April 12, 2009

Weather report

The sun is shining somewhere. I’m sure! We are having another heavy rainstorm. The lake is full and the brook is overflowing its banks. Walking on the trail is hard because of the water, but it is not snowing. Otherwise, it's been warmer but still cold and damp.




Posted by leya at 11:55 AM | TrackBack

March 26, 2009

Home after a long long day

Home! Finally, after a long journey. I saw the weather forecast before I left: a major snowstorm on its way to the Maritimes. So when I arrived in Toronto, I wasn’t surprised to find my flight to Halifax cancelled. Air Canada very kindly gave the stranded passengers vouchers for taxis, hotels and meals. The only reasonable way to get home the next day was to be redirected to Ottawa for the night, then on to Halifax in the morning. I met a lovely young lady from Victoria during the hour-long wait in line for the vouchers. We shared a taxi and dinner. By the time I got home, I was weary and happy, especially to see Lila again.

Too bad Aaron left Ottawa for England three weeks ago! It would have made the trip even better. But I will see him and Joanne in June when I go to Denmark for an exhibit. The plan is to meet there and then travel back to the UK with them, see their new home and poke around some.

Now it’s warming up here, the snow is melting and the suggestion of spring is in the air. Maybe no more snowstorms. I never want to see my winter jacket again!

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March 15, 2009

On the go again!

It's a beautiful sunny day in Nova Scotia and I am spending most of it in airports. Right now I'm waiting for my flight to Montreal and then for my flight to Newark. I'm on my way to visit Tamar, Dan and Damian and also to spend a couple of days in Manhattan with friends, see art and have a good time.

It's warmer there and no snow on the ground. I've seen enough snow for this year. The dirt is beginning to reveal itself in my yard but there are still big piles of snow and ice hindering easy access to strategic points such as my composter. Last Friday I slipped on the ice three times while trying to clean the snow off my car. One time I found myself almost halfway under the car. No injuries, just surprise. The snow was covering the ice that was everywhere.

Perhaps when I return in a week it will all be gone. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to being with Tamar and her family. It's been a while--since last August. We talk frequently but there is nothing like a real live presence!

Posted by leya at 12:34 PM

February 15, 2009

Dogs on ice

My driveway is a sandwich of ice/sand/ice/sand with a layer of light snow for frosting. Meanwhile, Lila and I have been taking delicious walks on the lake. When there is a snow covering, walking is easy. Sometimes it is too icy but then, sometimes even the road is treacherous. After a winter like this, no one will have a good reason to complain about black flies in May.

Suzanne and Lucky came over today. We (the people) had a lovely lunch of chicken soup and fresh-out-of-the-oven banana bread, then we all four went for a walk on the lake. Suzanne just sent me the perfect photo of the girls doing their usual thing, running:


After they left, my neighbor Mike came over with his three dogs and Lila had another run. It is not all a playday. I did put in a good morning in my studio. But then, studio time is usually a pleasure. This morning, however, was the pre-painting work: I finished getting some large canvases (three 5' x 7' pieces, each made up of three panels) ready for paint. That means they now have three coats of primer (a back-breaking job I am happy to turn over to any elf who stops my way), some collage of photos and fabrics, and a final coat of primer to cover any glue that may be left on the canvas area. So now it really will be playtime in my studio!

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October 19, 2008

Autumn breeze

A couple of days ago, Lila and I went out for a walk in the early morning. It had been raining the night before but the sky was clear, the air crisp. As we walked along the road I heard what seemed to be rain in the woods but it wasn't raining at all on the road. It seemed strange. But then I realized it was the leaves falling from the trees.

Winter cannot be stopped. It will be here soon enough.

Posted by leya at 05:19 PM

September 24, 2008

The story of why I watch CBC News at Six

Coronation Street is on at 7 pm most weekday nights (when it is not pre-empted by the Olympics or Hockey playoffs or some other political game show). So sometimes, being impatient, I found myself turning on the TV before 7. And that’s newscast time. Six to seven on all two and a half channels I get here in Paradise. For some reason, I’ve never liked watching or hearing news and find reading the newspapers even harder. I think it has something to do with growing up during World War II and hearing about so many deaths every day. I couldn’t wait until the war was over and it would, I thought, be only music and fun shows all day.

