Thursday, May 30, 2013

Book Review: Homeless Narratives & Pretreatment Pathways From Words to Housing

From the back cover: On any given night, there are over 643,000 homeless people residing in shelters and on the streets across America. What can we do to help?"Levy crafts stories of characters who sear the memory: Old Man Ray, the World War II veteran who resents the VA system and regards himself as the de facto night watchman at Port Authority; Ben who claims to be a prophet disowned in his own country, crucified by the government and enslaved by poverty finds a bridge to the mainstream services and a path to housing through the common language of religious metaphors, including redemption and forgiveness; and Andrew who has been 'mentally murdered' is helped to understand his own situation and gain disability benefits through the language of trauma; among others.
These stories are deftly interwoven with theory and practice as Levy constructs his developmental model of the engagement and pretreatment process. The outreach worker strives to understand the language and the culture of each homeless individual, builds a bridge to the mainstream services, and helps those providers to understand the special circumstances of these vulnerable people. Levy bears witness to the courage of these pilgrims who wander the streets of our cities, and his poignant book is a testament to the healing power of trusting and enduring relationships."
--Jim O'Connell, MD - President and Street Physician for Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
The reader will...
Experience moving real life stories that demystify homeless outreach and its central objectives and challenges.
Learn about effective strategies of outreach & engagement with under-served populations.
Understand and be able to utilize the stages of common language construction in your own practice.
Learn about pretreatment principles and their applications with persons experiencing untreated major mental illness, addiction, and medical issues.
Discover new interventions via outreach counseling, advocacy and case management with people experiencing long-term or chronic homelessness.
Understand how to better integrate policy, programs (e.g. Housing First), and supervision with homeless outreach initiatives.

I know this seems like an unusual book for me to read but homelessness has become such a huge issue in our society and I wanted to learn more about it from someone who actually seemed to know what they were talking about.  I have to admit I didn't understand all the language used but I also don't have a degree in social work.  Now if you want to talk politics, I do understand that language.

What I noticed immediately is that Jay Levy is a kind and empathetic man.  It is also obvious that he is very good at his job.  Through this book he offers up insight into learning to communicate with the most vulnerable in a way which builds a relationship so that he can offer them assistance and they can understand and accept that assistance.  

What I learned is that society often categorize the homeless in demeaning ways -- drug addicts,
mentally ill, runaways, losers . . . What we forget is that they are people who need our understanding and support.  The problem is that the homeless person has often learned the hard way that the system is not to be trusted.  Mr. Levy offers a way to break through the distrust through communication.

In my opinion, some of the chapters were a bit difficult to read because I'm not a social worky person and don't understand everything written but I believe I did understand most of it.  Levy's heartwarming stories of some of the people he interacted with kept me reading.

I had to finish writing this review because my sister wants to read it next . . . and she is a social worky person and familiar with Jay Levy.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Oriental-style Marinated Salmon


2 servings
Marindade 30 minutes / Preparation 10 minutes / Cooking 20 minutes
160 calories per serving

1 green onion/scallion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp gingerroot, grated
1-1/2 Tbsp soy sauce, low-sodium
1 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
ground pepper to taste
300 g salmon fillet

Finely chop the scallion, mince the garlic, then put them in a shallow dish.  Add the grated ginger, soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, oil, lemon juice and pepper.  Whisk using a fork to combine the ingredients.  It is not necessary to add any salt since the soy and Hoisin sauces are already rather salty.

Put the salon in the dish and turn it to coat with the marinade.  Cover and let stand either 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 190C or 375F.

Remove the salmon from the marinade, letting the excess marinade drip off, then transfer it to a baking sheet, skin side down.  Bake in the middle of the oven about 20 minutes.  Alternatively, the salmon may be cooked on an outdoor grill.

Check with a fork to see if the fish is cooked through.  Separate and lift the salmon from the skin with a metal spatula and serve.  Discard skin.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Three more knitting finishes . . . including one Oddball Square . . .

You know how much I love mystery knit-alongs.
And I love making dishcloths.  This is a win win situation.

Yes, another Oddball Square done.  This one is called Spots and Stripes.
The pattern for this challenging project is at

And last but not least . . . I made all my kids and grandkids scarves and matching hats
in their basketball teams' colours for Christmas.  I decided to make Tim's with a different pattern and that was a mistake.  It was way too long.  Krista loved it because it red, white and black are also Trinidad's colours so she got to keep the too long scarf.  Sad to say but winter was already over by the time I got Tim's replacement scarf finished.  Oh well, it's ready in advance of the next winter.  I hope he likes it.

I love crochet squares . . . really I do . . .

This is the April Afghan Block of the Month at

Can you see the alternating colours peeking through the spaces?

This is the Between the DCs dishcloth.

The pattern is available at 

Sketch #8

I know . . . I know . . . I'm a day late posting . . .

And I really have no good excuse.  I spent the morning with my hubby getting him packed for a long trip and after I took him to work I ran errands.  When I got back home I started watching the first season of Sons of Anarchy and knitting.  The next thing I knew it was late at night and I still had to get something to eat, get my dishes done and save some water because the plumbers are shutting our water off to do repairs.  Isn't my life exciting?

So here it is . . . Tuesday . . .

