Spring Gillard

Repair Man

My computer’s in the shop. It’s a refurbished IMac G5, the power supply is shot. Now they’re having trouble getting the part. Apparently this new-to-me model is considered vintage at six years old. Last year I brought home five different kettles before I settled on one. Two of them broke down within […]

Beyond Candle Hour

My meditation group was hosting a retreat this weekend. We had guests from Washington, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands participating. One of our discussions centred on strategies for extending our practice beyond the set meditation times. It struck me that Earth Hour, the annual turn-out-your-lights-energy-conservation event organized by the World Wildlife Fund, was a […]

Food in the Desert

We hear a lot about food deserts these days, areas that are underserved by grocery stores, but what about growing food in the desert? A real desert. Like Arizona. When I was giving a presentation on food security recently at Simon Fraser University for a course in social sustainability, one of the students was from […]

The Food Train

I’m heading to Portland in May for what promises to be a great conference. But it’s how I’m getting there that is the most exciting. A group of us food folks are boarding the train together in Vancouver, each of us will be packing some great food to share during the eight hour trip. We […]

Village People Plot Garden Coup

Just got back from a garden meeting with my “village”, one of Village Vancouver’s active neighbourhood networks. Some of us have been gardening together communally at Kitsilano Neighbourhood House for the last couple years. That means we don’t have our own plots, but we tend an area together and share in the entire harvest. But […]

Quaking in Kits

I have had my emergency preparedness kit for some time. Problem is, it wasn’t really a kit. The contents were stored around the house in various closets and cupboards. Definitely not in grab and run condition. The magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan prompted me to get my kit together this weekend. A horrifying reminder that […]

Food For All

Last Sunday, 60 Minutes featured a group of families near Orlando, Florida who are now living in their cars or in cheap motels. Entire families are crammed into one room, while their foreclosed homes sit empty. The school bus stops in front of the motels now to pick up the kids, who often sit in […]

Hemming & Hawing

There are three household related tasks I hesitate to do. Well avoid at all costs, really. Washing windows, cleaning out the fridge and mending. You can tell I have some time on my hands, because this weekend I have tackled the least offensive of the three, mending. I’ve hauled out my sewing basket with all […]

Excellence in Design

My brothers are both very creative guys. I have written about the developer brother, but not really about my designer brother, Don. Now’s my opportunity. He just received the Excellence in Design award at the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan’s Spirit of the Arts event on February 23rd. Don submitted a series of his […]