Wednesday, September 29, 2010

At the end of the day

Some days just don't go the way you plan them. Sometimes you can roll with the punches, but sometimes you just want to get into bed and pull the covers over your head.

Yesterday fell somewhere in between. The day definitely didn't go as planned. But, there was good along with the bad.

good....I got my allium bulbs planted in the garden, so I'll finally have some early spring flowers to add to the handful of daffodils we have.
bad....Seems my digging woke up a tick and he thought he'd take a ride with me.
good...I found the tick before he latched onto my hand.

bad...one of our dogs treed 2 very large porcupines which we had to "deal with".
good....she managed not to get any quills on her.

bad...yet another porcupine was discovered by Cassie at 11 last night.
bad...3 porkies were shot out of our apple trees...it wasn't a good day for porcupines around here.
bad...this time, Cassie got a mouth full of quills before the porcupine went up the tree.
good...we were able to rush her to the emergency after hours vet at 11:30pm.
bad...we got home at 1:30am, $300 poorer.

Ahhh....life in the country!!

So...all this good and bad got me thinking about doing one of my inspirational posters. I'm trying to think of the right thing to add to the sunset photo above. Any thoughts? What goes through your mind at the end of the day?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Eating in Bear River

We like to head over to Bear River a couple of times each year. It's a lovely little village situated literally on Bear River, a river that gets fed by the Fundy Tides. The river cuts through hills on both sides, and houses are perched precariously (it seems) with long drops outside their back doors.We like to eat at the Changing Tides diner. Last time we were there, the tide was out. You can see the stilts that the buildings rest on....the Fundy Tides are the highest tides in the world.
The owner of the restaurant is a very nice woman. The first time we were there (3 summers ago) peanut butter pie was on the daily special list. Unfortunately, they sold the last piece to someone at the table next to us. When we went last year, peanut butter pie wasn't available. So the owner told us to call a day or two ahead next time we planned to come by and she would make a pie for us.
So we called, and she did. (this is one of the reasons why I love Nova Scotia so much!) She told us that one of her other customers was quite upset that she made a pie just for us....until she explained to him that he could have some of the pie too...we only wanted 2 pieces. She had lots of happy customers that day!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bear River Farms

I am a weekend behind in blogging....last Sunday we headed out to enjoy "Open Farm Day"...a day where 59 farms across Nova Scotia open up their doors to the public. We visited Bear River Farms...a farm just outside Bear River (one of my favourite places away from the South Shore).Bear River Farms is the first (and only) certified biodynamic mixed farm in the Atlantic provinces. Biodynamic takes organic one step further, and I found the tour really exciting and interesting. (John could not believe that his city girl wife was beyond thrilled about riding around on a hay wagon hearing a farming tour and lecture)
Biodynamic farming is a self sufficient farm...nothing brought in from outside the farm (no bought feed for instance)...a totally self contained unit. They are also establishing a cooperative, where outside people can invest in the farm and then share in the food products grown on the farm (eggs, cheeses, grains, bread, meat...chicken, beef, pork). This is a way of ensuring you know where your food comes from...literally straight from the farm to your plate. The idea really excites me, but I don't think we live close enough to them to make it practical for us.
Loved their "chicken chalet"...what a coop! (makes our guinea coop look like a play model) Skylights in the coop!
On a biodynamic farm, the cows must have their horns intact. The farmers think it is inhumane to cut off their horns, and they say that it is a proven fact that the milk from cows with horns is much healthier to drink.But with a view like this, who could get any farming done?
To learn more about Bear River Farms, check out their website: brfarm.com

