Thursday, February 28, 2019

Walking in a Parabola

...the street where Catherine lives ...
... bring out your shovel ...
As Rebecca and I have been walking along, either down the street to the school, or along a street as we shop, I find myself running into her, if she is on my left side. A couple of days ago she just said out loud, I am going to walk on your right side and then you will stop running into me. 

She is right. 

I cannot walk in a straight line anymore. 

... Mackenzie, close to where Rebecca lives ...
 ,,, no snow ...
I just list a bit to the left with every step I take. I am been thinking that I walk more like a parabola. When I have done a certain distance, I just need to turn around and walk back and I will hit the same spot just about, that gentle curve always being with me unless I really concentrate on going straight ahead.

I can only concentrate on one thing at a time. Sometimes I am thinking about breathing deeply, in through my nose and then a small stream of air out through my mouth. At other times I have my arms up at a 90 degree angle and then move them back and forth as I walk, as I sometimes see Chinese people do when they are doing a certain kind of exercise.

Sometimes I cam concentrating on just keeping on my side of the sidewalk, though that concentration is boring for me.

... the morning sun on a condo on Mackenzie ...
... seen as I walk my parabola ...
Early in the morning, there are few other people out walking and so I look at the moss on the trunks of trees, or enjoy the colour of the pansies which are blooming in some yards.

 If I end up on someone’s lawn, I just self correct and continue on the loop I walk that takes me back to Rebecca’s house in about 8,000 steps, depending on how much wandering I do along the way.


Online Sunday School Week 8

Codes for Annotating Text
I copied the symbols onto the back page
of my Final Report so that I could remember
what they looked like when I want to use them.
I just had no hope than anyone was reading anything with the title of Online Sunday School, since I doubt I would open something that said that and hope I was going to get a good read.

I disabused myself of believing that someone would read. 

Still, I felt the obligation to myself to move ahead, since I really want to have a Sunday School class that discusses the history and legacy of the residential schools.

So when you posted back, Bonnie,  about annotating, I was in a state of disbelieve and total happiness, reading your words over and over, since I have been doing the same thing -- annotating the text as I read.

First of all, you asked what CCDS meant. I had to look for the answer myself and found it was Charleston County School District, Charleston, South Carolina. I didn’t go looking around the internet for long for "the best set of symbols".

I just found a page where people were being instructed on how to engage with a text and went with it. So I copied down the symbols they were using. I put them on the back page of my Final Report: Volume One: Summary. Now the way I am using the symbols, is I keep that page open and I have been using them while I have been engaging in the material I read for Rebecca’s class. So I am getting good at using them in that context, and that is where I am finding the use for the craft sign (the symbol that looks like a piece of macaroni). As a writer, I sometimes stop when I see something that is carefully crafted, because I want to know how someone else brings words together in a fashion that I admire.

And I am also having fun with putting people’s names in the margins. I know that this method suggests using a circle and then putting the person’s initials in the circle. I am finding a better way is to write the person’s name in the margin, but playfully (make the letter tall and squished together, for example) and then I use that for a body and put on the circle for a head and add some arms and legs.

Well, thanks for joining in. Don’t fell any obligation to go at my suggested rate. Fly ahead, or linger on the pages.

Who could be reading the Final Report when indigenous and yes, Canadian history is being made as Jody Wilson-Raybould testifies before the nation.

Which of us will every forget her words, “I am a truth teller” or “Be careful of what you say for you cannot take it back”.

Yours for more fun at Sunday School Online.


PS  For this week it was read pages 70 to 80.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019


Thanks for you blog post on annotating, Arta, and for providing some links.
I watched the YouTube video and read the annotation symbols suggestions.
Then I  picked up my copy of the Final Report of the TRC Comission of Canada Volume One: Summary and started on page 50, pen in hand.
My annotation codes start out quite neutral.
As suggested, a circle in the margin to denote a person (who), a square to denote a time or building (where, when), and [square brackets] around things I wanted to look up or get a definition for.

