Thursday, April 30, 2015

More Than Just A 'Palindrome'*

What a good sight to see at Lake Banook yesterday.....

A man with his 'kayak'* !

Yes, that means there's no looking back now folks.
Spring is here and this sighting proved it!

With the exception of the slushy ice (the gray coloured mass in the upper background),
the signs of spring are everywhere.

This fellow had just enough room between shore and ice
 to paddle up and down the open part of the lake.
It looked exhilarating.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Naps Are Good

I caught Ron and Sophie napping yesterday afternoon.......

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

From My Perch

It is starting to get busier at the shop due to a positive change in our weather.

So on Sunday, my work day, I was busy talking with a customer,
when I noticed this large group of people all dressed in red
coming up the hill.

It was intriguing enough that I excused myself to get my camera.
I just didn't want to miss this insurgence of colour.
The customer was intrigued as well, as they mostly are because of the panoramic
views we have at MacDonald House.

I looked down the hill further and saw a large tourist bus in the parking lot.
Tourism is starting early this year.
And no, unfortunately they did not come into the shops,
but did provide something for me to blog about!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Contemplative Monday

The following is from 'The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh' (click)
and published by 'Shambhala Pocket Classics'.

Beyond Birth and Death

"It is our idea of birth and death that takes away our peace and happiness in everyday life.

And it is meditation that will rid us of the fear that is born from the idea of birth and death.

This is the  virtue of deep looking in meditation.

It helps you to see the heart of reality very deeply.

To touch the nature of interbeing is to touch the very nature of no-death and no-birth."

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Eclectic Tastes

Back in the mid 70's we had an album by Nina Simone
which I am sure we wore out.

And she is still 'fresh' today!

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday Morning Post

As the weather is improving here, I hope to soon get back to my regular Saturday posts
filled with lots of photos of the previous week.

But until then, here are a couple of recent shots.

I took this one from 'my perch. at the shop last Sunday.
Good to see hikers back on MacDonald Hill.

And this was taken yesterday as we entered Birch Cove Park in Dartmouth.
I loved how the tree was reflecting onto Lake Banook.

Here's to a good Saturday/Sunday to you all!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Determined Little Fellers

How they do it is a mystery to me, especially after the winter we had.

The white you see in the background above is snow.

We never rake in the fall. We want leaves to protect and insulate the bulbs and ground covers.
We usually have it all racked up by the time these Snow Drops and Croci come up.

Even the Sweet Woodruff is making an appearance (the green).

Thursday, April 23, 2015

As The Crow Flies

This crow was riding the wind currents yesterday afternoon,
making it all look so easy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Life Goes On

This morning is my brother-in-law, Ken's funeral.

I know the church will be filled with family and friends.

We will all be reminded how he was such a good person
and how he loved to sit and talk/discuss just about anything.

His death has left a very real hole in his children's lives
and that of his grandchildren.

On Monday evening Ron and I dropped by his daughter's home.
She, her husband and their two girls, were doing the best
they could considering what the past two weeks has brought them.

Here are a few photos of our visit:

This is Smokey, a Mini Rex rabbit they have had for about three months.
It is the softest little thing I have ever felt.
And very friendly and curious.

These are tulips that were being encouraged to open just a little
for the upcoming service.

Their colours exuded a brilliance and hope for the future.

Yes,  life does stop and take a different turn.
This turn creates a new 'track' or 'road' on which we move forward.

The oldest of Ken's granddaughters with her very first pet, Smokey.
Life needs to go on.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Blowing Off Some Steam

Our resident pheasant got my attention yesterday with his 'call'.

I looked out the window and there he was, looking straight up at me.

He became very excited, it is spring, and started to flap his wings

and puff up his chest feathers.

What looks like steam coming from his sides

is actually his wings.

I took a few photos and off he sauntered into the trees and shrubs.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Contemplative Monday

The following is from 'The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh' (click)
and published by 'Shambhala Pocket Classics".

The World Of Living Reality

"One day a monk asked Chou-Chou to speak to him about Zen.
Chou-Chou asked, 'Have you finished your breakfast?'
'Yes, master, I have eaten my breakfast.'
'Then go and wash your bowl.'

'Go and wash your bowl.'
This is the same as saying, 'Go and live a realized life.'

