High Hopes for a Fruitful Summer

Our plum tree has blossomed and if every flower turns into a plum — well, let’s just say I’ll be happier than Little Jack Horner!

Tiny little bees were buzzing around the tree all day yesterday, pollinating away. Keeping my fingers crossed that the unpredictable Michigan weather doesn’t blast us one last time with winter’s rage.

For now, enjoying the beauty of spring, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

 

Garden Visitor – Green Darner Dragonfly

This morning as I was taking in the garden and enjoying its progress, I happened to notice a visitor hiding among the pumpkin leaves.

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This Green Darner Dragonfly stayed all day under the leaves.

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Before I headed inside this evening for the night, I checked one last time to see if my visitor had moved on.

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Nope, still hanging out in the pumpkin patch.

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Even if I don’t get a single pumpkin this year, finding this beautiful wonder of nature taking refuge under the leaves makes planting the patch worthwhile. There is a reason for everything, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Cruising to Halifax, Nova Scotia

The first port we arrived at on our recent Norwegian Cruise to Canada/New England was Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada. Arriving in Canada we didn’t really think the atmosphere would be much different from here in the States, as we live a stones throw away from Windsor, Ontario. Actually though the greeting we received was somewhat surprising.

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The terminal where we were docked was set up like a mini-mall. Up and down the terminal building outlining either side there were booths full of hand-crafted as well as standard souvenir items. At first I thought we might be bombarded with the hard-sell of desperate sales people, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Everyone greeted us like we were old friends, not worrying about selling us anything, but definitely concerned that we knew what there was to do while we were in Halifax.

We walked through the terminal chatting with vendors and making our way to one side. When we got to the end we stopped at a booth where a man was selling coffee and home-baked goods. We asked him what there was to do while we were in Halifax, as we hadn’t booked any tours. Without missing a beat, he left his coffee pot, picked up a map and huddled over a table with Hubby, pointing out all the sights that were within walking distance, which was pretty much everything.

As he talked, the one site he highly recommended was the Halifax Citadel, a British fort built in 1869. He warned us that it was a bit of a walk and pretty much all uphill, but well worth the effort. He told us if we got there by noon we’d get to see the canon being shot. After thanking our “tour guide” by buying some coffee and cookies, we began our long walk to the Citadel.

Leaving the terminal we were surprised at how quaint the city was. It was a wonderful place to just mozie about. There were cafe’s, parks, and tiny restaurants on the boardwalk along the shoreline for what seemed like miles.

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Once we left the boardwalk we found ourselves surrounded by local art painted on many of the buildings along with monuments and statues.

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It was a hard trek uphill to the Citadel, but when we finally got to the top of the hill, it was well worth the walk.

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Clock Tower

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Sentry Change

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Preparing to fire the canon.

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Leader of the band.

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Pipe Performer

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While we were at the Citadel we saw the sentry change, the firing of the noon gun, performances of the pipes and drums in the parade square, and of course visited the barracks and troops.

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I have to say the walk back to the ship was much easier than the walk there, but the day was perfect. Halifax is a place that we would like to visit again and spend some serious time exploring more of the boardwalk and surrounding city. Grace told me that she would love to just vacation in Halifax for a week because it was so welcoming with a small town feel, without being a small town.

Halifax was the perfect way to kickoff our port experiences on our cruise and definitely worth the trip. If you get the chance to ever go there, I highly recommend it. Warm, friendly, quaint, and lovely, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Their Love Can Weather Any Storm

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This afternoon we had some severe thunderstorms hit our area. The rain came down in buckets, thunder and lightning filled the sky, and the streets quickly filled with water.

As I sat listening to the storm in our great room, I suddenly heard the distinct cooing of a morning dove. I carefully opened the shade on the window overlooking the A-frame in the cucumber garden and there on top of the structure were two soaking wet morning doves.

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This couple must have gotten stuck in the storm.  I am not sure if it’s true, but I heard that birds will not fly in a storm. Seeing this pair of birds patiently sitting in the rain, not daring to fly, makes me think this may be so.

For more than an hour the rain pounded them, but neither made any move to leave.

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Not until the rain stopped and they had fluffed themselves somewhat dry, did they take flight.

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The most wonderful part of watching this scene was that when this couple did take flight, they did it together. First they flew to a fence just beyond the A-frame, then to a fence at the end of my neighbors property,

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and then finally into the safety of a pine tree.  All the while, they were together, never faltering, as one.

Love can be found everywhere, but today it was right outside my window and for this I am — Simply Grateful.