Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit

These are all pictures where the sky is prominent.

I thought at first to put in pictures of people who, to me, are Free Spirits, but thought that wouldn’t mean much to the viewer.

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Pogey at the Lower Deck Halifax

On Saturday we went to a Patio Party at the historical properties on the Halifax waterfront.  It is a great summer venue a few steps away from the Halifax harbour.  The warm evening encouraged walking so the waterfront was a busy spot.  Tourists visiting the city and those who call the Halifax  home were out enjoying the evening and the show.

Historic Properties Halifax

The Lower Deck, a well known Halifax pub and music venue in Privateer’s Warehouse had bands playing inside and outside.

Pogey was playing outside between two beautiful stone buildings. The word ‘Pogey’ is defined as financial or other relief given to the unemployed by the government.  Pogey has been touring since 2001 providing ‘relief’ to audiences with their enthusiastic Nova Scotia Celtic rock sounds, their exuberant instrumentals and their tight harmonies. The band, Ray Mattie guitar and lead vocals, Warren Robert guitar and vocals, Jonny Grant bass guitar and vocals, guest fiddler Anthony Rissesco and drummer Mike Carroll had the crowd dancing, singing and totally engrossed in their highly interactive show.

Band members have played at every major Irish festival in North America and are off again to the Kansas City Irish Festival next week.

Pogey Lower Deck Halifax

For more information on the band and their touring schedule visit their website at http://www.pogey.ca.

Privateer’s Warehouse photo from the Historic Properties website.

Dutch Mason Blues Festival 2012

Dutch Mason, 1986, Photo by Louis Siegal, from the Canadian Encyclopedia

When I first moved to Nova Scotia I was blown away by the richness and variety of the culture in this province.  I seldom missed an opportunity to see the Dutch Mason Blues Band.

Dutch played in rock and roll and rockabilly bands in Nova Scotia in the 50’s.  By the 70’s he had found his passion and performed in several blues bands.  During the late 70’s and 80’s he toured Canada developing a growing reputation for his tough urban blues style.   He was dubbed the Prime Minister of the Blues by BB King.  Dutch passed away in Dec 2006.  His son Garrett Mason is thrilling blues audiences from coast to coast these days.

Last night we attended the first night of the 8th Annual Dutch Mason Blues Festival in Truro, Nova Scotia.  As always it was a great experience.

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the RealLukas Nelson and Promise of the Real.  Lukas’ voice is similar to his father’s, but he has found his own style.

Lukas Nelson, Dutch Mason Blues FestivalLukas Nelson

Georgia Satellites, Dutch Mason Blues FestivalGeorgia Satellites.

The Sheepdogs, Dutch Mason Blues Festival Canada’s own Sheepdogs from Saskatoon.  The Sheepdogs won three Juno awards for Rock Album of the Year, Best New Group and Single of the Year.  They will be performing again in Nova Scotia in September.  Check them out if you get the chance.

SheepdogsTonight Charlie A’Court, James Cotton and Darrell Nulisch, the John Oates Band and Delbert McClinton hit the stage with an after hours Jam featuring Joe Murphy, Garrett Mason, the Dutch Mason Blues Band and special guests.  The music continues  Sunday until 7:30 pm.

Kudos to the people who put on this well organized event!

For more information go to:  http://www.dutchmason.com

A new pet

I haven’t been doing well at filling my blog with tales and pictures of my travels.  I look forward to the weekly photo challenge on Fridays to add new posts to the blog.  (Any ‘comments’ and ‘likes’ I get act like a drug encouraging me to keep at it-thank you all so much!)

For the past few months my focus has been much closer to home.  I have a new puppy!

This is Koopa, the momma of 9 healthy english bulldog puppies which were delivered by C-section (a common procedure for bull dogs).  We were told not to leave the puppies unattended with the mother, so kept them warm in a box when she wasn’t feeding them.    When Koopa was feeling better she was a wonderful mother and wanted to have access to her puppies all the time.  In this picture the puppies are making noises in the tote where she is resting her head.

