Category Archives: learning


I love books.  Whether I’m delving in and reading new ideas, or re-discovering old, well worn paths, there is nothing quite as calming as curling up with a tumbler of whiskey, a warm blanket and a good book.  I just started reading Jean Vanier’s Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus, through the Gospel of John.  It is brilliant.  It’s a well written, poetry-filled trek through John, full of Vanier’s thoughts and admonitions.

I’m looking to add some titles to my must read! list.  Any recommendations?   What is saving you?  What is inspiring you?  What are you reading right now?

Maria Magdalena

One of the things that I decided to do when I started my business, was to contribute to a loan through Kiva and help support an entrepreneur in a developing country.  I have been the grateful recipient of support here, without which I wouldn’t have been able to start Jennifer Kellner Birth Photography, so it only seemed right to pay it forward.  It’s amazing to be able to join with people from all over the world to pool our little bits of money to lend her the capital that she needs to expand her business. For the grey days of struggle, Maria is a source of inspiration as she grows her crops to provide for her community and to support her family.  With a beautiful smile in Ecuador, she grows corn and rice and raises her ducks and chickens. So grateful to Kiva for connecting us and making it possible.  I’m also grateful to the girls from The Commons who helped me in the selection process during our slumber party.  Beautiful.

Consider giving a loan through Kiva!  Once the loan is paid back, you can either withdraw the money or keep on lending it to others.

Upcycling Edits. Accounting. Adventure.

Today is a day when I woke full of anticipation.  A full day of edits, accounting and adventure is before me.  Emphasis on the adventure part.  I love when there is a day of discovery!  After a fantastic photo shoot with Stephanie Jane’s gorgeous upcycled furniture yesterday, I’m stoked to edit and get at the photos.  Here’s just a few so you can see her beautiful work!  Then, onto learning some new accounting software.  I know, I know.  I am such a party.  While it might not be the most fun, I hope to keep my inquisitive outlook while doing the necessary.  To complete my day  – a mysterious trip into Toronto where new experiences and delights await.  I have no idea what to expect when we get there, but I think there is value in the practice of openness to Life’s adventure.  I think  Discovery  is waiting all around us – even lurking in accounting software.  I hope you have eyes to see it and embrace it today.



After spending a few weeks tied to the city desk working away at my business plan, a little wilderness photo excursion was in order.  So loving all the learning I’ve been doing over the past few days as I get to know my new Canon 5d Mark iii.  Love how bright the images are!  In honour of my mother’s Plaster Rock, NB heritage – some fiddleheads!


Also posted in nature

New Gear…

…can really make a gal smile.  But so can a day filled with family, my commons family and a little choir at the cathedral.  Some random images from today’s first try with the new Mark iii.  So far, I’ve got to say that it is amazing and I love how it handles in low light situations.  Can’t wait to really take this baby for a spin!!


Make hay while the sun shines…

…and Excel sheets when it’s snowy?   “Oh the weather outside is weather…”  Even with a sad return to winter today, I am determined to make the most of this Monday!  Perhaps without the lure of sunshiney warmth beckoning me to come outside and play I can get the last sections of my business plan wrapped up.  Gross days outside position me perfectly to cross off those pesky ‘to do’s’ off my list.

Random: I saw this on Jasmine Star’s blog the other day and my heart skipped a beat.  It’s a to do list AND a sticky note.  All in one.  How BRILLIANT is this?  They’re available at Poketo. (hint hint)



Squirreled up in my attic and powered by morning glory bars, baked by the fabulous Pete, I am going to power through today and get it done.  And try not to think of my folks sunning it up on warm beach down south while winter finally shows itself up here.  Good timing on their part!

