observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

  • Welcome to my photo journal

    Living on Vancouver Island in B.C. Canada Diane loves the scent of forests and rain, the rhythms of the sea, and holds discoveries and stories in high regard.

    Where mornings begin with a drum roll! --Diane M Schuller

    Updated each Monday ... simply an online journal of an ordinary life. Come on in to enjoy a breath of West Coast air.

    Do you Tip?

    © DianeMSchuller

    They’re looking rather scruffy aren’t they? Actually since I took this photo, Pearl (on the left) has been to the groomers. Her coat type is entirely different from Austin’s and is a constant struggle to maintain. We decided to take her to a groomer for a bath and a nice comb-out. She’s 11 and this is the second time I’ve taken her to a groomer but selecting a groomer is a real process. I think we’re both a bit too fussy about certain things. We did find a groomer with a nice clean facility, who doesn’t expect the dogs to sit in cages for hours before being ‘done’, and she was incredibly easy with her (yes, we can tell). :~) The groomer called us to let us know Pearl was getting tired and we should come pick her up. The groomer felt that the nearly 2 hours she spent with her was enough for the old gal but asked if we’d bring her back the next day for a short time so she could ‘finish her off’. I thought she looked pretty great but we did take her the next day for a short visit so the groomer could trim her legs and the hair on her feet plus thin out her mane a bit. And she didn’t charge any extra!! I couldn’t believe it. I have a question to ask those of you who take your dog(s) to the groomer. Do you tip groomers? Since this is only the second time we’ve ever used a groomer, I wasn’t at all sure whether the protocol is to tip or not to tip groomers. Because I was so pleased with what a fine job the gal did, how kind she was, that she went over and above what was expected, and how Pearl reacted that I felt she deserved a tip even if that’s not what people do. So the young lady received a tip from me. After all I tip my hairdresser and she doesn’t do anywhere near the work that the groomer had to do with Pearl. What do you do?

    UPDATE: It is agreed then that I did the right thing: tipping is definitely in order for dog groomers. I found this since I originally posted this and thought it spelled things out quite nicely. Enjoy:

    10 reasons why it costs so much for a Dog groomer

    In the next post I promise to deal with a few things I’ve left hanging for a while: before and after photos of our kitchen and the new backsplash plus a few words about the last book I read: Room. Oh, and I may have to talk about food again.

    Looking forward to attending Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner as part of the Newcomer’s Club this weekend. I’ve already decided on what I’m taking as a hostess gift and what salad I’m going to make to bring along. For this round of the dinners the coordinator has stipulated that the man of the house will be cooking dinner for the guests. So that’s the highlight for this coming weekend. What about you?




    Tweet thisFollow me on TwitterPin thisshare on Facebook
    Sherry Smyth - September 28, 2013 - 8:04 am

    Never had to use a dog groomer (no dogs), but I think this is an excellent question to ask Diane. There are many times when we’re puzzled over “do I tip here?” — and when I’m in doubt, I do it. Your example of the groomer going over and above and not charging…in that instance I’d be more inclined to give a tip and a note with a “thank you so much”. Or make a stop with a card and a tip to show appreciation. When we were in the UK and Ireland in the spring we were at a loss about tipping in pubs. Custom says you pay and offer one for the bar tender. Which we did in the UK. But in Ireland when we tried to leave a tip the bar tender told us that wasn’t necessary, nor was buying him a pint. So different places, different customs. But we were happier to make the offer and be told “not necessary” than to do nothing and be thought of as “ignorant tourists” (lol!).

    lisa - September 28, 2013 - 6:23 pm

    They look just gorgeous, Diane, and very happy too!

    I do tip my groomers. Like you, I just figure it’s like going to get my hair trimmed.

    I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

    Sherry Galey - September 29, 2013 - 9:07 am

    It’s certainly true what Sherry says: different places, different customs. We do tip our groomers — they have always done an awesome job and it’s a way to recognize that. I tend to tip well for great service/work all the time (unless it is considered an insult, of course). Your dogs are just beautiful. I love seeing their pics!

