Thursday, 16 October 2014

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

My grandparents Lamothe had 15 children and over one hundred grandchildren.

Though it had not been in my plans, I hadn't paid attention to the details of the route, I visited my cousin Thérèse while walking from Montreal to Deerfield on September the 6th.

I live in the province of Ontario and my cousin Therese lives in the province of Québec.  I knew she lived in St. Jean sur Richelieu.  And I also remembered that she said that she spent a summer at our house babysitting when I was two.  It had seemed a fond memory for her though I had no memory of it.

Though there was a memory of a photo.  I wrote to my brother Henri, current keeper of my late parents' album and he found exactly what I was looking for.

I will get a photo printed for Thérèse and write to her.
I believe Thérèse is the cousin on the right, holding my late brother Jacques.

This journey was more than one to do with ancestors from the 1700s.

I had lived and studied in Hearst, Ontario, for a year when I was 18 years old and I had not visited my  tante 'live. I did not make the same mistake this time.

I enjoyed my visit and learned that my cousin
was loving

She gave me a rosary that she had crocheted herself.

(photo to come)

Our grandmother Lamothe would have been proud of us.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Have I put up a photo of Dean and I yet?  Nice of you to arrange Fox Hill Rd as an encounter when you mapped our route, Dean!;~)  And if this photo were large enough, you could see my life-time friend, Pauline, reflected in Dean's sunglasses.  And I am wearing the bracelet I purchased on Isle La Motte on day 6 our first day off.

Someone asked if I had ever found the bracelet.

No I didn't.

Here is what it looked like:

It had a large blown-glass green heart.

I walked wearing it the whole week it was mine.
I imagined giving and receiving love
as I breathed.

It made walking easier.

I wore it
whether it was
warm or cold.

I noticed
it had
a small pink heart
a small green heart.

At the end of this day, I noticed it was missing.
We had walked a very long way.
We checked the photos,
and I knew it had been lost earlier in the day.

Maybe around Wells River,
where I had rushed down to the shore.

Heading home,
we stopped 
I checked.

I was okay
not having it.

I did email
the store
where I had 
purchased it.

I have received no reply.

Upon my return,
I received a glass bead bracelet
my daughter and granddaughter
had strung together.
I has a metallic thread, 
and a strong clasp.
The beads are green and blue.
It was made with love.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Nail polish, during walk, first rubbed off on toe
next to my shortest toe, then the toe next to my 
tallest toe. Normally that never happens.
Happily no pain occurred in this area.

No pain in my right foot this morning and I did not put any cream on last night.

Last Wednesday, I went to my massage therapist, Catherine Proulx, for my monthly massage.  She informed me that the pain in my foot was from a ? that went from my big toe, over the top of the foot, and up the front of my leg.  She manipulated it. At first touch, it was sore.  The gentle manipulation eased the pain. Then she iced it.

When I got home and told Dean about it he suggested I use the Arnica cream he had since our first naturopathic doctor, Dr. Laura recommended it to him.  I didn’t remember he ever had this.

Then on October 11th, I get a late summer newsletter from Naturopathic Perspective.  Included is: Note the third item is Arnica oil!

For Your “Naturopathic” First Aid Kit
Calendula ointment/cream - treating minor cuts and abrasions
Tea tree oil - Treating minor cuts and abrasions, burns, earaches, hives, rashes, sunburns, and can even help with the removal of ticks.
Arnica oil - Known for its anti- inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, helps with aches, bruises and sprains on unbroken skin. •Distilled witch hazel - Helps heal bruising, reduces swelling and itching, and can be used to soothe skin that has come in contact with poison ivy and poison oak.
•Burt’s Bees lip balm – protects/ treats lips from wind and sun burn
Note the third item is Arnica oil!

So the next day, I check the book, Ecoholic Body: Your Ultimate Earth-Friendly Guide to Living Healthy & Looking Good by Adria Vasil, published by Vintage Canada and sold at Goodness Me, to see how good the book is.  I looked in the index and there it was: arnica cream, p. 231, arnica cream for pain relief, p. 199. It says it is great for reducing bruising and swelling. 

199: “Arnica cream is a staple in many cupboards (mine now) for slathering on bumps, bruises and pulls. This European herb has great anit-inflammatory properties and helps speed up healing.  Remember to avoid wild arnica (scarcity.) Best to get a certified-organic arnica product by Canadians St. Francis Herb Farm Oil.

So it was the 3rd time in less than a week that “Arnica” has come to my attention.  I thought you’d want to know about it.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

As promised in my last posting, here is the set of photos I did not get to blogging yesterday.

We were walking on a road on Grand Isle situated on Lake Champlain, a week after school started this year.

I spotted this playground ship to the side and behind the school.  It was too far for my lens to capture.  I told Pauline I was going, and to hold her back, I asked if she would take a photo of the school's sign.

As I approached, I would not have been surprised to have a principal or vice-principal come out and inquire what I was up to. (It happened to me as recently as last year when we were on Jersey Island.)  No one did here and I was free to take a photo.

