights. While people may know the names of some of these women, other names of people who made their marks in our history have almost been lost. Now in its second year, the Other Women Walk brings to life these figures and their struggles in the early 1920s. www.downhomelife.com
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The Other Women Walk stops outside Colonial Building, the former seat of government in the dominion. It was here in 1925 that the bill was passed granting women the right to vote.
Ruth Lawrence came up with the idea for a walking tour a few years ago. It emerged from research and the image of women marching to get rights. “Boots on the ground, I feel, are important today. When people talk about getting support for protests or to make changes and support, it’s great when people sign up online and give their support to petitions, but really it’s the actual showing up in person that has the biggest impact. And so that was a point I was trying to make – and I certainly make it at the end of the show, as well – to say, yes, some people talk, other people walk. And it’s the people who walk that actually make change,” Ruth says. In the course of about an hour, participants learn the story of a household maid, a teacher, a barkeep, as well as suffragettes and labour organizers. And some of these 94
women weren’t necessarily actively involved in the fight to gain women the vote. Some were more concerned with fairer wages, “and that was something that I thought was really important to vocalize, too, because I know people now who say the same thing, ‘Eh, you know, what different does the vote make? We can’t make any difference,’” says Ruth. And while suffrage had its supporters back in the day, there were also detractors, including women who said they wanted no part in politics and had other concerns. “So I thought it was important to incorporate that viewpoint, too.” There was also a prominent class element to the suffrage movement. “That was one thing that I really noticed: that the women who had the time and the opportunity to do all that work, which I appreciate they did it because it led to my suffrage, 1-888-588-6353
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they were privileged women. And we don’t really know about the ones who were underprivileged,” she says. The people who had to work long hours in factories couldn’t really take time from their day to attend rallies or frequent activist hubs like the Ladies’ Reading Room. However, the wellto-do women could afford to hire people to look after their children
and their homes while they did the activist work. Ruth’s interest with the suffragettes of Newfoundland and Labrador stretches back years, to when she was cast in Marian Frances White’s 1999 docudrama The Untold Story of the Suffragists of Newfoundland. From further research since then, it became apparent to Ruth that there was more to tell about this story. She was drawn to the voices of people who’d been glossed over and ignored by history. So Ruth and Sherry White started digging and found incredible resources, like the writings of Helen Fogwill Porter and Linda Cullum that detailed the lives of women in this period, particularly the marginalized folks such as serving girls and teachers. In contrast, “I tell the story from the trench,” Ruth laughs, who’s bringing history to life as a story in a way people can interact with. It all helped Ruth choose what characters would be featured in the Other Women Walk. Those characters are portrayed by a handful of actresses dressed in period appropriate clothing (some of them have multiple roles and must do a quick-change between stops). All but one of the characters that walkers are introduced to are based on real, historical people, and the group is introduced to her early on in the walk: Mi-Lady Davidson, a sex worker. To create this character, These walks are led by actors portraying historical female figures of the day. Only one of the characters, a sex worker, is an imaginary figure created to tell a different part of the suffragists’ story.
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A moment is taken at a monument honouring Shanawdithit, the last living Beothuk in Newfoundland and Labrador. She was captured by settlers and died before she could be returned to her people.
Ruth took details from the time period and used Mi-Lady to talk about some of the charitable work done by the wealthy in town, but also contrasted it to the struggle of Mi-Lady’s own life. Another woman you meet early on in the walk is Alice Warren, a housekeeper at the grand Winterholme, back when it was a private residence. As a servant, she was more concerned with poor working conditions than suffrage. The walk is led by a barkeep named Helen Furey, who acts as the group’s guide and confidante. She’s the one who takes people around the park and doles out the inside-scoop of what was happening in the city at this time.
Raising Their Voices In the past few years, there has been more interest shown by historians, 96
writers and the public in examining the voices of those marginalized from the historical record. We know plenty about the deeds of men, but not so much anyone else. “As I went through I thought, ‘Okay, let’s just see who was struggling at that time,’” Ruth says. For instance, there’s Josephine Colley. She was a teacher during a time when it was rare for women to become principals. Through her own ingenuity, Josephine was able to manoeuvre herself against the odds to rise up and become principal of a school. It’s also helpful to remember these events didn’t happen all that long ago, and some of these people exist in living memory. Guests of the tour who knew Josephine Colley have approached Ruth to tell her she’d accurately portrayed the educator. One of the stories that Ruth really 1-888-588-6353
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wanted to share was of immigrants in this province, but it was a challenge. She couldn’t find information about the first Chinese women who came over because there were so few. Struggling to find a way into that story, she learned of a group of Chinese immigrants who lived in downtown St. John’s, next door to an Irish woman. So Ruth wrote a song about a woman who fell in love with one of these Chinese men.
Taking a Walk with Other Women By Ruth’s count, approximately 700 people turned up for the Other Women Walk last summer. In the first week or so, only a handful showed up, but those numbers swelled on subsequent tours as word of mouth and social media comments spread. The final show had 70 people drop by. The overall response from last year was glowing, Ruth says. “The biggest
compliment I got was from a couple people who referred to it as a human rights story, not just a women’s voting right. And I thought, that speaks so deeply to who I want to be as a writer, that I just carry that with me. I’m like, ‘Good, someone got it.’ That’s really what I was going for, it’s not just about women, but human rights,” she says. “I often write about the underdog, I root for the underdog, and I like playing the underdog. So I guess in some ways it’s what really drew me to this story,” she says. “And also for an audience, it’s new, it’s fresh. They know that when they come to see the show there might be a name or two they’ll recognize, but they’re really going to walk away, I hope, hearing seven stories that are mostly fresh to them.” For information and dates for the 2019 season of the Other Women Walk, visit Otherwomenwalk.com.
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At the back
of Marlene Creates’ Portugal Cove home is a wall of trees with a narrow pathway that leads directly into six acres of boreal forest. It’s a sunny day, but the dense canopy overhead filters out most of the rays, dappling the branches and forest floor. The trail is marked by a rock bearing a simple plaque with the engraving: The Boreal Poetry Garden. Every summer since 2008, the creative artist, and winner of the 2019 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, has been inviting the public into her slice of solitude.
Marlene dubbed it the Boreal Poetry Garden because it’s a boreal ecosystem, “and that’s considered the largest intact ecosystem left on earth. And I just find that in Newfoundland, there’s so much that’s oriented to the sea, which of course there’s a history and a reason for that. But we’re terrestrial animals, creatures, we don’t live in the water,” she says. www.downhomelife.com
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(right) The entrance to the Boreal Poetry Garden is marked with a simple plaque. (below) Geologists identified this rock as solidified lava from an eruption 700 million years ago.
“And I think I’d like for people to value the boreal forest a bit more. I’ve heard people say, ‘Oh, those scrawny little spruce and fir?’ And they are diminutive compared to the giant trees, say, out in BC,” she says. “I really love the scale of the trees here. They never get gigantic, they’re not like monumental, they’re more our scale, something we can relate to, I think.” And it’s true: as we step into the forest we’re surrounded by trees so skinny you could easily wrap both hands around the trunks. Most of them are spruce and fir, Marlene tells me, and she takes a moment to look around before spotting the odd birch tree a few feet off the path. Along the 100
ground, tree roots snake about, looking to trip you up if you’re not careful. Marlene explains that because the soil here is so shallow, the roots of the trees go sideways instead of deep into the earth. The idea for the Boreal Poetry Garden walk came about years ago. While her background is in photography, Marlene’s experiences in the forest couldn’t be expressed through one medium. There were things she couldn’t capture with a camera, or the moment was too fleeting and she didn’t have a camera in hand. Sounds, like bird songs and moose crashing through bushes, were lost in a still image. So she turned to words, at first writing short haiku-like 1-888-588-6353
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poems and then longer odes. That’s when she got the idea to invite people to her home, take them on a walk, stand in a spot and recite a poem. Her simple idea evolved as she started collaborating with natural scientists on these walks, melding the arts and sciences together. Every year she has a theme for the walk, so no two summers are the same. She chose water in 2018, and she invited an educator from the Fluvarium to talk about the ecology of fresh water. One summer, she had a geologist tell visitors about the geology of the area and a mycologist to explore what’s going on underground through the roots. Another scientist explained the role that fire plays in renewing the boreal forest, and she brought in a fire
juggler (who performed near the river surrounded by buckets of water in case something went awry). When the theme was wind, there was a clarinet player and an accordionist performing live on the trail. This year, the theme is Rambles and Mammals: Feet Following Paws and Hooves. Marlene will be offering a look at the local wildlife and humans who move through the area. Marlene directs me down one of the pathways to a large, exposed rock. She says a geologist identified it as solidified lava from a volcano that erupted about 700 million years ago under an ocean. And it wasn’t the Atlantic or Iapetus Ocean, but a PanAfrican Ocean. After all, this part of the island was once attached to what’s now Morocco during Pangea, the supercontinent that broke apart 175 million years ago. The rock in her garden has been eroding for millions of years, and it once would have been much taller, like a mountain.
From Studio to Eco Marlene is originally from Montreal, Quebec, but her mother’s side of the family hails from Newfoundland and Labrador – Fogo Island and Lewisporte, in particular. It’s this connection that drew her to the province back in 1985. “I originally came out of curiosity for my family history ’cause I grew up not really knowing anything about it. And once I got here I discovered Newfoundland has a lot of meaning for me,” she explains.
