Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year Curiosities

Woody Guthie's New Year's Resolutions 1942

10 Fly Fishing Predictions for the new year! 

2012 in the Western calendar, Chinese New Year 4710,  is the Year of the Water Dragon!

It represents the fourth year in the 12 year cycle of the Chinese zodiac.The Water Dragon is noted for its calm, visionary intelligence, and balance of right brain creativity with left brain logic. Sounds like a good combination for 2012.

No such thing as a hangover remedy except time.

Eastport, Maine heralds the New Year with the dropping of the maple leaf and giant sardine! People rush in to kiss the fish for a lucky start to the year! The 'Sardine' is  lowered at midnight Eastern Time and the 'Maple Leaf'  lowered an hour earlier at  midnight Atlantic Time. Eastport is poised just west of the Atlantic time zone with the Canadian islands of Deer Island and Campobello located just off shore in Passamaqoddy Bay.

How about planning to spend next New Year's Eve here! Aldourie Castle situated on Loch Ness Scotland! Oh my! Spend some time looking through the pictures...

or maybe your tastes run to this, a shepherd's cottage on the Isle of Skye.

The top 10 Plant-Based food recipes of 2011 from Healthy Girl's Kitchen! You may not find them exciting but I do:)

Here are foods to bring you good luck in the New Year according to Epicurious! Eat them and good fortune will smile on you. I will be cooking lentils for sure.

The transit of Venus is the year’s most anticipated astronomical event and it takes place on June 5th & 6th The Planet Venus will pass between the Earth and the Sun and you will see Venus (a small black circle) slowly move across, or “transit” the disc of the Sun.
Transits of Venus are very rare and only a few have been witnessed since the dawn of the telescope. The next one isn’t visible for over another 100 years.

The world is NOT going to end in 2012. 

Now let's have a look at new hairstyles! 32 ideas for next year A lot of these I don't get. Whaat? 

Get ORGANIZED this year! So many terrific ideas! I'm sure you will find something useful:)

Have a Happy and Healthy and Prosperous 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Paris Memories, George Whitman

A Parisian luminary passed away this month. George Whitman was 98 and he died in the apartment above his treasured bookstore, Shakespeare and Company. You can read more about him, here and here.( I encourage you to have a read about him) An eccentric man who LOVED books and writers, he was one of a kind!
The original Shakespeare and Company bookstore, was opened by Sylvia Beach in 1919 (She published Ulysees by James Joyce) It was a popular hangout for writers including Hemmingway. When the Nazis occupied Paris, she had to close it.  George's original nbookstore was called Mistral but on Shakespeare's 400th anniversary he renamed it Shakespeare and Compny with Sylvia's blessing. 
Throughout the store are beds that writers can use for a night or more as they pass through the city. The only requirement is to do a bit of work and read a book a day! Many now well known authors used to hangout here and talk literature with George and whoever else was about. Henry Miller, Anaïs Nin, and the Beat Generation icons William Burroughs, Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsberg. There are signed first editions of many important novels hidden away here.
When I visited Paris a few years ago, I brought a copy of my cookbook which I really wanted to place in his store. It was a romantic notion of mine. George was quite intrigued and had a great chat with me about Nova Scotia! Turns out he had a friend  who lived in Digby. His friend also had written a book so George gifted me with it! So extraordinary,  I brought a book from Nova Scotia for him, and he gave me a book from Nova Scotia!:) I was then invited to one of his Sunday tea parties which sadly I had to miss. The story doesn't end here....
I wanted to buy a book from his shop before I left and settled in to find one. I found a cover that intrigued me,  I then read the blurb, which grabbed me and I decided to purchase it. Once it was mine I had a deeper look and astonishingly, the story in that novel takes place in Halifax, Nova Scotia! It is called the Museum Guard. I enjoyed immensely. How strange life can be!
 George's only child, a daughter who he fathered at age 69 now owns and runs the store. Her name is Sylvia Beach Whitman. That is her with the pink beads.It is a wonderful quirky place just across from Notre Dame Cathedral on Rue de Bucherie.

