Monthly Archives: July 2018

Back on the Course Again

golfing in leamington (1)Yesterday I golfed for the first time since I broke my wrist.  I was a little nervous about it wondering if I would feel any pain or if the break would have impacted my golf swing at all.  We were golfing in Leamington, Ontario with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law so I had to use rented clubs and it took a while to get used to them.  But by the end of the round I was hitting some decent drives and fairway shots, and my putting, if I do say so myself, was pretty darn good.  On at least five of the nine holes my playing partners were impressed with the long putts I sank. And by the end of the round my wrist didn’t even hurt.  me and paulWe celebrated my return to the game on the patio of the golf club with drinks.  It felt good to be back on the course again. 

beautiful Lake Erie

Beautiful view of Lake Erie from the golf club patio.

Other posts….

I Did the Limbo on the Golf Course

Inspiration on the Hecla Island Golf Course on the Last Days of August

Family Visit in Leamington, Ontario



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Filed under Family, Sports

Tantalizing Tidbits

Claude Monet in His Studio Boat- painted by Edouard Manet – 1874

Did you know that before the impressionist artist Edouard Manet got to know Claude Monet he would become extremely upset and irritated when art critics reviewing both of their work got the two artists mixed up because their last names sounded so similar?

The Monet Family in The Garden at Argenteuil -by Edouard Manet- 1874

Later Manet and Monet became friends and Manet even painted a family portrait of Monet, his wife Camille and their son Jean. 

Camille Pissarro and his wife Julie Vellay at Pontoise in 1877. Julie was once Pissarro’s mother’s maid. 

Did you know that Paul Cezanne, Alfred Sisley, Claude Monet, Edouard Manet and Camille Pissarro all had long-term romantic relationships that their parents highly disapproved of ? Some of them had to keep their relationships a secret in order to continue receiving money from their families. 

Madame Rene D’ Gas by Edgar Degas- 1873

Did you know the artist Edgar Degas visited his brother in New Orleans and while there painted a beautiful portrait of his blind sister-in-law?  

Berthe Morisot Reclining- by Edouard Manet- 1873

Did you know that impressionist artist Berthe Morisot was a frequent model for fellow artist Edouard Manet and some of his paintings of her are very suggestive and sensual? Later Berthe would marry Edouard’s brother Eugene. 

Camille Pissarro Self Portrait- 1873

Did you know that during the Franco-Prussian war nearly 1,500 paintings of Pissarro’s were destroyed? 

Those are just a few of the tantalizing tidbits I have already discovered while reading The Private Lives of the Impressionists by Sue Roe.  I will be leading a discussion of the book on August 7th at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  You still have time to buy the book at McNally Robinson and join me. You can register here.  I was at McNally’s last Thursday and there were still plenty copies of the book available. 

Other posts………

Without Him We Might Not Have Heard of Monet

A Tale of Two Portraits

Who is She? 


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Filed under Art, Books, WInnipeg Art Gallery

Dave The Professional Driver

My husband Dave often reminds people who venture to offer him advice when he is behind the wheel that he is after all a professional driver. Dave has a part time job as a shuttle driver for a luxury car dealership in Winnipeg.  getting john into the vanYesterday however he took his professional driving skills to a whole new level. He drove a wheel chair accessible van to transport his brother and his wife to their 36th anniversary party.

getting instructions

Dave getting a few tips over the phone from the owner of the van who wasn’t home when we went to pick it up

Dave had to learn how to operate the lift that raises the wheelchair into the van.  driving the vanHe admitted the vehicle was a bit of a boat that swayed a little from side to side as he drove but with his professional driving skills he was able to steer that ‘boat’ down the highway.  He did deign to take a few directional tips from his sister-in-law since we were navigating the roads of Essex County Ontario and there have been one or two changes to the local geography since Dave grew up there more than fifty years ago.  

john out of the van

Our nephew and my brother-in-law helped Dave lower the wheelchair out of the van when we arrived at the lake.

Dave did a great driving  job getting the anniversary couple to their party on the grounds of the hot dog stand on Lake Erie where they had their first date.

anniversary party

My sister-in-law telling the anniversary party guests a funny story about how she fell in love with her husband.

 Some fifty people had gathered to order supper at the hot dog stand, visit and enjoy champagne and cake. the anniversary coupleBefore we headed back home Dave drove the van down to the beach so the couple could take a stroll along the lake where their romance had first started.  dave and johnI was proud of Dave yesterday. He put his professional driving skills to wonderful use.

Other posts……….

The Amazing Race – Driedger Style

Old Memories in Black and White

Getting Nostalgic and Just a Little Sad


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What’s a Boston Cooler?

