Wednesday, January 30, 2019

hello and here we are early in the morning,
ready to settle down to a day's work in R's office.
Duncan, Rebecca, Steve and I have plans to go to Bohemian Rhapsody tomorrow night. 

And plans for Carmen on Saturday. 

Even more than plans.  We have our tickets pre-purchased for the Live Met production and have been humming bits of Carmen since we can't get the music out of our heads.

And speaking of music, Duncan aid he came across a character in a game that had a name from an old childhood song.  I couldn't think of what it would be.  He said, the character's name was Clementine.

Well, now I will be singing that song for a while.

Ta dum, ta dee.


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Mongolian Fry Bread

I am looking at  you from the law school kitchen.
Happy New Year
I have just barely been able to write the year, 2019 without feeling a bit uncomfortable.

 It seems hard to believe I am in the last year of this first decade of the 21st century.

 I look up at the calendar and January is almost finished. Time is flying by while I am here in Victoria enjoying the antics around living with Rebecca, and the joy that is every day watching her boys.

I was remembering lauhing today, just as I was about to finish up the evening, thinking I was too tired to type one more sentence on the computer.

Then I got my second wind.

Yes to living here.

Rebecca worked until 8 pm at the university – trying to get on top of her work. I have been shadowing her for 2 weeks, helping – mostly taking papers to the recycling bin and doing the odd bit of adding an index to a book. And typing some old business lecture for her. Tonight we fold at 8 pm, but then there were still groceries to get.

We promised Duncan something special. Another package of pork buns.

The sushi and the Chinese food was on sale: 30% off after 7 pm. Well, our timing was good for that. So she bought some ginger fried beef, some deep fried pork, all of the usual Chinese food at Fairways. And she knows which kinds of sushi to buy – shrimp for me, but that will finish Alex off if it doesn’t kill him, so she chooses something else for him.

I think everything is going well. When the grocieries are unpacked, that is the time when she will let them start eating the fast food she has brought home – each man to his computer, she and I curling up by the gas fireplace, since this is the first time in the day when either of us hasn’t been on the run.

I say to her, “I know when I am working hard, when I brush and floss my teeth, use the water pick on them and then say to myself, ah, so fortunate to have this quiet moment in the day with my teeth.”

I come to the living room table to do another hours work but Rebecca suddenly jumped up. Alex has let some profanity pass his lips and was running for the kitchen saying, “I got so excited that a banged my hand on the table, right into my sushi.” It was everywhere. He was going for a cloth to clean up the mess. She made back to his computer chair first, to wipe up the flying sushi. I looked to the screen to see what it was that had caused the excitement on the computer. He had been watching someone drop the first piece of bread into some boiling oil – Mongolia fry bread.

Well, that must have been exciting.

I looked at what was left of the bashed in sushi and so did he. “It doesn’t look too good, Grandma, but it will taste the same.”

Yup. Fun being around these kids.

On another matter, between Rebecca’s dining room and the large room (where all three men have their computer station, and she has her grand piano), there are some glass doors – fifteen-paned with wood molding separating the pieces of glass. The sun shines through the window, blinding us at the table each day. Rebecca has the practise of putting 18” x 24” prints from art books on the door. She traps the sun so that it can’t get through the glass and we feel as though we are in a gallery, its walls ever changing. She just took down Degas and Raphael is going up now. The coffee table books she uses for the print are pretty well destroyed, but five of us get long looks at paintings of the masters.

She tasked Duncan with writing the names of each painting on the white border of the picture. I was getting the tack off of the old pictures which she keeps and she began putting them up on the wall and we were well into our task. What got her attention was the painting on which Duncan had written “Chair and Three Guardsmen from the Papal Palace” that got her attention. It looked to her more like the Madonna with two angels close to her side.

Here is the mistake. He had transcribed from the back of each page to the front. But the description had been on the left hand side of the page, and the photo on the right – not what he normally encounters in a book.

