Monday, May 31, 2010

Contemplative Monday

The quote today is by Ezra Bayda. He has a book being published in December entitled: `Beyond Happiness: A Zen Way to True Contentment`.

``It is absolutely fundamental for us to realize that difficult situations and feelings are our opportunity to awaken into a more genuine way of living.``

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Yesterday, Clancey's mommy arrived in the afternoon to pick him up after a 'sleepover' with Sophie. It went very well. So well in fact that most of the time we didn't realize two dogs were here. (I know, what, only two?!)

Ron the Pied Piper!

In the evening hubby and I went to visit my youngest sister, Mim. She recently moved to a new flat in Dartmouth, which is across the harbour from Halifax. She grew up in Dartmouth and was very excited to get a place there. She will finally be closer to the family after living 'outside' the city for so long. Her flat is in a house which is designated an Historic Property....over 150 years old (this is considered old here). Since it is classified as 'historic', it is in original condition.....moldings, pine board floors, high ceilings, tiny closets and banisters to die for!

This morning, Sunday, we were up early and decided to have 'brunch' at a place called 'Jane's On the Common' in Halifax (30 minutes from here). I had a 'Maritime Breakfast' consisting of two poached eggs on a lightly grilled piece of haddock with a salsa, salad and fruit. Ron had his fav....'Eggs Benedict' with a great hollandaise.

After eating we headed back to the car to take Sophie to the park. It started to pour!

 We thought it would stop, and it did, just long enough for us to get into the park and far enough away from the car. We stood under a tree and waited for it to 'let up'.....then bee-lined it to the car.

When we got home there was a message for Ron from his brother in British Columbia. He was enquiring whether or not we were going to attend his son's wedding in July in the Rockies. We are still unsure. And also, my nephew is getting married in Alberta in August, a week later. 

What to do.....HELP!!!! We always change our minds a dozen times before we finally decide. Then I thought to drive out wouldn't be too bad....we did it years ago and it would be great to see Canada from coast to coast again. And the northern top of the US would be good.........We are noted for our 'wishy-washyness'. Any bets on what we do?

A new week ahead. Have a great one!

A few garden pics taken this PM:

Friday, May 28, 2010

This , That, and the Other

Don't know what I've been doing the past three days, since I didn't have time to 'blog'. A little bit of everything I guess.

Tuesday is my day with Dad. Had lunch with him. Picked up "Chicken Pot Pie' at the Heritage Museum Cafe, which just opened for the season, and, of course, a few 'sweets' for Mr. Sweet-Tooth. When he was able, he would be frequent this place and give the staff a hard time. They miss his visits.

While roaming the garden yesterday, I discovered that one of our Hoopsies (Blue Spruce variety) is on it's last legs. Compared to the other two, it doesn't have any new growth showing and it's needles are tinged  blackish/gray. These guys grow into a very irregular shape......never know what you will get. That's why I like them.........they can have one long branch going one way and another shorter branch going the other. Now, what to replace it with.....hmm-m-m.

This is what it should look like with new growth buds:

Our dog, Sophie, has a 'house guest' for the night (guess she's old enough!). You've met Clancey before. He is a very well-behaved little guy. This is a trial-run for him. He will be staying here for a week in June while his Mommy is in NYC. Also, it will give us a chance to see what having two dogs is never know. Here they are....exhausted before they even get started!!

Yesterday, while at Conrads Beach, we noticed these very dark clouds looming in the western sky.....and heading towards us! We had on our rain jackets and decided to 'man up'! Until the winds picked up that is! We ran to a clump of trees and stood there out of the wind till it settled a bit. It was comical! Been crazy weather the past 24 hours and very chilly.

So, due to the weather, we have been indoors more than usual. It gave me a chance to get back to the blanket I've been knitting. It's made of five panels.....each with a different 'cable' pattern. Something about knitting, it can be very relaxing.

Still planning my Dad's 94th birthday party. My niece has found two sisters, the MacDonald's), who perform 'kitchen parties' (that's what we call it here in Nova Scotia) and they are free on that day. Yeah!  One plays fiddle and the other piano and they both 'step dance'. Should be fun. 

