Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lynne Hanson at Mersey House

Friday night we toodled on down to Liverpool, Nova Scotia in the little red bug to see Lynne Hanson perform at Mersey House.

We originally saw Lynne perform at the branch in Kemptville, Ontario. She has an awesome voice. When we heard she was going back to perform at the branch, we went to see her a second time (the definite side benefit of watching a performer at the branch restaurant is the totally awesome food and atmosphere...one of the things we will definitely miss about our former home). She was recording live there for her second cd, and filming some segments as well. You can now find some of her songs on You Tube. When we spoke to her that night, we asked her whether she ever toured on the east coast. To make a long story short, the answer was yes...she planned to be there in May.

Which is why we ended up in Liverpool on Friday night.
The Mersey House is a wonderful venue, and I'm sure we'll be there a few times each year. (if not for the performances, we'll definitely have to go back for the awesome fish and chips!)
Heather, one of the hosts, gave me a tour of the building. Not only do they have a restaurant and bar, but they have a 100 seat theater and recording studio as well. And...rooms upstairs for tourists and performers to stay. It's a lovely building with very high tin ceilings, and alcoves down one side of the room with tables for people who want a more private setting.

It was a small audience, and we got to talk to Lynne for a while between sets. She had just picked up her second cd and had them with her. John bought the first one, and Lynne signed it especially for us.
"To John and Sara, My first CD sale! Enjoy the Maritimes"

Thanks for a great show Lynne. We hope to see you back here next year!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Challenge Answers

Congratulations to Candice, the winner of my little challenge. Candice only missed the grain of rice (no one found that! probably a result of the low resolution of the photo) 1. butterfly
2. E
3. teddy bear
4. foot
5. turtle
6. A
7. heart
8. sea shell
9. smiling star
10. fish
11. rose
12. moon
13. feather/leaf
14. grain of rice

A reminder to all photographers, illustrators, artists & designers! In addition to my "I spy" pouches, I plan to produce a series of Search Me cards designed by artists all over the world . The goal of each card design is to find certain items in a "busy" picture....something along the lines of the sample above. I am searching for lots of different formats...photographs, collages, illustrations..from a wide variety of illustrators and artists. Each card will be produced in a post card format. When I have a collection of cards, I plan to produce a book! (everyone has dreams!) Each design published will include a page about the contributor. Details will be firmed up before publishing, but will include the contributor's photo, a brief bio, and contact information for their business or design studio. All of you artists, photographers, illustrators and designers can check out the details here .

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Visiting our new home - tickedy boo!

Our furniture was not scheduled to arrive for 10 days, but we couldn't wait that long to visit our new home. We headed out on Sunday April 27th to take a look at our country spread. Another reason for the visit was to take our cat Phantom. John's family is very allergic to cats, so we didn't think it was right to subject them to Phantom for 10 days while we stayed with them waiting for our furniture.

We were so excited! When we headed out from Halifax, the day was gloomy and overcast but as we got closer to Bridgewater, the sun came out and it became a glorious day...a good sign!
Hard to see in the photo, but here we are...John & me, with Phantom and our 3 dogs...Cinder, Mulligan and Cassie. After a quick look around the house, we headed out to scout the 20 acre property. The dogs were in heaven, and so were we.
And the day got even better when family arrived. Here are DIL and Miss M coming to greet us.Nothing like a hug from our granddaughter to cap off the excitement in a perfect way.

All in all, we spent 4 hours walking and exploring the property. It has greened up a lot in the (almost) 2 weeks that we've been here and the buds on the trees are almost out.

I wish I could say that the day was perfect. But as they say in life, nothing is perfect. The first sign appeared when DIL discovered a bug on her side. We didn't think much of it. Then in our drive back to Halifax I killed 2 bugs in our car. I had never seen anything like these bugs. They were small and black and looked a little like spiders, but not quite. They looked enough like spiders that I was freaked out. (I have no idea why, but spiders scare me silly)


The very word puts the fear into most people from Ontario. Ticks are bad. Ticks carry Lyme disease. After some online investigation that night, and frantic phone calls to the Nova Scotia Ministry of Natural Resources the next day, we made some discoveries.

It seems that parts of Nova Scotia have American Dog Ticks (one import from the States that I'm not too happy about!). It seems that Lunenburg County (where we moved to) is the centre of tickland. And...it seems that ticks like forests and hayfields. We have 17 acres of hayfields and 3+ acres of forest. I spent Sunday night and much of Monday crying. My dream had been destroyed by ticks!

But. Some good news. American Dog Ticks are not dangerous, and they carry no diseases. They come in April, and go away by the end of June. It's amazing how the human mind can adapt. Here's how we're coping. Bug suits! Actually, it's not that bad. We've learned the secrets from the locals. Keep your grass cut short. And tuck your pants into your socks when you're walking through long grass. We bought some tweezers, and I've become a real pro at pulling ticks off the dogs after they've run through the long grass. I pick them off, and throw them into a sealed jar I have with some vegetable oil at the bottom.

Who says old broads can't adapt? I'm happy to say that after the first day, I haven't had a tick on me. I don't mind searching for them on the dogs. But I'll be quite happy to see the end of June come when we can enjoy being out without the thought of ticks at the back of our minds!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Our moving adventure

I'm back on line (although struggling with dial up access and not very happy about it!)

The past few weeks have been full of ups and downs. Moving 1600 kilometers is a much bigger change than we were expecting.

Thursday April 24th we had 2 women arrive to pack up all our belongings. They were packing for 11 hours, and didn't finish. They told us one of them would be back on Friday to finish the job while the truck was being loaded.

Friday April 25th, a cube van arrived at 8:00 am and John said "the moving truck is here". I looked out the window and thought "wow, I can't believe they're going to fit all our stuff in that little truck!". Ha. The joke was on me. The cub van brought 2 moving guys. Another van brought back both packers from the day before. And then the moving truck arrived. It took a good 10 minutes to get the truck backed up the driveway. I started to wonder how the truck would ever manage our driveway in Nova Scotia.

We got everything organized with the movers, and then we headed down the road in our little convoy. John had the 3 dogs in his car, and I followed in my little red bug with our cat Phantom.Our first stop was just 5 minutes down the road where John filled his car with gas. Then Cassie (our adopted wild and crazy dog) jumped out the car window and started running around the gas station parking lot. Hmmm. Not a good sign. After an anxious few minutes we rounded her up and got her back in John's car, and from then on the windows were only lowered half way!

We drove for 8 hours, stopping every few hours to let the dogs out and give ourselves a break. We stopped in Edmunston, New Brunswick for the night...half way to our new home.

Bright and early the next morning (well, okay it was actually about 9:45 am) we headed out for the last stretch of the trip. We did try to stop for lunch, but there was a half hour wait at the Irving Big Stop and we were anxious to get on our way. We settled for potato chips and drinks...a nich healthy lunch!

Finally...we arrive in Nova Scotia!We left 20C weather in Ontario to arrive to windy and a cold 8C in Nova Scotia!
Another hour of driving, and we arrived at our temporary home with John's son and DIL.

Next...our first outing to our new home while waiting for our furniture to arrive.