    Sherry - October 4, 2013 - 7:50 am

    Thank you for brining sunshine to my days, Diane. I’m nominating you for a Sunshine Award. See my blog for details…http://wp.me/p2dZoc-1pU

    Currently …

    (Does it count that I wrote this one a couple days ago?)

    scale at French Creek Marina

    digging (as in liking): the utterly beautiful backsplash I chose and that was finally installed yesterday

    drinking: my usual morning cappuccino

    listening: my go-to radio station, CBC (did you read my previous post by any chance?)

    reading: Room by Emma Donahue which is our current book club selection (and studying musical notes in the evening)

    feeling: so content

    weather: a wonderfully calm, foggy morning

    foggy day at the Coast Guard station

    foggy day at the Coast Guard station

    my new favourite thing:  homemade kale chips (how can something so good for us be so darn easy to make and taste so delicious!)

    wishing: you know, I don’t wish for a lot. I love what I have

    thinking: how much better I’m progressing in my piano lessons

    grateful for: all the homegrown produce that is so abundant here (so I made a batch of pickled beets this week)

    pickled beets

    loving: that we’ve had such an extended and very warm summer

    looking forward to: more foggy days

    excited: for my son and hoping he gets the house he put an offer on not too long ago

    busy: filling in for the book club coordinator and helping to get a new book club started; organizing a kayak club for Newcomer’s; getting rid of some unnecessary ‘stuff’; daily dog training sessions (yes, that goes on until the end of October); homemaking.

    NOW YOU … tell me what you’re most pleased about this past week.

    Tweet thisFollow me on TwitterPin thisshare on Facebook
    lisa - September 20, 2013 - 4:44 pm

    How much I enjoyed reading this, Diane!
    I love pickled beets too, and they’re good for you!
    Not sure about kale chips, but they sure sound interesting.
    It sounds like you had a wonderful week. I had a very busy one, but now I have the weekend to look forward to, and for that I am grateful. 🙂

    I wish you a wonderful weekend!

    Sherry Smyth - September 20, 2013 - 7:29 pm

    Love those pickled beets!!! And the foggy photo…it’s that time of year! Very foggy here today — muggy as well. My week has been crazy upside-down and then cold germs began to infiltrate…but it hasn’t kept me down — a little purging and tidying, a little chatting and time with friends, a little wine, a little chai latte and thinking ahead to what autumn is going to hold in store for me.

    Sherry at Still and All - September 21, 2013 - 6:25 am

    Glad the backsplash worked out so well. Our beets did not grow well this year (rats) but the carrots did. Loving honey crisp apples and setting up my photography room and spending an afternoon with friends I had not seen for a long time — and then finding out I sold three images through Getty! Been meaning to try those kale chips. Love your foggy shots by the water!

    Jennifer - September 27, 2013 - 7:50 am

    I would like to do a post like yours. It seems like it would be such a fun exercise to reply to the one word prompts. I love that you are taking piano lessons. Once upon a long time ago I played the clarinet- badly. In high school, I was a member of three bands no less. Though I have no gift for it I love music making.
    Sundays on CBC radio is my absolute favourite. I have wanted to read The Room by Emma Donahue. You’ll have to let us know if you enjoyed it.

    Books and Fairy Dust

    Admit it, we all need books and fairy dust once in a while.

    books ©Diane M Schuller

    This year, CBC Radio was conducting a survey of sorts with a public vote asking listeners to choose which book from the past two decades we think was the Giller winner of all Giller Award winners. I didn’t even have to think about it — that came naturally, even after I reviewed the entire list (you know, just in case). So I voted. But in order to place a vote, each voter was required to write a little blurb about why they chose that book over the others. I chose Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance (I realize it was once an Oprah pick but I read it years before she chose it 🙂 ). Absolutely one of the top 10 books I have ever read! And that is saying something.

    So here is the cool part. On Twitter today I noticed they tweeted that they were announcing the book that the public voted as number one. I opened the link, and could see immediately it was A Fine Balance. But the bigger surprise came part way into their article. They used an excerpt from my reason for selecting the book within their article! No kidding. Take a look.

    So, like I said, we all need books and fairy dust once in a while.

    I realize picking a single favourite book is impossible but what would you say is one of your all-time favourite books, and why?

    books on my shelf

    Tweet thisFollow me on TwitterPin thisshare on Facebook
    lisa - September 18, 2013 - 4:39 pm

    Wow!! How neat is this, Diane???
    I’ve not heard of this book, but you can bet Im going to check it out.
    I hope you’ve had a wonderful day!

    Anne - September 18, 2013 - 10:07 pm

    Way to go. I have not read this one but will add it to my list

    Sherry at Still and All - September 19, 2013 - 9:39 am

    How wonderful, Diane. Your comments about the book are full of heart and beautifully expressed. You write so eloquently. And I agree, it is a magnificent book. I find it impossible to pick an all-time favorite book…there are so many I love. And many of the books that have had the greatest impact have been memoirs…

    Jennifer - September 27, 2013 - 8:03 am

    How neat that they quoted you! Rohinton Mistry’s book is one of my all time favourite Canadian books. The characters are all so vivid and real. I have yet to read Through the Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden which was the runner up. We heard Joseph Boyden speak about his latest novel The Orenda at the Word on the Street in Toronto. What an interesting and funny speaker he was!

    Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

    Look who I found inside my Hawes watering can? Ye olde Tree Frog, that’s who!

    tree frog inside Hawes watering can

    tree frog inside Hawes watering can

    The crazy thing is, he (she) simply remained there while I emptied the entire contents on my tomatoes and a few other pots. I noticed this little guy when I went to refill it with water. That’s when I let out a little “eek” despite knowing how harmless the little creature was.

    If you’re curious about the photo challenge visit The Weekly Photo Challenge at WordPress.

    FYI: Do you know what happens to frogs during winter in the cold areas of the country? National Geographic has an excellent article “Frogs Freeze and Thaw”.

    Tweet thisFollow me on TwitterPin thisshare on Facebook
    mightwar - September 17, 2013 - 3:52 am

    It seems so totally un-phased considering you have been using the watering can. Maybe it’s meditating? And I really like the contrasting colours of the frog’s skin to the plastic of the can.

    lisa - September 17, 2013 - 5:49 pm

    I love this, Diane!!
    So nicely seen and photographed.
    It looks like a wonderful place to hide out! 🙂

    Amanda Wilson - September 17, 2013 - 9:01 pm

    Love the angle of this shot, and the colors!! I’m also particularly partial to cute lil froggies… 🙂

    Jessie - September 17, 2013 - 11:00 pm

    Aw! he’s so cute!

    Sherry at Still and All - September 17, 2013 - 11:05 pm

    I love the sheen of the green frog against the matte of the gluey-green watering can. Well seen, Diane!

    shawna - September 18, 2013 - 8:54 am

    What a sweetie! Had to come and see yours after seeing Michele’s frog on Flickr and your comment there. 🙂

    […] Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside » Diane Jarvis-Schuller […]

    Sherry Smyth - September 19, 2013 - 11:40 am

    I’m afraid I would have let out a very BIG eek!!! But it is rather cute and looks so cozy in the watering can!

    Vibha at PixelVoyages - September 20, 2013 - 6:53 am

    Spectacular picture. Lovely composition.

    […] Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside » Diane Jarvis-Schuller […]

    At the Marina

    Last month (I told you I’d need to do some catching up) I joined some other Newcomers on a little photo field trip to our local marina. It was a great opportunity to see a few things in a different way and to add to my collection of photos (as if I don’t already have more than I need!). Enjoy.

    ©Diane M. Schuller


    Tweet thisFollow me on TwitterPin thisshare on Facebook
    lisa - September 15, 2013 - 2:37 pm

    Diane, I absolutely LOVE this series of images.
    There are so many wonderful finds at a marina.
    It just takes one to see them, and you have done that so beautifully here.

    I wish you a wonderful week ahead!

    Candace - September 16, 2013 - 9:08 pm

    What a beautiful place, Diane! All the photos are so sharp. I love the glowing sea star.

    Dog Views

    Did you know?

    • The Australian Shepherd did not originate in Australia. The first ancestors of the breed originated in the mountainous regions of Spain, though they later became known because of their use by sheep herders in Australia. Even though the huge popularity of this breed arose in the USA, the Americans tend to say they originated the breed, though they are mistaken — they did make the breed very popular however. Las Racosa ranch has some of the most accurate information about the breed’s origins.
    • I’ve owned Australian Shepherds for about 30 years.
    • People who are not prepared to give the Australian Shepherd daily, vigorous exercise and mental stimulation every single day of the dog’s life (for the next 13-15 years — on average) should consider a different breed (I strongly advocate taking on a rescue dog or one from a local pet shelter). If you think I’m exaggerating, visit this lady’s website and she’ll share more about this topic.
    • We feed our dogs as nature intended with a species-appropriate carnivorous diet. They are never fed kibble.
    • I have maintained a discussion group for Australian Shepherds since 2004 with the mandate of discussing a natural raw-based diet combined with holistic canine husbandry.