This is our new puppy, Princess Peach.  Many dogs in our family have been named after characters in the Super Mario game.  I think a full grown english bulldog snorting and snoring answering to ‘Peaches’ will be somewhat comical.

She already shows an aptitude and interest in gardening.

Her best buddy is her brother Bowser.  She is able to play with him every few days.  On this day they found mud and after a bath needed to be wrapped in a blanket to warm up.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple

Purple is one of my favorite colours.  I have many purple flowers in my garden.

Iris

Delphinium

At a square in Nice, near the waterfront,  I noticed a series of plastic men perched atop high poles and wondered why plastic was used for them.  In the evening when we walked by again the men were lit up with colours that kept changing.  It was a pretty neat effect.

Off Again

My bags are packed.  Half filled with stuff I might need and half filled with things for my friends.

Tomorrow I am cooking an early Easter meal for about 20 friends and family and helping some young people decorate Easter eggs.  It will be cold here so we will be inside the house most of the time.

There will be a few people who can play guitar so we will have some good music to listen to and sing along with.

Sunday I will clean the house and Monday my sister and I are off for two weeks in Cuba.  We are going to Varadero and will stay at a cheaper hotel close to downtown so that we can visit with our friends more easily.  We will also be attending a christening in Matanzas. I will post something when I get back.

I am a sporadic blogger at the best of times, but will not be taking my computer to Cuba so will be out of touch for two weeks.  Happy Easter everyone, I look forward to reading your posts when I return.

Ploughing Snow

Yesterday was a beautiful winter day here in Nova Scotia.   A sky full of great big fluffy snow flakes slowly, patiently made their way to the ground, then melted almost as soon as they fell.  It was peaceful and breathtaking.  It made me love winter and feel fortunate to live in Canada where we can count on snow in the winter.

When I work up this morning I had to clear the snow.  It had stopped melting when it hit the ground.  Our new house has a long, long driveway.

I guess at this point a bit of background information is in order.   I am a bad driver.  I have never been in an accident, but I really don’t like driving.  I don’t enjoy loud machines.    My family makes great sport of this. 

While my husband was home during Christmas he bought a used plow for the front of the 4 wheeler, so I could clear the driveway myself.  We were all very excited; this plow was going to work great.  It would make up for the past year’s invention, which was a plow made out of half a plastic barrel and some metal.  It did not work.  It just rode on top of the snow.  It was less frustrating to shovel the driveway myself.

The first snowfall after installing the plow, happened when my daughter and 7 year old grandson were visiting.   Both of them knew how to work the wheeler much better than I did.  I was pleased with this, until my daughter filmed me getting the machine started (after much muttering and pushing of unnecessary buttons) and plowing the driveway (so slow that a little boy and bull dog could run beside me).   I am always good for some family entertainment.  My husband said he watched it four times-YouTube here we come.

Today I was completely on my own.  First the lock for the shed where the wheeler is kept was frozen solid.  I blew on the lock to warm it up-being careful not to touch it (a lesson most Canadians learn early) until it melted the ice inside.

Plowed

I lifted the blade of the wheeler and pulled the choke, turned the key and pushed the starter.  It coughed and sputtered but started.  I put it into gear and drove it down the narrow ramp and out of the shed.  One run up the driveway, put it in reverse gear, stall, start again, stall, start and back up.  Put it in first gear, stall, re-start it and ‘give’er’.  I made it all the way back, although I still went slow.  Feeling encouraged,  I thought I should have a back-up space for the car.  That is when the machine decided it no longer wanted to work in 4 wheel drive.  So, I put it in neutral, lifted the blade, got off the machine and pushed and pulled until it would back up in 2 wheel drive.  There was quite a bit more of the stalling, pushing and pulling before I got the machine back in the shed.  I shovelled the rest.

The forecast calls for 10 to 15cm of snow tomorrow.  I think I will wait and see if it warms up enough in the next few days to melt the snow.