Heard a report last evening that we could be having a more than usual, active hurricane season. Great! The last big one we had here, (Juan) four years ago, was very destructive. We lost over a dozen trees. I hope they are wrong. But the positive spin would be that there would be lots of great pics to be had! We'll see.

Hope everyone has a great weekend out there! Stay tuned and stay out of trouble....I know that will be easier for some than others.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Yo-Yo Ma Afternoon

This was a perfect day.........finally a lot warmer, a breeze and very quiet, due it being a holiday in Canada  (Victoria Day......yes, as in Queen Victoria).

The garden is unusual this year as the spring flowers are still blooming along with the early summer ones. So the result is that we have blooms and foliage  appearing together. Hey, I'll take that thank you very much.

We have been cleaning the shed/garden hut for the past two days and thought it would be good to finish it today, since some rain is expected tomorrow.  A lot of rearranging, putting in shelf units, bagging stuff for garbage pick-up and putting things aside for a 'yard sale' at my Dad's in June. 

In a couple of hours we were hungry. So I went inside to prepare lunch and it was then that I had time to notice how nice a day it was. I wanted some music to help me along......what would it be. I immediately thought of Yo-Yo-Ma. We have most of his recordings and I picked a few, hit 'shuffle' and away he went. Ahh-h-h. So good to hear him again. He just suited the day.

After lunch we headed outdoors again but before I did I hiked up the volume so we could hear Mr. Ma. Great afternoon.

Sophie with Piggy.

Contemplative Monday

Quote today is by Sakong Mipham :

" Our power comes not from suppressing others but from uplifting them."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Discovery Day

Today we went to a friend's summer home. It just so happens that her dog, Clancy, is my dog, Sophie's boy friend. They love each other.....have since day one! He is 10 years old and she is 3. Guess she prefers older men!

It was a great day to spend near a lake and Sophie took complete advantage of the water. She was in and out all day. Even Clancy put his feet in the water...... he normally hates it.

We also discovered a couple of 'wild' flower/plants.......Trillium and Lady Slippers. They were growing all through the wooded areas on the property.

We would love to have these in our garden but to reproduce their natural habitat is difficult. And besides it's not an environmentally sound thing to do because they becoming quite scarce. And I think it is against the law here. But it was so great to see them scattered everywhere. Enjoy.

Discovery # 2..........
Sharon from http://Life With Jack n sent me an award.....for what I am not quite sure.......but I will comply and take it. Thanks Sharon, I love awards!

One of the conditions of this award is to let everyone know a little more about me....that's OK. Here goes:

Ten things you probably don't know about me:

1. I am the oldest son in a family of 9 children.

2. I had a NATURAL Afro in my teens and early 20's.

3. I swam across Canada and the US.....from swimming pool to swimming pool!

4. I have been told that I am too serious for my own good.

5. I love to dance.

6. I would love to sing in a choir or large singing ensemble.

7. I got married just over a year ago.

8. I love reading about history and seeing how things have brought us to this point in time.

9. I love being with friends.

10. I enjoy genealogy and have found lots of 'cousins' all over North America.

Five things I do not like:

1. Mean-spirited people.

2. Eggplant. 

3. Animal cruelty.

4. War.

5. Violence.

See, I guess I am kinda serious....oh well, that's me!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Boo boo admission........

I just completed a blog and posted it. Problem is I posted it to my partner's blog instead of mine. That's what happens when two people in the same family are blogging!!!!

Anyway, he said to keep it where it is and direct you all to HIS blog........cheeky thing that he is.

This is his blog site :

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Walk in the Garden

 Lately we are either in the garden or at the beach and have the camera slung over a shoulder....just in case.

Yesterday was such a day in the garden. You know, when you see something that you hope you can capture.....the colour, the mood and the silence. Well, after lots of shots (thanks to digital technology) I believe I got a few of those illusive moments.

This may not appear to be very welcoming at first glance......the lion symbolizes strength, security and safety.......things I try to incorporate in the garden.

One of our initial intentions was to have a garden with twisting pathways......we tried to stay clear of straight lined-paths. And if truth be told, we started at one end of the property and added different things as we went along.......much like a not-so-well-planned town or city.

As can be seen, Forget-Me-Nots are everywhere. We like this until they are 'spent', then off to the compost heap. In the process the seeds drop off and get started for next spring. After they are gone, it's time to get out the whipper- snipper and get at the grass along the paths.

