Monday, March 31, 2014

Lessons Learned the Hard Way: Photography

6 photography lessons learned the hard way | Wynn Anne's Meanderings

I shared this picture a couple of weeks ago -- but I almost didn't. Why? Because it's actually an example of a lesson learned the hard way. It's a white out: the snow is so bright that it is basically pure white, with no texture or shade. Let me tell you the lesson I learned that day (and need to keep on learning), when it comes to photography.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Peter's School Days

Peter's school days | Wynn Anne's Meanderings
Peter in pre-kindergarten, with the beloved Mrs. Richie
The other day, a friend shared a link to a blog post entitled, "Who Decides Our Children's Worth" written by a mother whose son happened to have autism. It's heartbreaking -- you can hear her frustration. And it brought me back to Peter's public-school years. Peter has Asperger Syndrome.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Face Time

Selfie of Wynn Anne - no make-up, no airbrushing. Also: no sleep in the last 30 hours. | Wynn Anne's Meanderings
No make-up, no filters, no airbrushing. Also: no sleep in the last 30 hours.
I came in from my walk with Kane today and, although it was eight degrees below zero (Celsius) and quite windy outdoors, I was sweating. The polar fleece vest had kept me mostly dry, but the lining of my windbreaker was dripping wet.

After dismantling the many layers of my bitter-winter dog-walking garb, I fed Kane his lunch then edited some photos while I cooled down.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Signs of Spring

First buds of spring | Wynn Anne's Meanderings

Usually, by this time of year, we've had quite a few mild days (and by "mild" I mean well above freezing -- warm enough that you'll see students wearing shorts), but this year, we seem to have been frozen (literally) in the polar vortex. In fact, the City of Ottawa issued a frostbite warning last night. I shared the notification on my Facebook wall and people thought it was a hoax. Sorry. No.

But if I open my eyes, I can see that the world does seem to be moving toward spring. Here are the signs I've found.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Watching Them Take Flight

I can still see her -- taking wide-legged steps walking from me to Stephen, gradually gaining confidence as her balance improved, until she could walk on her own. And now she kickboxes.

I remember watching her go down the big slide and forcing myself to take a step back so she wouldn't know I was afraid for her safety. She ignored me completely and just went for it. And now she's doing it again.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Dear Daddy

My dad hugging me on my wedding day.
Happy 90th birthday!

Oh, how I wish you were around to enjoy it, to give us all bear hugs and beard-burn, tell a few bad puns, and overindulge in chocolate birthday cake. I've already eulogized you (more than once), so I won't dwell on my grief, except to mention that I think of you every day.

I'm writing to fill you in on how my life has continued since your heart failed, though I firmly believe you've been watching over me.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Post from the Past: Awww

This post originally appeared in October 2010, but I'm re-posting for Thankful Thursday.

It doesn't take much to make me happy, really.

This morning, Brian handed me this pillbox.

He must have found it while putting away the dishes.
(Ignore the dust.)
So I opened it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pretty Pictures: Winter

Britannia Beach in winter
Though I am well and truly ready for winter to END, I must admit that I've enjoyed the snowy rambles with Kane, especially since I started bringing my camera along on our walks.

Monday, March 17, 2014

I think we may have missed the point.

Those of us who are a little older {ahem} will remember the days before recycling, the glory days of use-it-and-toss-it. Those were also the days of gas-guzzling vehicles the size of the Battlestar Galactica, days when our parents sneered at basket-weaving tree-huggers.

It was the 1990s before the environmental movement really gained momentum and the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" tagline caught on.

More Ways my Dog is Like a Toddler

Kane waiting while I make dinner. Patiently.
In a previous post, I listed ten ways my dog is like a toddler, and three that he is not. Since then, I've thought of a few more.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Fiction Friday: Building a Mystery

Bettany absentmindedly flipped her hair over her shoulder, again revealing the bruises around her neck. This time I didn't look away fast enough and she caught me looking. She dropped her hair, hiding the marks as a flush rose to her cheeks.

"I'm sorry," I said. "Is that the reason you're heading to your sister's?"

Bettany glanced at Michael who was still engrossed in his cars and food. His tiny dump truck was bringing him a serving of fries.

"Yah. That's the drill. He totally went off the deep end last night. It's never been that bad before. He just about gave me a black eye, which . . . Anyway. I can't go back."

"Won't he know you've gone to your sister's?"

"He won't come after me, if that's what you're worried about," she answered. "I just need to be somewhere safe."

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Looking Back

My 100 Happy Days board on Pinterest.
It's been many months since I wrote a Thankful Thursday post, partly because last fall I was simply not feeling terribly thankful. But that does not mean that I have not practiced gratitude on a daily basis. In fact, since the losses of Scooter and especially of my friend K.B., making a conscious effort to recognize the joy and beauty in my life has been important and fruitful.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Attack of the Broken Blender

Perfectly posed beneath a safety poster.
I had an unfortunate kitchen calamity last Saturday afternoon, and wound up with two stitches in my right middle finger. Here's the story...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Walk in the Pack

On a beautiful, bright Sunday, I took Kane for a walk with about half a dozen other dogs. This was an organized walk, and all of the dogs there are ones who have social issues.

Like Kane.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hide and Go Seek (Dog Version)

Rawhide bones are cheap fun for dogs that like to chew (and what dog doesn't?). They don't last long, so we don't get them often, preferring to let Kane gnaw on an antler. Ordinarily, the rawhide bone is gone in 30 minutes or less.

But this last time we gave him a rawhide bone, he got tricky with it.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fiction Friday: The Walker

Mirage created by a hot blacktop road;
image by Brent Danley licensed under Creative Commons.
It was one of those stinking hot days when you could see illusions of water on the roadway ahead. The trees and hills in the distance shimmered in the heat waves.

I pushed a cassette tape into the player and felt my mood rise as Joni Mitchell strung a thousand syllables into a single note.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Getting Fresh

Day 15 of 100 Happy Days: 
When I shared that picture as part of my 100 Happy Days gratitude exercise, I captioned it: "big basket of fruit that will last us about three days." As it happens, I was proven right -- and that is a very good thing.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sticks & Stones

I went to bed last night feeling emotionally bruised. A family member had said something hurtful to me, and I had a hard time getting over it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ten ways my dog is like a toddler, and three ways he is not.

Sleepy boy
The other afternoon as Kane slept, I suddenly realized that it all seemed very familiar. Life with our one-year-old dog was surprisingly like life with a human toddler. Here's how.

Monday, March 3, 2014

My dog-walking rant published in the Ottawa Citizen

Photo by Wayne Cuddington, of the Ottawa Citizen
At my sister's prompting, I sent an abbreviated version of this blog post to our local newspaper's letters to the editor. They responded by sending a photographer/videographer to capture some pictures. I am pleased to say I did not totally humiliate myself, though I do come off as a little school-marmish. Guess that's just me.

Spinach-and-feta stuffed chicken

Spanakopita is one of my favourite foods - that Greek combination of spinach and tangy feta in a phyllo pastry is soooooo good. Twigged by that dish (and a recipe title I saw somewhere in passing, but which I didn't "pin" or bookmark), I decided to prepare spanakopita-inspired chicken breasts.

Some of my kitchen experiments are more successful than others. In this case, it was a resounding success. I would happily serve this to guests or for Sunday dinner: it's fancy and tasty and looks like more work than it actually was. (I like things that make it look like I'm not as lazy as I actually am.) It is a little bit of work, but could be prepared ahead of time.

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