Sunday, May 31, 2009

Busy Sunny Day

This is one of the fountains in the Halifax Public Gardens. A wonderful spot to while away some peaceful hours.
Today won't be one of those days:) I have a friend coming over for a photo shoot in a short while. She is a Yoga teacher and we are going to take advantage of the billowing Forget-me-nots in my neighbors back yard for her to pose in. Ohhhhmmm.
This afternoon I am walking to help raise awareness about Darfur. A dreadful situation that is only increasing in scope. 1:30 at St. Agnes School Parking lot on Mumford to Parade Square, if anyone local is interested. So glad it is a lovely day for it. Organized by my wee friend.
Last but not least, this evening is Book Club at my place! I spent yesterday cleaning so all is well. It is a small group but lots of fun. I think we spend five minutes discussing the book and then we are off onto every topic under the sun:) More of an excuse to get together I think.

Ongoing is my "Letter Revival Festival"(until June 14) If you like receiving interesting mail and don't mind sending a letter ...this is for you! Click on the banner to learn more:) I would be happy if you could spread the word, you can use this wee banner .

Friday, May 29, 2009


Honeysuckle in my garden. I love the way it looks now:)

Today tickets go on sale for Paul McCartney's outdoor concert. I have been debating and debating on them and have decided to go for it. He is an icon of our times and my daughter is a HUGE Beatles fan and REALLY wants to go. The concert is not until July 11th so I have time to earn some extra$ and if we decide against it, can always sell. We went to the Rolling Stones outdoor concert and it poured rain the entire time but it did nothing to "dampen" our enthusiasm! I want to hear him sing To Live and Let Die! (edited: Got them!)
On Sunday, we are participating in a walk organized by a friend of my daughter's(and mine).It's Not Over, The 2nd Annual walk to End the Genocide in Darfur. The forecast is sunny so it should be a good event. Worth supporting. You can read more about it here.

Barrington Street looking South.

I am hosting a "Letter Revival Festival"(until June 14) If you like receiving interesting mail and don't mind sending a letter ...this is for you! Click on the banner to learn more:) I would be happy if you could spread the word, you can use this wee banner .

Thursday, May 28, 2009


The bold Monty. My big beautiful boy. We've always had dogs and after our lovely Sequoia ( a gorgeous Rhodesian Ridgeback) passed away, thought maybe we would welcome a cat into our home. I am so glad we did. Cats really are different. They lack the exuberance of dogs but add a quiet, warm, if somewhat aloof at times, presence. Of course, when he is racing about the house going from window to window tracking some bird or squirrel, making urgent noises and whipping his tail, a bit of decorum is lost but he soon calms down, sits, licks his paws and checks me out as if to say "What are you looking at?"

I am hosting a "Letter Revival Festival"(until June 14) If you like receiving interesting mail and don't mind sending a letter ...this is for you! Click on the banner to learn more:) I would be happy if you could spread the word, you can use this wee banner .

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Poppies, on Ebay This was painted on a beechwood "canvas"with 3/4 inch sides. I thought I would try it out and it was quite nice to paint on. Sides painted black, looks great:)

Cirque de Soleil is coming to town next week! We have got tickets to see Alegria. Very excited. Yep! This is the third show I've seen and each time I've been transported into the weird and wonderful world that they create. The music especially gets me:) The costumes too, oh and did I mention the performers?

So I don't know if you saw my last post or not but I am hosting a "Letter Revival Festival"(hard to know what to call it:) for the next two weeks. If you like receiving interesting mail and don't mind sending a letter ...this is for you! Click on the banner to learn more:) I would be happy if you want to spread the word, you can use this wee banner.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Letter Revival

Hello everyone!
I had a fun idea today and am putting it into effect tonight:)
I did a post a while ago about letter writing and how it is fading away, a lost art form.
Well........... I decided to host a small letter revival festival!
For all of you who wrote to me lamenting the loss of lovely chatty letters full of news, and info, and stories and recipes etc........
I am collecting names of people who would like to send out a letter and receive one. You can pop over Artful Penpals to find out how to register. I will match you with a partner based on your common interests ( as much as I can) and you will then each send a letter to each other. Be as creative as you want. It is just a one time thing for now.

