The Reluctant Farm Wife

I write a column for The Winnipeg Review, an online literary magazine. My second column was published February 21, 2012 and is online here. Excerpt: I invented the iPod. I was walking past an antique store and saw a jukebox, and thought: “how amazing, to own a personal jukebox – you could have all your…

Teleportation & Animal Kinship

My alternate personality: Mellow Yellow, the Bootlegger (screenshot from Glitch.com)

Re-Skilling in a Virtual Reality … I’ve never been a gamer. Aside from Mahjong Solitaire and the occasional click through Minesweeper I’ve never been tempted. Perhaps it’s because I already spend the majority of my day staring down a computer screen, so when I earn a free evening or weekend I prefer to debate philosophy…

Homemade Soap

Uncured soap made by Heather!

A theme is emerging with these re-skilling workshops: we’re learning to do things that our ancestors used to do, but then society got a little too efficient and now we depend on companies and other people to do these basic things for us. As a result, some of the most simple tasks now seem magical.…

How To Drink

Mike Gelling with Renaissance Women

We began the workshop with champagne, and it was immediately my favourite Renaissance Women gathering. Everyone oohed and ahhed at the table set for 14, almost covered in shiny wine glasses and 14 place settings. “Wine appreciation” made it onto our list of skills to learn sort of as a joke, but it easily topped…

Random How-Tos

baking soda

Here are some how-tos I’ve picked up sporadically throughout my 31 years: How to clean a ceramic teapot Rinse the teapot with water. Dump in a bunch of baking soda. Wait 5 seconds, then wipe the teapot with a wet cloth, smooshing around the baking soda. It’ll be spotless, and without using any gross chemicals.…

The Slow Wedding

Wedding priorities = good wine and no engagement ring.

At first I didn’t think our upcoming December 2011 wedding was suitable for my re-skilling blog. It’s not like I’ll be able to knit socks afterward. But once we started brainstorming priorities and plans, I realized that weddings are just another example of how out of touch my generation has become with the essentials. Just…

A Hard Row to Hoe

Heather hoes the weeds from her kitchen garden

My four-day Easter weekend started with a beautiful sunny day, so I asked Brock what I could do in my garden. (How handy, to have my own personal gardening advisor.) Brock had spaded my kitchen garden a week or two ago, but he wasn’t able to get at the 15′-ish-long row between the two fruit…