The trail through the forest can get quite steep, so Marlene strung sturdy ropes to help people along. www.downhomelife.com
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Marlene was surprised to learn how old some of the trees in her boreal forest were. At first she lived in downtown St. John’s, before moving to this plot of land in Portugal Cove. “The main reason that I actually moved out here to the woods was for some silence... I craved silence. And it has happened that this patch of boreal forest has been the focus of my work since 2002, and I’ve used it for photography and video, and these live art events, as I call them.” As an environmental artist, Marlene works with the outdoors, “but I also try to do things that have the least amount of impact on the environment, so I’m very aware of the materials I use and I try to minimize that, and that’s one of the reasons I’ve started these walks in the Boreal Poetry Garden. So instead of having to ship my work to the outside world, which I still do, of course…, people actually come here to the site and then they leave.” She’s deliberately not making it into a sculpture park or intervening in the landscape (besides taking people into the forest on paths). 102
It was in 1979 that Marlene decided to ditch working in a studio for the outdoors, and it changed her whole perspective. “Suddenly, the whole world was potentially my studio. And by world, I mean the planet – all of the weather systems, the geology, the ecosystems, the dynamic aspects of the planet – then became what I was working. Because all of my work has been about how everything is ephemeral and everything is in flux,” she says. There has been transformation in Marlene’s backyard boreal forest, too. While trees might look sturdy and stagnant, change is always happening. Marlene points to a stump that had heart rot, a fungus that attacks the tree and eats it from the inside out. Until it falls over and dies, the tree looks healthy from the outside. But inside, this hollowing out weakens the tree, so strong winds can blow it down, she explains. When Hurricane Leslie struck the Atlantic in 2012, it left plenty of damage. You just need to know where to 1-888-588-6353
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look. Along the path, Marlene directs my view to stumps cut close to the ground. When the trees were felled by the strong winds, she looked for ways to make the loss meaningful. So she gave a slice from each stump to a boreal ecologist with a powerful microscope, who determined the age of each tree. She then put a little plaque on each stump with the age the tree was when it fell. Some of these slim trees were a century old, which surprised her to learn. It turns out that bigger trees don’t necessarily mean older, and there wasn’t a correlation between the size of the circumference and age. It turned into a project called “Our Lives Concurrent for 58 Years Until the Hurricane,” because Marlene was 58 at the time of the hurricane and realized these trees were all older than she was at the time. This is the 12th year of the Boreal Poetry Garden, and for the last few seasons Marlene has told herself that “this year” will be the last. It’s a huge amount of work, she explains. What
began as a simple idea – invite people into her garden and read poetry to them – morphed into complex themed events with multiple collaborators, requiring rehearsals, advertising, reservations and all that goes with running an attraction. “Then the night of the event I always have refreshments afterwards, ’cause it’s important to me to sort of have a social aspect for people to meet each other,” she adds. For each event she pulls off, she has a two-page master checklist to ensure everything is prepared. “So every year I think maybe I won’t do this anymore,” Marlene chuckles. But then she thinks of a new idea and theme to explore the next year, “and I go, ‘Oh, okay, well I gotta do that because that’s a good idea and I know there’s these really interesting people that can contribute to it.’ So then I do one more.” (Tours are limited to 25 people, so registration is required. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 709-895-1020.)
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food & leisure the everyday gourmet
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the everyday gourmet By Andrea Maunder
Andrea Maunder is the owner and creative force behind Saucy & Sweet – Homemade Specialty Foods & Catering.
A potluck, community supper or visit to Nan’s is seldom complete without trifle for dessert. Though the flavour combinations may vary, trifle is often assembled from leftover cake and ready-made jelly, jam and custard. While I have always enjoyed the oldschool nostalgia of trifle, I have often felt it could use a makeover. So I have glammed it up a little, enhanced my trifle with loads of local berries and berry wines, used freshly made cake, homemade custard, and the kicker – homemade berry jelly. No artificial flavours or colours here. The flavours are fresh, bright and not too sweet. The only baking you’ll need to do is to make the cake, but since it’s sheet pan style, it bakes up quickly and easily – no mixer required. The custard is easily made stove-top and the jelly is a cinch. But, oh, how deliciously it all comes together. You can use whatever berries you have. I used as many local berries, in various forms, as I could get my hands on. My version includes partridgeberry cake, blueberry jelly, bakeapple wine, black currant liqueur and a touch of Newman’s port. August 2019
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Newfoundland Berry Trifle Cake 2 cups flour 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda Pinch salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil 3 eggs 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 2/3 cup water 1 1/4 cups partridgeberries (if frozen, don’t thaw)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line with parchment paper a 9”x13” brownie-type pan (or two round 9-inch cake pans). In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and whisk until they come together. Transfer batter to pan. Sprinkle partridgeberries over the top and bake 35-40 minutes until done (a toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean). Set aside to cool 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely. 108
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3 cups milk 1 cup 35% cream 4 egg yolks 3 tbsp cornstarch 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar 1 tsp good vanilla Pinch salt 1 tbsp butter, cut into cubes
3 cups blueberries (or berries of your choice, frozen is fine) 1 cup water 1/4 cup lemon juice Pinch salt 1/2 cup sugar (more or less to taste) 1 1/2 tbsp plain gelatin powder 1/4 cup water
In a medium saucepot, warm milk and cream over medium heat until it barely starts to bubble. In a bowl, whisk yolks, cornstarch, sugar, vanilla and salt. Gradually pour hot milk mixture into the sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Return everything to the pot and continue to whisk over medium-low heat until custard is thickened, but don’t let it boil (eggs will curdle). Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl into which you have already placed the butter; whisk to incorporate. Place a piece of parchment paper on top, touching the custard, and allow it to cool (paper prevents a skin from forming).
Simmer berries in a large saucepot with water, lemon juice, sugar and salt until berries break down and the mixture is very juicy. Strain through a fine sieve. (Save the berries to put over ice cream!) Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and allow to bloom a few minutes. Measure 2 3/4 cups of the hot berry juice. Taste and add sugar or lemon juice to suite your palate. (If you don’t have enough, add water to make up the volume. Too much? Add any leftover to red wine to make sangria.) Pour 1 cup of the hot berry juice over the bloomed gelatin-water mixture and whisk to dissolve. Add remaining 1 3/4 cup juice mixture. Set aside to cool while you assemble the trifle.
To assemble the trifle 2 cups local berry wine, fruit-based liqueur or port (or a mixture of all – I used bakeapple wine, black currant liqueur along with a little Newman’s port. A nice ratio is 1 1/2 cups wine plus 1/4 cup each of liqueur and port.)
Select a nice glass bowl (or individual serving glasses). Cut the cake into 1/2 inch thick slices and cut as needed to line the bottom of the bowl (or glass). Sprinkle with 1/3 of wine mixture. Add 1/3 of the jelly, then 1/3 of the custard. Repeat layers to fill bowl, ending with custard. (Adjust amounts for individual glasses, but keep the layering the same.) Refrigerate, covered, to allow jelly to set. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, if you like.
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With only a few weeks left of summer, don’t spend it sweating over an oven. Enjoy whipping up these no-bake desserts instead!
Chocolate Mug Cake 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp flour 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder 1/4 tsp baking powder 3 tbsp brown sugar 1/4 cup milk 2 tbsp whipping cream Pinch salt
Sift all dry ingredients together in a large mug. Add milk and cream. Stir well and place in the microwave for 70 seconds (time may vary by microwave – cook until cake is set). Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Yield: 1 serving
All of our recipes are brought to you by the fantastic foodies in Academy Canada’s Culinary Arts program, led by instructor Bernie-Ann Ezekiel.
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Pina Colada Cheesecake Bars 1 1/2 cups graham crumbs 1/2 cup sugar 1/3 cup butter, melted 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 cup canned pineapple tidbits, drained well and minced 1/2 cup fine coconut 1 tsp rum flavouring 1 cup whipping cream, unwhipped
Crust Combine crumbs, sugar and melted butter; press tightly into the bottom of a 9"x13" pan. Cheesecake Put everything else, except the whipping cream, into a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Blend until smooth and the only texture remaining is pineapple pieces. In a clean bowl, whip the cream until you have medium peaks (not quite firm). Fold cream into the cheese mixture and spread over the cookie base. Refrigerate overnight. Cut into squares and serve with a dollop of cream or some toasted coconut. Yield: 24 small squares
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Grasshopper Bars 2 cups graham crumbs 1/2 cup butter, melted 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup butter 1 cup cream 10 drops green food colouring (or enough to make it bright green)
4 cups marshmallows 1 tbsp mint/peppermint extract 1 tsp vanilla 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 3/4 cup whipping cream
Combine crumbs, melted butter and sugar; press tightly into the bottom of a 9"x13" pan.
Filling Heat 1/4 cup butter, cream and colouring together in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Add flavourings and pour over the base, spreading it evenly. Set aside to cool.
Heat whipping cream over medium-high heat. Add chocolate chips and remove from heat; let chocolate melt entirely. (Return it to the stove briefly if you need a little more heat for melting.) Chocolate mixture should not be hot, just warm enough to be melted. Spread melted chocolate over the green filling and chill for at least 4 hours before cutting. Yield: 24 small bars
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Blueberry-White Chocolate Cheesecake Cups 1 cup graham crumbs 2 tbsp sugar 1/4 cup butter, melted 3 tbsp butter 2 oz white chocolate (use two baker’s squares for easy measuring)
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature 6 tbsp whipping cream 1/2 tsp vanilla 2 cups blueberries, frozen 1/2 cup turbinado sugar 1/2 cup lime juice
Combine crumbs, sugar and 1/4 cup melted butter. Set aside.