Send the kind of letter you would love to receive:)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

green dreams

This morning in my garden..... I have a sweet tiny patch of Lily of the Valley that is almost ready for plucking. Their scent is heavenly.
Strawberries are marinating in Cointreau, ready to be paired with mini cream puffs. Soon I'm off to dinner at the house of wonderful friends. Old friends are like a comfy baggy sweater, lots of room to be yourself in:) Good times.
Hope your weekend is going well!

Friday, May 22, 2009

So much to do, so little time:)

The glorious weather continues......
I am full of ideas for projects around the house and in the garden. So hard to focus on work:(
Aren't these Bluebird houses cute! Snapped at the Ellis Bird Farm in Alberta.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


We are having a gorgeous day today! Hooray. The leaves are unfurling themselves as fast as they can and everything is becoming saturated with colour. I have some work I want to do in the garden. Any excuse to get outside:) Might even do some "real" work outside. Take my office out onto the deck:)
Thanks for your input on the mini paintings everybody. I've decided to list them separately with a wee discount if you buy two or more. You can find them in my Etsy shop. Flowers, Polkadot Cat, Momma and Kittens !

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Japanese Bridge

This was taken four years ago minus 4 days. My daughter in Monet's garden. It was really a magical place and we visited at the perfect time. The spring flowers were just ending and the summer ones were starting to bloom. I was in heaven wandering around there. Such a peaceful, beautiful spot. We took the train out of Paris early that morning and then a bus to Giverny. There are bicycles you can rent to pedal over to the time:)

Here he is in his studio. Imagine all that space!! It is now the gift shop.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Art and Everest!

Look what I have been working on:) I love these wee wooden plaques. They are about 4 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick with a hole in the back to hang them.

Now, here's where you come in:) I am wondering if I should sell them separately or in groups of three. I think I will try selling them on Etsy first. What do you think? I just love them:)) They were fun to paint and I have loads more ideas for them. I will let you know when they are listed.

Here is something interesting I came across yesterday. I have always been fascinated by climbing and Everest in particular. Scott Parazynski the astronaut, is climbing for the second time, last year he almost made it but had to stop. I found out about his expedition while poking about the DiscoveryTV site, I think it is sponsored by NASA. He is on Twitter and you can read about their expedition here on the website onorbit. Scott is at base camp IV now at 26,000 feet (the death zone) and plans to push towards the summit around 7-8 EDT today!! (sunrise on 20th in Nepal)EDITED:HE MADE IT 6:15EDT!!!! Everest summit is 29,029 feet. It is remarkable to me that I can sit here in my cozy home in Nova Scotia and follow the final moments of the toughest climb on earth almost as it is happening! This was video of him was recorded 4 days ago.

PS: the package they are discussing contains moon rocks.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bluenose Marathon 2009

Another grey day for the annual run/walk but it was a good temperature for the participants and thankfully not raining! I walked the half one year and just might do it again. It is so inspiring to see everyone out there trying their best:)

Coming up to the 18K mark. For the half marathoners, it is getting hard. The half marathon is about 21 K/13miles so this is just about 3 k left to go. For the full marathoners, it is almost half way.

Just past the 18 k water station

This crazy guy ran the half marathon pulling a rickshaw!! He even had enough oomph to click his heels in the air as he passed me at the 20k mark:)

There are people of all ages and sizes. The day before the official Bluenose Marathon they have the "kids run"(5K) and there were hundreds of school children registered for that too. It is promoted through out the school system and they train for it.

Clapping on a walker:) One of the great things about this race is the support for the participants all along the route. People cheering and encouraging them on. It does make a difference.

Two happy volunteers, the one on the right happens to be my daughter! Well done:)
The volunteers are well taken care of. Pre-race reception earlier in the week, t shirt, lovely nylon bag, fleece blanket, small packaged raincoat, offers of food/water from cycling support team and a big party in the evening. This year they had over 1000 people to help out and they could have used more.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pretending it is Paris

My friend Mary having a peep at the luscious window display.
The Hydrostone Market is a cute wee strip of shops that are quite different from anyplace else in Halifax. I love the picture below taken of the pastry display case and reflection. It is like one of those trick pictures, it is, it is people having tea.... no, it is

Sara H, look familiar? :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Yellow Flowers original on eBay, print available on Etsy

Something bright and cheerful for you :)

I am back from the dentist. One half of my face is frozen. As it comes back to life I am feeling all pins and needley. I thought my appointment was yesterday, and rushed to make it on time only to find that it was for today! Walking in today, I felt as if I was in the Groundhog Day movie. "Here for my 2:50 appointment:)" Deja vu. Luckily I love my dentist and did not mind.

