Friday, November 11, 2011

Four Months Later

Once again, I haven't been doing any posting - my apologies, particularly to Fred who actually seems interested in what I write.

Summer is long gone now - it's been a pretty terrific fall here - a few storms as an occasional hurricane went past out at sea but nothing has directly hit us fortunately. So the reinforcement of the dunes done last winter and spring has not really been tested yet. Which is good.

The Little School Museum was closed this summer - the exhibits were on display (some of them anyway) at the Beach Centre. Work has begun on raising the museum building to protect it against all but the worst hurricanes and nor'easters. The foundation is in and the museum set back on it, the back-filling is done. Now a new porch needs to be built and an elevated walkway over to the boardwalk that was put in in front of the museum 2 years ago. Supposedly, this will all be done for next tourist season.

On the restaurant scene, things look somewhat bleak. The Town & Country has not sold, neither has Lothar's, or The White Gull. Apparently Sophia's is now for sale too. All of the seasonal restaurants are now closed and even The Parrot's Pins and Charlotte Lane are closed right now for mini-vacations. On the plus side, The Loyalist Inn and The SeaDog have done an exellent job of presenting entertainment on Friday evenings so locals have something to do.

There has been a great deal of animosity and in-fighting locally this year because of the salmon-farming issue. New licences have been granted to Cooke Aquaculture with next to no input from the public and, it seems, little research by the government bodies involved. Many more licences have been applied for - many locals who desperately need employment are eager for possible jobs while the enviromentalists and existing lobster fishermen are seriously concerned about the negative effects of open-cage farming on other species and the coastal waters. There seem to be massive problems everywhere these fish farms exist in NB, South America etc and Cooke's top executives have just been charged with serious pollution/extremination of species in NB waters. American regulations are much stricter than Canadian and Canada has just fired all kinds of scientists at Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans who should be watching our waters for us so even our lax rules won't be followed (IMHO). Cooke has also "promised" a plant to process the fish - at the same time they are trying to acquire Clearwater which already coincidentally has a plant here - if they manage to get it, I'm sure Cooke will just change what the plant handles (currently lobster and scallops) to salmon and very few new jobs will appear (although there may be more year-round ones available).

It's a terrible position for the area to be in - jobs are a MAJOR need but so are the ones that exist already which may be adversely affected by the salmon cages. And the pollution problem is a monstrous threat. I see both sides of this - it's too bad Cooke won't go to the expense of doing their farming in land-locked pens but that would clearly cut way down on their profit margin. Doing some farming of other filter species in combination with the salmon (like mussels, oysters) would improve the pollution problems too, but they don't seem interested. What will happen in the next few years is anyone's guess.

It's Remembrance Day - Wayne just left for the service at the Baptist Church - the largest one in town. Probably the wreath laying will have to be indoors as well as Tropical Storm Sean is going past and drenching us today. We had a significant storm last week too - the monstrous snow storm that swept through the States from Virginia to Maine arrived here as wind and rain (weird that the north got rain not snow). There are massive piles of seaweed (about 4-5 ft high and a dozen feet wide and a couple of hundred feet long) on the east end of the beach from that storm - maybe this one will wash it all back out to sea.

We're packing up - leaving in a few days for Ottawa to spend 6 weeks with our kids/grandkids before we head to Florida for another 3 months in Perdido Key. I've done some of my Christmas baking (so I  could leave some here for Tim) and yesterday I mailed 11 Christmas cards to family/friends far way who get my wonderful (Ha Ha!) Christmas letter with pictures of the grandkids and my great-nieces. It''s pretty quiet here at this time of year - many of our friends are "summer" people who have returned to their winter homes. And one of our long-standing friends here, Alice Lloyd, has moved out to BC to be near her family again. That's a sentiment I very much understand as I miss my family a great deal. It's nice Tim moved here so I get to see 1 of my sons regularly at least.

New grandson arriving in about a month, a brother for Ava - part of the reason we're leaving here so early this year. I'm really looking forward to seeing all of you in Ottawa, both family and friends.

Till the next time....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Little World Celebrates Canada Day!

Once again I seem to be remiss in doing any posting. My life is not very exciting, it's true, but there is a bit going on these days.

July 1st was a wonderful day in Lockeport as it seems to be every year, Of course the festivities are stretched over a week (+), so it's a very busy time in town and everyone seems to be especially enthusiastic for a while :).

There were a few new things this year - Lockeport Rocks had 4 concerts and with the other musical events, there was music available for 9 days straight which was pretty special.

