June 30, 2015 · 5:39 am
Our 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.
Tad and Wendy’s Wedding
All that Jazz in Kansas City
The House with the Obama Chair
Southern Barbeque in Kansas City
June 29, 2015 · 6:15 am
One 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.
Our 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.”
A bit of online searching led us to The Phoenix.
We figured it had to be a fun place since it was located on Scamps’ Alley. Interesting wall murals outside and inside intrigued us and the music sounded great.
Dave and Jon arrived from their golf game about halfway through the evening.
Our waitress was so friendly and fun. I decided I should have my first mint julep and it was very refreshing, each sip a little sweeter. The food was also good. I had lamb sliders with spicy cole slaw.
We had a fun evening, although some people took their jazz a little more seriously than others.
The House with the Obama Chair
Southern Barbeque in Kansas City
June 28, 2015 · 12:02 pm
We are in Kansas City for our friend Tad’s wedding.
Together with ten friends we have rented this historic old house that once belonged to a former mayor of Kansas City Mark Funkhouser. We 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. It 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. People 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.
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. So 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.
Luckily the weather hasn’t been too hot so we’ve managed without the air conditioning. The house is big but with eleven people we need to use almost every room for sleeping accommodations.We 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.
Going for Barbeque in Kansas City
June 26, 2015 · 10:38 am
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.
What Will You Be Building? Part 1
Letter from the Mother of a Gay Son
June 24, 2015 · 5:08 am
What 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. As they are looking at vases and sculptures in the gallery
The students make quick sketches of things they seeIn the workshop studio they transfer some of their sketches onto orange cardstock very similar in color to the vases in the gallery.They outline their sketches with felt markerAnd work at creating interesting repeating designs to edge their scenes
Then they use black paint to fill in the background around their scene
and white pencil crayons to add detailsAlthough we provide guidelines the young artists take our basic ideas and run with them in creative ways
I just love watching the amazing and unique artwork that emerges.
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
June 23, 2015 · 5:12 am
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 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 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
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
June 20, 2015 · 9:53 pm
Caring for me Giving me a safe and secure childhood
Paying for my education so I could become a teacher
Supporting me in my marriageBeing 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
June 20, 2015 · 5:54 am
I 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.
I 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.
One 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.
I 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.
An 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!
Thankfully Times Have Changed
I Don’t Want a Tax Break
Teacher Can You Spare a Dime