Monday, November 29, 2010

the strength of a tree

My "The Strength of a Tree" inspirational photo available here. The third line has been applicable to my personal life in the past few weeks. No more Cassie sightings since the one on Friday...we are hoping it was actually her, but not sure. Still waiting for the pathology report from my Nov 17th surgery.

On the positive side of things...because I believe there is always a positive side...sometimes it's just difficult to see it...I have been very productive over the past few days. I put together an "Advent Box" for our son Cody, who won't be home for Christmas. I've never done an advent calendar before but it was very fun to put together. He doesn't read the blog, but you never know when things will change, so I'll post the advent box goodies after I know he has opened them.

I recovered a glider rocker that we've had for ages. I prefer a regular rocking chair, but it won't fit by our wood stove because of the border around the stone under the stove. So our old glider rocker is there (purchased when I lived alone waaaay back 18 years ago). I did recover it about 8 years ago, but found a new material that matches our living room better. It took me a couple of hours and $20 to recover. Not bad for a change of scenery.

I started a new "folk art glass window" today...a surprise for someone who dropped off 12 wooden windows for me a while back. Everything flowed beautifully today, so I have most of the design already cut out and laid out. Tomorrow I'll be gluing the main design, and then I'll work on the in fill glass. Title: "Flowers for a Friend"

Tomorrow I'm rewarding myself for all this busy bee action, and I'm meeting a friend for coffee at a lovely little place called The Biscuit Eater in Mahone Bay.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hope returns

We have been moping around the house for a week now (when not out posting flyers for our lost Cassie), so yesterday we headed into Halifax for a day out in the big city.We went to the Halifax Seaport Farmer's Market first....a little short of vendors on Friday, but it was great to see the eco friendly building. We'll have to drop by on a Saturday or Sunday in December to see it on a busy day.We did some Christmas errands, and then had a nice lunch, more window shopping and then headed home. Surprise, surprise. We finally received a phone call about Cassie. Someone saw her in Mahone Bay...quite a trek from home.We headed back out again and visited the man who thought he saw her (he saw our Lost Dog ad in the paper and phoned). John showed him some photos, and the man is sure it was her. We posted signs all around the town and talked to a few people...not many people out and about on a November evening.John is out in the area again today, posting more signs. Our new found friend Colleen, from The Platter House Restaurant in Bridgewater is also out searching for her. John and Colleen bumped into each other at The Dog Shop in Mahone Bay, so perhaps they are searching together now (I haven't received a phone update in a couple of hours).I am at home sending out updates to our contacts by computer, and hoping for phone updates. I did receive a call from Maxine in Mahone Bay...a kind stranger who called to tell me she is out looking for Cassie on our behalf.So I am now filled with hope. Maybe we will get her home with us at some point. I can't believe how much I miss that crazy dog.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Finished window and a big THANK YOU

Remember this work in progress?Here's what it looks like finished. I have had it done for a while, but with all the things going on around here I haven't yet phoned the woman who ordered it so she can pick it up. One of my "to do's" for today.Cassie has now been missing for 10 days, and although we still hold some hope in the corner of our hearts, we think we won't be seeing her again. I do want to say a huge "THANK YOU" to everyone who has been helping us. Our neighbours have been wonderful...phoning to see how we are, dropping by with freshly baked bread, dropping in for a visit with home made soup...

And the friendliness of strangers has surprised us. There have been lots of supportive comments on the blog, but we have also received many phone calls from people we don't know who have seen our "Lost Dog" flyers posted. Many folks have phoned to check to see if we have found her. Unfortunately, not one person has seen her.

I do want to give a special thank you to Colleen, owner of the Platter House Restaurant in Bridgewater. Colleen didn't know us before all this happened, but John dropped one of our flyers off at The Platter House when he went to eat while I was in surgery last week. Colleen has put flyers in several places in the restaurant, she has dropped off a flyer at the Ministry of Natural Resources, and she has been out in our area several times looking for Cassie. The kindness of strangers just amazes me. We went to The Platter House to eat lunch on Tuesday, after a much needed soul soothing walk on the beach, and Colleen wouldn't even allow us to pay for our lunch. We settled for leaving a tip for the waitress and a donation to SHAID (the local animal shelter). So I'm asking anyone who is hungry in Bridgewater to drop into the Platter House Restaurant for a snack or a meal....Colleen is just the friendliest restaurant owner you could ever meet.

Thank you to everyone who has helped make the past 10 days a little easier for us.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Today's thought

Just started playing with my newest "inspirational photo" last night. I'm not sure about the words yet, but it's getting there.