I liked the suggestion to put in reactions, using words or emoticons/empties and hashtags for things I could relate to or are being discussed in popular culture.

My hashtags start to focus on the horrors of the cultural genocide my government systematically and deliberately under took. I remember to focus on the courage and strength of the Aboriginal peoples I am learning about, and commit to continuing my education, bit by bit, one day at a time.

Online Sunday School Week 7

I read pages 60 to 70 of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Volume One:Summary.

Rebecca told me that I have probably done enough reading to graduate to reading the whole series -- Volumes One to Six.

Canada Post apologizes ...
She told me that a good start would be at Volume 5, and she ordered it from the distributors and had to be re-ordered from the publishers who are in England. 

And this is what we got back in the mail: an apology from the Canadian Post Office saying that this is the way that the package came to them -- just an empty package. 

No book.

So we have ordered the book again, and I shall keep reading the next 10 pages, which will be pages 70 to 80 for next week.


Online Sunday School Week 6

I read pages 50 to 60 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.  I decided to make the reading more interesting by doing some heavy annotating of the text.

I found a utube post from the Writing Centre at Eastern Washington University when I went to search for strategies on how to annotate the text in my TRC: Final Report.  I am going to try some of these strategies and later tell you how this worked out for me this week.

And I also looked at the way  the CCDS teaches people to annotate with symbols which I put into my notebook. If I can get two or three of these into my text this week, I will call that a big success.

I have to do this to have some fun because reading the text is difficult from a "making me heavy hearted" point of view.

Next week: pages 60 to 70.


Recipe for Pink Shirt Day 2019

Step 1 

Bring to boil
- 2 quarts water, 
- 4 T red dye, and
- 1 cup salt. 

Add to boiling water

- 2 old white socks, and 
- 1 old white tshirt.

Turn down heat, and 
simmer for 20 min.

Rinse items in 
warm water until 
water run off is clear.

Step 2

Examine items for 
degree of success.

Discover how wonderful old deodorant/sweat stains are for absorbing dye.

Step 3

Consider whether shirt will ...
- increase intended anti-bully sentiment, or 
- create discomfort in peers, and possible bullying.

Step 4

Toss shirt.
Put on  shopping list:
- buy a pink shirt for 2020.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Poem by Derek Walcott "The Time Will come ..."

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine.  Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
                --Derek Walcott

The Mundane

Sunday has come and gone without much fan fare. Like many things in life, it hasn't been all good, but it hasn't been all bad. As my household winds down for the evening, I decided to snap a few photos to share some of the mundane chez nous with the Larch Haven blog readers

Joaquim and I sat on the couch, he with his book and I with mine. Sudoku is his usual choice for relaxing his mind before bed. I grabbed a book he brought home from the college, but then shifted to taking photos and blogging.

I am half way through this collection published by Alternative History Comics, Inc. Each story has drawn me into reflection. Sean and Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley (writers) and Menton3 (illustrator) contributed the story "The Qallupiluk: Forgiven." I'm going to have David reread it with me, because it has been the most challenging for me so far.

Can you finish this
Suduko puzzle
before Joaquim does?

We had baked chicken and a side dish of potato, chickpeas, and garden peas curry on a bed of rice for dinner. Then, while Joaquim and I did the dishes,  David completed his homework on religion. David worked on a  Venn diagram comparing Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. I worked on respecting David's autonomy and right to decline unsolicited suggestions.

Are you tempted to add to
this Venn diagram? If so, then
 go make some brownies.

Gratefully, I found a task that made it easier for me to stop pestering David. Making brownies makes me think of my mother. Arta can whip up a batch of brownies and have them out of the oven before I even realize she is cooking. My memory of brownies includes a smile on her face that I cannot describe. Do you know the smile of which I speak? I think I had it on my face as I smelled the brownies cooking and anticipated the joy of eating them and the joy of surprising David with a treat.

My best laugh today came at dinner. I asked David if he still self-identified as an atheist. He replied, "Yes." I asked Joaquim if he too identified as an atheist.  He said, "Well, I prefer not to label." David responded, "Well, that explains why it is so hard to find the Lego peices I want downstairs."

