There are so many great family traditions that we enjoy in the autumn and early winter: apple picking and pumpkin carving, forest hikes to enjoy the changing leaves and then raking up the leaves at home. And then as we inch forward to the holiday season, there’s cookie baking and present wrapping and tree decorating. Chances are you’ve got your phone out taking pictures of the kids during a lot of these activities, right? (I know because I’ve seen them on Facebook!)

Wouldn’t it be great, though, to have a professional photographer come in and take those photos for you? A documentary photo session, also known as a “day in the life” session, is the opposite of everybody standing in a row looking at the camera and saying “cheese.” A documentary session is like having a friend with a camera in the room, taking care of documenting everything so you can have fun enjoying the activities. The photos you get will tell the perfectly imperfect story of your family at this moment in time. And when you hire me to take the photos, EVERYONE gets to be in the photos. There’s nobody hiding behind the lens except me – get the entire family in the photos. In fact, these sessions are great with extended families – bring the grandparents and get them in the photos, too!

Documentary photography sessions with Ottawa photographer Danielle Donders

The idea behind the family tradition sessions is perfectly summed up by one of my favourite literary characters, Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables:

“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”

I’ve been documenting my family at play for years, and it’s the sort of photography that makes my heart sing. Since this is a relatively new offering for me, for the rest of 2017 I’m offering an introductory special: the Family Traditions package.

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You know what I love? Christmas. You know what one of my favourite things about Christmas is? Revisiting the same traditions year after year as the boys get older and watching them reinterpret the traditions for whatever age they are at.

It’s been nearly a decade since we discovered the Portable North Pole (PNP), and it has become one of the Christmas traditions my kids love best. Even now that they’re teenagers (sidebar: what? when did that happen?) they still watch their annual video message from Santa, and Lucas has already started speculating about when his video might arrive. Truth be told, I credit the Portable North Pole for keeping the magic alive – I’m sure my kids accepted Santa as real for years in no small part thanks to the arrival of their personalized video messages each year. I have loved watching their faces as they watch the videos!

Talking to Santa

So what is the Portable North Pole? At its core, it’s a wonderful little site where you can upload a few photos and select a few options and make a customized video letter from Santa for your child. There’s just enough details in the video that it truly seems that Santa has been keeping track of who has been naughty and who has been nice, and it’s all rolled together in a cute little storyline. The options change from year to year, so even after nearly a decade, the kids have never received the same video twice. And, since the kids always watch each others’ videos, I’m delighted that there are always at least three unique videos to choose from each year, so they are truly personalized for each kid.

They have added lots of other fun activities through the years on the PNP site. Now in addition to the personalized video letters from Santa, you can get bedtime stories from Santa and birthday wishes from Santa. There’s an app, and fun and games on the Santa’s Village microsite, and your kiddies can even get a telephone call from Santa. And, in a touch that I think is lovely, 5% of all funds collected through the sale of magic passes is donated to childrens’ hospitals around the world.

IMHO, though, the real magic of the Portable North Pole is the video messages. For Black Friday (now through November 27) use THIS LINK and coupon code PNP7BFD to save 30% off a Magic Pass. If you’re seeing this after November 27, feel free to use discount code PNP7BLG20 to save 20% when you purchase a video pass or a magic pass. (Here’s an article that explains the difference between the video pass and the magic pass.) There are also a small selection of free videos available. There’s a little something for everyone!

If you do use the coupon codes, be sure to come back and let me know if your kids loved it as much as my boys do!

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(Disclosure: I received a complimentary video pass in exchange for writing this post, but I’ve written before about PNP and genuinely recommend the sweet, fun videos to add a little extra sparkle to your Christmas magic!)


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Every now and then in my life, a luck bomb explodes. Circumstances happen to come crashing together in a way that makes amazing opportunities drop into my lap. One of those resulted in my amazing solo trip to Europe in 1995, and another resulted in our family trip on the Allure of the Seas back in 2012. They don’t always involve travel, but when you’re a family of five, international travel can be prohibitively expensive, and sometimes a luck-bomb is what it takes to make it feasible. In this case, I had a very short window to decide whether to cash out or lock in a severance allowance that I’ve been accumulating over my 27+ years with the government that was being phased out, and couldn’t think of a more spectacular way of investing it than planning a once-in-a-lifetime family trip to Europe.