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Weekend Daytripping

Our weekend was jammed pack with daytripping around the province...something we love to do. Hurrican Igor was nowhere near Nova Scotia, but it was close enough to cause surf to be up along the coast...something the surfers were rejoicing. There was a surfing competition in Laurencetown, but we headed to a lesser known surfer's delight...Western Head.Loved the sound of the waves crashing, and the rocks jostling as the water pulled back out. The beach is not a good walking beach...and I sure wouldn't want to be surfing....but it was lovely to sit on the rocks in the sunshine and listen and watch.And of course, I always get distracted by the real estate!
And this one...
A little further down the road is the lighthouse. This seagull (can you see him?) seems oblivious to the spray crashing around him:Next day: we headed to the other side of Nova Scotia for "Open Farm Day". (photos coming soon)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2011 Paws For Charity calendars

Some of you know that I look after an annual project called "Paws For Charity Art Book Project". As part of this year's project, and with donations from 65 artists around the world, I have created the first Paws For Charity wall calendar. All proceeds from the sales are donated to breast cancer charity. Here's the scoop:

Calendars can be previewed and/or ordered at this link:
http://www.lulu.com/product/calendar/2011-paws-for-charity-calendar/12786613

Calendar Cover:

I have received my test copy of the 2011 Paws For Charity calendar and it is fantastic! Packed with 72 images of dogs and cats supplied by photographers and artists around the world, and all proceeds from calendar sales go directly to The Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade, a registered charity with programs in over 50 countries. This charity also carries the Humane Charity Seal of Approval.

January:Following the recommendations of a couple of our participants, I created the calendars on Lulu.com. The quality of the printing and the paper is top notch....very heavy duty paper (100 #) with a glossy type finish. The quality is so much better than the company I have used in the past to create my own calendars that I'm switching to Lulu for my photo calendars this year.

June:
I also chose Lulu.com to produce the calendars because they print calendars "on demand". This means that the calendars get printed as they are ordered, and we don't have any worries about unsold (and unpaid for!) calendars. Lulu looks after the printing and the shipping....and they will be sending all the proceeds directly to the charity (Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade).

Calendars can be previewed and/or ordered at this link:
http://www.lulu.com/product/calendar/2011-paws-for-charity-calendar/12786613

If you purchase before September 30th, you can get 20% off by using this code: FALLPHOTO (you must sign in to Lulu to get this discount)
I believe there are also discounts when you order more than one calendar.

October:
Let me know what you think of the calendars...this is the first year that Paws For Charity has created one.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Playing with words and photos

A while back, I bought a Wacom Tablet but haven't had a chance to play with it until now. For ages, I've wanted to combine some inspirational words with my photos. Here are a couple I've done up so far. It's a lot more difficult to write on the tablet than I expected (or maybe it's just my shaky handwriting!) But I've been having fun. In the stillness, you can feel your heart.
In the silence, you can hear your dreams.Every dawn is a new beginning.
Each day is a new promise.

The words are my own...added to my photos. I want to create some positive thoughts...there is just so much negativity around. Too much.

I totally believe that positive thoughts lead to positive things.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ideas?

I only planted 6 tomato plants this year, and totally ignored them all summer. We now have tomatoes, tomatoes, and more tomatoes. We've been eating them noon and night. The dogs have been eating them for breakfast and supper (they're on a natural diet). Still I have containers and more containers filled with them.

I don't want to get into the whole canning thing. Is there anything else I can do with them? Ideas, anyone?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

2011 Nova Scotia calendars

As mentioned in my previous post, my 2011 wall calendars are ready for ordering. I have set up a set location for you to view all the months in a larger format.

If you click here, you'll be able to see a large version of all the monthly photos. If you'd rather cut and paste the link, here it is:



http://www.flickr.com/photos/22617516@N02/sets/72157624817251017/
The calendars will be available for shipping in early October...please have your orders in by September 30th.





Shipping Options




Friday, September 10, 2010

2011 Nova Scotia Photo Calendars

My 2011 Wall Calendars are now available...full of my photographs from our travels this past year. I think my photography has come a long wall since my 2010 calendars, but you'll have to be the judge! What do you think?You can order by clicking the "Buy Now" button at the bottom of this post (hopefully this works...it's the first time I've used this feature!) You don't need a Paypal account to use this button, and you can pay by credit card. Or you can always send me an email. I'll be ordering the calendars on September 30th, so make sure you put your order in before then!






