Friday, June 30, 2006


Thought I'd show a pic of the pretty petunias in the garden today - found some in the garden centre with a lovely shade of red that will go well with the poppies and nasturtiums I've planted from seed in the containers out front. These petunias are great at spreading out, and will make a great display in the coming months. :D

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Bunnies on our walk!

Just went out to check the mail (I'm eagerly awaiting the last of Dave's birthday presents to arrive), and after that, took Casey out for a quick spin. We were down the street, and suddenly, I saw her start to run across the road, chasing after what I thought at first was a squirrel, but on second look, as I was yelling at her to stop, I saw it was a cute, long-legged skinny little bunny!! It started to run towards me to get away from my goofy dog, but saw me and thought better of it, heading instead towards the woods. Casey finally listened to me and stopped chasing it at the point where it went in the woods, and she stood there for some time smelling the grass. She doesn't want to hurt the bunnies, she wants to herd them - at night, she loves to play with tennis balls, but is only really happy when they're all herded together, when all her little babies are together in one place. Her herding instinct is SO strong, and if something runs or flys, she wants to get it slow down, stop and go to where the others are collected. She's so gentle, I have no fear of her hurting the little guys at all. In any case, she got really interested in the roadside where the bunny had come from, and while she was distracted there, ANOTHER skinny little bunny hopped across the driveway, looking at me - but not scared, just slowly hopping across - heading in the direction his little friend had gone a moment before. I wanted to squeal with glee, but kept my mouth shut so Casey wouldn't notice him and scare him. After he had gone into the woods, Casey and I continued on our way, with her none the wiser that she could have had TWO little bunny babies to herd and keep together. Silly puppy.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Ann & Dave's big trip to THE CITY (or: mini-walking tour of Halifax)

Dave and I thought when we moved to the country that we'd probably get back to the city quite regularly, but as its turned out, we only go in about once every 6 months or so. So, it's a big deal when we do leave the country and head to the city. Today we thought we'd hit a few used book stores and wander around a bit. :)

This is me on the ferry, just before we leave the Dartmouth shore. You can see the MacDonald bridge in the background, one of the two bridges that span the Halifax Harbour.

This is a shot of the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal. The building complex houses the ferry terminal, bus terminal (you can use transfers to go from a bus to a ferry without paying an extra fare, they're all part of Metro Transit), the largest public library in Dartmouth, restaurants, convention centre & art gallery, Saturday Farmer's Market, and a theatre company.

Here's a better shot of the MacDonald bridge, and you can see the second, MacKay, bridge in the background. Can you tell that our province really WAS settled by a large proportion of Scots? :) Nova Scotia is New Scotland, after all... And note the notice on the ferry, to warn people that you might hear a foghorn in fog - it might be suprising if you hadn't heard one before!

Here's some shots of the Halifax Waterfront, as we go by on the ferry. The two blue buildings out on the water to the right are the Purdy's Wharf towers, full of businesses/offices.

Here's the ferry we traveled on, waiting to take more people back across the harbour. It's a great ride, especially in the summer time, on top - smooth ride, only takes about 10 minutes, and great views of the harbour with a nice ocean breeze.

Here's a shot from the corner of Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road, looking down Barrington street. There's a modern building on the left (an apartment building, with art supply and book store on street level), but further down you can see some of our more historical buildings mixed in (keep in mind, of course, that Halifax was flattened in 1917 by the largest non-nuclear explosion the world had seen, so many of our really historic buildings were destroyed).

This is the beautiful St. Mary's Basilica (Roman Catholic), adjacent to the apartment buildings in the picture above, on Spring Garden Road. Great stained glass, great architecture. They have a really nice Sunday Morning service at 11 am, if you're interested; the choir is lovely.

Across the street from the church is the Old Halifax Burying Ground (originally associated with St. Paul's Anglican Church (the oldest Protestant place of worship in Canada), up the road on Barrington Street, but eventually came to house the all deceased from the local Halifax area. No fresh burials in over 100 years, so the people buried there are Haligonians from the 17 and 1800s. Mike Campbell (another Scottish name!) :) has a great picture tour of Halifax, and more information on the Burying Ground here.