Nevertheless, I found I really liked watching CTV (channel 5) news. The anchorman there is a very sweet, friendly, kind man. Someone to count on. And the weatherman was the same. A sweet, lovely man. But then the weatherman, Peter Coade, changed to CBC news with Jim Nunn. I don’t know why he changed but I found I missed him on Channel 5 so I changed too, to Channel 3 so I could have my weatherman back. It took a while to get used to Jim Nunn who is saucy, straight-forward, shoots from the hip and is sometimes cranky and challenging to his interviewees. Now I love them both. And to my surprise I’ve heard of other people who also switched news channels because of Peter Coade.

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January 16, 2008

More snow

After a week or more of mild weather (so mild, my driveway was almost clear of ice), we are having snow again. And possibly rain on Friday. But for now, the snow is incredibly beautiful, making interesting patterns on the bushes (and on Lila):




Yesterday, Lila and I went for a walk in the woods by the brook. I regretted not bringing my camera. I wanted to capture the silence somehow.

Even though she's been across it many times, Lila balked at the bridge now that it is snow covered so we didn't go far. Maybe Thursday. I have to teach today.

Posted by leya at 04:57 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 02, 2008

Every storm from everywhere is coming here this winter

We’ve had five snowstorms this week. One every thirty-six hours. Usually they end in rain. Then freezing temperatures again. To my surprise, I am feeling quite comfortable with the weather, not nearly so upset as I was at the beginning of December when all this almost daily snowfalls started.

So today, after I picked up my purse that I left behind yesterday, Lila and I took a walk through Point Pleasant Park. It was warm (relatively—above freezing) so the ice had become soft. We were able to take our usual route, an hour’s walk around the park.

Saturday we went to the Dingle Park on some trails. There are some beautiful walks through the woods there, with hardly anyone crossing our path. I had left my Palm at Jody’s house Christmas Day (I don't know how that happened!) so she brought it to me and we all walked together, Jody and Alix, Lila and me. It was much icier then.


I think I will start putting my car keys in my purse so I can’t leave home or a party without it!

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January 01, 2008

Happy New Year, Everyone!

So, another day, another year. Somehow, even though nothing is really different, it feels good. Almost like a fresh start. I don’t know why. Just the psychological power of a day on the calendar.

Last night I spent the evening in my favorite way, playing with Lila and then cuddling up with a good book (Miles Davis’ Autobiography—I’m almost finished). It was stormy outside as usual these days making it a perfect night to stay home. Today was warm and sunny, relatively speaking, and I went to a couple of parties. I was one of the first guests at the first one as I had been looking forward to this party all year. The hostess makes the most amazing cream puffs and I had waited 365 days to have another one. Both parties were joyful, friendly, noisy and fun. I left (not only my purse at the second party but) with a sore jaw from talking so much. I don’t even talk that much when I am teaching!

We are expecting yet another snowstorm then rain tonight. So it will be even more icy tomorrow. This morning the road was like a skating rink. I wear cleats on my shoes but it was still slippery. It’s going to be a long winter if it keeps going this way.


Posted by leya at 08:34 PM

December 28, 2007

More winter

We had yet another snowstorm yesterday. As I was driving home from Halifax (after taking Lila for acupuncture and then going for some myself--different doctors!) the sky was giving us a steady rain of ice pellets. Driving was safe but slow. This morning I awoke to a layer of soft snow over everything, including the ice underneath. It was a perfect day to stay home and enjoy the winter weather.

There's a brook running beside my property. I can hear it year round, even in winter. Lila's friend Lucky came out to visit with her mom, Suzanne. We had lunch, Suzanne and I; the dogs played outside on my field aand then we all went for a walk by the brook. It was too icy to walk far, but it was very beautiful.



Lila loves everything about the snow, playing in it, running in it, and eating it. And I love taking her picture:


Posted by leya at 05:06 PM

December 23, 2007

The powers-that-be

are predicting rain for tomorrow and above freezing temperatures all week. A big change from the -10 to -20 C. temps we have been having for the last few weeks. And the plentiful snowstorms as well. But today was warm and sunny. Perfect winter weather. A pleasure.




