Monthly Archives: May 2016

My Parents’ Anniversary

Today is my parents’ anniversary. anniversary0001My Mom and Dad were married May 31, 1952 in Drake Saskatchewan. 

60th anniversaryThey were able to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary before my mother died in 2013.  The family the two of them started in 1952 now includes eighteen people and continues to grow. Their legacy of love continues. 

Other posts……..

In the 1950s Weddings Were Community Affairs

Diamond Anniversary

My Parents’ Courtship


Leave a comment

Filed under Family

A Legendary Love Story Illustrated by an Artistic Legend

sonia del re curator national gallery

Sonia Del Re a curator from the National Gallery  gave us a passionate and knowledgeable introduction to Daphnis and Chloé

Last Friday I was privileged to spend an hour with Sonia Del Re, a curator from Canada’s National Gallery. She led a group of Winnipeg Art Gallery staff and volunteers through our new Chagall exhibit Daphnis and Chloé.  Sonia Del Re organized the exhibit which features 42 lithographs created by Marc Chagall to illustrate a romantic Greek fable by the writer Longus. 

chagall daphnes and chloe snowstorm

Daphnis, the male protagonist of the Longus fable trudges through a storm to the home of his love, Chloé . He takes refugee under a tree filled with birds who are also seeking protection from the wind and snow

The artist Marc Chagall was born in Russia in 1887 into a Jewish family. He moved to Paris in 1910 and during World War II escaped the Holocaust thanks to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. They arranged for Chagall, his wife and daughter to immigrate to the United States.  After the war Chagall moved back to France. 

daphne and chloe chagall angry hunters

Chloe is kidnapped by angry hunters

Marc Chagall took four years to make the lithographs for Daphnis & Chloé, published in 1961. For each of the 42 illustrations, he used up to 25 colours — each requiring separate printing. Chagall traveled to Greece so he could become familiar with the setting for Daphnis & Chloé

daphnes and chloe chagall

At Daphnis and Chloé’s wedding Chloé’s biological father recognizes the daughter he thought he had lost when she was just a baby.

The fable of Daphnis and Chloé takes place on the Greek island of Lesbos. Daphnis and Chloé are both abandoned babies discovered by two different families of shepherds who adopt them. Daphnis and Chloé experience all kinds of dramatic adventures with wolves, pirates, birds, snowstorms, kidnappers, their birth families, their adoptive families and other suitors, but eventually love triumphs and the two are married. The story is so eventful and exciting it can’t have been easy for Chagall to choose which sections of the plot line he would illustrate. 

daphnes and chloe chagall trampled flowers

Daphnis’ enemy destroys Daphnis’ master’s flower garden hoping Daphnis will be blamed for the damage

Many people think Chagall’s illustrations for Daphnis and Chloé are the greatest example of printmaking in the history of art.  

daphnes and chloe book

One of the original copies of Daphnis and Chloé has been taken apart in order to frame and display the Chagall lithographs

At the National Art Gallery they took apart the book Daphnis and Chloé  to remove the lithographs and frame them for exhibit.  The book had 26 single pages and 16 double pages.  270 copies of Chagall’s Daphnis and Chloé were printed. One was bought by Chagall’s friend Joseph Liverant, who bequeathed the book to his stepson Felix Quinet who in turn donated it to the National Gallery in 1986. 


As Chloé sleeps a cicada being chased by a swallow crawls into Chloé 's bosom to escape. Chloé awakens frightened to the chirping of the cicada and the 'gallant' Daphnis chases the insect away.

As Chloé sleeps a cicada being chased by a swallow crawls into Chloé ‘s bosom to escape. Chloé awakens frightened by the chirping of the cicada and the gallant Daphnis chases the insect away.

Through an ongoing agreement with the National Gallery, the Winnipeg Art Gallery has been able to arrange to have these stunning Chagall lithographs in our city from May 28th to September 11th.  They are well worth visiting. 

Other posts…….

The Horizon Line

The Beginning and End of Life

Parfleches for the Last Supper

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, winnipeg art gallery

Winnipeg’s Millenium Centre- Haunted By Ghosts

” At night a woman’s ghost walks back and forth between the five front windows”, said a guide as he led us on a tour of Winnipeg’s Millenium Centre formerly the Canadian Bank of Commerce on Main Street.  The tour is part of Winnipeg’s Doors Open event which is being held this weekend.

millenium centre winnipeg The ghost who supposedly floats by these five tall windows is that of a bank secretary who died in the building. Her story was just one of the interesting things I learned when I  toured the Millenium Centre several years ago.  

