Monday, August 29, 2011

So long Halifax and friends here

One more container ship passes by as I pack up to leave Halifax and drive back to Toronto tomorrow. My sister, Connie, is making the trip with me and the plan is to leave here around 7 am, pick up a Tim's coffee and get out of town early.  I have had such a wonderful month here - in both bad and good weather!  I have spent time with so many friends (and there are others I did not find time to see - sorry about that...)

I will see you right here in September.  Actually, we will communicate with each other rather than see each other but you know what I mean.

Oh and one more thing, I will be back in Halifax to speak at an event at the Four Point Sheraton (on Hollis St) on September 8th so really I will be back before you know it.  I am speaking at a fundraiser for the Ovarian Cancer Foundation - and, along with the Foundation's CEO I will be on BT on the morning of Sept 8th.

Thank you Halifax. I love you.  And, I'll be back!!

Carol Ann

A beautiful Halifax sunrise

I just took this photo from my living room window.  Isn't it a beautiful sunrise? 

They are still saying we are in for a wind storm of some sort - it's a bit windy now and very cool so we will see what happens during the next few hours.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Preparing for the storm

There are no working boats in the harbour today. No sail boats either.  Everyone is preparing just in case Irene delivers the wind storm that has been suggested.  The hurricane has been downgraded so it may only be a bad rain and wind storm - nevertheless the water can be unforgiving.

I took these pictures a couple of days ago.  Beautiful view yes?

Bud the Spud - chip wagon in downtown Halifax

If you are from Halifax, or if you have ever walked along Spring Garden Road during the summer months, you have seen Bud the Spud  proudly waiting to serve you.

As I sat waiting for Carol Bond to join me a couple of days ago I struck up a conversation with the men on either side of me. (I sat on their bench between the two of them actually so they really had no choice but to talk with me as well as each other!)

Bud the Spud chip wagon has a bit of competition but not much. Two other chip/hot dog wagons want your business but, for the most part, everyone heads for Bud the Spud.  So, while Carol and I were deciding where we would purchase our hot dogs and chips the gentleman who we had been carrying on quite a conversation with said, "Are you ladies eating at Bud's right here?" Now I swear I was about to say, "Yes, of course!" when Carol said, "Oh no, I prefer the hot dogs from that other guy" and she pointed to one of the competitors. The man, we learned his name is Glen, (or was it Len?) said, "Well I own Bud the Spud."  We didn't believe him but it was true.  He is the owner - we joked back and forth for some time - a great memory from my summer vacation.   We did purchase our hot dogs from that-other-guy but we purchased our wonderful fries from Buddy at Buds. And we will be back again next summer.

I am still laughing...............

I had lunch with Pierce Bronson on the Halifax waterfront

Well ... not actually with Pierce Bronson but he was right beside us at this empty table - we Maritimers don't like to bother our celebrities so I didn't talk to him but a young gal did take a photo and she will send it to me when she returns to BC. She took it without him even knowing honest to God.  For now this is her phone between Helen Parker and I and if you zoom in - Voila there he is!  Pierce is here filming and was treating two of his cast mates to lunch.  We caught bits of the conversation!  It was interesting to watch the crowds walk past.  They would glance at him and then only after they were a respectable distance away would they turn around and really look at him. Pierce is more handsome in person than on the big screen and his eyes are as blue as Paul Newman's if not more so.

Helen Parker is a very successful real estate agent here in Halifax. She now owns my former condo and she rented it to me for the month of August .

Have a safe Sunday - the storm is en route.


One more look at Mavillette beach

Linda and Danny (and dog) went back to Mavillette just after Linda and I were there - great shots. Thanks for sharing Linda.
See you next visit.



A Ryan Gosling look-alike - Ryan Power

My  young friend Ryan Power just had the braces removed from his teeth - thus the big smile for his parents, Linda and Dan Power.  They visited at Ryan's work site and took this photo.  Does he not look like Ryan Gosling?

I love it!  You are one handsome dude Ryan!!!  See you next summer.



One more thought about Jack Layton to share with you this morning

As I watched the funeral/celebration yesterday I thought of another Jack I worked with during my Bell career days.  At his retirement party I said Jack stood out as three different types of a man to me - all rolled into one great man.

1.  A hell of a union man.
2.  A hell of a gentleman.
3.  A hell of a gentle man.

The same could be said of Jack Layton.  He represented every man/woman to us and his memory will clearly live on.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

In memory of Jack Layton

Like thousands of other Canadians I will be watching the funeral/Celebration of Jack Layton's Life today. 