Filling Melt 3 tbsp butter and add the chocolate, stirring to melt (don’t let it get too hot – just warm enough to melt the chocolate). Blend cream cheese in a food processor fitted with an S-blade. While the machine is running, add the chocolate mixture, then the whipping cream and vanilla. Scrape down the side and blend again to ensure it’s entirely smooth.
Combine blueberries, turbinado sugar and lime juice in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the berries have a jam-like consistency and thicken (about 10-15 minutes). Cool completely.
Sprinkle 1/4 of the crumb mixture in the bottom of a single-serve dessert dish, top with 1/4 of cheesecake filling and finish with 1/4 of the blueberry compote. Repeat with three more servings. Serve chilled. Yield: 4 servings
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Partridgeberry Nanaimo Bars 1 cup graham crumbs 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder 1 cup rolled oats 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk 1 1/2 cups partridgeberries, frozen and thawed (reserve juice)
1/4 cup lime juice 6 cups icing sugar, sifted 1/4 cup custard powder, sifted 1/4 cup butter 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Base Combine crumbs, cocoa, oats and sweetened condensed milk; press tightly into the bottom of a 9"x13" pan.
the base evenly and press down. Refrigerate.
Filling Blend thawed berries, their juices and lime juice in a high powered blender until liquefied. Strain the mixture to ensure there are no berry skins. Sift together icing sugar and custard powder, and mix into berry mixture (use your hands and knead it to get a play dough-like consistency). Spread the mixture over
Topping Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add chocolate chips and stir until chocolate is just melted (not hot). Pour the warm mixture over refrigerated bars and spread evenly. Chill for at least 4 more hours before cutting. Yield: 24 small bars
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Peach-Lavender Fool 6 (canned) peach halves 12 lavender buds, dried 1/4 cup turbinado sugar 1 cup + 1/4 cup whipping cream 1 cup milk
2 egg yolks 1/3 cup sugar 2 tbsp cornstarch 1 tsp vanilla
Toss peach halves and lavender with the turbinado and set aside for flavours to meld. Whip the 1/4 cup whipping cream to soft peaks and set aside. Heat milk and 1 cup cream to a near boil, and remove from heat. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch together until well blended. Temper the egg mixture with the hot milk & cream, then return everything to the burner over medium heat and stir constantly until the mixture thickens and bubbles break the surface. Remove this custard from heat, stir in vanilla and place in an ice bath to cool. While itâ€™s cooling, set the peach mixture in a small
saucepan and cook over mediumhigh heat until the peaches start to break down. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. When custard is cooled, whisk it vigorously until itâ€™s entirely smooth again, then fold in the whipped cream. When peaches are cooled, mash or whisk them briefly to break up the fruit a little and mix any separated juices back in. Gently, fold the peach mixture and the custard mixture together very briefly (youâ€™re not going for a smooth, cohesive mixture). Portion it out into dessert dishes and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Yield: 4 servings
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Lemon Fluff Parfait 1 can sweetened, condensed milk 3/4 cup lemon juice 1 tsp lemon zest 1 tsp vanilla 1 1/2 cups cream 1/2 cup pistachios 1/2 cup shortbread cookies
Whisk the first four ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. Whisk the cream until medium (not quite firm) peaks form. Take 1/4 of the cream and whisk it into the lemon mixture to lighten/loosen it. Fold in the remaining cream and refrigerate for at least an hour. Meanwhile, crush pistachios and cookies with a rolling pin, until they are reasonably fine. These will be used for layering. When lemon fluff has chilled, layer it in dessert dishes or wine glasses with the nut/cookie mixture. Return to the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving. Sprinkle top with berries or fruit if desired (pomegranate used here). Yield: 4-6 servings
For printa recipe ca ble rds visit
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Chocolate Almond Roll Roll
2 1/2 cups graham crumbs 1/4 cup black/dark cocoa 3 tbsp sugar 1 cup water, minus 2 tbsp
2/3 cup butter, room temperature 1 1/4 cups icing sugar, sifted 1 cup coconut, fine 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
Sift the cocoa into the graham crumbs and mix well. Boil water and sugar together (rolling boil for 2 minutes). Add sugar syrup to the crumb mixture and thoroughly mix it with your hands until it has a texture like playdough. Spread out a piece of plastic wrap and flatten the chocolate dough on it. Place another piece of plastic wrap over the top and roll it with a rolling pin until you have a square about 1/4" thick. Set aside.
Cream butter and icing sugar in a mixer using the paddle attachment. Scrape it down, add the coconut and mix again. Add the milk and mix well, scraping as necessary. Turn the mixer to high and beat well for about 30 seconds. Peel the top plastic layer off the chocolate dough and spread the coconut filling over it (keep within 1/2" of the edges). Starting with the side closest to you, roll it all up using the plastic to help you maneuver it â€“ but be careful not to roll the plastic into the dessert! Once rolled, wrap the log in plastic and refrigerate overnight before slicing and serving chilled. Yield: approximately 20 slices
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food & leisure down to earth
The More the Merrier How to mass plant shrubs for late summer and fall colour By Ross Traverse
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Sometimes bigger is better, at least when it comes to a showy display of ornamental shrubs in your home garden. Landscaping with mass planting of ornamental shrubs can result in a low maintenance garden compared to one with large areas of grass lawn, perennials and/or annuals. When shrubs are mass planted (a large number of the same plant used to fill in an area), it creates drama and draws attention to the garden. People will stop to admire the display. And you’ll have more time to admire it too, because you’ll be spending less time weeding it. Once the shrubs cover the ground, the dense shade they throw prevents weeds from thriving. Not only does mass planting of shrubs cut down on the amount of lawn you have to mow, these bushes can be used to provide a boundary on your property or stabilize steep banks. And if you choose to plant berry bushes, you’ll be making a tasty addition to your garden. Most shrubs bloom in spring and early summer. Some of the most common ones are lilac, rhododendrons and forsythia. In order to get colour in the garden late in the season, you have to carefully select the characteristics of the plant. Some types of shrubs will flower right up until after a hard frost. Other types of shrubs, like the burning bush, give a brilliant display when the leaves change colour in the fall. Cotoneaster and highbush cranberries are shrubs that produce colourful berries.
Where to start Not all the desirable shrubs are available for planting during the summer, so you have to really plan ahead one year for the next. The bare root shrubs (no soil around the roots) are only available to purchase in early spring. They are the cheapest way to create a mass planting. In the nursery, the dormant shrubs have been dug in the fall and kept in cold storage for planting in the spring in their permanent location. Nursery grown shrubs in containers can be planted any time during
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the growing season, but spring and early summer planting will ensure that the plants are well-established to survive their first winter. Natural soil for planting must be improved with organic matter, plant nutrients (fertilizer) and lime. Be careful about using imported, bagged, so-called soil, most of which is nothing more than black peat. Itâ€™s a source of organic matter but usually does not contain any nutrients. Do not use any more than one-third by volume of organic matter and mix it completely with the natural soil along with lime and a small amount of a general-purpose fertilizer. If you are mass planting a large area with small shrubs, it may be more practical to improve the soil in the entire area rather than individual planting holes. One of the biggest killers on newly planted shrubs is waterlogged soil. Make sure the area is well drained, and go easy on the organic matter like peat and compost. Too much organic matter will act like a sponge and retain too much water, especially during the winter when it freezes and kills the roots.
The planting hole should be at least twice as wide as the root ball, but only slightly deeper than is necessary to set the plant. Water is critical to getting newly planted shrubs established. Remember that the root ball will dry out quickly, so it is necessary to completely saturate the soil every two days or so when the weather is dry; windy conditions will make matters worse. You should dig down and check around the root ball to make sure the water has penetrated the soil. A sprinkle of water on the surface is not sufficient. An organic mulch like shredded bark should be applied to help conserve moisture and prevent weed growth. Once the mass planting of shrubs has been established for a year or so, there is very little maintenance going forward. They should be fertilized every spring with a general-purpose fertilizer, like 6-12-12. This is best done by pulling back the mulch and applying the fertilizer underneath. Some species of shrubs may require an application of lime, which is best done in the fall. Pruning is done to keep shrubs in shape and remove any dead or broken branches. You should look up the pruning requirements for the individual species. Most shrubs can be mass planted. Here are a few that do well in our climate.
Shrub Roses Sometimes called old-fashioned roses, these shrubs are very winter hardy. Some of the modern varieties bloom in late summer and fall. One Explorer Series variety, Jens Munk, blooms all summer and up until fall frost. It has fragrant, bright pink, semi-double blooms, and it is black 120
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spot and disease resistant. Branches can be pinned to the ground (layered) to help it fill in the area faster. (This technique can be used to propagate most shrubs.)
Spirea There are many different kinds of spirea, but the Japanese spirea are some of the best for mass planting. They have colourful foliage and bloom for a long period of time. Spireas attract butterflies and other pollinating insects. They are low maintenance except for pruning in the spring to cut back the old growth and keep them compact. They can easily be layered to produce new plants to expand the mass planting.