Or two.  I think this is the coolest newsletter.  It was posted in the playground. I've no doubt this is a happy environment for children.

Here is the cheerful sign for North Hero School.  I hope Pauline wasn't upset when I took my own photo.  Can't remember now, but I think she started walking again.  I wasn't calling her my "Pacer Bunny" at that point.  I am grateful that Pauline was there.  It wouldn't have been as great a quest without her.

On the second day of our walk, the first day felt like a dream.  I had to find ways of remembering.

With this last capture, I got my answer to why no one was too worried abut someone walking about.  The school and the municipal offices shared a common space.

Today, as I processed these images, I notice that one of the places on the map is named Carrying Place!  I wonder if this was where 3 three old Abigail and other little children were carried on Lake Champlain in 1704!

Sunday, October 12, 2014 _Child Care

The first photo of this series on Child Care / Day Care I took because I liked the play on words.

The second was of a Maman who had run past us. When we caught up to her, she was doing sit-ups and kissing her son every time she got up.  She was a good sport and let me take their photo and even  do a video, though she didn't replicate the kissing.

Some places had very old signs to indicate that children lived in the neighbourhood.

By the time, I saw this sign, I was committed to taking photos of early childcare.  Certainly because Abigail was not quite four, when she was captured.  Thankfully, she was well cared for, either having been carried and/or pulled in a sleigh.

Some things have changed since 1704 and some things have not.

Some of you may remember the green flag carrying turtle I shared back on Day 21 - September 23rd_to alert drivers that school children that children were crossing at the time it is standing up.  Here are the photos I took as we walked from Montreal QC to Deerfield, MA. 

I noticed some neat playgrounds.

* Tomorrow, I hope to have time to put up a photo of another school yard

This black silhouetted image, though lacking one child, reminded me of the Dionne Quintuplets from Ontario.

We had lots of two and four-footed company on Day 25 - Sept. 27.

Good to see that some still play the old game of tic tac toe.

Pauline and I loved the whirligigs with a rainbow bicycle! Bye for now.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Day 34 – October 6, 2014 – Second post

I’m grateful that Dean made note of my comments re what I learned during this journey, as I drove the three of us home from Richfield Springs, NY. My apologies if there is a repeat from the previous post as it is October 11th as I write this and I have a nasty cold (which manifested itself suddenly as I went to bed our first night home!)

40. I learned that when there is a (USA) road sign indicating an upcoming exit, it comes immediately after the sign.

41. I learned how runners can run while in pain.  The pain sensors shut down after 15 minutes or so.  The only problem is they kick in again after a brief stop.

42. I practiced acknowledging the pain by breathing to the area and it worked resolving the pain.

43. I read the 7 suggestions that Janet Heartson, shaman and B&B hostess in Barnet, VT lists in her book, Extraordinary Moments in an Ordinary Life, p. 138, “Lessons in Dealing with Chronic Pain”.  “Cry” is the 7th suggestion.  (For any of you wanting to know more, send me an email at

44. “Our bodies are motion detectors!” This came to me as I drove and was a real insight.  (I think I mentioned it in the first 39 things I’ve learned.  If I am correct, the explanation will be there.)

45. When walking for a long duration, songs arrive in your head, without use of radios or other technology.  (I paid attention to these and looked for the songs to post on Facebook.) Songs included Wade in the Water (when did I learn this one?), Blackbird.  Some songs came after the walk: I have been dreaming I am walking. The song was I’m Never Coming Home.  I also had children’s nursery rhymes repeat in my mind e.g. Ma p’tite vache a mal aux pattes. (Were my own legs aching at the time?!)

46. I learned that Pauline came up with a song she was familiar with and that she had come to associate with me.  Merci Pauline Bernard for the gift of this song! Chante là ta chanson!

47. By using the voice messager on my iphone, I realized how much time I spent thinking in French. The fact that Pauline was with me probably was a significant factor.

48. Individuals organize differently.  We have organizational preferences.  I am grateful for seeing this article in an old magazine at the laundrymat in St. Johnsbury, VT. It is an important realization and we should include and respect this fact about others who are not like us.

49. One question I had before setting out on this journey was “What did they eat?” I’ve learned that both our stomach and our bowels temporarily shut down during this arduous task. (This also happens when giving birth.) I am awed by the amazing abilities of our bodies!

50. Another question was “Who witnessed this?” We walked the whole length of Vermont from North to South.  Before leaving Vermont by car, we stopped to see rescue animals and old stuffed animals of the area at the 100 mile view close to the Molly Stark State Park.  This is information I needed to know.

51. I wanted to know who Molly Stark was, who had the rare honour of having a state park named after her.  The info that follows was not on the panel by the 100-mile scenic view!

