Siblings -More Important As You Grow Older

dad and louise fort whyte

A couple of Sundays ago Dave and I took my Dad and my aunt out to Fort Whyte for lunch after church.  While we waited for our food the two of them stood at the railing looking out over the lake and visited with each other.  I thought how great it was that Dad has a sibling nearby with whom he can have a close relationship, someone with whom he can share a conversation about shared family times from the past.  Dad had five sisters.  His oldest sister has died and another two don’t live in Winnipeg, but he has two younger sisters in the city he can visit with regularly. They frequently bring him home cooking and they go on outings together. I was chatting with a friend recently who told me how much she appreciates the time spent with her sister now that they are both older and not as busy with professional and family obligations.  I knew exactly what she meant. I too am enjoying times like that with my three siblings.  I looked at my calendar recently and realized I usually spend time with one of my siblings every week.  What a gift! A gift I hope we can continue to share till we are my Dad’s and aunts’ ages.

Other posts………


I Love My Siblings


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Learning a New Word

I was doing a workshop at the art gallery last week and a ten-year-old wrote the word ‘yeet’ in big letters on a paper where he was sketching ideas for an art project. “What does ‘yeet’ mean?” I asked.   He and his friends laughed and looked a little incredulous.  “You don’t know what yeet means?”

The twenty-something university students in charge of the group took pity on me and explained that ‘yeet’ was an exclamation of sorts that was said to express excitement or surprise and was often a word used just at the moment you were in the act of throwing something like a ball.

I felt a little less ignorant when I discovered  ‘yeet’ is listed in the online Collins English dictionary as a word currently pending approval. The Grammarly app I use to correct errors in my writing online did not recognize the word.

The Urban Dictionary was more helpful providing me with this definition of ‘yeet.’

“Yeet is a versatile word that can be used as an exclamation, a verb, or even a noun.
As an exclamation, it can be used to express excitement, usually happily but also nervously. It can also be used as an exclamation of victory or as a battle cry or focus-shout while throwing or hitting something. Yeet can also be a feeling or emotion, usually like an adrenaline rush. The word has a distinct feel, and power to it. To yeet is to give your full power and soul to an action you’re doing.” 


I am not sure I will make the word ‘yeet’ a mainstay of my vocabulary but I may throw it into a conversation in the future just to show how cool and young at heart I am.

And just in case you forget what ‘yeet’ means you can actually buy a T-shirt with the word ‘yeet’ on the front that includes a definition. 

Other posts………

Extra Crispy

Chreaster Really Is A Word

A New Favorite

Back Porch News- Before the Age of Facebook


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Discovering Peanut Park

Last Friday my friend Esther told me she was going to take me to what she thought was the most beautiful park in Winnipeg.  It’s called Peanut Park and true to Esther’s word it was a lovely little green space. There are nice benches to sit in all around the park. Many of them have been donated in the memory of loved ones. The park is also filled with special flowerbeds.  Each is unique. There is a rose garden, a ‘white’ garden, a butterfly garden and herb garden, two blended gardens and a deep shade garden.

Most of the gardens are dedicated to people as well.  We met a man out walking his Yorkshire Terriers in Peanut Park and my friend Esther who used to have two Yorkies herself just had to pet them. As she engaged in friendly conversation with their owner we discovered he lived nearby and was one of an organized group of citizens called Friends of Peanut Park who had helped make the park into such a beautiful space. He told us that although initially, the citizens themselves did lots of work to care for the park, now they have two fundraising events every year which allows them to pay for a professional gardener to look after things. Their neighborhood group has planted dozens of maple, crabapple and lilac trees to replace trees that have died and dead grassy areas have been restored with new sod. Many local residents have made private donations that have helped to create the six raised flower beds and install the winding limestone path through the park.  A sign in one of the flower beds led me to a website that told me more about the park’s history and what the Friends of Peanut Park organization has accomplished since they formed in 2007.  The park which originally was named for Charles Enderton,  a real estate agent and land developer, is over a hundred years old but by 2005 had become an eyesore, full of weeds, dying trees, overgrown paths, broken benches, and a dilapidated playground. People who lived near the park got together and asked a landscape architect to come up with a vision for the park. At their request and supplemented by some of the money the group had raised, the City of Winnipeg installed proper drainage, added picnic tables, built a new playground and readied the flower beds for planting.

Peanut Park is bordered by Harvard and Yale Avenues, Ruskin Row and Avonherst Street. My friend Esther and I walked up and down some neighboring streets admiring all the stately heritage homes that surround the park. I’d love to go back to the park sometime for a picnic and I am wondering how the park got the nickname Peanut Park.  Have you been to Peanut Park?  What did you think of it?  How do you think it got its name? 

Other posts………..

