Posts filed under ‘lifestyle’

Piece by Piece book signings

Piece by Piece.cdr


Please note that I have several book events already set up for Piece by Piece


April 13th, at Family Home Health Care Centre in Palmerston ON, from 11 am to 3 pm

May 11th, at Tavistock Public Library, Tavistock ON, at 11 am, reading and signing books

And I will be at the Tavistock Fall Fair in September. More news on that one later. All of my books available at this event.

More in planning stages


March 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

Piece by Piece

Having a new book is very exciting. A lot of work goes in to getting it this far, including years of writing,  then editing, revision and even more editing.

Once the book is about to be released comes the task of letting people about the book and when it’s printed, getting it into other people’s hands. That can be fun or it can be daunting.

My book contains many stories about experiences, both good and challenging or sad. Everyone has those times. I share how it’s been for me.

Go about life as positively as you can. Gather the support of friends who can help you get through the tough times, know who you can lean on. And remember to celebrate the joys and achievements no matter how small. And know that God cares about you in all those circumstances.


Piece by Piece Book Cover

My book published by Angel Hope Publishing, Drayton, Ontario. Book events coming up. I’ll list them in a follow-up post.

March 6, 2019 at 1:59 pm Leave a comment

Poetry from a childhood place

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Me as a 6-year-old at home, ready for my first day of school


I was thinking on awakening this morning of stories in my first published book—stories of home and among them the poetry that spoke of those places.

We had an attic—which many older houses do—a space at the top of the house where things to go to sit awhile or be stored. For some items, not the best place but out of the way of a busy family and all its related belongings and conundrums.

My sisters and I went up there to play the old phonograph, dress up in old clothes, sort through old school papers that became yellowed and brittle in time in that warm place. Where we could look out to the road and over the fields at our farm. This was a place we retreated to now and then for short periods of time.

The poem came much later as an adult looking back and no longer living there. And now our home belongs to someone else. But in memory, it’s still ours.


Attic Playhouse

Under the roof is a playhouse

with its familiar odour of heat and yesterday

leather skates lean against each other

like fallen dominoes

March through December


outgrown Sunday shoes wait for the next pair of feet

castoff clothes crammed in a crumbling cardboard box

yellowed notebooks   -lined with ancient scribbles


crank the gramophone

inside its heat blistered  black box


it warbles a tune

in symphony with buzzing flies

hypnotized by the light of one window

and too dazed to find another exit



© Carolyn Wilker

published in Once Upon a Sandbox, 2011



My first book, a collection of stories of family and community

February 20, 2019 at 12:27 pm Leave a comment

A good time to clean up files


Unneeded files came to their end this holiday period. After Christmas Day with our family, and having not long ago helped to clear Mom’s apartment after her death, I realized that I wanted to make the process as easy as I can for my girls when that day comes for me—hopefully not for some years yet.

Mom’s papers were in good order, so that wasn’t a problem. It was the stuff we hang on to. And the closet spaces held a surprising amount of stuff. Living in a country with four seasons will do that, and that includes clothing and decorations as well as the usual household stuff.

Even then it was some work to clear out. I want to be as organized as I can, but there was much work to do to get there. And so I got to work on computer and paper files. I deleted endless old files to the junk box on the computer, lightened my emails in each Inbox that I have (more to do yet, but it’s a good start).

Another thing that needed clearing out was old papers I no longer needed to keep. Expired documents ( beyond the 7 years I need to keep) and old writing files for which I have newer documents.

As I was reminded when I purchased a new shredder this past year, I needed to take care of it and run a lubricant sheet through it every so often. I used several sheets in the process.

I won’t go into a list of all I shredded but it was paper I don’t need cluttering my office anymore. Backups are a good thing, and another investment I made this year on an additional external  hard drive to store photos and back up my documents. I pay for a service each year through a preferred company, but that’s only for documents, not pictures.

