Category Archives: Christmas

Christmas time

It was a White Christmas

Right on time the snow began to fall on Christmas Day making it one of the more picturesque ones we’ve had in a few years. It put a damper on travel plans for some people, but for those who didn’t need to go anywhere, it was a wonderful day to curl up at home, relax, perhaps read a book or watch a movie, and enjoy the company family and friends. Even though there were only three for our celebration (myself, hubby and pooch) it was a nice, quiet day. There was time for conversation, relaxation and appreciation for the things we have. Since this year Joel didn’t have to battle his way through the snow to work, we could sit back and enjoy the day.

I made a centrepiece with the flowers that the Smyth family gave me and it brightened our table for yesterday’s dinner and today’s breakfast.

The Holiday Bird

Since there were only two of us for dinner, we decided to forego the traditional turkey in favour of a more manageable roast chicken. It turned out well. There are enough leftovers for today’s dinner, but not so many that we’ll be sick of it in a few days.

Since our day was filled with joy, peace and happy thoughts, we wish the same for our friends and family as we start to wrap up the Christmas celebrations and prepare for the start of a new year.

We wish the best for you in 2018 – health and happiness throughout the year.

Also posted in BLOG, Christmas decor, New Brunswick, seasons, winter Tagged , , |

Winter Solstice

It has happened. Twenty minutes ago was the official “Winter Solstice”, indicative of seasonal change. Today, depending on your point of view, is either the shortest day or longest night of the year.

For the optimists among us, it means the end of declining daylight and the beginning of lengthening days as a prelude to the warmth of spring and summer. It also means it’s only a few very short days until that most emotional of all “Christian” holidays – Christmas.

Advertising agencies, toy companies, merchandisers and retailers are bombarding us with advertisement after advertisement lauding the perfect family Christmas. Even charities are getting in on that act. We are told that, in order to truly celebrate the season properly, we must gather around the dining room table, laden with a feast fit for royalty, and be surrounded by our nearest and dearest.

For many the reality is quite different. How many children will go to bed hungry Christmas Eve and wake up on what should be the most joyous day of the year to find nothing under their Christmas tree, if indeed they even have one at all? How many lonely elderly folks will sit and stare at the phone or the front door hoping for a call or a visit from someone they care about? Many families are separated, of necessity, due to work or other commitments. Sisters and brothers, parents, children and grandchildren scattered across this vast country or even around the world. And what about the homeless, ill or otherwise tortured souls that we try to ignore at the best of times, and especially when they intrude on our own happiness? What kind of celebration will they have?

There are so many TV shows that celebrate conspicuous consumption. Armloads of merchandise, worth a small fortune, are given away to screaming, grasping hoards of people in the audiences who, in all likelihood, already have all of the appliances and goodies that they need – and more.

Regardless of your religious beliefs (or none), perhaps we should think more of others at this time of year, in fact, all year long. A new season has begun and it’s a wonderful time to look around, offer a helping hand up to those who need it, and to celebrate with heartfelt gratitude if we are among the fortunate ones.

To all of my friends, family, customers and acquaintances, I wish you joy this season. Whatever holiday you celebrate, I hope it brings you and those you care about great happiness and that the coming New Year will lift hearts and spirits. And please, take a moment to think about others. Be kind and generous most especially with your time, your attention to those who need it.

Merry Christmas – Happy Holidays – Happy Hanukkah – Happy Everything!

Also posted in BLOG, Christmas decor, photography, seasons, winter Tagged , , |

First snow of the season

Although it’s not officially winter yet (Solstice is on the 21st this year), it’s not unusual to have the first snow of the season long before now. In fact, what is unusual is NOT to have any accumulation of snow yet.

Last night we had our first ‘real’ snow of the season (previous flurries hardly count). It was the heavy, wet stuff that clings to branches tenaciously. Children, anticipating their Christmas holiday, were no doubt excited to discover the ground and trees covered in white. Anyone who had to travel today was probably less excited by the prospect of slushy or icy road conditions.

But, this is Canada and yes, folks, we have winter. With the climate change we’ve been experiencing, it seems to be arriving a bit later than it used to, but it still arrives. It is hard to get in the ‘Christmas spirit’ without at least some white stuff on the ground, especially without having children around to build the excitement.

What we do have, though, is a pretty scene out there while it lasts. It’s enough to have me playing Christmas music on the stereo, baking some cheesecake, cookies – rum balls, of course, and shortbreads. At last it feels like the season has begun.

Also posted in BLOG, Canada, photography, seasons

Choices, it’s all about choices

Sometimes I like to play with my photography but that usually ends with me having to make choices. It’s hard to decide which few photos (of many shot) to spend time editing.

Then a choice has to be made about how to use the final photo. Will one become a print? On regular paper? On canvas? Metal? Wood? Some other medium or a product like a mug or coaster or something? And if so, what? Or will it or another version be used for social media banners or a blog post highlight?

