Twitter-logoI only entered the active world of tweeting recently. I’ve had a Twitter account for years, set up for me by a colleague during a tedious meeting reviewing  institutional policies. People were tweeting sardonic comments back and forth across the huge seminar room and the guy sharing my table quickly set up a twitter account for me on my lap top so I could get in on the action. 

A little over a year ago I began tweeting links to my blog posts. Then I realized I could link my tweets to the Twitter accounts of people or places mentioned in my blog posts, and that opened up a whole new world of connections. If someone liked what I’d tweeted they  ‘retweeted’ me. I find it fascinating to see who retweets me.

neil gaimanI connected ten of my photos to a quote by author Neil Gaiman in a post and Neil retweeted it on his Twitter account which has 2.3 million followers. 

winnipeg art galleryI often connect posts about the Winnipeg Art Gallery to their Twitter account and they retweet me to their nearly 3,500 followers. 

donnajankeantiguaDonna is a fellow blogger. She is retired, loves to travel, is a free-lance writer, and lives in Winnipeg. She’s  just like me.  Her blog reminds me of my own. She sometimes retweets my posts and that always leads me back to her blog to check out what she’s been seeing and doing. 

I’ve been retweeted by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Assiniboine Park, Folklorama, Rebelight Publishing, Mayor Brian Bowman, MLA Kevin Chief, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Fort Whyte, Tourism Saskatchewan and many other people and places. It’s fun to see who my ideas connect with. 

The social media site Twitter is only five years old.  Until recently I had no idea what a ‘retweet’ was. Now I am retweeted almost every day. Life is interesting!

Other posts…….

The Politics of Facebook

What Are People Saying?

Thanks for the Memories Aunt Olly



Filed under Media

Talk About Presentation

me and audreyMy friend Audrey is a fantastic cook.  She collects all kinds of interesting recipes to try.  Meals at her house are an adventure I always look forward to.   Audrey’s food not only tastes delicious!  It looks BEAUTIFUL!   I read on a food website that a plate of food is like a painting with the rim the frame.  If that’s the case Audrey creates masterpieces. lovely table settingOn our recent visit the table setting was a work of art in itself. first courseOur first course offered a whole variety of taste delights artfully arranged on wooden boards. Notice all the different shades of green and at least a hint of red hidden in every component and the rounded shape of each item.shrimp and chcken rosotto

Our main course was barbequed meats on a bed of risotto, each arranged in a linear way on a long plate. dave and terryLook at my husband Dave licking his fingers enjoying every bite. Of course Audrey’s husband Terry plays a role in meal preparation too, manning the barbeque and choosing the wines. 

American chef Giada De Laurentiis says “we eat with our eyes first so the presentation has to be great.” When Audrey makes a meal your eyes are wide before you take the first bite.  

Other posts…….

Sweet and Spicy- The Hundred Foot Journey


Tacos- The Real Meal Deal

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On Reading Lila by Marilynne Robinson

Photograph called The American Depression chosen to illustrate the review of the book Lila by Marilynne Robinson in The Independent

Photograph called The American Depression chosen to illustrate the review of the book Lila by Marilynne Robinson in The Independent

One of the things I like doing when I finish reading a book is to look at the illustrations accompanying the reviews of the book in various publications.  I never do this before I read a book because I like to imagine the settings and characters for the story myself.  lila book cover

I just finished reading Marilynne Robinson’s Lila. I imagined the book happening in various settings I was familiar with….. on the main floor of a house I lived in on Beaverbrook Street in Winnipeg in 1960, in a cabin in the movie Getting Married in Buffalo Jump and in the church at the Steinbach Heritage Village Museum. I also imagined how the characters looked- one had the face of a former student, another Max Von Sydow with long hair, another my nephew, and one had my face.  So I was interested to see how visual artists had interpreted the book. 

Illustration for Lila by Wesley Allsbrook from the review in the New York Times

Illustration by Wesley Allsbrook from the review in the New York Times.

Lila, the book’s title character has a knife which is her link to her past- a past where she experienced abandonment and security, abuse and love, freedom and entrapment. She can never bring herself to get rid of the knife even once she has established a more stable family in Gilead. 

Illustration for the review of Lila in the The Atlantic by Clay Rodery

Illustration by Clay Rodery for the review of Lila in the The Atlantic 

Lila has wandered most of her life and even once she settles down with a husband and a child she loves more than she could have ever imagined, she still thinks about leaving and wandering.  It is just a part of who she is. I’ve met people like this.

Illustration by Alec Longstreth for the review of Lila in Slate

Illustration by Alec Longstreth for the review of Lila in Slate Magazine

Lila copies out parts of the Bible to improve her handwriting and then begins thinking about the things she reads.  She picks some theologically tough books like Ezekiel and Job to start with and tries to make connections between their literary images and her own life.  Her pastor husband is intrigued when she shares her questions. She becomes his theological muse and makes him reflect deeply on his own religious understandings.

National Geographic photo chosen by the Wall Street journal for their review of the book Lila by Marilynne Robinson

National Geographic photo chosen by the Wall Street journal for their review of the book Lila by Marilynne Robinson

Lila wanders into a church where the pastor speaking falls in love with her at first sight. She eventually is baptized and marries the pastor, but her relationship with the church is fraught with doubts and misgivings even though the parishioners are very kind to her. 

*I didn’t know this book was nominated for the Man Booker Prize while I was reading it and I’m glad. It would have made me think I had to like it. I did like it but just on its own. I didn’t even remember that Robinson had won a Pulitzer Prize for a previous novel. 

