Friday, December 10, 2010

Well, fooey! We got the road in to a certain point, but things have grown up so much I couldn't be sure where we were. Timmy and Wayne went tramping around in the woods looking for a place that corresonded to my description, while I went back up to the house for an aerial photograph. When I came back, they said they had found it. They had indeed found a place with a lot of stumps that looked like old pulpwood choppings. But I don't understand it, because the place never seemed to change in the years I lived here, and now there's trees 15 feet tall at least. So I told Wayne go up to the highest part of the ridge, where it starts to go downhill toward the big brook, and work from there back towards the swamp. Then I went back to the house, but it was already after 3PM and, as early as it gets dark, I don't think he got very far.
Early this morning before it got light, it snowed, and more snow fell off and on through the day, so he won't be able to do more til it goes, which might not be til next spring, now. However, the road is there, now. I wish I could just walk around like I should be able to, and be sure of the location, but the spaces between the trees aren't all big enough to get through on the 4-wheeler.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Right now, as I type this, Wayne, the guy with the mulcher, is down in my woods, clearing the roadway into the place where I am going to plant the labyrinth! A very light dusting of snow fell last night, but nothing that will cause the machine any trouble. The temperature must be about freezing, but it is a clear, sunny day so far, with only a few clouds around the edges and it should warm up some. By some time this afternoon, barring breakdowns, it shoud be done.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I just went to the bank and deposited the money I have been making on lilac spoons. There were $201 I had accumulated over the past few weeks and $225 I took in in the last fair, so $426 altogether. That brings the total in the account to $2092.56. I had $395.34 to start with, so there is $1697.22 for the labyrinth, $1447.22 of which came from lilac spoons. Something must be worong with my figuring. Maybe that 22 cents came from interest, because I put all my prices in even dollars; it simplifies change-making. I think that all came from one lilac bush, too.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I have been away for a few days at a Christmas craft fair with my wooden spoons, so I will have some more to deposit in the labyrinth account, but I haven't added that up yet. Came back with some more lilac wood, too, given to me by a customer who had been going to burn it.
I told some of the customers who bought lilac spoons what their money was going to be used for and at least a couple said to let them know, because they would come walk it when it is done. I gave them the address of this blog where information like that will be posted.
I called the clearing guys again to see when they were going to come. That project has been on hold on account of snow, which apparently makes the mulcher machine choke on the chips, but the snow gradually disappeared during the last week and has been completely gone since last Thursday or Friday. Timmy said he had been going to call me tonight to tell me he talked to Wayne this morning who said he had started another job with his machine and wouldn't be free to come til Thursday. No snow is predicted this week, so I hope their prediction is accurate.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Well, the weather office forecast still showed rain all day, but in fact, it snowed all day, not heavily, but steadily. It was above freezing, so it didn't stick on bare ground, but it did add more where it fell on top of snow that was already there. So still nothing done. I hope there will be a day before the snow comes to stay for the winter.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rattus drattus! The heavy equipment didn't come today either. I called the dozer operator about 9 AM and he said he hadn't known before, but the mulcher operator said you can't use that machine in the snow, because the snow turns to ice and plugs the opening where the brush goes in or the chips come out. (I didn't understand which.) They are hoping for rain, which was being predicted for tomorrow, but I don't know if it still is. Some snow went today, but the majority is still there. On the north side of this house the icicles on the bumper of my truck grew, while snow melted in the sun on the south side.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Well, this is Monday, when the heavy equipment operators had said they'd come, but I got a call from the wife of one saying that as they were getting ready, Wayne, the guy with the Mulcher discovered that the teeth of his machine were pretty dull, so he decided they had to be sharpened. This will take most of the day, so they won't come til tomorrow. I'm in favor of sharp teeth on any tool that has teeth. I always sharpen a chain saw when it gets dull, so that sometimes I have annoyed people by stopping to sharpen my saw several times a day when I had to work under conditions that made it dull quickly. He will do a better job quicker with it sharp. I wish some of this 6" of snow that has fallen in the last few days would go, too, but a few inches of snow won't slow down big machines much.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Well, I have finally called the heavy equipment operators to come clear the land. I had hoped to get in there before I called them to choose the eact spot, but there turned out to be too much stuff in the road for me to do it right away. I have been really busy making spoons, and also working on the woodshed to get it done before winter and I could see I won't have time to do it in time to get it cleared before winter. So they are coming Monday.
I won't be able to take my time deciding where to put it. Once they get the road good enough for me to get in on my 4-wheeler, I will have to tell them where to clear so they can go ahead and do it. But it is going to be ready for planting next spring!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I finally got down to the road into the labyrinth place again, now that my 4-wheeler is going. I cut the last tree that was blown down across the road. It looked too rotten on the outside to be good for anything but firewood, but actually it is pretty sound inside and it will make a floor joist for my woodshed, maybe 2 of them. It was late in the day, but I drove on in the road, since I had that tree out of the way, but I found a bunch of little trees coming up in the middle of the road, to the point I couldn't get by. I hope I'll get a chance to cut those and go on in at least til I see if I can get across the swamp. I may not be able to get over, in which case I will try going around by way of the neighbors' property. It used to be possible to get in that way. My nephew and his stepson and a friend of his came over not long before dark and lifted the two left over house timbers onto the concrete posts to make the sills of the woodshed. I sure hope I can get that done before it snows. But that is not part of the lilac labyrinth project, so I suppose it doesn't really belong here.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Today I went to the post office to mail a package containing 4 lilac spoons to Florida. The post office clerk said, "Good place for them! I don't like lilacs!" She said the smell makes her sick. I thought, "How strange!" She said her mother was the same way. I have never heard anyone else say anything like that.
I think I have finally got my 4-wheeler in running condition, after taking it to the shop and getting it back and that very day it quit again. I ncalled the repairman at home and he came out on Sunday and got it going again. More water in the gas! How did it get there? I will be cautious, though, til I've tried it out. But maybe now I can get out to the labyrinth place and decide on just where. Then I'll call the guy with the machine.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I already have $68 more to deposit in the lilac labyrinth account! That means I have sold something like $1089 worth of lilac spoons. I still have a dozen or so more lilac spoons and one more piece of the bush I didn't cut up yet. (I'd better do it pretty soon. It'll be a wonder if there isn't significant loss by cracking.) But that is a lot of money to make off one lilac bush. So I'm sorry for the old man whose bush it was but it was certainly valuable to me and the lilac labyrinth that his sons cut it down.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I am going to write a new post instead of answer the comments on my last one individually. By the time I got to the bank I had $80 to deposit to the lilac labyrinth account. I got a few more dollars today, I think $8.
There is a guy who works at the shop where they repair things like my 4-wheeler, who lives a few miles farther away from there than I do, and he said he'd come over and get it this weekend to take to work with him on Monday to fix it. I did some more testing and monkeying with it myself and I find the battery is OK, the headlights and the electric winch work, since I shined up the piece that connects to the battery, but the starter still doesn't give even a click. It could be the starter motor, the relay, the push-button start switch, one of the 2 safety interlocks meant to keep you from starting it in gear without the brake on, the ignition switch, or just a bad connection. I'm going to let them figure it out, since I have to get them to replace the cracked gas tank which keeps getting rainwater in it, anyhow.
I will answer Margie's question here, because it may be something I should make clear to other people: Yes, you can use a lilac spoon for cooking or eating. It is more important than most woods to keep putting some olive oil on to prevent cracks developing on account of swelling and shrinking, because it is so hard. It is the only wood I've been able to make an eating fork out of without the prongs breaking off, which shows it is very strong.
I was eating some of the last picking of beans of the year when I started writing this post. I think the bean plants are still surviving, in spite of light frost, but they won't produce any more, so I got my nephew's stepson to pick all that remained.
I heard from my friend Kathy that her brother in Pennsylvania reports the same thing about the leaves there, and a friend in Maine also says the same thing, that the leaves are falling without turning color. It gives a strange feeling, but today it did feel more normal, because a lot of the remaining leaves have now turned color.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

