Friday, July 30, 2010

How to be Alone

Poem/song by Tanya Davis, 2009
Video by Andrea Dorfman
Love this, feel free to pass it along! Shot in Halifax.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

end of July

I can hardly believe that August arrives with this weekend. Once again I feel as though summer is running away without me. I have not had much time away from the city, out by the water, in the fields,on the country roads, poking about small towns, in the woods, looking at starry skies.........
Will try to make up for that. Must.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

cool idea

This is John Doull's Bookstore on Barrington Street. One of the spots I plan to pop into on my "Big Day Downtown" adventure. A few weeks ago I got an email asking me if I would be interested in participating in a cool promotional event for our downtown area.

A group of Halifax bloggers have been asked to spend a day exploring downtown and then write about our experiences. YES!! We'll each be given a small stipend to spend as we wish on our downtown foray. I love Halifax, and I love showing it off. I think this is a wonderful idea to highlight the forgotten and hidden gems we have. Really looking forward to reading what everybody does:)

Our downtown, the area from the waterfront to the bottom of the Citadel is in the midst of being revitalized. It has had it's ups and downs as often happens in the center of cities and it is now in the early stages of an upswing! Hooray.

Tonight is the launch party for this event and I am excited to meet the other bloggers and get the details for our mission:) I'm feeling like a secret agent. Speaking of which, I saw Inception last night. What an interesting film. Loved the idea of all the layers and going "deeper" and "deeper". Evidently.....according to a rumour, Ellen Page who lives here, brought Leonardo for a quick visit while filming that movie. He loved it and was delighted that nobody bothered him. Could just be hearsay but.......I'd like to think it's true.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

al fresco weather

We've had some great weather and when it is warm out, I love eating outside. Recently we headed to "The Battered Fish. I'd heard a lot of great things about this truck. It is parked on the Bedford Highway next to the Esquire Restaurant (another classic place).

Clean, pristine, and a great selection of food. They even have salads! More importantly, malt vinegar:)

Amber served up our suppers with a smile.

Yum, fish tips with fries and a sprite.

and the classic... two pieces of haddock with fries. The fish was tender, moist and fresh. Batter supremely crispy. Fries warm and friendly:)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

company's coming

I've been sporadically de-cluttering and tidying lately, getting ready for some relatives arriving next month. Interesting how when you have people coming over, you suddenly see your home in a different light. Sometimes not so great :) All of sudden I've got big plans. Things I NEED to get done but really have no time for right now or extra money. So I've decided to do some small fixes that will make a difference!
Lamps are an easy way to perk up a space. I love em. They are cozy and spread cheery pools of warmth. The bedroom where my British troops will be staying needs new bedside illumination. So I went online to look at table lamps for ideas. Boy, who knew there were so many options. From stained glass lighthouses to natural dawn simulators to rustic bear lamps to red Chinese Food carry out box lamps....hmmm. I'm thinking simple. Probably will end up with something like this lamp Monty(as a kitten) is curled under. I love this picture:) Anyway, I'd best get back to work. Dusting, sweeping, redecorating:) I should really be painting!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Summer is luxuriously upon us. Radiant and ripe. One has no choice but to give in. The heat almost too much, but then my thoughts wander six months hence and I bottle these golden days for future recollection. The hot evenings are not great for sleep. I often creep outside in the heart of the night to sit under my leafy trees, enjoying the soft balmy air and listening to the tiny sounds in my garden, wondering who else is quietly awake in these early hours.

This was taken in the window at the Tangled Garden. A wonderful shop perched at the edge of Wolfville, that sells jellies, vinegars and liquers. I've mentioned it before in this blog and will probably mention it again sometime. I love their products and beautiful garden.

peace through literacy

Lalander school, west of Kabul, Afghanistan

As you might know, I am a big fan of Greg Mortenson's work. He wrote the book Three Cups of Tea... about the importance of educating girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He has dedicated his life to improving the lot of girls and women in this dangerous area through community based initiatives. They will be the brokers of peace.
Recently, Blackboard, a USA software company that develops and licenses education software applications, made a donation of $10,000 to the Central Asia Institute ( Three Cups of Tea) while also challenging their employees, partners, and the business community to support Greg's efforts using a text-to-donate campaign, which they will match up to $ 10,000. So your $10. donation will become $20.
Educate a Girl: Change the World!

So here is how you can help if you are in the U.S. :
1. TeEducate a Girl, save the world!xt to 50555 and enter "CAI" (Central Asia Institute) for the $10 donation.
2. You will then be prompted to confirm the $10 donation to CAI with the word YES.
3. Each donation will be added to your mobile phone bill.*$10 will be added to your mobile phone bill/deducted from your prepaid account. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Reply STOP to 50555 to stop. Full Terms: Available only on US carriers.