I committed to cashing out the allowance not too long before my dad died. There’s nothing like losing a parent to instill a little “carpe diem” into your outlook. Some of the last afternoons we spent together, my dad and I chatted about places to go and see, and talked about some of our favourite trips. The older I get, the more I’m beginning to value travel over things. It’s been a few months since we’ve committed to the trip, and I’m still breathless with excitement when I think about how lucky we are to be able to show the boys more of the amazing world outside the paths we usually tread.

We chose London and Paris because as much as I loved cramming five countries and 12 cities into a four week solo trip in 1995, I’m not sure my crew is up for that level of nomadic intensity in a travel schedule on an international trip. I loved my time in Paris in 1995 so much that Beloved and I spent our honeymoon there in 1999, and revisiting one of our favourite places in the world seemed like a great way to travel and yet not be completely overwhelmed by everything being new and, for lack of a better word, “foreign.” Also, because Paris!

We chose London because it’s somewhere we’ve both always wanted to go. I have to admit, I wasn’t as keen on the London part of the trip until I started getting into researching what we could see and do, and now I’m not sure how we’ll ever cram everything in, and especially how we’ll ever leave. Platform 9 3/4 and the Tower Bridge and the Thames and fish and chips and Buckingham Palace and the Tube; from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere to Abbey Road to Aziraphale and Crowley feeding the ducks at St James Square, it seems like a lifetime of cultural touchstones are just waiting to be discovered.

In addition to the excitement of actual travel, I have to say that I am incredibly excited to be planning this trip. It’s like a hundred research projects to be managed, all wrapped up into one! From pricing flight options and route itineraries to comparing neighbourhoods; from AirBnBs to budget hotels; from Notre Dame to Paris Disney; there are so! many! things! to learn about. I have spreadsheets and lists and a stack of library books as long as my arm, and I am loving every minute of planning this trip. (Obsessive much?)

Admittedly, we are not the world’s most sophisticated travellers. The last time I actually purchased my own airline ticket was in 1999, for our honeymoon in Paris. And when I was planning my big European adventure in 1995, it was in a pre-internet world. I made my hotel reservations via fax machine! So, I thought sharing the planning process here might be a way to both pick your collective brains, and lay some groundwork for other newbie travellers too.

The biggest expenses will be flights and accommodations. Getting five people to London, and back from Paris, looks to cost us about $5,000, and I’ve been using Google Flights to track prices for a few months. We’re thinking of flying out of Ottawa into London, taking the Eurostar through the Chunell to Paris, and then flying home from Paris. We could drive to Montreal and increase our number of options, but at current prices we won’t actually save anything for the massive inconvenience.

tracking flight prices

Tracking flight prices on Google

I’m also debating between a daytime or an overnight flight. We can leave at 7 am local time and arrive in London at around 9 pm local time, so probably not arriving at our rental flat until nearly midnight. It won’t be too bad from a jet lag perspective, as it will feel like much earlier in the day due to the time change, but navigating a strange city in the dark with kids and suitcases does not seem appealing. What seems even less appealing, though, is the other option of flying out in the evening and cobbling together a few hours sleep on the plane, arriving early the next morning. There are some members of our family who are not at their best (cough cough) when they are tired.

So bloggy peeps, let’s talk about planning flights. Got any tips to share? Do you prefer the red-eye or a daytime flight? How do you find good deals on flights? Am I right to hope for a seat sale for high season travel, or should I just lock in our flights now? Am I crazy to look at Air Iceland flights because they have free wifi and cheaper fares, even though (okay, and because) there is a stop-over in Reykjavik and the flight is four hours longer than the non-stop from Ottawa?

Please share your best flight-planning tips!


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It has been a busy end-of-autumn run on the porch, so busy that I haven’t had time to blog about all the adorable kiddoes and their sweet families who came for portraits. Autumn is the craziest season for family portraits!

It was still quite summer-like for fall when this little fellow came to the porch for photos with his mom and dad. He really liked the apples I had picked up especially for the occasion!

Child portrait by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

By the time we were done, we had a whole basket full of apples with one bite taken out of each! Seriously, can you look at this without feeling the warmth and wonder of mom and dad with their first precious baby? (And how much do you love that dad and baby are wearing matching shirts?)

Candid family portrait

This family came to visit the porch a few years ago when they were a family of two, and came back with a new baby sister this year.

Autumn family photography on the porch

It’s possible that not everybody in the family was enthusiastic about the idea of posing for family portraits.

Not everyone loves picture day

That’s the beauty of working with families, right? Authentic family moments. It took a little bit of patience and a lot of laughs on the part of the grown ups, but I got him to come around.

