Saturday, December 31, 2016

Good Bye 2016

I hope everyone has enjoyed the holiday season.  For me, it's all about the preparation.  I love to bake, so I do a lot of it and then wonder I made so much.  I do this every, single year.  No one complains though, but as Mother, I know we are eating way too much sugar.  

I love how warm and cozy my home feels all decked out with winter and Christmas decor.  I dread taking it down.  I really have to find a way to make my home feel the same way for the remainder of the winter months.

My amaryllis bloomed a few days after Christmas, but that's okay.  Isn't it gorgeous?!  Also included is a picture of my tree and the light over my dining table.  I really love decorating both every year. The last photo is of my wee black cat, Sooty in a very weird pose.  Even my other kitty seems to be looking on in disbelief as to how he got his body into such a contorted position.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2016

A Little Break

I have more pictures from our Nova Scotia trip ready to go up, but I thought I would take a break from that, and have a little fun playing around with some nature photos today.  

It's sunny this afternoon, but the wind is strong and frigid.  I'm not used to it yet, and frankly am a bit whiny about it.  So, a warm cup of tea, and some time playing with pictures helped to cheer me up. That, and I am making pizza for dinner tonight.  I always look forward to pizza night.  

Have a great weekend everyone!  Oh, and I saw the most incredible meteor last night!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Citadel

The Citadel in Halifax is in the heart of downtown, and just a short, enjoyable walk from the harbour. With more history than you shake a stick at, not to mention all the action with the marching, and the bagpipes and a very impressive cannon shot, our afternoon was anything but boring. You can read more about it Here.

Don't even try to get a smile out of that guy.

I actually took a wee nap down there, on the cool grass while we were waiting for our people to regroup.  They
were off exploring some dark tunnels.  Strange are those that want to explore the dark, unpredictable places.

The view great from up top.  It had to be a great look-out point, to keep an eye on those approaching enemies.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Alexander Keith

For those who enjoy beer and find themselves in Halifax, a visit to the Alexander Keith's brewery is a must.  The tour was great, a little rushed, but so much fun.  Regrettably, I didn't get to finish my delicious beer.  Who can drink that fast???  Not me.  If I indulge in a beer, I savour it, and this beer was worth a lot of time.  

Not only was it available for a limited time, but it was hard to find.  We did not bring any home. So, it is a memory not to be relived.  But maybe someone will put out a comparable stout.  

We enjoyed a quick tour of the brewery, which was a beautiful place, and it smelled so good.  All that brick and copper left a person with a cozy feeling.

Some of the warm feeling came from the beer as well.  We enjoyed tasting 3 different beer.  Frankly, it was a lot for me.  I couldn't finish.  I could have used at least another 45 minutes.

Then we headed down to the basement where the cozy feeling grew.  I could have spent hours down there. 

Our musicians were so fun and they doubled as our bartenders.  After they served us, they came and sat with us for a few moments and had a nice, little chat.  It was such a welcoming place.  Even several hours probably would have felt rushed.  If you are ever in Halifax, treat yourself to a tour here, even if you don't like beer.  Our kidlets were with us and enjoyed iced tea and water along the way.  

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Halifax Harbour

For the most part, I think these photos will speak for themselves.  It was an incredibly beautiful day. We enjoyed a delicious lunch outdoors, took in another museum, after just having finished up at Pier 21, but mostly, we just enjoyed the view.

Bike rentals might be a good idea for getting around more quickly to see more of the city, but with all
those hills, I know my legs wouldn't have been able to handle it.

Theodore the Tugboat - Read about him HERE.

Like I said, "enjoying the view."

There is a lot of blue in this post.

It doesn't get better than beautiful buildings along a waterfront.

There goes Theodore! Enjoying the happiest harbour in the world.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Problems with Google Plus

I have been having issues with my blog lately.  I was receiving emails when someone commented, but that has stopped.  I wasn't getting complaints that I was a no reply blogger, but now some have said that I am.  I'll admit that I am completely confused with all the different setting options.  For now, I have reverted back to a Blogger profile, and am not linked with my Google+ account.  I hope this helps both me and my visitors.  Anyone should be able to comment on my blog and reply to the comments I leave when I visit another blog.  

Please let me know if things still aren't working properly.  My blog is an important social outlet for me, and I need to know it is working properly.  Any tips are welcome, and thank-you so much.

And here is a random picture of my puppy...

Mug Exchange Fall 2016

I had so much fun with the teacup exchange in the fall that I decided to indulge and join both the mug and teacup exchange this time.  I am so glad I did.  Thank-you to Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose for coordinating this event.  
Again, I enjoyed putting my two parcels together and sending them off, and then looking forward to a letter back, the old fashioned way.
Of course, getting the packages was so much fun too.  I couldn't wait to see what sort of treats had been sent my way.  Wendy from September Violets had my name and her package really made my day.  
I think we all know that I love pumpkins, so I may have sqeed a little when I opened the parcel to find this wonderful mug and apron.

But first, just look at all the wonderful details in the packaging.  Gifts in of themselves.

And here are the gifts.  Cookie cutters, (I love making sugar cookies), scented votives and they both smell wonderful, a sweet little scarecrow that had no trouble whatsoever finding a place in my home, pumpkin place card holders which are so cute and I can't wait to create an opportunity to use them. Last but not least, treats.  Tea and chocolate always make a delightful combination.  If you haven't tried dark chocolate with chai, you should get on that.

