Sunday, May 31, 2009


Here's the look-off. It still needs a light and benches, the landscaping and the area beneath the "roof" of the widow's walk closed in. It looks very impressive though and has a lovely view out to Carter Island lighthouse through the breakwater. In the other direction, it highlights the Streetscape - a small half-dead tree is going to be removed to improve that view.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Look-Off Progress

As of this afternoon, the look-off looked like this. The strange sloped area is intended to simulate a rooftop and the whole structure is therefore a widow's walk. The sloped area on the opposite side has been shingled already.

Shirley and I thought that the area beneath the structure would invite teenage parties etc. but apparently it is either going to be back filled with dirt/gravel and then closed in entirely, or at least closed in. There will be a ramp at the front and a railing around the whole surface. A couple of benches are planned as well as a light.

When the structure is finished, Spencer's is going to be landscaping around it, and eventually when the wood has aged sufficiently it will be coated with Thomson's water seal.

The view from the left front corner is spectacular - looking out to Carter Island and will likely become a favourite spot for graduation and wedding photos.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Good Beginning

The Farmer's Market in Sable River opened this morning, it appears successfully.

At Decker's Esso, there was a selection of wood products (lighthouses, trellises, chairs etc.), plants, crafts, vegetables and meat from the Valley, baking, beauty products (natural), and homemade pasta. We purchased some lamb chops, sliced ham (delicious - had some for lunch), beet fettuccine (very nice red colour) and a forsythia bush to keep the one we have company (we were told they grow better in pairs - cross-pollination or something).

At the Irving, the items were more of the flea market type. Dana from Video Focus had a rack of used DVD's for sale - that was the most interesting display as far as I was concerned. The Sable River Baptist Church had a fund-raising table where I bought 4 chocolate cupcakes. Sherm was on hand handing out brochures about the Sable River trail system.

The Chef's Table had donated a large urn of soup which Cindy and Alice were ladling out to all as a treat.

Overall, there was a good turnout, both of vendors and customers. Hopefully, it wasn't just the novelty which brought people out and the Market will have continued success for the rest of the summer.

Lockeport Look-off Finally Started

Yesterday the footings for the look-off were poured. It looks like it will be done before tourist season.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Farmers' Market

This Saturday a Farmers' Market is opening in Sable River. If it proves successful, it is scheduled to be held each Saturday from 9-12 at both Decker's Esso and the Irving Station until October 17th. A great addition to sustainability efforts for our area.

The market is a brainchild of Shelburne County Women's Fishnet - more particularly of Cindy Embree. Cindy, Alice Lloyd and Shirley Guthro have been the driving forces behind it's creation.

The Esso is to be the site for fresh produce, a butcher from Hunt's Point (with sausage and FRESH LAMB!), plants, baking etc. The Irving will have the collectibles, crafts, flea market items (or so I've heard). There is lots of parking at these sites, they are on the main highway, so hopefully it will all fly.

Apparently there is an effort in Shelburne to set up such a market as well - finding a suitable place seems to be a current problem since the community centre lot is used many weekends for car shows, Ex parking etc. The old Save Easy lot will soon have a new anchor store (Goodick's Furniture is expanding and moving there) so that's out. Perhaps the old high-school site would be the best choice, although there is only on-street parking. Or how about Hillcrest Academy?

Two things to look forward to for fresh local food.

The Restaurant Situation

The Parrot's Pins is, of course, still open 5 days per week selling utterly fabulous creative cuisine. The winter would have been very bleak without Keith and Shelley.

On May 14th, The Town and Country reopened for the season - still under Vonda's management. The sale price is now down to $109,000 - any takers?
We went there for supper on Wednesday since our stove is currently out-of-commission due to laying of floor tiles. Wayne had fried clams and I had fish cakes - both good ordinary meals. The restaurant is still very bright, clean and welcoming - I sure hope someone comes along who wants to run it (hopefully year-round). Tim, are you listening?

It appears The White Gull will be opening in late May - Liz was advertising for staff to start on May 25th. Hopefully this will occur on schedule since it's such a lovely spot to dine out on the deck on a summer evening. The entire complex including the marina is for sale still too - don't know the price but it is substantial, so a very limited market.

