Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Encyclopedia of Me         A - D
Idea from pamlingelbach –SOL 30th March 2018

From the alphabets I selected the first word that I felt connected to. Those
are the words I used for my Encyclopedia.

Appreciative- Experiences help us appreciate what and who we are or what and who
we have become. I could go on and on. Appreciating what we have, especially when
you have had to toil or sacrifice for what we have, makes me think we have to live a
life of being appreciative. This is the case especially when we have good health, as it
is when we are unwell that we unable achieve.

Balance- Finding time for work, family friends and leisure has to be intentional and well
managed otherwise one of them will take over the other. We need balance in our lives
but as a working parent and wife this is sometimes difficult to manage.

Culture-I believe culture is very important. I like what culture makes you. The sense of
belonging provides some security. The identification part of it, and how culture sometimes
makes you unique because you belong to a particular group.

Dancing- I used to be a great dancer, when my knee was young and fit. I enjoyed dancing
and reminisce about times I used to dance all night long. I miss those times. I have this
confession of how in the past, enjoying dancing so much, I wished parties would go on
forever. I now savor the few opportunities I get to indulge in dance.

My Encyclopedia continues next Tuesday.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

A Distant Role Model

A Distant Role Model

As I was growing up in Ghana, West  Africa in the 1970s, we were bombarded
with the name Nelson Mandela. To us he was a giant, a colossal figure, who was
to redeem his people in South Africa. All we knew was that he was in jail and had
been since the early 1960s. For all of my elementary and high school years
Nelson Mandela had been in jail.

The only way we were connected to him and we felt a need to, was by seeking
information about his beautiful, strong and endearing wife, Winnie Mandela. She
was amazing, confident and a stalwart. Our mothers must definitely have been
influenced by her.

A role model for African women at the time. Showing us that we also could! In
Ghana we have many strong women. One woman we learned about at school is
Yaa Asantewaa an Ashanti Queen mother turned warrior. In 1900 she fought for
the rights of her people. She was a great patriarch and so I believe was
Winnie Madikizela Mandela.

Saturday, 31 March 2018


My second Slice of Life Challenge has taught me:

  • to persevere, write daily
  • to prioritize and commit to writing
  • to develop myself as a writer and writing teacher
  • to respect others' words and learn from them
  • to give thoughtful and useful feedback
  • not to give up
  • to choose carefully, thinking about my audience
  • to be creative with words and ideas
  • to think deeply about what and how I write
  • to use the feedback I receive

and be thankful!

Thank you to the organizers and fellow slicers for this opportunity.
This is definitely one of the highlights of my year.

Friday, 30 March 2018


Mama's Pancakes
Mama's pancakes were very special. How she shared them is a
memory that has stayed with me for many years. Hot and perfect
with a nice combination of sugar and salt, there was a special
ingredient at the time that made it distinctive.

At home today 'the pancake event' is still one of the best times we
bond as a family. Whilst I fry, their plates queue up, the nutmeg laced
pancakes are eaten until all the frying is done. There is definitely an
order to it.

The topping that won then and now is creamy and sweet, condensed
milk. It is interesting how tastes transfer through the generations and
history repeats itself. Interestingly the same topping has won, today.

Thursday, 29 March 2018


I got the idea of  'Writing without sight', from Dana Murphy's post on
the 12th of March 2015 - Two Writing Teachers website. I decided
to create one.

Vera's Student-Led Conference

The creaky door slowly closes, I hear foot steps, chairs are dragged
making a scrapping sound. I hear dad's voice, mum asking questions.
Vera is speaking fast. It sounds like French. Of course it it is French.
Sheets shuffle and Vera carries on rattling in French. Laughter, lots of
laughter. this is a happy family. I hear the chair creak. I am sure they are
almost done. Footsteps come towards me.
"Ms. Juliette can I please take the paper from here," Vera asks.

I respond very quietly, not wanting to disturb the other presenter I can hear.
The door closes, I overhear faint sounds, chairs grind and squeak at the same
time. I know a new family has just entered. A little whiff of air comes towards
me, it must be Vera holding the large sheet of the Biome game they created in
class. I hear tapping sounds, they definitely are playing the game. More laughter
and a thump.
"I won!" a male voice croaks.