I meant to tell you that I saw Star Trek on the weekend and LOVED it! Big IMAX screen and fresh popcorn. I was in cinema heaven:)) The casting was terrific and the story good. I am waiting for the sequel already. You need never have seen a Star Trek movie or episode to enjoy this, it does stand alone although knowing the characters does make it feel like greeting old friends.

Off to rustle up something for supper. I hope it doesn't pour out of the side of my mouth ;)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Erik the Red

After the market on Saturday, we went for a stroll along the waterfront boardwalk or at least along the parts we could. Large sections are being repaired for a big event this summer. I'll tell you about that shortly. Look who sauntered up to us as bold as brass. Wondering what a cat would be doing in such a busy spot as the Maritime Museum I picked him up and read the tag which said..."My name is Erik the Red, I live at the Museum and know my way home, please put me down" lol. I think he lives on the Acadia, a large heritage boat moored at the dock there.

This is a typical scene here on the waterfront. Large luxury yachts alongside sailboats. I often wonder who is aboard the big boats, floating mansions really. This summer we are hosting the Tall Ships Festival again. They start to arrive on July 16th. The waterfront comes alive with these huge vessels from all over the world. There are beer tents, and craft villages and tours and music and events nonstop. culminating with a parade of sail. The ships are part of The International Tall Ships Atlantic Challange, a race across the sea with various ports of call of which Halifax is one. You can see the route here. The race kicked off April 30th. My daughter is volunteering for the event. Should be fun:)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Saturday Market

Every Saturday we have a marvelous Farmer's Market here in Halifax. It starts early in the morning and continues until just after lunch. I visited with my daughter and some of her friends.

It is held in the old Keith's Brewery, a bright and airy space with warrens of rooms and corridors underneath, stuffed with vendors selling everything imaginable.

The Halifax Farmers Market is slated to move next fall. The are relocating to a new venue on the waterfront next to Pier 21. I think the new name will be Halifax Seaport Farmers Market. Using wind turbines and solar panels to generate power. Here is a video with a bit of info, impressive. They start building it this month.

I sat in a chair in this hallway, eating my warm, fresh from the oven, cinnamon bun and sipping an Americano coffee. I was serenaded by this young local Busker and had fun watching all the people coming and going. Actually I took this picture from my comfy perch, sitting a few stairs up from him. I did tip him as I left.:)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I spied these beauties at the farmer's market yesterday.
Taking my mom out to lunch today:)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Fajita Casserole

One of the layers before cooking in a delicious casserole recipe sent to me by Gillian! It was yummy and originally came from Clean Eating Magazine. Healthy and low fat:)
I exchanged the whole wheat tortillas for corn tortillas, and used chicken. I also added 1/2 cup of water to the chicken pepper mixture as it was cooking to add a bit of moisture and added a dash of salsa. ( Actually I used some precooked chicken meat from a Rotisserie chicken I had and just warmed it up with the pepper mixture)
1 large red onion, halved, sliced lengthwise
½ red bell pepper, sliced into 1 ½ inch strips
½ green bell pepper, sliced into 1 ½ inch strips
2 tsp canola oil
1 lb boneless skinless turkey breast or 1 lb lean pork cutlet, sliced into 2 inch strips or chicken
3 large cloves garlic, sliced
1 tbsp cumin
2 ½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp ground black pepper
3 medium low-fat whole-wheat or corn tortillas,divided
1 15 oz can black beans, drained
2 tomatoes, chopped, divided
1 cup baby spinach, divided
1/2 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
½ avocado (alligator pear!), diced
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large skillet, sauté onion and bell peppers in oil for 5 minutes over medium-high heat.Add meat, garlic and seasonings. Cook for 8 minutes.Add a bit of water if too dry.
Prepare casserole: In an 8x8 inch clear glass dish, begin to layer ingredients. Place 1 tortilla on bottom and add ¼ of turkey/vegetable mixture, 5 oz of black beans, ¼ cup of tomatoes, and ¼ cup spinach. Continue with second tortilla, following the same order of ingredients and amounts. Bake for 20 or so min until top is bubbly. Let cool for 5 to 10 min.
When serving, top each casserole piece with 2 tsp chopped avocado.Best enjoyed within 4 to 5 days; store in fridge in airtight container. (Top with plain yogurt too if you like sour cream on these kinds of dishes. It tastes wonderful.)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Spring Fever