Children's portraits in Ottawa

Mostly. It’s real, though, you gotta admit that! 😉

Autumn families on the porch

Older kids are often a little easier to work with. They’re more self-conscious, but they listen to direction. And they give me this really patient look when I tell them my best knock-knock jokes (often while the parents are killing themselves laughing off-camera!) This brother-sister duo was delightful.

Portrait of siblings

And then we introduced the family dog to the mix. That, as you can see, went flawlessly.

Funny candid collage of kids and dog

And with that, we wrap up another fun season of portraits on the porch. The more sessions with families I do, the more I love capturing those funny in-between moments that show a family’s true personality – the candid laughter, the outtakes, the sweet snuggles and the expressive looks.

If you love candid family photography, consider booking me for one of the new “Family Traditions” documentary sessions. I can come to your home, or a location of your choosing, and tell the story of YOUR family in action – making cookies, decorating the house, reading stories, or whatever it is your family loves to do together. Read more details about the documentary photo sessions in this blog post, but book soon! There are only a few sessions left in 2017, and this price goes up considerably in 2018.


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Dust off your jingle bells, dig out your Santa hat and strap on your reindeer antlers! Welcome to one of my favourite holiday traditions, the original and most comprehensive listing of all the Christmas, Holiday and Santa Claus parades for Ottawa, Eastern Ontario and West Quebec.

Photo of Santa Claus at the Christmas parade 2013

It’s been a dozen (!!) years since our first holiday parade round up, and this post gets longer every year. Take a close look at the details – I noticed a lot of parades moving from a traditional week or day of the week, and lots of route changes for this year, too. There are more than 20 parades crammed into one three-week period!

Here’s all the info I could scare up about the 2017 Ottawa, Eastern Ontario and West Quebec Santa Claus and Christmas parade line-up, in chronological order:

Ottawa Help Santa Toy Parade
Saturday, November 18 starting at 11:00 am. New route this year! The parade starts at Ottawa City Hall and moves west on Laurier Avenue to Bank Street, then follows Bank Street south to TD Place. New toys (no used toys, please) and cash donations will be collected by the Ottawa Firefighters.

Kemptville Kinsmen Santa Parade
Saturday, November 18 starting at 1:00 pm. This year’s edition of the Kemptville Kinsmen Santa Claus parade will begin at Holy Cross starting at 1:00pm. The parade route will follow Clothier St W and then Prescott St to the Kemptville College. The theme is “Christmas in the Movies.” Following the parade please join us for Santa’s North Pole at the North Grenville Public Library.

Cornwall Santa Claus Parade
Saturday November 18, starting at 5:00 pm. The parade will run from St. Lawrence Intermediate School, 1450 Second Street East. It will then proceed west. The theme for the 45TH Annual Parade is 150 YEARS OF CHRISTMAS. Join us afterward for Santa’s Street Hockey Challenge!

Barrhaven Lions Club Light Up the Night Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, November 18, starting at 5:30 pm. (Note the change to Saturday instead of Sunday!) The parade runs down Strandherd Drive, starting at Beatrice Drive and ending at the park n ride, where it turns north for dispersal. Please remember to bring non perishable food items or cash donations for the Barrhaven Food Cupboard.

Kanata Santa Claus Parade
Sunday November 19, 2017 at 1:30 pm (note the change to day of the week and time versus previous years!) The parade begins at Terry Fox and Castlefrank and proceeds Castlefrank to Abbeyhill Drive and on to Hazeldean Mall. Food and money will be collected by volunteer firefighters along the route for the Kanata Food Cupboard. Join Santa at the mall after the parade!

Petawawa Santa Claus Parade
Sunday November 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm. Parade starts at the Petawawa Plaza along Mohns to Herman, then Herman to Murphy Road, finishing at Civic Centre.

Brockville Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, November 25, starting at 5:00 pm (new time!) The parade will start at North Augusta Road and Pearl Street then travel West on Pearl Street E. to Park Street, South on Park Street and lastly, West on King Street to Gilmore Street. The parade will feature many floats, bands, horses, clowns, community groups, dignitaries and finally the star attraction, Santa himself.

Carleton Place Santa Parade
Saturday, November 25 starting at 5:00 pm. Wear red and white, bring your food donation with you. This year’s parade theme is ‘Canada 150’. As Canada’s 150th Birthday year draws to a close, we will be inviting the public to participate in a parade all about Canada.

