Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reflections

This is a photo of the display window for a lighting store. You can see the reflection of the buildings across the street in the window. And, if you look closely, you can see a longer streetscape reflected in the sphere shaped light that is displayed in the window.

New Year's Eve is usually a quiet one around our house. We seldom go out. Every New Year's Eve we pull out our file folder that is filled with 17 plus years of our memories and predictions. The file folder only comes out on NY Eve, and then gets filed away for another year. Whoever joins us for the dinner (usually a fondue) and evening is asked to list their memories from the year, their biggest surprise of the year, and predictions for the next year. But before we do this, we read out some of the recorded memories from the past years. This year we will be joined by G, DIL, and Miss M.

It's lots of fun and a good way to jog my failing memory! What are your favourite memories from the year? Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Family Photo

On Christmas Day, we managed to get everyone outside and organized for a family photo.
From left to right: John, Miss M, DIL, G, Mulligan, Me and Cassie (barking like mad).

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Story of a Christmas Card

The dreams you most deeply cherish
The hopes you would have come true
May the Christmas season in passing
Leave as a Gift for you.
Eric and Doreine Douglas

This Christmas card was hand made in the 1940's by my mom just after World War II. My dad sent me the card in 1990, and I had it framed. I bring it out every December and it hangs in the living room until late January. The story of the Christmas card written to me in a letter from my dad:

"The enclosed card has a story. I received a card with 3 old Christmas cards from Marjorie and Elwood Douglas. Elwood is a cousin of mine. Elwood's mother - my Aunt Arnetta - who is the last living survivor of that generation of Aunts and Uncles - was in a Nursing Home. Marjorie and Elwood were going through her things and found these 3 cards so sent them to me. When we were in St. Marys a few years immediately following the war money was tight and Mother decided to make the Christmas Cards. Mother made 100 or more cards. Arnetta appreciated them enough that she saved them. I am sending one to you, one to your brother, and will give one to your sister."

Even the simplest thing can mean so much to so many people.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Double Six

Happy Birthday to my best friend, my travelling partner, my soul mate. Thanks for making my life better.

Thanks for being you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

O Christmas Tree Part 2

Every year, like most people, I have to take a traditional photo of our Christmas Tree. In this photo, you can also take a look through the window to see the small tree with lights we have outside.Then I read on Shelagh's blog that she was playing with her camera and came up with some unique photos. (unfortunately, I couldn't view her photos due to my dial up internet woes). So...I played with my camera and long exposures. (it seems that my camera can actually come off the automatic settings!) Here are 3 non traditional photos of our tree (the extra swirls on the right are the reflections from the china cabinet):
I have a new favourite to add to my Christmas music list: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings sung by The Bare Naked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan .

Sunday, December 20, 2009

O Christmas Tree

DIL and Miss M riding on the ATV, son G on the left and John on the right...heading down the driveway towards the Christmas trees.
Looking down part of our driveway, a distant view of the ATV with Cassie just in front. The Christmas tree orchard is just to the left of the ATV.


Trying to get the 2 dogs and 4 people organized for a group photo.
Well, we managed to get one dog posed...you can catch a glimpse of Cassie still snuffling around...too interested in hunting down smells to have her photo taken.
Heading back up the driveway with Christmas tree in the trailer.
As you can see, it was a beautiful day! (unlike today...stormy...blowing snow and howling winds...we can't even see the treeline down the centre of our field).
Miss M and I decorated the tree....one of my favourite parts of the Christmas season. It brings back memories of past Christmases and where all the decorations came from.
A large dove...part of my mom's Christmas decorations...goes very close to the top of the tree. This year, Miss M had the honour of putting it on the tree.And the final touch....our treetop angel...placed by Miss M with the help of her mom and dad.
Finally ready for Christmas...then we had a birthday celebration! A great day and weekend with the family.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gobble, gobble

Today we headed to Lunenburg to pick up our Christmas turkey at a local farm. (gobble #1)And...since we were there...we took the opportunity to stop at Large Marge's for lunch. (gobble #2) It's an old fashioned diner with booths, and a long counter with stools. Lots of interesting things on the walls. And...some really good food. Yum.

While we were in Lunenburg, I ran into two people I know. And here I was thinking that we hadn't met that many people since moving here!

I finished up the last of my Christmas gifts today. Now I can focus on someone's birthday celebrations. Poor guy's birthday is just 2 days before Christmas. This year we'll celebrate it a few days early, but it will still be eclipsed by Christmas because we'll be chopping down our tree on the same day as his birthday supper. Tomorrow will be a day of food preparations and house cleaning to get ready for some special folks to arrive. Let the party begin!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Evening Drive part 2

One of my photos is featured today on Infomonkey and I am a proud momma!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Evening Drive

We headed out for a drive along the coast in the late afternoon yesterday, in the hopes of finding some good Christmas light viewing. We had four Christmas cd's loaded in the cd player (should have had five to cover the length of the trip).

I took some photos in my usual favourite spots...this is the first time we've been there at dusk.


