It was  early when I returned from shopping the market at the end of my street.  My basket was filled with two day old eggs (the best for baking), cream, chocolate and flowers.  Purple irises with deep golden throats.  The colours of spring.
The note was hanging from a red ribbon fastened to the door of my little house in Paris.
Place Émile-Goudeau,  11:59 p.m.  April 10th.  Bring cake.   (The Tin Man)

Tinny knows I spend April in Paris.  And that on April l0th I will be in my kitchen baking layers of delicate almond meringue in the La Cornue stove.    Filling the layers with espresso flavoured custard and topping the creation with chocolate ganache and pillows of whipped cream.

This creation  – this Dacquoise cake  must be started early in the day.   I whip the egg whites and sugar into shiny peaks then gently, every so gently fold in the crushed almonds.    While the layers are baking I make the  custard cream and tuck it into the refrigerator to thicken.  I will spread the custard cream carefully on the delicate meringue  layers . Next the ganache.   I chop dark chocolate into fine pieces and stir in the boiling cream.    It will rest, too.  It must be just the right thickness to enrobe the cake in all its magnificent glory.      The cake will rest  – until midnight.

Place Émile-Goudeau.  Trust The Tin Man to plan a birthday celebration in this unusual setting.   On Theadora’s favorite park bench. With her favorite cake,  and of course with our favorite tipple –  champagne.

Happy Birthday  darling Theadora.





Once upon a time in a place where biting snow and dangerous cold covered the land for much of the year there lived a girl.

One night when the sky was filled with dancing colours of  sapphire blues and emerald greens her older sister took her by the hand,  and walked with her down into the town and into the movie theatre.

Together they watched as Dorothy and Toto traveled through the sky to the Land Of Oz.

From that very day she filled her closets with red shoes.

Her garden with red poppies.

Her home with Siamese cats.

And her thoughts with  The Tin Man; for he had the biggest heart of all.


The Tin Man 1

Eight thousand, two hundred and eighty days passed   (8,280 days), and like Dorothy she flew threw the air and The Tin Man became part of her life.   The flying monkeys carried messages back and forth.  He left the Emerald City and traveled to her country.

Photographs and stories about the joyous reunion are told on

TALES AND TRAVELS OF THE TIN MAN.  Read and then tell me that magic doesn’t exist.

PS. Dear Friends.

While you read “Somewhere over the Rainbow” is playing quietly in the background.




BEL’OCCHIO    …   the beautiful eye


The Tin Man 1


There is an Emerald city.

Where The Tin Man and friends hold court.

She opened the book cover and crept into the story.


Canada 702

Canada 678


Canada 682

The day began with a sweet afternoon.

The scones baked crusty and golden.

Adorned with butter and warm strawberry jam.

They talked the hours away.






And in the kitchen of a thousand dinners.

Chicken simmered in wine and cream.

The Tin Man put aside his silver ax.

And opened the wine of dreams.


Canada 714


Canada 713


Canada 716

In the golden glow of candles and happiness.

While the Gypsy Kings filled the night with music.

They told of dreams garlanded with lilies and roses.

Tales of the Tin Man and the Emerald City.


Canada 658

Oh you are the best friends anybody ever had, and its funny, but I feel if as if I’d known you all the time, but I couldn’t have, could I ?”


A note about the food served on “A Day with The Tin Man” – All the recipes are on my blog MRS. BUTTERFINGERS.  Simply click on the name and you’ll have the recipe.












Writing my blog has been a great source of satisfaction.   I’m telling my story, past and present.    Years of writing  for radio and television taught me to  examine and polish each word, to be clear, take risks and to have a  love affair with words.

The unexpected joy has come from you and your stories.  It is Judy living in West Vancouver.  Stories of my father and mother have inspired her to start writing a book about her family.

Courageous Patricia has been hospitalized for several months.  She tells me the first thing she is going to cook when she goes home is my Tomato Basil Soup.  I will always think of Patricia when I make this soup.  She is now part of me and part of this blog.

Pat in Toronto has taken my DIY paint projects to heart.  She is brandishing a paint brush, and if it doesn’t move Pat is painting it.  Perhaps it will be a new career for her.

Unexpected joys;  knowing someone I met in Winnipeg  years ago is now sharing my life in South Africa.  I think of her when I write about making rhubarb crisp.  How Prairie is that.

Unexpected joy;  discovering each day how many dear friends are visiting BEL’OCCHIO (the beautiful eye) and sharing my blog with their friends.

Theadora in Paris has me calling my painted toes “stunners”.

Tricia who has visited 55 countries takes me traveling with her every day.

Ginny and her cat Polly inspire me to work on my altered books.

The Tin Man reminds me how much I love the first colour movie I had ever seen , The Wizard of Oz.

Every day I span the world.  For brief moments I am in Greenland with The RigMover or with Florence in the mountains of Andalusia in Southern Spain.  The adventure never ends.

Life is indeed a series of unexpected joys and incomprehensible riches.