Pit Pony

nov Dec 2012 674When I learned that Joyce Barkhouse’s wonderful novel, “Pit Pony,” had been made into a picture book, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy for Miss Charlotte. But then, when I discovered Janet Barkhouse (who co-authored the book with her mother, Joyce) was going to read from the book at the Biscuit Eater in Mahone Bay, I knew Miss Charlotte would be getting a signed copy for Christmas. While Miss Charlotte might be a bit young to fully appreciate the significance her very own author-signed booked, I’m sure in a few years she will really treasure it. I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to have the opportunity to meet so many talented local authors in my journey. And did I mention I’m collecting photos for a scrapbook I hope to share with Miss Charlotte one day?

I’ve got to tell you all, this book is a total delight. Janet did a wonderful job of condensing the text from the original noval to fit a picture book format, and Sydney Smith’s illustrations are simply gorgeous. Janet said her mother didn’t get to see the picture book, (she passed away last February), but she knows she would be very pleased with the finished product.

While Janet and I live in the general vicinity, and have attended several of the same events, we’d never been introduced. So I was most excited and pleased to meet her. She’s a delight. (Oh, and did I mention that Margaret Atwood is her cousin? Yup that’s right..Kind of cool I’d say.)Not only that, her mother, Joyce, received the Order of Canada back in 2009. You can read about it here if you’d like. A very talented family.

If you ever have the opportunity to hear Janet read, please, please go. Seriously, I could have listened to her all afternoon.

Janet Barkhouse

Just a thought as you search about for that perfect Christmas gift this year, why not consider the gift of a book? I’m sure many of you already have.

Father Christmas Festival

nov Dec 2012 642Today, we headed to Mahone Bay for a book signing. It just so happened, the Father Christmas Festival was on. I took a few photos and wanted to share.

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I hope you enjoyed this peek at the  Father Christmas Festival. I’ll be blogging about the book  signing we attended next time I post. I’m excited to tell you all about Janet Barkhouse’s picture book, “ Pit Pony.” Drop in and find out all about it.

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Not So Scary Scarecrows

“The Scarecrow watched the Woodman while he worked and said to him “I cannot think why this wall is here nor what it is made of.” “Rest you brains and do not worry about the wall,” replied the Woodman, “when we have climbed over it we shall know what is on the other side.”

Last weekend was the Scarecrow Festival in Mahone Bay. We may have been a week late but there were still plenty of scarecrows hanging around. We thought it would be a great place to take our American company. When people come all the way from Washington, over the Thanksgiving Day weekend,  you like to help make their journey a worthwhile one. Here are a few of the sights we saw.

I’m not sure how the Royal Family would feel about being scarecrows, but I think this display was one of my favourites.  Everyone’s here but Prince Harry.

Seems that Harry was there all along. He’s a little  under-dressed for the occasion, but that’s Harry for you. At least this time he was caught protecting the Crown Jewels!

Scarecrows have certainly come a long way since I was a girl. I loved all the colourful costumes.

The Simpsons are still as popular as ever.

This Marilyn Monro likeness was another favourite of mine.

This is just a few of the highlights from our trip to Mahone Bay. In reality there are far more scarecrows than I could possibly post. Mahone Bay is a lovely seas side town with so many beautiful sights to see. Before ending this post I’ll leave you with this lasting image of the three famous churches.

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

A Recipe For Fun

1.Take three friends

2.Throw in a little red ribbon and a few jingle of bells

3.A trip by car

4. A cup of Tim Horton’s coffee

4.A heaping serving of restoration

5.A ginormous portion of laughter, not to mention plain old silliness

6.Add one author

7. A copy of Bitter, Sweet

8.Good food & good conversation.

Add ingredients one at a time, place inside the most gorgeous Nova Scotia day you can find. Stir.

Here’s what you end up with.

The coffee at the Tim Horton’s might not have been the best (for the love of all that is holy with coffee, get the order right. One black, two cream, no sugar, One cream with sweetener… Gah!) but the rest of the day turned out to be great fun.The ladies in the photo have been friends for many years, but the three of them had not spent time together since the seventies. Talk about a giddy bunch. I suppose that’s to be expected. Once you make it past 50 it takes less and less to amuse you. Having turned 50 last year, my friends can vouch for the fact that I’ll laugh about pretty much anything. But there are worse things, I’ve been told.

After a quick cup of coffee we went off to St. John’s Anglican Church in Lunenburg. It’s hard to believe that this church survived a fire ten years ago. Luckily, there was enough of the building remaining and the determination to rebuild this beautiful centuries old church and bring it back to life. A lot of hard work went into restoring this fine building that was originally built in the mid 1700’s. To attend a service is to truly experience this church to the fullest. I felt as though I was in the midst of a fairy tale as I gazed at my surroundings. After the service which lasted nearly two hours, I might add, we headed off toward Mahone Bay for lunch.

