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


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A Legendary Love Story Illustrated by an Artistic Legend

sonia del re curator national gallery

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

I was privileged to spend an hour with Sonia Del Re, a curator from Canada’s National Gallery as she led a group through the Chagall exhibit Daphnis and Chloé at the Winnipeg Art Gallery  Sonia 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 travelled 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 plotline 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 the 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 arranged to have these stunning Chagall lithographs in our city.  They are well worth visiting. 

Other posts…….

The Horizon Line

The Beginning and End of Life

Parfleches for the Last Supper

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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.  

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.

ceiling of millenium centre winnipegThe 14-foot high ceiling 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 fluorescent and not natural light. The dome was very dusty and dirty. Apparently, 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. I would like to visit again.   I wonder if I will see a ghost? 

Other posts……….

A Haunted Island

A Great House Haunts Me

Mummering With A Great Canadian Artist

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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.

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


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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

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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


me and my cousinsI had a great time reconnecting with a dozen or so of my cousins on the weekend.  Our aunt and uncle’s 65th wedding anniversary and 90th birthdays brought us together in Winnipeg on Saturday afternoon. Two subsequent family events were organized after the official celebrations by my Aunt Nettie who is a social planner extraordinaire. So there was lots of time for visiting and catching up. 

Visitiing with my cousins in my aunt's lovely backyard

Visiting with my cousins in my aunt’s lovely backyard

 I learned our family is certainly spreading out across North America and the globe.  My cousins’ children are doing such interesting things…working on a development project in Uganda, meditating at a Buddhist retreat centre in Thailand, planning for forestry conservation in northern British Columbia, exploring South America, studying in Prince Edward Island, teaching in Hong Kong, finishing an ophthalmology residency in Florida, and publishing a thesis about a village forestry project researched in India.  

My cousin Al must be telling quite a story!

My cousin Al must be telling quite a story!

I found out one of my cousins is creating online economics courses for students in Kenya. One cousin goes to Nicaragua to do eye surgery for needy people and another has started a sports program for kids in rural Alberta communities. 

peters women

With female members of our clan at a family brunch on Sunday.

 One cousin is planning a trip to Taiwan and another recently talked with American Vice-President Joe Biden when he visited Minneapolis. One cousin’s wife in Oklahoma has gone back to university in her fifties to get a medical degree and another cousin’s wife in rural Manitoba is making amazing ceramic artwork. 

peters cousins dress up

Playing dress-up with my cousins on my grandparents’ farmyard.

My cousins and I were fortunate to be raised in an extended family where connections with parents and siblings were a priority and so we spent lots of time together during our childhood, at our grandparents’ farm in Gnadenthal Manitoba as well as at the cottage my grandparents built at Moose Lake. Although we don’t see each other often now our parents still connect with each other weekly by phone and many of us are Facebook friends and keep track of each others lives that way. 

my aunt and uncle with two of their great nieces

My aunt and uncle with two of their great-nieces.

The anniversary and birthday celebrations on the weekend created a time for us to reminisce about the past, talk about the present, and honour my aunt and uncle who have contributed to all our lives in various ways. 

cousins at Christmas

Around the Christmas tree with some of my cousins at our grandparents.

I’m thankful for my cousins.  They shared my childhood.  They shared being part of our family’s story with me and they continue to share family celebrations with me. 

Other posts……..

Back Porch News


On My Grandparents’ Farm

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Miss Browns

blues night poster for residents of the exchangeWe visited a new restaurant last week along with other members of the Residents of the Exchange Association.   Miss Browns hosted a special evening to introduce people who live in our neighborhood to their unique menu.

blue noise jazz trioWe were entertained throughout the evening by trio from a group called Blue Noise who bill themselves as the hottest new blues band in Winnipeg.  sliders at Miss BrownsWe started out with a fabulous array of appetizers- smoked salmon mini bagels, fried pickerel on toast with avocado, brisket sliders and smoked chicken wings.owner Miss Browns

Jenny Tyrell and her husband Steve are the owners of Miss Browns. Jenny and Steve were doing catering at his mother’s boutique vineyard in Sydney Australia when Jenny who is originally from Winnipeg got the bright idea they should move back here and open a sandwich shop featuring meats they smoked on site. They’ve named their restaurant for their daughter who they playfully nicknamed Miss Brown when she was a baby. main course miss browns winnipegThis was our main course- BBQ pulled-pork, smoked brisket, baby back ribs and a selection of side condiments and sauces. The meat at Miss Browns comes from All Natural Meats in Carmen, Manitoba and other food items are also locally sourced. miss browns dinnerWe had a nice visit with a couple who live just a couple blocks away from us that Dave had connected with previously at his part-time job. miss brownsThere are always new eating spots offering unique cuisine opening their doors in the Exchange District.  It’s one of the things that makes living here so interesting. 

Other posts……..

David Bowie In My Neighbourhood

The Most Beautiful Bathroom in Winnipeg

Meeting Wayan From Eat, Pray Love


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I’m Possible

I saw the movie Hello My Name is Doris on Friday.  Sally Field gives a stellar performance. Her character’s zany pursuit of a work colleague half her age was at times incredibly funny but also in some ways sad and cringe worthy.

Hello-My-Name-Is-Doris-images-e212dc1a-9116-4628-b122-993816b7379Doris’ decision to chase the man of her dreams is inspired by a slick self-help guru trying to sell his motivational DVDs, who tells Doris that the word impossible shouldn’t be in our vocabularies because nothing is impossible.  The word itself contains the inspirational two word phrase “I’m possible.”   

The mantra was stuck in my head after the movie and I found out “I’m possible” actually comes from a quote attributed to the late great Audrey Hepburn who said,  “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” 

audrey hepburn pixabay public domainHepburn, an actress in the same league as the Oscar winning Sally Field, spent the last five years years of her life away from the stage and screen acting as an ambassador for UNICEF.  I like knowing that the memorable quote in Hello My Name is Doris didn’t come from the promotional ad campaign of a fictional shyster, but from the lips of an accomplished and philanthropic woman who after acheiving the nearly impossible in the entertainment field tried to make the impossible a reality for children around the world. 

Other posts…….

Elegant Words

The Magic Geranium

Sometimes You Just Need A Dose of Precious


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Filed under Inspiration, Movies

Grain is King

jordan van sewell grain is kingThere’s a steel sculpture painted in psychedelic colours in Stephen Juba Park on Waterfront Drive. The sculpture is called Grain Is King. It is a very appropriate artwork to have in the Exchange District since this area of the city gets its name from the fact that the Winnipeg Grain Exchange was thriving here at the turn of the century.

detail on grain is king by jordan van sewellSheaves of grain are cut into the art work’s body and apparently if you crouch down and look through them from the back you can see the corner of Portage and Main which is the busy central hub of Winnipeg. The plaque on the sculpture’s base says, “Grain has built this town and has driven the economy of Winnipeg for many years.”

grain is king jordan sewellThe man responsible for the sculpture is Jordan Van Sewell. He’s been working as an artist for thirty years.  This artwork of his was unveiled in 2004. 

graffiti on grain is king sculptureVan Sewell’s multi-coloured exterior provides a splash of colour to the park and is a great conversation piece. 

grandpa in wheat fieldThe sculpture Grain is King always makes me think of this photo my Aunt Mary took of my grandfather, who was a grain farmer in southern Manitoba. The grain he grew no doubt passed through Winnipeg many times on railway cars.

sculpture grain is king steve juba park winnipegGrain is King is a good reminder of the agricultural products that were the foundation of the economy of the city of Winnipeg for so many years.


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