Retirement lifestyle

On Reader Identity and Its Importance

Another useful article from teacher Pernilles!

Pernille Ripp

I was asked recently why the need to focus on reader identity.  Won’t that develop normally if we just focus on skills and all of the things we do within our reading communities?  In the past, I would have said, maybe, perhaps reader identity develops no matter what we do, now, however, my answer would be a little more complicated than that.

Yes, reader identity develops in whichever way with whatever we do in our classrooms.  This is how we end up with the difference in readers.  Those who love to read, those who tolerate it as a means to a purpose, and those who cannot wait to tell us just how much they hate reading.

But to develop a meaningful reader identity, one that goes beyond the obvious questions of are you a reader or not, we have to have teaching opportunities where students can explore what their reading…

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Dancing, Food, Restless Retiree, Retirement lifestyle, Tennis

This Week’s Hit: Savoury Polenta Pie and an Old Favourite

I’ve made this savoury polenta pie, adapted from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook, several times but this version was the best so far! The crust was thick and rich (the addition of Parmesan) and the novelty of whipped baked squash filling took this savoury pie to the next level! I topped it off with sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, yum!

I use a 10-inch Emile Henry pie dish to achieve the chewy, thick crust. The pie dish has built-in fluting so even an amateur like me can impress my family and friends with my pie’s presentation! You can find the original recipe here:  Mollie Katzen’s Polenta Pie

Earlier this week I satisfied my love of sweets with this Applesauce Bran Loaf adapted from my brother-in-law who says it’s adapted from a weight-watchers recipe! I prefer to make my own baked goods to control the amount and type of sweeteners and fats included. Here’s the recipe:

Applesauce Bran Loaf:  Grease a standard loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine and beat thoroughly: 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 1/2 cup applesauce (or mashed banana or combination), 1/2 cup molasses

Add and mix until smooth: 2 cups flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup wheat bran, 2 cups oatmeal

Press into baking pan pushing dough into corners and leaving a depression in the middle (this will rise during baking). Bake about 70 minutes until done (check that a knife comes out clean).

Every time I make this loaf it’s a bit different, depending on what’s in the cupboard! This version included walnuts and dried apricots. I ran out of wheat bran so I included a cup of toasted wheat germ. Instead of using the two cups called for in the recipe, I prefer only using one cup, this results in a moister loaf. I like a thick slice toasted with a dab of butter!

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Of course, all that eating has to include some exercise! Here I am dancing at the Kitsilano Showboat on Canada weekend and working on some tennis drills at our local courts, whew time for a snack!

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How about you, what are you doing this summer to stay fit and fed?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Retirement lifestyle

I discovered teacher Pernille Ripp on WordPress a few months ago. I especially liked her recent article on supporting children’s interest in reading through graphic novels (aka comic books). Here she shares her struggles with work and family commitments and the hard decision to slow down and take a break for herself and her family.

This is a personal post. I won’t be offended if you skip it. But as always, this little tiny space on the internet, is my place for the thoughts I carry with me and the thoughts I have right now are about this tiny space and the role I play. Two weeks ago, I was […]

via i am sorry — Pernille Ripp

i am sorry — Pernille Ripp

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Retirement lifestyle

On Real Reading and the Kids We Teach

I always look forward to Pernille’s articles. This one talks about reluctant readers and graphic novels (aka comic books!)

Pernille Ripp

I asked our oldest daughter, Theadora, how many books she thought she had read this year.  Crestfallen and quiet she answered four.  Four?  I asked, confused.   How can you only have read four?  She reads all of the time, never without a book, always asking to read just one more page before the lights are turned off.

Don’t you mean real books, mom?

Real books? I said.  What are real books?  I mean all books, graphic novels included.

She lit up.  Fifty, Mom, maybe more, at least fifty though.

Fifty books for a child who didn’t think they would ever be a reader because reading was just too hard.

Fifty books for a child who has been in reading intervention for four years.

Fifty books for a child who wasn’t sure that she would ever get through a whole book on her own, at least not one with a lot…

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Food, Retirement lifestyle

Spring Shopping at the Farmers’ Market and a Few Grab ‘n Go Ideas from Granville Island

Recently, I went to one of our local farmers’ markets and at an organic vegetable stand I selected some rhubarb, a shallot, some spinach and Jerusalem Chokes.  I had no experience with the knobby, brown chokes but another shopper assured me that they are a tasty root vegetable you can boil in water.  At the lone bakery booth I bought a loaf of  bread for a pricey $7 that turned out to be burnt along the bottom crust. A defect I missed when purchasing.

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That night I sautéed spinach to go along with the lightly boiled chokes and some barbequed chicken.

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The next day I tried to salvage the bread by cutting off the burnt crusts and incorporating the remaining cut-up bread into an egg bake but I discovered that soggy bread isn’t very appealing. It tasted better the next day after it had a chance to firm up a bit.  The rhubarb purchase was more successful, after I cooked it on the stove top with a splash of maple syrup it made a tart and tasty topping for ice-cream and yogurt. It also worked well in smoothies in my new Ninja blender.