Instead of giving the student some explanations about Zen,
the master opened the door and invited the young man
to enter the world of reality.
'Go and wash your bowl.'

These words contain no secret meaning to explore or explain.
They are a simple, direct, and clear declaration.
There is no enigma here, nor is this a symbol.
It refers to a very concrete fact."

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Eclectic Tastes

Percy Sledge also passed away this week
and I found this song which seems very fitting.

Have a wonderful week everyone.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Passage

My brother-in-law passed away yesterday morning
with his daughter, Jacqui and her husband, Dan, by his side.

Rest in peace, Ken.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Signs Are Out There

At least from a dog's perspective, the signs of spring' are all around us.

Sophie's favourite lake is showing signs that in a couple weeks
it will be ready for some laps!!

And of course her next favourite spring/summer thing is GRASS......
to ROLL on to scratch her back, and to EAT!!

What more would she ever need?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Yin and Yang

Two beautiful days in a row here in Nova Scotia.
Spring has sprung us from a long, cold, snowy winter.
Thank you spring!

The photo below is a little dark and certainly doesn't convey
how wonderful it felt today to walk outside without a jacket,
but it does reflect perfectly, I feel, how my family is feeling
about the impending death of my brother-in-law.

His life is dimming just as is the sun's light.

Yin and yang.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Making The Best of Every Day

My brother-in-law, Ken, is slipping away very quickly.

Last evening my sister emailed all the family and brought us up to date
regarding his status.

His son just arrived in Halifax Monday from California to help his sister
with the final arrangements.

Ken was waiting for his son.
Now that his family is all together once again,
I think he is ready to go.

This has all happened so quickly.
It is an understatement to suggest we make the best of every day we are given.

If you have a few seconds, could you send along prayers/positive energy
to Ken and his family.

Sun setting last evening on MacDonald Hill.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Busy World We Live In

At the park in Halifax yesterday with sister, Mim, Maggie, her dog, and Sophie.

This 'HUGE' NYK Line 'vehicles carrier' container ship was just leaving the harbour
after unloading cargo across the harbour in Dartmouth.

Here is some info I found on it:

IMO: 9441568
MMSI: 311040800
Call Sign: C6YP3
Flag: Bahamas (BS)
AIS Type: Cargo
Gross Tonnage: 58767
Deadweight: 20434 t
Length × Breadth:199.95m × 32.29m
Year Built: 2011
Status: Active

It's latest location as of 7:30 last evening:

Info Received:4 min ago
Area: Atlantic North
Latitude / Longitude:43.16395° / -64.61964°
Status:Underway using Engine
Speed/Course:14.6kn / 213°

Amazing what one can find online.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Contemplative Monday

The following quote is from 'The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh' (click)
and published by 'Shambhala Pocket Classics'.


"If a child smiles, if an adult smiles, that is very important.
If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy,
not only we, but everyone will profit from it.
This is the most basic kind of peace work.
When I see Tim smiling, I am so happy.
If he is aware that he is making other people happy,
he can say,"You're welcome". "

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Eclectic Tastes

80's music was different from all the rest.
It was its own genre and leaving the previous decade behind.

We were busy during the 80's teaching fitness classes/aerobics 
and always making new tapes for our class routines.
Whenever I hear any of this music my ears perk up
and I can almost remember the routine!

Here is one example we used in the 'cool down'.

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Saturday Morning Post

Saw this huge container freighter coming into Halifax Harbour yesterday
from our vantage point at Point Pleasant Park.

I did a little research:

* NYK means Nippon Yusen Kaisha.
* This is the NYK Daedalus.
* It was built in 2007
* TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit/cargo capacity)....4800
* Flag....Panama
* Class...NK (ensures Maritime safety and marine environment)
* NRT (Net Register Tonnage)...23,203
* GRT (Gross Register Tonnage)....55,534

As you can see, this was full to the rafters!
It was heading to one of two container terminals in the harbour.
There was a tugboat waiting for it a little further down the mouth of the harbour
to lead it in to the terminal.

Like most freighters, ocean liners and cruise ships that dock here,
most, if not all the crew, eventually disembark and head to the shops
in the downtown area of the city......especially the grocery stores.

