THE SETTING: It was a dark and stormy night…..Oops, wrong story

It was a gorgeous autumn day, Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, as our family gathered at the home of son-in-law Ken and our very own Martha Stewart, daughter Holly. As usual the aromas, reaching all the way to the driveway, wafted teasingly up our nostrils to wrap around our olfactory nerves and set off the tummy gurgles from the moment we stepped out of the car.

Entering through the door, a glass of wine is slapped into my hand by Ken with the skill of an O.R. nurse answering the surgeon’s urgent need of a scalpel. This man knows me well! And also knows how to make mother-in-law points.

THE SUSPECTS: Five women, four men and four doggies (I can never bring my kitties to family functions because they would beat up the dogs, no kidding!), made for a noisy, happy, calamitous couple of hours prior to a crispy, brown gobbler exiting the oven. Humphrey the 50th, (a tradition set by my parents decades ago named our turkeys ‘Humphrey’) was joined on the table with creamy mashed potatoes and silky gravy, a yam dish blanketed in sugared pecans, salads, veggies, freshly made cranberry sauce, pickles, more wine and a promising belly ache.

THE VICTIM: Not one, but three pies, cherry, pecan and pumpkin, with pastry so light it flaked if you didn’t tip toe past it, awaited in a side room to be joined by ice cream in the freezer and paraded to the table.

THE DISCOVERY: Suddenly the air was rent by a despairing scream! Everyone was shocked into wide eyed silence (a total rarity with our clan). I ran to the adjoining room expecting at least a blood bath and was met instead with a very distraught daughter, her hands covering her mouth in horror, and a son-in-law covering his as he strangled to contain his laughter. All eyes stared at the demise of half a pumpkin pie and a piece missing from the edge of the pastry from the cherry pie.

THE CLUES: Whodunit??? The pies were healthy and whole prior to dinner. First clue: The deed occurred in the adjoining room. Second clue: Every human was accounted for. Third clue: Only the pumpkin pie filling was eaten, not the pastry…deduction: the perp doesn’t like pastry, even very light and flaky pastry! The marks left in the pumpkin pie filling were very uneven and appeared to be made by …… a little tongue! Deduction: the perp was not human (gasp!). That left….DOGGIES!! Fourth clue: Upon feeling the tummies of all four suspects and the questioning of humans as to the sightings of said doggies during dinner, left but one solution.

Dum de dum dum…

THE CULPRIT: Bailey the Poodle!!

Final deciding factor leading to a guilty verdict: A round, distended tummy that felt like she had swallowed a baseball.

SENTENCE: Ten hours of miserable tummy ache accompanied by extreme thirst. She was released on good behavior after ‘returning’ the pumpkin pie on the carpet.


Roll back time a few hours to find family doing a photo shoot in the park prior to dinner. It was time to update our family pictures. Holly may be the family Martha Stewart, but I seem to have the Annie Lebowitz role.

With camera in hand we met in the park which put on a superb show of autumn colours while the sun smiled all afternoon. After a couple of hours of strolling for settings, snapping, posing, re-snapping and getting hungry, these are a few of the best shots:

Holly and Ken (left) DB and You Know Who (right)

Kristie, Bronson and Barkley (left) Holly and Kristie (right)

Ken, Steve, Holly, Lindsey (left) Steve and Lindsey (right)

t’s not easy getting these clowns to settle down and be serious!

On the travel trails…..Where are we??

Still at home in Canada.

As everyone knows, unless you are snoring in hibernation already, the world has been turned on it’s monetary kiester. Canada, although positioned to be one of the few countries with strong banks and a economy able to keep us out a recession, has a dollar competing with an Olympic downhill ski record. Hey, don’t ask me, I don’t understand it.

What I do know is, for us to spend several months in the USA with a depressed Canadian dollar has our bank account ready to impeach us. Soooo, we are waiting and watching as the dollar does it’s daily dipsy-doodle to see if it will miraculously rise or at least stabilize. Someone should put the poor, worn out thing to rest.

We may stay home for a while or we may just pick up and go. Stay tuned to find out where we arems;”>
I personally feel that the world is in a time of shift and there has never been a more exciting time to live on earth! My October issue of “Clear Directions” e-zine contains an article telling you why. If you don’t get it by subscription into your inbox, go to this page of my website and find it there after October 31st.