Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday stuff

Monty, most interested in what is going on. More likely he found my daughter's warm leg to rest on:)
Sunday at the market was fun. Got to meet and chat with lots of great people. Love that.Possibly will be there this Saturday. Fingers crossed.

Thanks :) to all of you who voted for me for the People's Choice Award! I guess they are narrowing it to top 5 today and then...I don't know, continued voting? Sheesh. I don't think I bear more beseeching but.... hard not to when you might have a shot. As Sally Field said once "You like me, you really like me!" I hope you still do after all the begging. Will keep you posted.

Oh and.....I'm in yet ANOTHER contest with my daughter to win an iPad. You can click like this picture if you are on Facebook.....that is......if you like it. (the things I do!) Cheers!

Oh and today's sale is 20% off all in shop, coupon code Cybermonday

Saturday, November 27, 2010

wheels are back

Sitting in my car on College Street last night. Rain, rain, rain...
Yep, my car:)
Got it back yesterday noon with all tires plump and ready to go.
It cost me $113, plus a day lost, plus car out of commission for 24 hours, plus a call to CAA and visit, plus some nail biting, plus the $55 for the initial tire change at Costco!!!!

So, it turns out that the sensors were not damaged ( hooray) but had been jostled and were causing air to leak out of the tires. I plan on going back to Costco and getting the extra money I spent thanks to their error. The mechanic there said that the sensors had probably just given up the ghost, not their problem, go to the dealer. Yeah right, I drive in everything is fine and five minutes after I leave, the sensor light is on and tires are deflating.

Anyway, I'm happy to have my wheels and will take the next step later this week. Thanks for all your support! Speaking about support:) .....I'd love your vote here, my competitive spirit has been fired up, I am neck and neck with another blog. Actually there is one other that is way ahead but let's not think about that. I am surprised that I am so charged about this. Really, looking at the big picture it is not important, I know...... but......I think being close to having a chance makes it ridiculously compelling. Voting ends tomorrow:)

Also, I'll be back at the Halifax Seaport Market again tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

Friday, November 26, 2010


20% off everything in shop today!
coupon code CyberMonday, put it in when you checkout
Alice in Paris

Thursday, November 25, 2010

tea makes everything better.....

Celestial teapot:)
Sorry for the ranting earlier. Out of character but it did feel good getting it out! Nothing lke a good vent:) Had a cup of tea and calmed down. Still don't know anything, car in shop. Tomorrow we are going to "Homes for the Holidays". I get to satisfy my peeping Jill tendencies. Various private stately homes are decorated for the holidays and cheerful oglers pay to tromp through for charity.

Tire Surprise:(

Gosh I had planned on spending today quietly.
Driving home after having my tires put on, the sensor light popped on alerting me to low tire pressure. Drat. I then turned around and went back to Costco to have tires checked. The service guy went back to the bays, returned and said don't worry, it often happens with a change of tires and light will probably go off. They didn't bother to check the pressure. (It didn't go on the last few times I had tire changes)
away I drove again with light still on. Got home, had a cup of tea, wrote my blog post and then daughter set off in the car to school. NOT.
Door opened and "Mom?The back tire is flat as a pancake and the passenger one looks flat too!"Yep.
I call Costco tire service and get an answering machine over and over. Called administration and explained and they said wait for a call from tire service. Meanwhile I call CAA to come and give me a tow or fill the tires. Soon Costco calls back and says bring car back and we'll look at it. Half an hour later the nice man from CAA arrives and fills tires with air and follows me to Costco to make sure they stay inflated.
at Costco the mechanic tells me that it is the tire sensors, 3 of them are faulty! They are all causing the tire to leak. What! I drive in and they are fine I leave and they are not? He says it's random and they can go at any time. This car is 2 years old. He says nothing they can do and sensors are under warranty so I should go to dealer.
I call dealer and they say maybe December 7 they can look at car! I say "Wait a minute, the sensors are under warranty." They then say, bring it in and we will see what we can do. ( I have to take it there because the tires are flat and won't stay inflated)
Costco mechanic fills the tires overfull and I drive there petrified that any minute I will be driving on rims. Get to dealer and they all come out to look at car and exclaim over the fact that the tires are inflated to 36, way over limit but I say they did it so I would make the drive here. Tsk, tsking and making it pretty clear that they think Costco damaged the sensors, when prying the tires off the rims and if so, not under warranty. If I had had them done at the dealer, it would be covered etc. Only covered otherwisw if defective.
Costco says they didn't and GM says they probably did...... but we will have wait until they have a good look before they can tell me anything. I will be charged for the dismantling and rim cleanup no matter what.
I am pissed. Sensors cost about $100 each and they absolutely have to be replaced. I hope they are defective and under warranty otherwise I have a big fight on my hands:(
Does seem rather suspicious that I drive in fine and leave with problems. 3 sensors?
I think I need another cup of tea and will get back to what I was doing um, about four hours ago now...... honestly what do they say about best laid plans? Sorry for the odd post but I am venting....