Meanwhile Lila is outside barking at the full moon. I can hear the echo across the lake.


Posted by leya at 05:47 PM

December 19, 2007

Snow snow snow snow snow

With all this snow we have been having, and then rain, then snow and cold, there is a lot of ice around. Brian came over this morning to help put sand on my driveway. Driving around here is hard, treacherous. My long steep driveway is thick ice from top to bottom. Yesterday morning I skidded up in my car and then in the evening skidded down it. The kids in the neighborhood have been using it to slide down while waiting for the bus in the morning. Today there was no problem maneuvering on it; the sand really helped.

There is still ice on my deck:


Of course, Lila loves the snow:


The sun on the bushes by the lake this morning:


and on the lake (now mostly frozen, but not enough to walk on yet):


Posted by leya at 08:48 PM | TrackBack

December 16, 2007

Weather the weather

I love winter here. It is so very beautiful. And interesting. It doesn’t always snow, but when it does, it leaves a delicate white blanket over everything. It feels fresh. It feels good to bundle up and walk in the snow. Listening to the crunch of my boots as the snow surrenders to my feet.

Winter pleasures are plentiful. Walking on the lake. Throwing the ball for Lila on the lake. Cross-country skiing on the lake. Last year the lake was frozen for six weeks. When the weather warmed up we all missed the ice. It had been a neighborhood playground on weekends. The kids built forts on the islands. Had picnics out there in the middle of the lake. When the sun shines, there is nothing more heartening than feeling the warm radiation in the crisp air.

Yet this year, right now, I am ready to pack it all in and never go outside again! I’ve had enough! It’s cold. It’s dark. It’s unpredictable. We are in the beginnings of a big storm later today, a deluge, a pounding. Maybe 20 – 25 cm of snow. It’s ten degrees below freezing (centigrade) right now. The saying goes: big flakes, little snow; little flakes, big snow. There is a curtain of fine, delicate snow coming down as I write, promising lots of snow with high winds coming to visit later. The weather report says it will snow and then turn to rain tonight and be 10 degrees above freezing tomorrow. Friday night I was invited to dinner and a concert in Halifax. I really did want to go. I got in my car, drove the equivalent of two blocks, turned around and came home. The precipitation was a mixture of snow and rain. It didn’t feel welcoming. Last night there was a party in the neighborhood and I just stayed home.

It’s nice inside now. I think it’s time to either hibernate or migrate! I'm not the only one feeling this way so early in the winter season. A friend just called and said she wants to go south during mid-winter break at NSCAD. Would I join her on a trip to Washington, D.C. (where I grew up; we hardly ever had snow there), go to galleries and museums, see some art. I never thought Washington would be a southern destination but relative to here, it definitely is appealing. But it's more likely I would go to New Jersey to visit Tamar and Ottawa (even colder than here!) to visit Aaron. Who knows. Maybe it will even warm up in January. But at this point we are definitely headed for a white holiday season!




Posted by leya at 01:38 PM

May 16, 2007


Today it is raining and will be raining tomorrow and the next day and the next. But last week the sun waking up over the lake in the morning was memorable.


Posted by leya at 06:51 PM

April 21, 2007

At last . . .

It's warm and sunny and a loon was singing loud on the lake this morning. It must be spring.

Posted by leya at 03:19 PM

April 08, 2007


Maybe we didn’t have the proverbial white Christmas, or Chanukah, or even a white New Year’s, but we do have a very white Easter. Snow. Buckets of snow fell yesterday evening and night. It is very beautiful. And more fun because it's not too cold and we know it won’t last long.



The deck chairs look like they are all dressed up for winter:


By afternoon, the snow was melting fast, and the chairs started undressing, getting ready for spring again:


But still, it was nice and warm inside:


Posted by leya at 06:45 PM

February 16, 2007

But, to where was it going. . .

The lake is like glass now after the heavy rain we had a couple of nights ago. The snow cover is gone. And I did see a pickup truck drive (very fast) across the lake this afternoon. The truck was grey.