I just added up what I sold this week and it comes to $64 worth of lilac spoons. That is $60.02 more than I needed to reach my goal! So, I can tell them any time to come clear the land. But I want to go in there myself and look first, if I can, which depends on getting my 4-wheeler to start. I continue to have electrical problems.
But it's the middle of the night, and I can't go on about it now.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I got out my bank book this morning and did some calculations and it shows only $8.98 left to go!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Well, sold one more lilac spoon today and deposited $44 in the account, which included the amounts from last week. Only $10 or so left to go, according to what I remember, but I didn't check what that was before I sat down to write this, so I don't know if I remember correctly. But I have to go the dentist tomorrow in Sydney, which is 1 1/2 hours away, so I probably won't get much else done. I forget what I reported in my last message, so I will not go any farther, in order not to repeat myself.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Well, not much to report, but I guess I should report it anyhow. I have not sold much of lilac lately. One spoon and 2 spreaders, I think, for a total of $26. I have gone down to cut the logs across the road, but not worked on it a long time any of those times, because I have too much else to do. I have been picking my cornmeal corn ((and wishing I had done it sooner) and making salsa and canning string beans as well as applesauce. So I have made slow progress. I have one tree that is up in the air, leaning across the road into the trees on the other side. I could go under it for now, but I suppose I had better get it out of there. Then one little pole over the road a little farther along. Then nothing else in sight, and I won't know til I go around that corner if there's anything on the next stretch.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Thoisich mi!

Nobody bought a single thing of lilac at the markets this past weekend. But I made a little start on getting the land cleared anyhow. I went down with my 4-wheeler and cut the first 4 of 9 blown-down trees I can see blocking the road into the place. There may well be more farther in. I dragged one of them up to the house with the 4-wheeler and cut it up. It seemed pretty rotten on the outside, but it is tamarack, which doesn't rot fast, so the inside is sound and it will make good firewood.
There is a sort of road going over to the place, made, I suppose, when they cut the pulpwood there, if not before. But I have not been able to drive in there with my machine, because of the trees across the road. Maybe, if I cut them I can get there, though I don't know if I can get across the swamp. It is going to need a culvert eventually. It would be an advantage to be able to go over and choose the site before I call the machine operators at all. I guess I could go around through the neighbors property, but I'd probably have to clear a road there too. Still, that would avoid the swamp.
There is a woman who wants to help by buying a lilac spoon, but what she is doing is replacing her favorite one that broke, so I think I should try to make her one more or less like it, but I don't have a lot of lilac wood left. I need to make more spoons anyhow and started a batch yesterday, but I had all kinds of trouble yesterday at everything I did. It seemed I couldn't do anything right, and I got less than half as many done as I hoped. I hope it goes better today. Anyhow, I'd better go work.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Within reach

