International Day of the Girl

I missed the International Day of the Girl yesterday. Here are some photos of school girls I have taken in different places in the world. 

I’ve always believed that when you educate a girl, you empower a nation.- Queen Rania of Jordan

School girls in Bali

School girls in Jerusalem

School girls in Jamaica

School girls in Palestine 

School girl in Borneo

School girls in Phnom Penh Cambodia

School girls in Hong Kong

School girls in the Philippines

School girls in Vietnam

Real change happens when we invest in girls. Every year, millions of girls are denied an education at a time when it has the power to transform their lives and the world around them. – Nigel Chapman, CEO, Plan International

Other posts………

International Women’s Day

What I Saw in a Classroom Yesterday

My Grade Two Class Photo is Part of a PHD Dissertation

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Filed under Education


monnet shield wag

Eleven huge concrete triangles connected with a copper pipe are featured in a work created by Caroline Monnet specifically for the Insurgence/Resurgence exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.  It is called Shield. The concrete shapes represent various generations of indigenous people and the copper pipe illustrates how those generations are held together. All the generations past, present and future connected to each other creates cultural strength and solidarity. 

shield caroline monnetCaroline Monnet the artist who is responsible for Shield lives in Montreal.  Her father is French and her mother is Algonquin so Caroline grew up both in France and Canada. Caroline is a filmaker and visual artist who studied in Ottawa and Spain. You can see other examples of her work on her website. 

Although Caroline created Shield to represent the indigenous community I think it could represent any family.  Various generations past, present and future are connected and together they form a protective shield of love and belonging that gives individual family members strength and a sense of identity. 

Other posts……


Gone But Not Forgotten

This Looks Familiar


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Filed under Art, WInnipeg Art Gallery

Cooking Together

The United Church Observer carried a Thanksgiving article by Anne Bokma. She has always felt it was her duty to make good nutritious meals for her family. She figures she’s singlehandedly made more than 10,000 of them since becoming a mother some twenty years ago. She is realizing now she probably should have insisted her husband and children help out more. She decided this Thanksgiving she was only going to make soup for the holiday meal because she just expends way too much energy making a full turkey dinner on her own.
I was fortunate to spend Thanksgiving at our children’s home in Saskatoon. They hosted a holiday dinner for members of both sides of their extended family. Unlike the woman in the United Church Observer article their meal preparations were very much a team effort. Both my son and his wife made shopping trips to various stores for meal ingredients and we did some errands as a family on Saturday morning.

My father carving the turkey at our house last Thanksgiving. 

My son roasted and carved the turkey and my daughter in law made the mashed potatoes and green beans. My daughter-in-law’s sister had brought the soup and salad and my husband purchased the wine. My five-year old grandson even got into the act helping his mother to whip the cream for the pumpkin pie.

In our household I have always done the bulk of the meal preparation although my husband is an excellent cook and now often makes his signature dishes when we have guests.

dad and dad cooking

My Dad and my father-in-law frying rollkuchen for our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary celebration.

I applaud the cooking model my children have adopted. In their home,  meal preparation is a team effort. I love the way they are involving their children too! Even my one year old grandson helps put the ingredients in the blender when his Dad makes our breakfast smoothies.  

In her article Anne Bokma references food author Louise Fresco who says that families cooking together makes for good relationships because it provides an opportunity to deal with tension, show tenderness and establish common routines and rituals.  Cooking should be a family affair!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Other posts……..

A Thankful Weekend

Family Thanksgiving



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Filed under Food

Choosing A Good Fight

Last week I attended the funeral service for a dear friend’s mother.  One of the Scripture passages chosen for the pastor’s message was from 2 Timothy 4:7.  ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  The pastor reminded us we need to pay attention to the word good in good fight  He said people so often choose to spend their time fighting for, or about things, that aren’t that important.   An example he gave of fighting for something good was fighting to give refugees a safe place to call home.

There are some 50 verses in the Bible that reference the idea of opening our hearts to strangers or refugees.  Everything from the Old Testament passage in Deuteronomy 10:19 where God reminds the children of Israel to show kindness to strangers because they were once strangers themselves in Egypt, to Matthew 25:38 where Jesus says that when we welcome strangers we are really welcoming him. 