Burning Bush If you want an amazing display of fall colour, a mass planting of burning bush shrubs is just the thing. It has green foliage during the summer, but in the fall the leaves turn an intense scarlet red. A light pruning each spring will keep it nice and compact; the dwarf variety is probably the best. It is exceptional when planted near a background of evergreen trees. In our climate, it should be planted in full sun; otherwise, the leaves may not turn red in the fall.
Native Blueberry and Partridgeberry The native lowbush blueberry leaves turn red in the fall, and the partridgeberry is evergreen with the attractive red fruit. Both of these www.downhomelife.com
low-growing plants can be mass planted in the garden. It is best to select the plants in the fall for transplanting in the spring. The best way is to cut out sod-like clumps before the new growth starts. The area where the plants were removed will quickly fill in from the surrounding plants, so there is no damage to the environment. The soil should be improved with decomposed peat. After the plants are rooted in the new area, a dilute solution of soluble fertilizer (e.g. 20â€“20â€“20) will help stimulate new growth. Once they are established, you will have a permanent, attractive ground cover and, of course, the delicious fruit.
Dr. Ross Traverse has been a horticultural consultant to gardeners and farmers for more than 50 years. downtoearth @downhomelife.com August 2019
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Time for a Picnic
The submitter’s mother, Annie, was born in the community of Tilt Cove in 1897, and he sent Downhome this photo of a community picnic that took place sometime around 1903- 1904. Annie is the child in the front row. Michael Keat Bude, Cornwall, UK
The submitter found this vintage photo among her mother’s things. This is William and Ella Penney on their wedding day. She’d love to get in touch with family members and give them this photo. If you have any information, please contact Downhome by email at email@example.com. Debbie Janes Howley, NL 122
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Drum Roll Please
The fife and drum band from St. Patrickâ€™s Hall School in 1941 posed for this photo. In the back row (l to r) are: unknown, Billy Kavanagh, unknown, Ray Newell, Jim Seviour, John Fleming and Ron Chafe. First row (l to r): Phil Constantine, Gerry Fewer, Matt Seward, Bren Kennedy, Eddie Wakeham and Joe Dawe. The drummer in front: (first name unknown) Whalen. Edward Wakeham St. Johnâ€™s, NL
This Month in History
HMS Calypso has a long history in Newfoundland and Labrador, playing a role in training seamen as well as protecting the coast. According to The Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador, it was launched in England in 1883 as a third-class cruiser, weighing 2,814.32 tonnes with 4,020 horsepower and a top speed of 14.6 knots an hour. In 1902 it was sent to NL to become the training and drill ship for the Royal Newfoundland Naval Reserve. On August 2, 1914, the Calypso was brought into the war effort. Amid concerns over German U-boats terrorizing the Atlantic waters and shipping lines, the Newfoundland-Labrador Patrol was established with the Calypso and other smaller boats. After the war the Calypso was renamed Briton and, later, the Newfoundland Sea Cadets would use the ship for quarters. However, due to a lack of funds, it was sold in 1922 and turned into a salt hulk. It was later scrapped at Embree, where the rusting hull is still visible. Its anchor is on permanent display in Lewisporte and its gun is now used as the Noon Day Gun on Signal Hill.
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reminiscing visions & vignettes
Gnat, do you mind…
Stampedes? By Harold N. Walters
Harry had never clapped eyes on a real live raccoon. He had seen pictures, though, and he imagined the two blackened eyes Spud Spurvey had given him resembled a raccoon’s masked peepers. Although he hadn’t blackened Spud’s eyes in return, Harry smiled remembering the crunch when he’d landed a fist on Spud’s nose that had left it swollup the size of a deep-water conch. Days ago, Harry and Spud had fallen out over some bay-boy issue that neither of them hardly remembered. The tiff might have been forgotten altogether except for the, let’s say, questionable badges of honour. Now, from the top of a tall black spruce he’d climbed, Harry watched Spud Spurvey in the distance push a wheelbarrow stacked with junks of firewood towards Uncle Edgar’s Point. Harry understood Spud’s 124
chore, delivering wood to Peter Paul. Since he’d returned from The War, Peter Paul sometimes became confused and neglected to fend for himself. During those periods, one or another of Brookwater’s men pitched in and helped Peter Paul. Spud Spurvey was wheeling his father’s contribution to Peter Paul’s supply of firewood for the next winter. Harry knew Spud would make a dozen or more trips from his father’s woodpile 1-888-588-6353
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to Peter Paul’s house on Uncle Edgar’s Point. Harry watched Spud Spurvey cross the Shot Hole and move along the lane at the bottom of Harve Hinker’s meadow. A mischievous wind off the cove shook Harry’s tree top and bent it like an inverted pendulum, enough so that Harry spotted an interesting sight in the grassy space between the schoolhouse and the church. In Harry’s mind it was a herd of wild horses. It was actually Brookwater’s free-roaming work horses, let loose from their winter labours, minding their own business and grazing their way through the community along with scattered flocks of sheep, a smattering of goats and a couple of bony-hipped milk cows. Maybe Harry was light-headed from swaying in the thin air because the wild horses became mustangs, the mingling of goats and cows became buffalo on western plains he’d seen in picture shows, and a ram with curly horns was a bighorn sheep that had wandered down from the Rocky Mountains. The last thing Harry saw before he skinnied back down the tree was Spud Spurvey dumping his wheelbarrow’s load in Peter Paul’s yard. When his boots hit the ground, Harry scravelled off in search of Gnat. When he found him, Gnat was belly-down on a rock in the Big Brook that flowed past Uncle Pell’s shop before plunging over a wannabe waterfall into the cove. Up to his elbows in the pool, Gnat was trying to trap trout in their hidey-holes among the rocks. “Get either one?” asked Harry. “A couple,” said Gnat. “They was small, so I hove ’em back.” 1-888-588-6353
“Come with me then,” said Harry. “I got an idea.” “I ‘low,” said Gnat, adding, “Your eyes is pitchin’ down.” “We’m goin’ over by the church to see if Trafalgar is with the horses,” said Harry, trusting Gnat to follow. “What’s we goin’ at with Trafalgar?” said Gnat. “Havin’ a roundup,” said Harry. When the boys reached the browsing horses – Harry’s herd of untamed ponies – they spotted Trafalgar, Uncle Rube Ginn’s young entire, standing in the shade of the belfry. Trafalgar, likely recalling previous adventures with the approaching infamous pair of bay-boy outlaws, hinkered and tossed his head, swatted a kamikaze stout with his tail and moseyed towards the horse thieves. “You’m the b’y,” said Harry, patting Trafalgar’s nose. “We brought you a carrot.” Gnat raised his eyebrows when Harry pulled a grit-covered carrot from his pocket. “Found it in Old Man Farley’s garden while I was lookin’ for you,” Harry explained. “I ’low,” said Gnat. Trafalgar crunched his carrot and waited. Harry said, “We needs to get on your back.” “You get on his back,” said Gnat. “I’ll dodge alongside.” Harry took a handful of Trafalgar’s mane and led him to a nearby stump, using it to step up so he could drag himself aboard Trafalgar’s broad back. “Try to keep up,” he said to Gnat, flapping his legs on Trafalgar’s beef-barrel belly. “Giddy-up.” With uncanny comprehension, Trafalgar commenced to circle the other horses until they bunched into August 2019
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a tight group, one that also contained sheep, milk cows and goats. “Now what?” asked Gnat, who’d run around the edge of the milling animals. “We’m drivin’ them out the Shot Hole,” said Harry. Gnat’s eyebrows arched again. “Spud is out there haulin’ wood,” said Harry, vengeance in his voice. “I wants to trample en with the horses.” “Oh,” said Gnat. “Ya,” said Harry, “for givin’ me these,” indicating his racoon eyes. With some clumsy urging from Harry, and a whole lot of horse sense, Trafalgar managed to convince the herd to squeeze together and enter the inside end of the Shot Hole. “Whoa,” said Harry, halting Trafalgar once the mismatched critters were satisfyingly jam-packed. Gnat was exhausting his eyebrows. “We got to watch for Spud,” said Harry. Spud Spurvey, meantime, was working like Hector, the Trojan in that story about a horse decidedly different from Trafalgar. His feet were scalding in his sneaker boots from the constant trekking from woodpile to woodpile. His knees felt like they were about to buckle. His shoulders ached from shuffing the wheelbarrow back and forth across the cove. His conch of a nose – sweat streaming like cataracts down either side – smirted like Billy-be-damned. If Harry had been handy, Spud might have tackled him again. At his father’s woodpile, Spud lodged the last junk of firewood on the loaded wheelbarrow for his final trip to Peter Paul’s yard. Beat to a snot, yet concentrating on gripping and lifting the wheelbarrow’s handles, Spud 126
didn’t heed that not a single animal – horse nor cow, sheep nor goat – was in sight, an odd occurrence for the middle of August. Back in the Shot Hole, Harry trotted Trafalgar to the rear of the herd, while keeping his racoon eyes peeled for Spud to near the Shot Hole’s open end. “When I gives the signal you bawl and roar and wave your arms,” Harry told Gnat. Gnat let his arms, and his eyebrows, too, this time, hang in place. Just as the herd began to shift restlessly, Spud Spurvey shuffed his wheelbarrow into the Shot Hole’s mouth. “Yeehaw!” Harry yelled. Harry’s screech caught Trafalgar unawares, despite his being an uncommonly insightful stallion. Trafalgar reared and pawed at the sky. Harry tumbled off Trafalgar’s 1-888-588-6353
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back slick as butter off a hot knife. Bucking like the outlaw Strawberry roan in Wilf Carter’s song, Trafalgar’s front hooves hit the ground and he flicked up his heels… and kicked a billy-goat. The churning front of the herd surprised Spud Spurvey, who’d been focused only on his wheelbarrow’s forward movement. Reflexively, he dropped the wheelbarrow’s handles, grabbed a junk of birch from the load and chucked it at the closest horse. Smacked square in the face, the horse imitated Trafalgar: reared, wheeled, flicked up his heels and surged into the agitated herd. Seeing the herd turning, Gnat – who hadn’t bawled or roared or wove his arms – dove head-first into the safety of the alder bushes bordering the Shot Hole. Still flat on his back on the ground, 1-888-588-6353
Harry barely managed to roll aside before Trafalgar led the herd, in full stampede, back into the Shot Hole. Harry dodged horses’ hooves, sheep’s hooves, milk cows’ cloven hooves and nanny goats’ gnarly hooves. He failed to dodge a curlyhorned root from the bighorn ram as the motley herd stampeded past. Mind that stampede, Gnat? Spud Spurvey claimed afterwards that he retrieved the junk of birch he’d hove, lodged it back atop the wheelbarrow and pushed his final load to Peter Paul’s yard.