Driving through the town of Mahone Bay is always an experience in itself. Seems as though there is always some festival going on—great for the tourists, you know. Remember back in October when I  wrote a post about the Scarecrows and posted a few photos? If you’ve already forgotten you can check out the post here. Not to disappoint, Sunday was the Father Christmas Festival. Yup,  good old St. Nicholas was everywhere. I have a few photos that I took as we passed through that I’ll publish in a later post. I only wish I had been able to get a few more shots in, but lunch was awaiting us, and well…Lunch was awaiting.

Have you ever had the feeling that you draw attention where ever you go? I just have to say that if four woman with jingle bells tied fast to their wrist with red ribbon..well…can you imagine? Mind you this isn’t something that I would normally do on my own, but…what can I say? I’m a follower, not a leader. Nor did I want to be left standing by a a pile of rocks overlooking the bay. I just wanted to fit in gall dang it all! Which I think I did pretty well. Besides, they struck me as a bunch who wouldn’t hesitate to leave me stranded by the roadside with nothing but the sounds of jingle bells and laughter in their wake. Too late then to remember I’d forgotten the cell phone. Before the day was out I had convinced Doe to take a signed copy of my book home with her to Ontario, making her vow that she would promote this book like it was her very own. (Enough begging and pleading and even the toughest nut will crack.) She finally gave in when I promised to throw in a bookmark. I felt fortunate not to have had to resort to arm twisting, nor was throwing a temper tantrum necessary.. She’s such a good sport. A real dear (or is that deer?) Sorry Doe, I could not resist.

All jokes aside. Thank you Gail, Carol and Doe for a truly memorable day. Here’s to friendships, old and new. And here’s to creating your own recipe for fun.

What are some special ingredients that you would add to your recipe for fun?

Scarecrows

“That proves you are unusual, returned the Scarecrow; and I am convinced the only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones. For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed.”

 Lyman Frank Baum

We missed the scarecrow festival in Mahone Bay the other weekend because of the rainy weather. It was one of the events I had wanted to take in this year, but sometimes things in life don’t work out the way we plan. Still, there were plenty of scarecrows hanging around this weekend when we took a drive to the shore. Here’s a peak at a few of them.

I hope you are enjoying the fall season where you are.

Pirate Daze

My husband and I drove though the little town of Mahone Bay this past summer only to find ourselves knee deep in pirates.

There were pirates everywhere.

The streets were swarming with them. Folks were parked on both sides of the main road. Music was blaring, pirates shouting out as we passed. Should we see what all the fuss was about? But where to park? Parking was impossible.

“Do you want to stop?”

“No way!”

We kept on driving, crawling our way through town. I was a bit timid, a bit overwhelmed. I had my camera.I snapped a few photos.

It was Pirate Days.

I hadn’t planned on being involved in a drive by pirate shooting.

Then, earlier this fall, we took a trip to Oak Island. Now, for anyone who doesn’t know about the whole Oak Island thing, let’s just say that if there’s treasure really buried out there, it’s probably buried for good.

We took the tour. Didn’t see any pirates or treasure, but at least I can say I was there. If you ask me we were a few hundred years too late.

Personally, I’ve got nothing against Pirates. I love Johnny Depp“Pirates of the Caribbean.” I even liked Captain Hook in Disney’s Peter Pan. I mean, what a character.

But, not all my encounters with pirates have been positive. I’ve been known to read the occasional book with pirates in them. I read one this summer. I have to admit, I didn’t get it. I felt a bit dumb. It wasn’t pretty.

So despite a few unfavourable experiences with a pirate, I sent for blogger friend, Dave Ebright’s book, “Bad Latitude.” Dave’s a great guy and I believe in supporting “good people.”

Guess what? I read it, and I got it!! I didn’t feel the least bit dumb.

Bad Latitude was written with boys in mind, but there is no reason why girls wouldn’t read this, as well. This book even won second place in the Royal Palm Literary Award for YA Fiction. Way to go Dave!

It’s filled with plenty of action, a bit of history from the St. Augustine area (that’s in Florida) and well, you know how I like history. There are some nasty dead pirates, a boy named Jack, and even a treasure if you’re into finding treasure. Who doesn’t like treasure?

I’ve got to say, Dave, you really had me going with that ending. I felt it all, sad, mad, glad, confused and finally relieved. But now there’s another one looming in the distance, a sequel titled, “Reckless Endeavour.” I don’t think we’ll have to wait too long for this one.

You can find Dave over at Jax Pops right here. and he’s just started a new blog Jack Rackham Adventures. Click here to take a gander.

Congrats, Dave and all the best with your next book!

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