Your Family Village

My Mom, Elma was a ferociously loving, generous, compassionate, and spiritual human. Not a day goes by that I am not grateful for having been raised by my parents, Elma and Julius. Their values inform how I conduct my business, my law practice, my friendships and my family life.

These are some of my stories.

Embrace Relying Upon Others

  Too busy to read? You can listen to the podcast instead!   In today’s episode I want to talk about our culture of independence and how it may not be the best thing for us. A number of years ago I had my Tarot cards read. Now, for some of you that might sound a bit...

Gezelligheid: Creating Happy The European Way

Too busy to read? You can listen to the podcast instead!   Hello from Haarlem! This week’s blog post comes to you from Netherlands, where I visited briefly. It seems so appropriate that I would be in North Holland to learn first-hand about the concept of gezelligheid,...

The Hygge Life: How To Create A Family

Too busy to read? Have a listen on my podcast instead!     In last week’s podcast I talked about the Danish concept of hygge (‘hue-gah’), a set of guidelines for staying cozy in the long, dark winter months. About slowing down and paying attention to the little...

Creating the Hygge Life: Guidelines for Living

Too busy to read the whole thing? Have a listen on my podcast instead!  Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) in essence is the Scandinavian concept of being cozy. The concept originated in Denmark generations ago, and is described as the feeling of being comfy. In practice,...

I Am Calling Out The Nuclear Family

The Nuclear Family Sucks! Here is Why, and What You Can Do About It. (If you'd rather listen to me talk about this blog post on my podcast, here it is!)   Let’s look at what family means under a dictionary definition. Dictionary.com defines a Nuclear Family as: “A...

Basketball

I hear that many people look back on their elementary school gym classes with fondness. Me. Not so much. My emotional experience of gym class ranged between mildly awkward to extremely humiliating. Three times each week, I loathed how my school day, that is the part...

That God-Damned Trudeau

Dad, always left-leaning politically, was probably progressive in a way that was ahead of his time. He and my uncles would always bet a bottle of booze as to which of their favourite political parties would win each federal or provincial election. My Dad would always...

Watching Movies With Elma

Mom said she was diagnosed with Saint Vitus Dance (or Sydenham's Chorea) as a child. Saint Vitus Dance comes from a childhood infection often brought on by rheumatic fever. Although Saint Vitus Dance most often resolves by the time people reach adulthood, Mom...

Because Being Kind Grows:

I am embarrassed to say that I have not always been kind. I have been that person at the other end of the phone with a customer service representative (my cell phone company, cable provider, or what have you) and became not only unkind but rude or abusive. I have, in...

Introduction to Growing Up Hemminger

So, um, I have been working on a memoir about how I grew up. Here is me taking a stab at saying what it is about: This is a memoir written by a profoundly imperfect person. Despite this, she hopes her story is still worth telling. Val says that everything she creates...

Because Family is About the Heart

As a divorce lawyer I deal with people all day long who are at an end of their spousal relationships. In our culture as a whole, we often see divorce as a bad thing. It is an end. It marks the failure of two people not being able to make it through to “the end.”...

Wonder OIl

Elma held two absolute and incontrovertible beliefs. One of those beliefs was in the existence of God. The other was that Wonder Oil cured everything.  Wonder Oil is still available for purchase. It is topical remedy-type oil containing cloves and menthol. It is...

On Clearing The Kitchen Table

Never have I experienced home like I did on 11407-207 Street, in Hammond. Our house could be described as boisterous, messy, and very very busy. There were always kids in various stages of growth from small active children to sullen teenagers gripped in the throws of...

A Day of Firsts

I have always hated the “c” word. Here is why. It was a summer day when I was about 7 or 8 years old. It would be a day of a lot of firsts. I think Hammond, our small community on the mainland area of British Columbia, represented as rather rough in the 70s. A working...