The light sweep of air passes by me, Vera must be taking the game back to the
carpet. The other student is talking, excitedly. I hear light hums and dad
asking questions.The chairs drag on the floor, I suppose Vera's family are
leaving.                                                                                                                                            "Goodbye, Ms. Juliette."                                                                                                                    "Thank you, Ms. Juliette."
 I wave gently. One family over, nineteen more to go.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018


Our Three Dogs

Chupi, a shih tzu’s family traveled to Australia. They had
been given Chupi by a French family. There was no home
for him. I gladly volunteered to take care of Chupi. An
interesting, fluffy, indoor dog that had been brought up
outdoors. Chupi stays in the garden, roams, sleeps in his
kennel, eats and gets himself really dirty as soon as he is
washed. He is the most loving dog, always at the gate
as soon as he hears the sound of the car. Every evening,
he waits patiently for us. His ritual of coming to my car
door, waiting till I get down, is so heartwarming. He whines
a few times, probably reporting what happened whilst we
were away.

Fifi a half German shepherd, half great dane, became a
member of our family when he was two months old. A
beautiful girl with a velvety grey coat. Fifi having stayed
with us for about two months has grown huge.  She has
a great bond with Chupi, they adore each other. Fifi is
always cuddling Chupi, they are now family.  

Bella, a found dog from the neighborhood. Very lively but
smaller than my four month old, Fifi. Bella is also a mixed
breed, I guess, was found as a newborn puppy in our court
yard, it’s siblings were given away to other neighbors. We
could only keep Bella.

Our three dogs are all totally different and show their
affection in diverse ways. They make our compound lively
with shrill barks when there’s movement at the gate. They
are so warm and welcoming and a very special part of our
extended family.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018


Sitting beside the large window in the cool antique looking room where
the dark wooden furniture had been chiseled into beautiful carved
shapes. The cool jazz piped dreamily from hidden places. Looking
up there was a ceiling that was a calm white, as if needed for this dark

The art work around had images that reminded me of the past,
they were just like photographs shared on pages of historical books.
This must have been the environment they wanted to create, It felt right.

Looking out of the window I saw a very comfortable space. The
shade of a lush low growing tree, creating a cool space, a canopy. Under
that were two single chairs that looked welcoming. They seemed soft
and cozy, a little den created with nature, a nicely woven unique table that
matched the tree. That space was inviting too. We had to choose to be
indoors, cooled artificially or in the warmth outside, an appealing place.

Monday, 26 March 2018


A poetry style found from Poems are Teachers by
“The poem explores the view from two different positions.”

At the Student Led conference

They are listening
Attention grabbed              I am talking
                                            There is so much to share

Many questions
                                                   Pointing and turning pages
                                                   Reading portions of my work
More comments                   Confidence and pride
                                                   Showing my learning

Dad stands
Leans over me                        I speak up, loudly
                                                    Showing illustrations

Mum leans forward
Points to page                       “It’s Geometry I say,’
                                                    Explaining different angles

“What does this mean?”
“What is this about?”         I explain
 I know exactly what I learned.

Sunday, 25 March 2018


A Different Kind of Art

Long and dainty, it swayed with every movement. Indeed it's hem was
like a beautifully painted shimmery garden, with silver flowers holding
on to the net which was the border.

The long dress was regal. It's black net background made it very serene.
The hanging metallic flowers attached sparingly, scattered on the net.
This made it simple but elegant. With a round understated neckline, it
called for an exquisite piece of jewelry.

The sleeve touched the wrist loosely and flared out gracefully. A thoughtful
designer made sure the sleeve related perfectly with the body, so the cut
flower appliques found in the hem were introduced at the edge of the sleeve.

Flattering and loose this piece of art was worn with a beautiful choker and
bracelet that matched the color.

This was my outfit for dinner last night. A piece I cherish.

Saturday, 24 March 2018


Here Comes The Rain
Stepping out of the door, this morning, I was met with the cool, fresh smell of nature, scattered leaves, dampness and a brisk breeze. This reminded me of the mild rain that fell last night. I wondered if it came announcing the arrival of the rainy season.

The season that brings us an abundance of different succulent fruits; mangoes, pineapples and watermelons. Vegetables like
corn appear everywhere.

This is an exciting time of the year, as there is the feeling of comfort that spreads around us. It is also the season that brings growth and joy to people and plants alike. Welcome rain.