June 2010

Lunenburg Fog

by DaniGirl on June 30, 2010 · 1 comment

in Ottawa to Nova Scotia 2010

It’s been foggy since we arrived in Lunenburg around dinnertime the day before yesterday. Funny, we drove into Halifax/Dartmouth (to pick up the keys for the luggage rack!) yesterday, and the fog seemed to have pretty much lifted by mid-morning, but as we drove back down scenic Highway 3 (“The Lighthouse Route”!) around dinner time the fog started rolling in again. I’m not sure it actually lifted around here!

You know what, though? I don’t mind the fog. It’s not raining, and it’s not really cold, although it is damp and I worry a bit what all that moisture is doing to my camera! But the fog makes everything so ethereal and enchanted. Like this, I think my favourite picture since we arrived.

Lucas on the oceanside highway, TtV (with a side of fog!)

Did you know the white balance setting to get the colour right on fog is daylight, and not cloudy? And that there is as much light, if not more light, in fog than on a cloudy day? I’m becoming a “shooting in fog” expert!

It’s actually starting to roll back out to the ocean this morning. I can see further into Lunenburg Harbour than I’ve been able to since we got here — we’re up to maybe 100 feet instead of 30! And the stuff on land is a little less foggy, too. The fog is really not so bad, though, for two reasons. The first is that I really don’t have much to fear of an ocean I can’t see! And the second? Foghorns. All through the night, you can hear the foghorn going off. At first, I thought they were on the boats, but I think they’re fixed at the edge of the harbour so the boats can hear them. Maybe boats have their own too?

Just before the fog started to lift this morning, around 6:15 while the rest of the house was still sleeping, I stood on the porch and filmed this little video to remember that mysterious, beautiful sound of a foghorn on a still summer morning.

It’s supposed to be sunny and warm for the next three days, which is exactly the weather I’d hoped for. But I’ll miss this for the rest of our trip. It’s… magical.

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Fog + ocean + porch = Best! Coffee! Ever!

Morning coffee and the foggy ocean

The fog still hasn’t lifted enough for us to see more than five feet into the water, but I can tell there’s a huge bay out there by the sounds of the foghorns calling out to each other, and a distant clanking.

So amazing!

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Poo by any other name…

by DaniGirl on June 29, 2010 · 4 comments

in Lucas, Toddler time

We seem to have a lot of nicknames going on in our family. I suppose I started the whole trend of renaming things which already had perfectly good names with the whole “Beloved” thing, way back when I started the blog in early 2005. Then sometime last year, for reasons that were never clear,Tristan started calling his father Hacko-tato, and Simon picked right up on it. Now, likely as not, when they’re trying to get his attention, they don’t say “Daddy” or even “Dad” but Hacko. I think Beloved has even grown to like it.

Tristan seems to have the most nicknames. Tristy, T-bird, Tee-Tee — he answers to all of them. Simon, I think, is the most dissatisfied with his own name. Tristan calls him Simo, which seems to irritate Simon just enough to guarantee that Tristan will take every opportunity to call him that for the rest of their lives.

It’s Lucas who got the short end of the stick in the nickname game. I swear, I did not see this one coming. It started with the innocuous derivative Lukey, which I figured would mature into Luke for our English friends and Luc for our French friends. However, Lukey was just a consonant’s jump from Pookey, which is kind of cute for a baby, but really unfortunate for a baby with reflux issues. For most of his first year, I fought hard against the tide to make sure Pookey was not called Pukey.

Once the battle with reflux was won, I figured he was safe from the stigma of a nickname inspired by a biological process. I was wrong.

You know what Tristan, Simon and Beloved call my darling third son, likely as not? Drop the last syllable from Pookey. Yes, it is sad but true. They call him Poo.

Beloved insists it’s not “Poo” but “Pooh” as in Pooh Bear. I’m not sure the “h” is going to matter when he hits school-age with a moniker like that. I tell ya, it’s a good thing that boy is going to be 6’6″ and 200 lbs by the time he hits high school. He’s going to need it.

484b:1000 Lucas loves daisies

Does this look like Poo to you?


