We’re in this together

Here are just a few ways Nova Scotia is doing it’s part in environmental protection. ( taken from the Government of Nova Scotia website)

We lead all provinces in cutting Greenhouse Gas emissions

In 2009, Nova Scotia released the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulations establishing GHG emission caps on the electricity sector. Amendments were also made to the Air Quality Regulations to set tighter limits on Nova Scotia Power Inc., sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions for 2015 and 2020. As of 2014, Nova Scotia has already reduced GHG emissions 17% below 1990 levels, the most of any province in Canada, and is on track to reach 24% by 2020. This far surpasses our target of 10% below 1990 levels by 2020.

Nova Scotia is the first province to require efficient LED streetlights

Nova Scotia is the first province or state in North America to make LED streetlights the law. LED lights are expected to use less than half the energy of traditional lights and when combined with reduced maintenance costs, the estimated annual savings could be $18 million. They’ll also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30,000 tons.

More than 25% of Nova Scotia’s electricity comes from renewables

Nova Scotia’s Renewable Electricity Plan¬†is a program to move Nova Scotia away from carbon-based electricity towards greener, more local sources. The plan set renewable electricity generation targets of 25% by 2015 and 40% by 2020. In 2015, almost 27% of Nova Scotia’s electricity was supplied by renewable energy sources, like wind, tidal, biomass, and hydro, and we are on track to reach 40% by 2020.

Nova Scotia has more wind power in our mix than 8 other provinces

As of September 2016, there was almost 600 MW of installed capacity from wind generation in the province.

Nova Scotians are the leading composters in Canada

Nova Scotians are the leading composters in Canada on a per capita basis (combined curbside and backyard). More than 95% of residents have access to curbside collection, and 48 of 51 municipalities use clear bags to enhance diversion of organics and recyclables from the solid waste stream.

Over 100,000 Nova Scotians have renewable heat in their homes

Nova Scotians are doing their part to reduce their energy consumption and replace more of their energy with sustainable sources. Today, over 100,000 Nova Scotians have heat pumps in their homes. Of those, at least 80,000 use a heat pump as their primary source of heating. Over the last five years, Efficiency Nova Scotia’s work alone has helped roughly 56,000 Nova Scotians reduce their reliance on oil.

We’re in this together, let’s everyone do our part!

Morocco in VLOG

Our son James enjoyed a wonderful week in Morocco for his Spring Break. I shared a few of the great photos he took BUT now you’ve gotta see these videos.

Check out these 4 videos!! Tell me what you think.

They are amazing!! New places added to my Bucket List lol ūüėõ

Lantern Festival is February 11, 2017

Today is the last day of Spring Festival. The fifteenth day in the lunar calendar, This special day is Lantern Festival.

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It is the first full moon night in the Chinese lunar year and full-moon symbolizes reunion in China.
People¬†eat¬†yuanxiao ( a rice ball stuffed with different fillings) or rice dumplings on this day, so it is also called the “Yuanxiao¬†Festival.” Yuanxiao ŚÖÉŚģĶ¬†also has another name, tangyuan śĪ§ŚúÜ.¬†¬†
For its rich and colorful activities, Lantern Festival  is regarded as the most recreational among all the Chinese festivals and a day for appreciating the bright full moon, and family reunion.
It’s so much fun to be able to attend a Lantern Festival.
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Today to celebrate this last day of Spring Festival and the special Lantern Festival, we will eat yuanxiao, and watch another special production similar to the Gala on CCTV, and take a peak at the “snow” full moon.
2017021017134137627 2017021017140252569 screen-shot-2017-02-11-at-9-01-13-am screen-shot-2017-02-11-at-9-01-37-am screen-shot-2017-02-11-at-9-04-49-am screen-shot-2017-02-11-at-9-09-54-amI like the sesame paste and red bean yuanxiao and was so happy to be able to find them here.
We also had some meatball soup ( everything round symbolizing the shape of the moon)
Speaking of reunion…
It was nice to stay in touch with some of my Chinese friends over their holiday, it made me feel close to them. Technology is so wonderful when you are so far away… Here are a few pics they shared
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Happy Lantern Festival!
 Wishing all my Chinese friends and family a wonderful year ahead!!!
PS. My sweet husband picked up a few things he knew I would appreciate.
In honour of the Year of the Rooster… rooster stamps from Canada Post.
 
And…Corn flakes!
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A year of CHANGE

I LOVE January! Especially the first weeks of a brand new year!!!

