Ice Crystal Formation on Window. How animals survive winter: when outside looks like this, how do you survive?

Buried or Frozen: How Animals Survive Winter


“Boys, I need your help.” It was a cold winter evening and I was walking the boys home from daycare. “What do you need Mami?” “I need a topic for Wild City,” I replied. As much as winter can be wonderful in the city, I was fresh out of ideas. “Why don’t you write about… Read More »

The Reason I Translate: Martie Swart's photograph of hanging animal wind chimes

The Reason We Translate


So I wrote and rewrote a whole column for this week. And then I scrapped it. Around midnight, what it was that I really wanted to write about came to me. I got into bed and noticed the book The Reason I Jump beside the bed. I’ve read this book, have given it to others… Read More »

In between days: Georgia has a very big and very warm hat

In Between Days


I know early adolescence is a difficult, challenging and complex time. For the adolescents and the parents, that is. I never imagined that the health care system would find the whole kid-with-a-developmental-delay-and-autism entering adolescence such a huge challenge. But apparently, it does. I haven’t quite figured out how to maneuver through the place we’re in,… Read More »

Salt Experiment - how salt affects ice

How Salt Affects Ice — and Our City


This collection of easy science activities making the rounds pointed me to this super fun science demonstration using ice and salt. It’s the perfect thing to do with the boys now that Toronto is in the deep freeze (again). After all, we have seen a lot of ice and a lot of salt lately. “What do… Read More »

Dropped Fork

Fork On The Floor – Memes Mean So Much More


According to Richard Dawkins, who first coined the word meme in 1976, the term is derived from the Greek word mimëma, meaning ‘something imitated.’ Memes can be dispersed vertically from parents to children, or horizontally spread through means like the media and peers. And of course, memes can be spread via a 14-year-old for whom repetition and… Read More »

Georgia and Nancy

Almost-Resolutions and Luge Rides


It’s a New Year. Again. I’ve always been one of those people who resists making New Year’s resolutions. But towards the end of December, I inevitably start to think about what I’ll do better or more of or less of in the coming year. I tend not to call these resolutions or write them down,… Read More »

Winter Wonderland

Find Your Winter Wonderland


Winter is a wonderful season. It seems strange to write this after the city was hit hard by an ice storm but I really mean it. This year in part thanks to this column I have discovered the joys of experiencing the seasons. In winter this means taking the time to silently watch snow falling… Read More »

fischtunke in pot



I’m German on my mother’s side, or more precisely, Silesian, a province which was turned over to Poland at the end of  World War II. The majority of German Silesians, including my family, were expelled. My Oma told a story about a long, slow train ride she took with her young daughters and sister at some… Read More »

Family Man

Family Man


So, I’m sitting in my fertility doctor’s office when I discover that becoming a single mom by choice is a fertility issue — and all my appointments are covered through OHIP. “Of course you have a fertility issue,” the doctor says, “You have a lack of sperm.” Indeed. A familiar story but choosing said sperm —… Read More »

toronto winter owls

Toronto’s Winter Owls!


I had the distinct feeling that I was not alone. The wind chilled my face and ice crunched under my feet. I scanned the trees looking for anything that seemed just a little out of place, but I could see nothing on the leafless branches. I’d been out in the cold for over two hours.… Read More »

Spongebob Nutcracker: not one of the BEST TOY PICKS 2013

Our ‘Activity Book’ Columnist’s Best Toy Picks 2013


The holiday season is bearing down upon us. It’s been edging ever closer for a while — and now it has lurched into undeniable view. Turn away if you like, but it will remain in your line of sight. Shortly those lights will be front and centre, and carols will soundtrack your every excursion. Did… Read More »

pierced ears

“Ears. Pierced.” Georgia Makes A Plan


A few years ago, Georgia admired someone’s earrings and so we explained to her what was involved. She listened(ish) to us, looked back at the shiny earrings and said plainly, “Georgia. Ears. Pierced.” At that moment the campaign began. Over the past few weeks she was asking more adamantly. Or rather just stating, “My ears… Read More »


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