Harold Walters lives in Dunville, Newfoundland, doing his damnedest to live Happily Ever After. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org August 2019
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The Last North American Prison Ship by Chad Bennett
Long before Gulag Australia, the United Kingdom sent its prisoners
to North America. As a result, more than 52,000 convicts became newly minted Americans. Three prison ships on record made Newfoundland and Labrador history, including the last official prison ship in North America. A muggy June 14, 1789, saw an aging brigantine, The Duke of Leinster, ready to sail from Dublin, Ireland. It was carrying 102 men and 12 women aged 13 to 55, most of them under 30. Brought to the Dublin docks in carts, the jarring rhythm of rough cobbles in their ears and the taunting rumours of Botany Bay, Australia, drowning behind their eyes, wild attempts to escape were made. All were forced onto the ship, clamped in irons back-to-back in pairs.
The brig knocked its way into the Irish Sea under a cloud of secrecy. It was ordered by the Lord Mayor of Dublin at a reported cost of 100 pounds per head to voyage to Australia, though no destination was officially registered and not even the crew knew where they were headed. Leaving the Irish Sea, Captain Richard Harrison ordered his crew to maintain their westerly course rather than head south for Australia. Thirty days at sea brought sickness, urgency and, finally, the sight of land. “Dump them!” the captain barked to the crew who shuffled in a meeting of uncertain eyes. “Captain, some are seriously 128
feverish,” said a concerned sailor. “They can die in irons or take their chances ashore. How many do you think will choose to stay? We dump them tonight.” In the liquid black of night on July 15, 97 convicts put ashore at Bay Bulls, Newfoundland, and another 17 nearby in Petty Harbour. A surviving report published in Halifax described the scene: “The hungry victims lived for three days in a state of warfare... the strongest beat the weak... and over a cask of rank butter, or beef, there was for a time as severe fighting as if a kingdom has been at stake.” Terror found thirsty ears with reports of a house being torched in 1-888-588-6353
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Bay Bulls. Within days they hit the streets of St. John’s. Thefts were reported, and a sickness they carried appeared to be typhus, sending the town into crisis. Local merchants convened an emergency meeting and a petition was delivered to the magistrates, imploring that “the convicts be rounded up and placed under guard.” The merchants would pay for the maintenance and support. This placed the magistrates in an uncomfortable position, knowing full well that they didn’t have legal authority to arrest individuals who had not committed a crime in their jurisdiction. But recognizing the public fear, they agreed to comply with the petition. An affidavit was secured from Richard Robinson, a member of The Duke of Leinster crew who was so disgusted with the whole affair that he had left the ship with the prisoners. The magistrates also interrogated two of the convicts, James McGuire and Matthew Dempsey. In all, the magistrates amassed a detailed account of what had transpired and the identities of the convicts including their ages, places of birth, crimes and sentences. Two appear to have been professional thieves: John O’Neal was described as the “best shoplifter in Ireland,” and John Keogh, “a famous porter stealer.” Five had been convicted for robberies, seven had received death sentences for various offences and one, Cornelius Brosnahan, had been condemned for murder. The remaining 99 had been sentenced because they possessed a powerful need to 1-888-588-6353
eat. A woman could be sentenced in those days for being out of doors after 10 p.m. A property north of town, owned by James Winter, was rented to house the convicts. The 12 women were not incarcerated but left to their own devices. The men were hunted down and placed under guard until a ship could be arranged to send them back to the U.K. In all, 80 men were captured, while 22 successfully evaded authorities. Weeks before sailing, six more men escaped and disappeared into society. On October 24, the ship left St. John’s for England, with 74 men and six women on board. They were eventually sent to Botany Bay, Australia. Remaining in Newfoundland was one man who had died in August of illness and 33 others who were protected and taken in by the Newfoundland community. It is extremely telling that the convicts who were rounded up and documented were from almost every county in Ireland, with the glaring exception of Waterford and environs. The vast majority of the St. John’s Irish population originated from the Waterford area. It is reasonable to speculate that the 33 escapees were from the South of Ireland and were protected by their own. Community runs deep and beats at the heart of the Newfoundland story. This has been a reimagining based on real events. (Source: J. Bannister’s Convict Transportation and The Colonial State in Newfoundland, 1789) August 2019
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Looking in Through My Kitchen Window By Dolly Butt • Twillingate, NL
I grew up in a middle-class family in the ’40s and ’50s, the only child of a fisherman on an island off the northeast coast of Newfoundland. I remember well my childhood kitchen. Everyone’s kitchen, I suppose, looked pretty much the same back then: a wooden table and chairs along one wall, overlooked by a large framed picture of the SS Caribou – the passenger liner only recently but tragically torpedoed and sunk, with photos of its lost crew members displayed in small oval frames around the picture’s perimeter; our Enterprise wood/coal stove with its warming closet and water tank and, at one end, a wood box brimming with ready fuel; on the wall across from the table, the much used daybed with a small shelf at the head for the Zenith radio resting atop a red and blue Eveready battery; at the other end of the kitchen, a small table near 130
the window for Mom’s houseplants; and, of course, within comfortable range of the stove was the family rocking chair. Yet my kitchen had four seasons. Spring – when housecleaning was in full swing. The dark daybed cover was replaced with a more summery one. One could easily smell Sunlight soap from cleaned walls, ceilings and floors. Summer curtains were hung. On Monday, the washtub was moved to the porch, to be moved to the back platform at the beginning of summer. The smell of Gillett’s Lye boiling on the stove signalled the whitening of garments that needed it after the long winter. Summer – windows open, curtains 1-888-588-6353
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gently blowing in the breeze. Fly stickers hung from the porch ceiling. The stove fire crackled with chips picked up on our afternoon stroll along the beach to boil the kettle for supper. In the kitchen we prepared for a picnic in the garden – or on the kitchen floor if there was rain. Resting on the back of the stove might be a pan of fresh milk from our neighbour’s cow. Just the thought of that fresh cream slathered on molassessoaked fresh bread or with freshpicked blueberries was enough to tantalize. Fall – cleaning time again to get ready for Christmas and the coming winter. The daybed cover changed again and curtains were replaced with darker ones. Some winter food supplies were stored in the fall, after my father settled with the fish merchants. I remember coming home from school to the smell of Christmas cake baking in the oven, and seeing cardboard spread on the kitchen floor around the stove and covered with turrs, bull birds and puffins. Pots of water were boiling on the stove as the birds were buffed, picked and cleaned. Feathers everywhere! When the work was finished, there was a fry up of liver and hearts, regardless of the time of night. At a very early age I helped my father load his shotgun shells by helping fill shells with powder, shot and oakum. Winter – the only source of heat in our two-storey home was from the kitchen stove, but every spark had to be gone out of that stove before we went to bed. According to the temperature outside, we prepared for Jack Frost on the inside. Every night, cardboard boxes were placed on chairs that were pulled to the middle 1-888-588-6353
of the kitchen, and Mom’s houseplants were placed inside and covered with blanket to keep them from freezing. The water barrel was filled to the top, but many times it froze over. There were always splits and birch junks drying in the oven. One birch junk wrapped in a towel went to warm my bed – as well as my feet! Every Saturday night was bath night. The washtub was brought into the kitchen and filled with water that had been heated in a pot on the stove. The only “tub” bath for the week! One winter, when my father was having his schooner, a banker, shedded (sheathed) with greenheart, we had several men staying in our house, sleeping wherever, and my mother cooked every day for 15 men. At those times, my mother and I ate at my play table. A small clothesline was strung across the chimney behind the stove, where mitts and socks were hung to dry. A kerosene bracket lamp on the wall above the table held my hair ribbons, washed and ironed every Saturday night for the coming week. Sometimes I’d come home from school and as I opened the door I’d smell yeast – homebrew! It would be brewing in a small keg behind the stove. I even learned at an early age how to cap beer. Every season – homemade bread was made up at night, covered with blankets and placed in the rocking chair. I knew there would be “fried dough” for breakfast. Nothing smells better than bread baking! Present day – I wonder how many kids today, in homes with refrigerators, microwaves, dishwashers and iPads, will have lasting memories of their kitchens as I have! August 2019
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My family and I grew up in a small commu-
nity in Central Newfoundland: Cottles Island it was called then. My father, Lloyd Philpott, and my mother, Pauline (Rideout) Philpott, had six children, me being the youngest girl. This story begins in the winter of 1957, when we were living near Grandfather Jim Philpott and other relatives. Wanting a more secluded location, my parents decided to relocate our home. My father picked the winter to move because he would be going away in the summer for work. My father and some men from the community hauled our house across the ice to our new land. By the time my father went away to work, he had already fixed up the bit of damage done to the house from the moving process. With Dad away, Mom was always very busy. But I could see she was happy in her new surroundings.
