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Summer Fun

This summer has already been very full for us and we are only at the half way mark. My husband and I are having the best summer we have ever had together. I am living as though tomorrow is not promised. Mostly, well, because it’s not. Not for any of us, but maybe more in particular for me. I think that is fair to say. So, making the most of every day, is top priority for me, at this point in my life. How about you?

I have had a few small challenges with my vegetable growing so far this year, but my flowers are doing wonderfully.
I decided to plant most of my vegetables in the green house this year and we have had a warmer than usual year. That being said, I have had to water the plants more frequently and started to see some unwanted bugs pestering my crops and plants. I have since moved everything, except my beans and peas outdoors. They too may go out. I am observing them for a few more days. Moving the others out seems to have proven to be a beneficial strategy. I say this because now it seems that the larger bugs are consuming, or scaring off the smaller ones. Either way both the plants and I are happy. I am now starting to see more growth and the plants are looking more healthy. Hopefully I moved them out in time for them to produce a better yield. Fingers crossed. We love to eat fresh real food and have enjoyed the lettuce and Swiss chard so far. I am really looking forward to enjoying the rest of my bounty, once things are at their prime.

The tomatoes are coming along nicely, as well as the pumpkins, zucchini, squash and cucumbers. Although, I had to reseed the zucchini, squash and cucumbers do to a cucumber beetle party early in the spring. That said, everything seems to be growing and doing well now.

My brown eyed Suzie’s, and sunflowers are growing tall and the scarlet runner pole beans that I plant for decoration have really been attracting the hummingbirds. Our little piece of heaven is looking just so beautiful this year! I just love it! I can sit out for hours and just watch the birds and bees enjoying in sharing this beautiful space we have created.

For all of you that may be wondering, Waffles the laying hen, aka my shadow, is doing very well. She spends most of her day patrolling the yard and checking on Missy, our kitty friend, to make sure all is well. I can’t forget to tell you that she is also loving the taste of my gerber daisies. I love the beauty of them and Waffles seems to love the taste. We will have to compromise on the gerber daisies, I guess. She seems to leave the flowers alone but she absolutely loves the taste of the leaves. They look a little sparce right now, but they are surviving. I have put them up a little higher so she really has to work at getting to them. She is still laying a good size egg every two to three days. Honestly she could be laying more in some other unusual places because she is out all day, every day and I read they will sometimes do that. Regardless, I am pleased that she seems to be happy and healthy. I bring her in the porch with me sometimes, just to hang out and have some company. The indoor cats, Berry, Jelly and Jam don’t seem to mind. They all seem to co-exist quite well.

My husband and I have been very busy entertaining ourselves and playing lots of music with friends. The weather has been such that we have even been able to have a few evening fires in the pit in our patio area. We have had the opportunity to visit family and friends at their cottage on the water. The seals and fish are abundant this year and the scenery is beyond beautiful. Just the fact that we are able to go and visit and/or have visitors after the craziness of the pandemic over the last couple of years has been a real treat for me. I think I almost forgot what it was like to be social and socialize. But, it didn’t take me long to get back into the groove of it again.

Another highlight of the summer was a visit from a very dear friend from Ottawa, this year. She is someone who I consider to be like a sister to me. We have been friends since early childhood. In fact, she used to live just down the road from me when we were children and we have remained friends all these years. Her and another close childhood friend came out to our little oasis for a day visit and it was wonderful. The three of us talked like no time had passed and it felt like the old days. When we used to be young and foolish and act silly. In a way, even though we have all done a lot of living, for that day, time stood still.

We may all look a little older, but our attitudes and love for one another are still the same. That is something that time has not changed. It is one of my favorite memories of this summer and I will cherish that day always. We have all promised to make more of an effort to stay in touch on a more regular basis and get together as often as we can.

One thing I have learned is that time is precious and it is not something to be wasted. If you have loved ones, make an effort to make the most of the time you spend with them. My husband made a bucket list event come true for me this past weekend. I have always wanted to go tubing in the Miramichi River. A lot of my friends have gone and everyone always says that it was a blast. Well they weren’t kidding! We had a fantastic day! After my heart attack, I started to make a bucket list of things that I want to do or try. Beacause of my challenges of the last five years, I wasn’t able to participate in this type of event. It requires that you must be able to walk down a fairly steep hill to get the water and you must be able to get in and out of the tube. Especially at the end. When you reach the end of your three hour journey on the river. Then there is the walk back up another fairly steep hill to get to the bus pick up point. I’m happy to say with just a little assistance from my husband I was able to put a check mark beside this event on my list. Now that I have gone and had such a great experience. I really want to go again! Mabe it will become an annual event.