This will answer Margie's comment as well as bring this up to date. I did not go to the market on Saturday, but I did on Sunday and also today, Wednesday. I also deposited $107 more, which brings the total now to $1541. Only $54 more to go! I was mistaken when I posted that I'd deposited $272, because in fact I deposited $242 last time. Anyhow it is possible one more market and I will have enough, surely another week or 2, anyhow. And I have 4 sticks of lilac wood left to make spoons out of too, each about 4 feet long, but only one thicker than 2 1/2 " or so..
Sunday I met a woman at market who is a naturopath. She already had heard about me, because she is friend of some friends of mine, and my son-in-law has gone to her as a physician as well. Anyhow, I figured a naturopath would take an interest in a labyrinth, and so she does. I asked her to look for lilac bushes that have a lot of little ones to dig up when the time comes to plant.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I just want to mention that I checked my fair book and found that I left out $25 worth, so I should have deposited $297 instead of $272. So it's closer than I was figuring. This is the time of year that the tourists and summer cottage people go home, though, so the markets are likely to slow. Still, I don't have so far to go.
I have been working hard all day on spoons, not lilac spoons this batch, plum and apple ones. I've been having trouble keeping up, and I wonder if I should stay home Saturday and make more. The bearing this has on the lilac labyrinth is that if I don't go to the market, I won't sell any lilac ones either. One of my sisters sent me a message yesterday that she knows someone who is going to a big fair to sell something she and her husband produce, and she has offered to take some of my spoons as well, but I don't have anything to send her right now, and it will have to be sent pretty soon to get there in time, especially since it could be held up in customs.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Closer and closer

Today I went to the market in Baddeck, and one lady bought, along with several others, the most expensive spoon on the table, I think, a lilac one with a sort of basket of a gnarly place in the wood in the handle, for $36. So I told her about the lilac labyrinth, but she didn't know much about labyrinths, not even the difference between a labyrinth and a maze. Nevertheless when she paid her total she had $1 change coming. She said to add that to my labyrinth fund.
My intent was to figure out how much I had made that had to go in that account, and deposit it on the way home. But I forgot to figure it up before I went in the bank, so I tried to do it in my head, but I may have left out a few dollars. Anyhow, I put in $242 plus another donation, which which was a check for US $30. That came to $30.34 Canadian, so the total deposit was $272.34 and the total in the account is now $1434.35. So, if i figure right I have $160.99 to go to have the $1200 all out of money dedicated to the lilac labyrinth from the start. I probably have a few dollars of that, just because I had forgotten a few minor sales, but I'll check my book when I get out to the truck again.
I asked Robin about the link to my website and she said it had been on here, but she'd check. When she tried to put it back it said she didn't have the right password, but it worked for me just now. Something strange is going on. I'll tell her to try again.
I did ask Jan about the dimensions, and she said to make it what would work for me and not to worry about the proportions, because labyrinths are made with all sorts of proportions, according to what the maker has available. So I think I'll stick to my original dimensions, of 6' allowed for the row of lilac bushes and the same for the path.
My daughter and her little boy left this morning to return to Timbuktu and her husband, which is going to leave it pretty quiet around here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The money as of 22 August

OK! By the time I deposited the last lilac money I had a total of $1161.97. I have now sold $126 more worth of lilac spoons - well, one $9 little bowl among them. That makes $1287.97, if I figure right. Of course I had $395 in that account before I started putting in money from lilac spoons. Hmmm. Should I tell them now to go ahead and clear, or wait til I have the whole $1200 from lilac spoons and donations? It might not take so much longer. What do you think?
I also talked to someone who has made a labyrinth on her own place and she thinks I probably have to stick with the proportions between thickness of line and width of path used in Chartres cathedral to make it any good. I hadn't considered that, because it would make the whole thing impossibly huge. That concerns me, though, because what if it's true? Does anybody who reads this know of any way to find that out? If it is true, it might be necessary to make one with fewer circuits. But I want to know for sure before I make a decision.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I haven't gone to the bank yet because it's still Sunday, but I just added up all the lilac spoons I've sold and I only need about $41 more before I call the heavy equipment guys to clear the land!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


I went to the bank on Friday with the bankbook for the labyrinth account, which I had kept forgetting to take, and asked them to update it and put in $74 more. I had figured I should have $1100 and a little more when I put in the $74, but their figures showed only $959 or something like that. I will try to find the receipts, but although I do keep them, I am liable to lose some of them, too, and probably their figures are right. So I don't have as much as I thought, but I have prospered at the markets this weekend, and I have some more to put in, too.
Surely I will be able to get the clearing done by sometime next month. It may be longer than that before it actually gets done, because the man with the machine may not be able to come right away. Very likely he will be doing another job with it somewhere and I will have to wait til he has time.
Oh, I should say that last weekend a woman who has made a labyrinth in her field, the only one for a long way around, sent me by some guests in her inn, a folder of information on labyrinths, but I haven't had time to read it yet. She can dowse, but I have never had any success doing it, so, when it comes time to lay it out, I hope she will come and help me pick the exact location and the direction it should aim, or whatever you use dowsing for in laying out a labyrinth.
This doesn't have so much to do with the labyrinth, but I have been having some trouble keeping up with the production of enough spoons for my business and getting other things done too, like garden work. But I need to take a day and see if I can get the handles made for the cabinets in my house, especially the drawers, which are not practical to open without them.
This evening I went to the garden to get some greens for dinner, and found the kale seed ready to harvest. If I leave it too long, too much of it will fall on the ground, so I brought that all in and laid it on a sheet to dry a little more so I can thrash it out. But this all takes so much time and effort when my legs don't work any better than they do.
But I need to make more spoons. I have 4 pieces of lilac wood left, 4 or 5 feet long and maybe 4 inches in diameter. I will cut one, at least, up in my next batch, but I can't make all the spoons lilac, because not everyone wants lilac. I will make some apple and some wild cherry, too.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lilacs from Sobey's

