Friday, June 17, 2016

A Busy Sunday

Light house at Peggy's Cove on a foggy afternoon.

Last Sunday my grandson Brooks and his friend Missy and I flew to Nova Scotia.  The day started early.  We flew out of RDU at 6:00am and traveled via Toronto to Halifax landing there about 1:00 pm.  Immediately we took the shuttle to our motel near the airport where we also rented our car for the week. 

By 3:00pm we were on our way to Peggy's Cove.  Unfortunately it was a rather foggy day there.  I stayed in the parking lot while Brooks and Missy walked out to the lighthouse.  From my vantage point I could barely make out the outline of the lighthouse because of the fog.  But they had a better view close up. 
Lighthouse from the parking lot.

Then we headed to downtown Halifax and the Halifax waterfront.  I had never taken the ferry from Halifax over to Dartmouth so I suggested we do that.  It gave us a great view of the Halifax harbor from the other side. 

Brooks and Missy on the ferry to Dartmouth.
The Halifax waterfront from the Dartmouth side of the harbor.

Dinner at Salty's was good as usual.

Our view while having dinner at Salty's. 
 And then over to Cow's Ice Cream for dessert.
Cow's Ice Cream.
I was disappointed they didn't have my favorite flavor Maple Walnut,  Then we walked on over to the Casino where we had parked the car.  Brooks and I went into the Casino, but since Missy doesn't turn 19 until September, she had to wait in the lobby.

I won $63.00 on the penny slot machine in just three spins. 
 I sat down at a slot machine, put in $20.00 and on my third spin I was up to $83.00.  I said I'm quitting.  So I walked out $63.00 to the good. 

It was a long day.  But a fun one. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dan's Zebra Chair

Dan in his Zebra chair in his office with me and three of his former graduate students.
Almost thirty years ago now, I was shopping in Durham with my mother and I happened to see a recliner covered in an African motif in a store window.  I told my mom I was going to get it for Dan's birthday.  Dan's career was spent mainly in research on African lakes, and I thought the chair would be perfect for him.  At first the chair had a place in our den in our Durham house, but when we moved to Raleigh there wasn't a place where it fit, so Dan took it to his lab at Duke.  It provided a perfect place for him to rest in his office or to sit while he had tea with colleagues or students.
Lou in chair in Dan's office at Duke Lab. 

When we cleaned out Dan's lab recently, there was the issue of what to do with his chair.  Although I have fond memories of the chair, I still don't have a place for it here, and one of his last work study students had such wonderful memories of having tea with Dan while he sat in the chair and the two of them had tea that I decided the chair belonged with her. She has told me what an influence Dan had on her as her mentor while she was at Duke.  The student, Dr. Lou, is now a pediatrican at Oregon  Health and Science University Hospital in Portland, Oregon. 

It was quite an ordeal getting the chair to Portland. 
Unloading chair at UPS.

We checked around with various shipping agencies and found that UPS freight would be the best bet.  The owner of a UPS store near Duke went over to the lab and got the chair.  Dr. Lou takes a ride in the chair at UPS.

As it turned out it was going to be more expensive to send it by UPS so the nice man found a less expensive company to ship it for us.
Chair arrived in Portland.

The chair arrived in Oregon with no damages.
The Zebra chair in Dr. Lou's office.  Dan would be pleased.

And now the Zebra Chair resides in Dr. Lou's office in the OHSU Hospital. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Gadding about at the A & W

A & W in Port Hastings, Nova Scotia

I hadn't had a root beer float in ages so my friends Christene,Michealette, and I had lunch at  the A & W in Port Hastings the other day. 
Root beer float.  Yummy.
 Of course I had the float.
A & W has been in Canada since 1956 and is still going strong.

I eat burgers rarely, but they use beef that is hormone free so I had a "mama" burger as opposed to a "papa" or "grandpa" burger.  they had no "grandma" burger.  I must say it was very good.
A "Mama" burger.

I don't know if there are A & Ws in Raleigh or not.  But this will be my go to fast food place while in Marble Mountain. 

Well it's not in Marble Mountain, but in Port Hastings which is near Port Hawkesbury.

Monday, June 13, 2016

New Tires for Little Red

My new to me little red Hyundai. 

I've named my new to me car "Little Red".  She's a nice little Hyundai that had belonged to the father of one of my Cape Breton friends, and I knew she was well cared for.  Dan and I had often talked about getting a car to leave in Nova Scotia to use when we were there.  When this one became available I bought it.  On my recent trip up to Marble Mountain, I got the car registered and inspected and drove her around.  She passed inspection, but it was recommended that I get new tires before too long, so I decided to go ahead and get some on this trip. 
Ok Tire Company in St. Peter's.
Frances at work. 

My friend, Frances, works at OK Tires in St. Peter's so Michealette (she is Frances' mother by the way and a good friend of mine)  and I took Little Red over to get the new tires.  The tire specialists thought it was more important to replace the front tires than the rear ones.  She'll get new rear tires in August when I'm back in Cape Breton.

Frances "supervising" the tire installation.

New tires for Little Red.