Duncan didn’t laugh when we found the mistake. He had spent ½ hour on a task that was now useless. And now we were going to have to go for the white oujt. Rebecca wasn’t laughing that hard either. But I couldn’t help myself. Oh, so many tasks go wrong.

One thing that couldn’t go wrong this morning? Rebecca had lost her annotated class lecture notes – but found them and carefully put them in her bag for work. We were at the university, about ½ hour before class as to start and I heard her murmered. “The notes that I so carefully put in the backpack? I don’t have them. That was not my backpack this morning. I put my notes into Alex’s backpack, since I handed mine down to him last week. Now he has my notes at school and I have nothing as I teach my class in 20 minutes. I hope coffee will help.”

And she went off to get some.

And with that, I should go to bed.


Sunday, January 27, 2019

Apple / Fennel / Celery

Rebecca loves an apple / fennel / celery salad. The recipe is ½ a bunch of celery (as opposed to a stalk) / ½ a fennel bulb and 3 large apples. Chop the apple, celery and anise finely and add a dressing. I try to get the recipe for the dressing: vinegar, oil, a lot of mustard and mustard seed.

I suppose a person doesn’t need a recipe that is more definite than that.

I know she is thinking of the salad when she buys the celery and fennel bulb. Since I was left alone in the kitchen and going to the vegetable crisper I could see that she has been thinking about this recipe for a long time for now she has two bulb of fennel and 2 bunches of celery.

Just no chopping done.

So I chop for a while which is fun – using that Cutco knife with its sharp blade, Rebecca reminding me to be careful. I think I used to remind her the same way.

She passes by and sees the need for dressing, so she makes it and we take it to work.  She also suggest making the carrot / blueberry salad that she loves.

I say, let us eat up the fennel and celery first.


Peppers Bags

We're Local!
When money becomes tight or when there is a big bill to pay, more than I had expected, I start trying to watch every dollar I spend. Every dime. I bend down to pick up a stray nickel in the mud.

The thought of being thrifty is in the back of my mind where I go.

In the house.
In my neighbourhood as I walk.
When I decide to go to movies or watch Netflicks.
When I have the urge to buy a chocolate bar that isn’t all that necessary.

Just watching every dollar that is in my wallet. I think about Churches Thrift Store. I fantasize that there will be some cookies left in the bag after the boys have finished their D&D games. There is not a crumb left. Just those little things that make life better. A cookie here, a chocolate bar there.

At any rate, I am walking in the mornings. I see two bags from Peppers, a local grocery story, a little upscale. We don’t shop there. That is why we have no Peppers bags. But groceries from the UK are on their shelves The food displays have only only perfectly formed fruit. No blemishes at Peppers.

I see these two bags by a bus stop. Peppers Logo.

The bags are empty. Curious, I think. I pass by them.

I see them every day as I walk for about a week in a row.

I am tempted to pick them up and carry them home, but I don’t. The bags are a little upscale for us. And perhaps the person who left them there is coming back for them, I think.

One day I saw one bag had blown round the corner and down 3 houses. Now I think the bags have become litter. I look around. No one watching me. I picked up the bags from the lawn.

Now I have one bag in my hand and I go back to the bus stop and get the other one. I carry them home. I feels as though I am doing two things: litter patrol and following the social l injuncture to reuse. I feel the same kind of joy that bending down to pick up a dime gives me.

I put the bags in the kitchen to wash them, kind of clean them up with a cloth. Before I get that done they have disappeared.

I ask Rebecca, have you see 2 reusable bags from Peppers.

She said, yes I folded them and put them with the other reusable bags to take back out to the car. I keep forgetting to take them to the car.

I take them out of her bag and clean them up with a damp cloth, where there is a dead leaf or a clump of dried grass.

I take the bags to my own room. I am going to use them.

I think about my savings. $1? Maybe $2.

For some reason I am please.


Marnie - a yes

Rebecca was on the march to find a new tall pot for her kitchen, the Teflon on the old one having finally given up the ghost.

Friends have been saying that the only place to find large pots is at the thrift shops, for people are watching TV and divesting themselves of kitchenware they don’t need – especially the small appliances.