I wanted to tour the Millenium Centre because it once housed an art installation by artist Wanda Koop about a trip she and her mother made to her mother’s birthplace in Ukraine. I found the installation very moving and meaningful. The story of the exhibition was made into a movie In Her Eyes which I often showed to my high school students. 

ceiling of millenium centre winnipegThe 14 foot high ceiling in the main part of the Millenium Centre features this impressive lit dome. 

columns millenium centre winnipeg

The cavernous main lobby of the former bank has Corinthian columns and marble walls and floors. 

safe millenium centre winnipeg

We got to peek into the vault. We learned that in the basement under this section of the building there was a stable for the horses and wagons that transported money to the bank from all across Western Canada. 

bank managers office millenium centre

I went into the opulent bank manager’s office with its walnut woodwork and leather chairs. 

fireplace millenium centre winnipeg

The manager even had his own sitting area and fireplace. 

offices millenium centre

We saw the office where the ghostly secretary probably met her demise. Women spent the night here bringing the bank’s  accounts up to date, recording the amounts of  every cheque cashed in individual ledger books for each banking patron. These ledgers were moved up and down from the vaults many floors below with a hydraulic elevator. 

ceiling millenium centreThe bank superintendent’s office had an ornately carved ceiling, a fireplace and a private bathroom all done in marble.  An X on the floor in the centre of the room marks the spot where the second last superintendent of the bank committed suicide. 

stairwell millenium centre winnipeg

They say the superintendent’s ghost haunts the stairwells during social functions at the Millenium Centre. The story may just be a ploy to prevent guests from wandering around the dark corridors of the building on their own.  

skylight millenium centreOur guide took us up above the dome and we were surprised to find it was lit by flourescent and not natural light. The dome was very dusty and dirty. Mitch said they cleaned it once but then it was much too bright down on the main floor. 

We learned that many Hollywood movies have used the Millenium Centre for a set, including Shall We Dance, The Assassination of Jesse James, The Divide and The Arrow.

banking mural millenium centre winnipeg

On either side of the lobby as I exited the Millenium Centre were these intricate engravings. This one is titled Banking and shows a banker receiving funds from two citizens. 

commerce carving millenium centre winnipeg

This one titled Commerce shows a banker accepting sheaves of wheat from merchants. This is very appropriate since Winnipeg’s Exchange District where the old bank building stands, was the site of the Winnipeg Grain Exchange. Grain drove the economy of Winnipeg for many decades. 

millenium centre main street winnipeg

I was glad I had a chance to take a tour inside this magnificent building just two blocks away from my home. There is a series of summer concerts in the building I’d like to attend.  I wonder if I will see a ghost? 

If you enjoyed this post you might also like……….

Winnipeg’s Millenium Library

Grain is King

We’re Living In A Piece of History

1 Comment

Filed under History, Winnipeg

Remembering Hiroshima

This past week President Obama visited Hiroshima, the first American president to do so since the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city in 1945. The many photos of Hiroshima in the media reminded me of our own visit to the city.  

memorial centopah in hiroshima peace parkThis cenotaph holds the names of all the people killed when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.  The arch shape represents a shelter for the souls of the victims. 

memorial centopah hiromshimaThe epitaph on the cenotaph says “Let all souls rest in peace for we shall not repeat the evil of war.”

ringing the peace bell in hiroshima

I’m ringing the Peace Bell in the Hiroshima Peace Park. Visitors are encouraged to ring the bell as a symbol of their desire for peace in the world. The surface of the bell is a map of the world without country boundaries and the inscription on the bell says “Know yourself.”

yesterday coffee house hiroshima

The Yesterday Coffee House in Hiroshima featured many varieties of coffee to be enjoyed while listening to Beatles music. 

city bread hiroshimaAt a  bakery we discovered bread baked with the city of Hiroshima’s name in the crust. 

atomic bomb dome hiroshima

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial or Atomic Bomb Dome was named a World Heritage Site in 1996.

atomic bomb dome memorial hiroshima The ruin serves as a memorial to the 70,000 people who were killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima as well as another 70,000 who suffered fatal injuries from the radiation.  

artistic manhole cover hiroshima

These kind of artistic sewer access covers can  be found in cities throughout Japan. 

cherry blossoms in hiroshimaThe cherry trees were just starting to bloom in Hiroshima during our visit. japanese pancakesDave watches okonomiyaki or Japanese pancakes being made for us in a Hiroshima restaurant. 

hiroshima street entertainerWe listened to a singer on the streets of Hiroshima. hiroshima museumIn the Hiroshima Peace Museum Dave learns more about the factors that led to the bombing of Hiroshima.woman on street in hiroshimaInteresting woman we encountered on the streets of Hiroshima. 

peace mound

The Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound contains the ashes of 70,000 unidentified victims of the bomb. 

Other posts……

Japanese Pancakes

When the Coin Rings Luck Springs

Japanese Surprises


Leave a comment

Filed under Japan

Why Aren’t As Many People Playing Golf?

Sitting around a backyard fire pit on Tuesday night with a group of friends we started talking about why so many golf courses are losing money.  Why are fewer people playing golf? Lots of ideas were tossed around……

Dave and me with our golfing partners on a course in Thailand

Dave and me with our golfing partners on a course in Thailand

In most young families both parents have full-time jobs and need to share responsibility for children equally, so neither parent has hours of spare time to devote to golf.  

Golf is expensive. The decline of the middle class means there aren’t as many people who can afford to golf.

Golf takes four hours and often more to play.  The game is too long and takes up too much of a person’s day.