Further afield, Charlotte Lane reopened on Mother's Day (Tues - Sat) so Lothar has reverted to his Thurs - Mon schedule to ensure there's a good restaurant open in Shelburne every day during tourist season. I had lunch at Charlotte Lane yesterday with my rug hooking group - we were having a farewell lunch for one of our members who is moving up to St. Margaret's Bay to live with her son. There were a few new items on the menu, including a pasta dish using Peter's fresh sausage from The Town Market and a new apple pie that looked delicious. Cora and Sue are still there; there were some interesting new crafts in the front of the shop and some not-so-interesting modern art on the walls (apparently it's very popular and sells like hotcakes but I guess I'm just a Philistine).

When we were golfing at White Point last week, we hoped to have a late lunch at The Quarterdeck but it hadn't opened yet. It did appear that opening was imminent - likely it occurred the next day for the Victoria Day weekend traffic.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Golf Visitor

Liverpool GCC at White Point Resort

This past week we had a visit for 5 days from one of Wayne's former colleagues (and a golfing buddy) at CMHC. Ron was down in Halifax over the weekend doing an install and then came down here on Monday after everything was working in the Halifax office.

The weather was wonderful for his visit - a bit of fog now and then, but in general very sunny and pleasant. He and Wayne played at River Hills both Tuesday and Wednesday and then the 3 of us went to White Point for a round on Thursday. We had never played White Point this early in the season and at this time of year, it is even more Pebble Beachish - very little vegetation blocking the spectacular views of the rocks, beach, waves, resort, lobster boats and ocean.

It was my first round of the year so my score (if I'd kept track) was abysmal - probably over 100 for 9 holes. Wayne and Ron played a full 18 and Ron shot an 88 - his best round ever. Wayne played well, but didn't bother to keep score either.

Wayne picked up the info on the packages available at River Hills (5, 10 or 20 rounds, and 5,10,20,30 cart rentals). It appears we can share a package so we will likely buy a 20 game pack since Wayne will play more often than I will and we can also use the package with guests who golf.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Actually Mother's weekend.

Friday, I received a card from Dan, Christine and Ava, as well as a gift - Tiger Woods '09 for the Wii. The game is a challenge but has tons of variations to play, "real" courses from all over the world, mini-golf, tutorials, medal play, stroke play, Stableford system and (when I get any good at it all) internet games against other golf nuts.

Saturday, we were taken out to a Mother's Day breakfast by Al and Elayne Bradley (our neighbours across the street in the turquoise house). The breakfast was at their church - Harbour Light Pentecostal - in East Green Harbour. Unlike other community meals we have attended, this one was served when all had arrived so we were all eating together. Good food and fellowship.

Later in the day we had 2 Skype conversations with Dan, Christine and Ava - the joys of technology - we can actually see her growing from week-to-week. She was as usual adorable (as were Dan and Christine).

Sunday, after a Mother's Day service at St. Andrew's United Church, we went to the Parrot's Pins for Mother's Day Brunch with Cindy and Sherm. A truly outstanding brunch, delicious and gorgeously presented. Wayne had scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and I had a 3 cheese quiche with a back-bacon crust. There was fruit artistically arranged, home-made bread (toasted), and deep-fried potato nests. Dessert was apple-crumble coffee cake. And mimosas! Very yummy!

After lunch, to work off some of the calories, we all went for a hike along the newly opened trail from Canada Hill Road to Sable River. The trail has been built along the old CN right-of-way, brush cleared, graded, culverts installed, and some gravel added to the road bed. it's a really nice resource for hikers, walkers, ATV's, snow-mobiles, dog-walkers, and bicycles - Wayne plans to use it with his bike since he can ride several kilometres without worrying about highway traffic.

We got back home just as the rain was starting and had phone calls from Chris, Will and Isla (who was pushing phone buttons like on her toy phone so there were assorted beeps and squeals accompanying the conversation) and then shortly after that call ended Bob called as well.

At 4:30PM, we went down the hill to the Legion hall for a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for a whopping $8.00 each.

If only Canada had won the gold medal, it would have been a near-perfect Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Harmony Bazaar Sampler

Last night there was a concert entitled "A Harmony Bazaar Sampler", held at the Beach Centre. Performers were Irish Mythen, Christine Crawford and Katelyn Surette, all of whom will be appearing at this year's festival July 24-26.

The music was almost all their own compositions - haunting, moving, lively. Irish is a local favourite (although she's from Ireland and currently lives in Canso), having performed at the last 3 Harmony Bazaars, and did her usual superb job of getting the crowd involved. Christine performed a few years ago at the first Harmony Bazaar - she has a lovely voice, good lyrics, and plays both guitar and keyboard. The surprise was Katelyn, a young girl from Yarmouth, who is shaping up as an awesome singer/songwriter/musician.
See full size image

Irish Mythen

There were between 30 and 40 people there, with a wine/beer bar, and light refreshments. The venue is ideal for small concerts - great acoustics and, as Irish said, so awesome with the sea crashing outside the windows.

