filbert fantasy…

FILBERT

Well…it’s official. I cannot be held responsible for my gluttony when it comes to filberts, a.k.a. hazelnuts. Every Christmas, I fill the house with fresh, sweet, meaty filberts and then proceed to chow down. I swear I’m part squirrel (I can just hear my husband’s smart-ass comeback). There’s probably worse things out there, but my waistband is getting tighter by the second, and I’m okay with that!!!

My cousin, Gerry Bowler, wrote a couple of books on Christmas, and I always refer to his The World Encyclopedia of Christmas for the origins of our Christmas traditions. Did you know that nuts at Christmas are, “…a symbol of fruitfulness long associated with midwinter festivals”? Or that hazelnuts were thought to possess, “…a special virtue of…preventing famine”? It’s pretty apparent that they’re preventing famine at the Findlay homestead!!!

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just stop already…

DAISY

I know what she’s thinking…

The other day I received an invitation to be interviewed for an awesome blog called Coffee With A Canine. I agreed wholeheartedly. I thought to myself, “I got this. I’ll blow them away with my stunning shots. I’m a pretty decent photographer after all.” So this morning, I started taking pictures with two of the worst models I have ever worked with….Daisy and her evil minion, Stella!

Both scoundrels copped an attitude and shunned the camera. I cajoled, used treats, spoke sweetly, got down on their level, crawled on all fours, scratched behind ears made whistling noises…NOTHING. I have NEVER come across anyone less interested in having their pictures taken.

I swear….they do it on purpose. Is it payback for not taking them out for a walk in the torrential downpour yesterday? Probably. They’re like that.

Daisy’s eyes say it all…

this little lens of mine, I’m gonna let it shine….

christmas frog_72dpi

I’m madly in love with my Nikon 35mm 1.8 prime lens! I bought it last year and kind of ignored it for a while–I always grabbed my telephoto lens first. I love how responsive this prime lens is in low light situations. It gives me awesome bokeh and great focus! If you’re looking for a great Christmas gift to put under the tree for a photography buff, I can totally recommend this little lens. It’s relatively inexpensive too.

christmas treasures…

SNOWMAN_72dpi

 

I did it! I braved the risk of massive spiders to crawl under our staircase and drag out all our Christmas decorations. Shudder! This is my favourite time of year. I love to set up all the family gems that have thrilled our kids and their friends since they were just wee monkeys.

The main goal at our house is to entertain our children, so nothing is actually colour coordinated or matching.  And much to the horror of some folks, we always include our kids in the tree decorating, which meant that some years all the decorations were jammed around the bottom branches.

When my son was two years old, we had to keep a small Christmas tree on top of a buffet, so he wouldn’t pull it down. He still managed to find the one stick in the house (a dowel used to reinforce the closed kitchen window) and used it to play pinata with various handblown glass decorations. I laugh now, but at the time, I wasn’t impressed by his ingenuity.

My daughter would sit with the snow globe for hours, turning it upside down to make it snow, and winding it up to make the little train run around the base. I loved to watch her blissed out on the living room floor.

My 15 and 18 year olds still love it when all of our kitsch comes out of their boxes. It’s just such a wonderful family time. And yes…I do go WAY overboard.

 

 

count your blessings…

JANE AND DOGS_72dpi

We were all surprised by how frigid Crescent Beach was this afternoon. My teeth were chattering and my fingers were numb when I fumbled around with the camera (shocked anything was in focus). Considering the 6 feet of snow the folks in Buffalo are shovelling out from under, I can hardly complain…oh yes I can.

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