Today's follow up visit with the surgeon went well...the healing is progressing nicely. Next step is to wait for the pathology report, which should be back in a couple of weeks. Hopefully we'll have our good news from the surgery confirmed and won't have any surprises.

We won't be seeing Cody (our 23 year old son) for Christmas this year. He is stuck in Toronto and will be working at Christmas. I am thinking of sending him an "advent box" so he has something small to open every day. Any ideas of small things to send?

Monday, November 22, 2010

time heals all wounds

This is one of my favourite photos of Cassie. You can't see it well here, but her face is bathed in the glow from the rising sun. I took this photo on an early morning walk in 2009.

The past week has been very emotional and draining. Cassie has now been missing for 7 full days. Not one person has reported seeing her. To be honest, this ordeal has hit me a lot harder than dealing with breast cancer and breast surgery. Dealing with a missing animal is much more difficult for me than dealing with the death of an animal. No matter how difficult death is, (and yes, I know it is very difficult...we have dealt with 3 animal deaths in the past 5 years) I can eventually come to grips with it because it's a part of the cycle of life.

Tomorrow I report back to my surgeon for my follow up visit. I think everything is healing nicely and pretty soon I'll be able to get back into normal day to day stuff. Today was the first day since my surgery that I made the morning walk for the paper (a mile long walk) and it felt good to get out. The sun is not exactly shining, but it's looking nice and bright out there with a dusting of snow.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Good News Bad News

It has been a very emotional week around here. Our dog Cassie is still missing, and has been gone since 2pm on Monday. We live in a very rural area, surrounding by miles and miles and miles of forest. It's hunting season. I was outside with our 2 dogs on Monday when I heard a gunshot. I called the dogs and only one came back. Originally, we were thinking maybe Cassie chased a deer and ran far enough that she got lost. Now we are wondering if she has been shot or hurt. So many thoughts run through our minds, and not many of them are good. But we keep trying. We have posted and delivered more than 200 flyers up and down the country roads around here. We've put announcements on the radio, talked to animal control, posted flyers at stores in the surrounding towns, driven in the car and ATV calling her name it, we've done it. John is out again on foot with our other dog trying to comb the woods. So this is all the bad news.We did get some good news this week too, which we will celebrate soon. You see, on November 5th I was diagnosed with breast cancer. (not such good news) I originally had surgery on October 13th, and the pathology report came back with the news that I had cancer. I had surgery again on Wednesday the 17th, and several lymph nodes were removed. The preliminary reports show that the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes...and this is our reason to celebrate. I will need 3 weeks of radiation treatments (5 days a week), but most likely will not need chemo. We are very lucky, so very lucky, that this was all caught early.

And I will cling to my good news, while I sit here in frustration at not being out and about looking for my lost dog. I am trying to think only good thoughts so that she will be home with us soon.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Missing Dog

Missing from the Upper Branch, Nova Scotia area since 2:00pm November 15th....Cassie.Medium sized black dog, Giant Schnauzer/Standard Poodle Mix.She has a blue collar, with tags. Our name, address, and phone number are on one of the tags.We have been searching for her, but can't find her. She is an "inside dog" and will be hungry and cold. She loves car rides. If you see her on the road, please open your car door and she'll jump right in. Our address is on her tag. She is friendly, but wary. Please help us find her. We love her and want her back.

Monday, November 15, 2010

always things to photograph

The garden is done for the season, but I still find things to photograph. I was up early this morning, with the frost still on the ground.Some bee balm, with chinese lanterns in the background.
Chinese lanterns....the only pop of colour left in the garden.Some mother of thyme, with a weed peeking through. I refuse to weed in mid November!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Snippet in the mail

I received a snippet in the mail yesterday. "Snippet" makes it sound like something tiny and insignificant, but I love this! Snippets are the creation of Linda O'Neill ( She has taken small portions from larger pieces of her artwork, and created smaller snippets of art. Linda was one of the featured artists in the 2010 Paws For Charity Art Book Project. I had popped over to her blog one day to let her know that she was the featured artist for the day on the Paws For Charity blog, and it just so happened that she was having a draw for one of her pieces of art. Even though I rarely win anything, I just had to add my name to the list because who wouldn't want one of these little gems? I won, and got to pick my favourite snippet from Linda's Etsy Shop. I chose her Milk Snippet for my kitchen. I love the way she has mounted the artwork, on a thick 1 1/2 inch deep birch panel. I may just have to purchase a couple more and have a set of snippets!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cheery blooms

No one has told my Christmas cactus that it is not time to bloom yet. Maybe that's a good thing, since we had a full week of gloom, torrential rains, and wind and despite all that my Christmas cactus was full of cheer. But, the sun is finally shining and we are off this afternoon for a well deserved walk on the beach to soothe the soul.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


For the past few years, every Remembrance Day I look through an old scrapbook of photos my dad took during World War II. He was a navigator in the Canadian Air Force and never talked about his experiences. His brother was killed in the war and buried in England in this cemetery.