*Favorite quote from the book…..

Lila’s husband says, “Family is a prayer…….Marriage is a prayer.”

I know someone who when asked to pray often says, “My whole life is a prayer.”  Sort of the same idea. 

*I’m going to buy this book for our church library. It makes you think about all kinds of things. What is salvation? Should you try and undo your baptism and why might you want to? How could a loving God allow a hell and if there was one, who would go there?  When you confess something bad from your past is that all people will ever remember about you? Is confession always a good thing?

*I think it makes such a difference when you read a book. I read this book after I hadn’t really had time to read a good novel for months and I loved that this novel moved slowly and thoughtfully and it had beautiful language because I had the time to enjoy it. If I had read it at a busier time in my life I probably wouldn’t have liked it nearly as much. 

Other  posts about books……..

The Orenda- I Want to Believe People Are Good

Meeting Wayan from Eat, Pray Love


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Filed under Art, Books, Family

In Chicken Soup Again

volunteering chicken soupA story of mine is in a new Chicken Soup for the Soul book about volunteering.  I wrote a memoir about the two years I volunteered at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Shortly after I submitted my piece I became an employee at the art gallery. Getting a job is only one of the many positive things that happened to me because of my volunteering in the gallery’s school programs division and in my latest “chicken-soupy” story I explore the ways my stint as an art gallery volunteer enriched my life. 

chicken soup bookEach Chicken Soup book contains one hundred and one stories chosen from thousands that are submitted. This is the third time I’ve had one of my stories selected. As in the past besides my writing cheque I’ve received 10 copies of the book. I never know what to do with all my copies( I think my kids are getting tired of seeing them in their Christmas stockings) so if you’d like one let me know and I’ll see that you get it. 

If you are interested in submitting a story for a future Chicken Soup book you can get all the information here. 

Other posts……..

Back in Chicken Soup

I’m in Chicken Soup

Writing for Chicken Soup


Filed under Books, Writing

Inspiration in Sioux Lookout- Ontario

married couple on teeter totterMarriage is like a teeter-totter. There is always someone to help bring you up when you are down. 

bird feather in the grass

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. – Emily Dickinson

bell tower sioux lookout ontario

Don’t bother to ring a bell for an ear that doesn’t listen.  Michael Bassey Johnsonabadoned plane sioux lookoutWe are a culture of abandonment with this strange sad way of leaving things behind. Brian Anderson

cousinsNever underestimate the power of cousins. – Cafe Press

hole in a tree

There’s a hole in the tree outside……calling, inviting…… I’ll….. nestle there, amid the wood scent, and dream and dream.   Pilar Mongolian

liberal campaign headquarters sioux lookoutLeadership is not about the next election. It’s about the next generation. Simon Sinekdaises sioux lookout

Daisies are like sunshine on the ground. Drew Barrymoredave crouchingBlessed are the flexible because they will never be bent out of shape.  

trees sioux lookout ontarioTrees are poems the earth writes upon the sky. Kahlil Gibran

Other posts………..

Behind Every Pair of Eyes

Dave Meets Rose

Dragonfly Inspiration

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Filed under Family, Inspiration

Looking at Stuff in A Different Way

stuff around your house human rights museum winnipegOne of the exhibits at the Human Rights Museum here in Winnipeg I found interesting was an art piece featuring all kinds of stuff you would probably find around your house.  Interactive panels let you explore how owning and using these things might be good or bad when it comes to human rights.  cell phones good or bad human rights museumOne example is the cell phone.

arab spring cell phones human rights museumOne thing that’s great about cell phones is that they can help to get the message out quickly when human rights issues need public attention. 

chemicals cell phones child labor human rights museumOne thing that is disturbing about cell phones is that they contain coltan and in the Democratic Republic of Congo child labor is used to mine coltan. 

The exhibit has information on lots of everyday objects. But there are also some items in the sculpture they don’t provide information about because they want you to go home and find out more about how that item is made on your own. The exhibit is a good reminder that we need to be thoughtful about what kinds of things we purchase and how they are made. 

Other posts…..

Dipping My Toe Into the Human Rights Museum

Residential Schools the Hiroshima of the First Nations

Connections at the United Nations

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Filed under Education, Winnipeg

Bucket List for Marriage

We are invited to a wedding at the beginning of October and it took me a long time to send back the reply. That’s because the bride and groom have included a card on which they want us to write something we think should go on their bucket list for their life together and return it with our RSVP.  I didn’t know what to write because I had too many ideas!  We recently celebrated 42 years of marriage and I’ve learned lots, some of it the hard way, about what should go on a marriage bucket list. 

kiss on the great wallSee as much of the world as you can together. family

Have children if you can and you both think its a good idea. family pictureMaintain close connections with your families. You will need their support and help. 

small grp 07Have friends you share as a couple.T-4s

But also maintain friendships of your own. 

kayaking in laos tad se waterfallFind things you enjoy doing together. at the folk festivalLook at the big picture when your marriage is going through its inevitable challenges and frustrations and weigh your choices carefully. Remember you have to be happy yourself before you can be happy together. 

So which of these is most important?  I couldn’t decide so I wrote them all on the RSVP card. I’d sure be curious to know what the other wedding guests wrote. I hope we’ll find out at the wedding in October. I could still use some tips.  As I heard in a wedding sermon just yesterday, marriage always requires hard work. 

Other posts……..

Chinese Thoughts on Marriage

Marriage Statistics and Bible Verses

Marrying an Heiress- Gilded Prostitution

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Filed under Family, Reflections