As many of you know, my family and I belong to a United Church congregation in Toronto. Today, our congregation voted on whether to continue the pastoral relationship with our lead minister. We were basically voting on whether or not this minister should be fired. Continue Reading →
Happy belated Mother’s Day to all of you who are mothers (however you define that experience for yourself) and have mothers. I was blessed to spend the day with my husband, sons, Aunt and Grand-Mére. You’d think Grand-Mére would have the day off from cooking, but she insisted on making cabbage rolls. And brownies. I’m about to let you in on a family secret of which Grand-Mére is always reminding us–her baking contains ZERO CALORIES. I know it’s true because she tells me all the time. I think I’ll have another brownie right now…
Here is what my kiddies chose for my Mother’s Day present:
They’re natural and healthy!
Don’t be alarmed if you are wondering what these things are. You probably haven’t tried them since you were eight years old eating a 50 cent grab bag from the local hockey rink. They even taste like grade 3!
In case anybody is wondering what the heck happened to my website – unfortunately, the gnomes who live in the servers who host the site went on vacation. Something blew up and nobody was there to save my site. So I lost everything. Something like that. I guess I’m just going to have to start leading a more exciting life so I have something to fill the pages with.
Last month, I had the pleasure of performing at Orono United Church as a fundraiser to support the relocation and settlement of a Syrian family.
It was a great show with some fine people. I had an amazing time. Apparently, so did the folks who were there, because I’ll be returning to Orono to perform on June 11th.
This concert, once again hosted by Orono United Church, is being held to raise funds for those who’ve had to flee the wildfires currently raging through northern Alberta. There will be opportunities available to donate to the Red Cross, with the Canadian Government promising to match contributions. The show is called Hearts on Fire and you can find all the details here.
You can also watch this video of Aleksandar Gajic and I performing Sugar Snow, filmed by Rev. Ceri Reese, at last month’s concert.
Last night I had the pleasure of playing at Trinity United Church in Elmira. I was joined by Aleksandar Gajić on violin. It was a fun show and I was honoured to be among such wonderful people sharing their Friday evening with me.
Just moments before we were about to go on stage, Aleksandar looked at his phone and read aloud the reports we was hearing about the terrorist attacks in Paris. At that time 100 people were confirmed dead. Multiple locations around the city. The full scope of the attacks was still unclear.
After he stopped relaying the reports, and as we were being introduced, Alek picked up his violin and said “This is terrible. Now let’s go make some beautiful music.”
Because what else is there to do? Terrible things happen. And sometimes the only way to respond is by trying to put more beauty into the world. Perhaps the more beauty and love there is in the world, the more hate can be pushed out.
My heart is heavy this morning while learning the full extent of the attacks in Paris. I only hope the world will respond with love for all the people who are experiencing pain, and not hatred for a small few taken out on millions of the most vulnerable.
Last week, the Conservative government added a disturbing measure to an omnibus bill that would give them control over the salaries and working conditions of employees within the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. What’s the concern? According to Friends of Canadian Broadcasting:
It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that an editorial decision to go easy on the government could be made in the heat of a contract negotiation, if the prime minister is, in effect, seated on the other side of the bargaining table
Even subtle influences on story line-ups affect the quality of news decision-making. Without a strict, arm’s-length relationship and independence from government, the CBC will lose its credibility.
– Ian Morrison, Spokesperson for Friends of Canadian Broadcasting
How much does a single person on social assistance in Ontario receive each month?*
What does a parent who earns minimum wage have to cover the costs of food, heat and rent for their entire family?
In a couple weeks, my family of three will be participating in Do the Math: an educational event exploring the discrepancy between the resources available to those receiving social assistance, and the “working poor”, and what is needed to live with health, dignity and safety in the City of Toronto. “Do the Math” was created byThe Stop Community Centre to highlight the failure of Ontario’s current social assistance rates to support healthy, dignified lives. Starting January 20th I will be on a diet – The Food Bank Diet!
The Food Bank Diet is an opportunity to attempt living off the contents of a typical food bank hamper. Along with some of our friends, my family has committed to following this “diet” for one week. I will be blogging and tweeting as the week goes on. Looking at our food list, I already suspect some issues due to my intense dislike of Kraft Dinner. And…I just found out that a mother can only expect to receive 10 diapers a month from a food bank! Read that again. 10 diapers amonth! Time to get creative…
I encourage everyone to fill out The Stop’s “Do the Math” survey. It takes approximately 6 minutes to complete and asks what you think it would cost YOU to live frugally, but with dignity and health. It is an educational tool and attempts to draw attention to the impossible choices faced by hundreds of thousands of people on social assistance in this province every day.
You can also check out Put Food in the Budget. PFIB is calling for the immediate introduction of a $100 monthly supplement to the basic needs allowance for all adults receiving social assistance due to the existence of widespread food insecurity and chronic illness related to poor nutrition.