Can you figure out the
temperature outside
from this photo?

May your mundane be as wonderfully mundane as ours.

Two More Books

This is the second blog showing the front of Rebecca’s new books: seven more of them.

The whole set of books has been so interesting to have in the house.

I read two of the 13 right away.

I have weekly readings to do for Rebecca’s class, as well, —usually three or four chapters from the different sources that will support the theme of the class lectures.

We are moving into humour in the film of the Inuit.

I think the film we will be seeing is Why White People Are Funny.

Bird Brains
We saw the film this week before class.
People From Our Side
A Life Story with Photographs and Oral Biography

Now I have to read three long chapters before I can allow myself to go back to reading these beautiful books.

I have the same problem as anyone else in life – finding that hour that I can set aside just for myself.

Just for reading.

The hours of delicious pleasure with just a book in hand.

I want that hour early in the morning when I am freshest.

But that is also the best time for the work out and the best time to do housework. The dust really flies when I get to that housework job early.

Caribou Skin Clothing
of the Igloolik Inuit
On other matters, Rebecca had a group of people come in for a meeting this Friday morning: law students who had been on a month long field trip and were now wrapping up some data they had collected.

Rebecca asked for early morning cinnamon buns.

She rarely asks me to do this.

 In fact, this was the first time since I have been here.

So much went wrong with them.

But I acknowledge I have quite a high standard. I got up at 4 am to make the bread.

The dough was too soft.

I could see that after the first rising.

I had to knead more flour into it and let it rise again.

My Name is Arnaktauyok
The Life and Art of Germaine Arnaktauyok

In my mind I just thought, oh well, I will call this batter bread and this was my first rising before adding the second amount of flour.

Our Ancestor's Lines
Even though I think that making a batter bread is stupid, it works for many people and had to work for me today.

We are the Distance Walkers

As well, Rebecca’s pans are pretty old.

She would never go out and buy new ones.

I would but we are never in a store. Canadian Tire is close enough that I could walk there, but these mornings, I am not out doing that walk since our days seems to be so full of other things.

Not to worry about the walking though.

I am already at 4,100 steps and it isn’t 10 am yet, today.

I will make it to 10000 just running around doing “things”.

An Introduction to Inuit Myths and Legends
My idea of coming home and making supper, an elegant supper, means doing something like making a toasted tomato sandwich and then sitting down and eating it along with cauliflower and broccoli already cooked and in the fridge from yesterday.

Add Frank’s Hot Sauce and it all tastes exotic.

The facts of my life?

Often mundane.


Sunday, February 24, 2019

4 Movies

Photo from the Guardian article cited in the post
I went alone to the movies today.

I saw Young Picasso reviewed in the Guardian withi the title “How the Master Broke Free”, Isn’t it Romantic (2019), They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) and Cold Pursuits (2019).

What I missed seeing tonight was the Academy Awards.

Sometimes a person should just stay home.


Night owl

Are you a night owl or a morning lark? This is a question I heard as a teen. I guess, which ever answer you give, being both is not wise.

Mati, Sumin, and Sumarga have me the book, "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker. My biggest take home point from the book is, "don't cheat yourself out of the most inexpensive, health-promoting part of your life  that you cannot buy, steal, or borrow: sleep."

Now, to put the advice into action...zzzz.

My first knitting project
of 2019 completed.

How to Train Your Dragon: the Hidden World - the Victoria BC Version

Hot to Train Your Dragon: the Hidden World
Feb 23, 2019 This morning Duncan wondered if anyone could squeeze in the move, How to Train Your Dragon: the Hidden World, amid the whirlwind of Saturday events going at our house.

I always have the least complicated agenda. Duncan had the most, for his D & D crowd come at 11 am and don’t leave until 7:30 pm, which only leaves the 9:30 pm show.

We get there in time to get popcorn, a bag of Smarties to throw on top of the popcorn and then Rebecca and I settled in with our 3-D glasses, me wondering quite a bit of the time, how Michael, Alice and Betty were going to deal with all of the heightened action of evil characters looming on the screen before them when they see this movie.

