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Posts tagged “special needs

Broken Memories


Standing outside the Veterinarian’s office on a Saturday –

taking random photos,

keeping my mind on composition and lines.


Will have to comeback later,

alone at home when the call comes –

an unexpected outcome,

the cat would not be coming home.


Memories & emotions break –

vivid colours and hard contrasts –

framed in a question;

How do you to tell sweet Downs daughter,

her  Zorro-cat won’t be coming home ?


Weeks later –

preparing images, composing lines –

still broken in hard vivid contrasts.




In From the Cold – Party Time

Who is There

Who is there ?

in from the cold 1


in from the cold 2

Time to come in from the cold and …… Party.

Time to Party mt


It was my daughter’s 21st birthday this week. We actually celebrated earlier , a couple of weeks back to try to guarantee warm temperatures and hopefully milder weather. Well it was warmer than it is now. May have to do with the Frozen Theme for the party.  We had most of Tasha’s friends and cast-mates  from Elliot Lake Roundabout Exceptional Puppeteers make it, plus a couple of parents and Cora Richer – Tasha Respite worker extraordinaire and good buddy.

EL Roundabout Cast & Crew1



Tasha was spoiled with gifts and blessed with friends, though One member of the family was convinced it was all about him.

For Me ?

For Me ?


In spite of the overcast sky, for many Party Time started with pool time.

Pool Time 1


Pool Time 2

Safety was guaranteed by Odin, the Lifeguard Poo(l)dle.

Pool Lifeguard  Dog does safety check.

Pool Lifeguard Dog does safety check.


Everyone who wanted to go go in the pool had lots of opportunity, some had several dips during the afternoon. No one was left out of activities.

Pool Time available for everyone.

Pool Time available for everyone.


Pool Bliss 1

Pool bliss – Henry has landed.

Pool Bliss 2

Party time means karaoke! Give them that old-time singing.

Time to Sing

If you don’t want to sing and dance , how about some Foosball ?

Fooseball Time1

Eventually it was time to open the gifts.

Gift Time gh


It was then time to eat.

Chillie in the Crockpot

We had prepared chili the night before. I had included what was left of a BBQ-ed Beef Brisket I had prepared earlier in the week. Liz had all the garnishings ready and had prepared her excellent potato salad.  I had baked a couple of French style sourdough baguettes that had chopped toasted garlic amongst the ingredients.

Sourdough Garlic Bread

Just to make sure there was enough food & variety available, ( Liz & I have strong ethnic backgrounds – never enough food, especially homemade.) there were Mild Italian & Honey Garlic sausages from the grill. 

BBQ Sausages


The only thing needed to top it off was lots of smiling friends to enjoy the day,……


Smiling Friends

……  and cake ( ice-cream optional , when is it ever optional ?) !

Cake Time

To bring the festivities to a close and emphasize warmth over Frozen, there was a pinata .  Swing that stick !

Pinata 1


Pinata 2


Pinata 3

Pinata 4


Pinata 5

Pinata 6

Open says sesame (swinging a stick).

Pinata Opened


Fun was had by all with treats and games for everyone. And Mom got a big thank-you kiss.

Thanks Mom


Oz – Wonderland Tours

Oz & Wonderland Tour Postcard


Wizard of Oz & Wonderland Rabbit - Puppets

Wizard of Oz & Wonderland Rabbit – Puppets


Here are some postcards from the OZ~Wonderland Tour. They were created using shots from my wife’s troupe – The Elliot Lake Roundabout Exceptional Puppeteers. There is a mix of life-size puppets, shadow puppetry and black-light puppets used in the production.  The performers include Special Needs students from E.L.S.S. and  Rockhaven School  & Exceptional Needs young adults from the community. Besides Liz, there are two assistants supporting the troupe. For more information see Liz’s new blog E.L. Roundabout Exceptional Puppeteers.  See you round & about.


Oz & Wonderland Tour Postcard 2

In the Court of the Red Queen

Court of The Red Queen


This piece was created using shots from my wife’s latest theatrical project. Working with a mix of puppets and pantomime style production she put together a Alice meets Dorothy tale that is performed by a group of Special Needs individuals from our community. So far there have been two performances at local schools. Next week they perform at a senior’s home.

Note : The rabbit is a life-sized puppet. The Mad Hatter is played by a respite worker. The group is called The Round-about Exceptional Puppeteers .

Is Somebody Singing

Bus 757

Liz & I were down to Rockhaven for a luncheon and presentation a few days ago. Rockhaven is a special school full of special people made up of friendly students & caring staff. Liz has been working on her big retirement project with a group of the students and I serve as Vice Chair on the Parents Council.

Rockhaven Crest gld

Today’s post presents some images that are part of the everyday experience of students, parents, and staff of Rockhaven School for Exceptional Students . As you can see, it is obviously in Northern Ontario, trees, rock, snow, melt on the pavement & a hockey net.

Waiting for Pick-up

The school buses were getting ready to take the students home after a very active day. The day had included a special lunch & visitors ( RTO members). A puppet presentation on autism that was funded with a grant from RTO ( Retired Teachers of Ontario). There was a presentation by RockHaven’s Exceptional Puppeteers ( Liz’s retirement project), and it all wrapped up with all the students singing/signing “Is Somebody Singing” (a song composed by Chris Hadfield & Ed Robertson).

Rockhaven -Exceptional Puppeteers

I believe these images help put life into a bit of perspective. The school is a wonderful educational community and the students there have much to teach us. I imagine Chris Hadfield can see Rockhaven from the International Space Station, the students shine brightly enough.

April - Is Somebody Swinging Mtt