UPDATE: 24 hours later, I get my car back. The sensors are fine, not damaged ( whew) BUT they had obviously been jostled and this is what led to the air leaking around the base of the thingie you put air in. Charge for cleaning rims and resealing, $113. Sigh. Time lost and upset = priceless.
tire change at Costco is the culprit. Next stop on this journey is back to Costco. I wonder what will happen now...

coffee surprise

Today is a day of doing quiet stuff. My snow tires are finally on the car, yay. Had to get up early again for that but worth it:) Popped over to Walmart to wait because Costco store was not open and sat in their MacDonalds and enjoyed a free coffee.
#1 I did not know they are having a free coffee promotion, nice...
#2 MacDonalds coffee is delicious! I had no idea.
Going to do some painterly stuff, tidy some, do a bit of paper work and relax:)
(picture taken near Peggy's Cove)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I did it:)

It's me! At the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market! Thanks to all your tips I managed to pull it together:) Really enjoyed it. It was very quiet but the Wednesday market has just started and it is early days yet. Slowy, slowly...

I had to be there at 6:30, eek, but I did it. Tired now after all my pre-market stressing and worrying and today's long day. It was fine. I did better than I expected too which was a lovely bonus. My goal today was to get my booth paid for. I even got to meet two of my readers who popped by:) Hi Ferdinand and Dorey! That was a fun surprise. My mom popped by too and daughter later and another friend arrived to cheer me on:) Made me happy. I'll be there this Sunday too and probably will stick to those two days until Christmas. We'll see.

In other exciting news, I'm up for a Canadian Weblog Award, in the People's Choice category. pop by and give me a nod if you enjoy my blabber. (almost wrote blubber, subliminal mistake:)

Up early again tomorrow to get those tires on the car!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

to market, to market...

Market day on Wed! Have to be there at 6:30. Eeek. Glad it will be on a quiet day so I can get the feel of how it all goes. Will figure out the kinks in my display see what works and what doesn't. It is all a learning experience. If you are a reader here and happen by, please say hi.

herman and elizabeth

This is an older print, Herman and Elizabeth:) So silly.
I probably should have posted a picture of snow. We finally got enough to stay on the ground but the forecast is for rain tomorrow. Just as well because I have yet to get the snow tires on the car! That involves getting up really early and standing outside Costco thirty minutes before opening with a line of shivering people waiting to make an appointment. I do always have a nice chat with the person next to me. Everyone has a story:)
On the market front, I am feeling a bit more organized but have yet to hear from them re: day. I was thinking I would be there maybe tomorrow but at this point I don't even know. I do know that they are swamped with applications so it is easy to see why I might be lost in the shuffle. Nerve wracking stuff, I have had to spend $ to get ready. Hope the saying is true, you spend money to make money.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Another view of downtown Halifax, looking South on Hollis Street. I'm standing in a glass 'pedway' over the street.
I've been approved for a table at the Halifax Seaport Market and have been scrambling to get things ready. What a fankle (another Scottish word for you:). I am realizing how unready I am for a market stall. Display is not a strength of mine. In fact I am quite nervous about it. Today I plan on popping around to look for baskets or boxes to display prints in. Any ideas?? They are not matted so are a bit floppy. Any other market tips? not prepared.............but excited too.
I'm hoping for a table with a wall behind me.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Walk this way please...