Spring Fever up for grabs on eBay

I had to post again:) I just finished this wee cat and love it! Soon I am off to Costco once more to get the tires taken off and summer ones put on. It was freezing up there this morning waiting to make an appointment. Crazy system. The good part is that I always meet interesting folk in the lineup to talk to, makes the time fly by.
As I wait for my tires to be replaced I will be having lunch with a friend! She's meeting me there and we will dine on Costco's finest fast food. Actually I'm not sure what they have there now but it will be fun.


Daisy Lane, original on eBay

7am...I'm off to Costco to wait in line to make an appointment to have my Winter tires taken off. Crazy I know but it is so much cheaper than anywhere else!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

new find

Fashion model in dolphin tank at Marineworld, Florida, 1939

I've just discovered a new photographer today...Toni Frissell. She was born in 1907 in New York as Antoinette but took photos under the name Toni. She worked with many famous photographers of the day, as an apprentice to Cecil Beaton, with advice from Edward Steichan. Her initial job, as a fashion photographer for Vogue in 1931, was due to Conde Montrose Nast personally. She later took photographs for the Red Cross during the war, visiting the front line and photographing all the men and women who were part of the war effort. She went on to do informal portraits. Fashion photos, even of evening gowns and such, were often notable for their outdoor settings, emphasizing active women. She was the first woman on the staff of Sports Illustrated in 1953. I am surprised that I have never heard of her. Her work is lovely! Here is a link to her Library of Congress page

Woman fishing at the tidal basin, Washington Dc. 1957. I can feel the sun and how the air feels on her feet. Love this! I imagine they had a wee chat as Toni snapped and the lady sat and fished away.

Abandoned boy with teddy, London 1945, after bombing.

Victoria Station, 1951 for Harpars Bazaar

The Kennedys 1953, Jackie's wedding:)

Also....if you are still here:) I am today's featured reader on the CBC Canada Reads... The Book Club site! Pop over and read the interview:))

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Wee Gypsy border, 8" x 3" $22 eBay
Sometimes just what you need is a small painting to tuck into an unexpected spot. I love art in quirky places.
This has been a quiet few days. Ive been cleaning and painting and reading and not doing much that might be interesting to you at all. Hmmm. The grass is getting greener:)
As you may know,I have been feeding the birds all winter and the busy wee creatures have left a big mess of sunflower shells and stray seeds under the feeder at the edge of my deck. I went to tidy it up yesterday and saw that there are dozens of sunflowers sprouting as well as other mystery plants! I think I will just leave them and see what happens.
Have a great day.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunshine Cottage

original on eBay
Ah.... these days are not far away now:)

We watched Wall-E last night. I loved it, gosh they know how to make characters tug at the old heartstrings. Nice message too.
Just finishing a salad with this incredible salad dressing on it. Yum!!! I thin it with a bit of nonfat yogurt to make it less caloric. This stuff is wonderful!! Bacon and Blue Cheese, really pungent but I love that:) I've liked all the varieties I've tried so far. This is what the jar looks like so you can find it in your grocery's cooler.
Next on the agenda today is dipping my nose into the latest John Grisham book, The Associate, thanks to my local library. It is a fast read and entertaining, good mental bubblegum:) I am about halfway through.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


A quiet day planned:) Books and painting and sorting and maybe a bit of exercise but first I am settling in to watch Wall-E with daughter, I've never seen it.
The fire is under control and almost out thanks to the rain. I think 8 homes were lost completely and 7 damaged. What a terrible and sudden event that was.
Thanks for all your '"ant" suggestions. I am going to try the cinnamon first and then move on to the others if that does not work.
Last night I went to see Earth with my daughter. It was wonderful. Seeing our beautiful planet in all it's fragility and spectacular complicated rhythms, makes me want to try harder to do my bit in keeping it healthy. There were parts I could not watch. I had my eyes closed and was silently lalalaaing.....I know it is all part of the reality of wild creatures and life in the outdoor world, but still hard to watch. Not the killing for food, but the unfortunate ends of some of the animals :(

Sun looks like it is trying to peep out.