Wednesday, March 31, 2010

lunch in the city

It was foggy and rainy for my drive into Halifax to join fellow blogger Shelagh for lunch. We had a lovely lunch...Shelagh is such a talented woman, and a big inspiration for me. The drive home was just as dismal, but the rain did stop so I took a detour from the "big highway" and took the coastal route home.

I stopped a couple of times to experiment with my assignment for week 2 of my photo course. Not much luck with good photos, but it was a start.

By the time I got home, it was blue skies and sunshine...proving that home is one of the best places to be!

Tomorrow....the 2010 Paws For Charity Art Book will be available for purchase! Woo hoo!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Photo madness, trading places

We were at G and DIL's for their first BBQ at their new house, and I made everyone wait for their dessert while I took a photo of the chandelier's reflection in my spoon.

I am taking a photography course right now so I am going to drive everyone crazy for a while when I experiment with my camera. Learning how to use my camera off the automatic mode has been on my "to do" list for a couple of years now. I figured if I signed up for a photo course, it would force me to learn. Right now it's a painful process (my old brain doesn't work as well as it used to!) but I have already learned a lot and I'm quite excited about it.

I spent the weekend with DIL at her new home, helping to organize and unpack. Meanwhile, G was at our place and he and John spent 2 days at a course together. Then we all met up at G&DILs on Sunday afternoon for a BBQ.

This week: Meeting fellow blogger Shelagh for lunch tomorrow, working on assignment 2 for my photo course, releasing the 2010 Paws For Charity Art Book for online sales, perhaps starting on a new glass window, and my 3rd last physio appointment (I'm getting discharged from out patient physio next week...yay!).

Lots to do...gotta go!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

hanging windows

Last Friday afternoon I was home by myself while John was out galavanting. So, I wandered around outside with the dogs and decided it was time to hang some of my windows in the trees of our "island". We have a huge pile of rocks running halfway through our that were picked out by farmers many, many years ago. Our 78 year old neighbour remembers seeing the "old timers" out picking the rocks from the fields. Now the rocks have trees growing up around them, and in the spring lots of water gathers there.

I decided to mount a 2 x 4 board up between 2 trees and hang a window from the 2 x 4. Ha. Easier said than done. It took me 2 hours....two accomplish this by myself. First I had to go back to the shed to get the window. Another trip to get the 2 x 4, drill, chains and screws. Another trip because the chains I picked were too big to go through the attachments on the window. Another trip to get the regular screwdriver when I stripped the heads on the screws....and so on. I finally got the 2 x 4 mounted, and the window hung. Did I mention that it took me two hours?

Today John and I took the dogs out in the afternoon and the window...and the 2 x 4...were on the ground. Obviously my attempt to hang the window was not a good one. John removed the 2 x 4 and hung the window in a tree. You can't see it from the house, but you can see it when you're walking around "the island". This is the first window I ever made....many years ago. It used to have a bottom pane, with the stems of the flowers, but it got broken in our move to Nova Scotia. Our dog Mulligan is in the photo.John and I hung another window up on the weekend. This window is at the end of the "island", and the photo is taken from a bench we have placed nearby. This view is looking up the hayfield, back towards the house. If you look closely, you can see our other dog Cassie in this photo (but you have to look really hard!) This is one of the windows I made for my first "art show" last September. I didn't sell any of my 3 pieces, but it was fun to do nonetheless.

Good thing we have lots of trees. I can still get my glass fix making windows and have lots of places to hang them!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Today is our 8th anniversary.

We've been living together for almost 17 years, but officially it's our 8th.
I designed our rings. Well, I have a ring and John wears a pendant. The front of my ring has our 3 initials.The initials "J" and "S" are out to the sides, joined in the centre to make an "H".
Beside the S is a scottish thistle, for my Scottish heritage.
Beside the J is an english rose, for John's English heritage. Only...we found out after we were married that his ancestors were actually from Ireland. So it has morphed into a wild irish rose.The 2 flowers are entwined across the back of the ring.

I love my ring and am so happy I found a jewelry designer who could bring my vision to life.

And...I love my man. I'm so happy I found my life partner. Happy 8.

"I love you not only for what you are,
but for what I am when I am with you."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Never heard tell.