The first concert was the KISS tribute evening - Wayne and Tim and I worked in the bar to help out the Arthritis Society: Wayne bar-tending, Tim doing security and I sold BBQ and bar tickets. Pretty good attendance considering there had been a huge downpour earlier in the evening and a very good show. Dressed to Kill were great!

The second concert was a rap/hip-hop event in the Fire hall. Tim worked security again but, although we had tickets, we stayed home - not really our type of music. The acts were about an hour late but a couple of them were apparently quite good and about 70 of the local youth turned out. Afterwards Tim said one of the performers told him they would have gone with a "milder" set if they had known the crowd would be so young. They were apparently very nice well-spoken, polite men - not what you really expect from rap artists! (my age is showing)

Concert 3 was held in the pavilion in SeaCaps Park, with the tent sides up. Perpetual Detour was on first, an all-female group out of Halifax which will be appearing in Lockeport again at Harmony Bazaar at the end of July. Not the best acoustics for them, but an enjoyable alternative rock band anyway. It will be interesting to hear them on the big stage at HB. Perpetual Detour was followed by The Tripps, excellent show although EXTREMELY LOUD! There were only about 35 people there total but it was Grad day in Lockeport so lots of people were otherwise occupied. Once again Tim did security with Darren but there certainly wasn't much for them to do.

The final of the 4 concerts was the June 30th extravaganza - always a lot of fun. The weather was perfect, huge crowd, better bar configuration (you could actually see the show this time), and a true "holiday" atmosphere. Mike Balish opened with a solid hour of tunes - he's such a versatile artist and had a great selection for his set. Then the headliners - The Matt Minglewood Band. Lots of dancing, wonderful music, 2 full sets! Great night!

Canada Day morning, I headed back down to the Park for a new  event - breakfast from a a shanty. The Park was immaculate by 7:30AM - kudos to the Canada Day Committee for a job well done. Breakfast was a very good bargain - eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast, and a beverage for $5 and was well-prepared and hot. A good addition to the day! Other "food" events included a quilt show in the Baptist Church (with coffee, muffins, scones etc), The Canada Day cake at the opening ceremonies (thanks Mary!), strawberry shortcake form the IODE at the Anglican Church (we're up to 11:00AM now), sausages from the Fire Dept. and from the Town Market, a BBQ by some students at the Hardware Store, and the Lions BBQ booth. Then there was assorted baking and fudge etc ine the craft fair area. Also a booth selling pizza (must have been the Bayman but I resisted getting close enough to find out). There was also a mini-donut truck, cotton candy etc.

In the afternoon, several of our friends dropped by to watch the parade from our elevated lawn. Sherm, Fred and Barbara, Bob and Kathy (the first July 1st they've made it to NS), Kelli, Gina and a whole slew of teenagers. The parade was short a few firetrucks this year - Clark's Harbour ran their own events which took some of the trucks from farther down the coast and Liverpool had an earlier than usual Privateers Days (due to the calendar I guess), which kept their firetrucks at home. But it was till good, noisy, small-town fun!

Later on there was still the greased pole, longboat rides in the harbour, Heavy Water concert by the White Gull, the dance in the park and the fireworks. A nice clear night - we only had to go out in our back yard for a perfect view - I still don't know how a place the size of Lockeport can put on a 30 minute fireworks show but it's always very good.

Friday, June 24, 2011

June Restaurant Scene

Depressing is the best word.

In Lockeport, the wonderful Parrot's Pins continues to shine. The White Gull (for sale) has just reopened for the season - haven't been down to see if Liz has made any changes. The Town and Country is still for sale and not open.

The Chef's Table in Sable River is not opening this year.

The Bayman in Upper East Green Harbour is open - pizza is available not too far away at least.

Charlotte Lane is back but Lothar is catering another movie in Halifax but plans to reopen on July 2nd (and his restaurant is for sale). The old Shelburne Pastry has been purchased by Heritage Hall and is becoming a coffee and sandwich place  (staffed by Heritage Hall clients) at some point. Otherwise all Shelburne restaurants are up and running.

Heading towards Liverpool, Seascape, The Quarterdeck, Seaside Seafoods have all opened again for the summer.

But the choices get a bit more limited each year - sigh.......

All the Latest (or not)!

Can't believe I haven't posted anything since Mother's Day! Oh well!

We went back to Ottawa for 2 weeks at the end of May, beginning of June for Wayne to rebuild the deck at the Tattersall house. Despite the same crumby weather as we have had in Lockeport, he managed to get it done, and a bit of fence removed and a new, improved, non-broken cat door installed.

