Monthly Archives: June 2015

Dave Meets Rose

dave and roseOur friends Bryan and Emily just adopted a little girl named Rose. This was our first time meeting her. We sat behind her at the wedding we attended in Kansas City.  At first Rose was a little shy.  But Dave’s magic touch with children quickly won her over. dave and rose
dave and rose

dave and rose

dave and rose

dave and rose

dave and rose

dave and rose

dave and rose

dave and rose

dave rose

Other posts…….

Tad and Wendy’s Wedding

All that Jazz in Kansas City

The House with the Obama Chair

Southern Barbeque in Kansas City

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Filed under Childhood, Family, Hong Kong, Travel

Tad and Wendy’s Wedding

tad and wendyWe were in Kansas City this last weekend attending the wedding of Tad and Wendy.tad and wendyWe taught with Tad in Hong Kong for four years. He was a good friend who traveled with us quite a number of times and even came to Winnipeg to visit us after we returned home. 

wedding programWe were very happy to have a chance to meet Tad’s bride Wendy and to celebrate their wedding with so many of our Hong Kong friends. ics crew

Not everyone is in this photo but I think there must have been sixteen or seventeen former and current ICS staff members and their families at the wedding. 

marylou emily julie

jeff julietad wendy rebekah danielmarylou and meghantad wendy megan mike

dave and jon

cat ml redave tadjeff tad jonmarylou rebekahbryan daniel jon jack daverebekah and emilyIMG_1437dave bryanIMG_1474Other posts……

All That Jazz in Kansas City

Barbeque in Kansas City

The House with the Obama Chair

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Filed under Hong Kong

All That Jazz in Kansas City

cat marylou jazz clubOne night during our stay in Kansas City we decided we wanted to go and hear some jazz.  A number of our  Hong Kong friends’ group were at the wedding rehearsal dinner, others were golfing, so those of us who’d been left behind hopped in the car and went out in search of a great jazz band and a good meal. 

the knuckleheadOur first stop was The Knucklehead which had received rave reviews. The wall decorated with caricatures of lots of music greats was appealing but the $30 cover charge was not, nor the comment from the man taking the money for the cover charge that “the food wasn’t great.”  

the phoenixA bit of online searching led us to The Phoenix.scamp alley

We figured it had to be a fun place since it was located on Scamps’ Alley. wall mural outsideInteresting wall murals outside mural inside the phoenixand inside intrigued us and jazz the phoenixthe music sounded great.

Dave and Jon arrived from their golf game about halfway through the evening.

Dave and Jon arrived from their golf game about halfway through the evening.

Our waitress was so friendly and fun. mint julepI decided I should have my first mint julep and it was very refreshing, each sip a little sweeter. lamb slidersThe food was also good. I had lamb sliders with spicy cole slaw.
dave jeff jazzWe had a fun evening, although some people took their jazz a little more seriously than others.

Other posts…………

The House with the Obama Chair

Southern Barbeque in Kansas City

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Filed under Hong Kong, Music, Travel

The House with the Obama Chair

dave and tadWe are in Kansas City for our friend Tad’s wedding. 

funkhouser house kansas cityTogether with ten friends we have rented this historic old house that once belonged to a former mayor of Kansas City Mark Funkhouser. neighbor TimWe have an extremely friendly neighbor, Tim across the street who comes over every day bearing gifts of all sorts and he has told us all kinds of stories about our historic house. the obama chair kansas cityIt was our neighbor, Tim who told us that before he was the American president Barack Obama visited Mark Funkhouser in this house and they had a beer in the livingroom. Tim said Barack Obama sat in front of the fireplace. Even though this is probably not the chair Obama sat in we’ve dubbed it The Obama Chair. in the obama chairPeople who don’t agree with Obama politically say they get a weird vibe sitting in the chair, while others are enjoying basking vicariously in the President’s aura of power.

downed tree

The house would be a lovely place to stay except that on our first night here in Kansas City there was a horrible storm and the electricity to thousands of homes in the city was cut off.  During the rest of our stay we’ve had no power. lanternSo we’ve managed with these lanterns our neighbour brought over for light and a large cooler to keep our perishables in. Luckily the stove is gas as is the hot water tank so we can still shower comfortably and boil water for coffee in the morning.  We go to the local coffee shop to use the internet and before the wedding a couple of us even curled our hair in the coffee shop with our curling irons. It’s been a bit of an adventure. 

jeff and daveLuckily the weather hasn’t been too hot so we’ve managed without the air conditioning. bedroom funkhouser house kansas cityThe house is big but with eleven people we need to use almost every room for sleeping accommodations.breakfast on the deckWe eat breakfast out on the deck, since the diningroom is someone’s bedroom. 