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Life in Purgatory

"Purgatory" (our screened in porch) is now back to normal after Earl. All my rusty pails and wooden boxes and glass windows have been restored!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

At the auction

I love going to auctions, especially on site auctions on a warm, sunny day. My sister introduced me to auctioning many years ago. When I first started bidding, I was very nervous. But now I'm cool as a cucumber. I set a price in my head (usually $5 or $10, sometimes if I really want something I'll bid higher but I don't actually need anything...I'm just there to have fun) and I don't go over my set price.I do make mistakes sometimes...like on Sunday when I thought I was bidding on one thing, but was actually bidding on something else! Good thing no one else wanted it...I got my surprise item for $5! (it was a wooden box painted a rusty red...about 2 1/2 by 3 feet). But it was a lovely day by the ocean...this auction was on Indian Point Road (just outside Mahone Bay).
Nice way to spend a morning and afternoon!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dealing with Earl

Our Labour Day weekend preparations mainly involved preparing for Hurricane Earl. John was busy all Friday afternoon removing the chairs from the deck, all the clutter from Purgatory (our screened in porch), my windows from the trees...basically, anything that could be damaged or turn into a flying missile was stored away in our shed and workshop.

Here we are on Saturday morning, in the rather barren Purgatory waiting for the hurricane to hit land. It was raining fairly lightly at this point, but the wind was quite strong and the trees were bending and blowing around. Shortly after this photo, the rain came in a lot heavier and we moved inside.We lucked out big time in the house we bought two years ago...I don't know if they had hurricanes in mind when the built it, but we couldn't ask for a better home to ride through a hurricane in. The house is "ICF" construction...don't ask me what it stands for, but basically it's built from styrofoam forms and filled with concrete. The walls are solid concrete, one foot thick. The house is also wired into a propane powered generator. Every time the power goes out, the generator automatically kicks in to give us power. This comes in quite handy, especially living in the country where we depend on electricity to run the well...which means we can have running water (and therefore flushing toilets) when Nova Scotia power isn't functioning (a common occurrence).But, back to the storm. Earl hit land not too far from where we live. This gave us the rare privilege of going through the eye of the hurricane (which had turned into a tropical storm by this time). It was quite eerie for a while...no wind or rain. When the wind started up again, it came from the opposite direction. Bridgewater had the heaviest rainfall in Nova Scotia...we figure we got about 2 1/2 inches of rain. The whole system moved through in about 6 hours. This is what it looked like by 4:00 Saturday afternoon: We were so very lucky. No damage to the house, shed, or coop.Our power flashed off and on a few times, but never went out. A few tree limbs came down, and we lost our 9 foot high sunflowers. Here are the sunflowers before the storm: And during the storm: (it's raining here, but you can't really tell by the photo)The lone sunflower on the morning after...broken, but still standing:Like I said, we were very lucky. Who can complain when we only lost a few flowers?
The day after Earl was sunny and clear...a gorgeous day. It's funny how quickly things get back to normal. All our chairs and "stuff" are back where they belong, and life gets back into routine.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How to end a hot day

We did make it to the beach late yesterday afternoon. We decided on Crescent Beach...a great beach for swimming (and walking too). Here is the proof...I actually did get into the water and swim. It was glorious!According to the newspaper, the water around here is 3 or 4 degrees (celcius) warmer than usual. This fact is causing some concern about the predicted hurricane...apparently the warmer water might make the storm more severe. But it sure did make great swimming! After my swim(s) we headed over to Green Bay for some fish and chips at MacLeod's Canteen. In my opinion, the fish and chips was so-so. But the view...while dining on the beach... just couldn't be beat:
How can you end a day better than this?