Tuesday, 1 December 2015

How joyful to be able to welcome Syrian refugee children!

I am shocked with the opinions of some small-minded people in Canada, and our region. Having grown up in multicultural Toronto, and worked in multicultural Ottawa, I have had much experience working with kids of diverse needs and backgrounds. This fear and racism is shameful.
Teachers are professing fear, as well. There is little difference between children whose life circumstances have caused them grief, whether Canadian citizens or not.

We have integrated refugee children for many years. There is no reason a kid who cannot understand English should NOT be integrated. I think that administrators need to ask them, what do you need?

Best practices, sustainable plans, integrated services, make a difference.
Teachers do not choose their students. They are assigned a group of children and must create a classroom community from these individuals from varied backgrounds and experiences every school year.

Over my 25-year career (spanning JK to gr. 8), I have sheltered children who were victims of violence, who lived in foster care and/or group homes, who fled Vietnam, children with mental, physical or emotional disabilities, children who ran into the hills to flee gunfire during The Gulf War, children whose mothers were drug addicts and were in the custody of fathers, children whose uncles were suicide bombers 'defending our people' as they said, there is no difference.

I had an opportunity to learn from children whose religion, culture and traditions were different from my own. It enriched my life.
  • You take them in, welcome them, accept them and assure them that they are safe now. 
  • You listen. 
  • You fight for their right to feel safe in the classroom community, in the school and in the larger community. 
  • You advocate for them. 
  •  You protect them from racism and/or bullying in your classroom community, and teach them how to handle such. 
  • You educate them on life in Canada; sometimes this includes their parents. 
  • You give them the tools to cope in their new world. 
  • You help them integrate into the school by appointing mentors. 
  •  You learn about their culture and traditions to better understand them. 
  • You help them find their joy. 
  •  You help them laugh and feel loved.
These children bring a wealth of experience to Canada. They are survivors. They are to be loved, not feared.

Monday, 30 November 2015

November weather

Yes, I be improving, but still numerous symptoms. Strangely, with the delayed winter temperatures, my annual bout with viral asthma, sinusitis, and bronchitis has delayed itself a month. It is slowly easing its way through. There is a lot of it going around. So says the ER staff. There is something to that nice, cold, freezing weather to chilling bugs of all types.
I would happily bundle up and sit outside in the sun with a book, but that has been less frequent.
They predict freezing rain tomorrow. We had some last Friday night, but it amounted to little.
More rain than snow!

Nov. 2015 = 54.1 mm rain,           skiff of snow.
Nov. 2014 = 15 mm rain and    25.5 cm of snow.
Nov. 2013 = 68 mm rain and     20 cm snow.

Nov. 27

Lots of talk about Climate Change and El Nino. What a balmy morning it was. The froggies came out. Silly things.

Nov. 22

About 4" of snow in Central Ontario, so report my Muskoka friends. That Lake Effect snow! Nothing here. There were thousands without power from the snowfall and storm.

Nov. 20 Lake Effect snow!

Nov. 19

Nov. 17

Funny, funny weather. There is a storm moving in. We had -6 in the morning, then 10 in the afternoons. Rain, and snow and wind in Thunder Bay,

Nov. 12

Nov. 11

Rain in the a.m., none during the ceremony. We attended a wedding!

Nov. 7 – 8

Still many sans power in Ontario. About half seem to be out for another day, too.

Nov. 6

Nov. 5

Nov. 2nd

Nov. 1st

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Holiday cheer - feeling better!

Cluny, born May, 2015
I'm still not feeling very good, but thanks for your well-wishes.  Hubby is a fabulous nurse who is either paying it forward, or paying me back. I am grateful and slowly getting over this bronchitis.

I have to get healthy for when our kids come to visit next week. They are traveling from Vancouver, 4500km or some such, to visit us all! Or course we love seeing our adult children when they live 'away', we pick up where we left off, but we still have to bond with new grandkids and show them our unconditional love. Time passes so quickly for them.

My son, DIL and our in-laws from the other branch of the family have been wonderful sending photos for us. Cluny is granddaughter #3!

I figured how to be a long-distance grandmother with Josephine, now turning age 8 next month! We Skyped, since phone calls didn't quite do it. They'd hunker down in the computer room, with snacks for the kids who might get bored, and hung out for a few minutes. It was great!

Grandpa was sent a Mickey Mouse hat and gloves by his friend who went to Disney World. I taped a video of our Skype chat.

You can see Josie in the chair, looking from the screen to her mommy, 'What's up with grampa?'
This was so much fun!

Hootin' Annie

What can I do for my fellow human beings? 

This should be the question. There is much to be gained from loving those who are less fortunate, and need our help. This spirit is alive in this country, where we have seen the arrival of many refugees in a slow tide of love and compassion. Imagine living across the ocean from loved ones. Not only this, but they live for YEARS in refugees camps.

Here is a feel good photo:
Good for Calgary! Reuniting Syrian refugees with family in the city. This woman was a refugee 7 years ago. This is her nephew. Her mother and father arrived, as well.
It has been a private struggle that at times seemed endless. Yet Terez Khazaka never gave up hope that one day she would see her mother and father again. "A lot of…

Having grown up in multicultural Toronto, we have learned how to embrace those of different faiths.
We require a changing in thinking, like this example.

Hootin' Annie is a powerful blogger, with a large following. She presented a challenge. This is my feel good post -to that end. I was inspired by a repost of Dunham Elementary School's message.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Critters, kidlet, and Sharp-shinned hawk video

Cluny! (in B.C.!)
Friday night, slippery roads. We went from 12 C. down to -4 overnight. I'm happy to be hunkered, still down wrestling with my cold virus! It's on the upturn, but I was awake until 2 a.m. with insomnia with my meds. That was the warning from the ER physician, I knew it would happen.

Happily, I had an online chat with my son, in Vancouver, who sent a video of our granddaughter!

Isn't this crazy weather?
Meantime, the yard has been busy. Trailcam captured Buster, our buck, Momma and doe, Dorah, finally, Daisy. (Daisy is a blur!!!!)

Still have frogs about
! They began hopping into the water as the temperatures dropped last night. It is bizarre, since it was frozen over a couple of days ago. First photo, Nov. 24, snow on the ice on the pond. The third photo, early morning, a couple jumped in upon seeing me. Of course, I was a fright, in jammies, coughing and all! I think I counted 7 or 8.

I've seen the hawk overhead. This is an old video, as I haven't managed a current photo!
Thursday, April 9, 2015