Saturday, December 29, 2012

a winter scene

We had a bit of a snowstorm the other day. Since then, it has poured rain and then frozen. We're expecting a bigger snowstorm later today. Such is life in the winter in Nova Scotia.

This house is just down the road from us, and sits high on a hill. It is actually an abandonned house, but I didn't know that until just recently (after John did his door to door canvassing for the municipal election).

I spoke to a photographer about one of his photographs during an opening reception at an art gallery last year. He told me it took him two years to capture his photograph, and I thought at the time that it was a ridiculous statement. Then I thought about it, and it's actually quite true. I do that quite often....I often have a scene in my mind, and it sometimes takes quite some time to be able to capture it on my camera.

I have been wanting to photograph this house during a snow fall for a couple of years, but I never had my camera with me at the right time. The house seems so lonely and isolated, it just seems to me that it should be photographed in dreary weather. It was snowing a bit too hard to capture the scene I have in my mind, but I'll keep trying.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

stormy weather

oh, the weather outside is frightful...
Purgatory is calm even though it's storming outside
...but the fire is so delightful...
after many years of country living, I can finally build and maintain a fire in the stove that doesn't make us feel like we're melting! 

...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. 

We are home safe and sound after a few days celebrating Christmas with our N.S. family. It's storming outside, and we are going to snuggle up to the fire with some popcorn to watch one of our favourite movie classics...Casablanca.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

All Is Calm

Merry Christmas!
our twig tree (mentioned in an earlier post) with the setting sun

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday John!

I am so very lucky to spend each year with you. Thank you for being my best friend, my soul mate. Thank you for celebrating your days...and your years...with me. Each year goes by faster than the one before. Each year is more special than the one before.

Thank you for being you. And thank you for letting me be me.

Happy Birthday! I love you.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

dancing lights

Today we're having a party to celebrate a birthday. Actually, we're celebrating 3 birthdays. It started out as my annual gift to celebrate John's birthday...I cook him a "gourmet" dinner (well, as gourmet as I can handle) and we celebrate with our son G, DIL, and Miss M. This is a special gift from me to John, because John is the one who cooks 95% of our suppers. (I am a very lucky woman...he does lunches too!) One thing led to another, and we're celebrating 2 additional birthdays with special people we have met since moving to Nova Scotia. Life is good!

For the past few years, I have experimented with "painting with light" using the lights of our Christmas to do! The first one is for's as close to hearts as I could get.
this one is for John

Friday, December 21, 2012

a touch of red

It started snowing on Wednesday, and continued throughout the day. Purgatory has been a little dark...the snow covered the screens on one side. Riley (our Wheaten Terrier) just loves the snow and tears around the yard with her "zoomies". Our walk down the driveway for the paper was magical yesterday morning, with a touch of slogging through the heavy wet snow. It has been a black and white world for a couple of days, but there are still touches of colour to be found.

Monday, December 17, 2012

a study in paperwhites

This is the first year I have planted paperwhite bulbs. I usually plant an amaryllis bulb....something that my dad used to do. This year, I decided to do both. The sun was shining nicely through the kitchen window, so of course I grabbed my camera....proving that you don't have to head outside to spend time with your camera! I think the first one is my favourite.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

O Christmas Tree

We didn't have a Christmas tree in 2010 or in 2011. We did have a little stick tree to acknowledge the season. (quite a cool tree made with a rock base, and weathered sticks, Strung through a metal post, with a small stone on top...hand made by a man in Hubbards). But we didn't have a "real" tree. Both of the past two years, I was recuperating from surgery (2010 was for breast cancer, and 2011 was a shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff). Last year, John had knee surgery on November 27th (the 3rd surgery on the same knee within 12 months). Somehow, it just seemed too much effort to put a tree up.

Well, we'll have no more of that. This year is the third year of recuperating from surgeries for me (a detached retina this time)....enough is enough! I wanted a tree and when the woman wants a tree, her man gets her one!

I just love pulling out all the decorations...going through them one by one...and remembering where each one came from. I don't go for a "decorator's tree". I go for family memories. 
I have some decorations that were my mom's favourites. I haven't been able to spend a Christmas with her since I was 20, but I have some of her favourite decorations hanging on my tree.
I have decorations made by our son when he was three...and throughout his childhood....and now also have them made by our grandchildren.
I have some that friends sent me 30 years ago when I lived in Alberta...not being able to get "home" for Christmas for the first time.
I have many "Nova Scotia" ornaments sent to us in Ontario every year by DIL....and now we live here so she doesn't have to send me a piece of Nova Scotia each year! 

Each one holds a special memory, and a special place in my heart.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

on the menu

so....what's on the menu?
I have been feeling a little uninspired lately, but am getting back on track. 

Yesterday, I finished a window that I started a couple of months ago (photos coming as soon as we get a sunny day).

And...I enrolled myself in a photography course. A course that I have to show my photos to other people and get critiqued. Yikes. I foresee a little bit of fretting in my future. But, I signed up....and paid my deposit. My first session is in January, and I'll have six sessions...running every 2 weeks....until the end of March. I'm quite excited about it! It's called Creative Photography,and I'm hoping it will stretch my creative horizons. Should be interesting.

And...I am organizing the details for the 2013 Paws For Charity Art Book Project. Emails will be going out to photographers and artists the first week of January. This will be the 5th Art Book for me to curate, and I know it's going to be great.

