I am not a fighter. Early on, I resigned myself to being bullied rather than bully. I’ve kept totally clear of guns — quite content to shoot with just my camera. I don’t even like fishing. I consider it a great privilege to be able to live peaceably. I am
Perhaps my father was lucky. There is a place in the world that he called his own. It's a wonderful place that he could visit and remember and which never lost its essence throughout his own variegated life. That place is Terschelling
This summer, Wendy and I will have our fill. From Barcelona, through Amiens, to Zwolle, Brugge, Maastricht and Leipzig we will be approaching, entering and meditating on cathedrals that beckon with their grace and power to look back through the ages to see God, his Creation and the creativity of
It was a privilege for me to delve deeply into the lives of ‘Opa and Oma’ van der Laan in 2019, while editing and assembling the various writings and photos for the book "The van der Laan Venture" -- memoirs of my grandfather, but also of his wife and several
It is now already five years since the Christmas of 2016 when we last gathered fully as family in Niagara, some three months after Stiny de Jong's funeral. We were drawn together to hang on to that sense of belonging that only a matriarch can supply. We gathered for a
The Ontario Native Plant Gardening Facebook group regularly shares links to informative and interesting articles. But only members have access, and the links are hard to find back, so I have determined to share them again.
When our daughter, Laura, became a Christian Reformed pastor in 2017 I had no idea that we had generations of 'dominees' in our family, as far back as the Dutch Reformation. But recent work with My Heritage has uncovered five centuries of faithfulness and a fascinating story line connecting a
Music is primarily an aural experience. But of the other senses, the visual is next in line. Listeners have long been fascinated with ‘watching’ the music – seeing musicians ‘get into it’ with body and soul, focusing on flying fingers, following along with a score, and reveling in synchronous dance
For me, there’s a string of pearls stretching back from 1991 all the way to 1970. The first AACS (now ICS) August long weekend Family Conference was held in Niagara (Fort Erie) fifty years ago this summer. Along with the ever-increasing number of families taking advantage of the improved camping
God loves you and me. That’s the firm foundation for our faith, as it can be for every one of God’s children. God’s esteem for us is also the foundation of our self-esteem. We know from the history of redemption that God does not hold back this love from those
The desire to talk about things is a natural and important part of our being. That is a reflection Of God's own nature -- God's Word is a testament to His eagerness to talk with us about everything under the sun. We ourselves do talk back, and we talk much
For keeping track of plant names, after sketching and scribbling on sheets of paper, I knew there had to be a better way, and that it should involve my phone in the field, still tied in somehow to my computer in the office. I'd been exploring possibilities for Windows and
The Plant Recorder app is actually elegantly simple and the built-in help screens are more than enough to navigate it. But of course, the app is quite useless until you can get it to relate to your gardens, and getting this setup seemed a bit daunting at first.
With a Plant Recorder's fully functioning and up-to-date XML file it is easily possible to migrate this out again. Excel will open an XML file and present it as columns with headers. From there I can delete columns and/or rows and export to other interfaces, like my Table Press list
There are plenty of pots to fill in the Plant Recorder app. Some I wont bother with. Since the focus of my gardens is plants that are native to Ontario, there’s little point in filling out Country and Region. Habitat is being used for the code ‘N’ to specify Native.
Digging around for attractions to recommend for the van der Laan reunion has brought countless YouTube videos into my path. Most of them are worthwhile, but some stand out because of the depth of their commentary or their eclectic subjects. These I set aside here, for our reference and enjoyment.