I finished Chris's birthday present (over 4 months early!!!!) and delivered it to him for his new office (they should be moving into the new house very soon - yay!)

 We enjoyed the visit to Ottawa - saw a bunch of old friends and spent lots of time with family.

Back in Lockeport, we have found that several of our summer friends have arrived which always livens up our social life. There are more people at our weekly hooking meetings too.

The Ragged Islands Historical Society is gearing up for the summer months. Anne and Howard moved us (by themselves - no one volunteered to help) into the Beach Centre where we now have a new home which is considerably more affordable for us. Our first fund-raiser is tomorrow - the annual Bake Walk, which Vicki runs so well. Hope it is very successful this year although it doesn't sound like the weather will be all that great for a semi-outdoor activity.

We have hired a summer student with the government's help who will help keep the office open, give tours and info to tourists (and locals) and try and sort out some of the backlog of information. Welcome aboard Ashley - wish we could have you for more than 8 weeks!

RIHS is hoping to help out with an event at Harmony Bazaar again this year - on the Friday evening (July 29th) there will be a book launch at Holy Cross Anglican Church. The book is by Julie Balish and gives the history of the arts in Lockeport - we are starting to plan a reception to accompany that event. We also hope to do something like a gift basket raffle during the Sea Derby in August - most fund-raising is difficult since our number of active volunteers in VERY SMALL!!!

On a more positive note, Fred is working on several possible evening presentations about the history of the area - suggested topics which are likely to happen this summer are growing up in West Green Harbour during the 30's and 40's, dredgings of the Lockeport Harbour, and the sports history of Lockeport. If anyone has any good ideas, be sure to pass them on to Fred, Barb, Anne, Fae, Vicki or myself.

We are always looking for members and new blood. Membership is only $10/annum and we'll try not to get you involved in too many fund-raising activities, but we could use some help. Maybe you'd like to help in the office organizing  the files or extracting info from old Coast Guard issues.

Canada Day Week (+ 1 day) has started - we missed the Variety Show last night because we went to dinner at the Parrot's Pins (excellent, of course!) and then Wayne and Fred played Fred's golf course on the shore and we sat around drinking wine and chatting for a few hours.
             My Haddock Rockefeller

Wayne and Tim had Shellfish Extravaganza 

There is music scheduled for every day during the next week - 4 big concerts included. The Saturday night one headlines a stand-out Kiss tribute band - Dressed to Kill. Tim is doing security, Wayne is bar tending, and I'm selling bar and BBQ tickets. Hope the weather improves - it's cool, rainy and windy right now.

Other concerts include a hip-hop/rap concert Tuesday, Wednesday a solid rock event, and Thursday is Matt Minglewood. Should be a good week. Right now there is a youth dance in the park (and a pie-eating contest) - the kids must be freezing. It's so windy I can't hear the music from our house.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Dinner at Lothar's in Shelburne

 Easter Four Course Gourmet Dinner  
Reservations are REQUIRED!
TWO seatings: first at 5pm, second at 8:15pm
**served with fresh Roll and Butter
>Cream of Asparagus Soup
>Scallop Mousse with herb sauce
>Roasted leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary

served with Duchess potatoes and fresh Vegetables (carrots, broccoli)
>Biscuit roll filled with Strawberry parfait
Delicious!! Thanks Lothar!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Night on the Town

Saturday evening (April 23rd, 2011) we spent at a concert at the Osprey Arts Centre in Shelburne with our friend Gail. The performers were Erin Costelo and Ryan MacGrath, both musicians with wonderful voices. Erin plays piano while singing, Ryan guitar. They both write their own songs and it's always fun to hear the background of the songs as they are performed. Erin will be appearing at Harmony Bazaar this summer - it will be interesting to see how her musical style transfers to the great outdoors.

Unfortunately the crowd was very small - about 30 people including volunteers, most of them from the Lockeport area so gas-wise it would have been cheaper to have the concert somewhere here. But it was fun and we got to see several friends.

Catching up on news during the evening, I discovered that one of my good friends (Alice) has moved into beautiful downtown Lockeport from the Walls Lake area and that the Shelburne bookstore, The Whirligig, has been sold after being for sale for several years. Betty will finish out the month and then the new owners (more transplanted Ontario people) will reopen May 24th. Hopefully, they will continue to support the Osprey and sell tickets in their store.

Friday, April 22, 2011

What's Happening Now?