A reminder....I am sharing people's favourite blogposts on my birthday post coming up January 8, so if you have a link to a favourite blog post of yours that you would like to share here, drop me a line.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day after Christmas and a request...

"Hippo, Tigger and Anni!" One lucky person found the large original of this painting under their tree yesterday! You can a print of it here for $20! If it says sold, don't worry, I will update as soon as see it has gone:)

I had a lovely Christmas yesterday. Still not 100% but my cold is on it's way out! Hooray. This is always busy time of year for me, New Year's Eve is next weekend and then the weekend after that is my birthday! Bad time for a birthday, everyone is broke, tired of parties and on a diet! ha ha.
I usually do a give away on my birthday and will do it again this year. So much fun.

Also.....something different this year, if you want to join in my birthday celebration, send me a link and photo, via email (or I can use a photo from the post) to a favourite blog post you have written. Something inspiring or beautiful or heartwarming......I will share them here on my birthday with a link to your blog! My email address is on the right sidebar.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Hope you have a happy holiday.... this is a little corner store near me:)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree...

I love this painting by Paige Bridges and there are more HERE! She paints vintage trailers and some of them are really fun. Gives me a few ideas for paintings of my own.....

I am home with my jammies on, a big box of tissues by my side, a cup of tea at all times and a determination to rid myself, as fast as I can, of a sneaky cold bug that found me. I was going to sell at the market tomorrow, but common sense says no. It is snowing outside and the world looks like a winter wonderland! I'm heading back to the couch, with a blanket and the tv remote. Might even manage some reading if my head clears up. Sniff, splutter, sneeze, drip, argh...

Paige Bridges

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice

So thankful that the days get longer from here on. First day of Winter. We've had a very mild Autumn, in fact so much so, here is a picture of a lone daffodil blooming this December! Tres scary to me. The weather is upside down and challenging everybody.
Busy week this, the last week before Christmas. I've got most of the things done I wanted to but there are always those wee things one suddenly thinks of! I'll be at the market on Friday and Christmas Eve until 1 pm. if you want to drop by and say hi!

The first picture is Peggy's Cove and the second is Halifax Harbour from the Seaport Market

Monday, December 19, 2011

Green socks!

I am so lucky! I was surprised with this AMAZING gift of hand knitted green socks!

I love socks. I love hand knitted socks. I love the colour green! I love greens with drifts of blue.

Each one of those wee stiches was a click of the needle, a flick of a finger, the swish of a wrist.
My friend Lisa, is a magician with wool. THANK YOU!

She is also author of this fun blog, The Cookbook Hoarder. Going through all her cookbooks one by one, cooking three recipes and then deciding whether or not to keep or give away:)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Blogging the old fashioned way...

Internet Café, after Jean Béraud
These images are SUCH fun. I LOVE them. All created by
Mike Licht,
Women of WiFi, after Caillebotte

Room in New York with WiFi, after Edward Hopper

WiFi at Moulin de la Galette, after Ramón Casas i Carbó

Artist's Model Blogging, after Carl Larsson

Blogger, after Guy Orlando Rose

Somehow the charm is lost in this one, oh dear.:) Picnic at Champigné, after Henri Lebasque
Which is your favourite? I think I like the Artist's Model blogging and Blogger after Guy Orlando Rose.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chocolate Cake and Frommer's

Brr, she's nippy outside. Kind of nice actually. Filled up my bird feeder and put out a suet block and now I am making this chocolate orange cake. The house smells great! My mum's annual Christmas Cookie exchange is tomorrow and I wanted to have something yummy I could eat! no eggs, butter etc) This will go on the "refreshment" table:)
Oh yes, I 've got a picture in this month's Frommer Budget Travel magazine!

Always exciting to see one's self 'published" :) My pic is on the right.

Here's what they had to say about us!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rusty Warren!

I spotted this album in a small thrift store the other day. I was fascinated by the hairdo and snow or maybe glitter sprinkled on it. Had to take a picture to show you. Well, one thing led to another and when I got home, I looked up Rusty Warren.

Who knew? Taken directly from Wikipedia...