“Elizabeth ‘Molly’ Paige Stark was…strong willed and social, and didn’t bow to her husband’s demands. She was instrumental to the American success at the Battle of Bennington; afther the General departed west from New Hampshire, Molly recruited more men for the New Hampshire Militia. She even converted her homestead barn into a hospital to care for wounded from both sides. The approximate westward routh that Stark and his volunteers followed is commemorated by the Molly Stark Trail Scenic Byway.” From Molly Stark State Park Map & Guide pamphlet (Wilmington,VT)

52. I learned from my friend and walking companion, Pauline, to continue to communicate privately with my loved ones, my family.  Blogging and Facebook, public communication modes, are no substitute for personal communication.  Merci Pauline!

53. Walking in memory of an ancestress who was born 314 years ago, taught me that our family Tree is alive and well.  I dare say from roots to tree top!  (I am grateful that Dean taught me how to use voice messaging on my iphone so that this thought was not lost.

54 a. Not sure what I was saying when Dean wrote “no paint to preserve.”  Only thing I can think of is that I did not have my journal, paints and watercolours with me when came the time to spend time at the Deerfield cemetery to draw the burial mound.  That experience taught me to go with the flow.  So instead, I stood for an hour or so on the steps of the Nims’ house, under cover from the rain.  That proved to be the best place for me to be, to consider what Abigail remembered and how she and her father each felt at the time of the captivity.

54 b. Dean reminded me what I meant.  The old houses in Deerfield were built before there was paint.  It seems they did not need paint to be preserved.  They fared well in their weather-worn state.

I did not take a photo of the unpainted houses in Deerfield.  I do have one of one side of the building from our B&B in Barnet.  It had been an old creamery.

55. I learned that there is no age limit to enjoy butterflies.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Day 34 – Monday, October 6th, 2014

During this journey, I learned, in no particular order:

1.     to use voice message on iphone to hang onto/record my passing thoughts_thanks Dean
2.     that we get a rhythm: as we walk.  When we took a day of rest, it took longer to get ready the next day than it did on the following days.
3.     that it is enjoyable and relaxing to spend 4-5 hours of the day walking
4.     that I didn’t want the walk to end
5.     see #7 to # 11 in Dean’s blog ( )
6.     that not everyone has the same expectations or interests in a common project
7.      that I like to leave certain matters to chance or to others, given the opportunity e.g. the map
8.      there are a lot of leopard frogs on Grand Isle, Lake Champlain, VT
9.     to trust my intuition
10. which animals/creatures live in Vermont
11. not to lend my car when I am on a project
12. not to put myself second
13. about the life of Ebenezer Nims, half-brother to Abigail, in Lorette, QC
14. about the life of Godfrey Nims, father of Abigail, in Massachusetts
15. that I should have had orthodics in my hiking boots as well as in my walking shoes
16. that I like lean-tos in campgrounds, as they keep our tents drier when it rains
17. about the marital ceremony of Huron Indians (as they were called in the 1700s)
18. to create on my feet
19. to fictionalize
20. that doctors can be kind, practical & have a sense of humour
21. to wear medical gloves for protection e.g. when collecting objects I picked up off the ground, along the way; to keep my hands dry when it rained all day
22. that it is effective to each have our own tasks
23. that changing the pace during a long walk, eg entering and walking around an antique store in Bellows Falls, NH, was restful and re-energizing
24. that I am comfortable “in my own skin”: I can stand still for an hour or sit by a pond, “doing nothing” for 35 minutes
25. by reading, that gray fox can climb trees
26. that I can focus on my task for 480 kms/300 miles: I told Abigail’s story all along the journey
27. to pay attention to the original meaning of words e.g. stony creek, stony brook, common wealth
28. that I needed to pack more pairs of underwear
29. that I needed gloves for warmth: I purchased black, silk gloves in an outdoor store in Burlington VT that did the trick
30. through conversation with Pauline, that lemon peels are good for the gardens: a natural insecticide
31. that I needed a notebook besides my art journal (and that they are called “composition book” at Staples, in Brattleboro, VT
32. that I didn’t have time to make use of my art journal, especially as I forgot it in the car at the appointed time
33. that my intestines virtually shut down during the long walk
34. on the first day, not to eat a big lunch mid-way in the walk
35. that I needed to count out how many calcium pills were in the jar before leaving home: I take 6 a day; I stopped taking them figuring my bones were getting a boost from the frequency and duration of the walk
36. that I am a nemophilist: one who loves the forest, it’s beauty and solitude (thanks JoAnne Dubois, for sharing this word on Facebook)
37.  that my hands and feet help me think too
38. that no matter how early I got up, I wasn’t ready to leave until ~ 8:30 am
39. that of the 3 (Dean and Pauline), I was the slowest paced

There may be more to add to this list.  I wrote this in my “composition book” before breakfast, having been inspired my Dean’s list-making before.

As I drove the RAVioli all the way from Richfield Springs, NY to home in Brant County, ON, Dean was recording my comments on what I’d learned in his app. Ever Note.

Our boarder crossing guard was a francophone born in Quebec. Bernard shared the same last name as my maternal grandparents.  We spoke in French. Of course, I told him about my great (x7)-grandmother Abigail Nims' life.