Posted by leya at 09:21 PM | Comments (1)

February 07, 2007


It’s been a meagre -20 degrees centigrade (that’s -2.2 F) when we go out in the mornings. Winter was long overdue. But this. This is cold. Day after day. Even Lila has trouble. The snow gets between her toes and hurts. Apparently the groundhog didn’t see his shadow this year, so this will be over soon. Meanwhile, it’s bundle-up time.

The best part is going out on the lake, throwing balls for Lila on the ice and snow. It’s a beautiful sight, seeing her running and sliding on the lake, stirring up the snow. A little black breeze. I bought some YakTraks (slip-on cleats) for my boots and they’ve saved me from a few falls.

Posted by leya at 08:24 AM | Comments (1)

June 24, 2006

One bloomin' artist's request


It’s raining. Again. And hard. I’m not asking for sun tomorrow. Just no rain! Please!

Tomorrow is the VANS (Visual Arts Nova Scotia) Bloomin’ Artists’ Garden Tour. Rain or shine. My garden is one of six on the tour. The blub I put on the invitation reads:

Ten years ago I moved into this house with my eleven year old dog. The house was new, built in a rocky and wooded site, situated by a large lake. The “yard” was just boulders, gravel and little dirt. My task began when a friend came over with a bag of iris the next spring. I needed to buy some soil to put the iris in, then to build a rock wall to contain the dirt, and my garden started from there. All of the soil has been imported and amended. The many rock walls came from rocks already on the property. With the help of a friend and a come-a-long wench, the boulders were moved into useful and appealing garden walls.

At this point, I have meandering paths through the gardens. There is a different focus for each area: a rhododendron bed, perennial beds, and a vegetable garden. The design didn’t plan for a young dog: nothing follows a straight line, so I have found some portable low wire fencing that seems to be working for my now seven month old puppy.

As I prefer weeding to mowing, I have planted heavily with perennials and shrubs. Recently I decided to mow what was supposed to be a wildflower field but was actually more wild than flower. It’s a good place to play for the dog.

Many of my flowers come from friends and I can now pass some of mine on. I’m still planting and rearranging. Even when covered with snow, I am always enjoying the land here.

If you are in the area, do come by. It’s a $10 donation for VANS. The hours are noon to 5 pm. The peonies are blooming, as are some miniature roses, foxglove, daisies, and a few rhododendron. My garden is looking pretty, waiting for you!

Posted by leya at 02:58 PM | Comments (3)

March 31, 2006

Signs of spring


The loons are singing again on the lake, geese are flying overhead, ants are coming inside, crocus are pushing through the sleeping ground and Lila is eating the buds.

Posted by leya at 08:42 PM

March 18, 2006

The sound of ice


In the last month, once ice formed, the lake has been emitting haunting sounds—moaning, talking, creaking, with an occasional burp as the ice moves and shifts with the water underneath.

Last night it sounded like lions barking, roaring in an empty zoo cage. Lonely lions in the lake.

Posted by leya at 03:35 PM

March 06, 2006

Lila on ice

Sunday afternoon a couple of friends came out with their dog, Alix. This winter has been very strange, mostly mild, until the last week which was extremely cold so that the lake has finally frozen. It’s turning warm again now so I don’t know how long it will last, but Sunday we took a walk on top of the ice across the lake. From my house to the big square rock that I was swimming to most days last summer. It felt strange, walking where just a few months ago we had been swimming and in a few months more we will be again. It was like walking on clouds, a forbidden impossible pleasure.

Lila loved it. She kept running back and forth as if she had someplace important to go but wasn’t sure which direction it was supposed to be in.




It always gives me a thrill to see my house (nestled in the woods) from the lake:


Posted by leya at 08:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 01, 2006

Finally, snow

You may have heard: Atlantic Canada is snowed under! Finally. We had our first major snowstorm of the year. And it's February One already. 15 cm of snow and winds of 80 to 100 km/hour. Lila and I were, unfortunately, stuck in Halifax overnight (after my dance class). So it wasn’t until late this afternoon (when the snow had tapered off and the winds slowed down) that we were able to come home. School was cancelled this morning. Sadly I had a favorite model scheduled and he is moving to China next week. I may not see him again for a while. So for once, missing school was a disappointment.

