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.

    Birthday Love

    {This blog entry has been edited from the previous version.}



    This is an image I took at a previous photo shoot — a child’s birthday party. This was a pair who were guests of the birthday boy. I only got two shots off but am delighted I turned at just that moment!

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    Dog Gone Weekend …

    It’s been some time since I’ve shared photos of my dogs. Rather than inundate you with multiple photos, I did a pair of mosaics. Since I did these at BigHugeLabs, I can not control the positioning of their body/head in the thin strips. Here is the first mosaic:


    Far Left: Austin, our male Australian Shepherd resting after lots of exercise (ol’ blue eyes)

    Second from Left: a sepia of Pearl, also an Australian Shepherd — she is leaping against the tree to ‘try’ and get to an annoying squirrel

    Third from Left: Austin again — intent on a squirrel (nice clean teeth)

    Far Right: Austin doing one of his favourite activities: leaping in the air to catch snow when my husband is shoveling.

    Below: the second mosaic that includes all three …


    Maggie, Pearl & Austin

    Maggie, Pearl & Austin

    I also have a ‘dog blog’ for anyone who may be interested. It’s mostly about natural canine health and wellness plus a few other things tossed in now and again. Visit Dogs Naturally to see what it’s about. Have a fun filled weekend — head outside, soak up the fresh air, and have fun with your family and dog (if you have one). Dog gone it’s bound to be good!

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    “One’s home is like a delicious piece of pie you order in a restaurant on a country road one cozy evening – the best piece of pie you have ever eaten in your life – and can never find again.  After you leave home, you may find yourself feeling homesick, even if you have a new home that has nicer wallpaper and a more efficient dishwasher than the home in which you grew up.”  ~Lemony Snicket


    Where I live now

    Where I live now

    Like Lemony Snicket, even though I’m in that home that “has nicer wallpaper” metaphorically, I still find myself homesick for the home in which I grew up. Not the physical house, but the place. I miss the city, I miss having people around, I miss the conveniences & the culture, I miss the diversity, I miss the people all around (yes, I know I said that but you get the idea). On my recent trip to Edmonton I felt alive again, vibrant, motivated — I had a taste of that excellent metaphorical piece of pie so aptly described by Lemony Snicket.

    Upon my return, I was armed with some of the real estate papers for my husband to pore over. To my delight, he actually has been poring over them. We’re still a couple years away from retirement but we’re planning. One day, one of these years I will be able to pack up and return home.

    Where do you call home — the place where you’ve had that taste of the best (metaphorical) pie ever?


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    Storm has Brewed and is Percolating


    I’m back from my relaxing and regenerative trip to the city. It’s storming or perhaps, more correctly, I should say we’re having a winter blizzard today. (The photo, however, is one from an early winter storm but today it is white everywhere with no dead grasses showing in the field. I don’t feel like going outside to get a photo to show you how intense it is — sorry!) It’s 15 below C, with a wind blowing so hard that the snow is running parallel to the ground, and drifting everywhere. My husband couldn’t get his car out of the garage this morning because there’s a 5 foot drift in front of the door. He was able to get the snowblower out the side door to make a pathway out to the highway and used the SUV to get to work. Just part of life north of 55.

    I have a mountain of ironing to do, several work related projects to get done, and am finding writing inspiration from this book by Christina Baldwin.


    Storycatcher: Making Sense of Our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story

    “Story is the heart of language. Story emotionally moves us to love and hate and can motivate us to change the whole course of our lives. Story can lift us beyond the borders of our individuality to imagine realities of other people, times, and places; to empathize with other beings; to extend our supposing far into the universe. Storytelling — both oral tradition and written word — is the foundation of being human.” ~excerpt from cover jacket of Storycatcher

    So tell me, what stories are you catching these days?

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    Houston, we have a winner!

    This has been such a wonderful week watching for and reading the wonderful responses as to what each person would put in their comfort drawer (or box). Some of you who participated already had a comfort drawer, some have now created one, and one of my buddies, Debi made a very special one for her mother. Please read her blog entry and see the photos she took of the comfort box and those of her mother opening the comfort box. It’ll warm your heart.


    Digging for a winner!

    Digging for a winner!


    I wish I could send something to each and every person who shared their heartwarming responses but alas, I had to draw one lucky name on this St. Patrick’s Day. Drum roll please … the winner of the draw was our only gentleman who responded and his entry would put a soft sigh in anyone’s heart: Dave. (I’ll contact you by email right away Dave to get your mailing address so I can send your prize.)

    Thank you to everyone who responded. Some responses made me laugh, some were creative, and others were touching. I’m even going to be taking a few of the ideas shared here as I put my comfort drawer together (especially those gummi bears!). I’ll be away for a few days so am leaving you with this image from my front yard just to prove that we are still very much in winter up here! Thank you to everyone for participating. We’ll have to do something like this again.

    snow pile on caragana

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    A wee bit of antique added to a pretty amaryllis …


    “The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life.”  ~Jean Giraudoux

    I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend full of joy and exploration. Tomorrow is the big day — I’ll be making the draw … if you haven’t participated for the free draw, please do so right away! Good luck and I hope you win! 🙂

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