Posts filtered by tags: Laura K.[x]


 

in which we discover kai is houdini

A new fence, eh? Not so fast!One minute the dogs are on their side of the fence, barking at a woman walking her dog past the house. The next minute, Kai is playing with the dog, on the street.Of course Kai completely ignored our calls. Her training is going really well, but it would be too much expect her to come back in these circumstances -- training too new, distraction too interesting. So we have to run in the back door, grab her leash, and run out the front door. By the time we got outside,...
Tags: Travel, Dogs, Personal, Kai, Laura K


jason kenney and doug ford. how depressing.

The chickens have voted for Colonel Sanders again. It's an old, old story, and we seem farther away than ever from changing the ending.Doug Ford is destroying Ontario in a way Mike Harris only dreamed of. Healthcare, schools, libraries, parks, public transit -- all programs, all supports, and countless jobs are under the ax.Jason Kenney will expand the petrostate and destroy whatever gains have been made in renewable resource development, when he's not busy destroying public education and healt...
Tags: Travel, US, Canada, Ford, Healthcare, Alberta, Ndp, Ontario, Sanders, Don, Doug Ford, Mike Harris, Jason Kenney, Laura K, Canadian Politics, Proportional representation


"at your library" in the north island eagle: is your child ready to read?

In our local paper.At Your Library: Is Your Child Ready to Read?Kindergarten is a child’s introduction to school – but your children’s education begins long before they ever set foot in a classroom. At The Library: Is Your Child Ready to Read?Teachers and librarians talk about something called “reading readiness”. A child who is ready to read begins kindergarten set up for success. A child who doesn’t have reading readiness may begin school already struggling. Here’s another way to look at it. C...
Tags: Travel, Laura K, Becoming A Librarian, My Writing, Life In A Small Town


the troll that wouldn't die

He lives.Those of you who go back a long way with wmtc will remember how this blog was the target of trolls, back in the heyday of the blogosphere, before Twitter and Instagram existed, before so many bloggers moved to Facebook. Social media evolved, attention spans got shorter, and the trolls eventually left wmtc. All but one. You know who I'm talking about. The one and only magnolia_2000, a/k/a Mags.Mags has disappeared for long stretches of time, but he always returns. Allan says that Mags is...
Tags: Travel, Instagram, Internet, Meta, Harper, Allan, Facebook Social, Laura K, Wingnuts, Morgentaler, Henry Morgentaler


in which two humans figure out how to make a yard safe for canines

We did it! We closed the gaps in our partially fenced yard, in a way that looks decent, was within our budget, and within our skill set.First we researched online, and eliminated many possibilities.Then we simplified the project by choosing the least number of gaps to close that would still give the dogs a nice-sized area to play in, and by not having a gate.After investigating local options, we drove five hours round-trip to the Home Depot in Campbell River to buy materials, and visited an off-...
Tags: Travel, Dogs, Personal, Kai, Campbell River, Laura K


first bear sighting of the season

We see bald eagles every day here, and we've seen lots of elk -- but they never stick around for a photo. This little guy was munching away, and let us get some pics from the safety of our car. It was a beautiful privilege to see him. No lectures on bear safety, please. I've never forgotten what I learned in Alaska. One bit from the ranger at Denali National Park has always stayed with me: "Bears are mostly vegetarian. They love berries, sweetgrass, and clover. But bears are highly intellige...
Tags: Travel, Alaska, Vancouver Island, Denali National Park, Laura K, Life In A Small Town, Animals (other Than Dogs


"at your library" in the north island eagle: your library card: hidden treasure

I'm writing a library column for the local newspaper! I'm really excited about it. Everyone reads this free paper, so a column is an amazing opportunity to promote our services. It's also a fun writing challenge, to strip away the library jargon, appeal to a wide audience, and quickly write 500-ish words.I've decided to post the columns here, too. Here's the first one.* * * *At Your Library: Your Library Card: Hidden TreasureThis is the first column highlighting what's happening at your local br...
Tags: Travel, North Island, Lynda, Haida Gwaii, Tofino, Laura K, Becoming A Librarian, My Writing, Sooke, Vancouver Island Regional Library, VIRL, Life In A Small Town, Port Alice Port Hardy Port McNeill Sointula, Kathy O Reilly


pupdate: ten things we love about kai

The yard is only partially fenced, so until we close the gap, Kai is tethered.She doesn't seem to mind. Allan, Diego, and I are totally smitten by this little munchkin. What a surprise, eh? In no particular order, here are ten awesome things about Kai.1. She's housetrained. Through at least four foster homes and who knows what else, she hasn't had an accident in the house.2. She loves toys. Kai always wants to have a toy handy. If she runs off to greet one of us, she first grabs a ...
Tags: Travel, Dogs, Personal, Diego, Kai, Laura K, Tala, Allan Diego