Today I shoveled the back yard at Inge’s house (where I stay a couple nights a week so I can get to my early morning classes easily--avoid the morning traffic, make sure the pup is settled) so Lila could play there (in the yard) and then I shoveled the front steps so we could leave (no one else was in the house last night, just us). Then I shoveled out my car at the lot. Then when we got home I had to shovel the long walkway to my door. It is a good thing I like to shovel snow.

It is very nice to be home with my own toys again. Tomorrow will be beautiful. They are predicting sun. Then two days of rain on the weekend of course. Fickle maritime weather!

Posted by leya at 08:12 PM

December 10, 2005

It must be winter

I woke up this morning to see a heavy blanket of snow on the trees and the ground. And no power. Fortunately the sun came out early and my house didn’t get too cold. The power came back on around 2:30 in the afternoon. Meanwhile I went outside and took over sixty pictures. It was very beautiful. They are predicting a heavy rain tonight. Fickle maritime weather.






Posted by leya at 05:04 PM | Comments (2)

December 09, 2005

Night snow

It’s snowing. A heavy wet snow. At first it seemed like it was going to turn to rain but now its big white flakes and the ground is covered with white. I had to drive home from Halifax this evening and all the cars, thankfully, were driving slowly. My favorite Canadian joke is still the one that says you know you are a Canadian when you prefer winter driving, it’s smoother, because the potholes are filled with snow. Out here in the woods, that will be something to look forward to, for sure.

Posted by leya at 07:27 PM

December 05, 2005

A little snow

It snowed a little last night. Our first snow of the season. Last year at this time we were buried under, piles four feet high, without power for a week. This snow was light, just a dusting. I’m not eager for winter to arrive, but I must admit it is very pretty.

Posted by leya at 05:16 PM

November 10, 2005



It’s been raining hard all day, with strong winds. Enough to make people drive poorly. There were several accidents on the main roads and bridges. It was difficult to see the road.

I had to take my car to Dartmouth for some repairs. Coming home, it took me an hour just to get onto the bridge to go back to Halifax. The lineup was intense, moving a few feet every few minutes. Not fun. I was glad for the good jazz playing on Radio Canada.

Posted by leya at 08:10 PM

October 25, 2005

Weather the weather

It looks like I’m not going to get that week of good weather I desire so much. We have had a few beautiful days but it's been raining hard a lot lately, and windy. I keep putting off taking the screens down. The lake is over-full, climbing the banks; my dock and boats are in for the winter.

We’re told Wilma will breeze by here today. With 100 km winds and heavy rain. After Juan’s unexpected destruction two years ago, everyone is a bit nervous and preparing for power-outages. Hope she decides it's too cold here and goes off in another direction. And a week in Greece sounds very inviting right now.

Posted by leya at 09:11 AM

October 22, 2005

Today's crop



This morning there was a gentle mist on the lake and not a cloud in the sky. Today the sun was warm, almost like summer. This afternoon I went out into my garden to plant some bulbs and clean up before it gets too cold. It�s been such a busy few weeks, I hadn�t been paying much attention to my yard. I was surprised to see some neglected string beans still edible and the zucchini plants are still producing a few fruits. Some cold weather greens are alive and well. We just need another week like this. Then I will be ready to put my winter tires on. Maybe.

Posted by leya at 04:21 PM

October 21, 2005

On the edge of winter


This is a very hard time of year. My dock came in last weekend. A very sad day. No more swimming; no more boat rides. The garden is closing down. Now the leaves are turning. It is beautiful yet haunting. I can feel the ghosts from the past in the air. And the possibilities of the extremes of winter are becoming evident everywhere. The sun was strong today, the wind chilling. The sun is late getting out of bed in the mornings. It is dark way beyond the time I expect. It just doesn�t seem right.

I feel like a squirrel getting ready for winter without enough nuts in my nest; I feel the edge of anxieties as I scurry around looking for ways to secure myself before the snows descend. And with so many natural and unnatural disasters in the world, it is hard to trust the sun to rise and the nest to be full.

