Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sewing with a Syrian Refugee

Oh, I just can't help myself. I've got to tell you a bit about my few hours sewing with Rezan, one third of Mahone Bay's Syrian refugee family. I was a little worried about communication because they just arrived here in September and they are just beginning to learn English. But it really wasn't a problem. Sometimes he didn't understand me, but it was never something that needed to be understood. For someone with very few words, he told a lot of stories.
It was funny because he has been here so short a time that everything he notices becomes his experience of Canada. For example, "In Canada, sewing machines small." (he's used to sewing on industrial machines.) I'm afraid I have now added, in Canada scissors are dull to his observations.
He told me how in Turkey (where they have been for the past four years) that the president didn't like the Kurds, but the people were good. (Man, that goes for so many places)

He asked if I liked Trump. I said, no. He laughed and he said, No Canada like Trump. Teacher (his English teacher) ask 8 (the eight students) Like Trump? No like, No like, No like...She ask, Rezan, like Trump? I say, Yes, like Trump. And he laughed again. Everyone say, Rezan bad. More laughing. I get this man. He's enjoying messing with their minds.
But he also told me, Muslim no (pantomimed slitting throat) Muslim no (pantomimed shooting) Muslim no (pantomimed explosion) Alkaida bad, no Muslim. I know, I said, I know.....
I said, Istanbul big city. Damascus, big city. Mahone Bay, small town. You like? Yes, he said. I like Mahone Bay, but I like work.
He's been sewing for someone else in Mahone Bay, but the work is sporadic. I had to break it to him that it's the same for me. So hard, I wish I could keep him busy, but there's no guarantee. Must be difficult to be idle when you are a worker by nature. I tried to explain that this is how so many people make a living in rural Nova Scotia. Lots of little jobs.
Oh, the label. Why the picture of the label? He called it, Made in Anna, although he pronounced it, Mad in Anna. I sent him home with a few hat bodies to sew and I had forgotten to give him the labels. He said, Excuse me..Mad in Anna? I ran and got the labels and his eyes twinkled with laughter. He's a keeper.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

You Drive Me Crazy. Happy 14th Anniversary.

"You drive me crazy, with all the things you do and do not do.  But, I love you so much, Baby, I'm going to drive you crazy, too."  Greg Brown

This photo is from mine and Tony's wedding day, August 23rd. 2002.  Yes, we also have photos of adoring stares and passionate kisses, but this one's my favourite.

At some point in 2001, I remember confessing to my dear friend, Anna Vojtech, that I had thought many times that I should really be with Tony, but I knew we couldn't possibly be compatible because he didn't recycle. Anna is a few wisdom years ahead of me and I remember how she laughed and assured me that people could overcome much worse hardships. Well, it's true.  She was right.  Now in 2016, I'm proud to say that Tony is a very enthusiastic recycler.  He recycles absolutely everything, whether it's recyclable or not.  Styrofoam, candy wrappers, dirty tissues, you name it, it goes into the recycling bin. It makes my sorting job a bit tricky, but he's worth it.

We eloped.  I really wouldn't have had it any other way. We invited one friend each.  Tony's mom, one of the greatest women to have ever walked this earth, crashed the wedding.  It was a truly wonderful day and it was uniquely us.  Our plan was to get married at Gloucester City Hall, but when we arrived, there was an unexpected council meeting and we had to think of a plan B.   We walked over to Fitz Hugh Lane Park.  There were several homeless people hanging out in the park and they were all quite keen to witness a wedding.  And so it was that we got married in the park, with cheers from its residents,  overlooking a city that was near and dear to both our hearts.  The name of the man who married us was Bob Whynot.