Dave and me on one of our favorite courses in Gold Canyon Arizona

On one of our favorite courses in Gold Canyon Arizona

There’s a glut of golf courses.  Too many new ones have been built.

It’s not as easy as it once was, to deduct games of golf as a legitimate business expense for tax purposes, so golf courses are being used less often as a venue for courting clients or making deals.

Dave on a golf course in Borneo

Dave on a golf course in Borneo

Our fire pit discussion really got me thinking so I went looking on the internet to find other reasons why golf might be on the decline and came across a bunch of ideas……..

On a golf course in Hong Kong

On a golf course in Hong Kong

Golf courses have become more difficult to play. They are often designed by professional players and so the average golfer finds them too challenging.

Alternate games like disc golf and miniature golf are gaining in popularity.

There are not enough current super stars the likes of Tiger Woods or Arnold Palmer to draw attention to the game.

Dave with a golfing partner in New Zealand

Dave with a golfing partner in New Zealand

It’s too traditional a game. Other sports have embraced technology and innovation but golf hasn’t changed with the times.

There are too many options for kids to try in sports so fewer are choosing golf.

golf course australia

Dave outside a course we played in Australia.

The game hasn’t been welcoming enough in the past to people of all genders, ages, racial and socio-economic groups.

With our friends Rudy and Sue on a course in Arizona

With our friends Rudy and Sue on a course in Arizona

In some places water needs to be conserved and golf courses require plenty of water to be maintained

You need  expensive equipment to play golf.

On a course in Mexico

On a course in Mexico

The calm pace of a golf round isn’t compatible with the more hectic pace of modern life.

Dave golfing with his friend Jon on Hainan Island

Dave golfing with his friend Jon on Hainan Island

I am not nearly as committed to golf as my husband who likes to get in three games a week in summer. But I really do enjoy a round of golf in the beautiful outdoors with friends or family. 

With my golf caddy in Bali

With my golf caddy in Bali

So I do have an interest in whether the game of golf makes a comeback.  Do you think it will? 

Other posts………..

Maybe an Iguana Ate My Golf Ball

A Prayer for a Golf Tournament

Golfing at an Old Hudsons Bay Outpost

1 Comment

Filed under Sports

Counting on Their Fingers

Do you know what Chisanbop is?   It’s a Korean method of learning to do math computation on your fingers that was used in North American schools in the 1970s and 80s. I took the course taught here in Manitoba by Dave and Margaret Froese and used it with my students for quite a number of years. The teaching method was interesting and different and so my students from Elmdale School in Steinbach were featured in our local newspaper using Chisanbop in math class. This photo accompanied the article. 


In November of 1979 I was quoted in a Winnipeg Free Press article about the calculation method.

There was a story about Chisanbop in Macleans magazine. There was even a segment featuring Chisanbop on the Johnny Carson show. Fred McMurray of My Three Sons fame did advertisements for the Chisanbop system on television. 

Chisanbop lost its popularity after a time but I was reminded of the mathematical instruction method by  an article in the April 2016 edition of The Atlantic that talks about why teachers should encourage their students to use their fingers in math class. Brain science is currently teaching us that using your fingers to do math can be a visual learning technique essential to mathematical achievement. 

It’s interesting how in education old ideas can suddenly become new and new ideas can quickly become old.  

Other posts………

My Grade Two Class Photo is Part of a PHD Dissertation

The Clapper

Stopping By Woods- A Children’s Masterpiece

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, Media

A Picture Perfect Afternoon

carol shields labyrinth

I’d always wanted to visit the Carol Shields labyrinth in Winnipeg’s King’s Park. On Victoria Day I did with my group of friends the T-4s.

sketching in kings parkWe started our afternoon with a picnic lunch. My friend Esther had picked up all kinds of salads, feta cheese, pitas and humus at a Greek Deli. I’d made little desserts and brought an assortment of beverages. t-4s kings parkIt was a picture perfect afternoon. Sunshine, blue sky, puffy clouds, blossoming trees and the scent of lilacs in the air. 

sketchingAfter lunch Debbie painted a watercolor while the rest of us did some sketching.  

walking the carol shields labyrinthThen it was off to walk the labyrinth in Kings Park built in honor of Pulitzer Prize winning Manitoba author Carol Shields perhaps best known for her novel Stone Diaries. 

shields labyrinthAt the entry to the maze is a billboard explaining who Carol was and the significance of the labyrinth. 

carol shields quote wallAt the rear is a wall containing quotes from Carol’s writing.  

My favorite was…………

The whole thing about mazes is that they make perfect sense only when you look down on them from above. There can be one route or many. It means that are lives are open.- from the novel Larry’s Party

Before we started sketching Esther inspired us by reading the lyrics of a song titled I Think A Thing from a musical about artist Emily Carr called The Wonder of It All

Before we started sketching Esther inspired us by reading the lyrics of a song about the creative process called  I Think A Thing from a musical about artist Emily Carr 

A picnic, some sketching, good friends, good food and walking a literature maze.  It WAS a picture perfect afternoon!

Other T-4 adventures…….

Welcoming Spring with the T-4s


What’s Happening with the T-4s?




Filed under Books, T-4s, Winnipeg