Whenever we visit Dave’s home stomping grounds in southern Ontario he likes to make a stop at the Dairy Freez. It’s a place he has been going to since he was a child.  Founded in 1954 by Clarence Wright the Dairy Freez is a three generation family business.  Clarence’s granddaughter Arlene is the current owner and she and her husband live in her grandparents’ home right next door to the busy food establishment.  The Dairy Freez is located between the communities of Essex and Cottam. Yesterday morning we went to Essex to watch our great-nephew play baseball.  Our nephew is the coach and the game was a nail biter with our team coming from behind to score a victory.  After all that excitement we were hungry and decided it was the perfect time to make our ritual stop at the Dairy Freez. A great-niece of ours was working behind the counter so we waved and said hello before placing our order with one of the ‘car hops’ who will serve you at your car or at one of the many picnic tables to be found on the nicely landscaped grounds behind the Dairy Freez. Dave had his traditional chili dog and we shared some of the delicious fries and the signature drink offered by the Dairy Freez, a Boston Cooler.  It is made with ice cream and Vernors.  Vernors is a local ginger ale created by a Detroit pharmacist James Vernor in 1866 and sold primarily in Michigan and southern Ontario. Our sons always looked forward to having Vernors on our annual trips to Ontario since it wasn’t available in Manitoba. Yesterday was sweltering hot here in southern Ontario so we definitely appreciated our icy Boston Cooler. 

Other posts…………

Driedger -Top Chef Junior

Homegrown in Newfoundland

Old Bastard’s

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Family Feud

Have you heard of Michal?  Michal was married to King David and in the Biblical book of  2 Samuel we read about a rather nasty fight they had.  


The Ark of the Covenant transported to Jerusalem, preceded by David dancing and playing the harp by Marc Chagall- 1956

David has been instrumental in returning the Ark of the Covenant to its rightful place in Jerusalem. He expresses his religious excitement with an exuberant dance and shares his joy by distributing bread to everyone.  What a generous spiritual man! 

michal watching David from the window by James Tissot- 1898

Michal Watching David From the Window by James Tissot -1898

Or so we’d think if we weren’t introduced to Michal who despises her husband and after watching him celebrating tells David his dancing is vulgar and shameful. David snaps a hurtful retort back at Michal. Their vicious spat can perhaps be explained by their dramatic marriage history.


Michal Helps David Escape From Her Father by Gustave Dore- 1865

Michal’s father King Saul gave her to David as a reward for killing Goliath. Later Saul tries to kill David and Michal saves David’s life.

Illustration from the Morgan BIble of Michal being taken away from Palti

David goes into hiding and Saul gives Michal to another man named Palti. He and Michal have such a good relationship that when David defeats Saul and insists on taking Michal back, her second husband is heart broken. Michal’s subsequent life in David’s harem is lonely and unhappy.  

David was a great leader but many of his family relationships, like the one with Michal, are marked by bitterness, betrayal and anger.

Family relationships can be tricky and tough. Sometimes peace and forgiveness is almost impossible. But knowing our behaviors and choices have created pain for our families can taint our other accomplishments and diminish our happiness. Nelson Mandela once said his greatest regret was that his personal life was so unstable and that the political choices he made caused great pain for his family. 

Michal and David’s hostile interaction in this 2 Samuel text is a good reminder that doing our best to heal brokenness in our families is  important. 

Other posts……..

King David Was a Rapist

Introducing Kids to Abigail

A Mother For King David.  Who Knew?

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Filed under Family, Religion

Channeling Norval Morriseau

For our latest sketching date my friend Esther and I went to the Winnipeg Art Gallery and were inspired by the bold and beautiful paintings of artist Norval Morriseau.

norval morriseau inspired I finally finished coloring the drawing I made on our sketching date. I wonder where we will go to sketch next? 

Other posts…….

Bold and Beautiful

What a Sash

Meet You At the Folio


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Filed under Art, Retirement

Meditation For Kids

Many different news sources have reported that one reason the twelve members of the boys’ soccer team trapped in a cave in northern Thailand survived was because their coach, a former Buddhist monk, kept them calm by leading them in meditation exercises. Leah Weiss, a Standford expert taught by the Dalai Lama, said meditating played a key role in keeping the group alive. It improved the boy’s focus and compassion for one another. Apparently when the first British divers found the boys they were not screaming or crying but sitting calmly in the dark meditating. The oxygen supply in the cave was very small but meditation will have slowed the boys breathing and respiration and oxygen intake so they could survive despite the low oxygen levels. 

I have noticed on my visits to classrooms as a university faculty advisor that lots of teachers are using meditation exercises with their students to bring them back to a calm place, to get them to focus before beginning an assignment and to foster empathy with their classmates.  Teachers are using a whole variety of techniques involving music and breathing, assuming various body poses and looking at calming visual images. 

Children learning these techniques from caring teachers and mentors are being given a valuable and perhaps even life saving gift. 

Other posts……

Common Threads- Buddhism

The Temple of Dawn in Bangkok

Thai Traditions to End and Start a Year



Filed under Reflections, Religion