Duncan, Rebecca and I are a threes that like to watch the credits to the very end of the show. On the way home we were discussing the animation that occurred before every set of credits rolled by. “When did you get it that the theme of the animation lined up with the credit’s that were rolling by”, asked Rebecca?

I never got it.

But Duncan and Rebecca did about ¾ of the way through so they were in hysterical laughter while I was only just mildly enjoying the visuals.

Rebecca said, “I would like to go back and watch it, just for the visuals at the end.”  They were funny.


Friday, February 22, 2019

The Film Festival presents The Edge of the Knife

I went out to IMDB for a short synopsis of the film Rebecca and I saw tonight.  The film was The Edge of the Knife (2018).  It also has the title SGaawaay K'uuna.
 In a 19th-century summer, two large families gather for their annual fishing retreat on the far-removed island of Haida Gwaii. Adiits'ii, a charming nobleman, accidentally causes the death of his best friend Kwa's son and hastens into the wilderness. Adiits'ii is tormented by what he has done and spirals into insanity, becoming Gaagiixid, a supernatural being crazed by hunger. He unexpectedly survives the winter, and at next year's gathering, the families try to convert Gaagiixid back to Adiitst'ii.
I hadn't read the synopsis and didn't really know what I was going to watch.  Just that Rebecca knows the director, Gwaai Edenshaw and that this was the first film ever, where the language is Haidaa.  On the way home I told Rebecca that I had the feeling that I had been to Haida Gwaii.  She laughed at me and said, yes you have been there.  That is where the film is set.

Then I remembered about 10 years ago, I really wanted to go there for a trip.  I called to find out how much the flight would cost, how much for the accommodation and then I did some research to see what I would experience when I was there.   I didn't go through with my little plan, the cost of which was going to be like the usual costs of going to the North:  shocking.  The film is well worth the $15 we had to pay -- $2 of which was to the Film Society, which the city of Victoria makes anyone pay who wants to see a film that hasn't gone through the film board yet.

On the way home we discussed the themes of depression, darkness, death, how a community grieves, and how members are included back in the community, .

I am not writing this to keep people away from the film which one might suspect from what I have written so far.

Here are some pluses:

1. You will see the first film ever shot using the native language of Haida
2. I never lean over and speak to the person who I am with in a movie.  I did lean over once and say to Rebecca, did you ever see such a shot.  SometimesI just had the feeling that I was walking the trail from our place back into Sicamous, or that I was out in Arbutus Cove here in Victoria and jumping from rock to rock.
3. I don't recommend the movie for anyone who wants action-packed thriller shots.  But if you want to experience going up to Haida Gwaai, this is the movie for you.  Lots of beautiful pan shots of the forest.  And I had a good afternoon nap, so I was ready for a quieter, more thoughtful story.  I am giving this show 5 stars since it is a trip into an Indigenous world view for us through their own voices.
4. On the way home Rebecca was wondering if Eric would like the film -- the pan-psychiatry in it.  There is something in the film for everyone.

We went out and also watched a 10 minute Q&A from the TIFF featuring the director and some of the actors.

As Catherine told me, I should keep blogging about my adventures. It is one way for me I know I am still alive.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Books from Afar

Braiding Sweetgrass:
Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
by Robert Kimmerer
On Rebecca’s return from Yellowknife gifts came: a wallet for me, a new T-shirt for Duncan and the books for the whole family.

Thirteen new titles were added to the coffee table.

I had to run my hands over the covers of all of them.

Inuit Quajimajatuqangit
Shamanism and Reintegrating Wrongdoers into the Community

Arctic Man: 65 Years in Canada's North
Sometimes a book seemed just too precious to open.

I know that there is so much to read at this house on Indigenous topics.

But the books this time were specialized, mostly about the Inuit, though there are some other titles.

I picked up the one on Tattooing and read it first, a mixture of glossy back and white photos of tattoos, along with portraits of some women and their stories about why they wanted to have traditional tattooing done, and how they went about it.
The Netsilik Eskimo
I don’t think the book took an hour to read.