Walking through life with another is challenging, to say the least.  We do regularly drive each other to distraction, but mostly, we hold each other up, make each other laugh and best of all, he makes me coffee in the morning.    Fourteen years later, I'm still smitten and as lucky as lucky can be.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Littlest Flower Farm

It was many moons ago when I first discovered that farmers markets were my favourite places to be. It's not just that they are filled with local produce, baked goods and crafts, but, when done well, they are the hub of a community. They are also hot beds of entrepreneurship and local business.  As much as I don't love to pack up my studio, load the car,  wake up early and haul boxes into an empty arena to set up the show, I do love knowing that every vendor in the space is in the exact same boat as I am.  Just regular, hard working people making an honest living with their hands. Having been at this racket for over 20 years now, I feel extra warm and fuzzy when I see a young person (Boy, does that make me sound old) with a great vision, trying to get a new business off the ground.  In this case, it's into the ground.  Meet Alicia Steeves, the master mind behind Littlest Flower Farm.

(If you noticed the little spelling mistake don't say anything.)  Alicia sells bouquets and also individual flowers by the stem.  Her flowers are like a Victorian romance explosion.  Everything is just so soft and sweet and muted. I don't know what draws me to this sensibility so much.  Maybe it balances my Kamikaze, mad as a hatter personality. I just look at her flowers and the world instantly becomes a gentler place.

When I asked to take Alicia's photo, she told me that she only slept an hour and a half last night.  Clearly her lack of sleep has not affected her beauty, but it is note worthy in that running a business is really hard work and people need to understand that if we want to see new businesses succeed we have to make an extra effort to support them.

 The littlest flower farm doesn't yet have a regular spot at the Lunenburg market, but she will be there a couple more weeks for sure during the summer and probably more if space becomes available.  But in the mean time, she does make bouquets for weddings and restaurants and anyone else needing a gentle reminder that life is actually beautiful when you choose to look at flowers.  You can find The Littlest Flower Farm on Instagram @littlestflowerfarm and on Facebook also at Littlest Flower Farm.  You can e-mail Alicia at

Sunday, July 17, 2016

What Doesn't Kill You makes you Happier

You know what they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  This past year I went through something of a struggle.  On the outside it was the story of a woman fighting red tape in Nova Scotia, but on the inside the struggle was more complicated and personal.  I'm happy to say that it all ended very well, but it's taken some time for the reset button to work.

This past month I have been acutely aware of how happy I am.  Happiness shows up brighter when contrasted by sadness. It's funny to say that the dark side of my experience has turned out to be a gift, but I think it has. Every day feels precious right now. I realize I sound like a positive affirmation, but life feels glorious and I'm just so grateful to be in this beautiful corner of the earth. I have been watching carefully to see if that old adage, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, is true.  The verdict is not out yet, but what I can tell you is, what doesn't kill you makes you happier.

I took these pictures on today's bike ride to Second Peninsula, a short ride from Lunenburg.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Playing Hat Hooky - A Ride to Corkum's Island

When you have a sixty hat wholesale order to ship out in two days and you still need to make ten, label them, write an invoice and box them up, there is only one thing to do...go for a bike ride. I just really don't have the personality for missing out on summer.

Today I hopped on my bike, followed the harbour out of town and went to Corkum's Island. I'll never get over the beauty of this place.

On one side of the road you have the ocean and on the other side of the road you have the woods.  It's a truly amazing scent cocktail. 

I have been on my bike a lot lately.  last year I let summer get away from me and I really can't do that again.  This year I'm making up for lost time. Being alone on these little jaunts, I tend to talk to myself.  I seem to say, "unbelievable" a lot.  The beauty is simply unbelievable.

I also seem to say, "No F-ing way." quite a bit There's no way to avoid the hills.  To get from point A to point B there's constant up and down.

But there's always a reward at the top. This is the million dollar view of Lunenburg from the  Golf course.
 As I was standing at the side of the road taking this photo, there were a few tourists doing the same. I was tempted to tell them that I actually live here and I have been taking this same photo for eight years.  It never gets old.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

When I'm not Making Hats....