I went to the farmer's market in Antigonish yesterday and saw my wonderful friend Jenny again for a while. After the market I went to a Sobey's supermarket to get some groceries. As I was leaving I heard someone call my name out. I looked all around but I didn't see who did it. They called a few times more and I finally saw it was an old friend sitting with her husband at a table you had to pass heading for the exit, selling tickets to a community picnic. I went back and talked with her for a while. Among other things, I told her about the lilac labyrinth. I said I have nearly enough money to get the land cleared but of course it will be necessary to buy a lot more lilacs. She said lilacs are all over the place and can be had for free. She told me her mother planted them many years ago and they have spread til they are taking over the yard and she has urged her brother to do something about them. She asked me if I have a truck. I told her I have a Toyota pickup. She figured it would take 2 trips. She said her brother has a backhoe and can dig them much faster than a person with a shovel. So she will give me lilac bushes when the time comes. I don't know how many that will be, but a significant number, for sure. So the necessary things gather little by little.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I just called the place I ordered those 200 lilacs from and reported the results of my examination of them last night. They immediately offered either a refund or a credit for those that did not survive. I said I'd take the credit, because I intend to get more next spring. So that is taken care of, as much as I can at present. But it wure would have saved a lot of waste if someone along the line would have taken better care of them. It looked to me as if they were kept in storage too long, or were too long on the way, being shipped.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The 200 lilacs as of 21 July

I ordered and planted what was supposed to be 200 lilacs, as I reported some time ago. But I had my doubts, because the buds of some were clearly live and green, beginning to swell, but most of them looked dead and even moldy. I called the place I ordered them from and reported my concerns. They said they'd replace them if they didn't grow. So today I went down and crawled through the whole patch on my hands and knees, marking + for each one that grew normally from its buds, - for each one that did not grow from the buds, but that sent a new shoot up from the root blow the ground, and 0 for each one that did not grow at all.
I find that 46 grew normally, 64 sent up a shoot from below ground, while the top stayed dead looking, and 94 did not grow at all. That adds up to 204, if I added right, but there were a few extra ones in there. So this is not such great progress. The 64 that grew a new shoot from below ground are now just at ground level or a little more, even if they don't die, while the 46 that grew normally are more like 18 inches to 2 feet tall.
I deposited another $172 in the account a week or so ago and today $100 more, but then I got home and figured it more carefully and found it should have been only $81. But, still, the total is now over $1000. Less than $200 to go before I call the man with the machine to clear the land!
I had not seen the report by Robin, with that picture of her with the lilac spoon I sent her in appreciation for beautifying this blog. She is the other person who has access to it, so she came in directly to thank me and show off her spoon. I hope she uses it, even if it is lilac!
One thing I tell customers at fairs and markets is that I worked for a rare book dealer for 9 years. We had some very old books, and when those books were printed, they put as many pages as could fit on as big a sheet of paper as they knew how to make in those days. The pages were printed in the right place, so if it was folded up right, they would be in the right order, and they were bound as folded sheets without having to cut them. Then, if you took your new copy to a bookbinder to have a cover put on that would match the rest of your library, as used to be the custom, the first thing he'd do would be to trim the edges off even, that would cut the folds. But if you kept it in whatever kind of covers the publisher put it out in, you'd have to take a knife and slit the folds or you couldn't turn the pages. We sometimes got books like that, that nobody had ever cut open, and the collectors would pay extra, but I think the author would feel bad nobody read his book.
Well, that's the way I feel about my spoons. Yes, they might get a stain on them, but I'd rather people use them. Well, it is nearly 1AM, and I better go to bed.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Journey of the Spoon

Dear, dear Terron,
I wanted to let you know that I received your wonderful spoon! What a treat to find it, so thoughtfully packaged and put in the mail.... and to think of you going through all the steps from carving it, to finishing it, to packaging and mailing it all the way from the magical place I imagine you live. And now, it has found a home in my kitchen on Osprey Lane in Ohio, USA... and we could not be more pleased.

My son said last night, as I shared the story of this spoon (and as he ran his hands across its incredibly smooth, smooth surface), "THIS, this, THIS is my favorite spoon ever." (And he meant it).

I've half a mind to frame it in a shadowbox with our lilac photos and hang it in my kitchen, so I will oft have the reminder to tell the lovely story of the lilac labyrinth. I will let you know. I'm sure the spoon will let me know how it wishes to be treasured.

Meanwhile, I am a bit saddened to hear your dilemma. In my experience, you are one of the most (if not THE most) straightforward, honest, REAL people I know and I'm guessing it is a bit unsettling for you to keep this project secret from one who means so much to you. I wish you well as you determine the next step on the journey.

Sending positive energy and so much gratitude for the gift of your lilac spoon!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hard to get privacy these days

Hi, whoever is reading, if anybody is.
I met at a market recently, a woman who said when the time comes to plant the lilacs she can donate some lilac bushes, starts from the ones in her yard. But I forgot to get her address or any means to contact her, so I hope she reads this and will let me know how to notify her when we are ready for them.
I examined the 200 lilac bushes I planted in a temporary spot and some are definitely growing, but worrisomely many are showing no sign of life yet. I am glad I called them pretty soon after they got here to tell them the buds looked dead on a lot of them.
I put $167 in the account for the labyrinth yesterday from the sale of lilac wood spoons. That brings the balance to $785. And I have sent a lilac spoon to my friend Robin for her help in making this blog beautiful.

