Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Fall Supper

Turkey dinner plate

It's fall supper time in Manitoba. From early September to mid-November, community organizations and church groups across the province host feasts as fundraisers. October is the prime month.

Roast turkey and stuffing are standard fare, but some dinners feature other main courses, such as roast chicken, fried chicken, ham, or roast beef.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Seeking Arizona Winter Rental Accommodations?

The greater Phoenix area in Arizona is a popular winter destination for Canadians, particularly for snowbirds, who escape from the winter cold to warmer climates for months at a time. Although many own vacation properties there, there are also many winter visitors who rent accommodations. In the past few weeks, I've heard stories about difficulties in finding winter rentals in the greater Phoenix area and past experiences where the rental unit came with a few surprises.

Having spent two winters in the area and about to embark on a third, I can attest to the difficulties in finding rentals. Based on what I am hearing, it's possible it is more difficult this year than in previous years, but I cannot definitely confirm that. I don't have any magic answers, but can share what I've discovered about ways to conduct one's search. I can also provide a few tips about what to ask about to know what you're getting.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Inside Human Rights

After years in the making, on September 20, 2014, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba opened its doors. Six of the eleven galleries were still under construction, but group tours provided visitors access to the five completed galleries. I was on one of the tours and found the experience inspiring and thought-provoking.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Human Rights Museum

On September 19, 2014 I watched the Opening Ceremony for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on television. The museum had been in the works for 14 years and it was hard to believe it was finally opening. The moving ceremony was held on the grounds outside the building in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The museum is the first national museum to be built outside the capital region and the first museum in the world dedicated solely to human rights.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Fragments of Writing Wisdom

Writers' festivals offer opportunities for writers to read from and showcase their new works. They offer opportunities for readers to discover new writers and new works from favourite writers. The festivals can also be places for writers to learn from other writers and to find a connection with another writer's perspective or process.

I recently attended several events at the 2014 Thin Air: Winnipeg International Writers Festival. I picked up a few nuggets of writing wisdom. At an afternoon book chat featuring writers Guillaume Morissette and Diane Schoemperlen, there was a discussion about fragments. Both their recent works rely on telling the story partly through fragments, which can be a powerful way to convey a sense of person and place. Guillaume's characters are young and active on social media. We gain understanding of them through brief online messages. Even outside the short and immediate confines of social media, life and stories sometimes appear as fragments, tightly or loosely connected. I picked up fragments of information on writing over the course of the week, fragments that will somehow get woven into the fabric of my understanding of the art and craft of writing.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Snowbird Checklist

As fall crispness creeps into the air, temperatures drop, and Canadians prepare for winter. Many Canadians also plan escapes from the cold for periods of several weeks to several months. For snowbirds, who spend portions of the winters in the southern United States, winter preparation includes a checklist of things related to their time away. 

Long-time snowbirds have developed lists to be re-used year after year. My husband and I are relatively new snowbirds with just two winters under our belts. We figured out what we needed to do to prepare through online research, talking to friends, and trial and error. We've developed our own list.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Little Free Libraries

Little Free Library

Have you heard about Little Free Libraries? They are a way for neighbours to share their favourite literature and stories. The idea is "take a book, leave a book". In its simplest form, a Little Free Library is a weather-proof box of books set out for anyone to stop by, pick up a book (or two), and leave a book to share. Many are more elaborate than a simple box and cheerfully decorated.

There are at least 29 Little Free Libraries in my home city of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Thanks to a tour offered by the "big library", Winnipeg Public Library, I discovered a few of them.