Being without power hasn’t been ideal but what has been ideal is having plenty of time to spend with old friends and catch up on one another’s lives. 

Other posts……….

Going for Barbeque in Kansas City

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Filed under Hong Kong, Politics, Travel

Southern Barbeque in Kansas City

We are in Kansas City for the wedding of our Hong Kong colleague Tad.  joes kansas cityA dozen friends are renting a house together and dave, jeff , danielyesterday we all went out for southern barbeque at Joe’s, a place that had come highly recommended. Joe’s is located in a converted garage. line up at JoesDriving up we quickly realized just how popular the place really was.  There was a long line outside and we joined it to wait for a table. The line was so long our friend Jon couldn’t even look!bikers joesJoe’s is very popular with the motorcycle crowd. dave and danielStanding in line gave us a chance to catch up and visit,joe's menuCheck out the menureviews Joes and the reviews.barbeque joesThe spicy hot food was delicious!
ics at joesWe had a great time!
lunch in kansas cityOther posts…….
Hong Kong Minneapolis Wedding 1
Hong Kong Minneapolis Wedding 2

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Filed under Hong Kong, New Experiences, Travel

What Will You Be Building? Part 2

Pastor Chester Wenger of Lancaster Pennsylvania is 97 years old and recently had his credentials as a Mennonite minister removed.  He is helping to create a new view of marriage for the church denomination he has served for over 65 years.  His pastoral credentials were terminated  because he chose to perform a marriage ceremony for his son and the partner with whom his son has lived faithfully for nearly three decades. Their marriage became possible when the state of Pennyslvania made same sex marriage legal. 

Mr. Wenger has not only written about his decision to officiate at his son’s wedding in the Mennonite media, but also submitted an op-ed piece to the newspaper in his home city of Lancaster. You can read it here. 

Awhile ago I wrote about hearing Amelia Curran singing What Will You Be Building When You Have to Go? Since then I’ve been discovering more and more people who are taking the lyrics of her song quite literally.  They have not stopped ‘building’ even though they are nearing the end of their life. Chester Wenger certainly hasn’t. He is still busy building a supportive relationship with his son and working to make an institution he loves,  more open and accepting. 

Other posts……..

What Will You Be Building? Part 1

Letter from the Mother of a Gay Son

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Filed under Family, Religion, Retirement

What Talent! Olympus Inspired Art!

vase designs winnipeg art gallery workshopWhat a pleasure to witness such creativity! During the Olympus exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery we are offering workshops where students can experiment with the ideas they’ve picked up on their Olympus tours, by creating artwork of their own. vase olympus exhibit art galleryAs they are looking at vases and sculptures in the gallery

sketching in the gallery olympus wagThe students make quick sketches of things they seesketches for work olympus wagIn the workshop studio they transfer some of their sketches onto orange cardstock very similar in color to the vases in the gallery.outline sketchesThey outline their sketches with felt markeredge designsAnd work at creating interesting repeating designs to edge their scenes

painting a background olympus wag workshopThen they use black paint to fill in the background around their scene

white pencil crayon olympus wag workshop vase designsand white pencil crayons to add detailsred figure drawing wag olypus workshopAlthough we provide guidelines the young artists take our basic ideas and run with them in creative ways coloring in designs wag olympus

designs wag kids olympusI just love watching the amazing and unique artwork that emerges. kid's artwork olympus wag

 I find it so intriguing to see the way the young people take the images they’ve seen in the gallery and use them in new and interesting ways. 

Other posts about kid’s artwork………

The Exquisite Corpse

Through the Eyes of a Child

Stopping by Woods

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Filed under Art, Education, Winnipeg, winnipeg art gallery

Meeting with the Mayor- The Arts Are A Priority

Last week the members of the Residents of the Exchange District  here in Winnipeg had an opportunity to meet with Mayor Brian Bowman. He told us about some of his visionary ideas for  the city and we talked to him about our concerns and questions.