That's all I can say for now.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Two Lilacs

The day before yesterday I noticed my 4-wheeler was starting kind of uneasily and I thought it might be because I had been driving it just short little distances and stopping again so it hadn't been running long enough to charge up for all those times starting. So I drove it down the driveway and back up through the field. The space between the old house foundation and the place where i planted the 200 lilacs is no more than 50 feet and I went through there.
There has not been a house there for over 60 years, and I have been there thousands of times without seeing any such thing, but I saw a little lilac bush, 3 or 4 feet tall with 2 clusters of blossoms on it. I wondered it that is a sign in favor of this project and I said so in a message in which I told my new friend Jenny.
She answered as follows:
" Aww Terron! That is the sweetest story yet! OF COURSE IT'S A SIGN!! It's just a baby lilac yet it bloomed! We may be a small group of people who believe in this project but we have power. I think your daughter would appreciate this project more if she understood what it means to you and what it stands for! It's unity, friendship, and love! People coming together for one cause that by the way, is not harmful in anyway. When this labyrinth is completed, there will be families of people who come to pray and just be somewhere with good energy. Family picnicks and it will bring so much happiness to people! I am so proud that you are so dedicated to this. That little bush was a sign to addess your worry and doubt in this project. You may feel a bit silly for taking on such a project, but if you keep faith and believe in what you're doing you will not only accomplish this, but inspire other people. You're creating love Terron! That's pretty damn special! I have 11 dollars in donations so far and I haven't even done anything but mention to my friends about the project! I will get out soon to go door to door. Today is a weird day weather-wise. It's cold, and hot, and sunny and raining.....Maybe another day would be better. I was thinking Sunday because lots of people will be home."

Friday, June 11, 2010

Two items of news

Two items of news: My magical new friend Jenny has come up with an excellent idea for raising money. She and her husband and some of their friends and relatives are musicians. She proposes to have a concert in a park and collect donations. This will take time to arrange, and likely won't happen before August. I told her that I have been advised that labyrinths are built with patience.
The other item is that the husband of my daughter called from Mali to ask if she was here. I didn't even know she was coming. This conversation was in French which I am not good at talking, but I understood he said she had already left and he wanted Faith's telephone number. So I e-mailed that and got back a thank you saying she left on AirFrance yesterday evening. She will be a big help here.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

When it comes time

Today my new friend whose message is on the last entry sent another one offering to come help, with a group of friends, if she can get them together, when it comes time to measure out the labyrinth and plant the lilacs. This is important, something I'll need but I had no idea how to make it happen. I have the feeling that it would be better for the labyrinth and the people who use it, to have people work on it who want to, not just do it for pay.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Encouragement from a new friend

The new friend I mentioned in the last entry gave me permission to use her message, provided I don't publicize her name and address, so here is most of the text of her message:

Terron! It's so funny you and I should meet when we did. I have always associated God (just another word for love in my opinion) with nature and then more specifically as I got older, flowers. A week before I met you my mother in-law brought me a beautiful bouquet of lilacs from her back yard. She said, "Jenny, you should have these. I had to trim my tree back this year and I can't have flowers in the house because I fill right up!" I guess she has allergies.
Anyhow, I should also note that when I was a little girl I would always steal flowers from the neighbours gardens and (especially lilacs!) take them home to my mother! They have been my favourite flower for a long time. Lately, I have been seeing them everywhere. Paintings, bouquets, tattoos, hair pieces.... Sometimes I will be walking down the street and smell them. I'll look around and there won't be a lilac bush in sight! Strange huh?! And if that's not a strong enough sign, BOOM! A big bouquet lands right on my coffee table!!
I'm not sure what it was, but I had a very hard time leaving your table. I felt that I needed to be there. It was a very strange feeling....My husband even said, "Jenny, there was something very special going on there for sure!"
My conclusion to these little signs I've been having is that this Lilac Labyrinth you're constructing is very important. I'm not sure why, but I just know in my heart that it is. Perhaps it has something to do with the sad state of affairs our Earth is in. I just don't know, but I know you're on the right path and doing something significant. I wish you all the best in your project and I will continue to support it in any way that I can manage.Wonderful to meet you!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

