Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sail Away

Of all the events this summer I have to say the Tall Ships are far and away the neatest thing going. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to think of another comparable event in Calgary or Alberta. After Halifax some of the ships headed to various ports around Nova Scotia and Pictou happened to be one of those ports. On Saturday the ships that were in Pictou sail up the Northumberland Strait to Pugwash before heading out across the Atlantic. I volunteered yesterday morning at a breakfast put on by the Hector Quays for the crews of the ships in Pictou. It was kind of a waste of my time since they didn't actually need me but you never know until you get there.
I did go onto the Pier to see the ships up close and took some photos which are posted in this online album since there are too many photos to post here.
If you follow my dog blog you'll already know that today I managed to capture some photos of a couple of the ships heading up the Northumberland Strait with the dogs playing on the beaches. Here's that link just in case you missed it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


For all intents and purposes the garden is complete for this year. I managed to put in the new path and while I have a couple rocks to replace(I broke a couple thin ones) and I have one large rock to add in the corner by the blueberry bush, it's pretty much just going to be allowed to grow now and try to survive my weed whacking forays.
The vegetable garden is growing well despite the downpour and flooding it suffered in the last few days. It's finally drained and things are flowering and sprouting happily. Next year I intend to build up the dirt more so I don't have the drainage issues again. I don't have much hope for the carrots since for some reason they didn't take very well. I am surprised to see the spinach growing although only about a quarter of the seeds took and of those only 4 are doing really well. I will have to get the spinach in earlier next year since it likes cool wet weather.
The bushes are quite small to start but over time they will grow in and fill up the spaces and it will look, as I hope and intend, like a nice full garden oasis. One day I want to be able to let the dogs in there to relax while I lounge(as long as Raimi does NOT lift his damn leg on any plant at all ever). I also hope to get in a couple fruit trees but I'm not sure where since any fruit tree's bounty will be quickly stolen by one Leeloo and make her sick. Planting fruit in the front yard is doable but you run the risk of neighbours(or teenage no-good-nicks) stealing your crop.

Given what the yard looked like two months ago I think it's come a long long way.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Time Warp

Last weekend my parents and I headed down to Halifax to see the Parade of Sail in Halifax Harbour. It was the last day of the Tall Ships Festival and from there some ships head to various ports around Nova Scotia (they'll be in Pictou this coming Tuesday and Wednesday I think) and also up to Pugwash at the end of the month. They then head out into the Atlantic in a race to Belfast, Ireland. Only a few ships will be visiting the Nova Scotia ports but at the Parade of Sail there were more than 40 ships. It was a nice hot day with clear skies, a light breeze and a good view. Rather than posting them I have them in an online album for your perusal ... hope you enjoy! We sure did!

Tall Ships Nova Scotia - Parade of Sail 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Stone Cold

At long last I can post photos of the garden in progress. It's taking some time to complete because the weather has been blistering hot and pouring rain in turns. I have just a few more stones to lay and the garden itself will be complete for this year. I also want to put in some statues, fence decoration and a garden bench but that sort of thing can wait until next year after the plants have been allowed to grow in a bit.
These stones were a bitch to lay. I could only do about 10 at a time and then had to stop for a break because it was so hot the day I did it. Digging up this grass is hard labour, it's thick and deep and hard packed at the surface however given the result I think it's worth it.
I still have about 20 to lay yet in the garden and another 15 or so along the side of the house. I hope to do that today and then mow the lawn since the rain over the past two days has caused the grass to spiral out of control.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I finally got the computer back and instead of putting a zillion photos on here I'll simply provide a link to the events we've been to in the past couple weeks and you can look at the photos there.

On Saturday July 11 my Daddy and I headed to the Pictou Lobster Carnival - my mom stayed at home because she wasn't feeling well. It was a damned hot day - I got another layer set in on my tan and think I was suffering from mild heat stroke at the end of the carnival.

There was an exciting encounter between a lobster boat and a helicopter. It was a conflict between what I have come to refer to as Nova Scotia time (as in *not* on time) and military time (as in *precisely* on time) and a fundamental lack of communication between the two entities. I'll try to get that video uploaded if I can - it's pretty neat.

We also went to the Fishing Museum which was kind of neat - it was a history of the fishing in Pictou and the surrounding area.

I've also got some photos of the garden which is coming together nicely so I'll put those up in a day or so and we just went to the Parade of Sail in Halifax so I'll get those into an album as well.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

License to Thrill

About 10 days ago my Dad reminded me that the plates on my truck would expire June 30th. Huh.

I've been here just over 6 weeks and I hadn't made headway to getting my new license and registration for the truck because I was waiting for my name change certificate to come. I finally called last week to find out where it was.

Well, as with anything government there's just no way it can go smoothly. Apparently, besides almost naming me Tazmin Hart, the Registry also got my address wrong. I used to live at 1820 but he put 1802 so my mail went nowhere. It was not returned and they though that was odd. Ah innocent government employees who don't break the law perhaps don't realize that non-gov't employees don't give a rat's ass about tossing other people's mail.

So the Registry *finally* called to let me know to send a letter asking them to request a Legal Name Change Certificate from Vital Statistics on my behalf. I was starting to panic a little so today I decided to just go and get my new license anyway and hopefully I could get my truck registered in the next week or so rather than risk a ticket for driving an unregistered vehicle.

