Wonderful Women

I know some wonderful women whose names you’ve likely never heard.

They aren’t famous.  But each has done something special to help others in her community.

Blog Photo -- Mr and Mrs. Claus - Eddie Grant Photo

Photo thanks to Eddie Grant

Raphaelita Walker was the wonderful Mrs. Claus, a role she performed at the Jamaican Canadian Association in Toronto every Christmas for more than 40 years. (Her husband Gifford was Santa Claus.)

The children loved her. Adults loved her. Being Mrs. Claus was just one of Raph’s contributions to her community.

Raph celebrated her 90th birthday in December. She died on Valentine’s Day. 

Thank you, dear Raph, for all you’ve done, for so many.

~~

The other women are members of my church community.

Book Photo At Launch with Jane

Jane Carson, a retired teacher, musician and painter, has attended St. Thomas’ church for decades. She’s done much to help families here and abroad – particularly families with small children. But Jane’s most quiet ongoing ‘ministry’ is sending cards and letters to people who she thinks need to be cheered up. Thank you, Jane.

Blog Photo - Olive Ormiston who knits prayer shawls

Olive Ormiston makes prayer shawls. She’s one of the main knitters at St. Thomas’ Anglican. They create the shawls for those going through a tough time: personal or family illness, bereavement, and other times that test one’s soul. 

Every shawl is blessed by St. Thomas’ Anglican’s priest, Canon Claire Wade. Claire herself is a woman of wisdom and great strength.

Blog Photo - Canon Claire blesses prayer Shawl

Photo by Hamlin Grange

Joanne Schuetzl helps to distribute the shawls. Having survived some scary health challenges herself, Joanne keeps an eye out for others in the community who may need a prayer shawl, and gently approaches them.

Blog Photo - Cynthia and Joanne

Joanne and Cynthia at Wedding

Hooray for these women and other stars in our communities!

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Filed under A Good Home, Canadian Women, Wonderful Women

Witless Wednesday

Did I tell you about….

… that time I went on a diet, and got a nasty surprise?

It happened around this time last year – Ash Wednesday, the start of the 40-day period of Lent, a time of sacrifice and reflection.

I reflected, decided, and said to myself: “Self, let us agree that, this Lent, we will give up any food that is not healthful.”

Self wholeheartedly agreed.

Self is always up for a good-sounding plan. And this one sounded positively virtuous.

~~

Over the next several weeks, my grocery list consisted primarily of healthful stuff like the following:

  • Oats, Bananas, Pears and Berries
  • Pecans and Walnuts
  • Coconut everything and Quinoa everything
  • Cabbage, Zucchini, Green Beans, Spinach
  • Fish – especially Salmon or Trout
  • Beets, Avocado and Sweet Potato.

blog-photo-recipe-sweet-potatoes-sliced

I felt great. In fact, I felt quite saintly about it, since almost every item was a ‘super-food’. 

~~

Then came an ominous sign.

Things started shrinking.

The waist of my jeans shrank. Then my skirt. Then my other jeans too.

I was flabbergasted. 

Just to be sure, I weighed myself.

I’d gained 6 pounds.

“I don’t understand!” I wailed to my daughter. “I’ve been on a health-food diet!”

“Mom”, she said, in that deliberately patient voice one uses to a 5 year old who stamps her feet and refuses to understand. “It’s not enough to eat super-foods. It’s also a matter of portion control.”

“Portion control?” I sputtered.

“Yes, Mom.”

Portion control… I wrinkled my nose and screwed up my face and stared at her, willing her to retract those words. No luck.

“Are you saying I didn’t ….”

“I’m saying you ate too much avocado, Mom. And sweet potato. And quinoa. And other stuff too.”

Shoot.  

~~

Photo Credit: John Garside

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Filed under A Good Home, Food