Must feel good to get off the ship and walk on land for a while.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Next To Impossible

You know, it's been next to impossible to take a photo
without it having snow in it.
So, I will embrace it and accept that fact.

'Sophie, Jim is up there!'

She could hear me tapping on the window, but couldn't see me.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Just Curious

Question: Does anyone know why a few coniferous trees 
do not lose the leaves till spring arrives?

This is a young Beech tree at the park, and by the looks of it
it still has all its leaves......albeit, dried up.

I know Oak trees can do this as well.
Our two Beeches don't lose their leaves till their buds start forming.

Sophie is pondering this very difficult question.......
until she saw a dog and ran off!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Round 10

Woke up this morning to this:

I am actually getting used to having snow everywhere.
It was our 10th snow storm this year.
But it is April in Nova Scotia,
and we all know that this is nothing more than frozen water vapour 
which will not last very long.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Shop Talk

As I am sure you all know, I have a little shop not too far from where we live,
just before the beach.

I have collected, stored, packed away numerous things over the years
with the intent of setting up a shop in my retirement.

And here I am, in my retirement!!
I lease a room in a very large house owned by the province's Parks Department.
I have been there for almost a year now and enjoying every minute.

I work one day a week, Sunday.
The other days are covered by other vendors in the house.
We have one central cashier station that looks after the two shops and gallery.

It works well. 
There is also a Tea Room/Cafe in the house that looks after itself.

As you can no doubt see, I have quite an eclectic assortment of things in the shop.
I wish at times I had a bigger space but will have to be content with what I have.

I am having fun with this and meeting all sorts of people.
Not making a fortune by any means but that was not the intent.

I come from a long line of sellers/ father, his father and his father before that!
It's in my genes.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Contemplative Monday

The following is from 'The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh' (click to learn more).
and published by 'Shambhala Pocket Classics'.


"Some people spend their whole life trying only to get revenge.
This kind of desire or volition will bring great suffering not only to others
but to oneself as well.

Hatred is a fire that burns in every soul and can only be tempered by compassion.
But where do we find compassion?

It isn't sold in the supermarket.
If it were, we would only need to bring it home
and we could solve all the hatred and violence in the world very easily.
But compassion can only be produced in our own heart by our own practice."

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Eclectic Tastes

This has been a hectic week for my family....
no it was not due to my father.

My brother-in-law, Ken, 
was diagnosed with inoperable lung and brain cancer.

My sister and he were divorced a few years ago now, 
but he has always been a member of our family
and will continue to be so.

He started coming to our house in 1966when he and my sister started dating.
 (the year this song came fact, the lead singer, Denny Doherty,
 grew up with Ken and lived next door in Halifax)

 Before that I knew him from being altar boys together.
He is older than me and he always got the 'better jobs' for Mass.

This has been a blow for his son and daughter, our niece and nephew,
and his five grandchildren.

My brother and I went to the hospital yesterday to see Ken.
He is very sick but managed as best he could to communicate with us.

I dedicate this song today to Ken.
And if you wouldn't mind,
 could you say a prayer or two/send positive thoughts for him.
Thank you.

Have a wonderful Easter Sunday.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Saturday Morning Post

Another beautiful day on the 'hill' yesterday.
That's two in a row!!

Here are a few things I noticed on our hike.

 This plane was one of three 'remote' planes that three guys were having a ball with.
And, they were quiet.....the planes, that is.

Almost looks real.

These would be fun!

Fog bank, cloud bank.

Sophie loving every minute.

Lawrencetown Beach.

The melt continues.....

Friday, April 3, 2015

Along The Edge

Come for a walk with us 
and don't get too close to the edge.....

Walking up MacDonald Hill (we don't have real mountains in Nova Scotia)
and heading southeast along the top.

Just over the crest of the hill we can see the erosion that has taken place this winter.

Ron and Sophie in the lead heading down the other side
and now heading east towards the beach.

Looking down we see surfers calling it a day.
It is low tide.

Sophie walking through a stream
 and seeing some grass which she is very pleased to see.

This is Lawrencetown Beach we are facing.
Sophie has a ball here in the summer swimming out with the surfers.
 She is counting the days!!

Heading back up and over the hill.

A look to the left at the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean.

Hey, you guys were pretty good,
now let me take a head count......

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