If I was in Toronto I would attend and if I could not get in I would bring flowers.  My friend Carol Bond painted (mixed media) this beautiful picture of Nova Scotia's Apple Blossoms as a gift for me as I pack up to return to Toronto in a few days.   I wouldn't be able to bring Apple Blossoms to the Celebration but, for today, I will think of Jack as I look at this painting.

I am not a political person and I absolutely hate how politicians don't tell us what they can do for the country but rather they tell us how bad their opponents are.  Such negativity keeps many from running for political office I am sure. Jack was the exception. Oh, he took shots at the others and maybe they were not all necessary (he was human after all) but he stood taller than the others as the people's politician. I will remember Jack Layton as being an honest man, intelligent, caring, loving, competitive, musical, athletic and perhaps the one politician who was on his way to showing Canada how goals can be reached with hard work, team work, total inclusiveness and that fabulous smile! 

We will miss you Jack. Safe journey....


Carol Ann

Thursday, August 25, 2011

If walls could talk to us

Have you ever looked at a very old home and wondered who had once lived there, what their lives had been like, what memories had been made within the walls of the home and how happy the home owners had been?

This beaten down home on Cape St Mary Road in Mavillette was once a lovely yellow colour and it stood so proudly among other homes and fish shacks/buildings on the road. Now it looks sad - very sad and every year when I am there I wonder about the history of the home.  I am closer than ever before to getting some answers.......hopefully next summer.


Business and Pleasure

Just after a cruise ship arrived this morning the military ship on the right left the harbour. A pleasure day for the cruise ship guests and a working day for the military team. I was up early writing and paused long enough to capture these memories (and refill my coffee cup of course!)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cape St Mary's - Nova Scotia

I am not a fisherman!  Danny Bell took me fishing once - only once - not for me.  However, the beauty of this area of Cape St Mary has made me fall in love with it.  A character in my novel will be from here so I am on a mission to (next year) interview a very old fisherman who can tell me all about these boats, and all about their lifestyle over the last 50 or so years.

You can't imagine how beautiful the weather was yesterday when I took these pictures. We spoke with a few of the men as they worked on their boats and I am going to learn more - much more.

Have a gentle day.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Ocean and Mavillette beach (both sun and rain)

No words tonight - pictures say it all. I love the ocean and I absolutely love Mavillette Beach...more details tomorrow. Love CA

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My mom and her friends oh-so-many-years-ago

On the right - Betty, Rosalie, Natalie and Melva as we sat on the waterfront today taking in the sites and talking about their working years with mom.  I could listen to their stories all day long.  They are wonderful women in so many ways.  In the top photo, three (and I can't figure out which three) of the sisters are standing with mom who is the second from the right in the black skirt.  They were celebrating their birthdays and Christmas too. They brought this photo for me today. I had not seen it and was thrilled to have it - what a gift. Thanks for a wonderful day my friends. And, for dinner too ..and the beer...and the ice cream!

Carol Ann

Picture perfect Sunday at the Waterfront

Sunday morning

This container ship is not that clear in my photo .  There seem to be a number of container ships each day - you see them coming in to be unloaded and at day's end you see them leave the harbour,  I am assume they are empty at that stage.

Today I hope to meet up with Melva, Betty, Rosalie and Natalie - four of the five sisters I first met through my mother may years ago.  We keep in touch and today is a good day to see them.  My vacation days are numbered and there is so much more I want to see and do....

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Where does the National Post cost $6.05 for the weekend edition?

In Halifax, one of two places East of Montreal where you can buy the National Post apparently.  A local shop here prints the paper on site  - it comes out looking all long and lean and very professional.  I didn't realize the price until I was at the cash, and would have bought it anyway but it was a bit of a shock. (I will definitely read it cover to cover.)    This is the first time I have read the Post during this vacation, have read the Globe once and our local paper here, the Herald, twice.  Maybe my obsession with reading every paper I can get my hands on every day is behind me -maybe.

My cousin Anna

Anna battled a terrible form of face cancer a few years ago and she won the battle.  She just celebrated her 70th birthday and I missed the party so today I met Anna and Ed at their favourite restaurant - Swiss Chalet in New Minas - and we celebrated all over again.  Now she is battling a broken arm - broken very high up on the arm, just below her shoulder.  She is in lots of pain but not enough to cancel our lunch plans. She is so like my mother.  Don't complain and carry on!