Anyway . . . the second book I published is called Scrapbooking with Two-Page Sketches, available in colour or black & white.

I hope this sketch which is taken from Scrapbooking with Two-Page Sketches will inspire you to create a layout today.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Our friends respond to an anti-hug comment

You may remember my rant a few weeks back about a mean comment made to my husband regarding the hugging of women who were not his wife.

Well . . .

it caused a huge backlash among our friends.  They were outraged!  The comments of encouragement and love from them were awesome.

And . . .

at the next social engagement we attended (Deb's birthday) when Hal walked in the living room all the women stood up and demanded hugs . . . some even demanded two.  It was so funny and so heart-warming.

Now you know why they are our friends.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sketch #7

The first sketchbook I published was called Scrapbooking with Sketches and available in black & white, colour and ebook editions.

I hope you enjoy the 10+ photo layout from this book.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it inspires you so please share a link to your layouts in the comments section.

New Classes at Memories on Main Street

Sneak Peek

I originally told you a bit about these classes a few months ago at

Well, the classes are written, the layouts designed and I'm so excited to start sharing everything I've learned in the process.
Sunday, May 26th at 3 pm will be the first class in our Design Strategies for Scrapbookers series at Memories on Main Street in Lambeth, ON!!
What's it about? Do you ever wonder where to start as you stare at your blank page? Do you believe you are not as creative as your friends? Are you in a scrapbooking rut? Do you look at your page and know something is just not right but you can't quite figure out what it is?
Relax and take a deep breath as I am going to teach you some exciting design principles to get you back on track.
Our first topic in the series is HOW to Scrapbook HOW you scrapbook. The Lesson, discussion, fun and games and a 2-page layout using the design techniques from this class are included!
Call 519-652-6464 or email now to reserve your seat! The cost is $20 which includes materials. Please bring your basic tool kit and 7 pictures for a layout using the design techniques from the this class. The pictures have to all be landscape orientation which means 6" wide and 4" high (not pictures of a landscape LOL)!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Fiddleheads Soup


2 servings
Soaking 10 min / Prep 15 min / Cooking 20 min
110 calories per serving

1 Tbsp. rice, long grain
240 g fiddleheads
1 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
1/2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cups chicken broth
salt and ground pepper to taste
2 tsp. slivered almonds (optional)

Fiddleheads may be poisonous if eaten raw.  Make sure you wash them well, soak at least 10 minutes also to reduce their bitterness, and cook them in plenty of water.

A blender of food processor will be very useful to puree the soup.

Cook the rice and set aside.

Prepare the fiddleheads:  wash them well, soak them at least 10 minutes, then blanch them 15 minutes in a pot of boiling salted water.  Set them aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the finely chopped shallot and saute 2-3 minutes until it is translucent, taking care not to let it burn.  Add the fiddleheads and cook 1 minute, then pour in the broth and the rice.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 5 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Puree the soup in a blender, then distribute it into bowls and serve.  If desired, garnish each bowl with sliced almonds.

The almonds were a very nice touch of texture.  Hubby enjoyed this soup so much I thought he was going to scrape the finish off the bowl . . . LOL . . . 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sketch #6

Thursday last was a great mail day.  Several books I'd sent to my publisher were ready to be proofed.  All have been approved and are ready to order at

One of my new books is More Scrapbooking with Sketches so I thought I would share a layout from it.  I hope you enjoy the sketch so much that you head right over to my website to order a copy.

More Scrapbooking With Sketches in Colour

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Beautiful Simple Crochet Flowers

This website is in Turkish but most of us have browsers that offer translation services.  Even if you don't have this service the photos speak for themselves . . . and the flowers are adorable.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

April 2013 Scrapbooking Layouts

Before you start thinking that I've been slacking off in April, let me just say that I actually completed quite a few layouts but since they are being published in a couple of books I will be talking about (probably in a few more days) I really can't publish them here.  If I did that you wouldn't want to buy any of my books, would you?  LOL

Lots more pages coming about this trip in May.

Mystery Afghan Knitalong - first strip finally finished

Isn't this an awesome pattern?  And to add to the awesomeness, the designers have included the edging in each strip so when the afghan is sewn together it will be finished.  This is the first strip published for this mystery knit-along at Holiday Mystery Gifts.

When Mom had her knee replacement surgery a few weeks ago I spent the waiting room time knitting and finished half of the second strip.  When I read the pattern I wasn't sure I was going to like it.  But once I started knitting it, I realized I really did like the pattern.  I'll share as soon as it is finished.

Oddball Afghan Square: Magic Diamond

Very happy I had figured out the wrap and turn stitch.  The problem is I'd been doing it wrong initially and discovered I preferred doing it the wrong way . . . what can I say . . . I am a knitting rebel!!

Three cutie-patootie paper piecings

I use paper piecings all the time on my layouts. They are fun and personal and each one is different. It has become a habit to make a few extra piecings instead of just one. I now have a lot of paper piecings . . . and they are looking for homes . . .
I love these tiny little bees.  They are only 50 cents each.

Who doesn't have at least one little monkey in their family?  
These adorable little fellas are available for only $3.00.

Moose hold a very funny place in our family lore.
These moose my be stoopid but they are also only $3.00.

Stamping with distress paint . . .