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Art Crawl – July Edition

Art Crawl is upon us again tomorrow evening!  I can’t believe how fast this summer is going… you should come down to James N and enjoy this lovely summer while you can!  I’ll be there with Randy at the Maker’s Market at the Cathedral.  I’ve got a few new photos of Hamilton that will be there…you should drop by and say hi!  (And don’t forget your non-perishable food for Welcome Inn! our shelves could use a boost over the summer!)

July 12,  7-10pm  – James St N.

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Warm Up!

Some random thankfulness for some of my warming favourites during this cold snap.

1) On these cold, wintery mornings it is such a treat to enjoy my new favourite tea from David’s called “mother’s little helper.”  Aside from having an awesome name, it actually does have calming properties with peppermint, lemon grass, valerian root, hibiscus and camomile.  It tastes delicious and is a soothing cup of warmth.  AND you can use this handy contraption which is just plain fun.

2) Fingerless gloves!  Perfect for photo excursions so that you can still operate the camera and keep those digits warm.  I received a few pairs from my Aunt and cousin and they are amazing!!

3) Hot Bath.  C’mon now.  Who doesn’t like a hot bath?  Especially with lavender salts from Rocky Mountain Soap Company.  They rock.  Put out some candles and grab a good book!  Now we’re talking.

4) Fun, Stripey robe.  A Christmas gift I received that is practical and decadent.  Bright teal colours of fuzzy fleece brighten those winter mornings when it is so cccold and you don’t want to get out of bed.

5) Warm winter wear.  Nothing beats being able to throw on a soft, pom pommed hat with ear flaps and furry boots when it feels like it’s -20 out.  Add a few hand/foot warming heat packs and you are good to go for those outdoor photo shoots.

What warm-ups do you like?  How are you fighting the cold this week?

Celebrating the Possibilities

Such a cold, blustery day for one that was so ripe with possibilities.  I find myself in a unique place with hope-filled paths with choices  to be made.  Soon, I will have to decide. For now though, I am simply basking in the dreaminess of possibility.  Soon, I will be able to share all of the exciting details.  Until that day, I will enjoy the tension of this hope-filled space.  I needed to celebrate a victory today.  Not for winning the entire race, but celebrating a step that could lead to more.  So, I grabbed my gift card and 2 can dine for -$14.99 coupon and dined out on delicious chicken- toasting to possibilities. I like a good coupon, so my  middle-aged self was happy to augment the cheer with some good value. Cheers to the sweet space of possibility!  What are you celebrating?

What do you desire?

the bread

This year for my family Christmas dinner, I wanted to try something a little different.  I decided to bake bread.  And not just any bread.  My Grammie Johnson’s recipe.  I recall the many hours I spent with her as a child, watching her knead, punch and bake the yummiest bread ever!  Now, normally I’m a whole grain-flax seedy-sprouted-really healthy and good for you kind of bread girl.  This recipe has none of that and is simply white bread in all it’s carby goodness. The recipe paper was so well used and folded over, that it was translucent in parts and held some strange directions – boil water, then cool to warm, then add sugar and yeast to proof.  I’m guessing that’s a carry over from the “get the water from the crick” days.  But I did it anyway.  I didn’t want to change a thing from her recipe that’s been handed down.  I loved the whole process… deciphering the seemingly bizarre instructions, kneading the dough, seeing it rise and the best part – punching down the giant mound of dough.  It made me feel connected to my grandmother, even though she lives far away in New Brunswick.  I liked how slow the process was.  No microwave.  No rushing the rising.  Just many hours dedicated to creating something connected to my family’s history for people to enjoy around the Christmas dinner table.  And the bread – it turned out to be quite delicious if I do say so myself.

Red Tent Event

Have you heard about this?  I think it’s a fabulous idea!  Women sharing their birth stories with other women, partners, birthing community members to talk about their unique experience.  How great is this?!  As a part of the Red Tent  work, this event joins with a global initiative to create spaces for women to share their birth stories and for others to listen to birth stories. It’s being held this year at Shanti Yoga Studio. 344 Main St. W. (at Locke St. N), Hamilton, ON from 2pm-5pm.  It’s a free event, but donations will be collected for who do great work.

Oh Jennie

This week The Freeway community lost an important member of its family.  Jennie Marcheson was a beautiful, generous spirit whose presence permeated the coffee house at King and Wellington.  She had a gift for seeing Beauty everywhere she went and an eye to create something unique from the photos that she took.  And she always gave.  That was the thing with Jennie.  Not only was she passionate about crafting something from the images, she was truly excited to share them and thereby herself.  It didn’t matter if you were a barista, the mayor, a cop on a horse or a newbie photog at her first exhibit, Jennie was your friend and she had a photo gift made just for you.  She delighted in printing, sharing and giving away her art.  Present at every community event she could manage, she lived fully to experience and document the joy found in people gathering together.  May we learn by your example and do the same.

Jennie, you will be greatly missed.

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“The family will receive friends at Dodsworth & Brown Funeral Home, 15 West Avenue North on Friday August 24th, 2012 beginning at 12:00 pm, followed by a memorial service at 1:00 p.m..  In lieu of flowers, donations to the Freeway Coffee House would be much appreciated. An open reception will be held at The Freeway Coffee House starting at 4:00 p.m.

A night of music and celebration for Jennie’s life and art will be held onWednesday Sept 12th at 7pm at the Freeway.”

The Bishop

The other night I got to meet another newborn – puppy Bishop!  My cousin bought a Great Dane puppy who has been staying with family while he awaits cooler weather to fly out home.  I had no idea you could get a plane ticket for an unaccompanied dog.  You learn new things everyday.  With this heatwave, they cancelled his original flight as it was just too hot for the animals in the cargo hold.  Which worked out perfectly for me!  I was able to go for a little visit and get some time in with this very sweet and enormous puppy.  Love little Bishop!  Cap, my Aunt and Uncle’s black lab has been patiently tolerating the puppy and even fetching him toys. I love the one pic where he’s kind of rolling his eyes as if to say ‘can you believe this kid?’  Sadly, I won’t see Bishop again until he is almost horse size (I’m guessing he’ll be big by the size of his paws).  I’ll just have to take more pictures then.



Spent last evening down at the Hamilton Pier 4 Park sharing a picnic with the folks from The Commons for Canada Day. We chose to  eat when it was the most blustery, which made for some mad dashes before the geese caught our plates!  After some sammies at the picnic, we partook of some delicious smores and took in the fireworks – always a treat.  Happy Canada Day!

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Also posted in Events, fun


I am so privileged to be able to travel around and meet people – having a camera hanging off of me gives me access to people’s story in a way that I otherwise would not.  The other day I met a man who bought an old barn – and I mean old.  It was built in the late 1700’s or early 1800’s and still stands majestically in the Pennsylvania hills.  As near as he can figure, given the size of the beams, the lumber is probably from trees that grew in the 1400’s.  Now, some 600 years later, the lumber still stands.  Steady.  Holding the frame together through all of the storms that have come it’s way over the centuries.  There is something very comforting in being in a place that has such deep history – even if you’re experiencing vertigo from balancing on beams while wearing ballet flats – you can feel the steadiness seep into your spirit.