outstanding customer service from wayfair.ca

Wayfair.ca has amazing customer service! Their selection is great, the prices are competitive, and they offer free shipping with orders of more than $75. But their customer service has sealed the deal.We bought two lamps, replacing the lamps that were smashed by We Help Moving's ineptitude. The glass shade on one of the new lamps was scratched. The lamp had been tightly packed in several pieces, and I was dreading sending back the damaged part, or worse, the whole lamp.Earlier this year, we boug...
Tags: Travel, Personal, Ikea, Consumer Issues, Wayfair, Laura K, Wayfair Wayfair


introducing... kai!

Our first meeting Introducing Kai, the new addition to our pack, and Diego's new sister!Kai (rhymes with eye) is small for us, about 30 pounds, a pit-mix with a "Staffie" look. She is much smaller than a Staffie -- unless her foster mom was very wrong about her age! We believe she is about 18 months old. Her coat is a dark brindle colour with a white blaze.More than two years after losing Tala, Allan and I decided it was finally time to restore our full family, a pack of four. About a mo...
Tags: Travel, Dogs, Personal, Middle East, Vancouver, Allan, Diego, Kai, Laura K, Port McNeill, Life In A Small Town, Tala Allan


rotd: frederick douglass, prophet of freedom

Revolutionary thought of the day:Douglass's great gift, and the reason we know him of today, is that he found ways to convert the scars Covey left on his body into words that might change the world.David W. Blight, Frederick Douglass, Prophet of FreedomThis is what every abuse survivor, every war resister, every Truth and Reconciliation testifier, is doing: finding ways to convert their scars into change.It's been a long time since our last ROTD! This book is clearly going to change that. [Autho...
Tags: Travel, Quotes, Sexual Assault, Indigenous Peoples, Douglass, Covey, Laura K, War Resisters, Revolutionary Thought Of The Day


what i'm reading: jackie robinson: a biography

I finished reading this fine biography a while ago, but I've been having trouble writing about it. It was very good. If some parts were a bit too detailed for me (which is bound to happen if a biography is comprehensive), parts were thrilling, fascinating, sad, and very moving.There are many biographies of Jackie Robinson out there, but Jackie Robinson: A Biography by Arnold Rampersad is said to be the most accurate and complete. Rampersad, who has also written celebrated biographies of Langsto...
Tags: Travel, Post, Florida, Hollywood, Boston, America, History, Brooklyn, Williams, Philadelphia, Baseball, New York Giants, Ken Burns, Montreal, Jack, St Louis


the north island restaurant report: where to eat in port hardy and port mcneill

I was sure that one of the downsides of moving to a small town in a relatively remote area would be a serious lack of food choices. I've been very happy to be wrong! There aren't a lot of restaurants here, but what's here is very good -- well-prepared, fresh, tasty food, and excellent, friendly service. As with most things, I'm finding that having a few choices are enough.  I cook a lot more now, as there's no prepared food, and I'm also less busy and have more energy. Allan's been helping ...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, Toronto, First Nations, Vancouver, Northern Lights, Allan, North Island, Gus, Hardy, Mississauga, Vancouver Island, Seto, Guido, Laura K, Port McNeill


drive and hike to the ocean: san josef bay

Ever since we moved here, I've been fascinated with our town's proximity to Cape Scott Provincial Park. Cape Scott is a wilderness park, accessible mainly through the rugged North Coast Trail -- for very serious hikers, i.e., not us. But I've read that some small sections are more accessible for a day hike.People rave about the beauty of San Josef Bay -- known locally as Sanjo Bay -- but always with a caveat: there's no easy way to get there. We pass the turnoff sign on Rt. 19 all the time, and ...
Tags: Life In A Small Town, Personal, Vancouver Island, Laura K


winter drive: alice lake loop

A few weeks ago, we took a scenic drive known as the Alice Lake Loop. We read there were various short hikes and natural attractions along the way. We may have missed some stops or turn-offs, as it really was mostly driving and very little walking. On the other hand, in an area that is trying to reinvent itself as a tourism destination, any attraction, no matter how small, is included in the guidebooks and websites. So I don't know if the Alice Lake Loop is of mild interest, or if we missed som...
Tags: Life In A Small Town, Personal, Vancouver Island, Laura K


"if you don't act like adults, we will": thank you climate strikers. thank you, thank you, thank you.