Maybe this is what Halloween is really about. The ghosts that need to be welcomed and sent on their way. The real beginning of winter. Turning inward, lighting the hearth, warming the home.

Posted by leya at 11:28 AM | Comments (3)

June 01, 2005

Finally sun.....

Yesterday morning, about halfway through my class, the light changed in the room and suddenly everyone smiled. I looked out the window and saw blue sky. I had forgotten what that looked like. After what seems like endless grey days and excessive rains, it is warm and sunny, just like a normal June day. What a pleasant surprise! And they say there is not even a possibility (according to the weather-gods) of rain until Sunday. We might get spoiled here in Eastern Canada!

Posted by leya at 03:46 PM

March 31, 2005

Weather Report

We definitely have had some wicked weather here in the last couple of years! When I first moved to Nova Scotia twenty some years ago, I hadn't seen so much snow in my entire life. I certainly didn't know how to drive on snow and ice. Went off the road a couple of times that first year. Then the weather calmed down for a while. But not now. And I hear it is only going to get worse. After only a couple of warm sunny days last weekend, we have had intense rains along with strong winds. The rain has stopped for a while but not the wind. There are just a few patches of very tired snow left on the ground. Meanwhile it has been fascinating watching the ice break up on my lake. It is almost gone now, just a few pieces floating around. The lion of March hasn't calmed down yet.

Posted by leya at 08:35 AM

March 13, 2005

Winter is having a hard time letting go

We had (yet another) heavy snow storm yesterday with high winds and icy roads. And my internet acces is down as well (I am at a friend's computer). How I long to see the crocus. At least it is not too cold outside.

Posted by leya at 04:58 PM | Comments (3)

February 04, 2005

Buried and abandoned


Looking out the window of the drawing studio at school, this picture struck my fancy. Bicycles, patiently waiting for spring.

Yesterday it warmed up enough that I was able to run my car through a wash only to discover underneath all that salt and caked on snow and dirt was a long scratch running along the entire side of my car. It looks like someone took a key and had some perverted fun. Freaky, what�s underneath that snow. All kinds of surprises.

Posted by leya at 07:57 AM

January 26, 2005


The outside thermometer read minus 26 degrees centigrade this morning. (That�s minus 12 Farenheit.) Cold. But as usual, a very beautiful sunrise through the frost on the windows.

Posted by leya at 08:15 AM | Comments (1)

January 24, 2005

Blizzard report

We survived yet another blizzard here in Eastern Canada. Over twenty-four hours of aggressive snow and howling wind. And miraculously the power stayed on! I was prepared, though, with jugs of water everywhere, a powerful rechargeable battery flashlight and a windup radio. Today all is quiet and white. The snowplow came this morning to clear my driveway and I just finished (as much as I can do right now) shoveling my walkway and car. So tomorrow I can go into town to school for an 8:30 am class. Most likely the traffic will be tight so I will allow extra time.

It�s a good thing I enjoy shoveling snow, living here. This time was especially delightful, the snow being light like confectioner�s sugar. Yum! Good for making snowmen (or is it now snowpersons?).

School was cancelled today, of course, but I didn�t have a class anyway. It�s nice to be home, to paint and fluff up my nest.

Posted by leya at 03:02 PM | Comments (1)

January 23, 2005

More later.............

I came home late Thursday night, driving home from the airport in the remnants of another blizzard. I had missed one (Monday) while I was away. Another, bigger one, is starting just now. It is winter in Nova Scotia����.

Posted by leya at 08:17 AM | Comments (3)

December 28, 2004

Shadow play

The sun was bright today and the sky clear, just like they promised. A perfect day to catch shadows on the snow:





Nothing like the sun to make people smile here. I went into Halifax this morning and everyone was cheerful, exchanging stories of driving in the recent blizzard. It turned out the sales person in Radio Shack (I went in to buy a plug-in rechargeable flashlight, getting ready for the next power outage!) had been on the same plane from Montreal that I was on Sunday. He said he took the shuttle into Halifax and the driver went very slow, in the middle of the road, saying he didnt care what anyone thought, let them get angry at him, and he didnt know where they were but they were on the road!