There are certain times of the year when life feels perfect.  This seems to be one of them.  Hope you come visit this summer. This photo was taken on Second Peninsula, which is about 2km. from the town of Lunenburg.  Follow this glorious road to the end and you come to a beautiful little beach. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Affordable Studio Space With a View

No, I am not becoming a realtor on the side and I have no plans to move out of my beautiful home-based business.  I just happened to be taking my morning walk when Lego saw a young woman doing some construction on Lincoln st and he insisted that there would be no moving forward until we said hello.  Then she asked if I was "that hat lady" and since she looked friendly enough I admitted that I was.  She explained that she was fixing up some office/studio space so that it could be rented out and would I like to come take a look.  Lego said yes and I just followed him up the stairs.

Well, upstairs happens to be pretty damn nice.  It's above The Elephant Trading Co. on Lincoln st. There are five available rooms and they range between $200-$300 plus shared utilities.   You really can't beat that.  Of course when I look at the space I see artist co-op, but these would make great office spaces, too.  The right creative person could organize a co-working space.  The possibilities are endless.  Sort of.

 All the rooms have a lot of natural light.

I don't think I have ever seen a bad view in Lunenburg.

Really, the rooms are nice. 

There's a shared kitchen and two bathrooms. If you are interested in renting one of these rooms or if you want to be a visionary, rent the whole space and pick and choose your studio/office mates, give a call to 902-634-1100.  It's a pretty sweet deal.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Port Grocer in Port Medway

Looks like we have a beautiful spring weekend in front of us. A perfect weekend for a little road trip.  Here's where you should go.  Port Medway, NS.  Just follow the coast on rt. 331 towards Liverpool (that is if you are coming from Halifax or Bridgewater)  Don't take the 103, you'll just miss way too much beauty.  What's your hurry?  You will come to the most fabulous little restaurant/store called the Port Grocer. 
My silly little camera does not do the place justice and partly it's because cameras can't capture community spirit. We sat at a long rectangular table and of course ended up chatting with the other folks sitting there.  Annabelle, the owner told me that this is actually her evil plan to get people to talk to each other.  She explained that since opening she has seen locals who have been neighbours for years finally get to know each other.
The food is delicious and so reasonably priced.

When you start exploring rural Nova Scotia, you find these beautiful, old and abandoned shops that are just waiting for the right person to breathe life into them.  This one is right across the street from the restaurant and it even comes with a boat.  Behind this shop is the most beautiful cemetery I have ever been to. It overlooks the water.  It has one of the rarest qualities.  Silence.  Complete and utter silence.  I'm going to quit trying to describe that, but it's magnificent.  Just go there and you'll see what I mean. 
Click HERE to see the Port Grocer's web site. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Happiest Hat

Life is filled with moments worth celebrating.  I have just had the unique privilege of understanding that joy reaches new heights when followed by an extended period of sadness.
Since receiving THIS  happy news, I find myself dancing around the house and my son begs me repeatedly to please stop singing.
Sorry kid, Mama's happy.

Whenever I experience an excess of emotion, I find hand felting a hat to be helpful.  In fact, just last week, I learned that the repetitive, forceful throwing of the hat against the table  ( part of the felting process, honest) was just what the doctor ordered.  This week, I danced right through the creation of this hat.  I thought it was going to be for sale, but Tony easily convinced me that this hat needed to be mine.  It is the embodiment of true joy and there's no way to put a dollar value on that.  See you around town.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Breath of Fresh Air

When I most need to look at and experience beauty it walks in my door.  This is Donna.  She came to visit a couple of weeks back from the Annapolis Valley and walked away with a new garden hat, but she also ordered a hand dyed, organic jersey cloche from me.  My challenge was to dye a paprika shade of red.  I believe I passed with flying colours.  (might look different on your screeen, so just take my word for it.)

The thought that this magnificent woman will be a walking advertisement for me is just too good to be true.  I suppose I should more consider her an ambassador of hat goodness.  I am going to grow up to be Donna.