Then came that fateful day of August 28, 1958. It had been a hot summer with very little rain. My oldest sister Lottie and my brother Larry had gone berrypicking. They were gone for most of the day and as they were rowing back in the punt they could feel the hunger pangs. Once home, they werenâ€™t long lighting the fire to boil the kettle for a good cup of tea! Back then there was no such thing as a fancy chimney; all we could afford were stovepipes. The night before we had had a big windstorm and, unbeknownst to Lottie and Larry, the pipes from the stove had come apart in the attic. Shortly after lighting the fire, Lottie and Larry heard a loud roaring sound coming from overhead. When they looked up, flames had already surrounded the pipes. Mom was outside with me tight behind her, but my baby brother Junior was still inside sleeping on his cot in the kitchen! Mom ran inside the house, grabbed Junior and whisked him out the door to safety. 1-888-588-6353
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At the same time, Grandmother Elsie Rideout and my sister Patsy were picking berries over on the hill. Grandmother happened to look up and see black smoke coming from the direction of our home. She said to Patsy, “That’s either Mr. and Mrs. Rideout’s house or yours!” Her heart was beating out of her chest as she and Patsy started to run in terror of what they may face when they arrived at the scene. From that point on, my grandmother had heart issues. As Lottie was running down the path calling for help, my sister Evelyn was walking home from Edgar Anstey’s store. As the sight of flames and smoke registered in Evelyn’s mind, she dropped the groceries and ran as fast as she could until she got to the burning house. Evelyn and I are both deaf, so you can imagine how frightening this situation was to us. No one knew sign language, so we were completely in the dark about what was happening, as was often the case. As she grew closer to the house she breathed a sigh of relief to see that all of her family were outside and safe. My family stood and watched in fear and shock while Wycliffe Rideout ran inside, grabbed the stove with the fire still burning and brought it clear of the house. He then started to chop down the trees surrounding our house to lessen the risk of the fire spreading. Other community members, seeing the blaze, soon came running with buckets of water from a nearby pond. Despite their efforts, our home and everything we owned burned to the ground. Mom was left on her own with six children; no clothes and no toys for 134
them, only the clothes on our backs. We all have memories of favourite things that were lost in that fire: my beautiful red coat; Patsy’s special dolly, Lammy Pie, that her Grandmother Elsie gave her for Christmas; Evelyn’s doll that Aunt Marie Philpott gave her. All these items were cherished so much because we had so little. Dad was still away working to provide for his family. To make matters worse, Mom was having some health issues and was supposed to have surgery but had to postpone it because of the circumstances. Mom had to let Dad know, so she went to Edgar Anstey’s store to send a telegram to Dad’s boss. Dad recalls the sun streaming through the trees as his foreman approached and gave him the terrible news about the house fire. Dad’s only question was, “Did my wife or children die?” Once he was told everyone was safe, my father realized how different this could have been and fell to the ground unconscious. Next day Dad made his way home to his family. He knew they were safe, but he had to see for himself and begin to rebuild our lives with the little money they had. While we waited for our new house to be built, we were split up to live with relatives. Some of us lived with Grandmother Elsie, and the rest were scattered around to other homes. As I am deaf, I still did not understand the severity of the situation and the stress my parents must have been under. I kept telling Mom that I wanted to go home. After repeatedly telling me the house was gone and me still persisting, she took 1-888-588-6353
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“As I think back on this tragedy, I not only think of the fire and the devastation it caused, but also of people’s generosity. My Grandmother Elsie Rideout, who sheltered us when we had no place to go; Uncle Lloyd Rideout, who went door to door collecting for us. I think of Aunt Geraldine Philpott and Aunt Marie Philpott, who sent God only knows how many boxes of clothes from Toronto.” me by the hand and led me to the ashes that were once our house. Once I saw the black grass where our house used to be, I tugged on Mom’s hand. I was ready to go. Around this time, with her children being looked after by relatives, Mom went to the Twillingate Hospital to have her surgery and some time to recover before returning to face the struggles at home. Uncle Lloyd Rideout deserves a huge thank you from our family. He went door to door, all around the circle, fundraising to help our family who were left with nothing. It being fall, Dad knew he had to quickly build a house for his family of eight from what little money he had. With winter threatening to dump its first snowfall, Dad led his family to our new home just up the hill from the charred remains of our old one. It was just a shell – windows, doors, roof and siding – but it was home and we were together. As I think back on this tragedy, I 1-888-588-6353
not only think of the fire and the devastation it caused, but also of people’s generosity: my Grandmother Elsie, who sheltered us when we had no place to go; Uncle Lloyd Rideout, who went door to door collecting for us. I think of Aunt Geraldine Philpott and Aunt Marie Philpott, who sent God only knows how many boxes of clothes from Toronto. Thank you to Vine Rideout, who selflessly gave her pretty yellow dress to Evelyn, and to people like Aunt Helen Philpott who replaced my red coat with a beautiful green one. Ms. Ella French from Lewisporte also donated clothes to us, as did countless others that I may not even be aware of. My mother passed away February 11, 1997, but she told that story time and again, how she never forgot the day her house burned on August 28, 1958. For the people who contributed and donated in any way, I want to say on behalf of the Philpott family – thank you! Your generosity will never be forgotten. August 2019
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between the boulevard and the bay
and deliver us fools By Ron Young
Nobody else went out that day just us three fools on the boiling bay. The mountains and valleys of the thundering water toyed with us like lambs for slaughter.
Back in 1969, I was living in Stephenville, on the west coast of Newfoundland, and catching lobsters near the breakwater at Little Port Harmon. My partner in this activity was a friend of mine, Wayne Flemming. One day the water was a bit rough, but Wayne and his girlfriend, Ethelwyn Ivany, who later became his wife, went out on the water with me. Years later, Wayne fell from a roof he was working on, and on January 22, 2013, he died from injuries sustained in that fall. Wayne lives on forever in the memories of those who knew and loved him, and in this poem I wrote about our lobster fishing adventure in 1969.
And Deliver Us Fools The storm had reached its peak, abating. Said Wayne, “There’s not much sense in waiting. The lobsters are out there in the traps.” I said, “I’m with you” gave his back a slap. Nobody else went out that day just us three fools on the boiling bay. The mountains and valleys of the thundering water toyed with us like lambs for slaughter. Using seamanship and cunning we pulled the traps with the engines running. We pulled them all 136
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â€™til just one more was left the closest to the shore when the blade with a rope became enthralled and wound up tight. The engine stalled. Half over the transom with a knife I chopped in the ice cold water to clear the prop. The boat like a mustang bucked and reared almost throwing me overboard. And louder we heard the breakers roar as we got closer and closer to shore pushed along broadside to the savage sea. The last strand came off the prop was free. I set the throttle adjusted the choke my feet surrounded by lobster folk on the boat floor hardly able to stand I pulled the cord. It came off in my hand. Wayne, in the bow looked ready to cry when we heard the engine sputter and die. He gaffed the ropes of six traps or more which we dragged along on the ocean floor. With little time to think of our plight I looked at Wayne. His face was white. 1-888-588-6353
Using screwdriver and pliers crude I disassembled the Evinrude. High above us the rock wall loomed. Knew in seconds we were doomed Voicing language less than genteel I wrapped the cord around the wheel and just before our souls departed I pulled the cord. The engine started. The boat plunged into a sinking trough. The Evinrude gave a little cough chugged once more then purred like a clock the spinning prop just missing a rock. When we were a safe way out to sea I made a wide arc back into the lee. Wayne stared ahead but never spoke â€™til we were safely at the dock. We sold our catch and took our pay down to the Whistle where we spent the day drinking all our profits away. Ron Young is a retired policeman, published poet and founding editor of Downhome. email@example.com
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Lorl Guesthouse Located in Indian Bay
Full house. 3 bedrooms. $150 / night. Wi-Fi/cable Located on the Shore Highway 1hr 15 mins from Gander. Come from away and stay! Facebook.com/LorlGuesthouse • Lorlguesthousereservations@gmail.com
PRIVATE SALE BY OWNER Building in Town Square, Gander First Floor, Commercial 1700 Sq.Ft. Second Floor, Residential 1700 Sq.Ft. 2 bedroom apartment with separate entrance. More pictures on request
709-221-8757 or 709-424-0757 email@example.com
LAND FOR SALE Woody Point Bonne Bay
Beautiful view of the bay & Gros Morne Mountain • Water & Sewage Hook up • Sold as is
OCEAN FRONT EASTERN NEWFOUNDLAND 56 acres of wooded ocean front land on Smith Sound, Trinity Bay. Priced at CAD $800,000
Contact Paul Quigley
Discount Storage St. John's, NL 709-726-6800 144
(709) 726-5113 1-888-588-6353
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CODROY VALLEY Cedar Bungalow
Near Howley West Coast
8 acres mature trees, walking trail, plenty of wildlife. Rear boundary is Rocky Brook. Ideally located near Gros Morne, snowmobile trails, Humber River & Deer Lake Airport. Very quiet, ideal for nature lovers. $350,000
1700 Sq. Ft. Home & 2200 Sq. Ft. Garage on 1 Acre, 2 Bed, 1.5 Bath, Electric & Wood
Bungalow with beautiful view of mountains & river. 3 Bed • Full Basement 2 Sheds • 11.5 Acres
firstname.lastname@example.org Or 1-587-435-0587
Spectacular View and Very Private
Spaniard’s Bay House 1860 sq ft Garage 1340 sq ft approx 5 acres of land $439,000.00 709-589-4179 email@example.com
September 2019 Downhome Ad Booking Deadline July 26, 2019
FOR SALE Skipper Shea’s Lounge with House FLEUR DE LYS, NL
6000 Sq. Ft.Turnkey including: cold room, ice maker, glass washer, pool table & more! Propane Fireplace, Oil/Electric Heat. House includes: 2 BR, 3 Bath, Propane Fireplaces, Solarium, Jenn Air BBQ, Sauna & Hot Tub $449,000
Contact ShirleyRShea@yahoo.ca • 709-253-2121
GLENBURNIE • BONNE BAY
House & Land, Furnished, 6 Room Bungalow, $67,000 For further info contact:
PORT AU PORT EAST, NL
81 Hynes Road 4,600 sq. ft. home on fully landscaped 1 acre lot w/spectacular ocean view, stunning sunsets & lg. deck flanked by mini fruit orchard. 3 bdrm, 2.5 bathrm, ceramic & hardwood floors. Other features: Lg. Sunroom, 2 way Fireplace, Exercise Rm & Full Basement. An abundance of storage space. 709-648-2236 www.downhomelife.com
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Jack & Hilda MacLaughlan Celebrating their 65th Wedding Anniversary on August 25th in Maitland, ON Blessed with 6 children, 14 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. Hilda is from Botwood and Jack is a retired Mountie from N.S.
