September 2017

I have been on a Fredrick Backman kick this year, reading A Man Called Ove and Britt-Marie Was Here and Beartown more or less in succession. Have you read any of his books? They’re quirky and warm and poignant and thoughtful – and did I mention quirky? Not to mention occasionally laugh-out-loud funny and frequently delightful.

This summer, I started reading another book by Bachman out loud to Tristan and Simon. My Grandmother Sends Her Regrets and Apologizes is a quirky and whimsical book that features a mythical beast called a wurse that has a love for a Swedish chocolate bar called Daim. So when I happened to be in IKEA the other day (seriously, when am I not in IKEA?) and saw bags of mini-Daim bars for sale, I picked one up to entertain the boys.

DaniGirl is addicted to Daim bars Oh my goodness. Seriously? No wonder the wurse loves them. Best! Bar! Ever!

They’re a little bit like Skor bars, but there’s something about the bite-size format that makes them so much better. I watched Simon’s eyes bug out in appreciation when he first tried one. They’re so addictive that I might have gone back and bought a second one-pound bag to hide in the back of the cupboard. And, erm, maybe a third for my office.

Seriously, I don’t even like sweets that much. I’m a salty chips sort of girl!

Have you tried Daim bars? If so, what do you think? (And if not, get yourself to IKEA, stat!) And if you haven’t read any of Fredrick Backman’s books, you’d better get on that, too. They’d be perfect to read with a cup of coffee and a big bag of Daim bars.


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Sometimes, when you’re on your way to work and you see an amazing photograph in the making, ya just gotta stop the car and grab it.

Sunrise on the Rideau Canal

Like this sunrise over the Rideau Canal. In just a few days, the sun will be rising later, and a little bit more to the south. Today, though, it was nothing short of stunning.

Carpe diem, friends. Seize the day and celebrate beauty where you can.


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Once upon a time, whenever something of significance happened in my life, I made sense of it by blogging about it. Though I don’t blog as regularly or as intimately as I used to, I still feel the need to share a seismic shift in our lives, but each time I start to write, I falter. I don’t even know where to start.

My dad died on Saturday morning. If you’ve been around for a while, you know that he had been sick on and off through the years. He had a liver transplant when I was pregnant with Tristan, but in the end it was heart and kidney failure that took him. He went into the hospital in June for a fairly routine concern and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure; he never really recovered. We were graced with a full summer to say goodbye, and for that I am deeply grateful. He died in his sleep at home in the early hours of Saturday, at peace in his own bed and with his family nearby.

My dad and I spent quite a few hours together in the past few weeks. Though he was mostly confined to his bed, we figured out that if we were careful navigating the stairs, we could get him into my car for a little change of scenery by driving the back country roads around Barrhaven. I’ll be forever grateful for those quiet moments we spent together.

Quite a few years ago now, I wrote a post for my Dad’s 65th birthday that says a lot of what I’d like to say today. And last year, I wrote this post for my parents’ 50th (!!) wedding anniversary. Threaded through the years of blog posts in the archives, you’ll find dozens of stories and vignettes and photos featuring him, because he has always been a huge part of my life.

My mom and I wrote an obituary that ended up being way too long to publish, but I thought I’d share it here. I can’t come up with anything close to eloquent today, but with this and what’s already in the archives, I don’t need to.

With sadness in our hearts, we share the news that Lou Donders has passed away. Lou was born in May 1944 in Dusseldorf, Germany, the only son of Katie and Harry Donders. The family moved to London, Ontario when Lou was a boy after spending a few years in Tilburg, Holland. It was at Catholic Central High School in London that he met the love of his life, Frances (nee Conlin). Lou and Fran were married in 1966 and had a long and happy marriage filled with love and laughter. They moved to Ottawa to be closer to family when their first grandson was born.

As a six year old boy in Tilburg, Lou formed a boy’s marching band which is still performing to this day. At 16, Lou began teaching drums and later became a professional musician, playing all types of music including symphony. He had a quick, dry wit and a curious mind. Lou, who became affectionately known as Papa Lou to his five grandchildren, leaves behind his wife Fran, his daughter Danielle (Mark), his son Sean (Natalie) and his grandchildren Tristan, Simon, Noah, Brooke and Lucas. He will be remembered by countless friends in London and Ottawa. Although there will be no service, whenever you see a dog happily wagging its tail, full of the joy of life, we invite you celebrate Lou’s life with fond memories of a life well lived.


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