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It is a month of reflection. It is also a month to make resolutions to organize, declutter and to make some changes. A few weeks ago David and I talked about this. We talked about 2017 and what to do? What it would bring? Goals and plans and what to accomplish. Some of the conversation stemmed from his back flaring up right before we went to China in December. It’s frustrating to have issues like that. You wonder if better health, and more REGULAR exercise could help these flare ups. We’re getting OLD!! Ok, older… and we NEED to look after ourselves…

Time for change

We talked a lot and decided that for us 2017 is gonna be year of CHANGE…physically and health wise!! We are not in bad shape. Neither of us is overweight, although I have put on a few more pounds than I like since returning from living in China where I walked everywhere. So…in 2017, we are gonna do our best to strengthen and tone some areas physically to see if that helps with overall strength ( and back issues for David) We are gonna change our eating habits a bit…tweak a bit…just to have better energy. And we may even enjoy a massage or two each month. We are gonna try to spend more time breathing in the “fresh air”. Lots of things to change and try this year for better health and longevity.

So…2017…Let’s BRING it, we’re UP for the challenge!

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Lots of things for reflection!

 

 

 

Choo choo…it’s off to Dandong

…and the Great Wall.

One thing that is a MUST when you come to China is to see the GREAT WALL! David & I have been to many sections of this amazing wall. You know it’s not all one connecting wall right? And no it can’t be seen from space.

We wanted to provide opportunity for David’s boss Ron to see this. Since a stopover in Beijing where most of the famous wall sections are located wasn’t going to work, we decided that on our final weekend here we would take a VERY FAST train ride to nearby Dandong city. It is a 3.5 hour car ride which ends up being longer or a quick 1 hour train ride! We chose the train so he could experience traveling on a high speed train too!

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Dandong¬†is the largest Chinese border city, Facing North Korea across the Yalu River which demarcates the Sino-North Korean border. ¬†Dandong has had a dynamic history because of its strategic location for the northeast’s¬†rich natural resources and because of its convenient access to the ocean. It is designated as a major export production centre for the province, and is a port city connected by rail with Shenyang¬†and Sinuiju. A significant amount of trade with North Korea flows through the city.

First stop in Dandong, the GREAT wall at Hushan.¬†Hushan Great Wall lies¬†near the Yalu River in Dandong City of Liaoning Province, and faces North Korea across the river. It crawls on the Hushan Mountain which literally means “Tiger Mountain”, so named because the two towering peaks resemble two tiger ears pricking up into the sky when seen from afar.¬†The Hushan Great Wall was built to strengthen the frontier defense in 1469 during the Ming Dynasty ¬†(1368-1644), and is the eastern most point of the huge military defensive system.

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img_2887 img_2888 img_2892 img_2894 img_2899After the wall we headed back to Dandong city. The Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge, a railway bridge connecting Dandong with Sinuiju is the big attraction to see along the waterfront. The differences between the Chinese and North Korean sides are immense: Dandong is brightly lit, glitzy and filled with people. Construction equipment and modern cars are everywhere, hospitals and train stations are at the expected Chinese levels. Sinuiju, on the other hand, goes completely dark at night, looks run-down and if you ever do see construction activity it’s going to be manual labor with even basic tools seemingly in short supply. Border guard activities are similarly different: While on the North Korean side a lone soldier with an AK47 can be seen shivering in the cold in regular intervals, the Chinese side instead uses FLIR-like camera systems on large poles to keep an overview of activities along the river.

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15327478_10154807440051514_5054806811604493240_nAnd just one more thing…

When in Dandong, many foreigners want to try what the locals call the “sweet meat”. ¬†Well, it’s not sweet, and this will be my third experience, But for Ron…we once again had DOG. It is a dish that is served in the Chinese Korean Restaurants.

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Yes… stewed dog.

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Ron has had many experiences and tasted many kinds of food this week!

Next…An afternoon coffee to warm up ( and erase the taste of lunch lol) and then to the train station to head back to Shenyang.

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It’s been quite a FULL day!!! But I love the adventure .

Tonight we arrived back in Shenyang and just stayed in and relaxed for dinner. David ordered room service.

img_3172 img_3173Goodnight!

A Seafood Hotpot at Shifu Square on a SnOwY day in Shenyang

How’s that for a title?

Today it snowed!! I figured it would, and I am just like a young girl!!! eek BIG¬†squeals! Watching from my window on the 11th floor, playing “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” ¬†I couldn’t wait to get out and play in it…rather just walk in it. Today was full of traffic jams in slow moving traffic, taxis that didn’t want to take you anywhere, and overcrowded subways and buses because EVERYONE is using them today. SNOW days create a WHOLE new adventure in China!

