Wednesday, January 27, 2010

this and that

Since this photo was taken we've had a major melt down, and lost more than one foot of snow. The promise of spring is in the air today. It was so nice out, the guineas got to spend the day in the fresh from predators in their screened in porch.

The lack of predators didn't stop us from losing a guinea. Sunday morning when we went to water and feed the guineas, there was one less to feed. Poor guinea was laying face down by the door. No signs of trauma, so I'm not sure what happend to it. Anyone know how long guineas live? So now we're back down to five guineas. I hope the rest hang in there until spring...we need our battalion to fight the ticks!

I spent the weekend painting the spare bedroom (despite feeling guilty about not being out in the glorious sunshine). When we moved in, there were 4 rooms unpainted (as in ...never painted!). My frozen shoulder put everything on hold for a while, but now there is only one room left that is stark white. Once I get that done, I'll be moving on to repaint the living area as well as the master bath. Sometime. But not soon. Tomorrow I'm off to day surgery to see what we can do to fix this arm of mine.

Submissions for the 2010 Paws For Charity book are coming along well. Organizing a bunch of artists is like herding cats. Perhaps not impossible, but close to it! I keep telling myself that things will fall in place (they always do) but it's hard to visualize sometimes.

Saturday...we'll be off to see the bald eagles in Sheffield Mills. Looking forward to it!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Glorious sunny winter days around here! Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Doctors, hospitals and sheep

One thing that most Nova Scotians complain about is the health system. Compared to Ontario, we have found the health system in Nova Scotia to be wonderful. As long as you're willing to drive to various parts of the province, you can pretty much get in for special tests and procedures relatively quickly (certainly months sooner than we would have back in Ontario). And I'm talking from experience here...since we moved here both John and I have spent countless hours in doctor's offices and hospitals.

Today we drove across the province...straight the Fundy side to visit a specialist to get my MRI results back. Seems my frozen shoulder is finished, but the reason I can't move my left arm is because of scarring tissue. And...the cure for that is day surgery. My appointment is already booked and I'll be heading to the Bridgewater hospital next Thursday (how's that for quick service??). As far as I know, it's not actually surgery (fingers crossed) but I'll be put under and the doctor will yank my arm all around to break through the scarred tissue. Then I will require "extensive physio". Oh yay.

While I was visiting the doctor I mentioned that I have a painful hip and knees too. So xrays were ordered (already done) and depending on the results he may "do some work" on my hip while I'm under. He thinks I have bursitis.

The world may be falling apart, but for sure I seem to be!

To cheer myself up, we stopped on the way home so I could take some photos of the neighbourhood sheep. Then I had John stop as soon as we pulled into our driveway and the dogs and I hopped out to take the 1/2 mile walk up (they ran after the car, I walked with my camera). Nothing like a sunny and mild winter day to make you feel lucky to be alive! (even if you are falling apart)

Sunday, January 17, 2010


A fellow blogger, Karen from This Old House... tagged me to play Lucky Chinese Tag. So I'll give it a go because I really have no inspiration of my own for a blog post today.

8 TV shows I watch:
This would depend on if I'm watching TV with John (then it's news or sports) or by myself:
1. Masterpiece Classics
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. Criminal Minds
4. 60 Minutes
edited Jan 18th to add: John says I have lied by omission, so I must add:
5. any real estate show (House Hunters; Location, Location, etc) especially based in England and any garden makeover show on HGTV

8 favorite places to eat and drink: (in no particular order)
I must say that I'm a pub and diner kind of fine dining for me!
1. the branch - Kemptville, Ontario
2. Large Marge - Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
3. Fredie's - Tantallon, Nova Scotia
4. Wes' French Fry Truck - Arnprior, Ontario
5. LaHave Bakery - LaHave, Nova Scotia
6. a drink on the deck in the summer at The Rope Loft - Chester, Nova Scotia
7. a picnic at the beach (any beach)

8 things I look forward to
1. spending my days with John
2. a visit from Cody
3. coffee on the deck in the warm morning sunshine of spring & summer
4. having the unpainted rooms in the house painted
5. walking on the beach
6. coffee/lunching with friends
7. having all our music on the ipod
8. seeing G,DIL, and Miss M settled in their new home (and visiting them at the lake)

8 things that happened yesterday
1. I missed my morning and afternoon walks with the dogs
2. we drove to Halifax
3. I packed many, many boxes to help someone prepare for a move
4. I wiped my dog's bum (never thought I'd do that!)
5. I saw my granddaughter
6. I thought about my son and how his date went on Friday night
7. I ate too much
8. I fell into bed exhausted

8 things I love about winter
1. walking through the woods with the dogs to get the paper
2. it makes me appreciate the very hot days of summer
3. I get time to work on some indoor projects
4, it's the time of year I get to eat stews, chilli, pastas, etc
5. spring is on the way
6. we get to use the wood stove
7. no ticks
8. running out of ideas here!

