Category Archives: back east

It’s 2013 and the beginnings of chunky marmelade

Chunky Orange Lemon Marmelade

When you haven’t written in so long it’s easier to keep on not writing. But, in the back of your mind, the words and letters keep churning and jumbling up and into empty space until you get them written down in a tangible form. While I have been drawing pictures, it’s the words that weren’t making sense to me and therefore I did not write.

These last six months have been nothing but life changing. I haven’t found God or anything like that but I have found the courage to live more honestly and to trust in those people whom, let me, into their lives. You can’t help but wonder how you could have lived the way you did for such a long time repeating gesture after gesture after ever after.

There is solace in repetitive movement and even in the the state of inaction… the ticks, the drinks, the inhalations, the thoughts, the running, the drawing, the writing, the eating, the frantic screaming, it all soothes anxiety and mends the hearts of troubled souls irregardless of how temporary or destructive in nature this self-soothing may be. We can only go on circling for so long in a state of chaos before spinning out.

So, last night I made some chunky orange lemon marmelade from scratch. That sums up my everything.

Happy 2013!

AND FYI… Handmade 2013 desk and wall calendars are listed for sale in the shop.

The Marmelade recipe I adapted from the Mad Scientist and home Cooking. Also, I used an extra amount or orange peelings that I have been freezing over the last few months. If you are going to make marmalade DO USE certified organic citrus fruit as the peelings are not sprayed or died.

I see dead birds

I don’t see dead people but I’ve certainly been seeing my share of dead birds lately. This latest pigeon was bludgeoned in the Woodlawn Schoolyard off Westmorland Road this past Sunday evening on April 29th.

At first I thought it was just a bunch of feathers strewn across the green but upon closer inspection the carcass was fresh and dripping with blood. My co-walker and myself were certainly grossed out as I kneeled to get a closer look.

I think the stray cats or hawks or eagles in the neighborhood are attacking!

On a brighter note… the grass is certainly growing green on this side these days!

Walking the railway… down by the bay

saint john nb

Before the rains came over this last week and began turning most everything green we set out in the mid-evening crossing Bayside Drive and entered into the mouth of the Marsh Creek area where it meets the Bay of Fundy on foot along the railway tracks. We walked along and then down to the shore on the North side of the Courtenay Bay Causeway during low-tide.

A herd of deer that live down here, however, all we caught were their white bums skipping away from us as we approached them. They moved away too fast for me to capture them on film.

There is a copious amount of plastic debris washing up on the shore from the ocean… including the little pink pig, syringes, plastic bags, bottles and thousands upon thousands of tampon applicators. Use a menstral cup already women.

Before the Courtenay Bay Causeway was built this area was home to the largest shipbuilding operation in Eastern Canada and remnants of that bygone era remain here to this day. This area was a tidal ocean front beach where even my Dad used to play when he was a kid.

Even with the plastics dotting the grassy marsh it’s still pristine and relatively untouched by human hands.

blue sky, saint john, nb, canada, trees, thorns, beautiful, courtenay bay

When you look West you can see the beginning of Uptown Saint John (Central City) and the South End Peninsula.

During the next few years an amazing restoration will be taking place… The Marsh Creek area is being restored, cleaned up and made fit for human consumption again. Bike and walking trails with elevated decks and lookouts will be added.

Many different species of birds and wildlife call this area home including this decapitated seagull.

At sunset we began making our way back East.

And at dusk we walked back into the hood.

My hood - courtenay bay area of east saint john - ward 3

Walking on the East Side of Saint John, NB in Early Springtime

Growing up, we all walked everywhere, biked or rode the bus to get from point A to B. We were all in shape.

irving oil refinery

Recently, I’ve begun walking and hiking through the back fields, railroad tracks and forgotten lands, that I used to travel through when young, with a wonderful person who enjoys walking them as much as I do.

fog rolling in

These are some photo’s from our latest trek. You can see the largest oil refinery in Canada in the distance while the fog rolls in from the Courtenay Bay.

If you are unfamiliar with the Courtenay Bay Area of East Saint John, it is home to homes that were built shortly after WWI and WWII. This place is nestled in between a few major thoroughfares, is located on the best bus route in the city and is genrally a very safe area to live in for both young and old alike.

100 years of smashed liquor bottles

irving pipeline east saint john

This area is five minutes by bus or car to Uptown or 25 minutes walking. It is surrounded by industry, sea water, fields and rolling hills.

irving oil trains east saint john

Anyhow, I love this area… even when the fog rolls in and blankets out the sun and you can’t see across the street anymore.

All Original Illustrations are 50% Off in my art shop right now. Prices are already reduced in the originals section. Decorate your home with one-of-a-kind whimsical art today!

The 20 Year Reunion Part 1 – the fear of violence

About six months ago the anxiety surfaced after someone added me to a newly created Facebook group for the 1991 St. Malachy’s High School Graduating Class 20 Year Reunion. Fear ebbed through my body when it happened.

While high school was everything everybody always says it is, it’s not always what people see that is important but that of what people don’t know that comes to light and must be dealt with in an honest, empathetic and forgiving manner.

The first taste of physical violence I ever experienced as a female being targeted by a male was in grade three. A good female friend of mine, who is still a good friend of mine to this day, had a fight with me, well a fight as best as two nine year old girls can have at yelling and pulling each others hair on a front lawn. Kids fight. Good friends fight. BUT her older brother came out the front door. He was 13 years old and twice my size. He kicked me in the legs. He kicked me really hard and proceeded to harass and maim me all through elementary and middle school whenever he saw me walking on the sidewalk alone. He’d surround, throw rocks and worked very hard at intimidating me for years.