Gananoque Santa Parade
Saturday, November 25, starting at 5:00 pm. The Downtown Gananoque BIA will host the 2017 Santa Claus Parade on Saturday, November 25th at 5pm!

Pembroke Santa Claus Parade of Lights
Saturday, November 25 starting at 5:30 pm. This year’s theme will be 150 Years of Christmas as we
celebrate the holiday season in Canadian history. We’re encouraging participants to turn the parade into a walk through history, with each float focused on a different era over the last 150 years, whether it’s 1867, the ‘50s, the ‘80s, or anywhere in between. It’s a way to have fun while celebrating our heritage!

Arnprior Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, November 25, starting at 6:00 pm.

Clarence Rockland Santa Claus Parade
Sunday, November 26, starting at 4:30 pm. Meet Santa after the parade at the Christmas Show at the Knights of Columbus hall from 6:30 until 8:00 pm.

Vankleek Hill Santa Claus Parade
Friday, December 1. Come out on Main Street and greet jolly Saint-Nicholas a few days before he makes his round-the-world distribution of gifts! Christmas comes from the heart!

Osgoode Santa Parade
Friday December 1, starting at 7 pm. Grab a seat along Osgoode Main Street and wait for the big guy’s arrival in the second annual Osgoode Parade of Lights. During the parade Santa’s helpers will collect “Letters to Santa” and drop them off at Canada Post on behalf of all the boys and girls in the village. Don’t forget to bring your canned goods for the “Fill a Truck Challenge“. Frosty the Snowman will be there ready as ever and Stay Puff Marshmallow Ghostbusters will also be joining in the parade. The Parade starts at Nixon Rd. and Osgoode Main and ends in the Foodland parking lot. As a continuation of the Canada 150 celebrations, OVCA has been fortunate enough to be granted funds so we will be able to put on a Special Fireworks display following the Parade of Lights at the Community Centre!!

Merrickville Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 2, starting at 11:00 am. The annual Merrickville Santa Claus Parade, hosted by the Merrickville Volunteer Fire Department Association, will make its way up St. Lawrence Street starting at 11:00am.

Hawkesbury Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 2. This year, Santa Claus will be stopping by Saturday, December 2, so join him to kick off the holiday season! Visit with Santa and some Hawkesbury’s associations while enjoying the parade that will start on James Street, will continue along Main Street and will finish at Hamilton Street.

Pakenham Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 2, starting at 1:00 pm. Don’t miss Santa’s favourite event with the Pakenham Santa Claus Parade! Pack a thermos of hot chocolate and head to downtown Pakenham for an old-fashioned, festive parade.

Manotick Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 2, starting at 1:00 pm. Parade runs from the Manotick Arena and then south down Manotick Main Street. This is our favourite of the season! 😉

Constance & Buckham’s Bay Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 2, starting at 1:00 pm. Don’t miss the annual CBBCA Constance & Buckhams Bay Santa Clause Parade; floats gather on Baillie Ave for a 1:00PM start. Parade runs along Bayview to Len Purcell and winds up at the community centre for hots dogs, Santa, and hot chocolate. Be sure to check out the Christmas Craft Fair, Silent Auction, Outdoor Hockey Registration, and the Learn to Skate program. Be sure to bring your non-perishable food item for the West Carleton Food Bank.

Perth and District Children’s Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 2, starting at 5:00 pm. The annual SANTA CLAUS PARADE OF LIGHTS makes its way through Downtown Heritage Perth. Starting on Sunset Blvd. at 5pm, the parade of lights will travel south through town (Wilson to Gore), turning onto Cockburn Street and ending at Queen Elizabeth School. The parade always ends with a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus on the last float!

Renfrew Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 2, starting at 5:00 pm (note new start time and new downtown route!) The Renfrew Business Improvement Area (BIA) will be organizing the parade. The theme of the parade is ‘Christmas 150 Wishes’. Santa will be at Town Hall in the gazebo at Low Square to visit with kids after the parade.

Orleans Parade of Lights
Saturday, December 2 starting at 6:00 pm. Once again the Ottawa Professional Firefighters Association will be hosting Santa’s Parade of Lights on St-Joseph Blvd. in Orleans. Toy and cash donations will be collected by firefighters along the route.

