You Take the High Road

marylou in a kiltFrom the mournful strains of The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond performed by a group of talented singers and fiddlers to the upbeat drumming and bag piping of the Transcona and District Pipe Band the show at Winnipeg’s Folkorama Scotland Pavilion was a delight.

highland pipe band

I loved the non-stop grin on the face of the youngest drummer in the  pipe band. You could just tell she was proud as punch to be performing.  I loved the Scotch egg I tried for the first time. Delicious.  I loved it that two of the emcees for the evening said they had been working at the Scottish Pavilion with their families for over 15 years. 

tartansI went to check out the display of different kinds of tartans.  These are just a few of the many that were on show.  My favourites? mcqueen tartanWas it the MacQueen or……….dress tartan

the Blue Dress MacPherson? spinnersI listened to the wool spinners describe their work and……..knitters watched a delightfully diverse group of craftspeople chatting while they knitted and purled. 

selkirk settlers by Gerald Laing

Statue of the first Manitoba settlers from Scotland located at the end of my street.

The folks at the Scottish Pavilion certainly displayed the kind of spirit Melissa Martin describes in her excellent op ed about Folkorama in yesterday’s Free Press. One of the people she interviewed for the article talked about Folkorama as a way “to learn the importance of diversity and multiculturalism and really loving your neighbour.”  That perspective has the potential to have such a positive impact on our community if we all take it to heart. 

Other posts………

Brave Heart in Winnipeg

Matching Canada and Scotland

A Saskatchewan Great Plains Grizzly Ends Up In Scotland



Leave a comment

Filed under Winnipeg

What If You Could No Longer Do The Thing You Love the Most?

What if you could no longer do the one thing you believed you were born to do? That’s the question at the heart of the movie The Rider.  Filmed on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and directed by a young Beijing filmaker Chloe Zhao the main characters are all played by local people of the Lakota Sioux nation and not professional actors. the rider

Brady the young man at the center of the story is a professional rodeo rider who can no longer ride because of a devastating head injury.  His best friend has suffered a life altering injury as well and Brady’s kindness and care for him as well as for his autistic sister Lily make him such an appealing character.  His mother has died, his Dad drinks and gambles too much and the family lives in poverty. Brady has a lot on his shoulders.

The scenery of the South Dakota badlands in this movie is breathtaking, the relationship between Brady and his horses magical and there is a religious aspect too that is thought provoking.  Brady really believes God has put him on this earth to ride, but now that he can’t ride what is he to make of God? How can life still have meaning?

This is a profoundly sad movie with no uplifting Hollywood solutions.  I chatted with a woman who is a concert pianist on the way out of the theater and she was wondering what she would do if she could no longer play the piano.  I wondered what I would do if I could no longer write. What do you think would happen to you if you were no longer able to do the thing you love the most? 

We saw the movie at Cinematheque and there are still a couple more showings this week. 

Other posts……..


Wedding Night

The Audience Applauded For Her


Filed under Movies

Animal Wisdom

God sets out the entire creation as a science classroom, using birds and beasts to teach wisdom. – Job 35:9  (The Message)

giraffe taronga zoo australia

Giraffe- photo taken at the Taronga Zoo Australia

Reach for new heights. Don’t be afraid to stick your neck out.

bison herd

Bison- photo taken at Fort Whyte Nature Centre Winnipeg

Have a tough hide. Roam wild and free.

butterfly wonderland phoenix

Butterfly- photo taken  in Phoenix Arizona

Look for the sweetness in life. Let your true colors show. 

burrowing owl

Owl- photo taken Fort Whyte Nature Center

Glide through the dark times. Remember life’s a hoot.

dragon fly 1

Dragon Fly- photographed at the Winnipeg Folk Festival

Keep your eyes open. Zoom in on your dreams.

alligators in florida

Alligator- photo taken in the Florida Keys

Keep an eye out for opportunities.  Take a bite out of life. 

horses iceland

Horse- photo taken in Iceland

Loosen the reins. Carry your friends when they need it.

herons hecla island

Heron- photo taken at Hecla Island

Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet.  Look below the surface. 

elephant barcelona zoo

Elephant- photo taken at the Barcelona Zoo

Don’t work for peanuts.  Be all ears. 

lion in phoenix zoo

Lion -photo taken in the Phoenix Zoo

Roar with confidence. Show your pride.

Other posts…….

The Animals of Australia

Sea Turtle Night Walk

Can This Necklace Save the Elephants


1 Comment

Filed under Nature

The Displaced

Sometimes when my parents thought we were sleeping upstairs they would talk in the kitchen about some of the  things that had happened to our family in Ukraine. I could hear their voices through the stove pipe, because it ran from the kitchen up into our bedroom.  The terrible things I heard my parents talking about frightened me.” 