They are right.

The Salvation Army was filled with shelves of electrical appliances, but we needed something with tall sides and a bottom that doesn’t burn the onions as we try to caramelize them before creating some of the soups Rebecca makes. I loved a beautiful large frying pan, one that called out to me, “Take me home. I would be good for paella.”

But Rebecca was focused on one thing only which was not at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. We did stop in at a small Korean grocery store, since it is Chinese New Year and Duncan hasn’t had his fill of pork buns yet. Rebecca buys them, packages of 3, which 4 per package. The first time they were in the house, Duncan only got one before they were all gone.

People in a large family know, you see it, you eat it, it will be gone the next time you look for it. Duncan is hoping for a kindlier kindred, ones who can divide by the number of people in the house. But that just didn’t work with the pork buns.

 “Of course I took the last one. I thought they were going bad.”

“Yes, I had four and they were delicious.”

 So Rebecca thought that there might be pork buns in the Korean store. What we came out of the store with what was a case of Korean black walnut soy milk, 20 single pouches and 3 Korean pears, carefully packaged in clear containers that cradled them.

She went on to Winners to find large pots. I went to Marnie, the review of which you can find in the Guardian. I loved it. I found myself sitting forward on the edge of my seat, literally, in Act II.

Image from
Later that day I went to see Glass with James McAvoy, Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. All this, alone. Not even carrying a bag of popcorn. Which is really alone!

The reviews said it might be hard to “get” this film without having seen the series of films that precede it. I didn’t care. I thought I would give it a try cold. I think I got it.

When I got home Rebecca and Steve were watching Season 7 of Game of Thrones. “I have read all of the books,” Rebecca said when I asked why she was watching that specific series, “but this season goes beyond the books”, she continued.

I did hear her whisper during one episode, “Oh, I hope the dragon doesn’t die.” I must not have cared. In the next instant to me, Steve was poking me and saying, “You are snoring.”

How humbling for me. I thought I was still awake.

I went to bed.


Alone at La Bayadere.

Languid precision … Vadim Muntagirov
and Marianela Núñez.
I went to the ballet alone last Sunday.

La Bayadere.

For a person who doesn’t really like ballet, I find myself becoming more and more curious about dance.

The presenter introduced the ballet and then said something like, “Sit back and enjoy”. Her face was beaming and so filled with anticipation that I could not hardly want to do the same thing – sit back and enjoy.

The moment before the ballet starts I find myself overwhelmed as I acknowledge privilege – sitting in a warm space, watching ballet transmitted from Russia, somehow feeling the collective energy of everyone else in the theatre, people I don’t know but with whom I could have a productive conversation if any of them would stay and chat at the end of the performance.

I watch the synopsis on the screen, put there in at least 5 languages. I think about the reviews which have acknowledged that this is a period piece and its overlay of colonization is not one that can be admired. Still, there it is – the ballet with that classical scene from the heavens in the last act – the purest form of ballet some of the reviews say.

I couldn’t have had a better time. I stayed after the ballet and watched The Upside Man. I wouldn't have wanted to have missed that either. Fun! Arta

A Post a Day

I am at Arbutus Cove just as morning is breaking.
I can see the water through the bare branches of the trees.
When spring breaks the leaves will hide this fabulous view.
I am trying to write a post a day.

 And now a week has past.

All of the posts have been written in my head as I walk every morning, remembering first of all that walking is my job, not writing.

I try to think of my heart muscle, and of the workout I am giving it, the chance to feel alive and well.

I have a science now – if I walk down Gordonhead Road toward the sea, but then curve as the local bus does and walk along the blocks of houses that face that sea, instead of going down to the sea, I come to a big park filled with natural grasses and, a single tall cedar tree at the top of the park.

I walk up to touch it.

That place marks 3,000 steps.

I turn and go back home, words swirling in my mind that I am not getting down on paper.


Monday, January 21, 2019

Emergency Woman

Happy 50th Catherine

I wrote a poem for you.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~


You have this quality of 
being there in emergencies.
All kinds of them.