So I’m in Nova Scotia, and I have a lot of stories to tell you already. Like torrential rain for eight straight hours of driving, and the inevitable bit where someone barfs (not me) and someone misses an exit (also not me) and we end up lost and really unhappy for a bit. And the bit about how the Queen arrived in Halifax the same day as us, and the part about how un-freaking-believably beautiful this little house on the ocean really is, and how it’s so foggy I can’t really see more than five feet of ocean but I can hear the fog horns calling out to each other. Truly fan-fucking-tastic.

Nope, this is the story about how my mother is on the way to the Ottawa airport to the Fed-Ex people there, and how I’ll drive to Dartmouth tomorrow to pick up the package that she’s overnighting to me. The package with the key. To the roof rack. With half our luggage, including all the boys clothes except the ones they were wearing yesterday, and all our jackets, and most of the boys toys. Oh yes we did. We locked the Thule rack up nice and tight the night before we left, Beloved hung the keys on the hook, and there they stayed.

Heck, I was planning on heading up to Halifax eventually anyway… tomorrow now seems like the perfect day to do it! Oh, and if you want to see the pix of day 1 on the road, Ottawa to Grand Sault, NB, they’re on Flickr!

Much more to come — for now, I’m going for a walk in the fog at the edge of the ocean… with my boys and my camera. Life is good, and my mother and father are truly a treasure.

Thanks Mom and Dad! I owe you (another) one. Wait, I think after Beau’s great escape, we might be even on this one. πŸ™‚

Edited to add: by the way, UPS told them it would take up to four days and cost $65. Fed-Ex shipped it from Ottawa to Dartmouth from 6 pm to noon tomorrow for $25. Yay Fed-Ex!


No, I’m not really thinking about seat belts and car seats and whatnot. Ever since we started planning our trip out east, I’ve been debating on whether to mention online when we’ll be out of town.

I’m torn on the issue. On the one hand, the house won’t exactly be empty as the dog and dogsitter with be there, and it’s not like I have posted my address on the blog. On the other hand, it just doesn’t seem to be prudent to broadcast to up to 800 visitors a day (and that’s not counting the twitter followers and Flickr friends) that I’m out of town. On the other other hand, I’d like to have the freedom to blog and post pictures and tweet as we go along and share the trip in real time. On the other other other hand (see, mothers really do need four hands!) I do not want to feel stressed about getting something posted just for the sake of it, and I know myself well enough by now to know that may become an issue. (Obsessive personality much?) On the other other other other hand (yep, I could use five hands these days) I will also dread facing a week and a half of blog constipation, let alone the anxiety of facing four thousand unposted photographs, if I don’t do it as I go along, and if I’m going to go through all that bother anyway, why not just post them as I go?

Yeesh, I’ve stressed myself out just thinking about it. Aren’t you glad you’re not married to me? Poor Beloved, I really am like this a frightful amount of the time.

Yes, we’re leaving soon. Ish. (waffle much?) Yes, I’m excited. Yes, I have a bunch of posts half written and ready to schedule in case I do decide to go for a stealth departure. No, I’m really not very good with secrets.

What would you do?

Edited to add: Not exactly related to this post, but I had to laugh when I read this article in today’s Citizen about the top five most photogenic places in Maritime Canada. Number one? Lunenburg, five minutes from where we’re staying. And I’ve got three of the five on our itinerary. “No Beloved, I swear I did not plan the entire vacation around a photo op.” *pause* “Much.”


Did the earth move for you, too, baby?

That was pretty cool, eh? I’ve been through one other minor earthquake that I remember, when I was a kid, but the one yesterday centred just north of Ottawa was much stronger. It was the first quake during which I was aware at the time what was happening.

I was, of all things, getting a pedicure! I was sitting at the little table, reading my book with my toes in the little dryer, actually composing a post in my head about pedicures and having people in a servitude position and how uncomfortable that makes me. At first I thought the noise was construction or a big truck rumbling past on Woodroffe, but when the shaking was sustained I immediately knew what was going on. The tiny oriental women in the beauty shop scattered like marbles, most of them running to huddle in the doorway until I pointed out that the doorway in the middle of the plate glass window might not be a good place to be. Since none of the nail polish bottles had even fallen off their little shelves, I was more amused by the experience than anything, and it wasn’t until later that I realized perhaps I was a little too cavalier about the whole thing.