     11 (eleven) year old Pearl still needs LOTS of stimulation and exercise, every day

    The astute observers among you will notice that in both photos, Pearl is not at rest — she is on sentry duty. Sure she may be sitting in one photo and in a down position in the other. Don’t let that fool you — she is most definitely and assuredly “on guard”. Ever watchful and attentive to any movement or sound that may require her to ‘get to work’ and sound the alarm — early warning signal to the rest of her pack (us). Aussies, after all, MUST have a job. And if the owner doesn’t train them and give them a job, they will appoint themselves a job. The sad thing is, many owners don’t give their Aussie a job — and worse, no exercise to boot — so the Aussie turns into a barking, pacing, chasing, ripping, bouncing maniac. It’s not the dog’s fault — they simply need lots of sensible exercise and a job to do. Unfortunately most people buy an Aussie because of their beauty or because they are so intelligent. When you buy a breed as intelligent as an Aussie you must be fully prepared to spend every single day of the rest of the dogs life in keeping that dog well exercised and well stimulated (emotionally/mentally). If people who have an Aussie arrive home to a house/yard that is chewed, things ripped up, and other destruction or the dog is constantly jumping up and/or tearing around the house like a buzz saw, that Aussie most definitely is not getting anywhere near the exercise it needs — or may not be getting any exercise at all. This scenario applies to any breed of dog by the way — insufficient exercise equals destruction.

    If you were an employer hiring someone to work in a toll booth for hours on end, you would definitely not hire an olympic athlete with a type A personality. The same applies to people and the dogs they choose — Aussies must have the right kind of guardians to ensure they have an active lifestyle. Aussies are definitely not couch potatoes, nor can they ever be content in a household living with couch potatoes.

    As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve registered our 9 year old Aussie in obedience lessons. Oh yes. And that ‘old dog’ is learning new ‘tricks’. It’s doing him a world of good and he’s being stimulated in a very positive way. The unfortunate thing I noticed at our last class was the absence of the pup and its guardian who needed the classes more than any other in the class. But I also noticed, the rest of the class also came having obviously done their homework. Austin is really enjoying (in addition to his regular daily exercise) the extra attention and learning experiences we’ve been doing since starting class. I’ll keep you posted as we go along. I’m expecting he will do well and that in taking on this new venture, he will gain more confidence. Old dogs really can learn new ‘tricks’.

    I’d love to hear any of your dog experiences …

    Tweet thisFollow me on TwitterPin thisshare on Facebook
    dinahmow - September 9, 2013 - 9:41 pm

    The reason we do not have a dog (apart from the fact that we don’t have a fenced yard) is that we both grew up with working dogs and it’s a bit difficult to run sheep or cows in the suburbs! All dogs need a “job” and the training to do it.

    Sherry at Still and All - September 10, 2013 - 1:53 pm

    I’m so glad you did a post on your dogs, Diane. I have been admiring them whenever I catch a glimpse of them in your photos. I knew little about this breed except how beautiful they are. It is so important to know as much as you can about a dog breed before you take on the responsibility for an animal. We carefully researched Westies and they have turned out to be perfect for us. We recently lost our 15 year old Angus, so I’m feeling a bit bereft. But he had a long, happy, healthy life and he was well loved and very loving so that’s about the best one can ask for. Charles, our rescue Westie, loved to be with Angus so he is missing him too.

    lisa - September 10, 2013 - 5:13 pm

    Thank you so much for this post, Diane.
    Too many people get a dog or other animal on a whim, not having a clue as to the commitment involved.

    It’s also really good to know that there are some conscientious dog owners in your class.

    I LOVE these photographs!

    Jennifer - September 11, 2013 - 7:48 am

    I am glad you stopped by for a visit. What a nice blog you have! I am not sure how interesting you will find my blog because it is all about gardening. (You mentioned Lavatera in your comment so you must have at least some interest in gardening. I grew white Lavatera this summer and am totally smitten with it. So pretty and delicate!)
    My boys are snoozing on the cool kitchen floor as I type. Hot Ontario summers are hard for such furry beasts. The only time we can get them to be happy about being outdoors is at dusk! We take them to the local leash free dog park most evenings.Like Australian Shepherds, they are working dogs and need the mental stimulation of a good game of fetch in order to be happy. Right now they are shedding big time! There is lots of brushing needed for my three boys each fall!!

    Kelly @ JAX does design - September 11, 2013 - 8:07 am

    Your Aussies are so beautiful 🙂 Obviously they get all the exercise & love they need to be happy & healthy & content dogs 🙂

    Catahoulas are another breed that need constant mental & physical stimulation. They were bred to be hunters & herders, and I can definitely see the herding instinct in our Catahoulas.

    Candace - September 16, 2013 - 9:13 pm

    Your dogs are so beautiful.

    Michael Flaherty - September 17, 2013 - 11:19 am

    She’s cute. I have far too many dog stories to choose. Nice shots on here, especially your detail shots.