I was curious about the design with is often ribbon like with dots and triangles, and right and left leaning lines being part of what is going on.

One of the books came wrapped in plastic, since it is an old book with a title that was appropriate for those times, but not for now.

Ukkusiksalik: the People's Story
Anway, I have finished 1 of thirteen books now, a good start.

And just because I think the titles and book covers are interesting, I am going to put some pictures of them up on this blog.


Telling Secwepemc Stories - The War With the Sky People

Hi all:

I am learning how to use quicktime to record stories.

Here is my telling of the Story of the War with the Sky People.  You can find the original in the Secwepemc Lands and Resources Book on page 96.


And here is a telling of Coyote and the Cannibal Boy!  (it is a gross-out story!  Not for the faint of heart)


Yours for more storytelling,


The Drawing Class

Rebecca and Duncan are taking a drawing class.

She told me of the sign up the first week I arrived, but it hadn’t started yet.

She even suggested I sign up as well.

Hard to know when to stop signing up and instead just keep on, keeping on.

I chose the latter.

Still I had all of the excitement of going to the art store and buying the pencils, charcoal, erasers and pads of paper that were on the list of supplies.

 Then Rebecca added the art folder to carry the work in and decided against buying an easel.

Rebecca knows where she can borrow one and before she gets too excited about buying supplies they are going to see how that first 6 weeks of drawing goes.

Last night I could hardly wait until they got home to see their work, which they were happy to pull out and show.

The best part was the one-liners that Duncan brought home with him.

There are mostly retired people in the class. There is a smattering of young adults and then him, the 17 year old.

Duncan said, “It is not often an old man whom you don’t know can come to you and show you a site on the internet of nude females, and the conversation is totally appropriate.”

Oh that kid is funny!


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Pizza Crust

I am trying to give Alex 17 chances to make pizza crust. I am doing this, just for an experiment, and if any of the pizza crusts turn out, well that will be bonus for me. I have a simple recipe, which we tried. The basic method is, for a chemist (which Alex is), wake the yeast up with a little sugar. Then add flour, salt and a few spices and let the Kenmore mix master beat it for 5 minutes. Preferably add the right proportions of each ingredient.

... ready for the oven ...
experiment 1
We let first try rise over a warm vent grate and here is the final result.

As I warned you, I are worrying about process, not result. That is what let us give up on the extra cheese, since we only had about one cup of cheese in the house no matter where we looked.

Alex wanted to add extra seasonings: thyme, nassi goren spice, star anise. I begged him to wait for later the road for those additions.

Alex is prone to add ingredients of his choice.

He pulled out the chorizo sausage fro the fridge but Rebecca and I were sending up shouts of, “No, it has to be cooked first.”

He showed us words on the back of the package that said: our sausage is pre-cooked.

That took away my fear of being utterly doomed, perhaps even dying from raw sausage. I sliced the chorizo thinly.

Alex grabbed some spinach out of the fridge, which I would not have added.

I wanted to the sun dried tomatoes in oil, some roasted red peppers in a jar and some olives.

Alex didn’t anything bottled or canned.

It is fun living here.


Spike Lee’s New Movie


Photo Credit:
Duncan, Rebecca and I went off to see Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman on Monday night at the theatre on campus.

We got there at the right time but on the wrong day. It played today and not yesterday.

Not wanting to go back home we tried another theatre complex, but all of the shows had started, so we grabbed some treats at the 7-11, went home and watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

 I wish I could have stayed awake. 

Everything was so lovely about it, I just drifted off to sleep.

However I didn’t sleep in BlacKkKlansman tonight having got there on the right day and the right time. When we came home I was trying to think of other Spike Lee movies I had seen: Do the Right Thing and of course, Malcolm X. Rebecca and I talked for a while before going out to read some salient reviews. Much passed by me, especially cultural references to the ‘60’s and the ‘70’s. I think Rebecca “got” more of it than I did. We will be talking for some days about the movie. I am going to take some post-its, put the different chunks on them and see if I can sort out parts of the movie I didn’t get. Maybe Duncan will help me.

