The Snow Drops Dropped and the Crocuses Croaked

Last updated:  SAT April 23 2016 1:21 PM Toronto ON Canada
By: Glenda MacDonald (with additional updates as stories develop)

March 24 2016

Poor Little Snow Drop

Sad Little Snow Drop

The Snow Drops Dropped and Crocus Croaked

This morning I was awakened by the staccato freezing rain on my bedroom window. Despite being sleep-deprived I couldn’t wait to get up, because I’m a photographer. One of the reasons I love living in Canada is its changing seasons. At this time of year Spring isn’t quite committed and Winter keeps hanging around. This indecisive weather has wreaked havoc with my poor little flowers who believed the fickle promise of Spring and thought they’d seen the last of Winter. Water-laden hoar frost creates nature’s magnifying glass for whatever lies beneath when the sun chooses to peek out from behind its gray veil.

I particularly like photographing trees on a blue sky day after an ice storm, their branches waltzing in sparkly coats. When you’re a passionate photojournalist you’ll overcome many obstacles to achieve that perfect shot. Once after a glorious ice storm I drove on treacherous roads to west end Hamilton to capture the glassy buds and creaking forests of Cootes Paradise Ravine. At the top of an ice-encrusted hill I focused my Nikon SLR on the alien ravine below, elbows tucked in as my tripod. And then I slipped. Unable to dig my boot heels into the thick frost to stop me I sat down and legs out straight became a human toboggan. Careening toward a fallen tree at the edge of a freezing creek I swung my camera on its lanyard around to my back for its protection, my bare hands grabbing in futility at the icy twigs periodically poking out…. but that’s another story.

Crushed little crocus

Crushed little crocus

Today I’m staying home where the only danger is getting my slippers damp or my hands cold as I pop out for quick shots on my HTCOne smart phone to capture the changing scene. Unless I slip…Sad little snow drop, crushed little crocus.


To view more of my photography please visit me on Instagram:




Night Owl & Early Bird; Digital Spring Cleaning

Last updated: SAT April 23 2016 1:31 PM Toronto ON Canada
By: Glenda MacDonald

Wednesday March 23 2016  

Featured photo: “Hardy Little Snowdrop”. This pretty little snow drop flower popped up in my front garden about a month ago while the snow was still here, before the crocuses woke up.
Weather report: The forecast is for freezing rain and ice pellets.

Snow drops - you hardy little flower!

Snow drops – you hardy little flower!

Night Owl & Early Bird

I’ve been up since 5 a.m. but I’ve been awake since 3:30.  I went to bed around midnight but woke up a few hours later with my brain brimming with ideas. I forced myself to try to go back to sleep but my heart wasn’t in it. I dutifully lay there, still, trying not to awaken my snoring husband. Two hours of mind-numbing debates ensued between me and my bird brains. Night Owl kept pecking at my skull “logically, you know you need sleep!” while Early Bird nipped at my toes, urging me to get out of bed – “the early bird catches the worm!” Finally I thought, “enough is enough!”. I slunk quietly down to the kitchen with my laptop and made my first cup of coffee. I continued researching a story I’m itching to write while the neighbourhood slowly reawakened.

Since I decided to go freelance after a long traditional career this scene has been playing out almost nightly. I’m excited to be finally embracing my inner writer and artist and pursuing my creative goals while I’m aware that I need to also take care of my health. I’ve had a little chat with my internal feathered friends and told them that we are all just going to have to get along. So I sometimes take a little afternoon nap. Night owl, meet early bird. Talk amongst yourselves. I’ve got work to do!

Spring Cleaning the Digital Cobwebs

I’m slow to start my blog today. This is partly due to technical difficulties with my IT department. Did I mention I’m a home-based solopreneur? I am my IT department! My internet’s been spotty. My WordPress/BlueHost front and back ends were having a snit fit and wouldn’t talk to each other. I had to intervene and now they’re playing nice again but their little spat put me quite behind in getting my blog updated. I also hadn’t done a complete MacBookPro backup in almost a week and decided to run my Time Machine right while I was in the middle of my Sophos Antivirus scan. And that’s just the software and network end. While I’m thinking about my needed spring house cleaning I know I also need to address the digital detritus in my office. I’ve got old computers and peripherals, and external hard drives etc. both PC and Mac format. I’ve got an iPad and an iPod Touch that  I’m not using much right now as I’m always on my laptop but need to update the iOS for because there are some apps I need to test on the iPad. Same goes for my HTCOne smart phone. It’s so full of photos that I can’t add new apps, and I have a product to test that works with Android OS. My laptop is on OSX Mountain Lion and I’m debating about upgrading to El Capitan but I don’t want to make time for the downtime. Because I’ve got work to do!

A Day for Catching Up

Last updated: SAT May 7 2016 10:48 PM Toronto ON Canada
By: Glenda MacDonald

March 22 2016

Featured photo: Spring is coming. The crocuses have popped up.

2016 March 22 Morning crocus IMAG6469

Signs of Spring – crocuses have popped up!

My Constant Connection to Nature

Morning Squirrel

Good morning Squirly!