My favorite Canadian winter joke says that driving is easier in the winter because the potholes are filled with ice and snow!

Posted by leya at 07:53 PM

December 08, 2004

The lady in the stump


For over a year now, since Hurricane Juan swept across my little piece of paradise, I have been looking at this lady of the stump and wondering how and when I could ask (make) her leave. She has been a reminder of the vicissitudes of weather here in beautiful Nova Scotia and a hindrance to my view. So, finally, I called a tree removal company and had an estimate today for the cost of her departure. It is high (expensive) but it feels like letting her squat on my land any longer is more expensive, robbing me of a broader view.

All this because I had a proper feng shui reading a few weeks ago and, since I am naturally a true believer (dont need to be convinced of the existence of unseen energy forces), I am, as rapidly as the depths of my pockets will allow, implementing the suggestions. There are lots of things to do, all making sense, both practical and visual. Besides hauling away the debris from the hurricane, I have to finish off the ceiling in my studio. Until now it has had exposed beams and according to feng shui principles, that means cutting energy which is very bad for both health and prosperity. It will also mean less fumes being able to sneak up into my living space. So I am currently cleaning up my studio, a job long overdue, throwing away outdated, unusable items, sorting and rearranging. Then all my paintings and supplies have to come up into my living room and the work will take place, thankfully, while I am away over the next two weeks.

This is a lot to do along with getting ready to go away (shopping, sewing presents, cleaning, packing) and still teaching, eating, reading and sleeping. (Cant paint, so that gives me some time I dont usually have!) Its going to be a very tired (and relieved) me who gets on that plane next Tuesday!

Posted by leya at 03:05 PM

November 19, 2004

The long search for power


Last Friday I put new snow tires on my car. And of course Saturday afternoon it snowed. And not the light gentle snow turning to rain they predicted. It was fierce wet icy snow. Driving home that afternoon from Halifax was not fun. Cars skidding. A few accidents. Very scary.

After a few winters here and some bad skids I opted for 4-wheel drive and am very glad I did, living out from town and on back roads as I do. Once, driving home from the airport after ten days in Florida in February (enjoying swimming in the ocean and shorts and sleeveless tops), the roads around here were so bad, so icy I had to drive in first gear/four-wheel drive just to get home. Any time I put the car in second gear that night, I slid. Last Saturday was not quite that bad. But almost. The first snowstorm of the year always feels like a surprise. No one is ever prepared.

But the aftermath of this one was far worse. Around 6:30 pm the power went out. And it stayed away (for me) for five days. Fortunately my house is fairly new and is well insulated. But after a couple of days the damp cold began to wear away any patience I might have had with the situation. Sunday and Monday I sat on my living room couch and sorted photographs into archival sleeves, reorganizing my life in these albums. Something I wouldn't have done if my usual routines hadn't been put on hold.

At noon on Monday my friend Brian came by with a camp stove and warmed up some canned soup I had and made me some hot water. A meal in a fancy five star restaurant could not have tasted so good. The first hot meal in two days! I have a windup radio which was a blessing. I knew what was happening outside my little retreat. But camping out in my own home was exhausting and cold. Reading by candlelight hard. So I moved into my extremely generous friend Inges house in Halifax where I felt very warm and welcome. That was a precious gift.

After Hurricane Juan last October I was without power for six days. Even though I had to go down to the lake for water (and sadly pass by the beautiful old white pines that were felled), it was not as unsettling as this time when it was so cold and felt so disorienting and there was so much talk about the failure of the power company to maintain their equipment. I came back to my house on Wednesday to pick up a few things and lost it, just forgot most of what I came for and left. The house looked like an abandoned ship lost at sea. I found myself welling up with tears over the week and wondered often about people who are forced to leave their homes forever because of wars or natural disasters.

I came home last night and am busy cleaning up and living here again. Life in my home is no longer on hold. Obviously it is time to invest in a generator! Have my own source of power no matter what the winds of weather bring.