Violence from that day forward seemed to follow and engulf me. It wasn’t until I moved away from Saint John at age 19 that the violence that men cast on me ceased to exist which brings me to the 20 year reunion that I attended on Saturday night. Continue reading

New River Beach in New Brunswick and learning to move forward without fear

hula hoop on branch with shadow and sand drawing at New River Beach in New Brunswick

I traveled to New River Beach yesterday with Vikki, Gus and his little guy. It was a beautiful day, albeit too cold for swimming. I had my hoops with me and spent a good hour hula hooping up and down the coastline. Vikki wondered off photographing most of the coast… Hopefully she’ll upload the photos her Flickr.

We ended the day by driving back into Saint John to the Thai Hut located inside Quality Convenience on King Street and ordering chicken Pad Thai. Yum!

jessica doyle with boy and hula hoop

Last weekend, when I decided to take some time off from Etsy I drove to Fredericton to visit with these guys at their respective houses. Put it this way, it was the first trip I planned and took by myself. And, I knocked that irrational fear right out of the water people!

I’ve been close friends with these two since first year of College, which was 17 years ago now. I hadn’t seen them in seven years but we’ve kept in touch online and lately, the time just felt right to pick up from whence we left off in real life. Each of us seemed to have our own serious life and health related issues that we were coping with and healing from during those last seven years that needing tending to. All three of us are healthy and happy these days and moving forward. We each own our own homes and enjoy the work we do too which is mighty different than the apartments we each rented and the financial struggles we each faced during the post college years.

Both Gus and Vikki studied photography at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design while I concentrated on Graphic Design and illustration.

The photo credits go to Gustavius. He snapped them with his cell phone. The links in this post will take you to their Twitter and Flickr accounts.

Spring Tree of the Four Seasons Series

Ever wonder what a tree would look like without leaves or blossoms growing on one side?

The new baby foliage on this tree faces the other way, giving good reason to believe the grass IS greener on the other side. Or in this behind the seasons look, Spring IS sprung on the other side.

I created this illustration in late 2008 using Windsor & Newton Watercolour, Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens and Pilot Hi Tec C pens on Arches Watercolour paper. It measures 8 by 8 inches (20,3cm by 20,3cm).

Today, made me think about this illustration as tiny little buds are appearing on the trees outside which will soon turn into blossoms and leaves. I love Springtime and the awesome power it brings; both restoring and rejuvenating the life surrounding us.

lilac bush buds photo taken Jessica Doyle on April 2, 2010 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Soon the lilacs bushes that line the North and part of the East side of my house will be opening. I snapped a picture of the little buds beginning to appear. I’m so excited that Spring is here, people.

I think this afternoon seeing as the sun is burning off the fog, I will start raking the dead leaves from the lawn and picking up the debris and garbage that always seems to appear after the snows of Winter melt. Hope you have a wonderful day and Happy Good Friday everyone!

The original illustration has since sold to an art collector here in Canada, however lovely archival prints are available in the shop.

A New Brunswick Diary

Dear Diary,

Aug 12 – Moved to our new home in New Brunswick. It is so beautiful here. The northern woods are so majestic. Can hardly wait to see snow. I love it here.

Oct 14 – New Brunswick is the most beautiful place on earth. The leaves have turned colors – shades of red and orange. Went for a ride through the country and saw some deer. They are so graceful…certainly they are the most beautiful animal on earth. I really love it here.

Nov 11 – Deer season will start soon. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to kill such a gorgeous creature. Hope it will snow soon. What a beautiful place.

Dec 12 – Snowed last night. Woke up to find everything blanketed with white. It looks like a postcard! We went outside and cleaned the snow off the steps and shoveled the driveway. We had a snowball fight (I won), and when the snow plow came by, we got to shovel the driveway again. What a beautiful place – I love New Brunswick.

Dec 14 – More snow last night. I love it. The snow plow did his trick to the driveway again. It’s so great here.

Dec19 – More snow last night. Couldn’t get out of the driveway to get to work. I am exhausted from shoveling. Fucking snow plow.

Dec 22 – More of that white shit fell last night. I have blisters on my hands from shoveling. I think the snow plow hides around the corner and waits until I’m done shoveling the driveway. ASSHOLE!

Dec 25 – Merry Fucking Christmas! More friggen snow. If I ever get my hands on that son‐of‐a‐bitch who drives that snow plow, I swear I’ll kill the bastard. Don’t know why they don’t use more salt on the road to melt the bloody ice?

Dec 27 – More white shit last night. Been inside for 3 days – except for shoveling the driveway after that snow plow goes through. Can’t go anywhere – the cars stuck in a mountain of the white shit. The weatherman says to expect another 10” of this crap again tonight. Do you know how many shovels of snow 10″ is?

Dec 28 – The fucking weatherman was wrong. We got 34” of that white shit this time. At this rate, it won’t melt before next summer. The snow plow got stuck up the road and that bastard came to the door and asked to borrow my shovel. After I told him I had broken six shovels already shoveling all the shit he pushed into the driveway. I broke my last shovel over his bloody head.

Jan 4 – Finally got out of the house today. Went to the store to get food and on the way back a damned deer ran in front of my car and I hit it. Did about $3,000 damage to the car. Those fucking beasts should be killed. Wish the hunters had killed all of them last November.

May 3 – Took the car to the garage in town. Would you believe the thing is rusting out from all the fucking salt they put all over the road?

May 10 – Moved to Georgia. I can’t imagine why anyone in their right mind would ever live in that God‐forsaken province of NEW BRUNSWICK.

author unknown…

My Dad handed this joke to me last night, typed on three worn sheets of paper. After reading it I couldn’t help but publish it to the blog! Haha! I did find many other adaptations of this joke that take place in other northern US and Canadian locals but could not find the original author of this joke. The photo above is the front of my house… enough said…