Monday, August 29, 2011

What is it About This Place?

-hearing lawnmowers in the distance and the smell of freshly mowed grass
-screen doors slamming
-the wind blowing gently through the open windows
-the childhood memories of playing all day with your cousins on the beach or in the yard or in the cottage and providing those same memories for your children....and their children
-getting that feeling in the spring that soon you will be at the shore and starting to count the months/weeks/ and finally the days
-a sky so blue words cannot describe it and pictures cannot capture it
-seagulls, starfish, hermit crabs and occasionally jellyfish
-finding beach glass on the shore
-cottages that have been here for over 100 years
-that familiar landscape that never seems to change or get old
-the constantly changing tides and how life revolves around them
-some days so beautiful they take your breath away
-sunrises and sunsets with clouds aflame
-going places and always running into someone you know
-a rich history that will always be yours and it defines you
-feeling a part of something that very few can ever comprehend
-sunny warm days and crisp cool nights
-laying outside at night in a sleeping bag on the ground so you can look at the millions of stars in the clear sky and perhaps see a shooting star or two
-living among multiple generations...... generation after generation
-those last few days before you go home when all you want to do is absorb as much of this place as you can and hope it lasts until next summer when you return (it's never enough)
-having every summer be the same... and different at the same time

It's all of this and so much more, that is why we keep coming back!
Until next year.....a few more pictures....

June, we are all so happy to be here!  Especially Sadie!

Even the stormy days are beautiful!

It's building a tub at low tide and waiting for it to fill up when the tide comes in!

It's showing your grandsons how to love gardening!
It's soup night with these great people!

It's having a rocky beach year and someone who builds us a path to the water!

It's days that take your breath away....

and nights that do the same!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The "Scotia Woman" Response

After this post my friends/relatives showed up to dinner at the farmhouse last night dressed like this.......
In full Scotia Woman regalia, complete with their own artwork, hair put up using clothespins, wearing no make-up, carrying home baked dessert along with Scotsburn ice cream and donning the classic yellow slicker and rubber boots!
-Scotia Women have a great sense of humor!

You mean people really read this stuff??!!

Thanks girls!!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

How to be a True "Scotia Woman"

My sisters and I have an ongoing conversation about "Scotia Woman".  We have spent many summers in Nova Scotia and since we were raised in the South there have been many qualities we have observed over the years as Scotia Woman characteristics.  These characteristics are uniquely different from the typical Southern Belle (even though we really aren't typical Southern Belles) lifestyle and so they stood out to us over the years. After our many summers here, we have adopted some of the behaviors and can only hope that some day we too can be true Scotia Women!  You may be a Scotia Woman yourself or know a Scotia Woman or even have Scotia Woman days, it's all  good!  Just in case you ever aspire to Scotia Womanhood, here are a few defining characteristics.

-Scotia Women don't wear make-up on a daily basis.  Who has the time and anyway, who needs it?  Sunscreen and bug spray however are applied frequently.

-Scotia Women have no problem with the weather.  Rain, wind, sun, it's all the same, don't let it keep you inside!

It's a lovely day for strawberry picking!

Scotia Woman trainee picking berries!
-Scotia Women always have the right clothing for the conditions.
Almost perfect attire for rainy day berry picking, or just taking a long walk.
There are a couple vital items that are missing from this photo.....

-Scotia Women own at least one pair of rubber boots and the classic yellow slicker!

or a whole family of rubber boots!
For day or night wear!
Some Scotia women have been known to get up in the wee hours of the morning, throw on their boots and slicker in the middle of a blowing rain storm and go down to the beach to check on all the boats on the shore to make sure they have not floated off to sea.

-Scotia Women are very aware of the weather conditions and are always willing to help a neighbor in need.

-Scotia Women hang their clothes on a clothesline to dry.  That's what sunny days are for! Clothes pegging is a dying art!

-Scotia Women like to be outdoors, for chores and recreation.

work and play

Perfect day for a Scotia Woman swim!

-Scotia Women are the do it yourself types.  Whether it be organic gardening, canning, or baking bread!  It all tastes so much better!
They can turn this-

Hand picked at the U-Pick
                                                                   Into this:

Delicious strawberry jam!

-Scotia Women are also crafty.....some are hookers (of the rug hooking variety), some paint, some quilt or knit.  I think this is due to the fact that winters are very long up here and the need to entertain yourself is high.  Maybe they are just more talented and creative than most.

-Scotia Women are not wimps!  I repeat, Scotia Women are not wimps!

-A Scotia Woman golfer is willing to play in the best and worst conditions at almost any time of day. 

I've crossed over!  Dew kicking golf.....check!

My sisters and I, along with our daughters (some who have been prominently featured in this post) have spent years trying to achieve true Scotia Womanhood.  It is not something easily achieved by girls raised in the South aka GRITS.  We like to dress in lightweight colorful clothes and wear makeup.  We are used to living in the air conditioning and we buy our jam at the store.  If we wear rubber boots they usually have Burberry plaid or some other equally trendy pattern on them.  We are not used to braving the elements on a daily basis, the most challenging elements we face are heat and humidity and their hair frizzing ability.  We only play golf when the weather is nice because you know if it isn't nice today it will be soon  and that goes for all 12 months of the year.  And if we hung our clothes out to dry they would end up stiff as a board and have a nice exfoliating quality when we wore them.

Spending 3 months living in a rural farmhouse has it's way of turning this southern girl into a Scotia Woman.  Well, at least for the summer!  Cheers to all the real Scotia Women!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Two Months, No Television....I feel smarter already!

