Sunday, July 31, 2011
The Rankin Family is as synonymous with traditional Nova Scotian music as is fishing! They sound very Irish/Scottish....mainly because they are! Most of us here are.
They grew up in a small village, Mabou, on Cape Breton Island which is at the north eastern tip of Nova Scotia.
I absolutely love their harmonies. Hope this gives you a good 'start' to your day and maybe even a gentle ending to a busy one.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
While looking for a few things to post for today's retro theme, I looked around the house and found these three items which fit the bill.
This lighting fixture was originally in a national department jewelry store. About 25 years ago I noticed that they were having a demolition sale of all their fixtures. The building had been there for decades and I liked this a lot. It is now in our kitchen.
The bowl above comes from Ron's mother's house. It hung in their kitchen for a very long time. There is some wear and tear but the scene is of a small town much like the one in which Ron and his mother grew up. It may even be that town in another century.
Speaking of Ron's family hometown, Wolfville, this photograph was taken 'just up over the hill' in the Gaspereau Valley. It is an area full of apple orchards (thus the apple blossoms) and over the past two decades or so these apple orchards are being replaced by vineyards. The photographer, Wallace Macaskill, is from Nova Scotia and is known for his photos of ships and scenic views of the province.
Friday, July 29, 2011
While cleaning out and throwing away a few things this week (and yes Mark you would be proud of me), I came across a few 'fliers' from the past.....1983 to be exact.
You see, Ron and I owned and operated an aerobics/exercise 'studio' back when pretty well everyone started to jump around and have fun with exercise.
We went into this venture being very 'green' and came out, two years later, being very humbled by the business world. I never worked so hard in my life. But we had a ball doing it!
Thursday, July 28, 2011
With all the economic, political and 'religious' turmoil that is going on in the world at this very moment, have you ever wondered why we put up with it?
Why don't we, in the 'western' world, realize that we can do something about it ? Don't we live in a democracy where we 'call the shots' through our elected representatives?
How is it that we lost this power and balance? And why does it appear that our elected representatives are 'listening' to an entirely different group of very influential people now?
How long are we going to allow this imbalance to continue?
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
I would like to introduce my friend Anne to you.
We have known each other since 1969 and met at Dalhousie University after first meeting when we were kids.
Our homes were in St. Joseph's parish in north end Halifax. We both come from large families.....she was one of twelve and I was one of nine!
So when we met at university we kind of knew of each other from the 'distant' past. She was student director of advertising for 'student services' and I was one of her 'underlings'!
We ended up being friends and actually took the same education degree at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia (Ron's hometown).
During that year at Acadia Anne and I shared an apartment and it was also the year (1973) I met Ron.
Anne lives in Toronto and teaches kids with severe challenges. She tries to come home every summer to get away from the hectic pace of a big city.
She has been in town for the past couple of weeks and we spent Monday afternoon at the beach with her.
Sophie had a ball with Anne. She loves women! And at every opportunity she gets, she will take full advantage of having some 'girl time'.
So after working up an appetite at the beach, we headed for our favourite Greek restaurant.......It's All Greek To Me.
I really like spending time with Anne. We have shared a lot over the years....even though we lived miles apart in different cities in Canada. We have stayed in touch and have been there for each other when those difficult 'life situations' arose.
I guess one of the things that friends do for each other is to lend an ear when needed. And we have done that.....boy have we done that!
Ron has noted over the years that there was always one person who could make me laugh.......Anne. He has tried and tried but to no avail most of the time. Not to say that I don't find him funny but that is different.
There is something special about an enduring friendship. As I said to Anne the other morning when I picked her up at her brother's, it was like 'picking up where we left off' last year at this time.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Back when Ron was in university, he was on the swim team.
Of course I didn't know him then. I met him the year after he graduated.
When we met and I found out he was a good swimmer, I thought, YES! Now I can learn to 'tumble turn' in the pool!
He was a very patient instructor and I eventually learned how to turn at the end of each lap in a more efficient way.
Back in those days (geez, now that sounds oldish!), our main source of exercise was swimming lengths in a pool.
Any pool would do. When we traveled we made sure there was a pool near by.
When we were heading west to live in Vancouver, we stopped at every major city/university that had a pool. I am serious.
I bet you we had swum at every pool that was available in Canada (and parts of the northern States) in 1979.
We were hooked on swimming for years. It became part of what we did on a daily basis....no matter where we were.
When I met Ron I had only been swimming for a couple of years. I taught myself. And yes he could tell.
So he taught me the 'correct' way to do each stroke......the crawl, backstroke, breast stroke and the butterfly and of course the dog paddle!
My favourite strokes were the beast and back. Ron's was the butterfly and I used to love to watch him whip up and down the pool like a dolphin!
We haven't swum much in the past few years, so today while at the river, it was good to see Ron swimming again.
We were right at the mouth of the river where it empties into the ocean at low tide. And it was low tide today when we were there.
The neat thing about low tide is that while the river is emptying into the ocean it is a good time to swim up the river....against the current.
That's right against the current. This affords a tougher 'work out' and you really can't get very far up because of the current. So you basically stay in one spot!
We used to do this all the time here. And when Ron started to swim 'up river' today, I got these shots.
Now if the water had been a tad warmer, I would have joined him. Hey, it's only July here in the NORTH Atlantic.....I'll be waiting for early September to get my workouts! Yes, I will!
Monday, July 25, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Saturday, July 23, 2011
When I originally saw these two pottery 'dishes' a couple months ago, I was intrigued with the workmanship and design on each.
I had forgotten to look up the signature on the back so when I saw them again, still on the same shelf at the Sally Ann, I scooped them up!
On the back of both is the name Cromarty and when I got home I 'googgled' it. I found out that it is a pottery business in northern Scotland and still in operation by the same family.
I thought I would contact them and let them know that a couple of pieces of their work has made safely over to Nova Scotia........which by the way means New Scotland.
Within the hour I had a reply from the son of the woman who started the business, her name was Alison Dunn.
He indicated that his wife had taken over the business and it was still 'going strong'. He was pleased that these dishes had made it over to Canada.
As far as the 'DS' on the above piece, he said that it was someone who had worked with his mother.
I am happy that I got these pieces of pottery.........and too that the business is still in operation after all these years.