Friday's global student protest brought me so much joy. And also sadness, because I often feel so cynical about our ability to stop climate change. And also hope, because I won't succumb to that cynicism. I will fight it, and fight it, and fight it. Because our cynicism is the perfect weapon to be used against us. No evil genius could invent something more powerful than our own inaction.This photo gallery from the New York Daily News is wonderful. Very New York-centric, but with a global flavou...
Tags: Travel, New York, Activism, Environment, New York Daily News, Laura K


in which i am a local celebrity

Impudent Strumpet wondered if Allan and I were now locally famous. Well, apparently we are. Things I heard at the library: "I want to do a story on you."The customer who said this is the owner, publisher, writer, and editor of the North Island Eagle, a community newspaper here. Instead of a story about me, I suggested a piece on some of the exciting things going on in our library. She one-upped me: a story about me and an invitation to write a library column. I am thrilled! This is an amazing an...
Tags: Travel, US, Personal, Canada, Allan, Laura K, Life In A Small Town, North Island Eagle, North Island Gazette, Black Press Media, Vancouver Sun the National Post


what i'm reading: solitary raven: the essential writings of bill reid

I'm supposed to be writing about the Jackie Robinson biography, which I finished weeks ago, but so far I haven't been motivated to do so. I finished another Wallander mystery -- my "in between" book -- but the next bio on my list, the new one about Frederick Douglass, hasn't come in yet. So I looked for something on my own bookshelf that I've been meaning to read, and found this: Solitary Raven: The Essential Writings of Bill Reid. It is fascinating, and by coincidence, feels very relevant.We v...
Tags: Travel, Art, London, Americas, Toronto, History, Canada, Indigenous Peoples, Vancouver, North America, Cbc, Picasso, Jackie Robinson, Robert Bringhurst, Reid, Haida Gwaii


walking the walk: if canada is serious about reconciliation, the senate must pass bill c-262

Canadians, contact the Senate. Urge them to work together to pass Private Member's Bill C-262, "An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples". My own letter included at the end of this post, in the hope that it will help you write your own.* * * * Is Canada serious about reconciliation? The Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded in 2015. The Calls to Action have been made. Recommendations have been made. H...
Tags: Travel, Human Rights, Activism, Justice, Senate, History, First Nations, Canada, House Of Commons, United Nations, New Zealand, Un, Indigenous Peoples, Liberal party, Bill, Parliament


how to eat tuna

Some years ago, after reading about overfishing and the horrendous state of our oceans, I vowed to stop eating tuna. Certain species of tuna are on the brink of extinction, thanks to soaring demand and modern fishing methods. Plus, the "eating fish is good for you" equation has changed because of the presence of mercury in many fish, especially tuna. I decided to put tuna in the same category as veal and lobster -- animal products I no longer eat.Alas, while I have no problem foregoing lobster ...
Tags: Travel, Environment, Recipes, Pacific, Laura K, Food Issues, Best Tuna Salad


winter hike: beaver lake and port alice

We've had so many gloriously cold and sunny days! I don't know if that's unusual for January and February or if I was oversold on the rain, but I love it. The temperature will range from around -3C to +4C (mid-20s to about 40 F), which barely qualifies as cold, and combined with bright sunshine, is some of my favourite weather.Last weekend, we hiked in the Beaver Lake Recreation Trail -- the first time I've ever hiked in winter. There was a dusting of snow and it was cold enough to wear a parka....
Tags: Travel, Mexico, Personal, Newfoundland, Scandinavia, Allan, Vancouver Island, Laura K, Port McNeill, Port Alice, Life In A Small Town, Beaver Lake Recreation Trail, Gros Morne Park, Legion Hall


things i heard at the library: an occasional series: #30

At the Port Hardy Library, we've been hosting visits from the local First Nations school, from the the Gwa'sala-Nakwaxda'xw Nations. (That is pronounced GWA-sala Nak-wah-da.) The children have been absolutely lovely, and although my contact with them is brief, I'm enjoying it so much.It's especially wonderful to have the tweens and teens in the library, which is a change for our library. We've been working on digital literacy, which I've made into a bingo game. (Librarians will turn anything int...
Tags: Travel, Art, First Nations, Indigenous Peoples, Vancouver Island, Port Hardy, GWA, Laura K, Becoming A Librarian, Gila, Port Hardy Library, Gwa sala Nakwaxda, Gwa sala Nakwaxda xw School, New York City The Door