Ah yes, the Ministry of Funny Walks, John Cleese in action. One of my favourite Monty Python Skits. I feel I fit right in with my gait these days. Still in physio for my hamstring tendon thingie but it is slow going. Walking is interesting.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My other brother Darrell's

This is a place I have been wanting to try since 1992! !I cannot believe it has taken me 18 years to eat here. Disgraceful. I've heard great things over the years and they have all been right on! This restaurant is across the street from my physio so there was no excuse.

Darrell's is located at 5576 Fenwick Street off Queen St. near South. It looks like nothing really, but looks are deceiving. There used to be a laundromat downstairs and on the wall up here there are lights corresponding to the machines. You'd put a load of wash in and come upstairs for some refreshment while waiting. Very cool. The lights are still there:)

The washing machines are long done and in their place is now Darrells "Sports' Bar, basically an overflow area for the upstairs which has simple green vinyl booths and big menus.

They are famous for their burgers and shakes. Award winning they are! Vegetarian burgers too!

I decided I HAD to try the Peanut Butter burger, after all I have been hearing about it for YEARS! Sooooooo glad I did. It was DELICIOUS! Quite a surprise really.

This is what all the fuss is about. A layer of peanut butter on the bun!!! (as well as ketchup, mustard and relish) Sounds so very odd but I tell you it was amazing. Who knew? I wonder how they discovered it, something I would never in a million years think of trying. I loved it. You might too.

This is their latest creation and I bet it is delicious also! The Hen Den Burger:)

I recommend a visit here next time you are looking for a yummy lunch. It gets busy so come early.

Zazzle fun!

Look what I have been doing:) Designing some Speck iPhone(G3,4) and iPad covers/cases. There are no shipping charges on these to addresses in the US until Nov.30, just pop in the couponcode NEWZAZZCASES when you checkout. I will be putting up more as I do them:) Fun stuff.
Now I am off to do a million other things:)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


This is what the weather looks like today in Halifax. A dreich november day. That's a word I heard often in my family along with many other quaint expressions. Truly auld Scottish is a language all of it's own. This is looking south down Hollis Street.
I've had one of those days. Lots to get done and a nice crisp list to help but at each step, things are going awry. Example: printer, task... print off a lot of cards. Well, stripes appear, nozzle cleaning, run out of ink, more nozzle cleaning, forgetting to change the paper to cheapie stuff for cleaning, head alignment, finally back to printing.... Well it seems as though things that should be ticked off the list quickly are popping up with new unexpected tasks to be done. There's always something. I guess the plan is to be prepared for the unexpected:)

Monday, November 15, 2010

art of armour

Ok, this is a totally random post but I was editing pictures from our trip to New York( it was in May!) and came across these from the Metropolitan Art Museum. This was the armour display and I was fascinated by it! Look at the detail.

The styles changed acording to country and year and what was in fashion. Bit of humour below:)

Really it was so interesting. Imagine the weight the horses had to carry including their own armour.

Erm...hello? Boys will be boys.......extreme fashion.

This was King Henry the 8th's armour. Short and stocky. It was remarkable to me to think that he had actually worn this and was a real person, not just some historical character. I could almost touch it.

Worth a visit if you have never been, and this was just one tiny part of the museum. I took too many pictures of too many beautiful things. I could spend weeks in here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Halifax Seaport International Market

Wondering what this building is? Wonder no is our new Halifax Seaport Farmer's Market. A beautiful glass structure built to environmental standards and using solar, wind and geo-thermal power to operate. A massive 4,050 square metres, it was designed with the environment in mind. It is also right on the water. You can watch all the boating activity on the harbour.

