Sunday, June 09, 2019

What will you do to further reconciliation?

This photo features what the Canadian Oath of Citizenship SHOULD say if the government passes a bill to update it to meet one of the points in the Truth and Reconciliation's 94 calls to action

Here's a link to my opinion piece that came out today on the CBC-Manitoba website:

'What will you do to further reconciliation?' Canadians need to act on MMIWG inquiry's calls for justice

I wrote this piece in response to being asked this "What will you do' question. In responding, I was reflecting on how all the inquiries seem to request  many similar things from the people and government of Canada... And few or none of the-totally valid-points are being dealt with properly or promptly in response.

(In other--less important-- household news, it's Shavuot, my kids have had way too much ice cream this weekend, and they also did very well at their first piano recital.  There's a lot going on, all at once-as usual- at my house.)

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Friday, June 07, 2019

Finding the light

 During June, we have many hours of sunshine in Winnipeg.  We get up earlier and stay up later, and things seem very busy.  The birds are singing, it's bright daylight at 5AM, and we're doing all the things except sleeping enough.  Last weekend was especially busy, as these gentlemen turned 8.  Yes, eight years old!!  (Yup, they do not look like this anymore!  My twins have new hats....)

We were very busy with planting our garden, eating gelati with some of our favorite grown ups, and having a special kids' birthday at the university greenhouse last Sunday with a few kid friends.  Yes, the professor was loaned a key to the greenhouse and did the tours--there are a few advantages to having a biology professor dad!
I made cupcakes.  They tasted pretty good, but it is obvious that I did, indeed, fail the icing and piping section of the breads and desserts class. I took this course as a senior at Cornell...I'd already finished most of the coursework for my double major.  It was an elective at the Cornell hotel school. I can make a really presentable loaf of rustic whole wheat bread, but somehow, no one wants that with a candle in it on his eighth birthday!  Go figure.

On Monday, I worked like crazy, trying to catch up on my worklife after the big festivities.  This was complicated by the city's plans to fix some sidewalks near our house.  There was a lot of jackhammering. It's truly hard to write and edit when the house is shaking. 

Tuesday, I hopped in the car at lunch hour to run errands and looked in my rear view mirror.  I prepared to back out.  Then I noticed this.  It's not really clear if this was vandalism (and there is this kind of window breaking vandalism in our neighbourhood...) or if it was just the vibrations from the jackhammer.  Needless to say, I was a little shaken up.  (Note my very annoyed reflection in the glass there...)
The professor kindly brought the car to an autobody shop, where they treated my bright yellow, 16 year old Pontiac Aztek like it was a unicorn.  They told him there were no replacement parts in Canada, they don't make this anymore. It would take 3-4 weeks to get the replacement glass from Minnesota. And-- if it did not work out, well, they would have to total my-low mileage, entirely functional, reasonably fuel efficient- car.  (Please insert your bad words of choice here.)  Needless to say, we're going to try to make the repair work out.

In an effort to try to be cheery, despite the jack hammering outside, (AHHHHHH!), here is my latest article in the Jewish Independent:
See the light inside everyone

And, despite the sidewalk construction noise, the port-a-potty across the street, the workers leaving their lunch trash in front of my house....and smoking near my old wooden house, --even though we've got a fire ban going on--(it's dry as heck here), well, I'm trying really hard to see that light.

Note: Sometime soon, I will post about my new article in PLY Magazine's spindle issue.  Probably after the jack hammering stops...

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Friday, May 31, 2019

Put down the Duckie (or the cell phone)

The Jewish Independent has just published my article, "Put down "the ducky" in shul.
(Shul is a Yiddish word for synagogue, it's a place where we learn so the word also means 'school.')

This article is about how we sometimes have to put away our cell phones/social media in order to be part of a real life community.  And, you know, I cannot help myself, I'm referring to Sesame Street and using social media to make my point. :)

Enjoy the video, if you don't already know this fabulous Top Ten hit...  As someone who used to play saxophone, I can't recommend it enough!