The weather was absolutely perfect, the scenery absolutely stunning and to experience it with my husband was the highlight of my summer. There were Canada geese resting and eating at different slightly cleared locations along the edges of the river. They were very calm and just basking in the beautiful sunshine. Also, the Salmon were feeding and jumping slightly out of the water to catch a tasty fly at some points on our trip. All of the living beings on the river that day, including the kayakers, the people on canoes and a few fellow tubers, were all enjoying the river, the beautiful day and the positive energy it all brought. The fresh warm clear air and water, had a very calming effect for all that were in and on the water that day.

I am so fortunate in so many ways. I have this chance to work on my bucket list and spend time with the people that mean the most to me, in this whole world. Not many people get a second chance to really live life the way it really should be lived. I may not get as many years to live as some people, but I will make damn sure that I make the most of what time I have left! Thanks to my love for the help and encouragement.

There is still a good amount of the summer left. So, I may not write many more posts until it is over. Because I am too busy enjoying every minute of it!

I will post more on my second half of summer adventures when I slow down a little. For now though, I hope that this post inspires you all to get out and live. Maybe even check a few items off of your own bucket list.

As Always,
Love Tanya Jean

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What does the word hero mean to you?? What is your definition of a hero??

I believe it is someone that goes above and beyond to help those in need. I believe it can be an animal or a person. My thought is that this individual is a highly empathic and caring individual. It is one who recongnizes the needs of others and simply acts. They do not hesistate and offer help, even if sometimes, in doing so they put themselves in harms way.

Who are your heros?? Ever thought about it?

My list of heros is a long one! I would like to start with the doctors, nurses, paramedics and therapists who have worked tirelessly coming to my aid over the last five years. Both, in my time of need then and as my need continues. I believe it takes a special person to be in these types of professions. They work long hours which takes them away from the people they share a life with. Also, they often times put themselves and potentially their health at risk to make sure others are well cared for and looked after. Even the first responder volunteer firefighters from our community have come to aid, when I needed urgent medical attention. In addition to my need, our community has had to call on them a time or two and they always answer without hesitation. I am extremely grateful and respectful of the work they do! Thank you!

I felt and heard so much love and compassion in every decision that was made to help me get better. Whether it was to comfort me in the late night hours because I was restless and in pain. Or, wether it was carefully changing one of dressings or administering one of my medications, these empathic medical professionals put all they had into helping me recover from such a life changing event. Many thanks to them all for the patience they possess and the care they gave. Thank you for being there for me, my hard working medical heros!

Others that have been heros to me have included my Grandparents on my Mother’s side. When I was young those wonderful old souls saved me, both mentally and physically, more times than I care to mention. Whether it was a hug, smile, kind word or just a place to lay my head, I could always count on them to save me. The time I spent with them was so very precious to me and will never forget the memories of their encouraging acts of kindness. May they both rest in peace. I miss you both dearly! Thank you for being there my blessed heros!

I have to say that I have also had many animal friends that I would consider heros, as well. When I needed to be woken because of something that was putting me in danger, a dream or even the pipes bursting in the bathroom and water was gushing everywhere, they were there. Or when a stranger came walking up the driveway, I was alerted before an unwanted surprise ended up right at the door. When my mind ran rampid with horrible thoughts they were there to lift my spirits, before I did something I couldn’t take back. Or, when I just simply needed a reminder that I mattered to someone they were always there. These times have been plentiful in my life and I thank you for being there in my time of need, my animal friends and heros!

My community of friends have been my heros as well. They unknowingly sent me a message or popped over for a visit when I needed it the most. They all ralleyed and sent me such positive energy, hope, prayers, well wishes and gifts when I needed to be reminded that I had a community I needed to get back too, when I was fighting for my life in the hospital. I worked so very hard to get back to my community. I fought with all my might. Thank you so much for being the heros, friends and family I have chosen! Thank you for giving me that strength, in my time of weakness!

