Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Positive things

  My column came out in the Jewish Independent last Friday:

This article didn't run in the Winnipeg Jewish Post & News and is potentially my last column for a while--until, perhaps, government funding helps these small publications or advertising picks up again...I wrote it a while ago, but it ran, and right now, every small bit of work is a good thing.
We celebrated a big birthday, my dad's, by family Zoom chat.  My kids made amazing cards, which we sent by email.  My parents are doing well and the 'party' was fun!  (I was a bit sad not to celebrate in person, but that isn't possible these days, considering the Canada/US border is closed, among other pandemic reasons...) 

I dug around in the freezer and came up with apricot/apple puree from last summer, and I made some jam.  In April...and it makes darn good brisket for Passover, as well as being delicious on homemade bread beforehand.

We've had a couple spring snow storms, and one of them was quite a bit of snow. (8-10" or 20-25 cm or so.)  I was able to catch a photo of my family shoveling team from the window of the second story of the house.
We've been busy learning at home, doing science experiments in buckets, reading Dr. Seuss, and more.  Every day is full...but now, we are taking a break.

While everything else crazy has been happening in the world, we've been getting ready for Passover.  As I write this, kids are busy setting the table, helping their dad make special desserts, and producing lots of matzah balls... we will celebrate, and we will remember.  There were other plagues before this one.
Aside from dog walks, playing in the muddy, snowy front yard and once a week trips to the grocery store, done by one adult...we're staying home.  And it's fine.  Honestly.  We all have to cooperate, and work together, because staying healthy is the most important thing.

Yes, I'm knitting and spinning and sewing whenever I get the chance, as a sort of mental health break if nothing else.  However, we also spend time every day remembering to be grateful.  We have food, shelter, heat, family, and dogs.  We are able to email and zoom and facetime with people.  We can learn, grow, jump, play, sing, and dance... and the goal is staying healthy and staying alive.  We can do this.

If you celebrate it, Chag Sameach, Happy Passover!  Next year, let's get to spend it together, with our families and friends, wherever they are.  Stay well.  Take care.

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Thursday, April 02, 2020

Boosting virus testing

This opinion piece I co-wrote went live today in the Winnipeg Free Press:

Manitoba must boost testing capacity

And, it’s snowing in Winnipeg.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2020

waving from home

I've been teaching my kids since there's no school now.  Yesterday, twins learned to sew on a button for the first time.

The good news is that everyone here at our house is fine, we have food, shelter, and good company.  We're all trying hard to work together.  My professor husband is managing his class online, and working in between helping with twins.  I have done a bit of writing when I can stay up late enough, or fit it in.

The rest of the time, I've been homeschooling two eight year olds, cooking, trying to keep things even remotely clean (hard with twins, two bird dogs, an old house and a spring melt), and keep everyone afloat.  And Passover is coming, and we need to get ready for that, too.

For me, it's not that different than usual, because I usually work from home.  However, I now have a lot less time to do it, and very little time to do it alone.  (Right now, twins are out bike riding with their dad helping them maneuver their way through all the snow melt puddles...)

The bad news is that I appear to have lost one of my writing gigs.  Today I received my copy of the Winnipeg Jewish Post & News and to my surprise, my column wasn't in it.  I contacted the editor to ask what had happened.  Apparently, my column didn't run--it was an oversight, but oh, by the way...from now on, he would no longer be paying columnists.  So, if I wanted to write for free, he would still put my columns on the website. Things change fast during a pandemic.

I'll be direct.  I was paid $75 an issue to write for this publication, which is not very much, but I wanted to support the Winnipeg Jewish community, so I did anyway...but I didn't write for free.  (Freelancing is, after all, my job and not my hobby.)  The editor did hook me up with the editor of the Vancouver Jewish paper, and for a while, both papers would publish my column and I would get paid more.  But now, due to the current crisis, I'm unsure of if and when my column will run again.  No more publication = no money from that gig.

Again, we are lucky, we have food, shelter, heat and health. (for now.)  I am grateful for what I have...but just now, I'm really sad and surprised to lose this-- I'll no longer be writing a column every other week for the Winnipeg Jewish community.

If you're sad about this too, contact the Jewish Post & News.  Show them your support.  Maybe somebody could help sponsor the column and help keep the newspaper afloat during this hard time...cause writers deserve to sometimes earn money to eat, too. 

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