Downhome Magazine Distributor Downhome Publications is looking to fill one position in the FORT MCMURRAY territory to distribute our monthly publication Downhome magazine. As an Ambassador of Downhome you will be providing customer service to consumers and store personnel. Responsible for receiving a monthly shipment of magazines and delivering them to multiple locations while seeking new sales opportunities and working with stores to establish preferred display space. Other responsibilities include maintaining and replenishing products in store racks, completing paperwork in store and remittances in a timely manner. This position requires repetitive lifting, carrying and positioning of product without assistance. Kneeling, squatting and reaching above the head may be required. Experience in magazine or newspaper distribution is considered an asset but not mandatory. Candidates must be friendly, familiar with the area, own a cell phone and own their own transportation. Background check and a valid driver’s license are required. Part-time Casual Position. Must be available the last week of every month (22nd to the end of the month).
Apply to Jobs@downhomelife.com with Subject Line “Downhome Magazine Distributor – Fort McMurray” and attach your resume and cover letter.
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Movers & Shippers Clarenville Movers
Local & Long Distance Service A Family Moving Families Professionally and economically
Your Newfoundland & Alberta Connection
Coast to Coast in Canada Fully Insured
Toll Free: 1-855-545-2582
Newfoundland Owned & Operated
Over 30 years Experience Tel: Cell:
Contact: Gary or Sharon King
Toll Free: 1-866-586-2341 www.downhomemovers.com
Moving you from Ontario and Newfoundland... or any STOP along the way!
DOWNEAST CONNECTION 709-248-4089 905-965-4813
35 Years in the Moving Industry
Andy: 416-247-0639 Out West: 403-471-5313
firstname.lastname@example.org FIVE STAR SERVICE Without The Five Star Price! ★ Local & Long Distance Moves ★ Packing
Voted CBS Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year
★ Door-to-Door Service Across Canada ★ Replacement Protection Available ★ NL Owned & Operated
Hawke’s Bay, NL (collect calls accepted) email@example.com
Covering all Eastern & Western Provinces and Returning Based from Toronto, Ontario Discount Prices Out of NL, NS & NB Newfoundland Owned & Operated
MOVING INC. 709-834-0070 866-834-0070 firstname.lastname@example.org www.fivestarmoving.ca
Over 25 Years Experience in the Moving Industry
Movers & Shippers
Let our Family Move Your Family Home
Rates start at $175 for a 1 col. x 2" ad.
Newfoundland, Ontario, Alberta and All Points In Between Newfoundland Owned & Operated Fully Insured, Free Estimates Sales Reps. in Ontario and Alberta
Call Jim or Carolyn - Peterview, NL 709-257-4223 709-486-2249 - Cell email@example.com www.samsonsmovers.ca
Call Today! 709-726-5113 Toll Free 1-888-588-6353 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
September 2019 Downhome Ad Booking Deadline July 26, 2019 www.downhomelife.com
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puzzles The Beaten Path
Tiffany Layden photo
By Ron Young
Block out all the letters that are like other letters in every way, including shape and size. The letters that are left over will spell out the name of the above place name in letters that get smaller in size.
D S D S T B
P T H M
X H T M L V
L J P
Last Monthâ€™s Community: Burgeo 148
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Skill level: Medium Last monthâ€™s answers
Visit DownhomeLife.com/puzzles for step-by-step logic for solving this puzzle
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Downhomer Detective Needs You
fter more than two decades on the Urban City Police Force, Downhomer Detective has come home to rid Newfoundland and Labrador of a new threat – cunning thief Ragged Rick. A real braggart, the slimy criminal sends DD a blurry photo of his surroundings plus clues to his whereabouts just to prove he’s always a step ahead. DD needs your help to identify where in Newfoundland and Labrador Ragged Rick is hiding out this month.
Use these 5 clues to identify where Ragged Rick is now: • Settled by the French • Castle Hill is a National Historic Site • Writer Agnes Walsh is from here • Recently twinned with Plentzia, Spain • Known for its lift bridge
Last Month’s Answer: Grand Bruit
Picturesque Place NameS of Newfoundland and Labrador
by Mel D’Souza Last Month’s Answer: Brooklyn 150
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In Other Words Guess the well-known expression written here in other words.
Last Month’s Clue: There exists no other occasion similar to the here and now In Other Words: There is no time like the present This Month’s Clue: In the place where one finds billowing fumes, one finds combustion In Other Words: _____ ______ _____ ______ ____.
A Way With Words WATER CAMERA
Last Month’s Answer: Under water camera
Rhyme Time A rhyming word game by Ron Young
1. Intelligent paintings are _____ ___ 2. A foot tour guide can
This Month’s Clue
____ and ____
3. To steal a reptile is to
ANS: _____ __ _____
1. tad bad, 2. cheap sheep, 3. free tea
____ a _____ Last Month’s Answers
by Ron Young
Place each of the letters in the rectangular box below into one of the white square boxes above them to discover a quotation. Incomplete words that begin on the right side of the diagram continue one line down on the left. The letters may or may not go in the box in the same order that they are in the column. Once a letter is used, cross it off and do not use it again.
’ E E D A H S H D Y T E I
A E A A E A D E O B O G E E A E D D A N Y W E P E R I S C O R L I A N H T H R W R E R S W N S V N R F T Y T Y T O R W
Last month’s answer: Men and women must be educated, in a great degree, by the opinions and manners of the society they live in. www.downhomelife.com
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Rhymes 5 Times
Each answer rhymes with the other four
1. sit 2. ravens 3. shut 4. assume 5. enlarges
_____________ _____________ _____________ _____________ _____________
Last Month’s Answers: 1. work, 2. berserk, 3. twerk, 4. quirk, 5. perk
Don’t get your knickers in a knot! Puzzle answers can be found online at DownhomeLife.com/puzzles
Tangled Towns by Lolene Young Condon and Ron Young
Sound out the groups of words below to get a familiar expression. For best results sound the clue words out loud!
Nor Whom Ford Out __ ____ __ _____ Thick Hull Foam Heck Sicko ___ ____ __ ______ Last Month’s 1st Clue: Ale All Heap Hop Answer: A lollipop Last Month’s 2nd Clue: Ate Whole Freak Haul Answer: A toll-free call
Unscramble each of the five groups of letters below to get 5 Newfoundland and Labrador place names.
1. EROS NEHCLBA 2. XFO OTOSR 3. RAMEGRAE 4. RDNAG TRIBU 5. SOMUE LASNID Last Month’s Answers: 1. Twillingate, 2. Indian Cove, 3. Herring Neck, 4. Summerford, 5. Virgin Arm
Unscramble the capitalized words to get one word that matches the subtle clue. 1. BAR ED – Clue: made to be broken 2. TIPS SIR – Clue: could sometimes use a lift 3. VAIN INTO IT – Clue: you’re welcome 4. RUE CUFF HA – Clue: he really drives me 5. SLING HUB – Clue: hot and bothered Last Month’s Answers: 1. fishing, 2. autobiography, 3. polluted, 4. nowhere, 5. circumference 152
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Four-Way Crossword F o re Wo rd s • B a c k Wo rd s • U p Wo rd s • D o w n Wo rd s By Ron Young
Unlike regular crosswords, in Four-Way Crossword each letter is not necessarily related to the letter in the adjacent row or column, but is part of one or more words in some direction.