Mayor Brian Bowman met with members of the Resident's Association of the Exchange District at the  Gurevich Art Gallery

Mayor Brian Bowman meets with members of the Residents of the Exchange District at the Gurevich Art Gallery

One priority for the mayor is increasing funding to the arts. Since many galleries, studios and performance venues are located in the Exchange District this could be particularly important to our area of the city.

Winnipeg Exchange District painting by Caroline Dukes at the Millenium Library

Winnipeg Exchange District painting by Caroline Dukes at the Millennium Library

Mayor Bowman  told us  for every dollar you invest in the arts you get an $18 economic return. The average Canadian city invests $35 per person annually in the arts. Winnipeg invested $5 when Mr. Bowman took office. His first budget raised it to $7 but he’d like to continue to increase that in future budgets.

Inukshuk at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

Inukshuk at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

In particular Mayor Bowman feels it is important to fund initiatives that celebrate and foster the further development of the arts and culture of indigenous people.  He says investing in the arts is a good way to create jobs in any city.

As someone who has a part-time job at an art gallery and has family members who are professional musicians, Mayor Bowman’s belief in the value of the arts is encouraging. 

Other posts …………..

Meeting with Kevin Chief

The Millennium Library

Cleaning Up My Neighbourhood 

Up on the Rooftop


Filed under Art, Winnipeg

Thanks Dad For….

dad feeds mlCaring for me          stay lox bricks dad playsGiving me a safe and secure childhood

school class 1974-75Paying for my education so I could become a teacherwedding 1973

Supporting me in my marriagegrandpaBeing a good grandfather to my children. 

Happy Father’s Day!

Other posts ………

My Dad Hasn’t Lost His Green Thumb

My Dad  Was Once A Teacher

Diamond Anniversary A Family Affair

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Filed under Family, Holidays

It’s the Principal of the Thing

elmdale school staffI worked with many different administrators during my years as a teacher. Reading an obituary for one of those principals recently I was reminded of how organized and efficient he was- great at getting teachers the supplies and equipment they needed. Although he liked paperwork to be up to date, I remember once when I was feeling just terrible because I’d lost an important school document. He was so supportive, reassuring me it was his job to take care of such problems. And he did.

hopi mission staffI was supervised by more than a dozen principals during my thirty-five years in the classroom and each had their own strengths. One was kind and compassionate, a consensus builder whose door was always open to staff. Another encouraged teachers to be innovative and backed you to the hilt if you wanted to try creative things in your classroom. I worked for one young administrator in his first year on the job. He was so enthusiastic and hardworking it was a pleasure to be on his staff.

lincoln school staffOne of my administrators was a devout academic. He liked to discuss educational philosophy, learning theories and all the latest pedagogical research. He also was a man who kept his word. I knew I could trust him.

I remember one principal who was a great detective. One day during a high school English class when my back was turned to the board, a young man lit a firecracker and threw it across the room. I had an idea of the general area where the explosive had originated but I didn’t know who had thrown it. No one confessed. I alerted the office and the principal arrived in short order. It took him only a minute of walking through the room and asking a few questions to pinpoint the perpetrator, find additional firecrackers in his backpack and escort him out of the room.

ics staff hong kongI did have an administrator who simply disappeared one day.  Turns out he’d run off to another country abandoning his family and our teaching staff. A principal I worked for in the United States was a retired navy captain. He gave women little credit for intelligence. Since my husband and I were working on the same staff I had to get my husband to approach the principal for things I wanted done, because it was the only way my ideas would be given an audience. I had one head administrator who had his first personal conversation with me at my farewell party. However one of his energetic vice-principals provided me with great classroom support during my time on staff.

I did work briefly for a female vice- principal but otherwise all my administrators were men.  I’m glad times are changing. The various school jurisdictions where I taught in the past now have many female administrators.

mitchell school staffAn administrator can make a crucial difference to a school’s ethos. No one administrator is good at everything. Each has unique strengths and talents. The quality in an administrator I admired the most was integrity. I consider myself lucky to have worked for so many principals who did their job responsibly, took a genuine interest in teachers and students and didn’t just talk about all the good things they were doing. They actually did them!

Other posts……..

Thankfully Times Have Changed

I Don’t Want a Tax Break

Teacher Can You Spare a Dime


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Filed under Education