Monthly Archives: November 2015

My Movie Debut

I made my film debut in Hong Kong when my husband Dave asked me to appear with him in a reenactment of Shakespeare’s Sonnet #138. Dave was giving his high school English class an assignment to write a modern-day version of a Shakespearean sonnet and he wanted to perform one himself as a sample for the students.

I was a little hesitant to give it a try but I think I didn’t do too badly in my first screen role.  See for yourself by clicking on the photo below. There are some breaks in the film but do watch till the end where Dave does a great recitation of the sonnet. 

driedgers acting out shakespeares sonnet 138

Other posts…….

My Modeling Debut

So Proud of Them- Visiting My Students in New York

Multi- Tasking- Wisdom From A Former Student

She’s Done It Again- Proud of my Former Student


Filed under Education, Family, Hong Kong, Movies, Poetry

Those Who Went to War and Those Who Didn’t

They had very different beliefs about what it means to be a peacemaker and serve your country. Last weekend we drove out to Winkler and my cousin Al took us to see a history park in the community’s downtown.centotaph-winkler Since Canada had just celebrated Remembrance Day the cenotaph in the park which honors Winkler’s war dead was covered in wreaths.  The memorial contained only a handful of names. Perhaps this is because Winkler was primarily a Mennonite town during World War I and II,  so not many citizens volunteered or were conscripted into the military. A key distinguishing tenet of the Mennonite faith is pacifism. Those who did not participate in military service because of their religious beliefs are also recognized in the park in a memorial directly across from the cenotaph. memorial-to-conscientious-objectors-winklerThis wall contains 3021 bricks because that is the number of people who were religious conscientious objectors and were given an exemption from military service in Manitoba during World War II.  manitoba-conscientious-objectors
A plaque on the wall explains that these men served in the province’s hospitals, mines, remote school districts, lumber camps, national parks and farms during the war learning a new vision for service and peacemaking as a result.scriptures-about-peace-on-conscientious-objector-wallEtched on a rock on the wall are key scriptures from the Bible that support non-violence and pacifism. 

Canadian citizens served their country in many different ways during World War II. The memorials in the Winkler Heritage Park recognize this. 

Other posts………

The Disappeared


Autographs from a Conscientious Objector Camp

Leave a comment

Filed under History, Religion

Most Popular

Sometimes it is fun to look at my stats for this blog and see which of my posts are the most popular.  In the last couple months these three have hit the jackpot with thousands of views.

Illustration by Bridget Bernardi age seven for an article I wrote for The Daughters of Sarah magazine

Illustration by Bridget Bernardi age seven for an article I wrote for The Daughters of Sarah magazine

What Does Your Mother Do?

golfing at nirwana course in tanalot bali

With my caddy at the Nirwana Golf Course in Tanalot Bali

A Prayer for a Golf Tournament

marylou and michelangelo's david in florence

With David in Florence Italy

Michelangelo’s David

Next three most popular posts……..

Finding a Family Doctor in Winnipeg

There Must Be 50 Ways to Use A Bison

Anne of Green Gables- A Faith Perspective


Leave a comment

Filed under Writing


readers-winkler-public-libraryI photographed these two delightful readers outside the Winkler Public Library last weekend.  Someone had decked them out in scarves.  It was a beautiful fall day and I felt like sliding in beside them on the bench to enjoy the book I had brought along.  winkler-public-libraryInstead I went into the spacious and welcoming library to work on a writing project while I waited for my husband Dave who was in Winkler for a choir rehearsal.

My Nose in a Book statue purchased at Evelyn Richter's studio
The statue in Winkler reminded me of a little art piece I have sitting on my book shelf. I bought it from Evelin Richter when I was on an art tour in the interlake a few years ago. It is called Nose in a Book. 

ten year old reading 1963

In 1963 enjoying a good book in on the couch

It also reminded me of this photo of me at age ten enjoying a book on the couch in our family livingroom

dave in hammock fiji

Dave reading in a hammock in Fiji

and this one of my husband Dave reading in a hammock in Fiji. 

boy-reading-shel-silversteinand another of my son engrossed in a book at our family’s Moose Lake cottage. 

Ah the pleasures of a good book, so good it can be enjoyed anywhere!

Other posts…….

The Wave- Art in the Interlake

The Winnipeg Millenium Library

A Flood of Books

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Books

A Different Kind of Snow Angel

We had our first snow in Winnipeg last night and it made me think of this art piece Snow Angel I saw in the Musée de la civilisation in Quebec City. It is by Karine Giboulo and shows a child playing in a garbage dump in Mumbai where her family sorts different colors of plastic to sell and make a living. Artist Giboulo says, ” What could be more common to North American children than making a snow angel? But the image takes on a whole other meaning when juxtapositioned with the reality of children working among the refuse in Mumbai.”


Other posts…….

Beggars Everywhere

India Assaults the Senses

Co-Creation at the Art Gallery

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Childhood, India, quebec city

Picture Books Have Changed

He’s from Winnipeg and he’s receiving an international award for his life time of work researching, critiquing, writing about, teaching about, and creating children’s literature.

distinguished-lecture-and-reception-perry-nodelmanOn November 12, I attended a distinguished lecture by Perry Nodelman a University of Winnipeg Professor Emeritus. Perry is one of my colleagues in the education department at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  He was being recognized by the university because he is the 2015 recipient of the Brothers Grimm Award presented by The International Institute for Children’s Literature. You can learn more about Perry’s long list of accomplishments in the field of children’s literature here.

grandfather readingPerry’s lecture last week traced the history of children’s picture books in a very personal way as Perry compared his own experiences with picture books as a child, with those of his children and grandchildren.

words-about-picturesIn 1998 Perry wrote a text about children’s picture books called Words About Pictures: The Narrative Art of Children’s Picture Books. It has never been out of print during the ensuing twenty-seven years, a rarity for a university text. In his lecture Perry talked about how he might expand the ideas in Words About Pictures  if he was writing his text today. What developments in the world of children’s books would he address?

perry nodelman lecturePerry said he would need to write about the current popularity of comics and graphic novels. He would have to discuss the growing demand for more diversity in picture books so that children of different cultures, races and income levels would have their lives reflected in picture books. He would include more books from other countries and he would examine picture book apps and e-books.

It was clear from the former colleagues of Perry’s who introduced him and thanked him at the University of Winnipeg reception in his honor that he is indeed a ‘giant’ in the world of children’s literature and most worthy of the award he will receive in Osaka, Japan later this month. His lecture gave me some interesting things to consider as I continue my own journey in the writing of children’s books.

Other posts…….

Elegant Words

They Remembered the Books

The Writing Life

1 Comment

Filed under Books, Childhood, winnipeg art gallery, Writing

Inuit Interactives

inuit-minaturesHow fun!  The idea of art galleries where people of all ages are invited to engage in creation is something Nina Simons champions in her book Participatory Museums. I saw exciting evidence of this at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. Look at the interactive invitations given to children in the Inuit art section. 


Build an Inukshuk out of pillows


Create string stories and play string games



Settle into a snow nest to read Inuit legends while listening to Inuit throat singers


Or make Inuit art prints at these art stations

According to Nina Simons a participatory art gallery or museum is one where visitors create, share, and connect with each other around content. That is certainly happening at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.

Other posts……

Inuit Games

An Inuit Art Primer

Falling in Love

Leave a comment

Filed under Canada, Childhood, Education, quebec city