A Quick Visit to Assiniboine Park

The Park at the End of the Bridge

Welcome to Our Amazing Neighborhood

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We Will Stand Up

In her documentary movie nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up filmmaker Tasha Hubbard tells the story of Colton Boushie a young Cree man who died from a gunshot wound in 2o16 after he and his friends drove their truck onto a Saskatchewan farmyard.  A jury acquitted farmer Gerald Stanley of murder charges agreeing he had killed Colton in self-defense.

Colton Boushie’s mother, sister, and other family and friends at the United Nations telling their story

After the trial, Colton’s family felt the legal system had failed them and took their fight for justice to Parliament Hill in Ottawa and then to the United Nations. Hubbard documents this whole process on film. I saw We Will Stand Up last Wednesday night at the Cinematheque Theater in Winnipeg. 

Filmmaker Tasha Hubbard’s documentary is very personal since she juxtapositions her own story with Colton Boushie’s.  Tasha was adopted by a non-aboriginal couple as a child.  Tasha says her adoptive parents were loving and affirming people and when she became a teenager they helped her find her biological family and encouraged her to connect with her aboriginal heritage. This puts Tasha in a unique position to tell the story of the relationship between the indigenous community so incensed by Colton’s death and some of those in the colonizer/settler community who supported Gerald Stanley. 

The pivotal scene in the movie for me was when Tasha and her young son are talking to Tasha’s adoptive grandfather. Tasha has made it clear previously in the film that she and her grandfather share a deep love and respect for one another.

Tasha and her grandfather talking

Her grandfather has saved some First Nations artifacts he uncovered as he tilled a piece of farmland he purchased many years before. Looking back he wonders if he did the right thing buying and farming land that really belonged to First Nations people. Something made him save the artifacts he found and he feels it is the right thing to pass them on to his beloved granddaughter.

He and Tasha and Tasha’s son talk about the Colton Bushie trial and Tasha’s grandfather wonders aloud if owners shouldn’t be allowed to defend their land. Tasha’s son is taken aback thinking his great-grandfather is suggesting perhaps the Boushie murder was justified. But responding to his great-grandson, the great-grandfather agrees the killing was wrong. Later Tasha’s son suggests that the three of them smudge together and they do.  

For me, this was a very moving moment. I respected the willingness of Tasha, her son, and her grandfather to honestly talk about the deeply entrenched feelings that have influenced settler and indigenous relationships for so long, but yet also willingly share in the smudge, a healing ritual suggested by Tasha’s son, representing the youngest generation. 

Tasha’s own sons are featured in her film. Tasha wonders how negative stereotypes of indigenous young men will impact their futures.

The film We Stand Up played to packed houses during its recent run at Cinematheque in Winnipeg.  In response, the theatre plans to bring the film back for a second run in August.  I would highly recommend it. 

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The Doctrine of Discovery

Residential Schools- The Hiroshima of the Indian Nation

Art That Makes You Feel Sick

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Good News – Part 5

It’s true!   Yes, it is!

Other good news 

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A Strange Book But One Worth Reading

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan has been the best selling Canadian book for the last few weeks. I found it action-packed and colorful but also a bit confusing.

First of all the story takes place all over the world.  It starts out on a plantation in Barbados but then the action shifts to the Arctic, Nova Scotia, London, Amsterdam and finally Morocco.  Having the main characters do so much traveling to different destinations seems somewhat unrealistic especially because the book takes place in the 1830s when global travel was arduous and challenging. As a reader, it’s all a little dizzying because you just find yourself feeling familiar with one setting and then the novel switches to another.

Secondly, the novel can’t quite decide what it wants to be.  Is it a history book?  It is about, among other things, the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement.  Is it a science book?  One of the main characters is a man trying to build a flying machine and so we learn about aeronautics. Another main character and her father are studying sea creatures so we learn about all kinds of marine life. Is it an art book?  Washington Black our hero is a talented artist and so we learn how he develops that gift.

esi edugyan wikipedia

Author Esi Edugyyan reads from her novel

Thirdly there are a great many characters in this book and I found myself looking back sometimes to previous chapters to figure out who someone was when I encountered them again in the novel or when Washington Black referred to them again.

Despite being somewhat confusing the story is a fascinating almost magical one and Edugyan is certainly a good writer with powerful imagery and beautiful sections of prose.  There are also plenty of plot twists to keep you engaged. The movie rights to the book have been purchased and I am sure curious to see how filmmakers will handle all the many and varied locations, themes and characters.   

Other posts……..

A Man Affectionately Deplored By His Wife

Giving Slaves A Modern Humanity

The Long Song


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Floating Flowers

Every summer there are some unique art installations down in the Forks area of Winnipeg. I was meeting my cousin for lunch at the Mon Ami Louis restaurant on the Provencher bridge this week and walked through one of the installations called Floating Flowers. Situated with a view of both the iconic bridge and the stunning Human Rights Museum the fantasy garden is in the perfect spot. It was created by Hugo Bertrand and Noel Picaper. The flowers come in many different shapes and sizes and small bells are attached to each petal.

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Cool Cross


Sun Dogs and Steam


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