Excuse the blurry photo, but THE SHOES!  Too bad I didn't photograph the heels.  They are just exquisite.  Most hat lovers also have shoe fetishes.  They are like sister addictions.  Would you believe that these shoes are hand made in NS?  The shoe maker's name is Fred Langtin and he lives in Granville Ferry.  Click HERE for his web site.  Donna even has her own, personal lasts.  I will be saving my pennies.  I don't need much of an excuse to head to Annapolis Royal (next to Granville Ferry)  A visit to a someone who does such beautiful work is all the motivation I need.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Fancy Pants Cafe - Oh, Hello Bridgewater.

Last week a friend needed a ride to Bridgewater, so while she was at her appointment I decided to go see what was happening on King st.   Bridgewater is your classic story of a town that lost its main street to big box stores.  Somewhere along the road, some really poor planning choices were made and the town has had a bit of a down and out feeling for some time.  But something special is happening and its happening right before our very eyes.  Between a local council, making some wonderful decisions like the Take Back the Riverbank  project and  young families with vision and courage starting businesses, the town is coming back.  It's pretty exciting to watch.

I walked into Fancy Pants Cafe and I was simply blown away.  It was filled with young Moms, adorable children and even some people without kids who were there to have an amazingly good Latte.
 some very satisfied customers.

This place is any parent's dream.  Not only can you treat your child to healthy kid friendly food...

Your little ones can play to their hearts content while you stare off into space and try to remember what sleeping through the night feels like.  I so remember those days and I would have driven for hours to have an uninterrupted conversation and cup of good coffee with a friend. And for the record, I had the best bagel.  it tasted like an honest to goodness Montreal Bagel and was baked locally.

I'm always amazed by people like Michelle (the owner of Fancy Pants) who are brave enough to be Pioneers of revitalization.  Walking into a place that is struggling and being able to look at an empty store front and say, If I build it, they will come and then just doing it, is so inspirational.  It's people like Michelle that are The Change we are looking for in Nova Scotia.  So, as I sat, drinking my latte and staring out the window, I couldn't help fantasizing about that beautiful vacant building across the street.  Would make a pretty beautiful hat shop.  It was just a fantasy. For right now, I am in the perfect place, but I'm seeing a real open hearted, welcoming spirit in Bridgewater and property prices are still very affordable.  That's something to seriously pay attention to.  The Interval Cafe has also opened up down the road and there is also a wonderful new Thai Restaurant  a new co-working space and a pretty awesome shoe store

There's good stuff happening in Bridgewater.

Extra note: This link to a beautiful video that shows the vision of Bridgewater just came my way in a comment.  It brings tears to my eyes.  It's so hopeful.  Watch here.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

When Elegance Walks In

Yesterday I got a call from this lovely lady in Granville Ferry, NS, which is about 2 hours from Lunenburg.  She said she had an old hat that she just loved and asked if I could reproduce it.  I explained that this is something I rarely do, but the answer was maybe.  Sometimes I do fall in love with a shape and take the challenge on.  I suggested she send me a photo.  Oh, I would just love to have an excuse to visit the South Shore, she said.  I have the perfect adventure friend.  We'll see you Saturday.  Well, O.K., I replied, as long as you are prepared for me to say no.

She walked in to my studio with her travel companion and I felt, as often happens, that this was not a customer, this was a new friend.  She showed me the hat and I explained that I could not reproduce it, but she found two other hats which suited her needs.  She also brought her show and tell wedding hat made by the inimitable Karyn Gingras from Lilliput hats. (the one in the photo is the one she bought from me.)

She asked for a recommendation of where to have lunch and I directed her to The Salt Shaker Deli and I made sure to also let her know where our two bookstores are located,  Lunenburg Bound and Lexicon Books and since she clearly had a penchant for beautiful clothes, I directed her to Luvly in Lunenburg and also told her that while many tourists stick to Montague st., that Lincoln st. is filled with great shops like Jenny Jib.
I will need to custom make her second hat.  I offered to ship it to her, but she insisted that she would like the excuse to have to return this way.  Well, O.K., No arguments from me.  And best of all, she brought me some homemade Marmalade.  Nova Scotia is a pretty special place.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Married to The Lunenburg Furniture Co.