100 percent of the proceeds will go to CAI to support their mission and Blackboard will match your donations up to another $10,000.

If you are not in the United States or even if you are, and want to contribute to this wonderful and worthwhile effort directly, you can DONATE HERE
1 Cent... buys a pencil
$2 or $3 = One teacher's salary for one day
$20 = One student's school supplies for one year
$50 = One treadle sewing machine & supplies
$100 = Maternal health care supplies for 1 year
$200 = Midwife's supplies for a year
$300 = One advanced student's annual scholarship
$600 = One teacher's annual salary
$1000 = Supports 1000 students for 1 month at a dollar/child/month for books, uniform & school supplies
$5,000 = Support for an existing school for one year
$50,000 = One school building and up to five years of support

Monday, July 19, 2010

Yellow Poppies

I've come up with a great idea, by accident as most ideas arrive. Taking small parts of my large paintings and turning them into their own paintings. Probably been done a bazillion times before but not by me:) I think this close up would look great as a painting by itself! Hmmm.

This is where it came from and by the way.....this painting is for sale! $175US shipping included if you live in Canada or the United States. 16 x 20" with 3/4" sides on stretched canvas.Pop off an email to me if you are interested.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


written by Danielle Laporte of White HotTruth. Love this!

manifesto of encouragement
right now:

There are Tibetan Buddhist monks in a temple in the Himalayas endlessly reciting mantras for the cessation of your suffering and for the flourishing of your happiness.

Someone you haven't met yet is already dreaming of adoring you.

Someone is writing a book that you will read in the next two years that will change how you look at life.

Nuns in the Alps are in endless vigil, praying for the Holy Spirit to alight the hearts of all of God's children.

A farmer is looking at his organic crops and whispering, "nourish them."

Someone wants to kiss you, to hold you, to make tea for you. Someone is willing to lend you money, wants to know what your favourite food is, and treat you to a movie. Someone in your orbit has something immensely valuable to give you -- for free.

Something is being invented this year that will change how your generation lives, communicates, heals and passes on.

The next great song is being rehearsed.

Thousands of people are in yoga classes right now intentionally sending light out from their heart chakras and wrapping it around the earth.

Millions of children are assuming that everything is amazing and will always be that way.

Someone is in profound pain, and a few months from now, they'll be thriving like never before. They just can't see it from where they're at.

Someone who is craving to be partnered, to be acknowledged, to ARRIVE, will get precisely what they want -- and even more. And because that gift will be so fantastical in it's reach and sweetness, it will quite magically alter their memory of angsty longing and render it all "So worth the wait."

Someone has recently cracked open their joyous, genuine nature because they did the hard work of hauling years of oppression off of their psyche -- this luminous juju is floating in the ether, and is accessible to you.

Someone just this second wished for world peace, in earnest.

Someone is fighting the fight so that you don't have to.

Some civil servant is making sure that you get your mail, and your garbage is picked up, that the trains are running on time, and that you are generally safe. Someone is dedicating their days to protecting your civil liberties and clean drinking water.

Someone is regaining their sanity. Someone is coming back from the dead. Someone is genuinely forgiving the seemingly unforgivable. Someone is curing the incurable.

You. Me. Some. One. Now.

. . . Add your voice of encouragement

Saturday, July 17, 2010

day on set

This is where I spent most of Thursday. These are various background performers having a break before heading in to mime being restaurant patrons in the movie Cloudburst. Just regular people, extras are supposed to blend in to the background and not distract from the main action. Each person is checked for what they are wearing and general "look". When working as an extra you are advised to bring some extra changes of clothing so the wardrobe people can mix and match everybody according to colour and mood of scene.

Working on sets is a lot of hurry up and wait. Lighting is meticulous and every shot has to be lit separately. Every shadow is examined. Sound is checked and things like fridges and fans are scrutinized. It is all about the details.The extras are put into place before the main actors are brought in. Often rearranged according to how the shot looks.

I was placed back to back with Olympia Dukakis. We were sharing the same booth bench but her table was behind mine:) We kept bumping elbows (she had her arm along the top of the seat). When the camera starts rolling, as background performers, we have to mime conversations with our fellow extras. No sound at all. The ambient noise is all put in during the picture editing.

This is what the food stylist/props person brought to place in front of me. I was very hungry and quite disappointed when I saw "my" meal. We did break for a lovely communal buffet lunch shortly after. Food is one of the highlights of being on set, it breaks the tedium.

In this scene, we are supposed to be in a Salt Lake City diner. One of the extras was reading a prop newspaper from there! Olympia and her partner are on the lam and stop in for a quick bite here with a hitchhiker they have picked up to throw off the people looking for them. It was a very funny scene with some memorable lines. Especially one involving a second hair net!