This was my first trip to a farmers’ market this spring and I’m planning to go weekly during the summer months to all of the markets operating in and around Vancouver.

A Few Grab ‘n Go Ideas from Granville Island

Here are a few items I regularly prepare for lunch or dinner that I pick up at Granville Island, a ten minute walk from my condo.

This first option is fresh pasta stuffed with various vegetables and cheese. With some prepared pesto and a bunch of spinach wilted into the cooked pasta it makes a great meal for lunch, or dinner. Tip: remember to reserve a bit of the starchy cooking water to loosen up your sauce and help it stick to the pasta.

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Toss in some tomato to add colour and more nutrition and finish it off with fresh herbs and a dusting of grated Parmesan.

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Another favourite take-away is a small ‘pizza’ (they call it focaccia) from Terra Breads, very yummy, this one’s potato. I rarely order take-out pizza as this satisfies any craving I may have for a doughy, salty treat.  Heat it up at a low temperature in the oven (never microwave bread items) for a delicious snack or add a soup or salad to make a meal.

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Another favourite is candied salmon that I buy at the fish monger in the market. I like to crumble it up and add to a salad, stir fry or pasta dish. It’s expensive but it packs in a lot of flavour for only a small amount.

I like to flavour my stir fries with fresh lemon, salt, pepper and some crushed garlic and olive oil.

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Here’s the finished salmon & vegetable stir-fry rounded off with brown rice & barley.

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I’m lucky to live in a neighbourhood with so many food shopping options! I’ll share more soon!

 

 

 

 

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Biking, Restless Retiree, Retirement lifestyle

Biking the Arbutus Greenway

We planned to do the Grouse Grind but it doesn’t open until 1pm on weekdays so we opted to bike the Arbutus Greenway to Fraser River Park. It’s an easy ride at just over 20km round trip from the start at the 6th and Fir Park. The pathway is fully described on the Let’s go Biking website.

Once we climbed past King Edward we stopped for a photo, the views are spectacular. This one’s looking out to the North Shore Mountains over the rooftops of Point Grey.

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All of the intersections are finished on the pathway so it’s easy to cross the major roads like Broadway, King Edward and 41st but you have to watch out for other cyclists, and of course pedestrians, as it can get congested in spots. At Marine Drive we reached the end of the separate bike trail, but our goal was to go right down to the river, so we continued our adventure by following Marine Drive down to the Fraser River Park.

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On the way down to the river we stopped to admire the view of the marina and cycled down to ride around the Milltown Bar & Grill parking lot.  The restaurant doesn’t open until 11am and the reviews say it fills up fast. We definitely plan to return for lunch before summer’s end!

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We followed the Fraser River Park trail until we reached a big frost fence with a Dangerous Do Not Enter sign against the perimeter of the McCleery Golf Course.

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We circled back to check out the park. A couple of people chatted together while their dogs enjoyed some off-lease freedom by running along the little beach,  splashing in and out of the river and barking their pleasure. The park has a network of boardwalks so you can bike right out along the shoreline.  We ventured out onto the pier to watch a tugboat chugging downriver to take care of some business and a plane descending through the trees on its approach to the Richmond airport. At the dock there’s a plaque explaining the history of how labour, government and business worked together to build the pier in 1988.

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After we had our fill of the scenery we rode back up to the street and stopped at the Friend’s Café, a little restaurant serving local businesses.

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It was a beautiful morning and we enjoyed a feast of gorgeous views on our ride back home.

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We still plan to get to the Grouse Grind but we’ll have to wait a couple of weeks until it reopens after its annual grooming before the summer onslaught of tourists!

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Tidying

Spring Cleaning the KonMarie Way

 

Last year I was smitten by the teachings of tidying guru Marie Kondo and I’m not the only one. KonMarie (nickname) is an international phenomenon and if you haven’t heard of her by now you’re in for a treat.

I started my tidying journey based on KonMarie’s principles last October. After reading her manga book even my husband was convinced.

I wasn’t completely faithful to KonMarie’s step- by step approach. I couldn’t dump my entire wardrobe on the floor to sort in one day as she recommends in her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up   because depending on the season, at any one time, half of my wardrobe is stored away in a unit in the basement.

As I mentioned my husband, Vaughn, is into it too. His sock drawer is now neatly arranged with everything folded into thirds and standing at attention. KonMarie correctly states that we can get more in our drawers when the vertical space is maximized, plus you can see what you’ve got. It’s not buried underneath other stuff, sadly forgotten.

Here’s our kitchen spring cleaning before and after photos. Vaughn is great with the storage drawer! As KonMarie recommends haul everything out and determine if it “sparks joy” and then place it back, or discard / recycle.

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We also emptied out our kitchen pantry / hall closet:

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Here’s the after, removed my winter coats and jackets so now our closet has space and breathing room (you have to read KonMarie to get this!)

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As my parents always said, “A place for everything and everything in its place!”

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