Ones that need a loving touch.  
Ones that need a bandaid. 
Or a full splint.

Ones that need a specialist for consultation — 
you can produce that.  

Emergencies that need
the special touch 
of finding a sock 
or a boot 
or a book.  

Emergencies of the soul.  
You are there for those. 

You are the one who gets a 
thank you note from
the emergency department 
for your quick eye and 
questioning mind about symptoms — 
even to saving a life.  

You take care of
emergencies in the van, 
emergencies on the metro 
emergencies on a plane
and in department stores when one
or the other of us needs to lean on you.

Emergency woman?

You're it.

Happy Birthday

From Catherine Jarvis:

Toasting you all with a hot butterbeer. 6 degrees here. 
Better than the -20 in Montreal. 

Standing in line, waiting for my ride for the hippogriff roller coaster. 
Wearing  my universal birthday badge. 
Oh the stories I could tell about this weekend 

Online Sunday School, Week 3

Morning moon captured by Rebecca
on her walk with Penny, the dog, this morning.
I have been reading along with the UofA blog again, enjoying last week’s posts, picking up an idea here and there each day.

Trying to keep reconciliation in my mind. 

Watching how the bloggers there are critiquing each Canadian law school, the good and the bad as they work with Action #28.

I have been wondering if that is enough collective reading for the kind of Sunday School I envisioned.

Not being able to pick up any members who I know are reading this, I shall continue, at least reading and thinking and doing on Online Sunday School every week on my own.

Not really on my own.

With everyone who is reading the UofA blog, I think. I can at least feel a community of readers.

The thing I remember from last week is that, I think it is Manitoba, that has Senator Murray Sinclair in their midst. Odd bits of information when I read stick with me.

And today, I saw the McGill School of law critiqued. I loved their statement of purpose. But the bloggers didn’t thing the statement really addressed Call to Action # 28, and called them to task for not really being on task.

Well, read and watch and learn. That is what I am doing.

Photo credit: Rebecca Johnson
In the back of my mind, the title of today’s post is a bit “offish”.   In fact the title of the whole thread.  But I don't know how else to get at the fact that I want to gather with my Mormon colleagues and talk about reconciliation.

Online Sunday School seems a most uninviting title. I don’t want this to be the Sunday Schools of the 1940 redux.  But I don't know how else to say, let's gather together and talk about anything that has to do with the TRC Calls to Action.

Until next week.


Alice as a Ballad

The days are perfect for the Jarvis family as well.
Here they are celebrating Catherine's 50th
birthday at Universal Studios.
I couldn't have had a richer, fuller day.

I went to the ballet, La Bayadere -- 3 acts, 2 intermissions, some interviews translated from Russian, one interview with the principal ballerina.

I stayed for a second show -- The Upside with Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston.

I put n 17,000 steps -- I don't tell about the days when I only get in 3,000 steps.

And Duncan shared a lovely ballad with me via the internet called Alice, which link I give you,

Duncan thinks it is a little too dark for Alice.  I am slow. I had the lyrics on the screen when I listened to the song. He had to point out that ice is in Alice and twice, and all over the song.

When I got home Rebecca had peanut soup waiting for me.

In the evening I went out on the porch to watch the lunar eclipse -- a blood moon.

I like perfect days like this one.


Sunday, January 20, 2019

La Bayadère

Natalia Osipova (Gamzatti), Kristen McNally (Aya)
and Marianela Nuñez (Nikiya) in La Bayadère.

Photograph: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian
Steve set me up with bus tickets today.

I am going to see the Royal Ballet do  La Bayadère, the review of which I just read in The Guardian

I can't think of a much more solitary event -- the ballet.

I cannot think of a single person who will go with me.

Still, I am so curious about this art form, so off I go --  3 hours and 20 minutes.

At the very least I can say I get my monies worth.


Old and older photos

Moiya is busy deleting old photos.  So why did she send some on to me, rather than just delete it.