making the move from plastic to glass food storage

Pyrex! I bought these! I love them! For the longest time, I've had a very large collection of plastic food storage containers. Allan and I have always brought most of our meals to work -- for healthy eating, for convenience (I'd rather not spend any part of my meal break foraging), and to economize. I also tend to cook in batches, plus of course there are always leftovers. Eons ago, when I bought all the plastic, I didn't know it was unhealthy -- that the polymers break down and enter...
Tags: Travel, Environment, Personal, Allan, Wayfair, Rubbermaid, Wirecutter, Laura K, Food Issues


thank you, nanaimo! the ndp government survives

Thank you, Nanaimo!With all the personal blathering I've been doing, I forgot to write about something very important! There was a by-election here in BC: a seat in Nanaimo would determine if the coalition government -- the balance of power a mere one seat! -- would survive.Translation for USians. In the last provincial election in BC, neither of the two major parties -- the NDP (you remember the NDP, right?) or the Liberals -- received enough seats to form a government. For the first time in C...
Tags: Travel, UK, US, Conservative, Green, Hillary Clinton, Island, Stephen Harper, Bill, Liberal, Conservative Party, Libertarian, Ndp, Ontario, Vancouver Island, Doug Ford


"use it in good health"

When I was growing up, my grandparents and other older relatives used an expression, "Use it in good health," or a variant, "Wear it in good health".  This was said when you bought something that you were very excited about, or received a wonderful gift, or made a major purchase. If you brought home a new coat that you loved, and tried it on to show her, along with "It's beautiful," or "It looks great on you," my mother would say, "Wear it in good health."  Another variant is, "You should w...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, Brooklyn, Miscellaneous Blather, Laura K, Wordplay


in which we find ourselves the owners of an suv

Add this to the list of things I said I'd never do, along with colour my hair and move to the west coast while my mother is alive. My hair, once a lovely honey blond, became a drab brown. My mom moved to the west coast first! And we need a bigger vehicle that can handle rural road conditions.And so, we own an SUV.In 22 years in New York City, I didn't own a car at all. We bought a new hatchback wagon in 2005 and a well-used compact in 2017. And yesterday we bought a big thing: a 2014 Mitsubishi ...
Tags: Travel, New York City, Personal, Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, Kia, Laura K


port hardy in photos

Here are some photos of our town and the area surrounding it.Our lovely little rental house is an endangered species, a ranch, all on one floor. Excellent for my problematic knees and ankles. It would have made more sense to build the deck on this side, where there's a lot more space and still plenty of privacy. Instead, the deck is in the back, up against a neighbour's house -- which I'm guessing was built after ours. But these neighbours are rarely home, they are usually off exploring in...
Tags: Travel, Personal, First Nations, Canada, Allan, Don, Diego, Hardy, Storey, Rupert, Vancouver Island, Campbell River, Guido, Port Hardy, Laura K, Save On Foods


in which we reluctantly begin the search for a new vehicle

We were warned about this! We were half-expecting it.Our car didn't pass the inspection for BC auto insurance. Supposedly this is what happens when you bring a car from another province. We drive an old (2006) Kia Spectra, which we bought two years ago when our even older (2005) Chevy Optra was hit by a careless driver and our insurance carrier dumped it. Considering its age and its 155,000 kilometres, the Kia has been very solid. Before we drove west, we brought it for a full check-up and got e...
Tags: Travel, Personal, Kia, Allan, Laura K, Moving To Bc


jackie robinson: "i owe more to canadians than they'll ever know."

Let me set the scene.The year is 1946. The United States is deeply segregated. The birth of civil rights movement that would begin as African-American soldiers returned to home to Jim Crow, after fighting for democracy abroad, is still a good 10 years away.Newlyweds Jackie and Rachel Robinson leave their hometown of Pasadena, California, for Florida, where Jackie will become the first African-American to play organized, professional sports in the United States. When Rachel sees "whites only" sig...
Tags: Travel, Florida, California, History, Canada, United States, Royals, Baseball, Montreal, Jack, Sam, Baltimore, Jackie, Jim Crow, Louisville, Hopper


a reading plan for 2019: the year of the biography?

A new biography of Frederick Douglass has gotten glowing reviews, and as Douglass is one of my great heroes -- one of the greatest Americans -- I definitely want to read it. This made me realize how many biographies I've been putting on The List and not reading. The one that's been on The List, unread, longest is Arnold Rampersad's biography of Jackie Robinson. Rampersad was the first biographer to have full access to Robinson's letters and other papers, as well as Rachel Robinson's approval and...
Tags: Travel, Henning Mankell, Ali, Rachel Robinson, Robinson, Helen Keller, Frederick Douglass, Douglass, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Jonathan Eig, David Wootton, Bernard Crick, Arnold Rampersad, Peter Ackroyd, Laura Ingalls Wilder Caroline Fraser