What really fascinated me, though, was watching the drama play out on Twitter. It may be a useless time sink 99% of the time, but I was hugely impressed by the speed with which information was circulated on Twitter yesterday. Within 10 minutes of the quake, I knew that people had felt it as far afield as Toronto and Sudbury. Within 15 minutes, I knew it was a 5.5 magnitude (later downgraded to 5.0) quake and the epicentre was near Buckingham, about 20 minutes north of downtown Ottawa.

What really made me laugh was that as soon as it was clear that nobody was seriously hurt and that no significant damage was done, the quake humour started. Here are my fave 10 tweets from yesterday.

From scottcoates: 5.5 quake downgraded to a 5. We did stick the landing ok, I blame the French judge.

From DenVan: Hmm. Toronto felt it too? There’s gotta be a G20 connection. OMG: it was a #FAKELAKEQUAKE

From Phillippec: Quebec is finally separating! #earthquake

From ThatsTeenTalk: “What’s that!! An earthquake?” “YES!! RUN!!!” “OMG, WAIT” *runs to the computer and writes on twitter* EARTHQUAAAAAAKE!!! #thatsteentalk

From melle: Dear California: You do that regularly? DUDE.

From jamiecalder: .@WickedLPixie We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you? We had a reactor leak. Large leak, very dangerous.

From Glen_McGregor: Everyone talking earthquake and #CBC Radio is running interview with a children’s book illustrator. Memories of epic #fail on 9/11.

From thornley: RT @kylemcinnes: Ottawa government buildings evacuated. Productivity unaffected. #earthquake #smgov

From ALL_CAPS: My television fell onto my MacBook Pro and broke my DSLR. Guess I’ll have to file a claim and get new ones.

From mynameiskate: RT @RobCottingham: In solidarity with Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, I’m wandering through the house and knocking things off shelves.

I simply couldn’t tear myself away from the computer! (Erm, okay, maybe that’s also the case on any random Wednesday afternoon, but still…) I was truly fascinated both by the earthquake itself, and by the way people were reacting to it. It took less than 90 minutes for this “I survived Toronto Earthquake 2010” t-shirt to appear. (I’m not sure if I’m more bemused disgusted by the blatantly exploitative capitalism or the branding of it as “Toronto’s Earthquake.”)

I think both the Ottawa Citizen and CTV Ottawa did an excellent job in collating and disseminating information on the fly. Other organizations were not so, um, forward-thinking in their use of social media tools in a crisis. Julie Harrison tweeted “Dear @ottcatholicDSB — it is times like THIS when you’re supposed to tweet something! Let us parents know what to do. Pick up or no?” Wouldn’t this have been a simple, easy way to reach hundreds, maybe thousands of anxious parents? No, you’re not going to reach all of them — but I personally was chatting with more than a dozen who would have appreciated the effort.

In the end, I think this comic sums up my afternoon just about perfectly. (Click on it to embiggen!)

What were you doing when the earth started shaking?


The Thousand Picture Project: A little bit of everything

23 June 2010 Photo of the Day

I couldn’t believe I had four pages of unposted pictures to sort through since my last Thousand Pictures update just over a week ago, but then I realized I had all the Calypso pictures in there PLUS all the pictures from the photo shoot with Finola. Still, in the snap-happy groove I’ve been in lately, […]

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My blog and pony show

22 June 2010 How I love the Interwebs

Back in late 2005 or so, I went to a Communications Community Office presentation on blogging. The CCO is a government communicators network, and the speaker was one of the leading experts on blogs as an emerging communication medium. I remember watching the presentation and thinking, man I’d love to have that gig some day. […]

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Nova Scotia road trip playlist

20 June 2010 Canadianisms

I tweeted the other day that I was having fun sorting through iTunes to make a Nova Scotia road trip playlist, and Susan asked me if I’d blog my playlist. Sure, why not? Except, now that I have a second to do it, iTunes is being persnickety and I can’t get it to open. So […]

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Weekend family fun – the Simply Raw Festival

18 June 2010 Ottawa Family Fun

You know how some friends are more like sisters than friends? My friend Candice is like that. She’s been with me for the worst of times (she was the person I called when we got our infertility diagnosis) and the best of times (she was in the room when Tristan was born.) Candice is also […]

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