My mother-in-law told me that story once. She was just a little girl when she came to Canada from Ukraine but that didn’t mean she wasn’t affected by her family’s refugee experience.

the enns family

My mother-in-law is the little girl on her mother’s lap in this photo taken just before her family left Ukraine.

I thought of my mother-in-law Anne and her family often as I read the book The Displaced.  It is a series of essays by refugee writers describing their families’ experiences finding a new home in North America. The book was just published in 2018 so it includes references to how Trump’s America is changing the lives of refugees and making them scarier and more difficult. The theme that resonated for me in the essays was how the refugee experience impacted multiple generations of families.  the displacedThe stories in The Displaced are well written, many a riveting read and they are as diverse as the writers who penned them. The refugee writers have come from Chile, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Bosnia, Zimbabwe, Iran, Ethiopia, Mexico, Hungary and like my mother-in-law Ukraine. They offer an illuminating window into the lives of refugees and make the reader aware of how vital it is for countries to welcome and offer a home to people who find themselves in untenable circumstances due to no fault of their own. 

Other posts…..


I Could Cry I Am So Happy To Be a Canadian 

Cambodia Revisited


Filed under Books

We Saw The Polar Bears!

polar bearsThe polar bears in the Journey to Churchill exhibit at Assiniboine Park Zoo were swimming on Sunday.  I have been to the exhibit on numerous occasions and have never yet been fortunate enough to view the polar bears from the clear tunnel that allows visitors to watch them as the paddle through the cool water. I’m glad they saved their show for my most recent visit because I was at the zoo with my two grandsons and they were as excited as I was, to watch the polar bears’ antics in the water. My daughter-in-law wondered how the polar bears came to be in the zoo and I wasn’t sure so I did a little research.  journey to churchillA Global News article in January of 2018 says the bears in the exhibit are all orphans who were found in the Churchill area when they were under the age of 16 months. They would have had no chance of surviving on their own in the wild. 

zoo polar bearsI also learned that all nine bears currently living at the Assinboine Zoo have names.   Thank you Juno, Nanuq, Siku, York, Blizzard, Star, Kaska, Storm and Aurora for providing an exciting experience for zoo visitors. 

Other posts………..

Inuit Art at the Zoo

It’s All Happening At the Zoo

Creatures I’ve Photographed



1 Comment

Filed under Nature, Winnipeg

Ultimate Spirit

ultimate championships

The last couple of days we have been enjoying watching our son play in the World Masters Ultimate Club Championships here in Winnipeg. joel masters worldsOur son’s Saskatchewan team won the Canadian Championships last year giving them a berth in this international event. korea vs. canadaSo far they have played four games against Columbia, Korea, India and the United States. They’ve won three of their four games. spirit circleOne of the things I think is really great about Ultimate is that after the game the members of both teams stand interspersed with their arms around each other and talk about the game.  They compliment each other on things each team did well and show their respect and affirmation for the skills players showed on the field. They might also talk about how teams could improve their spirit and attitude in future games. There are no referees in Ultimate so players make their own calls. This means honesty and fair play are even more important in the game.

joel ultimate mastersWe are looking forward to seeing more games the rest of the week. I remember the days of watching our son play basketball, hockey, volleyball and baseball competitively when he was still in school and my heart racing when the game was close.  I’m finding that excitement is still there a couple of decades later.

Other posts………. 

The Ultimate Experience

Watching the Prairie Regional Ultimate Tournament

A New Sport For Dave

Leave a comment

Filed under Sports

Japanese Art and the Impressionists

As I studied the impressionist artists of the late 1800s to prepare to give tours of the current French Moderns exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, one of the things that fascinated me was how many of the impressionist painters were influenced by Japanese art.  In 1854 Japanese ports opened to trade with the west and Japanese items began coming into France. A shop near the Louvre called Le Porte Chinoise sold all kinds of Japanese items. In 1867 Japan held an art exhibition in Paris and Japanese woodblock prints became all the rage. Two pieces in the current French moderns exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery illustrate this Japanese influence.  the wave courbetThis is The Wave by Gustave Courbet.  Many argue that Courbet was directly influenced by the print below. 

the wave Hokusai

The Wave – a woodcut by the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai


The Letter by Mary Cassatt- 1890

Another artwork where the Japanese influence is clear is this one by Mary Cassatt. After Mary had seen the exhibition of Japanese color woodcuts in Paris in 1890 she was inspired to make ten prints of her own using the aquatint technique. The Letter was one of them.

Many other French painters were also influenced by the Japanese printmakers, including Monet, Manet and Degas. It is just one of many interesting aspects of the work currently on display at the French Moderns exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. 

Other posts……….

Tantalizing Tidbits

Without Him We Might Not Even Recognize the Name Monet

A Tale of Two Portraits


Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Japan, WInnipeg Art Gallery