A little splash of red in the distance.......

These are blossoms/buds on the Gravenstein Apple tree. It is a very old variety of apple that is slowly disappearing in Nova Scotia to all the new varieties on the market.

Last, but not least, are a couple of pics of Sophie in her 'pool'. She loves to follow us around the garden and she tries to be as helpful as she can.....this is a lot of hard work for her and she deserves a 'swim' to cool off.

Well, thanks for coming along this mini-tour of our it changes through the seasons, I'll take you on more.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Contemplation Monday

The following quote is by Sakyong Mipham in his book, Ruling Your World : Ancient Strategies for Modern Life :

Without attachment to the myth of "me", we are much happier.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It's Blossom Time in the Maritimes

Spent most of the day in the garden.....lots to do. We are learning to stick to ONE project (no matter how small) and complete it if possible. Instead of getting distracted every time we turn around and see another 'thing' to do.

So we both had something that needed to be done. Ron was repairing the lower deck and 'fixing up' the bed adjacent to it. I had about a dozen year-old "Burning Bushes"

Burning Bush (Euonymus alata "Compactus")

 that I started from saplings. I picked an area that we had ignored and are trying to clean up a bit but keeping it as natural as possible.

It's always amazing to me how quickly the time flies by when immersed in gardening work. We were in the garden be 9:30 A.M. and four hours flew by. Actually, I don't really think about time.....that's probably what I am noticing the most. It is nice to get lost in that space where time means nothing at all.

By 1:30 we were starving. I went indoors to make a few chicken sandwiches. By the time they were ready Ron had finished the deck area. They were very tasty. I love using a dijon mustard and cranberry sauce in chicken sandwiches.....all those flavours make the sandwich POP.

The cherry tree is absolutely loaded with blossoms. The trick now is to have warm enough weather to attract bees and wasps to help pollinate the blossoms. One year all the blossoms just fell off due to cold temperatures. Here are a few pics of some of the blossoms.

Here are a few other blossoms:

Thesè are `Cowslips`.....

The above pic is a `Viburnum Judii`

These are Forget-Me-Nots.

The ground-cover , Periwinkle, is in bloom.

As I said in my last blog, this time of year is very magical with all the tender, young flowers everywhere.

Time to hit the beach.......getting that LOOK from Sophie. Off we go........

Friday, May 14, 2010

Keeping it simple

Over the past couple of years, Ron and I have been trying to simplify our lives. At first it was due to a couple of health issues but we have learned to realize that a simpler life is more productive and rewarding.

Now that things are 'falling into place', we really are keeping it simple and loving it!

Our passions are gardening and exploring the beaches of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia has three thousand kilometers of coastline and there are plenty of beaches we have yet to explore. 

It does help that we have been collecting 'sea glass' for the past few years.....that gives us incentive to keep looking for new locations. Now, what we are going to do with all that sea glass.....I don't know. But we have a few ideas. Of course the favourite colours to find are cobalt blue, red, orange and yellow. The good ole 'stand-by' colours are clear/crystal, green and least they are here.

Here are a few pics taken today at Martinique Beach today which is about 35 km. east from here. It is the longest beach in Nova Scotia (just heard that today on  the radio...didn't know that).

Gardening has been a passion of ours for years. At first, it was at Ron's mother's house in the Valley........then to our place on the Eastern Shore. We had no idea what we were doing at first....only a couple of ideas and lots of books for reference. But eventually we got the hang of it and went full steam ahead till there was no more room on the property for anything else. Well, there's ALWAYS room for one more....I know.

Spring is my favourite time of year. Everything is so fresh. The colours of the emerging tree leaves are very muted and delicate.....with every possible hue of green. We have a few 'quaking Aspens' and when the leaves are fluttering in the breeze, you'd swear they will all fly away.

Fragility is the word I'm looking for. Spring, to me, is like the birth of a, tender and mesmerizing to observe.

We are fortunate that we are both able to decide what kind of life we wish to live. And right now we are enjoying the things we do.

This last pic was taken at the River kind of reminded me of something the U.S. painter/artist, Georgia O'Keefe, would have liked. Have a great weekend .

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