Stittsville Parade of Lights
Saturday, December 2 starting at 6:00 pm. The annual Parade of Lights is a community favourite, drawing thousands of spectators along the parade route. Each year, dozens of beautifully decorated community floats set the tone for Santa’s much anticipated arrival at the end of the parade. The parade runs along Stittsville Main from Carp Rd. to Carleton Cathcart. Merry makers are also encouraged to stay for the lighting of Village Square Park, and to share in some hot chocolate and cookies.

Aylmer / Gatineau Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 2, starting at 6:00 pm. A tradition that goes back several years, this light-filled parade that departs from the Aylmer marina and attracts crowds from the entire region.

Casselman Santa Claus Parade
Sunday, December 3 starting at 5:30pm Route: Visit our web site for all the details casselmanfestival.ca Hot chocolate will be served by Scotia Bank in front of the big tent.

Carp Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 9, starting at 12:00 pm. The Huntley Community Association is thrilled to announce we will be holding the 9th Annual Christmas Parade on December 9th, 2017 in Carp. The route starts at The Diefenbunker – 3911 Carp Road and follows Carp Road to Juanita Street to Langstaff Drive turning right on Donald B. Munro Drive to Carp Road finishing at the Diefenbunker.

Missing this year: At the time of publication in early November, I wasn’t able to find information about Arnprior, Russell, Richmond, Smiths Falls, Embrun, Almonte, Eganville or Metcalfe this year. If you have any information about these communities or others not mentioned above, please let me know and I’ll update the post throughout the season.

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And don’t fret if you can’t make it to the parade – how about one of these other fun family events with a holiday theme in our region?

Magic of Lights Drive-Through at Wesley Clover Park
November 17, 2017 through January 6, 2018. Magic of Lights is composed of festive and vibrant LED lighted displays celebrating the joy of the holidays. A “drive through” experience from the comfort of your own car, the Wesley Clover Parks Campground route will be overflowing with spectacular light displays and animations where holiday themes will come to life in sparkling lights. Magic of Lights is truly a holiday family tradition and will be for years to come. Select proceeds from each carload admission will once again benefit the Ottawa Senator’s Foundation, last year’s event raised over $47,000 for this charity!

The Vintage Village of Lights
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from November 24, 2017 to December 17, 2017, 3 pm to 8 pm at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum. Step into a holiday tale of your own as you explore seasonal scenes and activities inspired by classic Christmas stories and songs of years past. Take in the 30,000 lights illuminating the Museum, visit with Santa and send a telegram to the North Pole. Let your holiday spirit shine with cookie decorating or a Christmas craft. Singalong to your favourite carol then experience a horse-drawn wagon ride. Feeling chilly? No worries. Warm up by the bonfire and purchase a cup of hot cocoa from the Canteen. There’s magic to share with your family, friends, and loved ones of all ages at the Vintage Village of Lights!

2017 Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train hits the rails again in November, visiting over 150 communities. Since the program’s inception back in 1999, more than $7.4 million and over 3 million pounds of food has been collected in Canada and the United States. At each event, the Holiday Train provides a box car stage, a line up of great musical talents and a corporate contribution to the local food bank. The community, in turn, is encouraged to donate food and funds, all of which stays in the community. Local stops include Finch, Merrickville, Smiths Falls and Perth on November 27 and then Trenton, Belleville and Brighton on November 28. Check the holiday train schedule for more details.

Canadian Museum of History Tree Lighting Ceremony: Thursday, November 30
Thursday, November 30 at 6 p.m.Invite your family, friends and colleagues to count down to the lighting of the Museum’s giant outdoor tree, while enjoying Christmas carols, Beaver Bites and hot chocolate (while quantities last)! This event takes place at the same time as the opening of the Museum’s Christmas Market, which will be in the Grand Hall until 8 p.m. Note that the activities will take place outside, so please dress accordingly.

Upper Canada Village: Alight at Night
Bundle up for an evening stroll through this picture-perfect postcard setting! With close to one million lights adorning the heritage buildings, trees and fences of Upper Canada Village creating a one-of-a-kind magical backdrop for its annual Alight at Night Festival…a true winter wonderland! Times and dates vary, starting December 1, so check the link for details.

Manotick’s Olde Fashioned Christmas
Saturday December 2 and Sunday December 3. The Village is transformed into a Village of Yesteryear. There will be a Victorian Tea and Penny Sale, horse-drawn wagon rides, pictures with Santa, face painting, strolling carollers and more.