According to United Nations data there are more than 65 million refugees in the world today. There is no lack of opportunity for us to take on the good fight to love the stranger by welcoming refugees and helping to support them in their desire for safety and peace. 

Other posts……..

Supporting Refugees 

Thoughts on Refugees

Standing Up For Children



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The Bechdel Test

I’m immersed in another Netflix series Jane the Virgin.   I just love feisty Jane and I’m impressed with how the writers for this ‘over the top’ very modern and funny soap opera hook your interest and leave you guessing at the end of every episode. 

jane-the-virgin-genericJane the heroine is pursuing a graduate degree in writing.  Her genre?  Romance.  This puts her in conflict with her staunchly feminist advisor.  She tells Jane the chapters in her thesis novel must pass the Bechdel Test.   They must have…….1) at least two women in them….. who 2) talk to each other…… about 3) something other than a man.  It takes awhile for Jane to figure out how to do that, but since Jane is very much her own woman and has grown up in a household of women she has lots of personal experience to draw from. She gets it right and impresses her advisor.  

Just after I saw the Netflix episode of Jane the Virgin about the Bechdel Test a Facebook friend posted a link to an article in The Atlantic.  I just started an online subscription to the magazine so I’d missed the article which explains the origin of the Bechdel Test.  A comic creator named Alison Bechdal mentioned the three criteria above in one of her comic strips and they became popular and branded with her name.  

bechdel test creative commonsModestly Bechdal gives credit to a friend who suggested the criteria to her and to writer Virginia Woolf who inspired them when she said,  “the women of literature, contrary to the living, breathing, complex women of real life, are almost always depicted only “in their relation to men.”

I’m glad to know about the Bechdal test. In the future it will make me think about whether the things I write could pass it. 

Other posts……….

Lineage Strong Women

Who’s Twiggy? 

Bitter Girl of Bitter Boy?

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Gone But Not Forgotten

Nature is a big inspiration for artist Casey Koyczan. He likes to find materials that are considered dead in nature and give them a second chance at life. He starts with a vision, sources his materials, and then chooses the best spot to create one of his large scale installations. 

The skylight on the gallery floor of the Winnipeg Art Gallery is the spot Casey has chosen for his installation Gone But Not Forgotten. It is part of the current Insurgence/Resurgence exhibit.  The dead materials he has chosen are branches from the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.  Tragically the bodies of many indigenous people have been found in the river waters.   Casey says their spirit and souls live on in these branches from the river. Thus the dead branches have a second chance at life.

Casey’s installations often take on the traits of amorphous beings that invade spaces in modern architecture.  His piece Gone But Not Forgotten at the Winnipeg Art Gallery certainly does that. 

On his Facebook page Casey says his installation Gone But Not Forgotten “pushes for recognition and remembrance of the women, children, and men that we have lost over the years in Canada due to the injustices, mistreatment, and economic scrutiny First Nations people face on a daily basis.

Other posts…….

They Look Like Photographs


This Looks Familiar

Transferring the Real to the Unreal


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Filed under WInnipeg Art Gallery

We Both Talk With Our Hands!

jagmeet singh creative commonsLast week the New Democratic Party of Canada elected a new leader Jagmeet Singh.  He is a 38 year old trial lawyer and provincial politician known for his colorful Sikh turbans and stylish dress.  Jagmeet was born in Canada to immigrant parents and grew up in Ontario and Newfoundland. I watched one of his first television interviews as the new leader of his party. He was articulate and personable but the thing I noticed most about him was the way he used his hands when he talked.  

I do that too and most of the time I don’t  even realize my hands are moving but my husband does.  On Sunday we had guests and I was relating a story to them. I happened to glance over at Dave. He caught my eye and slowly moved his right hand up and down to let me know my gestures were getting way too dramatic and frequent. It wasn’t the first time he’s provided that kind of discreet reminder. 

I feel a little bit better knowing that one of the new political leaders of our country uses his hands when he talks, even on national television.  I’m wondering if it may not be quite as embarrasing a trait as my husband thinks. 

Other posts………..


We Placed Our Lives in His Hands

Plants That Talked To Me

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Filed under Politics