Frances has been a friend of mine since she was a teenager.  She is lucky in more ways than one.  A few years ago Bridgestone Tires had a contest for a cruise to the Bahamas for four people.  Frances happened to fill out a form and entered the contest.  Mind you the contest was for all Bridgestone Employees in the US and Canada, and she won the cruise.  OK Tires is a small business (the owner, two installers, and Frances) so when the contest called to find out about the winner, Frances answered the phone and the caller asked to speak to the Human Resource person.  Frances said "That would be me".  The caller then asked if there was a gentleman by the name of Frances Oram that worked there, and Frances said "That would be me, and I'm a girl."  The caller was flustered because she was not authorized to tell Frances that she had won the contest, when she called she wasn't expecting to be talking to the contest winner.  All she could tell Frances was that she would be getting a phone call in a week with some special news. 

A week later, Frances got the news that she had won the cruise and she had a week to let Bridgestone know who she would be taking with her.  She took her mother and two of her friends.  Frances' husband doesn't like flying and wouldn't go.  The four were flown to Miami and onto the Cruise with all expenses paid.  A great trip. 

Just this year Frances' ticket was chosen in the Chase the Ace contest in Sydney.  She and a friend who jointly owned the ticket each won $80,000 plus change. She had one in 11 chances of picking the Ace of Spades and she would have won over $1,000.000 dollars.  Lucky, lucky lady.  And it couldn't happen to a nicer, more deserving person. 

I think the next time I go to the Casino, I will take Frances along. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Golfing at the Cabot Links in Inverness Nova Scotia

Panoramic view of Cabot Links Golf Course in Inverness, Cape Breton.

The highlight of our recent trip to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia was my grandson's, Brooks, round of golf at Cabot Links in Inverness, Nova Scotia.  This truly links 18 holes course hugs the Atlantic Ocean with a spectacular view.  Brooks played only nine holes with his friend Missy acting as his caddy.  It started out a cool, misty, windy morning, but quickly turned into a nice day. 

Clubs are ready. Just waiting for tee time.

What club should I use?
Panoramic view of Brooks playing golf. 

My friends, Michealette and Christene, went along and we enjoyed tooling around town while Brooks and Missy played golf.  We visited the Tears of Glass Jewelry shop while waiting.

Jewelry at Tears of Glass in Inverness.

Rare pieces of sea glass and marble at Tears of Glass

After their round of golf we killed a little more time until the award winning Panorama Restaurant that overlooks the 18th hole opened for dinner at 5:00 pm. 

View of 18th hole from Panorama Restaurant.
New addition to Panorama Restaurant that almost doubles the size.
Michealette and Missy waiting for dinner.

They have some truly spectacular dishes at the Panorama, in particular I enjoyed the scallops with risotto.  And their strawberry shortcake is interesting but not what you expect here in North Carolina.  We collectively tried all three of their desserts. 
Scallops over risotto.  My starter and main meal.  Delish!

Cabot Links version of Strawberry Shortcake.  Strawberries and rhubarb over strawberry syrup.  Three shortbread cookies with strawberry whipped cream in between.  Beautiful presentation.

If you are a golfer you should plan a trip to Cabot Links.

Friday, June 3, 2016

How I Met My Husband

June 3, 1989, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Today Dan and I would have celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary.  It's nostalgic to look back at the 43 years since I met Dan.  Folks often ask how we met.  Well, we met on an airplane.  I first heard about Dan Livingstone when I was working on my M.A.T. at Duke University in the summer of 1963.  My professor, Dr. Bailey, told the class about one of his colleagues, Dan Livingstone, who had been attacked by a crocodile a few years earlier (1960 to be exact) and how he and his graduate student escaped.  I never saw/met Dr.Livingstone that summer nor in any of my four summers at Duke.

Later in the early 70s when I was working on my Ph.D. at N.C. State University here in Raleigh I was taking an ecology course and some of Dan's publications were assigned reading.  I thought, oh that's the fellow at Duke who escaped from the crocodile.

In the summer of 1973, I was attending the International Biological Congress in Boulder, Colorado, and was flying out of RDU heading to OHare in Chicago and later on to Boulder.  These were the days before assigned seats, and the plane wasn't very full.  I was sitting in a middle seat, with someone next to me in the window seat, when this gentleman sat down beside me in the aisle seat.  After we were airborne, I took out my program for the Boulder meeting to peruse, and this gentleman in the aisle seat looked over and said "Oh, you're going to the same meeting I am.  "I'm Dan Livingstone from Duke University."  My first comment to him was "Oh, you are the fellow who escaped from the crocodile!".  So it was ten years after I had first heard of this guy that I finally met him.

I had just finished my Ph.D. at N.C. State and had worked on a systematic study of grasses for my dissertation.  Dan told me about his work studying pollen in the sediments he had taken from African lakes and how there were grass cuticles (leaves) in the mud, and he wondered if they could be useful in reconstructing the past vegetation and thus the past climate of Africa.  It seemed like an intriguing possibility.

Later that fall Dan invited me over to Duke to take a look at the grass leaves in his lake sediments, and sure enough when you looked at these fossil leaves with a scanning electron microscope, you could see microscopic features on the leaves that made them identifiable.  By the next summer he and I had submitted a grant proposal to the National Science Foundation to get money to support me in the summers to do research in the lab there.  Sixteen years later after a long friendship and many years working together in the lab, we were married.  And the rest is history, and I might add what a wonderful history it was. 

Dan passed away in March of this year, and his death has left a huge hole in my heart, but I have wonderful memories that will comfort me  for the rest of my life.
June 3, 1989 in Halifax, Nova Scotia on our wedding day.

 Happy Anniversary my dearest Dan, I wish you were here.