I do tend to talk about myself quite a bit and no one will attest to that fact more than my talented husband, Tony.  So, today it is all about the man.  It is no small coincidence that my spirit of generosity coincides  with Tony's announcement that it is time to build some beautiful doors for our own house. Tony is a pretty amazing woodworker and runs The Lunenburg Furniture Co. 

With the help of our friend, Anne-Christine, we are building him a proper web site. I had a lot of fun today writing Tony's "about" page.  He has so many great stories that it was hard to pick and choose, but hopefully you will enjoy this one.  Be sure to follow Tony's FaceBook page. We will announce his new web-site as soon as it is born.

Here's the About Page on his upcoming site:

My career as a wood worker began in 1962 when I was in the second grade at Star of The Sea Parochial School in Marblehead, MA. Before school, my gang and I, thinking we were tough, made a game of kicking out the pickets of the convent fence.  Our crime had not been well thought out and we were caught.  Our parents were called in and we were all summoned into Mother Superior’s office.  Scared and remorseful, it turned out we were not as tough as we had originally thought.  There were 12 of us delinquents and we were each on the hook for $11.60, the cost of replacing the pickets.  The task of earning this vast sum of money was squarely placed on my seven year old shoulders.
Luckily for me, Jimmy Sharbor, a kindly carpenter, was working in our home.  He was dismantling a screened in porch and putting on an addition in its stead.  Jimmy hired me for .50/hour to pull nails off of old boards, so that he could salvage them.   Every day I would run home from school, change into my working dungarees and proudly get to work.  After two weeks my debt to Mother Superior had been paid off.  I begged Jimmy to let me stay on, but I was dismissed. Down and out and out of work, I was forced to go back to playing in the woods, but I knew that when I was grown up I would be a carpenter.
At 14, I got a job washing dishes and what money I earned was spent on candy, tools and woodworking books.  I began to teach myself the trade.  I often skipped school to hang around with old timers in their shops.  I saw what it was that I wanted to build, but was frustrated at not having the skills to build it.  In 1974, I discovered the North Bennett st. Industrial School in Boston.  I enrolled in the traditional furniture making and design program and by the time I graduated in 1976, I had gained the needed skills to work in any professional shop.  From that time forward, I have been a full time professional woodworker. 
In 2008, I moved with my wife and son to Lunenburg, NS and in 2013 I established The Lunenburg Furniture Co.  I have never been happier.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Live on CTV

Well, that was really fun.  Today I was interviewed on The CTV morning show.  I could get used to this.  Here's the link.  Enjoy.  CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I Love My Job

There are days when I just can't believe how lucky I am to get to make hats for beautiful ladies.  This Is Kelly.  I don't think she will mind me telling you that she has just gone through some aggressive cancer treatment.  She is a local mom and some friends of hers from The South Shore Waldorf school bought her a gift certificate for one of my hats. We spent some time playing around until we discovered that this wet felted one of a kind merino wool hat has been waiting for her.  It's true that when you look like Kelly even a paper bag will be flattering, but  this hat just screams happiness and I'm so glad they found each other.

It's 10:20 a.m. and I'm calling my day a perfect success.  Here's a couple more views of the hat.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Once Upon a Time