I am so proud of you Anna - and you too Ed!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Just another yacht leaving the Harbour for an early morning ride

We have seen this yacht in the harbour many times.  The staff is always working on it to keep it picture perfect and it is that!

I am spending the day today with another friend by the name Nancy.  Today will be a bit different I suspect. We will have lunch at the Casino and you never know..........................

Enjoy your Friday.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Maurice "The Rocket" Richard

I am not sure I have ever picked up a book, before now, that had a picture on the cover and nothing else...not a author's name...nada.  This book, about Rocket Richard, was written by Andy O'Brien and published in October 1961 with a reprint one month later.  "Five goals in one game, 626 goals in his lifetime, no wonder the Goaltenders' Union breathed a sigh of relief when the Rocket retired.  While he couldn't always see the goal, he just 'knew' where it was."

The book is a great read, and tucked inside are original newspaper clippings about the Rocket.  I found it tucked away with other books at Seitl's Antiques in Pugwash. The store was not open but Nancy knew where to go to get the key so we did that, let ourselves in, and took our time looking around.  Only in rural Nova Scotia - I love it!

$9.00 later I had a treasure to add to my collection of hockey stories for Jalen's time capsule.

Pugwash antique shopping -

En route to Pugwash and all other locations yesterday we saw a few....shall we say....interesting things beside the road.  One can only imagine the history that would explain this portion-of-a-plane that sits proudly by the roadside. 

And the license plate does not belong to Nancy but we did see it on a car parked behind an antique shop in Pugwash. I wonder who the lady is???

Tatamagouche Railway Station takes you to the Train Station Inn, 21 Station Road in Tatamagouche.  They having a dining car that features land and sea menu, there is a lounge, a cafe and gift shop. The railway dining car is the real thing honestly.  It is a railway car converted to a restaurant and the food  is 5 Star- at least in my books.  The Station was originally built in 1887 and they trace the history forward to today. In 1986 the last train passed through the town in February. It got stuck in snow and never completed the last run.  You can dine, shop and stay overnight in one of the "sleeper" cars.  I want to to that on another visit home.  A great way to end a perfect day.  Thank you Nancy!


My very full day trip with Nancy

First stop - Masstown Market where we found our second cup of coffee and food for lunch (including Nanaimo bars and Date squares - we are on vacation after all!) Nancy picked me up around
7 30 so we were on the road early but already thinking about lunchtime.

In Bass River we spent time at the Joy Laking Gallery Definitely worth the trip.  You could spend hours there.  They ship all over the world so your home base is not an issue.

We met little critters at That Dutchman's Farm - cheese, antiques and collectibles.  You can taste award winning artisan cheese there as well as spend considerable time looking at beautiful antiques.  I purchased two more Christmas gifts!  Located in Upper Economy

 We shopped in Parrsboro, Spring Hill and all stops en route - saw Anne Murray's summer home and many mansions that are literally out of this world. I bought a great book at a shop in Pugwash but will blog about that separately. 

Our final stop was the Tatamogouche Railway station and you MUST go there for dinner if you have not been.  I will write about our evening a bit later.  Still trying to sift though things I picked up telling me where we were!

Low tide

 The view from my window is very different from being at the water's edge and seeing low tide. Low tide leaves the mud bare with no water in sight.  The fishermen are fully conversed about low and high tide timings.  It reminds me of my younger years and going to the ocean with my parents and seeing the tide come in and go out daily.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First morning glance out of my window

I am off on a day-trip with a friend today. We are going to parts of the province that I have not often visited and in some cases have never visitedLooking forward to it and will return with pictures to share I am sure.  Hope you have plans for your day too.  xox CA 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Samuel Cunard and Co

You simply cannot imagine how blue the sky and water are here today in Halifax.  This picture doesn't begin to show the beauty of the harbour this afternoon. It is very warm but there is quite a breeze so you really don't mind the heat.  I walked the entire Boardwalk followed by most of the streets in the downtown area I am sure.  What a great way to spend an afternoon- which in included an ice cream of course!

I have a very old suitcase that has a sticker saying "Cunard Ship lines Halifax" and here is the man himself - Samuel Cunard stands proudly along the waterfront. You can see a bit of the huge cruise ship docked just behind the statue today.