boxing day sales…


Last night, a wave of generosity washed over me–the kind that only happens during the dreamy fog of a prime rib and raspberry tiramisu hangover–and I offered to drive my daughter “downtown” to hit the Boxing Day sales today. What the what?!?! I wasn’t impressed when I woke up this morning, and the reality of the situation hit me. There was no feigning an illness, no strained muscle, and no family emergency. I was forced to succumb and we headed to Vancouver. Surprisingly, we found amazing parking spots, the crowds weren’t cranky, and the champagne mimosas at the bar I planted myself in were delicious (it also helps when your darling husband offers to drive)!

award winning…


If National Geographic knew how uncooperative and jittery this dog is, I’d be getting an award for being a photographic genius! Stella, my poodle-bijon-swamp-water-mix dog, really doesn’t want anything to do with the black contraption that I put up to my face. And, she is particularly peeved that my husband decided to wrap her up as my Christmas present (That’s worse than giving me a book called “101 Hikes Around the Lower Mainland”–true story!) She’s got some insanity-inducing, distastefully-rotten house manners, but she can melt your heart in a New York second, and make you fall madly in love.

filbert fantasy…


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!!!

just stop already…


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…

christmas treasures…



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.



if only dogs could talk…

DAISY B&W_72dpi

There’s a beautiful soul behind those eyes. Daisy is our Labradoodle…perhaps the only neurotic Labradoodle in all of North America! We love her to bits, but she does crazy stuff like barking at rain puddles when we’re driving and expressing her deep displeasure with a quiet grumbling growl every time we tell her to “Get off the Bed!”. She also has a hate-on for the Wheaton Terrier, who lives across the cul-de-sac and who runs right in to my garden, destroying my lupins to jump up at the window….grrrrrr. I have to confess that my 15-year-old daughter grabbed my camera and shot this picture, and I’m impressed with how well she did.




I don’t normally post photos from my iphone, but this was just one of those shots worthy of discussion! White Rock has been a miserable, cold, soppy, soggy mess this week, so it was very exciting when the sun showed up for a spectacular slice through the sky for a few minutes before it set today. It was like a blindingly brilliant window into heaven.

raspberries: saving minds daily…



Who knew that these delightful little aggregated drupelets could save me from running down my street screaming obscenities at the top of my lungs. You see, I don’t do winter very well. At least not Pacific Northwest winters, full of grey heavy skies that insist on dropping all their contents all over the place, constantly! The only things that ease the gloom are these delicious raspberries that remind me of warm, sunny summer sunshine! And thank God for yogurt too. The perfect companion for raspberries! Oh, and chocolate too…

when “thong” meant something else…



This is the kind of toy I used to love as a kid. I would build entire towns in my sandbox with little metal backhoes, and then cruise the streets with my hot wheels! Those were the days when “thong” was something you wore on your feet! It took me a while to relearn that word. When my kids started screeching in horror whenever I’d tell them to go put on their thongs, I knew things would never be the same.

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