I went to the local Dollar Store today and bought a single, large Christmas ornament to play with. I roamed around the yard hanging the ornament from the branches of a blue spruce, a regular spruce, a lilac tree devoid of leaves, set among the branches of a burning bush – you get the idea. I put it anywhere I thought I could make it look interesting.

I narrowed my selection down to a few of the forty images that I shot and played with them. Now it’s down to the final ones and I need help. Have a look at the images below and let me know which one you like the best. It would really help if you could tell me WHY you made the choice you did; but if not, that’s ok. Also, any suggestions you might have about an end-use for your chosen image would be helpful too. Just leave a comment for this post with your photo selection and anything else you’d care to say!

To encourage participation, I’m offering a random surprise prize to be drawn on Friday evening from among the respondents to my ‘quiz’ – so get your answers in to have a chance to win something!

And, here are the contestants in the Choices line-up!

#1 Red and White Christmas ball


#2 Red and White Christmas ball


#3 Red and White Christmas ball


#4 Red and White Christmas ball


#5 Red and White Christmas ball

Also posted in BLOG, Christmas decor, photography, Photography techniques, seasons Tagged , |

’tis the Season for Sharing

It is the season for sharing – every television program and advertisement says so. And by their definition, sharing also means caring – or showing that, in fact, you do care one way or another.

There’s a story going around on Facebook right now and it says:

“My child, each year ask me the same question. After thinking about it, I decided I’d give you my real answer:

What do I want for Christmas? I want you.

I want you to keep coming around, I want you to ask me questions, ask my advice, tell me your problems, ask for my opinion, ask for my help.

I want you to come over and rant about your problems, rant about life, whatever. Tell me about your job, your worries.

I want you to continue sharing your life with me.

Come over and laugh with me, or laugh at me, I don’t care. Hearing you laugh is music to me.

I spent the better part of my life raising you the best way I knew how, and I’m not bragging, but I did a pretty darn good job.

Now, give me time to sit back and admire my work; I’m pretty proud of it.

Raid my refrigerator, help yourself, I really don’t mind. In fact, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I want you to spend your money making a better life for you, I have the things I need.
I want to see you happy and healthy.
When you ask me what I want for Christmas, I say “nothing” because you’ve already been giving me my gift all year. I want you !!! I love you dearly xoxo

When your all-grown-up children and their families live far, far away, some of these things just aren’t possible. No small hands raid my cookie jar. No little people sit on the couch to watch Christmas movies on TV with me. That is life in the world as we know it. Sad, but reality.

The media builds the hype of the season – blissful families sharing tender moments of joy and peace together around a festive dinner table. While I wish that for one and all, the reality is often quite different. Whether it is due to distance, finances, loss of loved ones or just the inherent ‘busyness’ of life, many people are lonely at this most festive time of year. Despite access to amazing technology like Skype, FaceTime, or even a simple telephone call for keeping in touch, far too often time goes by with no connections made.

Since it is the season for sharing we all have choices to be made. Do we wallow in self pity and loneliness? Or get up and out and join the festivities?

We are, indeed, responsible for our own happiness. If we depend on others to make us happy we are doomed to disappointment. Instead, enjoy the myriad of wee things that happen every day, those little moments of joy that are too easy to overlook. Be kind to others. Surprisingly when you go out of your way to make someone else’s day joyful, your own improves too.

So, my wish for those who read my words is that you do, indeed, share and have a happy and joyful holiday season – whatever it is that you celebrate. Enjoy the little things that give you pleasure – bright coloured lights in shop and house windows, sweet treats on a pretty plate, a good meal – whether alone or with friends and family. Give hugs and receive them with pleasure. Pat the dog, stroke the cat, nuzzle the horse. Inhale the wonderful scents that make life sweet.

Merry Christmas to one and all and as the New Year rolls in, lift a glass and give the toast favoured by my Jewish friends, “l’chaim – to life!”.


Also posted in BLOG, caring, emotions, family

Making friends – making smiles

I met a new friend today by happenstance. One of my friends on Facebook shared a link to this artist’s blog and it totally resonated with me. I posted a response to her #makeamakersmile blogpost, and she responded to me. We share a philosophy and a deep appreciate for art and landscapes, although we work in different media.


Do check out her blogpost at While you’re there, poke around on her website. I hope you’ll enjoy her creations and perhaps even make a purchase. Who knows, this could become an international movement! Meanwhile, here on this side of the Atlantic pond there are many artists as well, several of them living a stone’s throw away. With the madness of Christmas gift giving upon us all, why not give a hand crafted item, book, image, painting or whatever that will be sure to delight the recipient and support a local artist as well.

