Saturday, October 31, 2009

Welcome Home John

The dogs, cat, guineas and I have been coping on our own for 5 days. John hopped on a seat sale and went to visit his new granddaughter (as well as her mom, our SIL, and Sir J). This may seem like a minor thing to some people, but this is the first time in 3 years or so that we've been apart for more than one night. For two people that generally spend 24 hours a day together, it's been a little different for the past 5 days.

No one to pour me coffee. No one to make me lunch. No one to pour me a glass of wine. No one to cook me supper. And no one to build me a fire. I didn't fare too well on the meal side of things, but I did manage to get a fire going every night.My fire building skills were enjoyed by others as well... I can't vouch for the cat or the dogs, but I can say that despite the fact that I can manage to get a fire lit without burning the house down, I am glad to get our man back home today!

We won't be getting any trick or treaters out here in the boonies, but hope everyone has a Happy Hallowe'en! I know we will.

Friday, October 30, 2009

5 to 7

Our farm wannabe picked up 2 new additions on Wednesday....two guinea keets. This is a first for us. We raised our other guineas from day old chicks. These guys (well, hopefully they are females) are about 7 weeks old. They are a gift from our neighbours.The keets are about 1/4 the size of our other guineas.In about one year they will look as handsome as this guy:
So far everything is going well. The big guineas don't bother the little ones too much. And the little ones are learning that they have to eat quickly, or they won't get anything at all! So now we have 7 guineas, and hopefully they all survive until the spring when they'll have to go back to work to earn their keep.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nature

The Nature Competition was completed at our last Photo Club meeting. The first competition was "print", followed at the next meeting with the "projected" competition. There are 3 judges, and each judge rates the photo from a low score of 2 to a high of 5. That means the lowest a photo can score is 6, and the highest score is 15. Photos are judged "anonomously"...the judges don't know who submitted the photo, and the photographers don't know what score each judge gives...they just know the total score. The thing I dislike about the process is that no feedback is given. I'd like to be able to improve my skills, but with no direction it's a hit and miss kind of thing. Anyway, here are my four submissions for Nature. My butterfly scored a 9, meaning it's an average sort of photo:My puffins scored a 14:
My potato beetle scored a 12 (the highest score for the evening. Despite my summer battles with my potato beetles, I guess they were good for something!):My fungus shot is a bit of a mystery to me. It scored a measly 8...the lowest score of the evening...yikes!
I personally love this photo, which I guess is all that matters. I like the angles, and I like the 3 fungus (fungi?) and how they are laid out in the photo. But I would have liked some feedback all the same.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Morning Walk

John was busy this summer cutting walking paths through our fields, and now I am busy every day (twice a day) walking on them. We measured the distance of the paths, and there's more than one mile of walking on them thar paths. So, first thing in the morning (after I toss on some sweats, feed the cat, clean the cat box, let the dogs out, make the coffee, eat some yogurt, get on the outdoor gear) the dogs and I head out for our first walk of the day. Here, looking down the field towards the far end of our 20 acres: One of my favourite sites...the sun coming through the trees:
At the bottom of the field, we take a left turn which leads us across the back of the property (yes, the ground is sloped here):
Ahhh...we finally get out of the shade and into the sun: From the back left corner, looking up towards the house (can you see the house in the gap between the trees?):
And one of my favourite spots of this walk...the trees at the end of our "rock island" (rocks that were picked from the fields by farmers in the past): I like stopping here, and looking up. No leaves now, and not a sound this morning:
Out of the trees, and into the upper field...almost home: We'll join John, and then we'll head down for another mile long walk to get the paper. Then...my reward...a nice hot cup of coffee!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My newest project - CWAC Yearbook

Last week I was consumed by a project I've been working on. I finished a book that will be used as a fundraiser for the charity Canines with a Cause. CWAC is based in Ottawa, Ontario and is a registered charity that trains assistance dogs for people with a mobility disability.

Above is the cover of the book..from left to right: the back book flap, the back cover, the front cover, and the front book flap. The book is full of information about Canines with a Cause, photos of the assistance dogs, the volunteers, puppy raisers, and trainers, and also has photos of "Friends of CWAC" which were submitted by people with a donation to CWAC.

It was a huge project, and I'm thrilled with the result. You can preview the first 15 pages of the book here. All proceeds from the sale of these Yearbooks goes right to CWAC from Blurb.com
By created by Paws Fo...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A fond farewell

I mentioned the other day that there was lots going on. Well, we said a fond farewell to my 1999 Beetle Bug. The back roads of Nova Scotia and Beetles do not get along. No more bottoming out going down our 1/2 mile driveway. No more not being able to drive out the driveway in the winter because their is not enough clearance under the car. No more bottoming out while driving on the lovely roads around here. No more Beetle. Because...

...we now have our first new car in eleven years! Yesterday we picked up our brand spanking new 2010 Rav4. YAY! John is out playing with it as I type this.