lilac spoon sales to date

Yesterday I went to Antigonish Farmer's Market, 2 weeks ago to the same, and today to Mabou Farmer's Market. At the markets so far this year the lilac spoons I have sold have brought in a total of $34. Not much, but this is the beginning of the season.
At the Antigonish market yesterday I met a woman who was an immediate friend. She has sent me two messages since, in the second of which she told me some remarkable things which bear on the subject of this blog. I think I'd better get her permission before I include any of it here, though.
It is so extremely wet I can't go plant in the garden. I tried 2 days ago and sank in so badly I was tearing up the ground and had to give up. It will be good for the transplanted lilac bushes, though, to get their roots in the ground and not be stressed for moisture to start.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Today was cloudy and windy and cold most of the day, with a couple small showers, but late in the afternoon the sun came out. The wind kept blowing, though. I went down about 4PM and planted the rest of the lilacs. So all 200 are properly in the ground where they will keep til I am ready for them.
I have sent the address of this blog to a couple or three friends who didn't know of it, and I intend to keep going through my inbox starting with the oldest pages until I have notified everyone who might take an interest.
I am too sleepy to write any more tonight.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It is not long before sunset now. Late in the afternoon the sun came out and after giving it some time to dry off I went out and planted for a while. I got about 40 planted, and I suppose I could have done more, but I was getting hungry, so I quit and came in. I am very muddy and getting a little cold as the sun stops sending any heat in the windows. I need to get the fire to burn better and maybe take a shower. 60 or so left to go.
It is pouring rain right now. Yesterday after 4PM I went out and properly planted 64 lilac bushes in their temporary patch, which brings the total too over 100, so there are less than half left just heeled in. But it was getting late and the black flies were bad, and there was not a cloud in the sky, which looked like today would be good too, so I figured I'd do the rest of them today. I didn't even take in the bucket of vegetable seeds which was sitting in the tub on the back of the 4-wheeler. There was still no cloud to be seen when I went to bed. But this morning it had clouded over. It still didn't look like it would rain soon. But when I looked out the window I saw raindrops on my truck already. I immediately went out and took in the seeds and covered the gas tank of the 4-wheeler which leaks rain water into the gas. Before I could get oatmeal cooked for breakfast, it had started to rain in earnest.
The rain is good for the lilacs, no doubt, and it would be good for them to be planted in the rain, but I'd get too wet and cold too quickly.
Yesterday I finished sanding the insides of one bucket of spoons and started sanding another one. I want to get those 2 buckets finished before I cut out more.
When I sand the lilac ones I smell the incense smell of the lilac wood right through my dust mask. I wonder if there is a way to make incense of the sawdust or shavings.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Greed Buds, Dead Buds

I should tell what happened the next day after my last post. I heeled in the rest of the lilacs, but i noticed that, although the first box, the ones i had already planted had healthy-looking green buds, and only a few bushes that didn't have, the others were reversed, only a few with green buds and most with dry, dead-looking buds. They didn't seem to be just dormant and hard, but dead and kind of crumbly. I called the place i got them from and they said they made a note of it and would replace them if they didn't grow. She asked if I'd soaked them, and I hadn't, but after reading the pamphlet they send with any order, it said for shrubs, soak the whole thing, not just the roots for several hours in muddy water. So I took them back out of the ground and soaked them in a barrel full of water. Then they went back in the ground, but still not individually, really planted. I hope to do a good deal of that tomorrow.
I talked to a neighbor and found how to fix a brake line like that. I have never had that trouble before. But the necessary repair parts, can't be had locally, but 40 minutes drive down the main highway. I have been trying to find someone who's going, but so far I haven't made contact. So I am stuck at home.
Today I built my second workbench in the shop and did one sanding on the insides of the batch of spoons that has been drying, which includes lilac, apple and maple. Two more sandings on the insides and then sand the outsides. And there is a bucket which is one step in the process behind that bunch. I think I should finish those before I cut out a bunch more, but I gotta get crackin' or the wood will.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

200 Lilacs!

This morning the man with the tractor came to rototill the garden and I had him do a patch for temporarily planting the 200 lilacs as well. Incidentally, I learned that it is his nephew who has the machine I hope to get to clear the ground for the labyrinth. Then I got ready to go to the post office.
The notice in the mail on Friday must've been the sandpaper. When I started for town to pick up the parcel, I stopped at the mailbox and there were 5 more parcel notices. When I got as far as the bridge just before you turn onto the pavement I noticed something not quite right when I stepped on the brake pedal, so I paid more attention when I stopped at the pavement. It definitely went down too far. When I arrived at the post office I nearly ran into the low concrete wall at the edge of the parking area even though I was being careful. I got down and peered under the truck. I saw dripping on the other side. When I went around and looked I found a brakeline had a serious leak.
While I was trying to figure out what to do, the clerk came out of the post office and said, "There are 5 big parcels for you. Want me to bring them out?" She brought them all out and leaned them against the truck, each about 6 inches square and 4 feet long. I put them in; then I had to go in and sign for the 6th, which was the sandpaper.
I was in a quandry because I had to get something done about the brakes, but I also had to get home for an important call from the MP's office lady who is trying to help me with an infuriating bureaucratic problem. So I started off carefully, using just the emergency brake, and went right past the garage and straight home, intending to call a mechanic this evening, to see if he could work on it if I bring it to his garage. After a long time waiting and calling about the bureaucratic problem I went out to plant. It had started to rain. I planted one box which contained about 42 lilacs from 10 inches to 3 feet tall, mostly 2 feet or so. Then I tried to plant some vegetables, but it had gotten so muddy I gave up after 3 or 4 feet of row, and came in, very soggy and cold and muddy. I had to take off my muddy shoes and pants in the shop and the rest of my clothes in the bathroom and took a hot shower.
I hope it drys enough tomorow to allow me to plant both some vegetables and the lilacs.
But I forgot to call the mechanic and I still have to do something about the brakes.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I don't know if the next step in this story is about to unfold or not, but I got a card in Friday's mail telling me i have a parcel at the post ofice. It might be the 200 lilac bushes I have ordered, or it might just be a package of sandpaper I also ordered. I was busy making ready for my housewarming which was yesterday afternoon and evening, so I hadn't looked in the mailbox til Saturday, and the P.O. wasn't open.
Johnny Matthews called Friday morning saying he is coming around with his tractor to rototill gardens "the first of the week". I will get him to rototill an extra area in which to put those lilacs temporarily til I get the land cleared, whether they come tomorrow or not for 2 more weeks.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Blooms & Birthdays

The way these blogs work, the first post goes off the page and I am concerned because that's the one that explains what this blog is all about. I intend to ask my friend and blog consultant, Robin, what to do about that, but I want to put here a notice to anybody who happens to read this for the first time to go to the bottom of the page and click on "Older Posts" and go to the first one to see the explanation of why I even made this blog in the first place.

