One of the online courses I’m taking is from Michigan State and it’s the first in a 4 month program on photography.

I’ve just finished the second week and I’m still practicing with the program setting and a high ISO so that there’s minimal impact from my shaking hands with the telephoto lens. Therefore, today’s post is full of test shots.


As you can see it’s still snowing – but that’s supposed to change in the next few hours. In fact there will be an almost 20 degree shift in temperature from early this morning til late this afternoon.

A lot of rain is supposed to fall in the next 24 hours – then the temperature bottoms out and the wind/freezing temperatures & white stuff come back for the foreseeable future.


I’ll get a few “run around” type of chores done during the warm spell and then I won’t need to actually go anywhere for a while.

Besides, I have enough to do here at home (damn that wall paper border), and there are books to read, recipes to try, and many hours of homework photos to take.

I don’t anticipate any cabin fever issues here. ๐Ÿ™‚


About the Water Heater & Incorporation


Back in September I was speaking with a nice woman at NB Power. I was actually trying to find out when I’d get a bill (I presumed correctly that having lights turn on was not going to remain free of charge). Before she let me go she said – “Oh, I see you have an old water heater.” Um, ok. I said I’d take her word for it.

It turns out that I, along with much of the Province, actually rent my water heater from the Power Company. For about $6 or $7 a month. If it breaks they send somebody to fix it “immediately” and they periodically replace it.ย We actually have a plumber on the Island and he does this for them on contract.

So this week I’m getting a new water heater. I don’t have to do anything but open the door. Nice.

I’m also getting a visit this week from an electrician. It seems the insurance company wants a letter telling them my wiring is up to code. I’m actually a little bit curious about that myself except that the whole notion of “code” is problematic on this Island.

Until very recently this place was the frontier. Plumbing, wiring, building, etc., were skills acquired as you needed them and (based on what I’ve seen in this house) a lot of points were awarded for creativity.

Now that the Island is “incorporated” there are suddenly a lot of rules popping up and the authorities seem to feel it’s fair to make them retroactive.

I’d be happy just knowing why the switch to the light in the office is hiding in a bedroom closet and what the weird wire coming into the house is attached to.


The Weather Has Gotten Serious


This is a photo of the tree outside my sun porch window – it’s scheduled to be uprooted when Michael digs the hole for the new septic system. In the meantime, it gives you an idea of the current weather.

I have to stop looking at weather forecasts as if I’m on the West Coast. Out there, even if they were correct that it was going to snow for a few days, it rarely snowed where I was. Here I have to take it seriously.

Last night I remembered that I never did bring the snow shovel out of the garage and onto the porch – which I had intended to do. I was going to put it off until I realized that an additional 8 hours of snow was not going to make it easier.

It’s hard on Jamie unfortunately. She’s a little wonky at the best of times these days and the snow makes it difficult to get around. I’m going to try a special supplement that is “supposed” to help with old small dogs and their dementia. I’ll let you know how it works.

You remember when I told you I’d gone to a local craft fair andย  bought something really cute? Well, knowing the snow was coming, I pulled it out of the garage and dragged it across the yard.


He’s adorable – heavy, but adorable. I realize you can’t see his scarf – the wind has blown it around to his back. It’s long and tartan and perfect for him.

The last shot in today’s post is of my driveway – covered in 5 inches of snow and 1 inch of ice. You’ll notice at the end of it that the plow has made a really nice snow bank. This is not actually a problem – even though the weather for the rest of the week alternates between more snow and freezing rain and daytime windchills of -15C (5F).

The Provincial guys take care of the public roads very efficiently – they came by frequently last night. However, one of the cool things about this island is that, in addition to lobster traps everywhere, many properties are storing snow plows – the kind that get attached to pickup trucks.

Stanley is one of the guys who plows driveways during the winter. Of course. I’m now on his customer list. Of course.

Just after I took this photo his truck appeared and drove up to the house. He dropped off two cooked lobsters. Then he told me to look forward to scallop season.

Gawd I’m spoiled … and very, very, lucky to be here. ๐Ÿ™‚


Another First


I feel it’s appropriate to acknowledge and commemorate my first east coast snowfall. At least the first one I can claim to have seen.

On two occasions I’ve awakened to a very very very light dusting of snowflakes on the back porch, however that could have been caused by anything.

This snowfall isn’t supposed to be happening, but I’ll enjoy it as long as it lasts.

On a separate note: Whose idea was it for me to take two online courses at the same time? Why do they both want all assignments completed by Sunday night? Why did I wait until today to do them?


A Couple of Before & Afters


I took this photo after I removed the wet, smelly carpet in the laundry room. You can still see the rotted floor I found. Luckily by then I had met Stanley and he managed to get in, replace the floor, and the plumbing before the washer & dryer arrived.

The recent Black Friday sales meant I could get floating shelves at a ridiculously low price (I know, there was sexier stuff out there,ย  but I needed shelves). There will be a new floor and moulding next summer when we do the kitchen, but there is improvement.


As I said, the kitchen will be tackled next summer after the spring Lobster Fishing season. In the meantime, I really wanted a work surface that wasn’t designed for a leprechaun.

My plan was to use a desk carcass, add a base and then attach the bun feet I found. This is the desk upside down waiting for the primer coat.


Jamie seemed to think if I was in the kitchen I should be feeding her. She was not a big help.

OK so one primer coat, one coat of Benjamin Moore Aura, 6 bun feet, and 10 top coats of polycrylic later I have a kitchen island.

I did some mild distressing so it looks like it has a bit of age – but just a bit. I wasn’t aiming for a post-apocalyptic island.


The work surface is a wonderfully comfortable 36 inches off the ground and is big enough for me to do what I want.

I thought about trying to install actual drawers in this thing and decided that was beyond me. Instead I got more metal shelves and some expandable bamboo cutlery organizers. I use them for spices and tools and they work great.

It’ll look much better when the walls are painted, the cupboards and sinks replaced, and the floor is redone. In the meantime I don’t feel like I’m crouching every time I go to make a sandwich. Yay!