I also want to take this opportunity to thank my husbands family for the love, and support they have given through out all of my challenging times over the years. Love you all!

Bet you thought I was done, eh? There is the Canadian Maritimer coming out in me. Lol.

Well, I have saved the best hero for the last. My husband, partner in crime, and the absolute best man I know is my biggest hero of all. He is the light of my life and the beat of my heart. I know, it sounds a little cheesy right? But so very true! DW, you have always supported me in all my crazy ways of being. You have sacrificed your own wants and needs to make sure I had what I needed and never once asked for anything in return. You listened endlessly, to my rants and my sorrows lovingly. I respect you, your beliefs and your guidance when I asked for it and even when I didn’t. Hell, you taught me how to be a better more understanding person. You saved me physically and mentally so many times, I am not sure I could even put a number to it. DW, you have always put me first and I know it is because you truly love me for the crazy ass I am. My gratitude and thanking you somehow just doesn’t seem to be enough for all that you have given me. You are my very best friend and my biggest hero of all! My wish is that you receive all that you hope for in life and more. Because, to me, of anyone I know, you deserve it the most. I am so thankful that fate and or destiny brought us together and my life has been complete because you are in it. As the old saying goes, ’til death do us part. Well that has happened twice for us already and we are still here. Still together. Regardless, my hope is that the final death do us part doesn’t happen for a very long time. Thanks to you, however, we have had more time together than we both thought we might. Oh sweet time, it is a true gift when you are with your true love. This being said, if our time is up tomorrow know that we will find each other again in the after life, as we have been doing for all of time. My love, my hero.

So, I hope I have provoked some thought and encouraged some expression of gratitude in all of your minds, about your heros. Speaking to all of you, thank you for reading my thoughts and supporting me throughout my journey. It is so very comforting and healing to know that I am not alone!

I hope that you too know that you are not alone!

As Always,

Love Tanya Jean

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My Animal Friends

My animal friends have been, and continue to be, the most constant blessing in my life. The love and companionship they freely give has seen me through the best of times and the worst of times. They make me laugh when I need it the most, and I believe that they provide the purest of love that one could receive. Who could want more in a true friend? These true friends have kept me from making decisions about whether or not to continue on, in this life… After all, who would care for them and love them the way I do? They need my love as much as I need or needed theirs.

Jam is the oldest living animal friend that I have and she is nine years old. I believe she picked me, rather than I picked her, in a barn full of kittens. She was sitting all by herself on a piece of plywood close to the barn window. She looked rather sad, and had a nasty eye infection. But, looking through her good eye, she saw me. I mean really saw me. I felt an instant connection with her. She was definitely coming home with us. There was no question.

The barn was full of cats and yet she was the one that spoke to me with her soft and loving gaze. As the other kittens played aggressively, they paid no attention to the people or the cows around them. It was like Jam was a kitten with an old soul.

I could not help myself, I had to pick her up. Once I did, there was no going back. She would be part of my life from this point forward. She might have only been six weeks old but the farmer said that she had been drinking some of the cow’s milk from a bowl, so she would be fine to take home. It appeared that the mother had been weaning the kittens off of her own milk and really did not want to be feeding them anymore. Jam would get better nourishment once I got her home. I, like my grandmother, have this want to make sure individuals, whether animal or people, are well fed. She made no fuss when I would treat her eye infection and it only took a few days of antibiotic cream to clear it up.

From the first day, until this day, she silently speaks to me. Every single day she tells me that she loves me just the way I am. She never judges. She is always direct with her wants and needs and she accepts what she receives lovingly. Who could want more in a friendship, I ask?

The hardest part about having my heart attack, for me, was being away from her and my other animal friends at home. I felt so lonely being away from them. All I could think about was getting home to be with them all.

After being away for months, I was very worried the first time I got to go home on a day pass. Would they know me? Would they remember me? I smelled like the hospital, I weighed 80lbs less, and my voice did not sound the same.

As I stepped through the door, my eyes filled with tears when Jam came right over to greet me. It was like she was saying, “where have you been?”, “these kittens you brought home have been a real handful!”. For the most part, she acted as though no amount of time apart could break our bond. She was the same with me then, as she has always been. Well, maybe she was a little more attentive and clinging, in the days to come. But, that’s what we both needed and it suited me just fine. I felt, in that moment, like my heart was once again full and whole. Even the broken part felt like it was beating and pumping just like it had before my event. Finally, I was home with her and the rest of my animal companions. Right where I belonged..