Tomorrow I will  be the guest of honour at The Bozzy Book club at The Boscawen Inn here in Lunenburg.  It is hat day. So very exciting.  This means I get to hang out with many children, read one of my favourite stories, Caps For Sale, make paper hats and tell a little tale about a girl that grew up to be a hat maker.
Here’s the story:
Once upon a time there was a little girl from Montreal who moved to Toronto.  She had two brothers, one mother and one father and none of them cared for pretty things.   But the girl loved all things bright and beautiful.  Fortunately, there was no one in this girl’s family to instruct her on what beautiful looked like, so she was able to invent her own rules. She loved big, plastic jewelry, plaid dresses and anything with polka dots, flowers, zig zags or gold. Best of all, she loved hats.
When the girl became a teenager she spent a few years trying to look and behave like all the other girls, but as she grew up she learned that dressing like everyone else was very boring and it made her sad and sleepy. 
When the girl turned nineteen she took a train from Toronto to Montreal to visit her favourite aunt who also loved all things beautiful, shiny, polka dotted and Zigzagged.  Together, they walked through the streets of Montreal and marveled at all the prettiness.   As they walked by a little boutique, the door flung open and they were suctioned into the shop.  They were lifted off their feet, flew through the racks of clothing and landed on their bottoms next to a hat stand.   There above them was a pink felt hat with a black hat band.  The girl rose to her feet, picked up the hat and kissed it.  It was love at first sight.  She needed to buy that hat.  She looked at the price tag.  Fourty dollars!  She did not have fourty dollars.  She replaced the hat on the stand, wiped her tears and returned to her aunt’s home.
That night, the girl went to sleep and dreamed about the pink felt hat.   In her dream the hat followed her everywhere.  When she awoke she understood that the pink felt hat loved her and wanted to live on her head.   She went back to the shop, bought the hat with two week’s of lunch money and hopped on the train back to her home in Toronto.
She felt a little shy to wear such a pretty hat when no one else was wearing one, so she told herself that every Wednesday and Friday would be hat day.  At first it was a bit scary, but she soon discovered that on Wednesdays and Fridays everyone was kinder. She decided that Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays would also be hat days.  Only now, she did not have enough hats for all the days in the week.   So, she bought a new hat and then one more, and another one, until she ran out of money.  Seeing that she had no money, but still wanted more hats, the girl learned to make her own.  
All day and every day the girl made hats.  When she ran out of places to put them all, she sat on the sidewalk with a hat stand made from coat hangers and sold them to passers by.  Now many people wore pretty hats and the girl was quite pleased. 
This girl is all grown up now, but she still loves to make pretty hats and help make the world a kinder place, where people smile at each other and say, My, what a nice hat you have.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Living in Lunenburg top 10

Today is my birthday.  Thank you, thank you.  It's been a verbal year for me, to put it mildly.  I'm just a woman filled with opinions, but there is one opinion that has never wavered and that is that I am very lucky to live in Lunenburg.  There is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful to be here.  So, in honour of my good mood and my advanced age  I will share with you the top 10 reasons that I love living in Lunenburg.

Number 1- The Lunenburg Academy- This building is known as the castle on the hill.  When we first moved here it was still the elementary school, but is now in transition.  On the top floor is LAMP, the Lunenburg Adacdemy of Music Performance.  We play basket ball to the left of this photo and get to hear live, world class music wafting from the windows.
The Lunenburg Library will soon be moving downstairs.  This building is a two minute, bee line walk from my home.

The grounds around the Academy are my life.  Every morning begins with a dog walk through the field and then through the paths of the cemetery.  My son and I have spent countless hours playing in the playground and throwing the ball for our dog, Lego.  He is excellent at catching the ball, but does not bring it back.  I have become a well trained retriever.

2-The Back Harbour Trail - When the trail is passable, and it usually is, Lego and I walk down the cemetery hill and hit the path.  I try to mix up my walks sometimes, but find that I always fall back on the peace and quiet of the old railroad bed.  I am always amazed at how we are often alone, or may bump into only a couple of other walkers.  Such a far cry from nature trails in a city, where you are forced to learn the rules of the road or get run over.  Lego's habit of walking in a zig zag pattern bothers no one at all. The entire trail is 5 km, but it hooks up with a longer trail system and you can bike all the way to Halifax and beyond.  One day, one day.....

3-Sidewalks - After five years of living in the country, in the beautiful Hudson Valley, NY,  where walking on the edge of a winding rural road meant taking your life in your hands, I vowed to find a home with sidewalks.  As a young girl, I lived in Montreal and loved the autonomy of my life on the street with my gang of children. I loved getting my weekly ten cent allowance and walking to the variety store and blowing it all on candy.  
It was very important to me that my son would be able to walk to a friend's house or the playground or the corner store to spend (my money) on candy.  Mission accomplished.

