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Janice DePeel

We’ve Come a Long Way… or Have We?

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been reading cookbooks printed prior to the nineteen sixties.  Part of my interest is finding some vintage recipes that I can prepare for my family.  Hopefully they will enjoy them and these gems can become part of our monthly menus.  However, another part of my interest stems from the history the recipe books actually hold.  In a lot of ways, I find these recipes to be archives of the history of the people who lived at that time.  And we sure do eat a lot differently, for the most part, now than people did back then!  I am sure the Canada food guide influenced the decisions people made when making food choices, as they do now.  

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Self Care Essential To Feeling Well

Lately I’ve heard people comment how worn down they’re feeling and it felt like they didn’t really have a summer this year as it’s been the “worst year ever” due to the pandemic.  While usually I might agree with them, there have been things influencing my perception of life in general as we were forced to isolate ourselves several months ago.  I’m still not ready to socialize as I used to but I am grateful for the opportunities I have to interact with people over social media.  And I am taking advantage of little things that may not seem significant to you, but they have helped me to keep a hopeful eye on when life can be more “normal” while building memories with my little ones along the way.  

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And So THIS is Progress

As a new school year begins for my children I am contemplating what their academic year would look like if I sent them to public school.  I have home schooled my children from the get go so the threat of catching COVID hasn’t influenced my decision to educate them at home and I find that I really enjoy being able to use moments in our everyday life as an opportunity to teach.  And to be honest, I feel a bit of pity for those children who ARE going to school outside of the home.  I’m not saying my lesson plans are better than what children are receiving in school but I am saying with only two learners, I have time to give them one-on-one daily interaction with their learning.  And we aren’t constricted to such a rigid schedule with lessons taught strictly between 9am – 3:30pm, supplemented with homework assignments.  I like being able to educate my children ‘after hours’, which includes family nights where we play games, bake, cook, talk about things that are on their mind and just interact with one another.  We enjoy field trips, that sometimes last three or four days, going to the zoo and researching animal habitats once we get home.  There is always something new to discover and we take every opportunity to learn and supplement the curriculum with practical activities such as making dinner, learning about rainbows, earthworms or dragonflies and everything interesting we discover along the way.  It’s like school, but without the structure of rows of desks, specific time limits for teaching certain subjects and the instructor remains the same, every day.  

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PA Famer’s Market Full of Delights

Stepping out of our vehicle early Saturday morning my family and I first noticed the smell of sausages cooking as smoke billowed in the air.  Had we not already eaten earlier, the delicious aroma alone would have had our stomach hungrily rumbling.  Instead, we started visiting vendors selling their wares and we took our time enjoying the wonderful treasures we saw at each booth.  We were careful not to touch unless we were buying an item but we were still able to ‘window’ shop and look at some wonderful displays.  

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Sad Goodbye to a Queen

I am fortunate life provided me with a way to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher when I thought I didn’t stand a chance of fulfilling that goal.  For whatever reasons, the University put an equal value on mature students who might not have graduated from high school as they did on those who did.  Because of this, I had my chance to pursue, and earn, my Bachelor of Education degree.  The years since have allowed me to pursue education online, for my second diploma, and then in person for my last degree.  I haven’t decided if I’m done yet but I’m thankful the option for further education is open to me.  Due to health, I may need to pursue another occupation that will allow me to face the daily challenges I encounter in a way that will help me feel successful and relevant.  In the meantime, the same challenges that are taxing me also have me reflecting on how grateful I am.  

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Wednesday August 4, 2021