So...I inherit the 1999 CRV, which will be driven seldomly. And our new family car is the Rav4. I WILL miss my bug. But I won't miss those thuds and scrapes when I drive!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Minimalism

The current challenge on my photo club blog is "minimalism", hence the photos on my blog today.

My life however, is not feeling minimalist. Lots on the mind. To do, to do. Things running through my head that don't need to be there. Retired should mean peace of mind. But my brain is full at the moment. Round and round.Some big things, some little things.
One great thing going on....I have a new computer! A tich on the frustrating scale trying to find everything in their new places, but all in all it's wonderful!! You should see my monitor...24 four inches wide! My first tv wasn't that big. Even my average photos look wonderful on this monitor.
Maybe I'll cruise through some photos to put all those "to do's" away for a while.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Preparing for Winter

Mornings are very cool now as I walk the trails with the dogs. More than half the leaves are gone from the trees, and today was the first morning when the ground was covered in frost. Our morning walk got off to a rough start today. After letting the dogs out, I stepped onto the back deck and promptly ended up sitting on the deck in an old lady version of the splits. Ouch. My first thought was not "is everything still okay and in working order?", but I heard John's voice in my mind saying "I told you to stop wearing those rubber boots!". Message learned the hard way. I switched to proper boots and we headed out. A few weeks ago, we prepared our Guineas for the upcoming winter months by building a "screened in porch" for them. Last winter they were stuck inside their coop all winter...a smallish building with no windows. I had fears in the spring that they would all emerge blinded by being in the dark so long!
But now they have their Guinea Porch and can get some fresh air in the winter on nice days without having problems getting them back into their coop at night.Now that we are down to only 5 guineas, we want to be sure to keep them all safe and happy!Some other winter preparations going on around here:
- our neighbour delivered 2 cords of wood one month ago, and helped stack it all. The stack promptly fell over and stayed on the ground for several weeks. We finally got it all re-stacked, and covered with a tarp.
- we've moved most of last year's wood into Purgatory (our screened in porch), ready for the chilly evenings ahead. This eliminates one of John's complaints...he won't have far to go to get a supply of wood for the stove. Now if I could find a wood stove that self cleaned, we'd be in fine shape.
- we picked a pile of apples from one of our trees. I'm not sure how many bushels it works out to, but we filled a large Rubbermaid storage bin. Next step is for me to peel and core and freeze all the apples. They make GREAT apple crisp. (I have yet to learn how to make pastry, and therefore apple pie isn't on our menu).
- the garden pond has been emptied, and the resident frog was relocated down to the rock island in the middle of our field. There is a natural pond there that will be a much better place for Mr. Frog to spend the winter.
- some new gardens have been dug, ready for a trailer full of dirt and some spring bulbs to be planted.
Always lots more to do, but soon the snow will come and I can put those things off until the spring!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mahone Bay Scarecrow Festival

Mahone Bay is always a favourite with tourists, and last weekend was no exception.Saturday was a beautiful sunny day and the town was packed full of people for the Scarecrow Festival.Despite the success of the Festival, there are some residents that would like it cancelled. It seems they have many problems with vandalism. I think it would be a terrible shame to cancel this fun event.There are scarecrows of all shapes and sizes.Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.Alice, Cheshire Cat & CrewBusinesses as well as private residences get in on the fun.And there are even some environmental messages to be found.Not your typical scarecrows, but these tin people were a favourite of mine last year and this year as well. You can't beat the view behind them!
Alas, one week later, and our sunshine is gone. Today is dismal, grey and rainy. But the good times will roll tonight when we take a jaunt over to Petite Riviere to hear Theresa Malenfant and dance the night away to some good blues.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

V is for Vegetables

I have been busy with a lot of projects lately (and therefore not taking time to blog much). One of my current projects is creating an ABC book as a Christmas gift for our 4 year old grandson. I was stuck on a couple of letters but inspiration struck today while we were in Mahone Bay for lunch. Here is "V is for Vegetables":...taken at JoAnn's. Lovely fruits as well...and a fantastic counter of sweets, another of cheeses, shelves of preserves...YUM!

We just stopped by Mahone Bay on our way back from setting up another Christmas present (that I can't talk about)...our second trip to Mahone Bay in 4 days. We were there on Saturday for the Scarecrow Festival. Maybe you'll see some photos from the Festival in the coming days.

Anyone have any ideas for the letter X?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Autumn Details

Every morning we head down the driveway with the dogs to pick up the newspaper. Usually, John has one dog and I have the other. John took both dogs yesterday and I had my camera.Taking a lesson from the other day, I decided to focus on the "details" of autumn instead of the sweeping landscape photos.
It was a lovely morning, and John ended up back at the house 15 minutes before I did.After all, our driveway is a half mile long, and there are lots of details to look at!