I live in busy metropolitan Toronto, Canada. While I’m a short walk to our extensive subway system I’m equally blessed with living in an oddly rural oasis. Our house is in an old neighbourhood with lots of trees. Our semi-detached home shares a wild and unruly back yard with our lovely next door neighbours. No fence divides us. Our secluded combined back yard is however bounded by a fence and beyond that the corner of a fairly quiet laneway. As soon as the weather warms up my ‘office’ will move to the back deck where I will be mere feet from my pear tree.  Squirly (the name I give all my squirrels) will be trying to eat the emerging buds while I gently remind him (with my outside voice) to leave them alone! I’ll wash and refill my birdbath and welcome back the robins, chickadees, grackles, cardinals, finches, and more. Woody, my woodpecker pal, may return though he doesn’t like to join in the communal bath and will keep himself busy eating insects on the crabapple tree behind the pear tree. My magic lilac bush (that decided to emerge from the dead after ten years) will hopefully blossom again this year. The lily of the valley patch will emerge and the cherry blossoms will begin.
Some days will work from my new upper deck near the treetops. Yesterday the builders completed the replacement deck that our wonderful landlord had built, twice the size of the previous deck, after she had the roof repaired.  I’m looking forward to putting our furniture back out as well as my plastic stepper and my yoga mat.  My creative writing has a lot of natural elements. Nature is my muse and another touchstone.
Updated 5:25 PM: I love my new upper deck! I brought the deck furniture and some planters back outside. I vacuumed my dusty studio, reassembled my art desk, and retrieved my tools and project bins from my husband’s office on the same floor (he’ll be happy). It’s still too cold to keep the studio door open and the sky is gray. I can’t sit out on there for long but if dressed warmly I could go out and exercise on it… but I have to get back to work… Once it is warm I will be able to use my ‘outdoor desk’ up there! Yay…Can’t wait to tell you more about container gardening when I reestablish my dormant deck garden!

Today’s Agenda

I have no specific appointments today on my Live & Current Events Schedule. But that often changes quickly. I’ll continue to watch and review the ongoing Email Success Summit (35+ recorded interviews with email marketing experts) and live-tweet some great tips as I discover them. I missed yesterday’s Canada Reads 2016 competition so I’d like to catch the replay of Day One of the elimination rounds then listen and live-tweet to this mornings Round Two elimination. I want to update my Events section. I’d like to work on my new blog Ventures in Twitterland and I need to pick which of the four of the 70+ Elegant Theme WordPress themes I’m considering. (I’m an affiliate of Elegant Themes and will eventually switch website from its current free WordPress theme to one of theirs as well.)
Updated 5:34 PM: I updated my Past Events page and my Email Success Summit Page. I didn’t have time to watch the replay of the Round One book elimination from Canada Reads competition and only caught the end of Round Two and a bit of the Q&A livestreaming from the CBC website. With my upper deck finished I had to restore my studio and my husband’s office to pre-construction status and move the deck stuff back outside. (See the above update to the Nature section.)

Email Success Summit March 14 to 23 2016 by Small Today

There are over 35 of the world’s top experts in email marketing presenting at this virtual summit presented by Small Today an organization which focuses on the needs of small and medium-sized businesses including solopreneurs and startups.  I’m watching and reviewing all the interviews Founder Liam Austin conducted with the experts and tweeting my best takeaways of email marketing tips from the experts. See my separate blog post for the event. You can use my affiliate link to register for a free pass to watch the live (prerecorded) interviews for today as well as the new ones and Liam’s wrap-up on Wednesday. You can view Monday’s sessions for free until Wednesday evening and today’s until Thursday evening. I upgraded to an All Access Pass which alows me to view all the interviews forever at my own pace in an online course format. I’m also part of a private Facebook group chatting with other All Access Pass holders as we deep-dive through the materials and share how we can implement the tools and ideas as small businesses. Time for me to get back to work doing the reviews! I am continuing to review the interviews form Day 2. I will also keep an eye on the @smalltoday Twitter feed today though I won’t be watching the current sessions live as I want to continue to do them chronologically and I’m still on last week due to the intensive content.

Time for Tea and Cookies!

Hi there! I’m popping back in just before 6 p.m.. It has been a long day of website updates and returning the furniture and stuff to my studio and upper deck in the aftermath of our renovation. 2016 Mar 22 tea and cookies IMAG6471So I’m taking a cookie and tea break before I get back to reviewing the Email Success Summit.  As mentioned in a previous post I love food, eating food and talking about food! So today I am showing you a typical afternoon tea break for me. I drink coffee in the morning then switch to decaf tea in the late afternoon and usually have some cookies with it! Today’s mug is courtesy of Bioroof Systems. I attend many industry events and pick up a LOT of free branded gifts. In keeping with my nature theme today I think a bioroof-themed mug is appropriate! I’m drinking decaf Earl Grey tea (I forget which brand.. will have to check later) and eating one Fudgeeo* cookie (a half serving) and 9 mini-Oreos (one serving). I’m using unflavoured almond milk in my tea. (Again I forget the brand but I will check later.) As a marketing professional who studies personal and corporate branding these things matter to me and I will pay closer attention! So there, even though I’m taking a break, I’m still working…
*Footnote about Fudgeeos… on a recent #gentschat where the topic was food one of my American Twitter friends didn’t know what Fudgeeos were. I explained that they’re a bit like Oreos but with fudge in the middle. I’m going to have to do more research on this as perhaps, heaven forbid, Americans don’t have Fudgeeos! 


The photography on this site is my own unless otherwise stated. I’m not automatically posting the ones on my website to Instagram. To view more of my photography please visit me on Instagram:


What’s your story?

 I’d love to get to know you better. Please send me your comments or questions through the contact form, connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn, or use the comments box below. I’d especially like to hear from other startups, creatives, and freelancers. I also have a soft spot for social enterprise and love to promote good causes.