Christmas Tree Lighting at the National Gallery of Canada
December 7, 2017. Free admission from 5 pm to 8 pm, tree lighting at 6:30 pm in the Scotiabank Great Hall. All are welcome to enjoy special treats and activities:

  • Make a beaded swirl ornament to decorate your tree
  • Take a photo by the tree surrounded by our festive frame
  • Listen to the holiday melodies of Stellae Boreales, Ottawa Suzuki Strings’ violin ensemble, featuring the school’s senior students
  • Savour a complimentary hot chocolate and a holiday treat
  • Share your photos! #NGCTree

Christmas Lights Across Canada: December 7, 2017 to January 7, 2018
The 33rd edition of Christmas Lights Across Canada will kick off with an official illumination ceremony on December 7, 2017 at 7 p.m. Every night from December 7 to January 7, enjoy the magical winter lightscapes multimedia show projected on Parliament Hill buildings. A brand new experience also awaits you in Confederation Park with displays of lights that will “glow” your mind! People of all ages will get into to the holiday spirit as hundreds of thousands of dazzling lights shine in Canada’s Capital Region and across the country.

If I’ve missed anything, or if you’d like to share information about your family-friendly Ottawa Christmas or Holiday event, please feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at danicanada (at) gmail (dot) com and I’d be happy to add them to this (now epic!) post.

How many parades will YOU attend this year?


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Like many of you, I’ve been listening to The Tragically Hip all week. Radio station CHEZ-FM in Ottawa played nothing but Gord Downie songs for a week, and even rebranded as GORD-FM for the week. When they returned to regular programming, I started gathering up all the Hip music I have collected over the years on various CDs and mixed tapes and cassettes to rip them into iTunes once and for all, as I only ever seem to listen to music on my iPhone and my Mac any more.

It’s been a while since I used the little stereo that sits forlornly on the credenza, to be honest. I use the radio function sporadically, but couldn’t even remember until I checked if it even had a CD player. When I took a closer look, I could see that it clearly had a CD function – but getting a CD into it turned out to be a bit of an endeavour.

Like most mini-stereos of its vintage, it’s black, with very faint silver text describing the various controls. I peered at for a while, poking various promising-looking buttons, (indicator #1 that I am one million years old – I can no longer make out the text on the buttons on the stereo) and even tried to pry the lid open. It resisted in exactly the sort of way that indicated if I were to force it, I would probably regret it. (Indicator #2 that I am one million years old – I can no longer remember how to open the CD player.)

Resignedly, I pulled open the cutlery drawer in the kitchen to grab my nearest spare pair of glasses. (Indicator #3 that I am one million years old – I keep sets of spare reading glasses stashed all over the house.) I was finally able to find the “push the magic spot” spot that opened the lid on the CD player, and insert the CD, and even make it play. (Indicator #4 that I am one million years old: at first, even though properly inserted, the CD would not play and I was >this< close to waiting for Simon to come home to help me with the technology when I realized that it was simply not plugged in.)

If anybody needs me, I’ll be sitting here blasting the music of my youth at full volume, not because I can’t find the volume switch but because I haven’t got around to fulfilling my prescription for a hearing aid yet.

Does anyone know when I got so old?

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Photos of the day: Autumn colours at Hogsback Falls

25 October 2017 Ah, me boys

I think the paths along Hogsback Falls in Ottawa are truly one of the city’s overlooked treasures. I see photographers crawling all over the Arboretum but am surprised that I rarely see family photos being taken at Hogsback – there’s a stunning variety of backdrops and perfect places for posing and playing. It’s been a […]

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Photos of the day: Those curls, though!

14 October 2017 Mothership Photography

I have often joked that I’m going to ban kids aged 18 month to about three years old from family photography sessions on the porch. Toddlers are willful and opinionated and challenging to reason with, they don’t generally laugh my knock-knock jokes, and they rarely want to pose nicely and smile for the camera. That’s […]

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Photos of the day: Autumn porch portraits that felt like summer

8 October 2017 Mothership Photography

When K and her family dropped by the porch for family portraits last year, it was so unseasonably cold that we wrapped the girls in my blankets originally intended for sitting on and then we couldn’t convince them to put the blankets down. When they came back this year, it was strangely summer-like for an […]

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Photo of the day: What’s the story, morning glory?

7 October 2017 Photo of the Day

I was wandering around Centretown looking at fall colours when I was enchanted by this bright blue morning glory, conveniently positioned with those crazy pink flowers in the background. How could I resist? There’s something about morning glories and four o’clocks that make me thing they’re listening. I’d love some in my garden. Are they […]

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