New Challenges

food (1 of 1)-2.jpg
Over the Christmas break I watched Food Inc.  I know, I’m a few years late coming to that party but better late than never I guess!  It had been recommended to me by numerous friends, both veggie heads and meatatarians alike.  I like meat.  I mean, I really like meat. So much so, that at my last birthday party there was a lovely chocolate cake in the shape of a steak. So, I was a bit concerned that watchingthis film would put me off my favourite food group.  It didn’t though.  What it did do was wake me up to the industrialization of our food production and some of the short cuts that happen when we seek to mass produce food on a large, consistent scale.  In addition to the poor conditions that the animals live in, the film made me realize just how little nutritional value is in the foods that we are eating compared to what my grandparents gleaned from their foods.  Modified corn is everywhere now!!   My goal for this year is to try to eat more like my grandparents did… grass fed beef, free range chicken, no ‘just add water and a microwave’ foods, organic where possible and to really explore what it means to have access to proper foods.  One way in which I am doing this is by participating in an art installation on justice – my focus is going to be on food accessibility.  My first researching trip to the organic section of the grocery store shocked me at the prices!  As one who’s on a tight budget, it’s nearly impossible to eat this neo-traditional diet with organic broccoli being $4.99 a head.  I can easily see how income level becomes a barrier to health which just spirals everything down.  I’m looking forward to challenge of finding a way to translate these ideas into a visual piece – stretching my visioning and getting those creative juices flowing!


Also posted in Food Accessibility

Freedom and Life

Each year on Remembrance Day I think about John Peacock.  Years ago, when I was just a child, he shared with me his story of being a prisoner of war during the Korean conflict.  I was too young at the time to fully understand the politics, but was the sort of kid who was a bit old for my age, so I listened intently as he spoke.  I knew he was telling me his story so that no one would forget just how much horror could be packed into the word ‘war’ and so I would value the small freedoms in life that I take for granted.  He sat down in the rickety sunday school chair, looked my 8 year old self right in the eye and bluntly shared with me about his experience in the war.  The terror of being captured…the gruesome details of his torture which told me just how awful we humans can be to each other.  It shocked me to hear of him being kept for months in a tiny bamboo cage, the burnings, beatings, the isolation and being buried alive.  He leaned in close as he told of finally coming home and trying to adjust to life again…of struggling to forgive and let go of it.  And he asked that we always, always remember what he experienced and to appreciate freedom and life.  So, today I remember John Peacock.

learning to walk again

6 weeks ago I experienced  a moment that altered the journey that I was on.  I slipped.  I fell.  I messed up good.  I didn’t intend for it to happen, but a careless moment of pride caused brokenness and pain.  That one decision to jump ended up causing grief for others too, as my now broken story intersected with theirs.  It changed our collective journey as the things we had wanted to experience, we didn’t.  Longed-for dreams went unrecognized.  I grieved what would never be and then a journey of healing from that break began.

It put me in the humble position of not being able to do things on my own and having to rely on others…it limited what I was capable of contributing and experiencing.  It made me dependent.  I had to rest and wait and heal and receive grace.

But today a Happy Day!  A milestone that indicated that though it didn’t feel like it, healing was happening.  Even though there was still lingering bruising and twinges of painful reminders of the break, things were indeed mending. Today, I can walk again on two legs.  I want to run and jump and dance and do yoga and climb stairs.  But for now, I must be disciplined and teach myself to walk again.  I must take the time to do this right, to set up good practices so that I can return to full health and create the right cadence that will carry me through the future.  It’s hard to ‘just’ walk when you want to leap and run unrestrained, but the slow pace is so worth it to be reformed into something strong and lasting.  I’m being refashioned into something new.

“I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.”  The Bible, Jeremiah 18:3-4

Also posted in faith

go with it!

Recently I’ve been reading the hilarious BossyPants by Tina Fey – I highly recommend it if you’re in need of  a funny summer read.  One of the best things that I’ve learned from the book are the rules of improvisation and how to handle situations that you find yourself in.  Great rules for photography too!!

1) YES! Accept what is happening and choose to embrace it.  Respect what your partner has created and start from an open minded space.

2) YES AND… Agree, then add something of your own. Don’t be afraid to contribute. It’s your responsibility to contribute. Always add something to the discussion. Your initiations are worthwhile.

3) MAKE STATEMENTS. Whatever the problem, be part of the solution.  Don’t just ask questions and leave it to others to figure out.  Don’t be the person who stands by and just points out obstacles.  Also- don’t speak in apologetic question tones.  Make statements with your actions and your voice.

4) THERE ARE NO MISTAKES…only opportunities.  If something doesn’t go the way it’s intended, it roll with it!  In improv there are no mistakes only happy accidents. Many of the world’s greatest discoveries have been by accident. I mean, look at the Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup.

And just because every post needs a picture… a double rainbow that came out after a wicked storm.  See?  No mistakes.