Nothing more has happened as far as the labyrinth project itself goes that makes very exiting reading. The 200 lilac bushes I ordered have not shown up yet, but the 15 to mark the route of my water line have and I have planted most of them. The rest are just heeled in in the garden. I went out yesterday afternoon intending to plant them, but it was so cold I just planted the few handfulls of hulless oats I grew last year from a small sample. There is a Gaelic saying that whoever doesn't plant on a cold day won't harvest on a hot one, so I thought I should do it even if it was cold, and I'd plant at least a couple of lilacs afterwards. But it was blowing so hard and cold my hands were numb, and it started to rain, so I gave up.

The serviceberries (saskatoons, Indian pear) are a little past full bloom. Plums are blooming, the apple treees are slowly opening their buds into small green leaves. That is the stage things are at here.

It has been staying cold, in the 40s F (5-10C) in the daytime, which is quite a bit below the normal high of 14-15C (upper 50s to almost 60F).

I am working on another batch of spoons while the ones I made before dry enough for finish sanding. Some lilac, some apple, a few maple. I think there is a total of 54 in this batch.
Well, today is my birthday and my daughter and her husband are coming out, so I have to make sure everything is clean when they get here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I have been cutting up lilac wood into spoons and bowls and spreaders and I wish I could put the smell in my shop onto this blog and share it with all the people who read this. Lilac wood does not smell like lilac flowers; it smells like some kind of incense. I do believe you could actually make incense out of the sawdust by mixing some kind of binder with it and forming it into those punks that have a thin stick in the center and smolder away. When you cut it up into a spoon or the like, the smell eventually dries up and disappears, but it lasts for quite a long time, to a sensitive nose, and usually if you have occasion to sand the piece again, it comes back for a while.

I went down to the mailbox this morning to check the mail before the mailman comes, because I had neglected to check it yesterday. The 200 lilacs will be arriving one of these days, and I am a little apprehensive, because I will get a notice in the mail and have to go to the post office and pick them up. Then I will have to get them in the ground right away, and that will be hard for me in my present condition. I hope I can get a high school kid to help.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thanks to Robin!

Everything on this blog except for the text is here thanks to my friend Robin (whom I have never met in person). She has assembled the pictures, the quotes, the links and all that and arranged it so it looks much better than it did. I don't even know how to do it, and my connection is so slow that some of it would be impractical to do from here. I want to put on a picure of the area where I propose to make the labyrinth, but I am too disabled to go that far through woods and brush until I get the roadway cleared out and can drive my 4-wheeler in there. I may have an old picture I took years ago, but, if so, it will be a slide and a slide scanner would be necessary.

A dream

A couple nights ago I had a dream in which I was to meet with a man and a woman to discuss something about this project or this blog. The man was already in the room when I got there. The woman showed up shortly after I did and immediately began to berate me for failing to have put a certain thing on this blog. I did agree it would be a good idea, but she didn't need to attack me like that. This blog is still under construction, in a manner of speaking, and I am very inexperienced at it.
Some way I became aware that it was a dream, without being fully awake, but I think, done with that dream, and I decided I would remedy the deficiency in the morning. But when I woke I didn't know what it was. I still don't.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


It has been suggested that I have a PayPal account for readers of this blog to use if they feel like contributing to the project. So far I have dragged my feet and not done it. I myself have never had a credit card or a PayPal account and never have paid for anything over the phone or the internet, although a few times a friend has done that for me. It seems risky to me, considering the number of crooks who are trying to find a way to get their hands on the money. It also seems an expensive way to do it.
However I will consider it if enough people want to use it. In the column to the right, we've included an address to send a paper check. Below that is a Poll where you can let me know if you think PayPal is a good method to add to this blog or not. I want to make it easy for people to get involved, and I honestly don't know if it's the best method or not. Take a moment to let me know. Thanks.
I guess I am an old-fashioned person who'd rather send a paper check by the post office. If anybody mails me one, I will put it in an account that will not be used for any other purpose. But if you'd really rather do it by PayPal, say so.

Lilac bushes

The first lilac bushes I ordered arrived yesterday. These are not the ones for the labyrinth, but 15 of them I ordered to plant along the route of my waterline to mark it. But I suppose that means the 200 I ordered for the labyrinth are not far behind. When those come I will have to plant them temporarily along my septic tank drainfield, because it may be some months before I have the money to get the land cleared for the labyrinth.
When these 15 lilac bushes arrived there was a booklet on planting different things in with them. I looked to see what it might tell me about lilac bushes. Among other things it said they might take 3 to six years to get established, but it was worth it, because they could live for 300 years!
Today I did the first sanding on the inside of the bowls of the spoons I have made of one of the trunks of the lilac bush I was given. There are 10 big stir-the-pot sized spoons a foot long or more and 18 or 19 smaller ones. I estimate, if those all get dry without cracking, they will sell for a total of $300 or so, and there are 4 more trunks, I think. So the cost of clearing may all be supplied by that one bush. However long it will take to sell that many lilac spoons. But it's encouraging to see how much one lilac bush could contribute to this project. Well, it will be a week or two before the spoons are dry enough to sell.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lilac spoons

Yesterday afternoon I cut out the first spoons from the lilac wood I was recently given. Today I cut out some more and ground the ones I cut yesterday into shape, so my project for raising the money to get the land cleared is underway! If other people send donations, that will make the process that much faster.

I also have given a friend who is much more experienced with blogs access, so that she can put some pictures on and improve it however she can think.

