Posts filed under ‘education’

The garden produces

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tomato blossoms

The plants are maturing and we’re beginning to reap the rewards. One day I went out and picked a cucumber. I sent a message to my daughter. E. will be happy to see cucumbers. “Can you bring the girls one day soon to see the garden?”

Several days later, they came, ready to see how it looked. Sure enough, there was another cucumber waiting to be picked. E loves cucumbers.

“You need to share that.”

And she agreed.

 

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happy about the cucumber

 

Her sister, A., didn’t want to be in this picture. She wished for one of her own. Industriously, watering the strawberry plants, she got her wish.

 

 

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giving the plants a drink

 

It was a good time of day to water, at early evening. We were having a hot dry spell with no rain so the plants were ready for a drink. We had to fill the small watering bucket again and again. Of course other plants got a drink too while the girls and their Mom were at our place.

The girls might have been surprised to see how the plants had grown. There were even the beginnings of tiny tomatoes. “I saw them, ” E. said. They both love the tiny tomatoes and will be happy to help pick, and eat, them when they’re big enough and ripe.

 

 

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zucchinis starting to grow

We could have quite a lot of zucchinis growing, but no worries. Our family likes zucchini and my daughter, Laura, has one of those spiralizer machines that cuts the vegetable very thin.

 

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mint in a pot

 

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parsley

My parsley plant has seen better days. Here’s hoping I can find another plant to replace it, even this late in the summer. Our granddaughters, even the one with selective taste buds, like to pinch off a piece and eat it right there at the garden

This morning when I went out to take photos of the garden, I saw my neighbour in her yard. After a bit of conversation, I offered her a basil plant and so we got to talking about how to use it.

 

 

 

 

 

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July 2, 2016 at 3:00 pm 5 comments

Write Canada 2016

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Linda Hall, Indie publishing

Next week is Write Canada in Toronto. The committee has been working for months to get it organized and the registrar’s been busy too.

Instead of the intensive like last year, I’ll offering a two-part workshop on writing Creative Nonfiction and another on what you can do Before the Editor Steps In (not the one on your shoulder that taunts you about your writing, but the one who helps get your work ready for publication).

As far as I know registration is still open. Sign up for Professional Day, Saturday, or the whole conference, here.

Looking forward to it and hope you can join us.

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Steve Bell performing at the 2015 Awards gala

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Fern and Ruth share a table at one of the workshop sessions

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NJ Lindquist, ready for gala

CN Intensive Class with CW and SBN

Members of the Creative Nonfiction Intensive group last year with my co-leader, Stephanie (left)

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Sharing photos at gala, l. to r.: Donna Mann, me and Sara Davison

 

 

photos by C. Wilker and others at 2015 conference

June 17, 2016 at 12:36 pm Leave a comment

Our Garden Grows

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I had some help again this year in planting our vegetable garden. You might say I’m training the next generation, engaging them while they’re eager to help me, but they’re also enjoying it.

At Easter, I bought both girls their own gardening tools, a set in blue and one in green, a shovel and little rake. The girls were excited about finally using their tools and liked digging the holes for the plants and pressing them in the soil very gently.

We planted tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, a neat specialty lettuce and herbs (basil). And we planted the morning glory seeds too.

 

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Of course we posed after the work was done so we could show the results. And we watered the holes and put the plants in after, because it was such a hot afternoon.

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The watering bucket is heavy when it’s full, but she’s strong.

 

 

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After all that work, we need to sit under the umbrella and have a cold drink.

 

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And we’re happy that all this work has been done.

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Making time for a bit of fun. We love to blow bubbles together.

 

 

A mere few weeks later, with sunshine and rain, our plants and seeds are growing.

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Morning glories need thinning. I think every seed sprouted.

 

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Transplanted mint is doing well.

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Zucchini has blossoms

 

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Cucumber plants are doing well too. One little girl will be very happy about that.

 

 

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And tomatoes are doing well too, growing straight and tall. One little plant needs setting in some pot yet.

 

Let’s see what a few more weeks of sunshine and rain (or watering) take the garden.