A great evening.

Craft Fair - May 1 - May 2

The Crescent Beach Centre held a Spring Craft Fair on May 1st and 2nd. It was well organized and run and displayed a wide range of items - more so than the last one held in late fall for Christmas shopping.

My purchases included an autographed copy of a local author's latest book ('Fisher and Farmer" by Eugene R. Roache), a catnip cat toy, a lovely Nova Scotia doll for one of the little ladies (now 3 of them - 2 granddaughters and a great-niece) in my life, and a lot of delicious home-made baking including brown buns, apple pie, triple chocolate cookies and cinnamon rolls. Likely the next craft fair will be July 1st at the Canada Day celebrations.

Good job Katharine!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Spring Enjoyment!

Aaahhh! Lobster!

Current Projects

Needless to say, no work on the house was accomplished while we had our family visiting. Since they left on Tuesday, Wayne has been starting his landscaping and returning to inside renovations.

The first project was tidying up the little flower bed which Nancy made by our back door a few years ago - hopefully this year we will have more time for gardening in general. The garden had had a little picket fence which got somewhat mashed this winter due to storm damage to the garage soffits above it, plus the subsequent repairs required. So we went to Spencer's and chose some large tumbled blocks for a new border and added some good soil - as you can see the perennials are popping up through the new soil already. We also bought a few annuals (pansies, impatiens) on Thursday to fill it in a bit - those will have to wait a few weeks before planting: they are waiting in a sunny window in the shed for now. Wayne plans to move his wood pile and we are thinking about some gardens for the back yard, perhaps along the old stone wall from the carriage house. He hopes to get the last of the brush tamed so as to be able to fairly easily cut all the grass - some smoothening out of the yard is required, and then we can get a ride-on lawn mower (read as male toy).

Inside we started working on the finishing touches for the back entry. When we went to Halifax to pick up Chris and the grandkids, we stopped at Home Depot and found the carpet tiles that we wanted for the back entry. Yesterday we put them down: Wayne found them very easy to work with - easily cut, they are kept down by double-sided tape (which I had to peel - my contribution other than lots of opinions about what he should do). They can be taken up and washed individually if necessary and also replaced easily. We bought an extra box of 10 tiles (since knowing our luck they won't be made any more). Today we will cut the baseboards and the rest of the hat rack trim for the top of the walls, prime them, and the threshold for the back door will be installed.

We have ordered the tiles and grout for the kitchen/laundry room. They will be the same as the wood stove hearth area with a listel trim of small coordinating tiles along the hearth to emphasize the slightly raised area. Likely we'll have to have some other trim as well to cover the edge - yet to be figured out. Installing the tiles will take quite a while, particularly now that we have the kittens to "help" and no doors on the kitchen to keep them out. The floors must be primed and furniture, appliances etc moved out of each area as we do it, including the island, the fridge and the electric stove.

The other major project to be undertaken some time is the renovation of the "north parlour" which we used as a play room while the grandchildren were here and which houses the piano, the second satellite TV and the Wii - so it likely will continue as a play/rec room in function. We think about it whenever we are playing Wii games but have made no actual decisions about how to tackle the reno.




After the passing of the last of our cats in October, we decided to wait a while before we got any more.

On our return to Lockeport in March, we contacted Pet Projects to get on their pre-approved list for acquiring pets and we also spread the word around town that we were looking for kittens. Well, Terry (Home Hardware) told Kevin Snow who told Scott Cotter, who called us because he had 7 kittens to give away. We went to visit them on March 29, chose our 2 and picked them up April 29.

We had a ton of excellent suggestions for names from friends - thanks for all the input. I plan to save some of them for future pets (I especially liked Oreo - first black and white cat I get will have the name). They ended up being Saco for the Saco River in Maine and New Hampshire (and the rocks Wayne would bring home as well as his famous one word Saco song - memories of many happy vacations with our kids and others) and Monty - short for Monterey, a reminder of a couple of lovely vacations which wayne and I took together in central California (our favourite state).