Make the process a little easier for your family, as  you’re able. Don’t wait. Some day they’ll thank you for it. Make a plan for where stuff might go when you no longer need it, business wise and books. Give away things to kids who can use it, such a a rug a family member could use for a basement playroom. Big stuff, little stuff. And in that breath, my husband and I are not alike in the way we share and keep, but that’s a topic for another time.

Take some time, clean out unnecessary stuff and start the New Year a little lighter. Someone will thank you for it. You may like it too.


One bag of shredded paper. There was more.

December 29, 2018 at 4:34 pm Leave a comment

The things we do as grandmothers




on holiday outings together


First I’ll declare outright that I am a grandmother. Have been for awhile and our count is up to five. I don’t have to raise them or pay attention to their financial keep. But I can spend time with them and I enjoy being with them.

We bake cookies together, plant garden in season. We play, read and do puzzles together. Those things I like. And recently we had a cookie decorating session, with plenty of icing and add-on decorations.



Decorating Christmas cookies with all the trimmings

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supervise their play


Enjoy the out of doors, even the shadows the sun makes in our paths

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join in their make believe

When we dare to sit with our small grandchildren, we learn a little about what they’re thinking. When we engage with their play, they learn too.

We have no guarantee how much time we’ll have to enjoy these young ones and so it’s a good thing to build the relationships at an early stage. It builds trust too.

There’s no doubt that it takes energy to play with them, especially the smallest ones, but the time we spend together and the smiles make it worthwhile.


Looking after the garden we planted together


checking on the fairy garden and building the path for fairies


climbing into his car

I’m grateful that my grandchildren all live in the same city. It takes only minutes to get there. We get together for dinner, for play and special celebrations.

I look forward to spending time with them at Christmas, to see the delight on their faces as they open their gifts from us, for the hugs too. And today we will go to the older grandchildrens’ school for the holiday assembly. We sit back and watch them perform and then see their surprise when they see us on the way out. Blessed beyond measure.





All photos on this site, unless otherwise noted © C. Wilker

December 19, 2018 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

Another breakfast with our hosts


Though I knew we were going home and had a good time, I looked forward to that last breakfast at Between the Maples. Gord and Maggie had such interesting experiences in their lives that it was good to chat with them. They asked about us too. And our breakfast was delicious. I could have sat longer to talk, yet we had a few places we wanted to see before we left Owen Sound.


Maggie and Gord, an unbeatable team

While we said our thank yous, Maggie handed me a small envelope. Gord helped us carry our things to the car and we were on our way.  I had to check what was in the envelope. It was a little note handwritten by Maggie, wishing us a happy anniversary and wishing us well. That was sweet. And she’d bought a copy of Harry’s Trees for their small grandson.



Tom Thomson art on display at this time

First to the Museum, but it wasn’t open yet. No problem, we went to the library next door to discover that part of it was the original Carnegie Library. I was intrigued also by the decor by the stairs, what looked like a shelf of books was actually placecards for donors who contributed to updating the children’s library.



Such an appropriate way to recognize donors

The children’s area showed great thought and appreciation for children’s literature and for those who spend time in this place. Certainly inviting.


The library had received permission for an artist to create a stained glass piece on art by Marie-Louise Gay, a Canadian artist and book author. Love her stories about Stella and Sam. This was perfect for the children’s area


We looked around a little more in that area before heading downstairs. Whoever had designed the changes had young children in mind too.



I had permission of the parents to take this photo. This is just one example of a kid-friendly library.

I spoke to a librarian sharing my delight in their space and how it was so inviting for children and their parents.

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The original Carnegie library kept as it was. I could have spent more time here.




Needs no further explanation


We headed over to the art museum next door. I didn’t take photos of the art for obvious reasons, but we did take time to look through the selection of Thomson’s art and pieces by other artists inspired by Thomson and the Group of Seven.

By this time we had some rain and wind. We’d decided to go to Harrison Park, just to see it, before we headed home.