This is a shot of Spring Garden Road. If you look carefully, you can see the bottom of the Basilica far up the road. But you can also see a van-type vehicle parked on the side of the road, in the left of the picture. That is Bud the Spud (named for the famous song by Stompin' Tom), and they have sold french fries there since the 1970s. They are very much an institution in Halifax, there's always long lines there in the summer time. If you look during the winter (you can't see it in the summer because, of course, he's parked there), you can see that there is a special parking zone painted & labeled on the street for him. :D

In between taking the pics, we hit a few used bookstores, and we got some great summer reading material. All of these are on Barrington Street in downtown Halifax.

- John W. Doull, Bookseller - A massive bookstore, piled to the rafters (literally!) with books of every kind, including lots of rare ones (but I find it's so warm inside that it's hard for me to stay as long as I'd like). :)
- United Book Exchange - Air conditioned, which we greatly appreciated. :) Has a good selection, from romance to mystery & horror, and popular fiction.
- Dust Jacket Books & Treasures - My favorite. Huge selection, easy to browse, has everything from current titles to hard-to-find items.

Here's a great list of all the used bookstores in Nova Scotia, if you want more:

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Raindrops and flowers

Had a nice, but rather short walk with Casey today - she doesn't like to go very far in the rain. :) Got a few pics off - glad we went when we did, because later, when Dave and I were in the kitchen, we both looked up and said, why is it so dark all of a sudden? It was like midday had turned to evening - then the skies opened up and it POURED!! We would have hated to be caught outside in that! :D

These are my favorite early summer flowers - they grow wild in this area, and are similar to forget-me-nots. They start out as pinkish-purple buds, as you can see at the top of the photo, and when they first open they remain that colour. The longer they're open, the more blue they turn, until they're this lovely sky blue colour that you see here. They're very tiny flowers, only about 1 cm wide.

Here, a cheerful summertime daisy soaks up the rain gratefully. Plants always look so refreshed after a rain.

These are the lovely wild iris that grow in the swampy regions in my neighbourhood (as shown before here). This shot shows how very wet the conditions are that they thrive in - they do like to grow directly in the water, it makes for a lovely display this time of year. Of course, when one hears the word "swamp", it tends to conjure up images of a dull, dark and creepy place, but actually it has a remarkable beauty all its own. Including, of course, lovely flowers like these that can't grow anywhere else. :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


BUNNY!!! I'm SOOOO excited!! Dave saw him/her in the backyard, and I was able to get this somewhat blurry shot of it out in the grass, chewing on some grass'n'greens. Isn't he/she cute????!!! Little brown bunny, hoppin' along. Adorable!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lovely early summer blooms!

Some pretty plants blooming here in the early summer of Nova Scotia!

These are some gorgeous wild iris flowers that grow in the swampland in this area - they must need extremely wet soil to grow in, I've only ever seen them growing in the water or right on the edge of it.

Pretty, bright and cheerful, daisies are always such a welcome site on the roadside and in fields in June.

These are some trillium that Dave's Mom is growing in the garden - the bees seem to like it! :)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Love borscht? And puns? This design is for you!

Is it punny? You bet! Check out my latest design from Ann's Ukrainian Gifts featuring my favorite soup, borscht! It's the soup that can't be beet! Or is it beat? *groan* heh heh heh...If you love this traditional Ukrainian beet, carrot, potato and beef soup as much as I do, then this design is for you!

Want to make your own borscht at home? I have our family's recipe here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Baby Chicks!

Dave's mom and her man-friend got their new baby chicks today--they're only a day old!! They are SOOOO cute! They're so small, you can feel their heart beating and their little lungs filling with air in the palm of your hand. The first pic shows them all in their little transportation box - notice how even in that short time that the box was open, they all went for the warmth of the sun. The second and third pics show one of the chicks in Dave's hand. His hands were nice and warm, and it started to put the little girl to sleep! :D

Monday, June 12, 2006

World Cup 2006's such a relief to have something on tv ALL the time! I like to leave the tv on in the background when I work at the computer, etc, and I enjoyed the World Cup a lot four years ago - not just as background noise, but also because I actually learned a little about the game! But while I didn't watch much more soccer/football since then, I am glad to see the World Cup back again. Sports are always more enjoyable when you're watching the best in the world compete. :)

I loved the Trinidad and Tobago tie with Sweden - I never thought I'd be so excited about a tie before! I got a little weepy over it, really - T & T wanted it SO badly for their little country, and because of the tie, got their first ever World Cup point! Considering it was supposed to be a blowout for Sweden, a tie was a huge achievement they should really be proud of!