Also posted in appreciation, BLOG, photography Tagged , , , |

A new year is just around the corner

2015 Full moon at Christmas

2015 Full moon at Christmas

2015 is drawing to a close and a new year is just around the corner. It seems that the older one gets, the more rapidly time flies by. Since the past is behind us for a reason, the only thing one can do is take the lessons learned from the previous year and travel boldly into the new one, hopefully wiser and ready for whatever challenges and adventures await.

Happy New Year!

I’m a lifelong learning addict, so with the beginning of a new year I’m looking forward to continuing to learn new things. Some I will apply to my personal photography projects and some to improving my client work. With that new year just around the corner, it’s time to get ready. And some I will share with others through some workshops that are just in the planning stages.

If you want to know what’s coming, be sure to click on the “manage your subscription options” link below and sign up for reminders.



Last October a new puppy came to live with us. In less than three months he’s already grown into a good sized young dog, and he’ll be substantial by the time he’s full grown. Harley has already settled into our lives and figured out his place as photographic assistant, helping subjects to relax and smile – and who could resist this face?

Introducing my new photography assistant: Harley Davidson Snow.

Introducing my new photography assistant:               Harley Davidson Snow.

Also posted in BLOG, photography, seasons

’tis the season

By the glow of the Christmas tree...

By the glow of the Christmas tree…

Advertising moguls, Coca Cola, and Currier and Ives have done their level best to portray idyllic Christmas scenes with images of families and friends, gathered around a feast or a tree laden with gifts, laughing and smiling with seasonal joy. For those who have that experience, congratulations. Enjoy that feeling of satisfaction and abundance.

But for those whose experience fails to measure up to those ideals – perhaps due to the loss of a loved one, or family members who are too far away to share in the celebrations, family members working through the holidays, or even relationships gone bad – may you find pleasure in the memories of good times spent together in the past. May you find peace in your solitude and from the beauty of the little things like Christmas lights twinkling on a tree or the sound of a favourite song.

Although wherever you turn you will be bombarded with symbols of unadulterated happiness, remember that those are often created in response to a perception of what the public wants to see and frequently merely to sell products. Remember to celebrate your own reason for the season – be it religious, a general caring for your fellow (wo)man, or a simple celebration of the changing of the season and the beginning of a new year. You are entitled to celebrate as much, or as little, as you feel like.

So, whatever it may mean to you, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Feliz Natal e um Feliz Ano Novo e Propserous!

Also posted in BLOG, caring, Christmas decor

Christmas Day

Sunrise Christmas morning

Sunrise Christmas morning

After three long and dreary days of freezing rain, dismal skies, treacherous driving conditions and endless shovelling and plowing, not to mention thousands of homes without power, heat, lights or the ability to cook any meal, let alone Christmas dinner, the sun shone brightly on this classic white Christmas morning!

winter morning_web _L2H1262The fields across the road are filled with snow and the trees are wearing fluffy white coats over their (sadly) ice encrusted branches. But the light from the sun has created crystals on some.

Lilac Bud ice crystals

Lilac Bud ice crystals

This type of morning, especially on Christmas, makes everyone feel happier. Even the guy who plowed our road was willing to take an extra few minutes to help Joel by pushing the massive snow bank back a bit so there’d be more room to put the current and future snowfalls.

Family and friends who have been without power for days are slowly being reconnected to the world and for that we are grateful. Hopefully they will be warm soon and well fed!

winter morning_web _L2H1275 - Version 2That thermometer reads Celsius, by the way. The temperature is dropping despite the sunshine, and the wind is coming up a bit. I really hope this doesn’t spell more difficulty for the NB Power crews who have been slaving away in abysmal conditions and sacrificing their own Christmas plans so others can have heat, light and food.

winter morning_web _L2H1279 - Version 2But for now, at least, the sky is bright and blue and the snow adds atmosphere to this beautiful Christmas Day.

May you and those you care about be warm, happy and enjoy all that this festive time means to you.

Let's go fishin'

Let’s go fishin’

May all your dreams come true!

Ride on!

Ride on!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!



Also posted in appreciation, BLOG, family, Friends and Family, winter Tagged , |

One more sleep

Ball ornament square_web


On this day before the most magical evening of the year, when children of all ages hope and dream for a beautiful future, we have a chance to pause and reflect on what has happened in our lives in the past year. This is different from the New Year’s Eve reflections and promises to do better in the future. No, this day is the one to focus on appreciating the good things that have happened – to us and that we have done for others.

The Christmas season is indeed magical. Even for the grinches among us who find things to complain about there comes a moment when a small sigh escapes the lips to be followed by a wee smile. Even for those who have lost loved ones and are facing Christmas without them, perhaps for the first time or even for the gzillionth time, there is still magic in the memories of Christmases shared. Even for those for whom this might be their last Christmas, there is magic in sharing peace and love with those who care and creating one more set of memories for those who will be left behind to keep them alive in their hearts.

So – on this day before the most magical evening of the year, I wish you happiness, peace and good will toward all.

Also posted in BLOG, Christmas decor