Broad Cove cottages:East Port Wharf Road:
And two photos from Voglers Cove:Not much colour...but the blues are lovely, don't you think?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Eileen's Shortbreads

Christmas lights in North Halifax

Today has been saved for baking a batch of Eileen's Shortbread Cookies. Eileen was my mother-in-law...the dearest, sweetest woman ever. She used to make amazing shortbread cookies for us every Christmas. One year, when she was visiting us for Christmas, I was sent out to the grocery store with a list of ingredients. (it's a very short list). I came back with a tub of margarine and a bag of regular sugar, and was promptly sent back to the store. I was to buy margarine squares and berry sugar. What makes this so funny is that Eileen never complained about anything. But those shortbread ingredients were important enough for her to ask very nicely if I would go back and make some substitutions with my shopping list.

She's not with us anymore, and now I make her shortbread cookies...with margarine squares and berry sugar. Some traditions cannot be forgotten.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Seeing Red

Stonehurst - summer view - if you have seen the movie Amelia, you caught a quick glimpse of this view
Seeing Red - a state of irritation or annoyance
annoyance, botheration, irritation, vexation - the psychological state of being irritated or annoyed

I don't blog about politics. I don't blog about bad stuff. I don't (usually) whine. But every rule is meant to be broken and today I'm breaking my self imposed blog rules.

I may have mentioned in the past (once or twice) that we don't have access to high speed internet where we live. We knew when we moved here that there was no high speed. We also knew that the provincial government had made a promise to Nova Scotians. The government paid big, BIG bucks to several companies to ensure that all (100 per cent) of Nova Scotians would have access to high speed internet by the end of 2009.

We sat in a meeting with Premier Dexter (at the time leader of the opposition) and MLA Gary Ramey (at the time yet to be elected) who promised John (who stood up and asked the question) that they would uphold the Conservative Party's promise of high speed. They promised to hold the contracted companies to the delivery date of December 2009.

They promised. (did I mention that?)

Now the word is that "it is better to set unrealistic goals and have them unmet" than to set achievable goals and - hey - actually achieve them.

The new date set is May 2010.

And we know that government promises are never broken. Sob.

Stonehurst in winter

No photography blogs for me. No Youtube for me. No Facebook for me. No websites with flash for me. No uploading files for me. No sending photos for me. Do you feel sorry for me yet? That's okay, I'm feeling sorry enough for myself. Waaah!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's A Wrap

No, we don't have a tree up yet. Or chosen. Or chopped down. This is a photo from last Christmas. I snuck into the photo...can you find me?

However....I have finished Christmas shopping. I have picked up items from artisans who created special things for me. I have received items by FedEx that I created and ordered. Done. And I feel great! Just one thing left to create for Christmas gifts, and a big wrapping afternoon tomorrow. And then just a wee bit of baking. Phew.

Time to relax and enjoy. Throw on some Christmas tunes and drink some egg nog. And try not to think about the fact that we haven't seen our son Cody for one whole year, and won't be seeing him for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cheers

One of the beautiful homes in Kingsburg.
Today was a glorious sunny day...cold, and the ground is still covered in snow, but still beautiful.
I was off on my own to run several errands. One such errand was to bottle 2 batches of wine. Technically speaking, it is illegal in Nova Scotia for stores to sell wine where you bottle on site, but we managed to find a place (it is a legal activity in Ontario, where we moved from). Bottling your own wine is not for the connoisseur, but at $3 per bottle it's my kind of wine.
So...this is the first time that I have ordered two batches. And this is the first time that I've had to bottle them on my own. Carry 5 cartons into the store...rinse 60 bottles...fill 60 bottles...cork 60 bottles...and carry filled cartons (with the help of a cart) back to the car. All this done in the record time of 50 minutes. What a pro!
A man was coming into the store as I was leaving with 3 of the cartons. "Are you in the wine selling business?" he asks. "No, I just drink it", I answer. He says, "Well, I guess if you've got some friends they can help you".
I didn't tell him I manage just fine on my own... Or that I had 2 more cartons still to bring to the car.
Cheers!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lovely

Photos taken at Chez Tess in Halifax. This is the ceiling of their entryway. Love, love, love the mirrored mosaic. I have a feeling I'll be using some mirror in my window art creations in the future.
Or maybe a mosaic on the ceiling of my studio. "Studio" is a rather grand word for the upper level of our shed. But someday it will be an appealing place to create. Colour on the walls, tiles on the floor, comfy chair and reading lamp, and now a mirrored mosaic ceiling. Nice.
A girl can dream.

Friday, December 4, 2009

More December Flowers

This is the first time that I've had an amaryllis bloom the second year. This guy couldn't wait for Christmas, despite being in a dark & cool place. Now I'm going to have to buy another bulb...just can't have a December/January without a blooming amaryllis! (this is thanks to my mother, who always had them around the house at Christmas)

This had been a week of good & bad. Bad because someone I love is in the hospital. Good because he is in the hospital where he can mend. And maybe, fingers crossed, he will get to go home soon.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Flowers in December

December 1st and we still have flowers blooming in the garden! Never in my middle aged life have I experienced this. (yes, I still define myself as middle aged even though it will be a miracle if I double my current age!) This is Canada, folks, and flowers do not usually survive beyond a September frost.
So, even though it's dull and gloomy outside, I can still capture a brief glimpse of summer.
It's December! The countdown to Christmas begins.