Monday, September 30, 2013

Nu Deal teaches students at risk how to become artistic entrepreneurs

Nu Deal teaches students at risk how to become artistic entrepreneurs

This is not a long read and I think you will find it very enlightening.  I certainly did.  Hands on experience is the best way to learn!

Thanks for dropping by.

Canadian Lutheran World Relief

Donate Now

Inspired by God's love for humanity, Canadian Lutheran World Relief challenges the causes and responds to the consequences of human suffering and poverty.

Emergency Sweater Drive for Syrian refugees

Donations of new and gently used sweaters urgently requested

Do you have some extra sweaters taking up space in your closet? See that they get put to good use by donating them to a man, woman or child in need of warmth this winter.
As the devastation of the Syrian civil war continues to unfold, refugees living at the Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan are bracing themselves for another harsh winter. A housing shortage, lack of appropriate clothing and a demanding climate can make life extremely difficult for families who have fled the violence. At the request of our partner agencies, CLWR will be dispatching a second shipment to support Syrian refugees living in Jordan, and we need your help.
Our goal is to gather 10,000+ new or gently used sweaters this fall and dispatch them in time for winter. Sweaters of all sizes are needed, for men, women and children.

IMPORTANT! How to collect and send us the sweaters

Can I send other pieces of clothing other than sweaters?
Unfortunately, no. Please only send new or gently used sweaters - this is so everyone who is served by this distribution receives the same thing. Sweaters can be any size.
Who will be collecting the donations in my community?
Any Lutheran congregation can get involved! You can designate one or two people from your congregation who are willing to take the lead in collecting the sweaters. If your congregation will not be participating but you'd still like to donate, please contact Patrick Stewart (CLWR We Care program coordinator) at or 1.800.661.2597 (locally at 204.694.5602) and we'll see that other arrangements are made.
I'm taking the lead in collecting and shipping sweater donations in my Lutheran congregation/community. What do I need to do?
Set a deadline for sweater drop-offs. This should be no later than October 27, to give you time to box and label them for shipping. All boxes must be labelled and in transit to the CLWR Winnipeg warehouse by October 31. If you can send them earlier that would be really helpful for our warehouse staff and volunteers! That will save them from receiving everything all at once.
Shipping labels can be downloaded here.
How do I ship the boxes to you?
If you're in the Winnipeg area, you can drop off your sweaters at the warehouse, located at 549 King Edward Street, Winnipeg, MB R3H 0N9. See a Google map byclicking here. The warehouse is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can give us a call ahead of time to let us know you're coming, especially if you will be bringing a lot of sweaters (204.694.5602).
If you're outside of the Winnipeg area:
If you are already familiar with shipping to CLWR, you can go ahead and ship those sweaters - but please check ahead with Patrick ( or 1.800.661.2597) and/or the shipping partner you use if you will be bringing them more boxes than usual. We don't want to overwhelm them!
If you haven't ever shipped to CLWR before, you should contact Patrick before you drop off your boxes at Home Hardware or another one of our shipping partners.* Patrick can connect you with the appropriate outlet.
*(FYI - Home Hardware stores and some of our transport partners in specific regionsgenerously offer free shipping to supporters who are donating items to our We Care program, provided the donations are boxed and labelled (see above).)

I’m not connected to a Lutheran congregation but I would like to lend a hand. What do I need to do?
Contact Patrick at or 1.800.661.2597 and he will advise you. If you are in Winnipeg, you are welcome to drop off boxed sweaters at our warehouse (see above).
Are you going to continue to receive sweater donations after October 31?
Unfortunately, no. We normally don’t ship bulk clothing due to regulations many countries have for shipping clothing.

Spreading the word

We encourage everyone to engage their local community to help us reach this goal by issuing a local media release and talking to neighbouring churches.
We've prepared a media release, poster and bulletin blurb that you are welcome to use in spreading the word. They can be downloaded here:

The significance of this humanitarian catastrophe cannot be overstated. Through the past year CLWR has lent its support with a material aid shipment and by gathering financial donations. For decades the generosity of Canadian Lutherans has made a real difference in times of crisis. Today your help is needed again to provide warmth and dignity for those that have survived unspeakable hardships. Together we will make a difference.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Time spent at Crieff Hills Conference Center

I met Carmen and Wally at St. Paul's and we drove up to the conference centre which is near the little town of Crieff.  It was a lovely drive even though the weather was threatening.

I love their new car, a very nice blue.

