Nova Scotia … be careful it may get a hold your heart and never let go.

Each year for the past forty two years I have returned home to Nova Scotia. I guess you could say it tugs at my heart every year. If you want to find tranquility and have a good time, I’m betting it will yours too . It’s not just the place, it’s the people and the way of life that make it a place I long to return to as the summer draws near.

If you are thinking of going there are a few places I would recommend. Of course number one for me would be Cape Breton often named the #1 island to visit in Canada and North America. It’s a beautiful little Island with so much character and fun things to do.

Here are my TOP 10 places to visit in Cape Breton for a good time:

  1. Louisbourg is a great little town to check out. You can stroll along the fabulous 2km Louisbourg Lighthouse Trail where you will enjoy the sounds and sights of the ocean. It is always one of my favourite things to do. A few places you might like to stay are the Louisbourg Harbour Inn a lovely B and B , where you will be treated to a fabulous place to stay, a welcoming host and great food . For a new adventure you can try the newly renovated North Star owned and operated by down to earth celebrities Justin and Colin who will no doubt make this a memorable experience you won’t soon forget. You can also enjoy a great meal at Highway 22 or the newly opened Spoondrift Cafe  where you can expect a tasty meal made from some of the best locals. Of course you won’t want to miss visiting the Fortress of Louisbourg where you will take a step back in time to the 1700’s. For the past few summers I have visited the fortress and each time I enjoy something new.
Processed with MOLDIV Enjoying a brunch with Colin and Justin and the girls 2021.

2. The Miners Museum in Glace Bay is always a favourite of mine on a rainy day. You get to go down in the mines with a retired miner who will sweep you away with real stories of heroic men and women.

3. Cabot Links in Inverness is an amazing place for golfers , it’s also where my favourite beach in Nova Scotia is. You can spend hours walking up and down the beach. There is nothing like the smell of the ocean , the sound of the waves and warm sand beneath your feet while spending time with one of your best friends.

4. The Skyline Trail is worth the stop. The 6.5 km walk is definitely worth the view. It will not disappoint.

5. The beautiful village of Baddeck is a nice place to go sailing or enjoy a lobster dinner.

6. Ingonish on the Cabot Trail offers a great place to relax, swim and have fun. Try staying a day or two at the Keltic Lodge Resort and Spa.

7. Out on the Mira. Well it’s really my number 1 as we have a bungalow (cottage) there. Nothing better than a good swim in the Mira River or a kayak ride on the 55 km ( 34 mile ) meandering river. It’s my home away from home , it feeds my soul and I love it there. Be sure to stop at Mullins Rite Stop on the Louisbourg Highway and pick up a fresh loaf of bread and some treats on your way to wherever you are staying.

OUT ON THE MIRA …

8. Sydney the historic capital of Cape Breton. If you did not stop there on the way to Louisbourg then turn around and go back and make sure you have a bite at Flavour on the Water or Governors. A stroll along the harbour is always a good thing.

9. Cheticamp a place rich in Acadian culture. Be sure to stop by the Doryman for some music and memories.

10. The Cabot Trail is a must, but in the fall it is glorious. The 300 km loop of the trail, weaves around the incredible coast of Cape Breton with magnificent views.

I guarantee Cape Breton and all of Nova Scotia with more than 7,400 kilometres of coastline will hold a place in your heart forever and you will want to go back. Yes indeed , you must go back to see all the wonderful things it has to offer music, ceilidhs, the people , the vistas and so much more. Don’t leave home without the Doers and Dreamers guide so you can find out what is happening wherever you may travel. Cape Breton is but a beginning.

We Don’t Age Out Of Learning

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How fortunate am I to still be connected with youth. I love their energy and it helps me realize that I am still a learner. Being in an online school is interesting and challenging. It forces me to continue to learn new skills. I need to find multiple ways to connect with students and staff which forces me to learn new technology skills.

I love collaborating , so working with a team that is full of ideas invigorates me. As we work together to create a group for students online, I am reminded of the joy that learning can bring.

So just for today I will enjoy a cup of tea, learn something new and be excited that we never age out of learning. What are you learning these days?

The Best Yet To Be

I was honoured to be asked to speak to a group of amazing women at Words of Wisdom this morning and you too can join in any Sunday. What personal wisdom if any I have is nothing new, but my experiences have helped shape me into who I am and how I became a person full of optimism and hope.

I started off my session with taking a few spins on these wheels, you may wish to take a few spins too here and here. It’s a fun way to escape the worries of the world.

Here are the slides from my presentation:

I hope you can see that around the bend . There is much to be grateful for and the best is yet to be. Had I not had a worldview that felt and believed in hope , I am not sure how my life would have turned out.

My wish for you is that you can see the best is yet to be.

Meichenbaum Matters

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There are some therapists who contribute more than others to the helping professions and Donald Meichenbaum is one of them. I have been privileged to attend a couple of his trainings. If you ever get the chance I suggest you sign up for one. I love that he has so generously given us resources that are not only practical, but helpful. If you are a School Counsellor/ Psychologist or Psychotherapist I know you will enjoy his book the Roadmap to Resilience . Bonus it’s free.

Thank you Dr. Meichenbaum for all the work you do with the melissa institute to help othersl

Nova Scotia Hugs

I am often asked where to go in Nova Scotia. If you are looking for a few tips let this be your guide.