Tonight we will be visited by G, DIL, and Miss M. Tomorrow we will all attend the service in Bridgewater and we'll remember and give thanks.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


No, not that kind of moo. I'm talking Moo Cards.
Years ago, when I was the owner of a dog biscuit company, I mentored 2 women who were owners of a shortbread cookie business. During one of our meetings, they gave me a business card. It was smaller than the standard biz card...about 1 inch by 2 3/4 inches. I thought they were very cute, and something different but she wouldn't tell me where she got them done. (even though I spent hours mentoring Later I discovered that they were Moo cards.
I have finally put some together for myself, and it was quite a fun process. You can make up to 90 different cards, which is great for photographers and artists. I did up some with my artwork, some with my photographs, and used some photos of our family life and travels to put into this contraption:
A wall frame specially designed to hold moo cards. (yes, I am a sucker for marketing) I had fun last night choosing which cards to put into the holder. My only mistake when I ordered my cards was that I didn't include any vertical photos. I think the holder would look more interesting with both vertical and horizontal cards.
Anyway, it was fun creating the cards and lots of fun going through them. I'll also have fun giving out the cards, because people will be able to choose the one they want (I think this must be a girl thing, because I told my husband this and he thought I was crazy). And the cards will make great little gift cards if anyone ever orders anything from my etsy shop!
Seriously though, I think maybe their business cards would be a better value. You can still put a different image on each card (and the cards are nice and thick...great quality) and they are the standard business card size, which are a little less likely to get lost in someone's wallet after you give them out.
No, I am not getting paid for this endorsement! (I wish)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Portrait shots

Some shots from a portrait photo shoot last week...Nancy and her dog Clover. A beautiful pair!

Friday, November 5, 2010

a wild day

These photos seem appropriate for's a wild one out there. Hurricane force winds and sheets of rain driving across the fields. These tree photos were taken on a field trip I took with my Photo Club last Sunday. Our first stop was the cemetary in Lunenburg and this tree was photographed by most of us. I like the second photo the best. It hasn't been photoshopped....I took the photograph through a zip lock bag (a little trick I heard about from my photographer friend Grant).
Love the effect. Perfect for Hallowe'en....or a miserable November day like today!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nova Scotia's South Shore

Breaking news in our local paper: South Shore a top travel spot, says National Geographic
"National Geographic Travel Magazine ranked the South Shore of Nova Scotia eighth among 99 areas overall and placed it in the top category, which is reserved for coastal regions in excellent shape, relatively unspoiled and likely to remain so."

Score: 77

With its lighthouse-studded peninsulas and cozy harborside villages, Nova Scotia's foggy South Shore conforms to the quintessential image of Atlantic Canada.

Here is a representative sampling of additional anonymous comments from the panelists. They are not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society:

"Much to appreciate about the South Shore. Towns like Bridgewater, Lunenburg and Mahone Bay seem to remain relatively the same throughout the years. Numbers can be problematic in peak season, but this is no St. Tropez. The communities are still heavily involved in small shops and properties, keeping an authenticity that is becoming increasingly rare these days."

"Lack of swimming beaches and cold temperatures limits tourism to on-shore activities, including history. Driving tours are popular to enjoy the vistas along the shore."

"Beautiful area but threatened by a real estate boom that has seen outsiders "take over" communities as escalating prices push out locals. The shoreline is beautiful, though, and the area is rife with maritime history, cuisine, music, and culture. A great place to visit!"

"Small coastal communities with their backs to forest and lakes. Major draw for summer cottage life."

And I am lucky enought to live here!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hello November

We haven't seen our robins in a while. A couple of weeks ago, I glanced out the window and there were 12 robins bobbing along on the grass.If I hadn't glanced out the window at just that moment, I wouldn't have known they were there because they disappeared after that. But they are back this morning, enjoying the crabapples on our flowering crab.A good way to start we head into winter, a sign that spring will be here again.