I hate to see this one pass out of my memory forever,  for it is a picture of the Johnson cabin many years ago when it was just known as the noise-y house.

The same cans and jars are still probably on that ledge though the washing machine is gone.

But the guy working the machine?

My guess is David Wood.

Naming people who are log rolling is different. 

Hard to identify who is on the log and who is one the water, the anchor at the end, giving stability to something that is just not going to happen.

If you think yours is one of the bodies on that log, do leave a note in the comment section.

Thanks, Moiya.  

Now you know what happens to old photos that you passed on.


Friday, January 18, 2019

Rebecca and the Coffee Shop

Photo Credit: Rebecca Johnson

View of Mt Tolmie sunrise from the Coffee Shop
where Rebecca had her breakfast this morning
I am sure I am having a fabulous time in Victoria.

I am doing some typing for Rebecca.

In between short spurts of time doing that, I am trying to walk, mostly in the mornings.

Steve reminded me that this morning's walk might not have been quite as safe as he would have wanted it to be.

Yes, I was in the dark, going down to the sea, though the way was lit with the street lights and the occasional bedroom light where people were waking.

Funny, I could make that into a poem.

I was in the dark,
going down to the sea,
though the way was lit with the street lights
and the occasional bedroom light where people were waking.

I think the walk feels better in that poetic form.  Rebecca and Steve walked their new dog, Penny, in a different direction, probably to save my life for she can hardly be contained by her leash yet, a sweet little new puppy, really.  But she is underfoot -- at home and outside.

Rebecca had a 7:30 breakfast meeting at a coffee shop where she took a picture of the sun rising.  All of us should be so lucky as to see the sun rise every morning.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Emails for trees in Melbourne, Australia

Glen sent me a link from Melbourne, Australia.

Dear trees outside my UVic window,

I see the wind whispering through your boughs today.
I think you are familiar with the breeze that caresses your branches?
I believe they whisper sorrows from across the Pacific?


People are emailing letters to the trees.

I so enjoyed reading the letters and am passing the link on.

When I was finished, I had to take a picture out of the window from the office where I am working.


PS  I don't have the trees' emails yet but I have exchanged kind word with them many times.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Johnson's Canyon - a first for Catie

Catie, the Hoggs, and Aunt Lea and Uncle Richy took the trip up Johnson's Canyon when Catie was in Alberta.

I haven't done that trip in the winter.

There is always something new on the horizon and from the look of this picture, the journey looks like a path well travelled.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Bayadere - hopefully

... picture from Event's website ...
I haven't figured out if the Bolshoi is shown in Victoria, B.C.

Victoria is where I am right now.

Here is the synopsis from the Cineplex web site about this showing:
The temple dancer Nikiya and the warrior Solor fall deeply in love, igniting heated passions  and  murderous  intrigues  when  the  Rajah  and  his  daughter  Gamzatti  discover their forbidden love. La Bayadère is one of the greatest works in classical ballet  history  –  a  story  of  love,  death  and  vengeful  judgment,  set  in  India.   Dazzling sets and costumes, with one of the most iconic scenes in ballet, the “Kingdom of the Shades,” illuminate the tragic tale of the temple dancer Nikiya’s doomed love for the warrior Solor, and their ultimate redemption. A must-see theatrical event.
I am still learning to like ballet.  Nice to have something like this for me to watch.  Today I reminded my kids that they are all middle-aged.  The flip side is that them being middle aged puts me somewhere into old age.  But not so old that I am not fullying enjoying my life anymore.

Looking forward to Saturday and the ballet.


PS.  I know nothing about ballet.  My only education is that I go to these shows, read something about them beforehand and then try to find something to enjoy.  I am a bit worried.  I read up on Bayadere in Wiki and what is happening is that the ballet is becoming far more interesting than I had thought.  I also watched a utube of "The Kingdom of the Shades".  The more I learn, the more interesting it became.  I think I said that before.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Tonia's Front Room

... selfie at Peter's with Tonia and Lurene ...
Tonia has a new-to-her home just on the other side of Centre Street and about 12th Avenue.