TIPS 4 YOU

Stay tuned for more to come.

A- Z Tips for Alcohol Inks

  • Anything goes, have fun.
  • Be like a child and create.
  • Create, don’t critique.
  • Don’t give up … Don’t be afraid to try new things … pour and play.
  • Experiment with different papers like Yupo and different inks.
  • Forget about your worries and create art instead.
  • Get your space ready to play.
  • Have a blast. 
  • Imagine all the great things you will create.
  • Just be yourself and create what makes you happy.
  • Kindness matters when you start out. Everyone can do art and we all get better with time.
  • Let go and let it flow.
  • Mistakes make marvelous art pieces.
  • Music brings out the creativity in you . Listen while you create.
  • Practice , Practice, Practice.
  • Quit saying you can’t … you can!
  • Relax and let the paint take you away.
  • Safety matters, ventilation and masks make for a safe work space.
  • Trust the process.
  • Uplift friends who are new to alcohol inks.
  • Visualize what you’d like to create, then do it!
  • Watch lots of artists’ YouTube videos.
  • XO from me to you.
  • You’ve got this!
  • Zazzy that’s you and so will your paintings be.

The Best Is Yet To Be

As I put away my Christmas decorations for another year I reflect and acknowledge that although it has been a very quiet time with just my husband and I and not the Christmas I had hoped for; I also recognize that I have so much to be grateful for. So many have heartbreaks and challenges that are unimaginable at this time of year, leaving many families with much grief and sadness.

I need hope in my life. So I must look at each day expecting that the best is yet to be. That things will get better and even if this year brings more Covid and life challenges, I will look at what I can do not what I can’t to make this year the best it can be.

It’s A New Year … It’s A New Day

2021 was an extremely challenging year for me. Loss, Covid in many of my family members, eye issues (plenty of those), plus many other unpleasant life experiences, so I need a new story for this next chapter. I need to bring passion back into my life. Life will always bring us tough times, some years more than others.

In 2022,

  • I will look forward to each day, creating new ways to find hope for myself.
  • I will do new things.
  • I will change my story to one of true acceptance of all the things I cannot change.
  • I will focus on opportunities instead of obstacles.
  • I will give more love to myself and those around me.
  • I will remember to be grateful that I am alive and acknowledge that I have much to look forward to.
  • I will choose to live fully as much as humanly possible each day.
  • I will be a better version of myself.
  • I will recognize that I am human and will have sad times, but I will not stay in those feelings.

I’m not finished yet and neither are you. It’s a new year … it’s a new day to really live. #walkalongwithme

These Eyes Have Many Stories

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This year has been challenging for so many reasons, but one personal reason is the loss of my eyesight and independence.

I started the year off great and then slowly I started noticing my vision was becoming blurry. More blurry than usual. I have pellucid marginal degeneration. In November of 2017 I had crosslinking and limited PRK. Afterwards I had amazing vision even without glasses for a year, Then I needed glasses again which was no big deal, but in December of 2020 , I noticed something was wrong.

My optometrist who I respected moved away and my surgeon and opthamologist was no longer seeing patients. So I had to find a new optometrist and opthamologist, no easy feat during covid.

Long story short over two months later, I got in to see a new opthamologist who diagnosed me with eye herpes. Who knew you could get herpes in your eyes? Not me or most people I knew. So began the treatments.

Then another twist I had to go to Nova Scotia unexpectedly and find another opthamologist and optometrist who could treat me there. Luckily that all worked out. I have been unable to drive since January and to say that has been difficult for me is an understatement.

Fast forward to today and I am getting closer and closer to better vision. I just got fitted for sclerals and I am feeling very hopeful, not only that I will see better ,but that I will drive and get my independence back.

I don’t always make a big deal about my vision loss so often people forget and think I can see things that I can’t like menus in fast food places,misspelling words in emails. I worked all throughout this time and luckily I work with very compassionate people.

I sometimes feel overwhelmed in big stores because of the lights and can’t find what I am looking for. Of course when I ask for help it looks like I can see so instead of telling my story I just manage as best as possible.

I continue to wear my glasses for now even though they don’t help one little bit , I just feel more comfortable with them on. It’s hard to admit to myself that I am visually impaired, but it is even more difficult to admit to others. I cannot see people or things at a distance and actually you have to be pretty close up for me to recognize you these days.

I end up paying for a lot of things related to my sight because it is not covered by my insurance. I am hoping in the future this is not so.

I am hopeful that this invisible disability I have will be more understood in time.. It is my responsibility to try and educate others as best as I can and do what I can to advocate for others.

Loss of sight affects more than 1.5 million Canadians. Awareness around the issue is still relatively small. You’ve got to speak up if you want to be heard. Not that doing so is easy, but I will do my part. My eyes matter and so do yours. I am hopeful that I will gain new eye sight and independence in the near future. I am hopeful technology will change things for me in my lifetime (it already has) and I know it will for the youth that are newly diagnosed with keratoconus and corneal related issues.

There is a wonderful website I have found during this time, hadley edu and if you need assistance with your vision they are amazing. More websites should use their contrast feature. Check it out , it is so helpful.

I remain very optimistic even though I cannot presently see clearly.

These eyes they have many stories to tell.Feel free to just ask me , and you may start to see things differently yourself.