Known as the Knockers Up Gal, she has frequently been called the mother of the sexual revolution. Her career began in the early 1950s in Phoenix, Arizona. Later she moved her act to Las Vegas, Nevada. Her comedy routines exposed the subject of sex from a female perspective. Her most famous contribution to the sexual revolution was the song "Knockers Up" from the 1960 album of the same name. The women in the audience were encouraged to stand up and march through the room with "their knockers held high." This was followed by the song "Bounce Your Boobies" in which Warren encouraged women to relieve themselves of their bras.

Her material was considered very advanced for its day and considered extremely raunchy. Her albums were tucked away by many parents so their children could not listen to them. She was the first comedian to openly discuss sex at a time when sex was just not discussed publicly. She lost popularity as the sexual revolution of the late '60s started to take hold and the topic was no longer taboo.

I found "Knockers Up on Youtube, if you want to have a listen. So silly, but very racy for the times!

Friday, December 9, 2011

17 Tips for December Magic

A bowl of wee twinkle lights and we have instant magic! There are lots of things you can do that don't cost a lot of money but can add a bit of holiday festiveness to your inner and outer space.

1. Write a letter to Santa! Doesn't matter how old you are. Write one and mail it:)

2. Pop some real popcorn and watch a special Christmas video. How about renting White Christmas or The Bishop's Wife starring Cary Grant and Loretta Young.

3. Treat yourself to a new pair of pj's. You will feel special. Lots to choose from this time of year.

4. Make some spiced apple cider. Your home will smell WONDERFUL!

4 cups cider or apple juice
1/2 an orange, sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or a whole stick or two
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Combine ingredients in medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil then reduce heat a little and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Strain before serving.

5.How about
Cranberry Infused Vodka! Takes two weeks, best get on it:)

6.Put together some yummy simple
homemade cocoa mix. Keep some for yourself and also give as gifts:)

7. Candles! Put them on your deck or baclony or front step or inside every where! Get some mason jars, half fill with epsom salt and nestle a candle inside! See them here. Love them.

8. Put your Christmas cards somewhere different this year. Hang them on a string or ribbon strung high across a doorway or mantle or along a staircase or down a hall or...

9. Make some tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, turn on the TV and veg for a bit:)

10. When was the last time you played a board game?Can you remember how much fun it was? Invite some friends over and have a lot of laughs. As much as people say they don't like them....they do!
Here are the top 15 board games:)

11. Hang candy canes on your tree.

12. Bundle up after supper and go for a slow walk in your neighborhood one night. The sky is so bright this time of year and on a cloudy one, the world seems close and quiet.

13. Buy some birdfood and put out a tray of seed. The chickadees will keep you company.

14. This is an old one but, bake some cookies and deliver a plate of them to someone who doesn't expect it. You will MAKE their day. Unexpected treats can change the world!

15. Connect with a friend with whom you are long overdue connecting with. Pick up the phone. A simple gift for both of you.

16. Give something to a food bank near you.

17. Enjoy the Season, whatever it means to you. It is an opportunity to spread good cheer and reflect on what is important.The days are short and the nights are long.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Literary mugs...

Wordies are here! Or rather, they are now available at Love Me Boutique! 1539 Birmingham Street, next to Woozles.

Passages from favourite books wrapped around a simple white mug. Jane Austen, Wizard of Oz, Anne of Green Gables, Julia Child, and Alice in Wonderland.

They each come with a wee bag of Earl Grey tea! There is also a jug and a plate available.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

lunch break......

This was a heavenly lunch! Some quiet "me" time away from home and work. Ipad, notebook, cup of tea and a delicious grilled veggie pannini! Yesterday I had to go to Mahone Bay to pick up a couple of paintings and on my way home, I stopped into the Kiwi Cafe in Chester. A bright cheery place, perfect for a relaxing lunch and a bit of time wasting. While I was there, quite a few locals popped in and had a chat whith each other. I get the feeling that a lot of regulars stop by.