I was there on Friday to check out the new International Market which has just started recently. Previously the market has not been open on Fridays. and I was curious to see what the vendors had in store. Unfortunately I was too early (opens at 10am-7pm on Fridays and 7am-4pm on the weekend) The vendors were just setting up. I had an appointment and could not stay to purchase anything but I WILL be back. You could pop in on Friday after work for supper!

This renovated historical Harbour Pier features a green, or bio-wall, in place of an air filter or air conditioner. It is lovely to see. There will be four rooftop courtyards, including room for community activities such as gardening. There are also wind turbines on the roof. The building is glass so the views are great, it is an open concept and flooded with light. Here is a video in which Keith Tufts the lead designer, explains all the wonderful features and talks about what went into the design of this place.

It was nice to wander about with no crowds to contend with. Usually the market is jammed with people choulder to shoulder. By opening more days a week, the market is hoping to aleviate that particular problem. Wednesday shopping is in the works soon.

The International Market has vendors from different cultures and countries selling food and crafts. There are also some of the regular sellers as well.

I am interested in trying some Afghan food! next time!

This is Jane Mason Browne, charming artist who has a permanent stall here. I spent a lot of time chatting with her about what is involved with aquiring a booth. I am thinking about it for December!

Last but not least. Flowers! Ahhh. A market necessity. I will be back next Friday at ten.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Baby its wet outside...

Nicholas Muray, 1943, McCalls magazine

Is it ever..... We have had days of rain and high wind and dark. Serious flooding has happened in many parts of the province. Luckily we live on a hill and all is well. Normally weather does not affect me too much, with the execption of the last month of winter, but this rain has started to get to me. Luckily tomorrow's forecast is sunshine, not a moment too soon:) I've been popping extra vitamin D.

Remember last year, I participated in 'Bust a Move'? Six hours of exercise to raise money for a mammogram machine. Paula Abdul will be the instructor for the last hour. Last year it was Richard Simmons:) This year I will only be volunteering but my daughter has decided to do it again and has to raise $1000! If you would like to help the fight against breast cancer, you can do so here. It says currency amount Canadian but any currency is fine and.... Paypal is accepted! Yay, makes it easier for some. Thanks.

More painting today. I have a couple in progress and am waiting to hear on one submitted for a group show. Have a productive day, whtever that means to you:)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Alice Dancing Under the Gallows"

Thanks to Pat, I've discovered this amazing and inspirational woman. Alice Herz-Sommer, a concert pianist and the oldest surviving Holocaust victim. She was 39 when sent to the Concentration camp with her 6 year old son and husband. She is going to celebrate her 107th birthday this month. I loved reading this article about an average "day in her life". Puts me to shame. Optimism is the key to survival. We can all learn from her. This is worth sharing.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Just some random things for a Friday:) I love pics like this. Blowers Street in Halifax.
Susannah Conway is doing a Digital Detox. I'm planning one too. Here is her Day1 and Day 2 . Time get rid of the computer clutter. There is always so much to do isn't there.
Also, if you are an arty small business person, pop over here and see what Jeanne Oliver from a Bushel and a Peck is giving away......A lovely generous prize indeed.
Look! Feta Cheesecake with Quince topping:) at Opa!

Don't forget to pop over here and vote for my Sensational Mediterranean Quinoa Salad:)
(first in second row) Thanks.