Here us a 2108 August review from the Guardian.

The best review ever is on FilmFreakCentral, a site sent to Rebecca by one of her interlocuter's, Mark.  Don't miss reading  this one, even if you never read my blog again.


New Wallet

I was casually surveying the frayed edges of my wallet one day.

 I remarked to Rebecca that my wallet looked like it might have to be retired but not soon.

I was going to get that last few year’s of wearings out of it before the change started dropping out of the pocket and the flap would no longer close.
... card inside the wallet explaining the design ...

Just frayed edges now, but loosing its looks.

If the wallet had belonged to any of my sisters I did think, though, I would have said, that wallet is a disgrace.

Get to a store and buy a new one.
... the front and back of the wallet ...

But for me, I was thinking about going to my drawer of wallets, billfolds and small purses when I got back to Calgary and just choosing a new one from there.

Not that I mind looking a little frayed.

It is just that why do that if I don’t have to.

When Rebecca got back from Yellowknife she slipped a new wallet into my hand, hoping that it was the right size – she, wondered as well, if I would want to get a bigger size, or with something smaller.

That is what hard about buying for another.

TRC Recommendation?  
Buy Indigenous Art
What is there not to like about my new wallet. 

The person who designed it is Leah Dorian, a Metis woman, whose art work is on Coursea, on the Indigenous course I took there.

 So I have studied others of her works – murals and paintings online.

Her name is Leah Marie Dorian. She calls this “The Breath of Life”.

Her artist’s statement says, “Our breath gives us life and is the sacred vessel which carries our voice.”

I am going to love thinking about that as I use my wallet.


Sunday, February 17, 2019

An Evening with The Trojan Women

Photo retrieved from
Rebecca bought Seasons Tickets for the productions of the UVic Drama Department this year.

Duncan, Rebecca and I went to see Eurpides' The Trojan Women tonight.

One hundred minutes, no intermission.

The Times Colonist reviewed the show saying
“...Euripides explores such themes as duty and integrity in the face of the aftermath of war... the notion of setting Trojan Women in present day is a good one ([Director Jan] Wood notes the problem of displaced war victims is as relevant as ever)...”

So ... when it was over we tried to think of a place where we could go and chat about it.  Afterall, this is a play that Rebecca was in, herself, when she went to university.  And in fact, I can remember exactly where I was sitting in the theatre the night I watched it.

The best place for us to go seemed to be home.  Alex had just made some brownies when we left.  We could smell them, but they hadn't come out of the oven yet.

I love it when home seems like the best place to go.


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Online Sunday School Week 5

There has been so much to read this week, besides the 10 pages I have assigned for myself. (pg 50-60)  It is hard to stomach the founding of the schools, the governments inadequate funding of them, the governments dependence on the churches to help out, and the forced labour of the children in the schools.  Next week, pg 60-70.

On other fronts, The UofA Faculty Blog has been dense with information.  When I am tempted to skim what is written there, I think to myself, read deeply and maybe make a note or two.  This is too important to skim.  In fact, it might be the most intellectual thing I read all day, so I should take that extra 60 seconds and slow down.

And I offer you this opinion piece from the with the title "Indigenous Scholars Decry ‘Character Assassination’ of Jody Wilson-Raybould".

Wilson-Baybould's  demotion and then resignation from cabinet is a bitter pill for me to swallow.  I am going to ask Mary where is the best place or places to write a letter of complaint about this -- one that might be heard.  I don't want to waste my time and stamp.  But I don't want to go unheard about her shameful treatment and even worse about the issue that precipitated it. No one in the liberal government "leaned" on her about SNC Lavalin.



Our Deck

Snow doesn't come to Victoria often.

Having a week of it is so unusual.  Four days this week he has been home from school for snow days.

Duncan had the patio doors open, studying the snow banks in the backyard so often.  