It's probably just me, but I have not watched any television in over 2 months and I feel smarter already!  I am sure my vocabulary is improving.  I just know I've added a few IQ points in the last two months!  Don't get me wrong, I love watching TV.  I spend many hours watching TV when I am home, in Houston (or wherever I happen to be living).  When I am at the shore, I don't watch television.  Why?  Because I don't have a TV.  Well, I have a TV, but I can't get any stations because I don't have satellite or cable.  I do have a DVD player, and it has been used twice, by me, since I got here.  It did see daily action when the grandsons were here last week!  It was the only time they sat still every day, ahhhh.

How do you get a 31/2 year old and a nineteen month old to sit still for more than 5 minutes?  Put in that Thomas the Train dvd!

What do I do instead of watching television when I'm up here?  The short list, watch the sunset, talk to my family, sit outside and visit with people, have dinner parties, play games and cards, think in complete sentences, talk some more, read email, think about things to blog about, and visit some more with everyone up here. 

A few of us, not watching television, just waiting for the sunset!
Since this has been the longest amount of time I've spent here at the shore it will also be the longest period of time I've gone without watching television.  I should be a genius by now......haha!  I have friends who give up TV for Lent, can I just count this as my Lenten sacrifice?  Probably not, because it hasn't even been a sacrifice.  I am always shocked when I go home and turn on a television after my hiatus.  When I watch it every day I become numb to the bombarding commercials and the amount of violence on TV.  It hits me directly when I get home and try to watch something.  Sadly, I become numb again until next year and my next TV vacation.  If only I had all the great people from the shore and those beautiful sunsets at home, I might never watch TV again.....

Just don't take my computer and internet away!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bathing Suits and Rubber Rain Boots

It has been a summer of many seasons.  Unfortunately, none of them have been summer.  Last year, our summer was one of the best in the history of the world, if you are talking about weather.  This year....not so much.  One day we are sitting on the beach in our bathing suits enjoying a bit of summer and the next day we are trudging around in slickers and rubber rain boots.  It seems so foreign to read about record breaking heat and drought conditions in Texas while my yard here is a giant mud pit and it is below 65 degrees.
Evidence of an entire day of rain, and many trips in and out of the driveway in the truck.

When we get a rare taste of summer weather the beach is full of people walking on the sandbars, reading in their beach chairs, building sandcastles and soaking up the sun. 
The sun is shining, let's go for a sail.

The sun is shining, let's have the sandcastle contest!

The sun is shining, let's have our cousin party!

Everything seems so much more alive when the sun is shining.  Everyone is outside playing and visiting.....and smiling!  We are all happy people!  But we have had very few opportunities to be those happy people this summer.  Many of our days have been gray or overcast and lately they have been rainy.  In spite of the inclement weather, we still get out and about, that is why God invented slickers and rain boots!  Can't let a little rain get in the way of our activities.

It's raining, let's put on our boots and go visit Gigi!

It's raining, maybe we should go get some ice cream!

It's a rainy day, maybe we should ride around in the neighbor's mule and see what we can see!

We can't just sit at home and complain about the weather, we just have to go out and make the best of what we have.  With a little patience and some time, eventually the sun will come out again and all will be right in the world.  I do feel bad for the people who are only here for a short while.  I have been here since May and a week or two....or three of rain don't mean my time here is a bust.  If you are only here for a week or ten days and more than half of them are wet and rainy, your vacation might be ruined.  There is always ice cream and playing games with your family though, so put on that slicker and those boots and go jump in the puddles!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Small Town Living

Only in a small town can you go to the bank and find this......
"I'd like to make a deposit"
Things like this happen to me when I go into town to run my weekly errands.  Town is a small Canadian town of about ten thousand people, who apparently all know each other and enjoy visiting with bank tellers while the line-up continues to build behind them.  I went to the bank on Tuesday, big mistake because Monday was a holiday which made Tuesday banking day.  My sister and I walked in and there was a man with Bouvier on a leash waiting in line.  I think Bouvier is the town dog because every person who came into the bank knew him and went up to chat with his owner and pet the dog.  OK, that's cool, the dog was well behaved, I'm a dog person so it was interesting to watch. 

As the many people ahead of us continued to make their transactions and then commence to talk to the 2 tellers about their holiday weekend and what they did and who they did it with and what they ate and what time they went to bed, Bouvier was busy greeting the ever growing line of customers.

Finally it was Bouvier's turn at the teller.  Owner walks up to the window, teller says hello and turns around and gets dog treats!  for Bouvier and proceeds to hold the treats high up in the air while the dog jumps up for the treats.  When a 120 lb. dog jumps up he is about 6 feet tall and makes quite the picture, but alas I did not have my camera!  The owner makes his transaction and as we get nearer and nearer to our turn with the teller, after only 20 minutes in line, we overhear her asking the owner where he is going on his trip to the States, who is going, what they will be doing....can you see my foot tapping at this point?  Deep are on vacation, what's the big hurry,  relax.....tap, tap, tap.....

Finally, our turn came with the teller!  Unfortunately, she did not have any people treats for me but did ask where we had a cottage, how long we are here for...yadda, yadda, yadda! 

In other small town observations, there was a girl driving a small tractor/souped up riding lawn mower, down the sidewalk!  Yes, down the sidewalk, not the street!  No one seemed the least bit concerned.

A few things that would never happen in Houston!
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