"Never heard tell" is an expression we have heard now and then since we moved to Nova Scotia. I'm not sure if it's a Nova Scotian expression, or a turn of phrase that's used by people living "in the country"...or if it's an expression unique to "country" people living in Nova Scotia. In any case, I've heard it quite a bit since moving here.

Last week was garbage week at our place...something that happens once every 2 weeks around here. We have a rather long driveway (1/2 mile) so it's not just a simple carry the bag to the street. We load the recyclables and garbage up in our little ATV trailer or in the back of the SUV and drive it down. But last week our garbage wasn't picked up on Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Or Thursday. So I called the municipal office and got passed around to a few people and was finally told that our road was closed to truck traffic. Well, I never heard tell of this before!

Apparently it's a common thing out here in the country. Spring brings soft roads and spring brings "no trucks over 5000 kg" signs. And spring brings no garbage pick up for people on dirt roads. I loaded the garbage back in the car, and drove it back to the house. I was told to take the garbage out to the closest paved road on the next garbage day and leave it on the side of the road.

Our neighbours tell us this usually happens every spring, but for some reason it didn't happen last year (our first spring here). But as fast as the signs get put up, they get taken down. I snapped the photo of this sign on Saturday (the red barn in the background is the home of the sheep that I'm so fond of and take many photos of) and today the signs were gone.

Never a dull moment around here.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Wow. That's all I can say. What an absolutely fantastic week of beautiful weather. This is the kind of weather we usually get in June! No kidding. My pre-season gardening has all been done and the gardens will now wait a couple of months for most things to pop up. (the odd plant has peaked out, but this is really much too early for anything to grow around here)

I headed out early this morning (well, early for me...9:15!) and went to an auction at the Conquerall Bank Fire Hall. It was packed. After two hours, I decided it was too nice a day to spend any more time bidding and losing out because I won't pay the going rate. So I headed down the road...glorious sunshine and warm, warm, warm! Driving along the LaHave River was wonderful. Waved hi to Nancy, who was out on her steps enjoying the view and the sun (yes, Nancy...that person madly waving out the car window was me). Close to home, I pulled over and took some sheep photos. The ewe pictured above came over and listened to me talk for a few minutes.

John and I spent a couple of hours outside cutting and rolling up some old barbed wire that was put up years ago by previous owners. The barbed wire was all around the "rock island" that runs halfway through our field. It was tough work (mostly for John) but well worth it, I'd say. It's something I've been wanting to do since we moved here (almost 2 years ago...gasp...where has the time gone?) And. it. feels. great. to have it done.

Now it's time to enjoy our first bbq of the year. Yum.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

how do you spell relief

I have been working non stop to put the 2010 Paws For Charity Art Book together, and giving myself a non stop headache. Totally stressed out about everything, and worrying about whether or not the participants will like the book. was time to head to the shore for some stress relief. Another lovely walk on the beach with John and "the girls". We had the beach to ourselves (it was a tad cold) and it was great. After our hour long walk, we took a drive out to the LaHave Islands. First we took a drive down Crescent Beach...yes, it's allowed. Even though you are permitted to drive on the beach, I always feel a little guilty about it. Not exactly environmentally friendly.The sky was lovely: Here is St John's Church on Bush Island, a very picturesque little church on the shore:And a couple of scenic shots of a cottage and fishing stage: All in all, a very good stress reliever.

The 2010 Paws For Charity Art Book gets uploaded on Friday (thanks to a friend who is loaning me her computer and her high speed access). I'll be ordering myself a copy to check that everything is okay, and then the book will be ready for ordering. I'm really pleased about the way it has turned out...and hope everyone else will be happy too!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

what do you see?

John spotted this floating in the water on a recent trip to Halls Harbour, on the Fundy shore.

He saw a face. I saw a dragon.

What do you see?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Saturday at Rissers

Sunshine after more than one week of overcast skies and wind and rain

One and a half hours of walking on the beach with my man and my "girls"


Saturday, March 6, 2010

sun and blue skies

I rescued this geranium from the garden last fall, and now it's blooming on the kitchen windowsill...a sign of spring?