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Monday, May 27, 2019

Fight over the mitts...and ticks?

I finished the first pair of mitts from the Saltwater Mittens book.  While they were still waterlogged and drying on the (now cold) radiator, both my twins started an absolute brawl over who would get them.  Needless to say, I've started a second pair.  In case you have this kind of near bloody enthusiasm at your house, I've provided links to the book.

In other news, I have been busy at work on helping edit a new edition of a Diabetes health book....

However, it's tick season...so another writer asked me some questions-- she was doing a piece on Lyme disease in Canada.  Here's a link to the piece in the Toronto Sun.  (Yes, I'm that person who had Lyme disease...) I've written a lot about it, but it needs a lot more media coverage in Canada.  Bonus for writers and editors out there: I got to use the insidious in a quote.

We're preparing for a big birthday weekend--my twins turn 8 soon.  They helped me shop for favours yesterday at the dollar store.  It's going to be a blast...a bunch of kids in the university greenhouse.  Wish us luck that no one backs into a cactus!

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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Can you see me now?


Here's my latest CBC article:
Can you see me now? Time to stop judging each other and value middle-age women
(Note: This ridiculous photo from the article is it's exactly how I don't want to look!)
Also? Happy May Long Weekend, Canadians!  We're getting in a lot of dog walks and play time...but it's definitely not warm enough yet to plant a garden in Winnipeg or anything crazy like that.  Maybe in June...

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Monday, May 13, 2019

Taking care

The last few weeks have been frenetic around here.  Since before Passover, a month ago, I have been super busy--first with all the household preparations, as my husband, the professor, was out of town before the holiday, and then afterwards, with catching up on all the work that seemed to fall between the cracks.  I've been doing some editing, writing, and even some designing. 
Then, the news (shootings, floods, wars) has been fairly daunting, too--and after a while, a person feels run down.  My piece last week for the Vancouver paper, The Jewish Independent, as about this issue and how to do a little self-care in order to cope.  It's called Staying calm amid bad news.
One thing that kept me busy was getting ready to teach a handspinning class in our local fibre arts community.  I both love teaching and feel a bit out of practice...I started my career teaching full time, but now work almost entirely by myself.  That transition from 'extrovert' job to an introverted lifestyle has meant that sometimes I have to really psych myself up and prepare to do a teaching job.  I still love doing it, but I don't get to do it as often now.  
On Mother's Day, I joined five women who seemed as determined as I was to take time to enjoy themselves and learn something new--and the break did us all good!  
This first photo is of the bags of samples I created for the class: eight different kinds of silk, mohair and alpaca, all weighed and measured in a cheerful and reusable bag in spring time patterns, complete with lists of where to buy resources and more.  I also brought along my books to share for those who were interested in a signed copy.  
These days, many of my students seem surprised to hear that I did actually write books on these topics!  (Alas, although they are still for sale, fame is so fleeting!)  If you missed your chance to take a class on Mother's Day, you can, of course, always order the books online.  Here's a link to Fiber Gathering and Knit Green for good measure...If you live locally, I can also sign your books if you're interested.  (If you live far away, postage may be prohibitive.) 
Meanwhile, back at our household, the Professor and my twins did piano lessons, grocery shopping, and playing with our dogs on their own...and surprised me with flowers and a sushi dinner as a treat.  Sometimes a break from routine, some learning, and some time spent doing something you love... is a good thing! 

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Friday, May 03, 2019

Goats and vulnerability





Here is my latest article from the Jewish Independent.  It's called:

Goats out in the wilderness
I wrote it just before the synagogue shooting in Poway, but with only a couple of edits, it was sadly still relevant.  It's about people, goats like Azazel --and vulnerability.

The piece surprisingly, owes a lot to the research I did for Fiber Gathering, where I met a lot of goatherds, fibre goats, and learned a lot about how they raised them.

The first two photos here are from Crete, where people raise many goats in somewhat free range conditions.  At bottom, there's a photo of me making friends with a goat at a festival.  My husband, the professor, caught me talking to the goat and took my photo...about 12 years ago now!

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