Lots of things on the menu. That's the way I like it!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

kick start

the setting sun casts a glow on the milk bottles in our kitchen window
Sometimes when you're feeling a little lost, it's easy to think that you're the only person who ever struggles with lack of confidence. But age does bring wisdom (a little bit, at least) and I realize that everyone goes through this to varying degrees.

Almost losing my eyesight in my left eye in October sent me into a bit of a tailspin. I didn't take photographs. I didn't work on my glass art. I didn't read. I fretted about how fragile life is, and wondered just what my purpose was.

But time does heal all wounds (physical as well as mental) and I feel like I am getting back to being "me" again. The "me" who is positive, and the "me" who looks at the world and sees the good. The "me" who enjoys everyday details, like the setting sun hitting the milk bottles in our kitchen window.

I had a conversation with my son a couple of days ago that kick started me to get back on track. He is thinking about starting to create comics (something he has done in the past), but is worrying about what his style is. I told him to just start creating them, and his style will develop over time.  

Just start.

Isn't that something that many of us are afraid to do?  He is so talented, and so creative. As a parent, I find it difficult to patiently wait for him to discover that for himself.  

But the best thing about our conversation was that it got me to thinking that I should take a little of my own advice. Just start. That's what I need to do. There are so many things that I want to do, I need to just start and do them. As this year ends, I am determined to begin my journey and stretch my artistic abilities in whatever direction they take.

Now that's a start!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

recuperating nicely

Thank you to everyone who has emailed me over the past few weeks with kind thoughts. I have had one follow up visit with my eye surgeon, and am scheduled for another visit next Monday.

The first week was pretty grim, with me feeling sorry for myself most of the time. The good news was that I wasn't frustrated about not being able to do much because I simply didn't feel like doing anything! By the second week, I was feeling a bit better and there was a lot of progress with both how my eye felt as well as my eyesight.

I still have blurry vision, but my eye doesn't hurt any more. Yay! I still get tired, but I am able to work on the computer now and have even been out in the backyard with my camera. These frosty flowers were taken early in the morning a couple of weeks ago....not too long after my surgery. Even eye surgery can't diminish my desire to take photographs!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

poor me

It's dreary and rainy here, but I am selfishly thankful that Hurricane Sandy missed Nova Scotia.
Thankful for lots of things, even though I am feeling very sorry for myself. I had emergency eye surgery on Friday to repair a detached retina. It was caught in time to prevent blindness, but not soon enough to repair with laser surgery. So....full blown operating room surgery...and now I am home hoping for a speedy recovery. Patience is not my strength. 

I can work for a limited time on our laptop, but my desktop computer is a no go zone right now...too bright for my eye to handle. No photography. No sudden movements. I can only sleep on my right side (doctor's orders) which is causing great pain to my bad hip.Every time I blink it hurts. Boo! No one needs to feel sorry for me, because I'm looking after that well enough myself!

The good news is that I don't need to invest in a Hallowe'en costume this year. My eye is one scary sight! I won't be updating the blog for a couple of weeks.  Next time you hear from me, hopefully I'll be saying I can see again!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Light boxes

At the photography club last night, we worked with light boxes and thinly sliced fruits and veggies. I loved it, and think I might try this at home during the long winter months. The only problem last night was that there were so many people, it was difficult to spend much time at it. (this is a good problem...our photo club is getting lots of new members and is quite a vibrant club now!).

Monday, October 22, 2012

good for the soul

Today we did something we haven't done for much too long....we took a walk on the beach! We drove to Rissers Beach and had a nice long walk, sharing the beach with just a couple of other people. It was heaven.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

This and That

Two Houses By The Shore - in Musquodoboit Harbour home
I received a photo of one of my windows from its new owner...Jason. He wrote: "I'm situated on a little peninsula on Musq. Hrb. so it was hard to find a spot that wasn't blocking a view of the harbour. I chose my office for now although I might move it around a bit. Just wanted to say thanks! It's a great piece as are all of your others. I fell in love with this one when I saw it. It's such a great composition and I like the way that mosaic tree looks with the houses." It's so nice to hear from the people who purchase my windows. It's always hard to part with them, so I love to see them hanging in their new homes. Thanks Jason!

This past week has been a struggle, because I have lost most of the sight in my left eye, which has been rather scary. I spent 3 days in various doctor's offices last week, and have been diagnosed with "Posterior Vitreous Detachment". I'm finding it quite difficult to deal with, and am guessing that I only have about 25% of my normal vision out of my left eye. Reading, computer work, driving, photography....just about everything takes quite an effort. Feeling sorry for myself doesn't help! I am waiting to see a specialist in "the big city", but the good news is that they don't think I have a retinal tear....that requires emergency surgery. final update for the day. If you live around here, you already know that John did not win the election for District 9. I'm very proud of him for his 2nd place finish...quite an accomplishment for a "Come From Away" who was up against an established provincial politician! It's a "win" in my book anyway. I have been fired as official agent and manager for John's campaign, but he tells me that I will continue in my role as life partner and soul mate. Phew. That's a relief!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

nothin but blue skies and smiling faces

It's been a week of ups and downs. When things are getting me down, I take a look around me. Who can feel sorry for themselves with a view like this?

And who wouldn't smile back at this happy face?