And...drum roll please...the gorgeous mug.  My new favourite.  You will find this little darling within an arms reach of me all winter long.  It will keep me daydreaming of next years pumpkin patch all through that cold weather.  Thank-you so very much Wendy. Your thoughtfulness and generosity are appreciated so very much.

Fall Tea Cup Exchange 2016

The day following my receiving the parcel from the mug exchange, another package arrived from the teacup side of things. It was like Christmas morning two days in a row!  I have so much love for this event.  I don't know how to thank Stephanie from The Enchanting Rose enough for taking the time to organize 190 women.
This time, the gifts were from someone I've met before, through Stephanie actually.  When Kelly started her blog Homespuns 'n Hayfields this past January, she was introduced via The Enchanting Rose.  Kelly has been a delightful visitor to my blog ever since, and I was so excited to see that she had my name.  
Once again I was spoiled by generosity and thoughtfulness. First of all, the gifts...

Cookies, teas and coffee.  I don't usually buy cookies, but I have to say, I may if I find these on the shelf. They had a light and crispy texture, and not over sweet.  Just perfect for a cup of tea or coffee. That pumpkin? - Kelly handmade it herself and it was her very first one.  I love it!  I think there will be more pumpkins in her future.  Along with that was a fall themed set of a potholder and cloth - what gorgeous colors.  I journal, and I have several journals for various topics.  I foresee this one being devoted to my new garden journal.  And yet another homemade gift.  What a sweet little face on that snowman angel ornament. This little guy also suits my decor perfectly, and is going to look great on my tree.

And the teacup...sigh.  It is so delicate and pretty.  The princess inside me rises to the surface when I see this piece.

Thank-you so much Kelly.  I will treasure these items for years to come.  Except the cookies.  They're gone.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Way Way Too Many Pumpkins

My friends, family and neighbors have all let me down.  Many a pumpkin was offered, and very few have left my yard.  Even my pumpkin thieving, (loving) sister didn't take very many this year.  All in all, I was only able to give away around 20.  When there are nearly 500, 20 does not make a dent. 

So, I set to work painting and carving the ripe ones.  The kids and the husband carved a few each. The green ones have been used as props for the orange guys.  Even if more had turned orange in time for Halloween, I'm sure they still would have been used in the same way.

On the deck and in front of the house, there are just over 300 pumpkins.  That is not counting ornamental gourds of which there were around 200, and they are scattered here and there.  I had a fantastic gourd patch this year.  There were so many different types, I never knew what I was going to find when I went out to pick a few.

You know what I really love about my Halloween decorations?  Ninety-nine percent of them are compostable.  I get to start from scratch every year, and I do not have to store them. 

Here are the numbers - Outside in front of the house and on the deck - 300.  Scattered around the yard - 25.  In the house - 50.  And left in the garage are 85.  Of course, as far as squash go, there are many, many more that are being stored for winter eating.  Acorn, buttercup, butternut, spaghetti and zucchini all produced abundantly this year.  I need a Pinterest board just for squash recipes.  

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pier 21 in Halifax

Pier 21 stands out in my mind as the most emotional, interesting and memorable museum I have yet had the pleasure to visit.  Located on the Halifax Harbour, this port is where some 1 million immigrants landed in Canada between the years 1928 - 1971.  There was an incredible amount of information to take in.  I immersed myself most deeply into the personal stories, but what really moved me was experiencing, in a couple of hours, the evolution of our country, and how much has changed in how we treat each other.  While I got a strong feeling of the positive changes that have taken place over the years, I was still left with a heavy feeling of how much further we have left to go.  Not hopelessness, not at all, just the weight of of a very gradual change.  We're moving forward, just at a pace that is frustratingly slow.

Here are just a few things that stood out to me, and I will spare you the detailed history, but will include links to websites if you would like to read more about these events.

The museum does not try to shed a rose coloured light on Canada's history.  This is the first exhibit visitors
are greeted with upon entry and it instantly sets the tone for the rest of the tour.
After being denied entry into the country, and their safe return to Europe, over 200 of these passengers
perished in the holocaust.  You can read more about this event HERE.

An interesting ad from a newspaper.  I love the artwork.

Many of these original homesteads are still in existence today.  But as the old buildings
decay, and farms get bigger, they are slowly becoming unrecognizable.
 Of course, I was familiar with the Titanic, but I was shocked to learn of this devastating event.  It was one
of the most difficult exhibits to get through.  There were many sad stories, and terrible photos from the event.
You can read more HERE.
This letter was found more than two months after the disaster and was eventually returned to "Roger", who had
survived.  It caught my eye because it was from my home province of Saskatchewan.

I would not, not ever get back on a boat after surviving something like that.  Amazing.

A sad, but interesting part of our history.  Read about it HERE.

This photo speaks volumes, doesn't it?  The look of disappointment and sadness in their faces captured my attention, and even
now in a photograph of a photograph, I feel their pain deeply.
Emerging from the museum, you get the feeling of being on a ship moving through the water.  I actually even felt a little
sea sick.  But this was a beautiful place to sit and contemplate everything I had just learned.  The incredible scenery
also helped lift my mood a bit.