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15390703_1169509279783940_2856259353785348787_n 15267981_1169509346450600_6952743402021153529_nAnd Today’s special EVENT was a Seafood hotpot with some members of the hiking group that we used to go out with on the weekend. 3 guys, 3 girls and me. They were thrilled to hear I was back in China and of course wanted to treat me to dinner. Sometimes I feel like I get invited to things like this just so they can have a foreigner sit with them at their table. Unfortunately the 3 ladies that were coming were traveling together and had a fender bender, very common on a day like this. I am so glad we took the subway rather than taxi. Anyway it ended up that I had lunch with the group leader (far right), my Chinese friend and another person I have never met from the club.

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This was interesting as I could just sit back ( the conversation was mainly Chinese) and enjoy as many plates of crabs, prawns, shrimp, clams, mussels, oysters and the like… were steamed in front of us. ¬†After the seafood came the regular hot pot items with one very interesting item…bone marrow. eww…but I ate it and it was ok.

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15390957_1169511836450351_5873541475521389427_nOne thing I can not get used to is the mixed washrooms, side by side, at these restaurants.

15350497_1169511856450349_2533056416229015720_n On the way home I took more pics of the lovely snowfall before taking the subway which was sooooooo crowded. No pics of this because I was literally sandwiched between hundreds of people. I kept thinking if anything happened…explosion or whatever…I would never be found. SO MANY PEOPLE!!! That’s what happens on a snow day.

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David was late getting home from work. He had fun in the snow too, rather trying to get home in it from Michelin. Normally they take a bus but because of the weather the company figured it would be faster by subway too!

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This evening we were invited to dear sweet friends for dinner. Sarah has been here from the start of the Michelin Project in Shenyang and for the past two years has taken the position of site manager. You have to know she is an amazing lady to communicate in Chinese, and keep things top notch at the plant with mostly Chinese colleagues. There really aren’t too many expats left these days so her circle of business and the people she relies to get these accomplishments are Chinese. Our very first Christmas in China in 2011, they invited us to their home for Christmas dinner, along with a few other expats who didn’t go home for Christmas. Sarah & Rodney live in a serviced hotel apartment that does not have a kitchen and so over the years they have become close friends with the chef that prepares delicious meals for them tailored to their special diets. How wonderful is that? ¬†It was so lovely¬†to catch up with her and her sweet husband Rodney. A perfect evening!

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Everyday here is like a gift and I will treasure it in my heart for days to come…or at least until one day I can return?

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Vacation is over…back to work!

The last day of David’s Fall vacation. What to do? Another gorgeous day and the leaves are still so beautiful. James was actually up early to capture this beauty at the old train bridge in Bridgewater.

We decided another drive…a Sunday drive …a different route…a different part of the coast. We are so blessed to live in a province that has coast on all sides.


We skipped church today and left early so it wouldn’t be a late day, took Abby for a short drive to Nana’s ( she LOVES the car) and headed to the valley.

img_9369 img_9151 img_9367 img_9366 img_9365 img_9370 We took Hwy 8 passing Kejimkujik National Park on the way. We wanted to see the site of the really bad forest fires this summer. Such devastation.

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Saw this beauty after all the brown and char from the fire.img_9184

This drive put us in the quaint town of Annapolis Royal. We walked around Fort Anne and downtown, then crossed the causeway to have lunch at Vicki’s.

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After lunch it was out to the coast to Port Royal, Habitation , Victoria Beach and Digby Gut. We thought we could get all the way around the coast on this area but there were no roads so we had to back track and cross over to Parker’s cove. This is a lovely area over looking the Bay of Fundy. I would love to have a cottage here. We followed this route along to Hampton, Port Lorne and Port George before cutting across to Middleton and then catching Hwy 10 home to Bridgewater.

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We had a gorgeous day to do a little more sight seeing. It was a wonderful vacation exploring more of our own province. A place where tourists from all over the world visit especially in the Fall.

And it’s back to work for David.

We were actually heading off to bed at 9pm when he got a call from work with a major situation and he had to go in. Technically he’s still on vacation but it’s back to work!

Today I am getting back to my routine and cooking up a special Birthday dinner  for our sweet daughter who is 27 today!!! Whoa! How can that be?

david-laura-jamesimg_9439 img_9457 Have a great week friends!