The only registry here is in a most ridiculous location but I found it easily thanks to my mom's directions. The parking lot was full to the brim and not surprisingly the waiting area was packed. I asked someone what number was up, she pointed - number 133. Ah well, I went to the number dispensing machine and was about to press the button when I noticed a ticket sitting on top of the machine. Thinking someone had just dumped it there as garbage I picked it up. 137. Hmmm. I doubled checked the number on the "Now Serving" board and it had just flipped to 134. Sweet.

I waited about 10 minutes and my number was called. I'm pretty sure there were some surprised people who'd been there longer than me. I sent a silent thanks to the person who got sick of waiting and instead of taking their number with them, they put it back on the ticket machine.

Turns out I could get everything I needed today. New driver's license, registration for the truck, and a new license plate. No more driving illegally.

Now I just have to get my insurance sorted, get the truck inspected and I'll be completely legal in this province. Then I just have to get all my documents changed over to my new last name. I bet that will be another round of fun and frustration with various institutions.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Yesterday was my 5th 29th birthday and yes, I'll keep going with that as long as I can pass for 29(as determined by me so it's subjective). My parents treated me to a trip to Halifax where we stopped at the Bluenose Restaurant for a really super yummy lunch (although their decor could really use a spark or two - pretty boring interior design for a place called The Bluenose - practically decorates itself don't you think?) and then we headed off to see the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. The kind of Tattoo that has nothing to do with ink.

It's a military tattoo of company formations, marching, bands and extra-curricular performances. Something to be seen especially the massed pipes and drums ... stirring to your very soul.
The Halifax Metro Centre is not quite so large as the Saddledome ... in fact I think you could fit at least two Metro Centres in the Saddledome! This is the Copenhagen Police Band and they were very good - a little weird but were pretty fantastic and funny.
We all know the French are a bit different so it should come as no surprise that the Paris Police have a gymnastics team. I mean, they demonstrated extreme precision parallel bars and it was a neat thing to see but ... gymnastic police?The French do not have a lock on the bizarre because Germans can also be a bit off the wall. The Hamburg Police Motorcycle Team was zipping around doing death defying stunts. Waving flags, balancing - I missed taking a picture of their finale because they had 3 motorcycles side by side with about 20 people stacked on top as they drove around the arena. Pretty neat stuff.
No Canadian performance event is complete without the RCMP. They did their usual formations with flags sans horses. No final charge though ... pity that - it would have been cool. Easily my second favorite performance was by the Middlesex Volunteer Fife & Drum Corps (Massachusetts) - they were simply spectacular. A fife - for those who don't know - is a little teeny playing pipe. Enmasse they are pretty darn cool but the drums ... wow. The whole group was dressed in period costume and they looked completely fabulous.
There were some military demonstrations and this one involved an obstacle course that had two teams competing - one for each side of the arena. The other side won but I think it was too close to call.
Later they had a Jeep dis-assembling and re-assembling race. These guys literally disassembled a Jeep and re-assembled it in what was probably under 5 minutes. Granted the mechanics seemed a lot more simple than your modern car but it was cool just the same. At least in this race our side won.
The ended the performance with a general salute and all 2000 performers were on stage for it. Quite a spectacular sight. No photos of that - I was paying too much attention to take one. I did however, get a video of the Nova Scotia Massed Pipe & Drums which I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to have but I like listening to it. Once I figure it out - if ever - how to get a video onto Youtube I'll put it up ...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wind at my Back

Currently it's raining here a little again and it's overcast. Not the kind of overcast I'm used to where it's just plain dark out but the kind where the clouds are high and it's just a wash of pale gray across the sky. Much brighter 'overcast' than I'm used to. It's been like this for about 4 or 5 days now and ... I love it. I much prefer this gray to a bright sun. When the sun is out here at above 20 degrees it's almost unbearable.

The air is soft ... there is just no other way to describe it. It envelopes you and clings you your skin And it's almost still quite often. So still the leaves don't move. Even during rain there is rarely more than a very slight slant - just enough to indicate the direction of the clouds. For several days there has been almost no wind or a very slight breeze which is almost eerie if you're used to gusty Calgary. Even when it is windy it's a warm wind ...

Rain varies widely also. It can be incredibly heavy downpour where it comes straight down like so:

Or it can come down in what seems like a spray bottle set on mist. There is a regular rain with actual raindrops and whatnot but even then it's a warm rain. When Calgary rain hits your skin it's like an icicle of pain stabbing into your very bones. Don't miss that.

I have done some work in the garden. I got all my bushes for my garden at half price. It's only the beginning of July and yet things are going on sale. They must start their season much sooner than I'm used to. So I bought two rhododendrons, two more peonies, an elderberry, a tiger eye, two clematis, three sad but hopeful burning bushes, two hydrangeas, a very pretty dreamcatcher, a satin chocolate, and a little tiny bush who's name I can't remember. Why all bushes you ask? Well, because I also have the veggie garden I needed to be able to plant things that wouldn't cast large patches of shade over it. The only thing missing really is the stepping stones because right now it just looks like a bunch of little plants without any direction. Oh and some annuals in a window box in the wheel well of the trailer ...