 

 

June 10, 2016 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

Something to think on

I’ve often heard this line: “But we’ve always done it this way.” Yet the truth is that when change  is called for, doing things the same way we’ve always done them will not produce change. It gets us into an even deeper rut when that way of doing things is no longer working. Like driving a car back and forth on a muddy road and just getting in deeper.

My daughter’s friend, Lara, had this quote on her Facebook page this morning.

If You Want Something You’ve Never Had, You Must Do What You’ve Never Done

It made me think.

There’s no author mentioned and when I searched on google, I learned this statement has been around for quite some time. Apparently, it’s not Thomas Jefferson to whom it’s sometimes attributed.

 

Yet another blogger proposes another discussion on the quote—and a different person to whom the quote is attributed.

 

Now I’m not suggesting that you suddenly decide you want to be an astronaut, because that would involve a lot of training you may not have. What would be the one thing you want to do differently?

Apart from the quote attribute query, what does the quote mean to you? It’s a good question for the New Year. Maybe even better than a resolution.

 

 

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December 31, 2015 at 3:24 pm Leave a comment

Church signs: Fed up!?

Some churches post the title of an upcoming sermon on their outdoor signs. The titles can be entertaining or serious, but they often make me think of what that sermon will address. Good food for thought as I drive through the city. I saw one near the expressway in Waterloo recently on my way back from a networking breakfast. It read: Fed Up. I don’t remember if the sign had an exclamation mark or a question mark at the end, but right away I thought of a quirky twist to it, given the new election signs springing up around us.

Yes, we’re going to have an election, and campaigning is underway which means parliament is closed down until the question is decided who will lead our political parties and win the constituencies.

If there’s a question mark at the end (Fed Up?), one might ask ‘fed up with what?’ Might the pastor be asking if we’re ready for new leadership? Did it mean in Ottawa, Waterloo, or in that church’s riding? I kind of suspect it meant up top, in Ottawa.

Do we really need such a long campaign for political leaders to put-downs at each other? No one is right all the time, and it is a free country, at least it was the last time I checked. We have a secret ballot and no one is standing over us pressuring us to vote in a particular way.

What I want is someone in the community who will work hard for us in Ottawa, to handle things like the environment that seriously needs our stewardship—as in some European and North American cities who want to leave a better world for the next generation, and so would I—and food for children who go to school hungry. There are more issues, but those come up top most for me. Longer contemplation will produce a longer list.

I want someone who will be respectful of the people he or she serves in the constituency, including our aboriginal neighbours, and likewise to each other in the House of Parliament. And perhaps that will show up on the campaign trail what kind of person a candidate is. I want someone who can work with other parties, together, on those really important issues our country needs to deal with.

Of course they’re human; of course they want to win for their party. I feel that we need some new leadership there, but maybe not to have everyone as a newbie, for then we’d be ‘reinventing the wheel.’

Wait a moment! Did the sign mean leadership in their church? Many of us are struggling within our respective houses of worship with our shrinking congregations and changing society. There’s plenty of work to do there too.

I really wish I had known what the pastor meant. Maybe, since I was unavailable to attend that service, the pastor will read this and write to let me know. I’d like that.

Despite all this debate on campaigning, remember our rights and freedoms, the secret ballot and how we have some say in our government. Remember how women such as Nellie McClung and others, early in the 20th century, fought hard for women to have the right to vote. Go and vote on October 19th (or in advance polls). Have your say or don’t complain afterwards. You have many days to decide on your candidate. Make it count.

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada offers election resources to help you make your best decision. Go here to read them.

August 18, 2015 at 6:47 pm Leave a comment

One more post for Lang Village

The day at Lang Pioneer Village included a lot of stops. Our next one was the cider mill where people brought apples to be sorted, pressed and made into cider. The girls know about apple picking and they’ve tasted sweet apple cider, but this was interesting.

 

 

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DSCF9137We saw a big apple peeler and lots of barrels

 

DSCF9138We walked through an old barn where many piece of equipment were on display. It was a good place to stop and sit for a few minutes.

 

DSCF9140And a wagon without a horse. The girls climbed  up and had their picture taken.