Hmm, what else...... we are in for a windy, VERY wet weekend here in Nova Scotia and probably the rest of the week. Luckily the temperature co-operated and we are not getting snow! I've been painting like mad to get a work finished so I can submit it to the NS Art Gallery, Art Sales and Rental Group show. The deadline is 4pm tomorrow. Time to get cracking.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

12 Tips for a lousy day or week!

These tips are courtesy of Gretchin Rubin 
1. Resist the urge to “treat” yourself. Often, the things we choose as “treats” aren’t good for us. The pleasure lasts a minute, but then feelings of guilt, loss of control, and other negative consequences just deepen the lousiness of the day. So when you find yourself thinking, “I’ll feel better after I have a few beers…a pint of ice cream…a cigarette…a new pair of jeans,” ask yourself – will it REALLY make you feel better? Sure but then...It might make you feel worse!
2. Do something nice for someone else. “Do good, feel good” – this really works. Be selfless, if only for selfish reasons. If you are outside yourself you cannot be inside yourself:)
3. Distract yourself.  Watching a funny movie or TV show is a great way to take a break, or I often re-read beloved classics of children's literature.
4. Seek inner peace through outer order. Soothe yourself by tackling a messy closet, an untidy desk, or crowded countertops. The sense of tangible progress, control, and orderliness can be a comfort. Create a vista of calm for yourself. One less thing to get you down and a real boost!
5. Tell yourself, “Well, at least I…” Get some things accomplished. Yes, you had a horrible day, but at least you went to the gym, or played with your kids, or walked the dog, or read your children a story, or recycled. Remind yourself of those things...It might even be as basic as "At least I got out of bed !"
6. Exercise is an extremely effective mood booster – But if you go for a walk, make it a long one:) The first half will be spent dwelling on your problems and then as the time passes your thoughts will shift elsewhere.
7. Stay in contact. When you’re having a lousy day, it’s tempting to retreat into isolation but contact with other people boosts mood. So try to see or talk to people, especially people you’re close to.
8. It’s a cliché, but things really will look brighter in the morning. Go to bed early and start the next day anew. Also, sleep deprivation puts a drag on mood in the best of circumstances, so a little extra sleep will do you good.
9. Remind yourself of your other identities. If you feel like a loser at work, send out a blast email to engage with college friends. If you think members of the organization you belong to are mad at you, don’t miss the spinning class where everyone knows and likes you. We are more than one sided!
10. Keep perspective. Ask yourself: “Will this matter in a month? In a year?” I recently came across a note I’d written to myself years ago, that said “TAXES!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I remember the panic I felt about dealing with taxes that year; but it’s all lost and forgotten now.
11. Write it down. When something horrible is consuming my mind, I find that if I write up a paragraph or two about the situation, I get immense relief and get to  process  it with a different side of my brain.
12. Be grateful. Remind yourself that a lousy day isn’t a catastrophic day. Be grateful that you’re still on the “lousy” spectrum. Probably, things could be worse.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Yum,Yum, fabulous! This is a dump-and-stir salad. It's so easy and delicious, I dare you not to stand and eat it with a spoon straight out of the serving bowl! It's even better the next day.......if it lasts that long. BTW if you have never tried quinoa, do it! So good for you.

So here's where the food fight comes in. I'm in a contest over at 20 Minute Supper Club to win some great Kitchen Aid goodies. **Edited* I won! Thanks for your support:)

Sensational Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa, cooked ( Same method as rice but rinse realllly well)
1 can lentils, (19oz) drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons fresh mint, minced (or 1T dry but fresh is sooo much better)
2 Tablespoons fresh dill, minced (or 1T dry but fresh is sooo much better)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
1/3 cup green onion, minced
1 green or red pepper, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped finely
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup of black olives, sliced
1 tomato diced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds or pecans or sunflower seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice

Mix everything together, adding the lemon juice and oil last! Salt to taste:)

: This salad is very versatile and can be made with various substitutions. Add some chopped cucumbers or throw in some mandarin oranges. Use your imagination or what you have in the refrigerator.

Monday, November 1, 2010

just listed

2011 Calendars

Hiya! November is here!
Did you know that November and March always start on the same day of the week each year and November and August always end on the same day. Just a bit of trivia. Also....Christmas is 54 days away and January 1st is 61 days away!

So, I thought it might be a good time to remind you that I have some lovely calendars for sale:) Thanks to those who have purchased, I hope you enjoy them! Won't mention them again. The link is on the sidebar and you can see them all HERE. They are $17.50 and come to $24.50 with shipping.