All of her extended family met at Peter's for onion rings, fries, hamburgers and milk shakes.

The weather has been beautiful.  Maybe 15 above.

Ten at the very least.

We sat on the benches just in front of the food window and laughed and talked.

What a way to entertain!  On the way home I was noting the number of fine restaurants that are within walking distance of her home, and she could even walk downtown.

A great condo.  A charming neighbourhood.  I felt that Peter's was Tonia's front room today.


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Catie Stands on a Song Title

From Arta:

I must not have been to Cardston for a long time, for I had a good chuckle when I saw this bench.  

I don't know how many times I taught the song in Primary called "I love to see the temple / I'm going there someday ..."

I am going to say that getting this close qualifies as having met the goal of the song.

Go Catie, Go.


Formidable Ceilidh
plays this game with
"no mercy".
It's quiet here at my house this evening. 

This afternoon I baked an apple coffee cake. I wanted the smell of cinnamon and brown sugar  to fill the air, and my stomach.

I also wanted to bring us all together for some family time. I had chosen a table top game that I thought we could each manage with one hand (and a fork with the other). Doral's family introduced us to the game "No Thanks!" a few summers ago. We had yet to break in our copy.

David, Joaquim, and I ate the cake just as the recipe suggests - "cut into squares and serve warm." We sat around the table, each with a square of crumbly cake in a bowl to one side and red tokens from a game to the other.

Although "thanks" is in the title of the game, I vividly remember the game is not inherently  polite. The goal is to have the least number of points when the game ends. (Points are the sum total of all "single" cards you have added to the lowest number is each series.)

One at a time, you flip over a card. If you choose not to take that card, you say "no thanks" and deposit one of your initial 11 red poker-chip-like tokens beside that card. The next person must pick up that card, or also say "no thank you" and deposit one of their tokens beside the card. The person who takes the card adds the now accompanying tokens to their personal stock pile (subtracting them from their point total at the end of the game).

We hadn't played the game in a while, so we each played somewhat conservatively. There were many "no thanks" said on lower numbered cards at first. The no thanks became more emphatic as the cards with higher numbers surfaced. Lots of worry or groans when a player realizes they are out of red token, and so must pick up the next card. These regret sounds can get drown out by chortle sounds from players who see another player has saved them from an unwanted card.

The biggest regret, perhaps, was that not one of us said "no thanks" to a third serving of the cake.

Thanks to Brenda for
the gift of this book.
I guess I will write beside the recipe that it is a keeper, but next time to half the recipe. 

If we couldn't say no thanks after being so heavily primed by the title of the game, we will have to admit defeat to politely declining more cake than we should have consumed.

A big "yes thanks" to family, to a warm home, and to a quiet evening in Salmon Arm.

Post cake activities:

Last chapter of Jinx, David's school library book 
he loaned to me.
Watching the newest videos on my favorite
YouTube channels.

Discovering new ways to build with old pieces.

Real life - part 2

More real life family photos. I challenge you to write the captions to these photos. Guess what was happening and what was said.

Real life

Just in case you want to see what a family photo shoot really looks like. I haven't included the angry photos. Life is good when we are all together - even if it's just on an escalator.

Catie and Canmore

Catie Jarvis and Rayanna Hogg
I keep texting Catie, asking her to tell me about her adventures in southern Alberta.

I try to get any conversation going:  one about the wind in southern Alberta, or about picking up chickens from the Hutterites, or about visiting the small villages that surround Lethbridge (Standoff, Raymond, Magrath, Cardston, etc).

But there is complete silence from her on these subjects.

I have forgotten that the Hogg Family are going to Canmore for a holiday.

Catie says of that adventure:
We went tubing today and it was super fun.  We are in Canmore
                                * * * *

Okay.  That is enough text from Catie.  I can fill in the rest with just the pictures.

Life in Alberta is best when a person knows how to enjoy the snow.