Today is the first day in way too long that the sun has appeared. I was planning to put the finishing touches on the 2010 Paws For Charity Art Book today. But instead we are off to the shore to enjoy the sun with it's wee bit of warmth, and a very long walk on the beach with "the girls". Hooray.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

afternoon on the Fundy Shore

Yesterday we took a little day trip across the island to lunch and tour part of the Fundy Shore we hadn't yet seen.Our first stop was Annapolis Royal (#1 on the map above), a very charming old town with lots of colourful houses,and a lovely boardwalk along the waterfront. I was hoping to eat at Leo's Cafe, where they have scrumptious soups and sandwiches, but they were closed for the season. (so typical around here...many places close from October through April). We ate at a pub instead and the food was pretty good...not quite what I was imagining...but it was past two oclock so beggars can't be choosers.
After lunch, we continued north and headed to the Fundy Shore. According to information on a sign in Annapolis Royal:
"The floor of the bay of Fundy forms a natural funnel 140 miles long between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Here the sun and moons natural attraction sluices Atlantic water twice daily up the Annapolis River...approximately one foot every 15 minutes. The average daily flood and ebb of 26 feet leaves ocean going vessels high and dry on the mud flats."
Yes folks, you read that right, the tides go up and down 26 feet there....the highest tides in the world.
Our first stop on the fundy shore was Parker's Cove (#2 on the map above)...isn't this house colourful?But windy, windy, windy, and COLD! I think you would need a house that colourful to cheer you up on days like this. The next stop was Hampton Wharf (#3 on the map), where we let the dogs out for a break. John gets the dogsand I run around with my camera. Taking photos of iron moorings is a common thing for me.I like capturing different things in the background...sometimes scenery, sometimes boats. Sometimes I just like the colour of the rope, or the knot. I'm sure the fishermen around think I'm crazy.LOVED this tree...Further along the road (#4 on the map above) we pulled over to the side of the road in Port George. It was such a dismal day, I loved the way these floats on the side of a barn popped with colour.
The day was winding down, and we had an hour and a half drive home, so we headed back. A lovely little day of touring for a mad March day.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


John and I took a little breakaway today, and headed over to the Fundy Shore. We stopped for a late lunch in Annapolis Royal, and took a stroll on the boardwalk back to the car. This little guy came out to greet cute!

Tomorrow I hope to post a little trip-tik of our day's adventures.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Good to go

Finally, finally a moment to sit down and give a little update. February 28th was the deadline for Paws For Charity artwork submissions, and it has been a little hectic around put it mildly. I am now madly contacting all the artists and putting the pages together for the 2010 Art Book. It is looking fabulous, if I do say so myself.

Four of the past 10 days have been spent helping G and DIL with their packing, moving, and unpacking at their new home, and prepping their existing house for sale. They are "upsizing"... moving to a much larger home... so there is not a great deal of purging going on. Just a lot of moving.

Helping them has given me lots of time to think about our past moves. Our last move was almost two years ago when we moved from Ontario to Nova Scotia... a move of 1000 miles. Although we were moving to a house of roughly the same size, we purged like crazy. (nothing like paying by the pound to make you think twice about moving something!) We shredded paper, we sent things to auction, we gave things away, and we threw things out. It actually felt pretty good! We probably could have done more, but I guess that will happen if we go through a downsizing stage in the future.

Thinking about downsizing got me to thinking about John's mom. Several years ago, she moved from a two bedroom apartment to a one room unit in a retirement home. Then she made one more move, and was only able to keep a few special things. When she passed away, we received the box of things that she kept in her room.

If you could keep just one small box of "stuff", what would you choose? It's a tough question.
For me, I would take my refrigerator photos (we have our frig covered in photos. The photos are stored in individual protectors that have magnets on the back, and plastic on the front... purchased at the dollar store). I have all our family and some friends there... and I can see them every day. Every now and then I replace the photos, but I just place the new photo on top of the old one, so there is a bit of history there. Some people probably think it looks cluttered, but it's one of my favourite things in the house because everyone who is special to me is there.
I would also take one of the paintings done by my mom. She painted this as an engagement gift for my dad...sometime in the late 1930's, early 1940's. It was always in my home growing up, and has been with me ever since my dad gave it to me when he was downsizing and moving. I have many other paintings done by my mom, but this is my favourite.
And...some shells and beach glass found on many walks on the beach with John.
Add a favourite coffee mug and I'm good to go. (currently a mug with a Tom Thomson painting on it...originally full of reds, oranges, and yellows but now much faded)

What would you put into your box?