4- The Dog - Lunenburg is a dog's dream. There is no such thing as tying your dog up outside of a shop.  Bring 'im on in!  Can I give him a treat?  Town hall, several shops, the bank and the post office all have hidden stashes of treats and Lego makes sharp turns in front of his favourite establishments.

5- The Post Office - This is Lego's favourite destination, hands down.  Between Troy and Karen, who spoil him rotten and "Two Treat Fridays" I have to watch that I don't get yanked off my feet when opening the door to drop off a package.  The post office was where I first learned about "how we do things in Nova Scotia" and I mean that in the best way possible.  When I first moved here, seven years ago, I went to deliver a hat and discovered that the small box would cost $30 to ship.  I was somewhat panicked.  The man behind the counter, put up the closed sign and while seven people behind me patiently waited, he opened my box, cut it down by an inch, resealed it, taking $20 off the shipping cost.  Since that initial experience I have had postal workers carry boxes out to my car for me and even calls at home when it was known that I was anxiously awaiting a shipment of labels.

6- The Lunenburg Farmers Market - You can find me here, selling my wares for much of the year, but when I am not selling, I am shopping.  I have seen our market grow and grow.  We now have a year round market and I can tell you that it's one of the best ones in the province.  We've got it all, produce, meat, bread, flowers, crafts and of course, hats.  Every Thursday morning from 8-12 (8:30-12 in the winter) the town shows up to stock up on a week's worth of local goodness.  There is much gossip, Laughing Whale coffee sipping and music listening.  Anybody that is able, plans their week around this weekly event.

7- Swimming Pools - Yes, that is meant to be plural. We have two swimming pools in our 4 square kilometer town.  During the summer, the outdoor pool is open and Dustin rides his bike to take lessons, during the winter we head to Emocean for family swim on either Saturdays or Sundays from 2-4.  Haven't been there in a while, but we'll get back to it.  For a while, before Lego arrived on the scene, I would swim every morning.  I can't remember ever having to compete with someone for the use of a lane.  You can get a monthly or annual membership to Emocean and swim any time of the day or night.  Now that I'm writing about it, I think it might be time to take up the habit again.

8-Neighbours and Friends - This is Margaret's house, across the street.  It was designed by her son Alec Brown, an architect in Halifax. It gets quite a bit of attention and people drive by regularly to snap a photo.  Yes, the house is beautiful.  Inside is the epitome of peace and openness, but what I love best is the woman that lives within.  She is the neighbourhood grandma.  All the children ring her doorbell for cookies and if Lego could reach the doorbell he would ring it, too, because Margaret always has a biscuit for him.   I am surrounded by great neighbours.  Can I borrow an egg or maybe a dozen eggs, a cup of sugar or an onion?  These requests circulate freely around our little block.

9- Beauty - One cannot escape beauty in Lunenburg.  It's at the front harbour, the back harbour and across the harbour on First Peninsula.  It's in the next town over and  a few kilometres away in Blue Rocks. It's across the Lahave River at all our amazing beaches and it's along the road to Riverport and Rose Bay.  It's easy to forget that not everyone lives like this.

10- Last, but not least is my little studio in my home where I get to make pretty hats all day for a living.  I happen to be married to a handsome, talented wood worker who built me the most beautiful little shop.
I love showing off this amazing room in my house, so if you are in Lunenburg, please stop by for a visit. You can head to my website to see more photos of the inside.

There is so much that I left out - great restaurants and shops, festivals and performances, places to skate, play tennis and golf.

I promised a couple of blog posts ago that I would not get political here and I won't.  Really.  I just want to say that the other voice that is heard from me comes from my true adoration of this place and my desire for as many people as possible to be able to come and share this dream.  This kind of beauty needs to be shared.