Sitting right next to the lead actors was very interesting because I could eavesdrop on their banter and listen to the director and actors work out how the scene was to be played. Thom Fitzgerald is the director and I was very impressed with his calm manner and clear vision.

If you are interested in extra work in Nova Scotia, Hennessy at Large is the local company that casted this film. Filmworks is another casting agency that is looking for talent.

PS. I am trying out larger pictures on my blog. What do you think? Are they too big?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Simple Things, always the best

fields of wild flowers
soft breeze through open windows
gentle swing of a hammock
starry night skies
brand new paintbrush
cerulean blue
smell of toast
red currant jam
salty ocean tang
soft dawn
misty mornings
the moon "daylighting"

soft rain
freshly made bed
smell of bookstores
cats paws
dog smiles
a proper cup of tea
fountain pens
writing lists of simple pleasures

Christina at Soul Aperture is having a birthday today:) Pop over and say hello. Simple Things is a birthday surprise for her organized by Se'lah.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

cat nap

Can you believe this? Sound asleep on my old b/w printer. When it is switched on, the bed is warm and Monsieur Monty somehow always manages to know when that is. He eventually draped himself over the other end!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

day tripping

This is a place I have been wanting to check out for ages! So recently a friend and I headed to The Bike and Bean Cafe. It is about a half hour drive from Halifax, situated on the old road to the South Shore, the number 3 highway. Once the French Village train station, it is now a cute cafe and bike rental place.

Love the small bowl of water placed here for thirsty critters.

We had a grilled paninis and carrot ginger soup for lunch, seated outside under the cheery umbrellas. ( do you know how many variations of "panini" I typed to get it spelled right?The letter n tricked me)

For dessert I had to try one of the fruit tarts made by Boulangerie la Vendeene believe. YUM!

What is so cool about this wee place is that it is situated on the old rail line which has long been gone and is now a wonderful walking /biking trail. You can rent bicycles and helmets for $20 which will give you 4 hours or $30 for the day. Two hours cycling will take you to Hubbards where you can have more treats at the Trellis Cafe and then bike back!

We did not go for a cycle but had a short walk. Look what we saw:) I can hardly wait to come back for a day of cycling:)

Monday, July 12, 2010


"Ready for my close up Mr. deMille"
I'm going to spend the day tomorrow on a film set as an extra! Cloudburst. I've got a good book and my sketchbook ready to take with me. There is a lot of hurry up and wait on film sets.
They have been shooting this film for a few weeks in and around town and outlying areas. I think tomorrow's scene will involve a diner and I will be a patron. I have to be there at 7am! Better get to bed early!:)
Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker are the stars. In this movie they play two old lesbians who escape from their nursing home to go to Canada to get married, along the way they pick up a young male hitchhiker... should be fun.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I have spent a large part of this weekend going through my pictures of NYC. Trying to put them in order so I can burn a disk for my mum. Tons of images combined with a v...e...r...y...slow computer equals not as much fun as it should be. Remind me not to take so many pictures next time! When I am finished I will post my faves here too.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday Links

Back to your regularly scheduled programming........

Thanks for reading through my last post. It is something that means a lot to me. I realize that development will happen no matter what but why not preserve this beautiful parcel of wilderness and build out from it. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. They 'll pave paradise and put up streets and houses and apartments. Same old.

Just came across this yesterday. Did you know that in Homer's tale of Odysseus, also known as as Ulysses, his adventures might have happened here in Nova Scotia?

THIS looks like a lot of fun. Might try it this summer:)

Warm summer days and the grilling is easy. 101 things to try Number 4 sounds interesting to me.

More barbeque tips from my boy Jamie:)

Accordian virtuoso Richard Galliano, Libertango, this guy is amazing.

Joke of the day.......

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson were going camping. They pitched their tent under the stars and went to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night Holmes woke Watson up and said: “Watson, look up at the stars, and tell me what you see.”

Watson replied: “I see millions and millions of stars.”

Holmes said: “and what do you deduce from that?”

Watson replied: “Well, there are billions of stars sparkling up there and the light from them took billions of light years to reach us, and if there are billions of stars, and if even a few of those have planets, it’s quite likely there are some planets like earth out there. And if there are a few planets like earth out there, there might also be life.”

And Holmes said: “Watson, you idiot, it means that somebody stole our tent.”

Have a great weekend............

Friday, July 9, 2010

paving paradise, action required

Just read this in THE COAST and it makes me feel ill....

Birch Cove Lakes-Blue Mountain wilderness area threatened by development
-Posted by Tim Bousquet on Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 7:32 AM

A high-powered and high-dollared political battle in City Hall is playing out largely unnoticed by local media. At stake are potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in suburban development and the future of a proposed wilderness park celebrated as an unparalleled urban gem by environmentalists.