Saturday, January 12, 2019

A Definite End to the Day

... just one minute grandmother, until I am ready for the picture ...
I got to have supper next door.

The only person who still had energy left at the end of the day was Betty.

She was able to pose for her picture, telling me to wait until she got her mouth really pulled open wide.

When I used to do this as a child, someone would tell me that my face would freeze that way.

There was another saying:  "I will put a rooster on you lips."  I had no idea exactly how that could be done, not coming from the farm.  I did know, however, that it was not something I should want to happen.

We ate a delicious salad from Costco.  Not delicious to the children.  Only to the adults.

There was a small bowl for each child, none of whom really wanted it, but it had to be eaten before the entree was served.
the sweet smell of a sausage earned by eating nasty salad
"you can't make friends with salad"
And that would be hash browns and sausages.

Michal wanted to sit on his dad's knee to eat, but kept leaning into Richard's chest and then sliding down.

"I am not a bed," Richard chided.  "If you want that position, you will have to get off of my knee."

It is OK for a 7 year old to sit on his dad's lap, but not OK for him to be as tall and boney as Michael is.

"He was playing with a ten year old at the pool, who was shorter than him," said Richard of Michael.

It was torture for Michael to finish the salad.  At times when it seemed to be spilling out of his mouth, back in he choked it, just so he could get to the hash browns and the sausage.

Alice had not had a very good day.  Her parents couldn't figure out why. There had been a ballet class.

... just one glimmer of hope to her life ...
Book 18
That had been followed by family swim time at the North Y.

But Alice could think of nothing that had made her happy, now that the evening was drawing on.

I was thinking that she and I haven't been doing enough reading and mentioned that we are only on Book 18 of the primer series.

"Book eighteen," shouted her parents in disbelieve.

 Alice was able to just barely raise her head from where it had been resting on the table in acknowledgement that she really had made it to Book 18.

And thus endeth another [perfect] day at the house next door.


Onlne Sunday School - Week 2, 2019

This is a harder exercise than I had anticipated, gathering my thoughts together to share every Sunday.  And even figuring out what to do that will support my desire to learn about the history and legacy of the residential schools, as the government has asked my church to teach its congregation is a hard job.

I read the UofA blog this week, actually making notes in my journal each day as the bloggers talked about the different initiatives provincial law societies have made to comply with TRC's Call to Action, recommendation #27.  I must feel that any blogging about TRC is transferable to the recommendations of the commission to Canadian churches.

So to go on about the reading I was doing, I was having trouble with the images on some of the blog posts, especially the insignia used by the Law Society of Alberta.  I was well into the week until I could see it as the mountains and some wheat.  I was reflecting on that, as it was like the image we used to see of the old woman and the young woman, depending on our perspective as we look at it.

I feel like much I am doing is like that.  Trying to get the right perspective, or at least a different one than the one I have.  Hard work to look at something and get a really different take on it.

So for next week, do read on with the UofA Blog.

Sign up if you feel as though you could give them 10 minutes or less each day, just to read along.  Rebecca told me that reading law is really easy.  Just read every word in the sentence carefully and soon the law will become clear to you.


Button Maker

Betty and her button ...
Naomi Brooks received a button maker for Christmas.

By the time she got to Montreal, she may have had 100 buttons already made.


Three dollars each. 

I bought one for each of Richard's children.

No one could have been more pleased with theirs than Betty was.


Friday, January 11, 2019

Sabynthe's Christmas Cards

Hello from Sabynthe
I like the news that comes with Christmas cards.

Over the years I have always looked forward to getting a card from Sabynthe, Bonnie's childhood friend.

Sometimes Sabynthe has a current picture on the card, and sometimes she has a photo from the distant past -- from her childhood, which feels very nostalgic.

I asked her about this year's card for it was a brass tracing.