1-10: shorten words 1-91: trying 2-32: sphere 4-94: logical 6-3: action word 6-8: by way of 6-36: sell 10-70: component 10-100: basic 11-14: domesticated 13-11; carpet 13-43: nasty 16-36: finish 19-16: relieve 20-16: rent 21-61: entice 22-25: heavy metal 25-5: payable 26-30: honorable 28-25: adherence 29-9: allow 34-31: bargain 34-37: team 34-40: handgun 34-54: offspring 36-39: expensive 40-60: humans 41-45: underaged 43-63: pinch 45-50: happened again 45-75: great anger 47-49: put on 51-54: ache 54-74: arrest 55-75: mature 56-36: cot 56-54: prohibit 56-60: buffalo 58-88: shipped 62-32: post www.downhomelife.com
62-92: quarry 63-67: errand boys 64-94: qualified 65-95: cogwheel 70-67: foot digits 70-90: sailor 74-78: started 76-79: crew 78-76: old horse 79-49: thug 81-61: louse egg 83-63: snooze 90-87: grade 91-94: DNA segnent 84-87: crippled 91-100: unselfishness 93-96: Rome burner 97-37: beach
97-94: painful 99-79: label 97-99: pose Last Month’s Answer 1
C A N D E S C E N T
A D U E N I O L D O
R E P P O T A P E O
B A O A Y C L I F F
ONA T ED FOE NOE L I C EHT RTA S EA NAR BAN OMB A T I C I R T EM R T I ME R Y S P ADE REDNE T
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Crossword Puzzle 1
by Ron Young
6 7 8
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ACROSS 1. National Health Service (abbrev) 3. sister 4. definite article 6. Yorkshire Achaeological Journal (abbrev) 7. kilo-volt-ampere (abbrev) 8. Herring ____, NL 9. “Like a birch broom __ ___ ____” (3 words) 18. prepare for publication 19. particular about food (colloq) 22. Pa’s mate 23. “You’re _____ just a Newfie in a Calgary hat” 24. fleet commander 26. spray can 29. steamship (abbrev) 30. Salvation Army (abbrev) 31. “_____ ____ and we’ll roar on deck and below” (2 words) 35. heat up (colloq) 37. affirmative 38. in other words (abbrev) 39. saltwater 40. fine ice floating on the water (colloq) 41. make a mistake 43. “stunned as me ____” 45. human waste dumped directly into the sea (2 words) 46. three of these in a yard DOWN 1. “The whale went straight for Baffin Bay, about ______ _____ __ ____” (4 words) 2. “’Twas twenty-five or thirty years _____ ____ ____ ___ the light” (4 words) www.downhomelife.com
5. “one day the sun will shine and ____-not shall be no more” 10. no vote 11. “He’d steal the eyes out of your ____ and come back for the sockets” 12. Phys __ 13. “finished” in St. Pierre et Miquelon 15. information technology (abbrev) 16. swoils 17. electric fishes 20. “I might have been born in the woods, but I never ___ the boughs” 21. Labrador schooners 22. overlord 25. boggy 27. “There’s favour in hell if you bring your ___ splits” 28. Grand __ Pierre, NL 32. fibbing 33. Leslie to his friends 34. nephew’s sister 36. Little Hearts ____, NL 42. rodent 44. yuck 1
A R ANSWERS TO LAST O MONTH’S U CROSSWORD U N D 5 S E A R 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 N S I G N C H A R M E R 17 18 D C A A A M P E R Y 19 20 21 B H E L P E R A L E 22 23 24 25 26 27 R I D D L E O P R Y B A 28 29 30 I N O S L U T P A W 31 32 33 34 35 T C H W E I T G U L L 36 37 38 C H O P S C N S R L 39 40 H B B R E A K E R S 41 42 43 44 E B O X E Y B A A O 45 46 S I S H A S E T T L E R T I P 3 S Y 4 E 6 V 7 E
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DIAL-A-SMILE © 2019 Ron Young
Pick the right letters from the old style phone to match the numbers grouped below and uncover a quote which will bring a smile to your face.
______ _ _ 746853 6 8 ___ 949
__ 47 ___ 843
___ 328 _____ 84373
__ 28 _ 2
_ _ _ _ _ _? 374 343
Last Month’s Answer: I thought about losing weight once, but I don't like losing.
©2019 Ron Young
CRACK THE CODE i
Each symbol represents a letter of the alphabet, for instance =S Try to guess the smaller, more obvious words to come up with the letters for the longer ones. The code changes each month.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ S Q x p pD m J Kp Ji _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ x JKL Q D OhD Z _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _, _ _ _ _
\t 0 tLp0 HpD S _ _ _ _ S S
i n kkp i i _ _ _ _
_ _ Q
0 Hp K
_ _ _ _ S
0hBp i _ _ S _ _ _ J0 i pzQ
Last Month’s Answer: Pity and friendship are two passions incompatible with each other.
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© 2019 Ron Young
Food For Thought
Each food symbol represents a letter of the alphabet. Find the meanings to the words then match the letters with the food symbols below to get a little “food for thought.”
_ _ _
suspicious = walks =
]ww _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _
_ _ _
yKw c _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
YoIo m i Kl m
_ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _
toIwY i V
_ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
dVno mo mV
_ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _
c wY Vq
Last Month’s Answer: Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten. www.downhomelife.com
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Our artist’s pen made the two seemingly identical pictures below different in 12 places. See if you can find all 12.
ERN & COAL BIN CELEBRATE 30 YEARS WITH DOWNHOME!
Last Month’s Answers: 1. Man in Boat; 2. Coal Bin; 3. Hair; 4. Codfish; 5. Lighthouse; 6. Cap; 7. Line 8. Boat Number; 9. Ern’s arm; 10. Boot: 11. Cliff; 12. Sea gull “Differences by the Dozen”- A compilation of Different Strokes from 2002 to 2014 (autographed by Mel) can be ordered by sending $9.95 (postage incl.; $13.98 for U.S. mailing) to Mel D’Souza, 21 Brentwood Dr., Brampton, ON, L6T 1P8.
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HIDE & SEEK NL ARTISTS
The words can be across, up, down, backward or at an angle, but always in a line.
BARRY BENNETT BLACKWOOD BOYKOV BURRY CHUBBS COLBOURNE FLOWERS GILLARD GOSSE KOCH LASAGA MACDONALD MASSIE MAUNDER
Y R R U B Y J Y P C O L B O U R N E
U R S M T L C S D V J L S D D B C O
N P R T A B A L L M G P K E T H I W
K S E A Q S A C D X Q G V O U C A U
Z R S U B N S C K P P O Z B C A W R
P W V E O F B I K W B R B Z O H C T
PRETTY ROWE SQUIRES STUCKLESS TERRIAK
MCCLELLAN MICHELIN PIKE POTTLE PRATT
Last Monthâ€™s Answers
Y U M D L D R U E A O S B G D W B J
O J C V O K Y O B Z I O O D U D I G
D A C S U I C M S F R R D M M R Q W
M N C N V Z N U K I Z G R P O Y Y Q
N I L E H C I M T N L C P E B Z H M
G I L L A R D S N S A P A C T F X W
J P M P W U E E B R E N B L E D N X
L N I N P W Q E S T S A E Y R O J H
E Q W G H G G O S M A V Q R F W O O
N L J E E P N L O O J O U F T X E I
X T E A F E A R V K A D W H C P Q X
T Q A F L A Q H E D R T K A L J G S
N I L D V R Q Z Z N N T V S Z T R C
Y F I L K H P I Q N G C G T A A V H
B N G I G F U S B E C E N Y C X U O
B Q S E O N E C V B R O M I H R B N
K D Q L X D W U J G A O A M R S J P
M T T G R L I A P N A Z E M L U R S
A R O L U E L R E L S W I W X O W C
P I K E S M J Q R G S Z W T U D C V
O T H C L L D R P W O U G C T A J R
A G R Y E Z D D L S Q V L P N Q T I
I N M L I M P S O S F V I E B F M J
G E G B L F N F I F E Y E O N D G P
H R M G A H A O Y O D Y G R B S N T
F M S C G J R R E J T S P Q E G M X
A Q U M D U L I B E F A T E C U R B
Q K C J E O D C N L S J R W X C M T
E L F C J B E E P O T T L E N Y H E
M A K M P E N A Y V A F E A F D Q O
S P B Q O K U R R U E I L A C C A B
K Z O M V D E M U S N D Z P N D U C
O T S Y H S O I Z P T R A L Y K M X
E E D N U D F B C I H L M H M V L K
L G P W N E A E D P E G T R E O G W
V L I G G E W O P M I N E O U I D Q
Y Y R K Q J E U W A E O I I R C Q I
C L X U E Z G H Y W G J W A T M Y W
G K K O V T N H F T Q J U O R E U Q
I A J L H Y V O L U N T E E R A Y G
J E A N R R C T O H G L H T T V T A
O R E P S O R P G E L E O P A R D C
K V T D C X P O R T I A C W K R R A
P M B P H C S R F N F D X T M B B S 159
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While hiking Gros Morneâ€™s Tablelands on a summer day, the submitter got down to bluebell level for this unique view of the landscape. Derek Butler St. Johnâ€™s, NL
Do you have an amazing or funny photo to share? Turn to page 9 to find out how to submit. 160
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