8 things on my wish list
Aside from health and happiness for everyone...
1. seeing my son (haven't seen him since Dec 2008)
2. an acting job for Cody
3. visiting Cape Breton
4. a barn
5. brand new books (nothing like a new book! I usually go to the library or buy used)
6. to raise more funds for charity than I did last year
7. a world without ticks, blackflies, and mosquitoes
8. seeing my grandkids grow up to be kind, generous, loving, and happy with themselves

8 words I use often
1. Holy Moly
2. Really?
3. Good Girl!
4. No Cassie!
5. Maybe later

8 things I have learned from the past
1. Dream big.
2. Never say never
3. Every generation says "I can't believe I said that...I sound just like my mother/father"
4. not everyone does what they say they will do
5. don't put anything in writing that you don't want other people to see
6. home made cookies make the house smell good
7. praise instead of criticize
8. helping others makes me feel good

8 things I want/need
this sounds corny - but I have everything I want and need (except maybe a visit from Cody! Have I mentioned that before?)

8 people I'm tagging for this post (no eye rolling!)
Julia from Lineanongrata
Sandy from Aging Disgracefully
Linda from The 7th Decade
Nancy from Happy Little Fish
Shelagh from Alice in Paris
Jennifer from In The Meantime
I think other people I "know" have been tagged already!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Turning a day from grey to colour

Another dull and dreary day around here, but it was time to get out and about. After a stop for an errand in Bridgewater, we decided to hit the road for a little trip around the Aspotogan Penninsula. We pulled over at Western Shore to snap a photo of this snowman: I did warn you that it was dull and dreary out! We stopped in Blandford for lunch at a little place we hadn't noticed when we were through there before. We did debate for a minute about whether to try it or not. The Deck is a combination variety store, post office, lotto ticket place, and diner. Well, we decided to try it and we were both glad we did. It was charming the way that these places tend to be. All the food was homemade (the chilli with homemade bread was great!) and after staring at the "specials" board all through lunch, John decided he had to try a piece of home made peanut butter pie. I snuck a bite (honest, only one bite!) and it was sinfully, decadently delicious.

The diner was filled with lots of interesting things to look at (someone likes cows), and the ceiling was filled with tea towels from around the world. We asked about them...apparently some tourists bring the tea towels with them when they visit, and some people mail them to the owners once they return home. Cool!

After giving the dogs a quick outside break (yes, we always have them with us) we were on the road again. And despite the dull and dreary day, we did find some colour in Northwest Cove:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Art Book Sample Page

Have I mentioned that I'm a little excited about this year's Paws For Charity Art Book? I've been receiving lots of submissions already (and dealing with dial up internet access adds a lot of time and challenges...John thinks he has lost me to the computer)

Anyway, the number and quality of the submissions so far is wonderful. I've done a sample of what the pages will look like this year...quite a step up from last year if I do say so myself. Last year was a 7 inch square sized book, and included only the artwork with the artist's name and website. This year's book will be 10 inches wide x 8 inches high, and will include the artwork (of course! with title and website link), a brief artist's bio, artist's statement, and photo of the artist.

Although the final selections of the participants won't be made until the end of February, Dan Felstead has generously allowed me to use his information to produce the sample page. You can find his artwork on his blog ( or in his Etsy Shop (
Any suggestions for changes to the sample page? Leave a comment or send me an email. After all, anything can be improved!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010 Paws For Charity Art Book

It's that time of year...time for me to send inviatations out to artists and photographers all over the world (well, mostly North America but a few other places as well) to participate in the 2nd annual Paws For Charity Art Book Project.

Do you know an artist or photographer? Please tell them about this project! I'm looking for photos and artwork of dogs and/or cats...particularly images that show a bond with humans, or friendship. I'll be publishing a book using, and all proceeds from book sales are being donated to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. All details are available here on the Paws For Charity blog.