The kittens had their first vet visit yesterday and turn out to be only about 6 1/2 weeks, both are male (yeah! cheaper to neuter than spay) and healthy. They had a flea/worming treatment and will go back May 11th for their first shots. Their total weight is 2 lb 5 1/2 oz and the black one is heavier by 1 1/2 oz. Dr. Caulder has assigned them March 14th as their birthday - since it's also Will's that will be easy to remember.

After 3 days they can get on any furniture they want without help (those little claws make great grappling hooks) and are completely litter trained (you have to love how fastidious cats are). They eat well, purr well, play well, and are a lot of entertainment.

Family Visit

Holding back the water at Sandy Point

After dinner at Sandy Point

Isla at dinner

From April 7th to April 28th, our eldest son, Chris, and his two children, Will and Isla, came for a visit. Kristina had gone to England to visit her sister, Karen, with their mother, Sharon, and consequently, Chris needed to come see us so he could continue to work and have someone to help with the children during the day. Fortunately we have high speed internet so he could continue his job with Mozilla from our home.

We had lots of fun - and I think the family did too. We visited Crescent Beach and Col Locke's Beach when the weather permitted, went out to eat a few times (all of us at Sandy Point for a breakfast and a seafood chowder dinner, and a seafood lunch at Seaside Seafoods in Hunt's Point) (Chris and I at the Osprey, Wayne and Chris at Chef's Table). Wayne and Chris took in a music concert at the osprey as well. Will's favourite activity was the Lockeport play structure and climbing and sliding with Daddy.

The kids enjoyed the Sobey's car shopping carts which made buying food a breeze. Will also loved our steep back stairs (sorry Kris!) and the extra door into the bathroom which became his secret door (whatever works during potty training). Isla was simply a joy (except at bedtimes but Chris handled almost all of those).

The greatest benefit of this visit was that we got to spend a lot of time with Isla and got to know her like we do Will. It was wonderful to see Chris relax at the beach and turn back into Mr. Marine Biologist enjoying the seashore - I know he must miss all the family vacations we took to Maine over the years, as do I.

We played video games (Wii) with Chris and Will - Will's very favourite game was the Wii Fit Balance Game where you sit completely still and concentrate on a flame - a useful tool in the future perhaps??? Chris enjoyed himself with the games in the late evenings while waiting to give Isla her last bottle of the day.

On the way to the airport on Tuesday, we detoured via the shore road to Bridgewater so we could cross the cable ferry in LaHave. The temperature on Tuesday was ridiculous for April at 32 degrees C even at 6:00PM so the ferry ride was a nice cooling off in mid-afternoon.

I miss them now - the house is SO quiet! But we have our new kittens to entertain us and we have a friend coming May 11th for a few days and a few rounds of golf (real not Wii). The best news is that my big brother Bill is planning to come down for the Lobster Festival at the beginning of June.

What's Happening?

Well, we've been back almost 2 months now and I haven't written anything - I guess some updating is in order.

Openings and Closings

On the restaurant scene, Lothar's is up and running again for lunch Tues-Sat and dinner on Thurs-Sat. The Sea Dog is back. The Chef's Table in Sable River is back too - Wed-Sun for dinner. In Lockeport speak, I believe lunch is dinner and dinner is supper, whatever you call it the Chef's Table is only open in the evening.

The menu at the Chef's Table has changed slightly - I would say for the better - a bit more ethnic cuisine amongst the entrée choices, Chris had the curry when he went with Wayne (a holdover from last year's menu) and Wayne had the haddock which has a falafel crust. When Wayne and I went this week he had a lemon/saffron chicken breast and I had a very nice beef stroganoff. There are lots of interesting things to try yet. The desserts are still plentiful and wonderful. Of course there are now alcoholic beverages available.

Atlantic Waves, in its new digs on Beech St., has started selling pizza slices at noon (happy high school students!).

Charlotte Lane reopens on May 8th, after catering a fund-raiser for the Osprey on April 18th. That dinner was lovely and was combined with a wine-tasting of Nova Scotia wines from Jost and Gaspereau vineyards, introduced by the Gastereau vintner.

Bargain Giant is long gone but The Bargain Shop is set to open in that space on May 8th. A new service garage has opened on King Street in Shelburne - Dexter's. The Rose Bouquet is moving across the street this weekend, consolidating Adiva's and The Rose Bouquet into Mike Elliott's old music store.

Although for sale, the driving range has reopened as has the Farmers' Dairy Bar. The Yacht Club returns to almost summer hours this weekend as the docks go in, which means our rug hooking group can again meet on Wednesdays.