Posted by leya at 10:49 AM | Comments (3)

November 16, 2004

lights out

My mom wanted me to post here in her stead since right now she can't. A blizzard took out the power in her neighborhood and they may not get it back until the end of the week. When I spoke with her yesterday, she was worried about the food in her freezer going bad, about what to eat for dinner with no way to cook it, and about how cold it would get in the house with no way to heat it. Fortunately, this morning she took off for town, where she'll be staying with an electricity-intact friend till the lights go on again in her lakeside home.

Posted by Tamar at 01:25 AM

September 12, 2004

If only every day was a summer day

Its been getting really cool at night, great for sleeping, but heralding the end of summer far too soon. Today was sunny, a precious warm day, a day to savor, a memory to save for the long dark winter so close ahead.


Apparently Kiku (the dog) will ride in any boat that comes along, even little ones. The parents and the girls came for one last sweet swim. I tried out my new wetsuit and was so pleased. It really works! My season in the water is extended!

Posted by leya at 07:06 PM

August 07, 2004

The summer that isn't

This weather is enough to make anyone feel lousy: chilly and raining almost every day. Anytime the sun comes out, people say "Summer, finally!" but that doesn't last long, just more rain again. And chilly. Good for the slugs in my garden. A new occupation for me, chasing slugs. No fun. I have the dehumidier going all the time in my studio so it is pleasant in there (besides the fact that I love to paint).

It's been so strange, the weather, that I haven't been able to grow lettuce. Planted seeds three times. No luck. And I'm not the only one. But the peas and beans and squash and lilies are doing great, as long as I keep the pests away! Where, oh where, is summer!



Posted by leya at 02:42 PM

June 11, 2004

More sun

The sun is still shining and the sky really is blue:


and they say we will have a few more days of this amazing (shocking/beautiful/unusual) weather (before it rains again).

Posted by leya at 01:36 PM

June 10, 2004

Suddenly it's summer......

Just a couple of days ago it was too cold to believe. Wool sweaters, wool socks, hats, gloves. Yesterday, 32 degrees centigrade (90 degrees F.) in the shade! Yet today it is perfect, cool breezes, possibilities of sun later, not too cold, not too hot. Perhaps..

Posted by leya at 09:03 AM

June 08, 2004

Cold and wet

Cold, cold, cold. Rain, rain, rain. Gave up and wore extra extra and more extra warm clothes today.

Someone told me a joke at lunch, about people going to the pearly gates to be sorted between heaven and hell. St. Peter (or whoever does the job) was making three piles.

Knowing that one pile was for heaven and one was for hell, St. Pete (or whoever) was asked why the third pile. He replied:

Oh, those are from Nova Scotia. Too wet to burn.

Posted by leya at 06:46 PM

June 04, 2004

Rare blue sky

Today was a perfect day for gardening. Warm and sunny. And a light breeze to keep the black flies at bay. After what seems like endless weeks of cold and rain, it is a welcome reprieve. I had forgotten what a blue sky looked like! Yesterday I gave up on thinking it was Spring and bundled up in wool sweaters. (I don't mind the cold if I am dressed right, but putting on long-johns again was just not an option, going too far, over the line! Although I did see people in down jackets in Halifax yesterday.) Now we hope to see another day like this before summer!

Posted by leya at 04:05 PM

May 13, 2004


Hope is a dangerous emotion. We live in anticipation. Miss today, etcetera. But.Black fly season started yesterday. That means not being able to go outside without protection from the vicious little buggers for the next month, at least, may even six weeks (unless it is a windy day and then they stay away).

Yoko told me she googled black fly and discovered that it is a kind of sunglasses, very popular in Japan. (Very expensive sunglasses. Our black flies are free!) So we looked together and found different styles of black flies (actually the sunglasses are called Black Flys) that you can get: Mile Fly Club black flies, Fly Candy black flies, Sex-E Fly (hmmmmmm!) black flies. Much better than what is flying around my garden making me wear outrageous costumes for the next month so they wont bite my skin.

And I hope their visit is only for a month.

Posted by leya at 07:54 AM

May 03, 2004

Weather report

I think I am going to add a new category, the weather report. After two perfect (warm and sunny) spring days, we are now back to our usual cold and rainy weather. Not much more I can say about that!

Posted by leya at 07:01 AM