A family bought this land and dedicated it for a park


One of the children’s play areas


A well kept park near the end of season

We left this pretty park in drizzly and windy weather and began our drive homeward. We’d stop in Varney for lunch at Pebbles Restaurant and go on home from there.

It was good to get away for a few days and we certainly enjoyed our stay.

If you have the chance to go to Owen Sound for a holiday, check in with Between the Maples B & B and enjoy some time with Gord and Maggie.


October 19, 2018 at 1:56 am Leave a comment

Blue Mountain, we’re on our way …



Our plan, day two of our getaway, was to head for Blue Mountain and a particular historical site. We started early enough with breakfast with our B & B hosts, Gord and Maggie, with a good, stick-to-your-ribs breakfast. The table was set in a lovely fashion with not a thing lacking. We had omelette, croissants, bacon, home-made grape jelly and more, but we also had company at breakfast.

A couple from Holland were spending their vacation biking around Ontario. Industrious people they are, both in the psychology field back in their home, they are used to biking and only occasionally use the car they share with their family. They’d already seen much of Ontario and were heading to Blue Mountain later that day. Wednesday, they’d travelled 80 miles by bike to stay at Between the Maples for a night. We had wonderful conversations with them about their work and travel.

Maggie and Gord saw them off and we continued our conversation. There was no reason to rush as we had a full day before us. We learned that our hostess was also of Dutch origin and her husband was a geologist by profession. Now retired, they were running this B & B. Gord had been busy taking apart the front windows and painting outdoors before the weather got too cold for such work.

With much thanks for a tasty breakfast, we set off for the day. We’d head out the highway in the direction of Blue Mountain. It would be good to be in the area again. The only time I’d been there were two Toastmasters district conferences in late fall and there’d been no time to tour.

The leaves on the trees were beginning to turn colour, with just a hint of colour thus far. We saw farms and fruit stands for this is an apple growing region.

On our way, following the side of the lake, I noticed a beautiful waterfront in the community of Meaford, so we decided to stop there awhile. What caught our eyes next as we parked were the strange fellows up on the lamp posts. A man walking his dog asked if we were there for the scarecrow festival that weekend. We weren’t but it sure looked interesting. He told us about the Hoedown that would take place on Friday night. We’d be heading home before that, but we agreed that it sounded like fun. It does appear that they have a lot of fun here.


I thought, later, how they reminded me of a  field in Cape Breton on a trip where they had a field with scarecrows, but that lot was for sale and it’s unlikely the scarecrows are still there. These were fun and they seemed to climb every lamp pole in the park.


Scarecrows in so many places


My husband, ready with his camera too


Signs of what’s to come on the weekend and later on  the museum wall. Maybe next year we can come for the hoedown or the parade.


At the side of the museum



Even indoors there was a scarecrow, but he had no pumpkin head. Probably rules about that.



A crazy quilt like the one Grandma H. used to make.


Former Speaker’s Chair used in parliament


From the archives, local history, and a little information about the chairs

There was so much in that museum that we could have spent much longer. We’d soon need some lunch and so we headed outdoors to take a few more pictures and be on our way.



People must have a lot of fun assembling these guys


Boats in the water and boats waiting

The people of Meaford take such pride in their area. The gardens were nicely kept and the waterfront was beautiful and the water so clear.




Nicki, keeping the gardens pretty

I spoke with a young woman named Nicki, who was pulling weeds in the flower beds, and remarked on the beauty of the park. She, too, asked if we were staying for the festival. I said we’d be heading home the next day. She said, “Maybe next year.”

By now it was well past lunch time. We’d head in the Thornbury direction and look for food and stopped one more time on the other end of the Meaford to  get a photo of more scarecrows.



In case you’re wondering, we did actually make it to Blue Mountain that day. I’ll save that for the next post. Watch for it.




October 5, 2018 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment

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