Monday, September 4, 2017

Three Poems - Thought I'd share, first post in many months....


 I could go away and watch Crows
Crows - here from the beginning
First over the ocean - small song birds following in their path

The early people guided by Crows and Ravens
Crows scavenging bones left from the hunt

Crows now fly over towers and freeways
Scavenge city people's trash

Called dirty scavengers
City people not knowing crows are doing what they know
Clean away the scraps

I could go away and watch Crows

Do crows know what the people have done

Downtown Calgary

If you live in downtown Calgary
and you go walking
You may see...
Black squirrels scampering
 Many magpies
You may see litter, discarded clothing,
cigarette butts, someone collecting butts,
bird seed scattered along the railway tracks for the pigeons.
You may see and hear a woman, 
possibly middle aged, 
burst into singing.
People walking dogs of all sizes and kinds. 
A dog walking with her tail between her legs, eyes downcast, you will wish with all your heart that you could go and  say,
"How much will you let me pay to have this dog? I will take her." 
In downtown Calgary, you will see many buildings -
old, crumbling; 
old, well maintained;
brick; concrete; steel and glass. 
High rise; low rise.
A school, and playground.
 In the distance you will see the Calgary Tower.
In downtown Calgary, you will not see green hillside, or blue mountains in the distance, though.

 If I were Homeless

If I were homeless, at night,
I would take the c-train to a safe neighbourhood,
Where families eat around the table
Where children are tucked into bed;
Where houselights are off by eleven.

There I would find a park with pine trees to sleep under.
I would hear the songbirds settle.
I would rest safe, and wake early before the early morning joggers...

If I were a homeless person, I may not have money for the c-train,
I would ask strangers for spare change
Maybe my clothes would be dirty, or I would begin to smell
Strangers might rush by.

I  might stop going to my safe place.
Try to sleep in a downtown park...
I would hear 
someone urinating
 bottles breaking
I would not sleep.

If I were homeless, and slept in a downtown park,
I might dream of families around the table; children tucked into bed; lights off by eleven; a pine tree; song birds settling...

...or I might forget this - maybe just a story someone told me once.

If I was homeless, maybe people would stop seeing me, and I would become invisible...just a story someone told.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Mrs Black's This n That: Two Doors Down From The Witch

I had to share this wonderful, and heartwarming story by Lee Ann at Mrs. Black. I have followed Mrs. Black for several years, but since being away from the blogosphere, haven't been keeping up. Will have to get back - this blog is pure magic.

Happy Halloween!

Mrs Black's This n That: Two Doors Down From The Witch: Two Doors Down Once upon a time in the 1980s I lived in an ordinary looking house in a terrace, (especially on a bright sunny day as ...

Monday, August 24, 2015

Why I love being an Early Childhood Educator

I love working as a teacher of young children. I have worked in the field since 1986.

I enjoy creating warm and homey environments for young children in daycare. The reason for doing this is to create inviting spaces so children feel comfortable and at home and safe and  interested in learning - both with one or two other children, or alone.

As this picture shows - fall, and Halloween was in the air.  Hanging above the table are paper chains the children created with construction paper and glue. There are table cloths  made by me, to create a warmer atmosphere. I have always loved to take care in the way I provided materials, and set up a room for my children.

I have been a teacher of young children since 1986. Early Childhood Education has changed, and goes through its trends, but there are certain things that for me hasn't changed - children love songs, stories, games, and all kinds of art activities.

 In the past few years teachers of young children, have been providing more open ended activities, and lots of sensory activities - play dough, flubber, all kinds of sand, grains, pastas, etc. to manipulate. I love  offering sensory play for children.


  Providing natural objects for exploration and discovery can create an interesting invitation.

I find the small creations of children interesting. Children create meaning for themselves from simple materials, often in ways we wouldn't think show organization.

I enjoy reading about the Reggio Emilia way of early childhood education. Transparency is one part of this philosophy, as seen in art which allows light to shine through materials, as well as in the relationships between teacher and families - especially through documentation.


I love providing art for young children - from more traditional seasonal art, to open ended art . Art is best when it is about the process, not about a finished product. This was our instructors' mantra in the ECE course I took from 1986 to 1987 - "Process not product".

Children still do enjoy making seasonal art too, like" Hand print turkeys".

I provided these small easels and acrylic paint for the children to create Christmas gifts for their families.

And next the children used cookie cutters to create wrapping paper for their gifts.

I enjoy creating hand made activities using simple materials like boxes, and plastic containers.

A parent picked up this large box for the room, and it was much used as a quiet spot.

I enjoy science activities with young children, and creating the opportunity to experience wonder. My small group of 2 and 3 year olds and I forced tulip bulbs over one winter, and then planted them.

These are apple saplings. So often children wonder about planting their apple seeds or orange seeds. So one day we sprouted some apple seeds, and later planted them.

In the world of Early Childhood Education, teachers work to observe our children, become aware of their developing interests, and then facilitate play and learning opportunities based on what the children want to learn. We follow their lead.

It requires us to be open and flexible. And that is why I love working as a teacher of young children - it allows me to be open to new ideas and to see things from a child's perspective.
This is what I love most about teaching young children.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Early Childhood Education and Common Sense: I Got to see a real Star!

Early Childhood Education and Common Sense: I Got to see a real Star!: I think Lisa Murphy, also known as The Ooey Gooey lady is a bright shining star, and I have thought so ever since reading her book, "Pl...

Wide Eyes and Wonder: Classrooms as Communities

Wide Eyes and Wonder: Classrooms as Communities: This post is adapted from a presentation given by myself and my teaching partner Shelagh Saunders in May of 2015 at a Kindergarten Leaders ...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Remembering Mom

Holidays seem a good time for memories. This photo is special to me. Taken by our mom, Evelyn, on the concrete step of our home at 421 Mullin Avenue. We were happy kids, and close for the most part.
This is good to remember. It is coming up to the 10 year anniversary of our mom, Evelyn's death. As it draws close - February 27, 2005, I want to do more to remember her with love and gratefulness.
We were blessed with her ability to create a comfortable, clean home with the good smells of her excellent cooking. She was an amazing seamstress, and knitter, and made most of her own lovely, stylish clothing, and knitted us the most wonderful sweaters, mitts and toques and hats.
She was beautiful on both the inside and outside.

I would not be who I am without having had her in my life. She worked hard, she believed in truth, and being real.

She deeply valued family and children. 

She was funny and fun. She was extremely skilled with a hammer and nails. I took this picture of a fence she built at Mullin Avenue, which was still standing in 2012 in the back lane. It's now removed, so I'm kind of happy I got this picture.

Many years later she built a whole bedroom in the basement of another house, by referring to a how to book.

She was always reading. When we were kids, if we had a question she guided us to the  encyclopedia, and was as curious as us to find the answer.

Because of her I read relentlessly, and believe in being a life long learner.

This song from Youtube by Elton John was the song that came to mind for me when I was a young woman and thinking about Mom, and it still says how I feel about her and my brothers, yes and my sweet son Paul. Mom would be over the top thrilled with his fiancee Bela.


Thank you Mom, 
With love