#964 The stories behind the goods

Stéphane Hubert in his workshop

In the leafy town of Berea, Kentucky, Warren May makes exquisite dulcimers and fine furniture. One day in 1990 my former husband and I wandered into his shop just at closing time. He chatted as if we had walked in…


#957 Draw your way out of any pit


Words have always spilled more easily from my pen than images, but Hannah Hinchman awakened me to the possibility that even someone as art-challenged as I could find pleasure and satisfaction in drawing. Actually, she did more than that with…


#955 Happy to be here

Kelowna Marina, in the heart of the city

This is a love letter to my small city, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. All I need to do to remind me why I love it here is to look out the window. If I peer over my left shoulder, I…


#951 Plastic elephants are saving environments

Ocean Sole rhinoceros

Kenya’s beaches are littered with discarded flip-flops. The good news is that many of them are being turned into colourful works of art. Ocean Sole was started in 1997 by Julie Church, a marine conservationist from Kenya. Working on a…


#949 Shane Koyczan, the people’s poet

Shane Koyczan

It’s a good thing I was not drinking coffee when I listened to Shane Koyczan’s TED talk, “Blueprint for a Breakthrough.” I would have shorted out my keyboard when he came to this line, early in the talk: I’ve been…


#940 Music for the masses

Queensland Symphony Orchestra shoot

If you have followed this blog for a while, you will know I am a sucker for flash mobs. Joy, love, creativity, and community are all mixed in together when people gather to bring something special to a public venue.…


#937 Seniors ham it up to Carly Rae Jepsen’s pop hit

Waverly Mansion residents

Residents of the Waverly Mansion in London, Ontario are not settling for a boring stay in an assisted-living facility. With the urging of their recreation co-ordinator, Sarah Urquhart, the oldsters are becoming a YouTube sensation. Urquhart had no idea her…