Someone suggested or asked if I was going to charge money to walk it. I said no. I think that is contrary to the very spirit of labyrinths. It should be available to anyone who wants it or needs it, whether they have money in their pocket or not. If it costs anything substantial to keep up, I suppose it would be fair to have a notice saying donations toward the upkeep will be accepted, or something like that. But lilac bushes don't grow so fast that they will require frequent pruning, and they survive for decades in total neglect. I have seen an abandoned farm on which the house had completely fallen and rotted away. There was only the cellar hole in the ground. And a lilac bush and a row of rhubarb.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The man who is talking to you

I should tell you who I am, so you know who is speaking here. My name is Terron (My mother made it up.) I was born in Seattle in 1942, and grew up north of there, looking out over Puget Sound. I have a degree in botany, but have worked at many things: building houses, cutting pulpwood, teaching Grade 4, working in the office of a rare book dealer, &c.

In 1964 I first visited Cape Breton Island. I moved here in 1969, and in 1973 bought an old farm with no buildings standing. I lived here for years, raised 2 daughters, mostly on my own, moved out west with them in 1985 and didn't move back except for visits of a few months until Dec.2004. I have now been making my living as a woodcarver since 1979, going to fairs and markets to sell my creations, mostly wooden spoons. I now have a website showing my work: . (On it, there are ways to contact me.) Now that I am collecting Social Security and a little Canada Pension, it is not so important to make every dollar I can by spoons, but I still do it.

I have gotten disabled with MS, or some variety of it, in the last several years to the point that it is a serious hindrance to almost everything I do, but I still try to grow as much of my food as I can.

I have always been interested in dreams, and in spiritual subjects in general, but I have seldom had a lot of success in understanding my dreams. So, when a friend who is inclined to research everything I mention on the internet came up with the dream class mentioned in my previous post, I joined it.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Vision

In January I posted the following middle-of-the-night experience on the dream forum that is a main feature of Robert Moss's online dream classes:

I think this is on the fringes of what this forum concerns itself with, but it came to me in the night, in between dreams. Night before last I was lying awake in the night a lot, and I kept thinking about how to make wooden handles for the drawers and cupboard doors on my new cabinets, but that was nothing strange, because I was thinking about that before I went to sleep. What is somewhat strange is that I started thinking about making a labyrinth of lilac bushes on my place, thinking of how big it would have to be and how many bushes that would require and how much that would cost at the rate for hedge lilacs, &c. I figured it should occupy at least a whole acre, and I wish I could walk around well enough to go out scouting for a good place. I have over 100 acres here, so I could do it. Hmmm. How big are the ancient labyrinths? It seems like somebody on the dream forum is likely to know a lot more about labyrinths than I do, their design, their use, their significance. Would a labyrinth of lilac bushes make sense?
If anybody can tell me or point me in the right direction for finding out, I'd appreciate it. If I can manage, I think I might really do it.

I got enthusiastic responses encouraging me to do it. One of the people on the dream forum is a certified labyrinth facilitator, and partly just by my own blundering searches, partly by help from her and others, I found out something about labyrinths. I began to check out sources of lilac bushes, and found a place through which I could order 200 fit to use for hedges at a price of $2 each. So I ordered 200 of them, and paid for them.

Then I called a guy I know who has a bulldozer. He came, bringing with him another man who has a machine called a mulcher which grinds wood up into chips. He said that machine would be more suitable than just the dozer, and I guess it would. The place I think of making it was cut over not long before I bought this place and has brush and stumps and scrubby small trees. After examining it, they said it would cost about $4oo to clear the road and then it would take 4 or 5 hours at $150 per hour for that machine to chew up the stumps and brush. So I am looking at $1000 to $1200 or so for clearing.

I was inclined to tell them to go ahead, but when my daughter heard of it she had strong objections. If I suddenly needed more money than I had, say for car repairs, she would feel obliged to help me. But if the reason I didn't have it was because I'd spent my savings on something I didn't really need, such as the labyrinth, she would be pretty unhappy with me. She does have an important point there, so I told the equipment operators to hold off til I had another way to finance it.

People on the dream forum began offering me donations and a couple of them advised me to spend nothing but donations on the project. I am doubtful about that, but after stewing over it, I have decided I will accept donations, if anybody wants to give them. I really don't want to be one of the millions of voices crying for people's money, but if anybody really would like to be part of this creation, I guess I should welcome them.

I make wooden spoons and other articles of natural wood, which I sell at markets and craft fairs and I was recently given the wood of a lilac bush. I have decided that everything I make out of that lilac will go to support construction of the lilac labyrinth. I will put all the money for the labyrinth into a bank account I will use or nothing else, until I have enough to pay for it.

I live in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, a place that has kept to old-fashioned ways longer than most in this country, and some things that are more "new age" have taken much longer to catch on here, but I have found there is one labyrinth 15 miles or so away. I hope to meet more people who are interested. If I am lucky, a few of them will come to help me plant it. Maybe some will bring some of the side shoots from old lilac bushes, which can be dug up and transplanted to make new bushes.

I have been thinking of making an 11 circuit labyrinth, which means, at the size of path I need to make and the amount of space a lilac bush takes up, it will occupy 1.26 acres and require over 800 lilac bushes. But I could change my plans and make a smaller one. Whatever I do, it can't help but be large as labyrinths go.

I put this blog here at the urging of some of my friends from the dream forum, for a place they can advise people to go to see what I want to do, because the dream forum itself is only for people who have signed up for that class.

What do you think?