Over the past few years wilderness advocates have successfully convinced the provincial government to designate 1,350 hectares of crown land as the Birch Cove-Blue Mountain Wilderness, and managed to get a similarly named municipal wilderness park written into the HRM regional plan;

The city park would incorporate both the crown land and now-privately held land bound by the Bayers Lake Industrial Park, the proposed Highway 113 corridor, the Kingswood subdivision in Hammond's Plains and a ridgeline just to the west of the Bicentennial Highway. The resulting park would include nine lakes that form a continuous canoe loop, the highlands of Blue Mountain and a striking wilderness landscape--- all on a chunk of land about the size of the Halifax peninsula, just 15 minutes from downtown.

The regional plan calls for the creation of the park and says the privately owned land can't be developed in the 25-year lifetime of the plan. But........ the private landowners-- -which include the two largest development companies in Nova Scotia, the Annapolis Group and Armco Development- --have asked the Regional Plan Advisory Committee to amend the plan to allow them to place suburban homes on the land.

The developers have been lobbying hard on the issue, (we have to lobby harder) and through two meetings of perhaps 50 people crammed into the un-air conditioned Finley Centre, the committee has been fairly responsive:( While applying political pressure, the developers have put up "no trespassing" signs and blocked parking on formerly accessible lots off the Bicentennial Highway. The committee continues its deliberation August 11.

THIS is the land in question Under pressure from the large developers, city hall is trying to back out of an agreement they made for no development in the next 25 years.

What can we do? Spread the word!

Write to our representatives and say what you feel.

This is another group trying to help Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

Contact Mayor Peter Kelly! .... in his own words... Reach me at City Hall(about anything) at, by phoning 490-4010. I also invite you to join me on my Facebook or Twitter , or on my blog at

It is easy to be upset but to make a difference you have to take action! Don't think about writing, do it if this is something you don't want to see happen. Find out when the open meetings are and attend. This cannot be allowed to occur after all the hard work that went into trying to set the land aside in it's pristine state. It is one of the few pockets of wilderness within close range of the city. Developing it would displace the wildlife and give us a sea of houses and apartment buildings instead.

Dousan Soudek wrote in an online group called ExploreNova Scotia:
To all:
The request for permission to initiate secondary planning for a residential/ commercial development in the area by the developers (Birchdale Projects) in the Birch Cove Lakes area, plus two other unrelated and less controversial development proposals, will be voted on by the HRM Regional Plan Advisory Committee (RPAC) at its next meeting on August 11.
If the committee votes YES on the proposal, it will then go for a vote to the full HRM Council; if it votes NO, then the proposal is pretty well dead.

You may send an e-mail to the members of RPAC through its legislative assistant, Chris Newson at * you will have to copy and paste the email address into your email browser*
(Here is a link to RPAC membership, there are 15 members that will determine the fate of this wonderful resource. Short term gain for long term loss. This is something I really care about about so please be patient with this long post. I know it is not my usual chatter. Even if you are not from here and want to help us save this gem of an area, please write a quick email.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nova Scotia summer sailing

New print available in my shop:)
Wow the weather!
It is perfect for some sailing. Probably the best place you could be on days like these. Very hot and humid. Although having just written that, I look outside and see that it has become a bit cloudy. Maybe it is just a haze.
Off to get some work done. Hope you have a productive day!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

tattoo tonight

Not this but it they are lovely yes?

Not this . Taken at Paul McCartney's concert..

Ha, this!
The Nova Scotia Royal International Tattoo at the Halifax Metro Centre. The world's largest annual indoor show. 2000 performers. A spectacle of music, pomp and grandeur, did I say spectacle? I love the massed bagpipes with the lone piper at the end. The Scottish blood in me thrills to the reedy sound.
PS. I am probably one of the few people I know that doesn't have a tattoo.

Monday, July 5, 2010


This is my friend Angie, of Angie All the Way and she is 35 weeks pregnant! That's how far along I was when my daughter was born and she was tiny but perfect! Angie and I had some fun on the weekend.

Here are some of the pictures we took. Bear with me, I have a few!

These were taken at the Dingle. A lovely park on the NorthWest Arm that used to be the estate of Sir Sanford Flemming.

These adorable scuffed shoes were Angies when she was a babe.

This was funny, the shoes were bobbing up and down because the baby was bouncing and kicking:) You can see the happy look on Angie's face, slightly distracted, connecting with the baby moving inside.

We were there about 8:45 am but I think it should have been earlier, the sun was quite high in the sky even at that hour.

Love the look on her face in this black and white photo.

OK. all done. Time for ice cream!