My husband and I also enjoy feeding the wild birds. These amazing creatures talk to me and are not afraid to be in our presence. They will fly very close to us and land on the feeders right beside us, chirping like they are greeting us or carrying on some funny conversation.

We also have a beautiful pure black cat, who I have affectionately named Missy. She decided that she wanted to live here, on our homestead, about three years ago. She started hanging around the barn in the warmer months and eventually found a comfortable spot in the lean-to, that is attached to the back of our hen barn. I openly welcomed her, as I always do, with any animal. She does a great job at keeping the rodents away from the barn.

She started to follow me to the garden one day and when the neighbour across the road saw us together, he made the comment that Missy used to live at their farm. He said he was glad to see that she was well but was sad that she no longer wanted to live in his barn, as she had made a nice addition. Personally, I think that she simply was not happy with the name they gave her. I tried calling her by her previous given name, Sparky, that same day. She did not look happy, at all! So, Missy it is. Lol

She now lives in one of our heated outbuildings, which of course, now has a cat door installed, so that she can come and go as she pleases. Thank you DW! The farmer across the road had her spayed and now I feed her and give her treatments to prevent worms and fleas and cuddles, lots and lots of cuddles. She never leaves our property. I don’t believe she has any desire to leave. My husband says that she knows how good it is to live here. Why would she leave? If I go outside, she comes running right to me. She is a beloved friend and part of our pack now.

We have two other indoor cats, who we named Berry and Jelly. They are litter mates, who have very different personalities. They are both very active and, at times, certainly do add a lot of comic relief to our days. Jelly is a very energetic and silly boy, who seems to frequently annoy his sister. She has very little tolerance for his tomfoolery and has no issue with putting him in his place, when he steps out of line. She is a very small and compact little girl but has the heart and will of a lioness. At times, I wish that Jam would do the same with him because he continually pushes her personal space boundaries. Mostly, I think this is because he is completely infatuated with her. If he’s not with her, he is looking for her. She is very smart though. She has found some very good hiding places. In fact, there are times when even we have a hard time to find her. For the most part though, she is very patient and tolerant with him. Until she’s not!! Lol

We got the dynamic duo, pictured above, from another farm in the area, when they were just young kittens. At the time of my heart attack they were only six months old. I am very glad that Jam had them as companions, as they were all mostly home alone, everyday, for a few weeks. They are loving little kitties and our bond with them is very strong.

We have not had a dog friend on the homestead since our little mix breed, Jessie, passed away, just before my heart attack. We have tossed around the idea of adding another dog friend, but considering my health issues it has just never seemed to be the right time. Between the wild life, our two laying hens, Waffles and Tiny, our three indoor cats, Berry, Jelly and Jam, and Missy in the “guest house”, it would seem that the homestead is well populated. One day, I am sure, another friend will find his or her way to our little piece of heaven. The funny thing is that 99% of the animal friends we have or have had, have been rescues or individuals who have chosen us, as their human companions. I believe that if it is meant to be for us to have another member added to our family, it will happen all on its own. Just like it has so many times before.

I am an animal empath and I am very grateful that I am. Especially now that I understand it! I am not some kind of freak of nature. Or someone who is being ridiculous and making things up. Or someone who needs to “grow a thicker skin”. I have a wonderful gift and every day is a wonderful new journey for me and my animal friends and companions. Getting to this point has been a process that has taken time and requires doing the work to gain more understanding. I am doing the work and I am enjoying the benefits and happiness that comes with it

For those of you out there who understand, I know that you can relate to the very special bond that can exist between two beings. To me, there is nothing in this world that feels any better than to give and receive true love, compassion and respect from another like yourself. I believe the feeling that comes with being authentic and real, in an environment free of all judgment, is a true gift.

I am so grateful for the bonds I have had throughout the years with all my animal friends and I know that one day I will be reunited with those who have passed on. They may be gone from this realm but they are not forgotten and they are truly missed. I think about them every day. There are times when I get sad that they are no longer with me, here in this life. When that happens, I remind myself that I will see them again someday and it will be a reunion like no other. Until such a day comes, I will hold the precious memories of them close to my heart!

As Always,

Love Tanya Jean