Sabynthe said:
November 2017, I had a wonderful opportunity to go to London, England for 10 days to visit a couple of Toronto girlfriends who were there for several months. I had a wonderful time; I was doing things I hadn't done for a long time.
While I was there I did many fun things including that brass rubbing which I photographed to create the Christmas card.
The whole trip ended up being the type of experience which really set me on a good path when I got home.
Since then, I have reflected on the positive affects of a retreat of one’s choosing, and how often I should take one to stay on track.
Sabynthe and Garth
Garth and I had this picture taken this past summer at my family reunion where we camped at Cypress Hills, an inter-provincial park on the Alberta Saskatchewan border.
Both his and my parents met there for the first time.  They did enjoy meeting each other.

And now a note from me.  I like touching base with old friends during the holidays, and especially with people who were friends with my children and still feel like friends of my own.


Zee and Me

From Catie Jarvis:

I am still in Lethbridge.

I have discovered that I don't mind the wind.

Here is a picture of Zee and me.


Thursday, January 10, 2019


Jacob Todd

... a Jarvis cousin ...

Only a soother can stop words
from coming out of people's mouthes
when we are playing The Word Game.
I have been putting off writing this because I don’t know how to capture my pleasure in playing a game Eric introduced to our family many years ago: the Word Game.  

Participants sit at a table, each writing on separate pieces of paper an single word they wish to put into the game, proper nouns excepting.  

Many pieces of paper, one word per paper. 

Over the years certain words appear and reappear.  

Zamboni, for example, the machine that cleans ice.  Now if you put that word into the game, people get it in an instant, if they have ever played the game before.  If not, and I get a word I don’t know, then I do anything – break it into syllables.  For example, I might say that the last syllable sounds like what the witch in Hanzel and Gretel said when she felt Hanzel’s finger when he put it through the cage and she was testing too see if he was getting fat.  Too …   
Someone in the room might say boney and now you would have the last syllable of zamboni.  OK. 

I sometimes hear words and think, yes, that is a word that should go in the game.  Then I write them in my daytimer so I will remember to get them into the game.  For example, I heard Eric say that a woman was pushing twins in a perambulator.  He used that word in ordinary conversation.  I thought, I bet that word is going to be a sticker in the word game.  I was right.

When we were reading the story of the Nativity together, I heard the phrase about Joseph and Mary … “and he put her away priviliy”.  I told the kids right there – I am going to put privily into the word game and I will get no one can get it when it is pulled out.  They laughed, but I was right – the clue, this is the word grandmother said she would put in, didn’t make it any easier to get privily.

This year Eric put a word into the game that was difficult.  In fact it wasn’t one word.  He put in modus operandi.  One idea, maybe.  But not one word.  When challenged that he hadn’t kept the rule on this word he told us no, this was one word.  M.O.  That is what he said.  People use it every day.  But the rest of us didn’t agree. The players finally had to take it to a vote.  He lost.  Eight to one.

Recurring words are flatulence and fart.  They are both easy now.  As well, the word feminist is clear.  Just say as Tom does while looking at his twin, “What Rebecca is.”  The rest of us around the table who are long term feminists wonder why she got that moniker, but the word popped out of the mouth of one of his team members, so that clue worked.

Some of the hard words that we didn’t get this year?  Leo picked up a piece of paper and said, “Woolly mammoth”.  There was a blank look from Naomi and me.  He said it again, “woolly mammoth”.  The one word that we use for woolluy mammoth didn’t ring a bell for me.  If Naomi and I didn’t know the word the first time, we didn’t know it the second.  He said it louder the third time.  Even that didn’t work.  The seconds ticked by.  He threw out more clues.  Nothing worked for a total of sixty seconds, which seems like a lifetime when trying to gather points. 

Well, mastodon is surely a word that will go in the list of words that are now easy to get, but that are stumpers.

We played the game with the Todds, with the Todds and their children, with the Brooks’s, and we played it with just our family when we were alone:  Eric, Catherine, Catie, Thomas, Rebecca, me and sometimes Hebe wants to join in.

Some words make us resort to the online dictionary to see if that string of letters really is a word.  We sometimes have to resort to the Urban Dictionary – but might have to rule that out as an authority.  Just wait until the words make it to the Oxford