People drifted in at various times during the afternoon with a variety of food to contribute to the pot luck.  I made couscous salad with vegetables, corned beef, onions and raisins in it.I also brought some Four O'clock herbal tea to share with others.  One of the young ladies loves herbal tea and this one is a delightful mix of cinnamon and other herbs.  It made the cottage where we stayed smell beautiful and welcoming.

Each year we rent the same cottage which is quite rustic and has a fireplace.

We started off with nibbles and dips which people seemed to enjoy and by 6 p.m. we were all ready to eat. One of the couples had even purchased fresh corn!

The young people had some games outside and a small group of folk went for a walk to the maze and the prayer chapel.

We had a wonderful variety of food, perogies with sour cream, spaghetti, green salad, lasagna, bread buns, apples, cupcakes, apple  and lemon meringue pie and other things which I cannot think of right now.

A veritable feast!

After super, people  began to gradually make their way home.    It was an enjoyable afternoon with good conversation and good food. The rain started as we made our way home.

Thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Lit Live at ArtWord/Artbar Sunday September 8, 2013

The first of a series of live performances by writers who are novelists or poets, was held on Sunday evening at ArtWord/Artbar on Colbourne Street.  Owing to the generosity of hosts Ron and Judith, a last minute switch to their  establishment was made, due to an overbooking at our usual place.

Ron and Judith, as always, were marvellous hosts.

There was a good crowd in attendance and it is easy to hear at this cozy place which makes it even more enjoyable! At this event, there were only five readers which was good as it meant the evening did not run too late.

Graham Crawford - M.C. for the evening

Karen Shenfeld

Ellen Jaffe

Helen Blum

Shannon Maquire

Heather Wood

Carmine Starnino

Safia Fazlul
Please note, a picture of Lil Blume did not turn out so could not be put on the blog.  Lil and Ellen were the editors of "Letters and pictures from the old Suitcase" plus are well known writers themselves.

It was a very good start to the season. Each month there will be another reading, most likely at Homegrown Hamilton on King William, our regular place.

Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Taser used on 80-year-old woman in Mississauga

Taser used on 80-year-old woman in Mississauga

This is hard to understand.  How can an 80 year old woman be a threat to a younger person unless she was holding a gun.

Often times when an older person breaks a hip, they die within a year, or so I have heard.

I just cannot understand why a taser was used in this case.

Enough excitement for today and all week!

I went with Sami to have his language assessment and now he is enrolled in an LINC programme near his home twice a week.

After that, I took him to Whitehern to enjoy the peaceful garden,or so I anticipated.

We were talking and we heard loud arguing and cursing so I went for a walk along the garden path to see what the problem was.  It turned out that it was a bunch of young people arguing and shoving each other but on the other side of the fence so I thought that they would stay there.

Instead, they brought their arguments inside into the garden and it got progressively worse.  They didn't see me as I hid my cell phone behind my purse and when the two girls got into a fist fight and started rolling on the ground, I called for the police.

Their so called "friends" were egging them on and even one girl was taking a picture with her phone.

Sami and I continued to talk but with our eyes on the young people. Before the police could arrive, the young men ran away and then the two fighting girls also.

I stayed behind to wait for the police and told them what happened.  They took a report and I told them that I had heard a woman come from the YWCA residence to tell the girls that they could be heard all the way over there.  I surmise that the two girls live there.

Even the young Muslim boy and girl were afraid and the young boy sheltered her in his arms. Bet their parents did not know they were meeting!  They were teenagers and probably had just gotten out of school and thought this would be a quiet place for them to meet.

It was two policewomen who came and they were fantastic.  They had not even known that this garden existed so I filled them in on some of the history of the place.

I stayed and read for a little while and then walked home.

It is a real shame that people can spoil such a beautiful and wonderful spot, which should be an oasis of peace in the down town core.

Thanks for dropping by.

"The 16 Year Old Killer" Cyntoia's Story

"The 16 Year Old Killer" Cyntoia's Story

Monday, September 2, 2013

What a wonderful thing to say

One of my poet friends told me today that she keeps my "Doors" poem on her mantelpiece  and it guides her.

I was so touched by the fact that she would share this with me.

I have been hesitating whether or not to go to the Thursday night poetry group as my favourite leader there has resigned and will not be attending any more.  It would not be the same for me as I was very fond of her and found her so gentle and kind in her ways.  A true teacher with much to offer. Students would be so lucky to be in her regular college class!

My poet friend wants me to attend as she says that my poetry is usually so uplifting.

Perhaps I will.  I will see.

Thanks for dropping by.

5 Broken Cameras with English Subtitles

This is a very long video showing the life of villagers in a Palestinian village.

I will leave you to make your own judgements on this very telling video.

Thanks for dropping by.