Friday, 31 March 2017

month's end

It is late Friday afternoon, the weekend nearly upon us.
It is what I call a "white sky day", rather non-descript, a light breeze, about 1 degree Centigrade with a slow melt starting.

Tracks show the activity of the cats in the snow last night
In our outing last night I came upon these awkwardly shaped blocks of French soap on sale.
500 grams and 300 grams ( approximately 1 pound and a little over 1/2 pound)
I'm so afraid I'm going to drop one on my foot in the shower and wonder if there's a way I can slice them thinner with - a hot knife??
Apart from the charming stamps, different on each side, I was particularly taken with the corvette ship (considered to be the smallest class of warship) on the one on the right.

This green one has the more dense smell of typical olive oil soaps.

Huile D'Olive is Olive Oil.
Cuit au chaudron means cooked in the cauldron

Babu has been very athletic lately. Maybe it's because spring is the air.
He sure is springing- over chairs, boxes, even Muji. He's full of beans!
Here he watches Muji entering the room; you can just imagine what is going through his little head.

I have added another fountain pen drawing to my latest little sketchbook with
Gold Sharpie paint pen for embellishments. I have been adding coloured pencil since I took this picture. I will show you my progress next time.

Goodbye March. Welcome April!
A sweet weekend to you all, dear viewers.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

what's snew?


It was really looking like spring over this last week.

We were seeing the deer grazing quite regularly, and finally caught sight of the piebald yearling
that was just a baby last spring.

We usually see the deer at day's end when the light is low, hence the poor shots.

This past weekend we headed off to Greenwood again to my favourite health food store, Valley Natural Foods. My order of kelp was in.

The spring runoff was pooling in the low parts of the farmfields.

As always, I took particular pleasure in the line up of trees on field edges.

This fan of pines was particularly sweet.

But then, so were these lovelies.

Some of the farms we saw as we drove through the Annapolis Valley

with the North Mountain in the background

another stand of trees bordering a somewhat overgrown field

Coming into Kingston, this super stand of firs greets us

Aha! My darling little house that I show you each time we come

Well, Greenwood and the health food store have come and gone and we are driving home again
past some cultivated blueberry fields with an out-of-place subdivision bordering them.

past a little creek with a pretty stand of stunted trees or, as we would say here, "scrub"

The evening sun finally shows beneath the clouds, casting its golden light across the fields

lighting our way like a stage

I had to include this blurry shot for its drama

We got off the highway at Coldbrook looking up this commercial patch of road towards where Wally goes to work. This is sub highway #1  that traverses the Annapolis Valley called the Evangeline Trail.
We could have taken it to Greenwood, but it would have taken three times as long.

We turned left into Kentiville

Which has some pretty nice properties, this one being another favourite of ours.

I also love this Leave It To Beaver/ Father Knows Best house, a 1940's beauty.
Again, please forgive my blurry shot in the low light from a moving car.

It isn't unusual to see these giant houses on a hill

A poor shot of the Kentville "castle", the Cornwallis Inn that operated from 1930-1973 was on par with the finest hotels on the continent. It contained ninety guest rooms (including four luxury suites) and ten sample rooms for commercial travellers. The hotel had a head porter, bell boys, maitre d’hote, accounting department, chef, maid service, full kitchen and dining-room staff, clerks, stationary engineers and drivers.  English Royalty has stayed here.
Now it is rented out as apartments and offices, some of its fa├žade compromised with commercial signage. My hope is that it is maintained well enough that someone some day will restore it to its former glory.

We decided to stretch our day and carried on past our road.
I love this old house too- so quaint.

This almost-a-castle house sat on the market for quite a while til the colour was changed from a drab all over green to this contemporary palette.

We come to the New Minas 4 corners where we proceed to do a little grocery shopping in town before going home.  The next day we debated about whether to keep our nasty old tin shed and revamp it as a greenhouse, but decided against it as I couldn't bear the idea of an eyesore makeshift structure to match our makeshift deer barrier. So the shed will go.

By day's end I saw a crocus!

Now I did tell you about snow. It has snowed in succession over the last few days,
interspersed with freezing rain.

I stepped out the front door yesterday and took this shot in our lily garden.

Such hardy little flowers
What an amazing thing Spring is

This impetus of Life

I still love the muted beauty of winter

There is an elegance to this palette that soothes me

Perhaps that's why I get a kick out of looking at my pictures from behind.
Here I am holding up that drawing I showed you in my last post to the late afternoon sunlight.

Here it is right side up, on a real gold kick, using a Sharpie paint pen.

And here is Muji carrying on the gold theme.

“Did you know that wherever you find fool's gold, real gold exists somewhere nearby? This also goes for relationships and friendships. Real gold is found in the heart. For every piece of fake gold that you discard, remember that true gold isn't too far.”   Suzy Kassem

Thursday, 23 March 2017

spring to winter

Greetings again from our snowy Springtime wonderland.

The pictures I have to share today encompass the drive home from our successful trip to the eye doctor and our wanderings thereafter. Because I had so little charge to my battery I delayed taking pictures til we reached the heights of Mount Uniak on our northwest trip home to the Annapolis Valley.

The skies were wild again and the light low
so my pictures are somewhat blurry, but the majesty was worth recording.

Here we see one of many wind turbines

Ridiculously gigantic, I always want to call these "windmills" with their
surrealistic milling of the wind

I'm afraid my pictures don't do justice to the awesome grandeur of these cloudscapes

As we came down from the mountain, the trees changed and the farmfields began
This view is to the northeast

Looking like snow, these are outcroppings of gypsum out of which less and less "gyproc" (drywall) is made as synthetic gypsum is actually cheaper to make.
I am pleased with my Canadian version of a Gainsborough painting.

Now we are passing through Windsor and one of my favourite buildings, this abandoned textile mill, Nova Scotia Textile Limited, which is for sale many years after someone tried to renovate it.  Wally and I spend a minute fantasizing about living there and opening a gallery. I tell him (again) about my trip to the artist David Hockney's textile mill in Saltaire where he realized a similar dream

We come, eventually, to the flood plains of the Avon River with a view to Blomidon at the end of the North Mountain.

The Avon and Blomidon both "spill" into the Bay of Fundy.

We see more and more tidy farm fields, but as we near home the rain that has been spitting all along, turns into sleet and then to snow and by the time we leave the grocery store near home it is seriously snowing very wet fat blobs of snow. I'd run out of battery by then.

But here's what it looked like by bedtime.

I think I'm the only one left, besides the polar bears, who loves it.

The next morning, this morning,  the ash tree still adorned with a few Christmas ornaments

The other ash tree poses like a ballerina in her frothy tutu

The hedge is deliciously sugared

And the back yard and beyond look like February again

Beyond the hayfield to the ethereal forest's edge

Babu keeps me company

always on the lookout for something moving, the snow narrowing his pupils to slits

was that a bird?

I was surprised to find a Coptic stitched sketchbook at the dollar store ( 4 bucks) and knew I wanted to use it for fountain pen drawings, this one embellished with gold paint pen.
The cheap paper buckled with the wet paint and bled along the ink lines but I don't mind.

I hope our visit finds you well and taking pleasure in The Gift.