And I was SO touched by the gorgeous gift that Iran gave to Mexico before their match (it seems its customary to exchange a small gift between teams - but this was no small gift!) If you haven't seen it yet, check it out for sure! A gorgeous, hand made (I assume) miniature Persian rug (they did invent the Persian rug, after all) ;) with the flags of Iran and Mexico embroidered on it. What a beautiful gift! I hope the other teams that go against Iran noticed it, because they might have to upgrade the gift they planned on giving! :)

So, I will continue to enjoy watching the Cup for the next several weeks...and of course, as a good Canadian, will also be watching the rest of our "Cup" games - the Stanley Cup in hockey! :)

Friday, June 09, 2006

BeanDreams: Beans are up!

The beans have arrived!!! I check the garden every day, and this morning, I finally saw the beans peeking up! Yay! So everything is looking good - the tomatoes that Dave's mom bought for me have all transplanted well (and I think some of my stunted home-grown ones might be still able to be salvaged), and my sage is big enough that I could use some on the roast chicken I made for my grandmother the other day. The weeds,! There's a LOT of them. I weed a little every day, but there's always more - part of the joy of gardening. :) So the only thing that hasn't really taken off is the thing that should have done the best with these coolish temperatures: the lettuce! I'll have to reseed and see what happens - I'm not weeding in that area just in case I'm not recognizing the lettuce - when everything gets bigger I should be able to tell. :)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A visit from Nan

Had a nice visit from my Nan (grandma) today - she's 89 years old (89!!!), visiting from Ontario. We have very few visitors here at the house, so this was a big occasion, involving lots of cleaning, vacuuming, straightening (thanks to Dave for all his hard work on that!), and a big dinner! I made a roast chicken, and got to use some of the sage from the garden on it (yum!), stuffing (also called dressing), mashed potatoes and corn (which I understand Nan really enjoys), with gravy. We went through Nan's collection of old photographs, which was a lot of fun - most of them I hadn't seen before.

But a note to people out there: Label your pictures. Even a little note, and the date. Because you think you're always going to remember what you're taking a picture of, and what year it is, but there may be a time when you don't any longer. And those around you now weren't there then, so they can't help you remember. I've seen this a few times, that often the memory of things that were important enough to take a picture of are lost, because there's no notation to tell others what it was about. Fortunately many of Nan's pics were labeled, but some interesting ones weren't, and I would have liked to know more about them. I guess that's why people do scrapbooking so much these days. I know my Dad has a COMPLETE record of my life (I'm an only child so I think it was extra important to him), and he noted and dated EVERY photo. I try to do the same, but I'm not as fastidious as him. :)

But all in all, we had a fun time - even the dogs behaved themselves (well, mostly...Casey kept getting up on the couch and giving Nan kisses. Silly puppy). :D

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

New design at the gift shop!

I just released this fun new design in my giftshop, an alternate form of 'I love pysanky'. I love how it turned out, it's really cute! :) As with all my other designs, it's available on tshirts, mugs, hanging art tiles (a really sweet way to brighten up a kitchen, or your desk area), mousepads, posters, stickers, totebags, and much more! Check it out!

Monday, June 05, 2006

The shop has moved!

I've done the migration of the shop from to Same great shop, same great products, but a new url! So, update your bookmarks! :)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

And we thought WE had blossoms...

WOW! Just got back from visiting Dave's mom's manfriend (the guy's in his 70s, I just can't call him a boyfriend) :). Dave's mom had said that his apple tree had bloomed more profusely than it had in recent memory, so we should all head on down to take some pics. It's too bad it was rainy at the time, but I still got some great shots. It was incredible, the tree was just saturated with blooms, just incredible!

It's just about the end of the time for them though, spring is past its prime, as it starts to give way to the lazy days of summer. Well, it will give way, after the rain... :D (Its been raining for over a week, with another week forecast to come...*sigh*)

Take a moment to remember special FX pioneer

If you love movies, or even like them, take a moment to remember Arthur Widmer, who passed away today (aged 92!). This is the guy who created the "blue screen" effect, which was a huge leap in special effects. Now people could appear in virtually any surroundings, while filming safely and comfortably in the studio. It let filmmakers do things that were really impossible to do before, and let their imaginations soar. So thank you, Mr. Widmer, your contribution to FX brought tonnes of enjoyment to so many!

Read his story on the BBC here.