 

DSCF9142We walked down the lane and across the bridge to reach the flour mill

 

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Here we are inside the mill with the guide showing us how the wheat is ground into flour. I was impressed how the young man there showed the girls the process on a level they could understand. He talked about and showed how the flour was ground, what flour was more valuable, and about all the equipment and what it did. We went up to the top floor of this large stone structure, looked at all the hoppers and tools, and looked out the window at the water below, then back down all those stairs and outdoors again.

We enjoyed the day and the girls were very interested in many aspects of this place. I’m sure we’ll be back again another year.

Thank you so much to all the guides and volunteers for telling us about the village and the people who lived in these places and worked at these jobs. Thank you for taking special interest in the way children understand might view the place and time. You made it a special day for them and us.

 

August 13, 2015 at 1:20 pm Leave a comment

Toastmasters, even on holidays

I’m a long-standing member of the Energetics Toastmasters of  Kitchener-Waterloo, and as we were planning our holidays in the Grandview Resort in the Kawartha Lakes region, I thought, I wonder what Toastmasters clubs are in the area. A google search brought up three in the area, one at noon in Peterborough, Naturally Speaking Toastmasters, as well as two others. Not being as familiar with the area as one who lives there year round, I decided on Naturally Speaking, a club that meets in the noon hour on Tuesdays.

With the help of Tony Nelson, founder and former member of the Energetics, now a member of Lindsay and District Toastmasters, I contacted Lisa from the Peterborough club and wrote, “I’d like to attend your meeting while I’m in the area. And I’m open to take a meeting role.” Lisa replied with an invitation to speak or take another role that had not yet been filled. I chose the speaking role. Before we left home, I got an email from Brian who was to be my speech evaluator for details on my project and I sent him a message too.

My husband and I drove into Peterborough that Tuesday morning after our initial few days at our daughter and son-in-law’s location. With the help of ‘Matilda,’ our GPS, we got to Charlotte Street, parked and walked the next block to Empress Gardens where the club meets. The seniors were at lunch on our right and the Fireside Lounge to the left where we met Brian Patrick and Susan Johnston who were setting up for the meeting.

 

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At first it seemed as though the meeting would have a small attendance that day, not unlike our own club during the summer, but they trickled in, including Heather Watson, the meeting chairperson for the day. We were early, after all.

The meeting began with welcomes and a greeting on the theme of compost. This club, at least for today, had the speaker slot early, and I was the only one. Julia Ledgard, Grammarian for this meeting, gave us the word of the day, which was ‘dirt.’ With one hour to meet, there’s no time to waste and the meeting went as planned.  Heather introduced me and gave my speech title, No Such Word, and it was time for me to speak.

For those who do not know about Toastmasters, we help each other with our communication and leadership roles through evaluations and the members took time to give me some feedback on my speech, both grow and glow as we like to call them. Grow points to help speakers improve their presentations and glow for the things they did well.

Jay  Schiller, an organic farmer apart from his office job, led the impromptu speaking session as Table Topics Master. His questions were challenging and the speaking time was 2 minutes each.

I thank the members who offered both appreciation and constructive feedback that I will consider the next time I give this speech again, or another similar one. I appreciated the opportunity to visit this warm and welcoming club and would do so again at another such opportunity. Although each club is made up of different individuals, I noticed the same atmosphere that we have in our own club, one that welcomes guests and makes them feel at home, and a true and helpful spirit where we work together to improve our speaking and leadership abilities.

Thank you to the members for making my husband and I feel so welcome. Best wishes to you in your personal and group goals.

DSCF9084A photo of the members and guests that day, with me at far right, in the beautiful Fireside Lounge

 

DSCF9085Susan K. Johnston and Brian Patrick, holding up their banner. They joked that, between them, they represent many years in Toastmasters

 

Then before we headed out for lunch, we walked up the street and took some pictures of the city

 

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DSCF9088I like how the newer buildings blended with the historic in colour in that square.

 

DSCF9089Looking across at Empress Gardens where the Toastmasters meet

 

 

July 25, 2015 at 1:07 pm 3 comments

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