I'm really excited (and a tad overwhelmed) at the number of responses I've already received...just 4 days into this year's project. Awesome.

Please spread the word! (and feel free to use the logo above to blog about the project!)

P.S. you can also become a fan of Paws For Charity on Facebook by clicking here

Monday, January 11, 2010

Who would have thought?

There are some things that happen that make you think...I never in a thousand years would have predicted I would end up here...or that I would be doing this...or that I would think this...

This morning, I was taking "the girls" for our usual walk down the driveway for the paper. On our return, Mulligan was running along the edge of the woods and startled a hawk from the trees. It "exploded" out of the trees and soared upward, giving a loud scream. It screeched again two more times and settled somewhere further into the woods. I was in awe. There had been a perfect stillness to the morning before this. I am absolutely awe struck when I hear the scream of a hawk. I don't know how to explain it, other than I feel it's such a priviledge to hear, and I'm so lucky to experience it. And then I think...I never would have thought that a city girl like me would end up here...and loving it.

The other day, I was asked to sketch two initials in a heart shape. This was my first attempt:Then I was asked to fancy it up and add some "doo dads", and make it black and grey, so here is where I ended up:And you know what this is going to be?

A tattoo! A permanent fixture on someone's body...the initials of 2 children. And I think again...never in a thousand years would I have thought I would be doing this...that I would be creating tattoo art for someone!

You just never know what life has in store.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A gift in the mail

One of the great things about blogging is the friends you get to "meet". I have "known" Julia (Lineanongrata) for more than two years. When I first started reading her blog, she was living on a winery in France...making wine and designing illustrations. Sounds heavenly, doesn't it? Recently Julia has moved from France back to Germany...her homeland. Every Christmas, she has an Advent giveaway on her blog and I'm one of the lucky recipients of one of her gifts. Look at all the wonderful things she sent!Miniature soaps, and 5 of her art cards, and 5 stickers of her Scratchy Cat. It was so wonderful to receive her package in the mail. Thanks Julia!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Business + Pleasure

Today we headed down to Yarmouth...our first time there!...on a little business. You see, in December 2008 I acquired a frozen shoulder. Before that time, I had never heard of such a thing. December 2008 was decidely painful and uncomfortable, with lots of tears. In January 2009 I was diagnosed with the frozen shoulder and sent for several weeks of physiotherapy. I was "let go" from the treatment program...they told me the physio was making it worse! Thankfully, the pain went away and over time I did get back some mobility in my left arm. I can now lift it above my head, but still cannot lift it up and out to the side. It has taken this long to get an MRI appointment...and only because we agreed to drive to Yarmouth for the MRI.Our trip is outlined in pink. We live just north of Bridgewater, and drove along the south shore to Yarmouth. We had a nice (but rushed) lunch at a pub on the waterfront (note to self: must go back for a leisurely summertime lunch) and then went to the hospital for the MRI. I didn't think I was nervous about the whole thing, but spent much of the time in the tube trying not to hyperventilate. One hour later it was over and we headed up around the southern tip of Nova Scotia along part of the coast we had never visited before. I apologize for this....maybe it was the time of the year...but that part of NS just didn't do much for me. We stopped in Cape St. Marys for a couple of quick photos:
We also stopped in Weymouth...I visited Canada's oldest general store (or so they claim) while John took the dogs for a quick jaunt (yes, we take the dogs with us everywhere!).
I thought the trip home would be a longer drive, but it was actually 10 kilometers shorter. And...I got to drive through one of my favourite spots on the way back...Bear River! I have a mild love affair with that place. Loved it the first time I saw it, and still do.
All in all, a good day!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Home Sweet Home

"A house is built of boards and beams,
A home is built with love and dreams."
This is one of the Christmas gifts I created...I have done several paintings of homes in the past but this is my favourite one so far. Here is the photo I worked from:

Monday, January 4, 2010

Surviving the Storm

Whoa - what a way to start the new year! We have been snowed in for two days, and finally got dug out by our farmer friend and his tractor late last night. This morning was our first walk in two days...I was just as happy as the dogs to finally get outside.According to David, we got more snow than they have seen around here in years.
But now that the storm is over, and our half mile lane has been plowed...
...doesn't it look lovely?Thank goodness for neighbours who have big tractors!
G & DIL - good thing you left us on Saturday morning. You would have been here longer than expected...but I think Miss M would have loved all the snow!