He commented on the shape of the snow hanging from the eaves, on the small mound of snow on top of the flat plane of snow on the picnic table, on the height of the snow on the railing, on the partial kiss of the the frost on the plates of glass on the fence.

When Duncan let the dog outside, Penny came back in with multiple snowballs hanging from every leg -- she had to have a shower to melt them off.

Yes to snow days in Victoria.


A Little Paint, a Lot of Beauty

Betty: "I did my own make-up this morning."
I have been collecting a set of pictures about Betty.

I am sending them to her Great Aunt Betty, just one a day.

I am starting with what I think is the best picture.

I  have other pictures of her, but this is the best one.

 Betty decided to decorate her own face.

 Betty thinks she looks beautiful.

 Miranda is a very relaxed mom.

As well, she seems to know her kids, all of whom have definite ideas about their capacity to do things.

They are fine with making mistakes.

They like that path better than being corrected.

Miranda just lets them be ‹ no pressure from her. She knows the night will come and they will have new firm opinions about something else the next day.

I would have had that little thing in the bathroom, scrubbing that off before I put her in the car with me for the day¹s shopping.

Nope. Miranda just lets Betty be.

If Betty thinks she looks beautiful she does.  I do have to remark that the blue of the paint matches the blue of her eyes.  While others have eye-liner, for her it worked out to be lid liner.  And I had to count the eyebrows:  3 per eye.


Friday, February 15, 2019

Our Cousin, Ben

Selfie: Felix, Ben, Duncan and me
Wyona asked me if I had seen Ben Rutkowski since I have been in Victoria. 

Then the answer was no.

But tonight the answer is yes.  I went upstairs and Felix, Ben, Duncan and I took a selfie just as Steve was having Alex order in Chinese Food for all of us.

We are all awaiting Rebecca's return from Yellowknife which was delayed.

It is just that the last time she was there, it was a heart event for her.  This time it is me whose hearts is palpitating a bit, longing for her return.


Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Tragedy of King Richard II - Shakespeare

The Tragedy of King Richard the Second at Almeida Theatre, London.
 Photo: Marc Brenner
Richard II won’t be playing in Victoria. So this is mostly for the Calgary folk who will get to see it on Saturday if they can make it to the show.  Here is a review which is fun, even if you don't plan to see the show. 

Just a side note.

Rebecca and I didn’t look at the time on our tickets for La Traviata and we got to the show at 9:55 am instead of noon.

It was a blustery day, even by Alberta standards.

When we couldn’t open the doors to the theatre, one on the far side did open and a man stepped out and asked why we were there.

“For the opera,” we said.

He went on to tell us that our timing was wrong. We stepped in for a few minutes and chatted. He said he was the manager. I wanted to know why his theatre doesn’t bring in some of the NT Live performances, like the upcoming I’m Not Running, and this weekend's Richard II. He told me that the shows that come to Victoria are selected in Toronto. They found they had sold out crowds for some anime shows, so booked them for a week. The attendance fell off after three days. I can imagine, everyone in Victoria interested in anime might have attended in three days. The theatre holds 350 seats which they want a sell-out crowd for.

He didn't have to say anymoe.  I really "got it", since I took that Film Festival course when I was pursing some film studies at the University of Calgary.

Of course, people do come out for opera and ballet. And yes, I have been to some of the other events and only a smattering of people attend. I guess there is no way to predict public taste.

If anyone does make it out in the cold to see Richard II, do give a one or two sentence review to us.  I would be trudging through snowdrifts to see it.  There is no accounting for tastes.


xo for Valentines Day

Photo Credit:  Arta

Valentine's Day

I woke up a couple of mornings ago to the sight of snow from my bedroom window.

I don't know how the world could look more beautiful.

All I can do is imagine this sight in the middle of a big red heart and my Valentine's Day will be complete.

Easy to fall in love with the earth.

Photo Credit: Arta
The walk home from the university last night was challenging: mushy brown snow at the intersections, under which was pools of water; snow that had been tramped down on the sidewalks and was now waves of ice; the splashes of water from the road as cars drove by.


Without it, summer would not have such charm.