Since I am now a vegan it is often hard to find something to eat when out. They were kind enough to add some extra veggies and take out the goat cheese. I would have LOVED to try the soup, tomato apple and celery but the veggies were sauteed in butter:( This vegan stuff is a bit awkward at times but I do feel great since jumping in. The cafe is also a bit of a wee shop too. Baked goods and lots of other interesting things to be had. In the summer you can sit outside on a wee deck. In fact...I watched Haven film their Christmas "special" episode from that deck one hot sunny day this summer!

I had to stop and take a picture of the water before I left. So serene. Chester is a place I could easily live. When I was a child I once found a quartz arrowhead on that little beach!

Chester's annual Gingerbread Festival is on right now so many of the places are decorated with Gingerbreadmen! These happy musicians are up above the Fo'c'scle. Listed as Nova Scotia's oldest rural pub! Must say, I've lifted a few in there:)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

golden mornings

My Sunday commute! One of the perks of getting up early. Although one does not have to get up too early this time of year to see this:) Starts the day off right! Speaking of all right....I was featured on Etsy yesterday! That was a really nice surprise. Look for the whale:)

Also since we are talking about sunrises, here is a rooster for you! Cock a doodle do! You can now purchase a print or the original.(SOLD!) Busy days these leading up to the holidays! Lots of activities and work to be done. Oh yes, and I saw Prince the other night! We partied like it was 1999 for sure:)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Last day of November

A gloomy grey and dark day it is too. This picture was not taken today but I really like it and figured might as well post it:)

I'm REALLY excited for tonight. Decided to go to the Prince concert in town this evening. WhenI first heard he was coming I was chuffed and then sort of lost steam until yesterday when people were talking about it and then.... it was game over when I hit Youtube last night and started watching music videos of his. Great dancing songs and lots of great memories! I Luckily we picked up some secondhand tickets at a discount! We are on the floor.

I'm also REALLY discouraged because I just got a call from the car dealer and the exhaust pipe part I was hoping to have installed on my car tomorrow, so it can clear safety inspection, is back- ordered and they cannot find ANY and don't know when one might be coming in! This sucks because the "rejected but can drive" sticker on my car is only good until tomorrow and after that I should not be driving my car. The wait is indefinite:( I need my car:( My arms are tied because they don't have a part! I drive a 2008 Saturn Astra which I adore. Feeling very frustrated about this and not sure what to do. It is not rejected because of a safety issue but an environmental one:.

EDITED*** They sent it out to Speedy Muffler to be fixed. Cut off bad bit and replaced with a good bit rather than wait for an entire unit to be found. Hooray! No cost to me,Bigger Hooray!***

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Night at the theatre!

This was Halifax yesterday! Looks the same today. So much snow and all at once. Instant winter here. Really glad I got my snow tires on.
Last night, my mum and I had some fun. We went out to dinner and then saw Neptune Theatre's Christmas production of Jungle Book! The streets were sparkling,the lights were twinkling and downtown Halifax looked very festive.

My pictures are a bit blurry, I was snapping in a hurry and in low light, but you can see how pretty it looked. We had a bite to eat at The Argyle, which you can see on the lower left.

I am still on my new plant-based, no added oil eating style and eating out can be a challenge. Luckily they make fire cooked pizzas and I ordered a Greek one, substituting sauteed spinach for the cheese. YUM!

We then did a bit of window shopping before stopping in to the Middle Spoon for something sweet. Alas, there was nothing for me so I had a glass of red wine for dessert:)

Then it was on to NeptuneTheatre! This year's Christmas Musical Production is an adaptation of The Jungle Book and was written by Eric Hughes, directed by George Pothitos. Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale tells the story of Mowgli the man-cub. He was raised by wolves in the jungles of India, surrounded by a varied assortment of wild animals. Mowgli learns about friendship and the importance of loyalty as he tries to find his place in the world.

I loved the atmospheric set! The sounds of the jungle piped in as we sat, helped to really set the stage. Lots of song and dance in this play! My favourite characters were the "naughty dancing monkeys!" No really. What a great job they did with their fabulous moment in the spotlight.

Alison Somerville was really terrific as Bagheera the Panther, she had the lovely languid cat movements down perfect. Lucas Meeuse as Mowgli, was energetic and likeable.
I think children will really enjoy this holiday production. It was great to have a night out at the theatre!