 Here are some shots of the work done this spring to bolster the dunes along the beach (work done by Harlow Construction). Stones/boulders have been added all along in front of Ocean Mist Cottages, down past the Little School Museum. On the road side, 2 sections of reinforcing boulders have been added. At the Beach Centre end of the beach, the dunes have been piled higher, apparently by scooping out the beach. Unfortunately only about 10% of the money required to do the whole beach properly was available, but I guess it's better than nothing - hopefully we'll survive a few more hurricanes before becoming an island.

 Peter's renovations of the little store between the Town & Country and the Legion look very nice - helps improve the Beech Street street-scape which is looking very nice along the north side of the street.

On the restaurant scene, The Parrots Pins is the only one operating right now -both the T&C ($79,900) and The White Gull ($1.5M - including the Marina) are still for sale. Peter will be doing something food related with his new building we hope. There of course are some offerings for take-out at The Town Market and Beech Street Studios little cafe.

The Bayman in Upper East Green Harbour soldiers on but rumour has it that The Chef's Table in Sable River will not be opening this year due to Zaari's bad back - hope that is wrong.

In Shelburne, both The Loyalist Inn and The SeaDog are open and offering weekend entertainment. Lothar's is for sale but still operating on occasion (Easter brunch and dinner (going to that!! - Lothar's roast lamb!), Mother's Day) - no word on whether he will open for the entire summer season. Charlotte Lane is firing up - opening Mother's Day weekend. Roli and Kath have had some postings to their revised web-site (did I ever mention that Charlotte Lane won the best small restaurant in NS award last fall? - It is such a gem!!). Luong's, Scotia Lunch, Mr. Fish and Sophia's are still there, as are the 2 pizza places, Subway and Tim Horton's and, of course, The Beandock, one of my favourite places. Don't know yet if the yacht club will have Mr. Fish offerings again this summer. The old Shelburne Pastry?Cafe has been bought by Heritage Hall, which has moved their offices to the top floor. Some of the Shelburne clients will be trained to run the cafe with simple soups and sandwiches (supposedly), no known date for when that part will open.

There don't seem to be a lot of changes around Lockeport since we left at the end of November. Bevin has re-opened Lockeport Pharmacy, totally renovated after the November 11th fire. It is very clean and modern with a generous area for the actual pharmacy work now across the back of the store. Very nice job! Bevin and Tatum now have another son, Daniel - so 3 little ones to bolster the school population in a couple of years.

I've been having foot problems like 7-8 years ago so I haven't really walked anywhere in town since we've been back. I'm relying on Wayne and Tim for pictures and info. I have made it to the Post Office and Harmony Bazaar again has an office on the ground floor of the government building. Good to see the organization keep going and growing. Tomorrow evening they are sponsoring (with Music Nova Scotia) a Bringing It Home concert with Erin Costello and Ryan McGrath  at the Osprey. Erin is appearing at Harmony Bazaar this summer (July 29-31). Advance tickets (which include a compilation CD) are on sale now.

We've attended 2 breakfasts since returning - the first one in Sable River as a fund-raiser for Jurnee Harlow and Kyle who are representing LRHS in August at a school raising in Kenya. The second was the (almost) monthly Legion breakfast here in Lockeport.

In the house, we are working on the north parlour (still) - currently scraping off old paint on trim before repainting. Wisely we have decided to hire Mike McCleod to do the crown moulding for us - 12 corners is just too many, we could waste a lot of wood! Tim did a good job of removing paint from the floor and plastering and priming while we were gone. Wayne just finished the top for the window seat so I now need to try and follow Kristina's instructions on how to make seat cushions for the space. We are working on a colour scheme for the rest of the room - debating painting the old coal fireplace some colour other than black, since it is non-operational it can be painted out. Maybe grey shades with white trim to make the mouldings pop - then do we make the fireplace darker or lighter? Hmmmmm.....

Today is my birthday and I made my wonderful Death By Chocolate cake (17oz of semisweet chocolate plus 4 tbsps of cocoa). Dawn Demings-Taylor is coming over to share some after dinner since it's her birthday too. Happy Birthday to us!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Newsflash from Lockeport

We're in Florida for another 10 days or so, then heading home via South Carolina (visit with old friend from my university days), then Ottawa (3 of our sons and their families) so we'll be back in Lockeport mid-April or so.

I was just chatting on FaceBook with our son in Lockeport and he said:

"It's been really nice the past week or so. 10-15 degrees and sunny during the day. They've been moving some stones around on the beach. I'm sure they're trying to do something, but to me it looks like dad with a backhoe. They're just moving rocks from one spot to another."

I interpret this as meaning something is being done about protecting/reinforcing the dunes so the causeway won't wash out  Good news!