Friday, July 24, 2020

See Ya Blogger

I've moved operations over to a new site.

Please visit for new stuff.

(saying goodbye to blogger is very emotional for me, but I don't know what to write about it here so maybe I'll save that for my diary ;-)

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Community Building Initiatives

In response to the call to action put out by the Black Lives Matter chapter in my city, I wrote a letter to my Councillor and our Mayor the other day. I received a response from my Councillor withing 24 hours and it was so off-point as to be laughable.

I wanted to share my letter here.

I will also post links to a tool that BLM Edmonton put together to make it easier to email your Councillor. Please keep the following in mind when sending template emails like this:
1) The organization you are trying to reach can set up filters with the subject so no one ever sees these messages.
2) I have heard rumours that Edmonton council in particular might not be accepting any of these form letters, because they are form letters (which is bullshit, but that's another story).

At any rate, here is my letter.

Good morning Mr. Nickel,

I am sure you are getting a few emails like this in your inbox this week, so I will try to keep mine short-ish and to the point.

As someone who recently moved into a neighbourhood in your Ward that experiences "higher than average" petty crime rates, I understand why the first reaction is to send more police in. Police are supposed to protect citizens. However, my experience tells me that more often than not they protect property, protect white citizens, but cannot appropriately address the long term community-building that we need to make our neighbourhoods safe and healthy for EVERYONE.

These community-building initiatives involve (but are not limited to):
- Affordable housing
- Accessible streets for pedestrians, cyclists, and especially people with mobility aids or other mobility restrictions
- Removing EPS officers from all schools
- Free public transportation
- Harm reduction services
- Food security initiatives

Community-based organizations already exist that can do so many of these things and more, but they are not given the resources. That is, they need money. And at this time especially, considering the added impacts and pressures COVD-19 is putting on them. Instead of increasing the EPS budget, I urge you to consider moving some of those precious funds to community-led organizations, and to invest in affordable housing, mental health programming, and making public transit free.

Increased police presence does not keep us safe. It does not build strong, resilient communities. And it puts Black, Indigenous, other racialized people and marginalized communities at risk for violence.

We have been presented with an amazing chance to turn the tide on racial violence, climate collapse, public health and safety, and move towards a truly just society. Edmonton is an amazing city, filled with smart, passionate people. But we are often failed by our leaders. Please do the right thing now and invest in community alternatives to policing.

Thank you for taking the time to think critically about this issue.

Take care,
Lisa Kercher

I really want to post Mr. Nickel's non-response here, but I don't know the protocol on what is allowed to share of public servants' messages to private citizens. At any rate, I knew by the 4th word that he hadn't actually read my email.

That isn't to say that it wasn't important to send. I hope he gets THOUSANDS of messages like mine in his Inbox. I hope it gets clogged right up. The sheer numbers alone will show him that he is wrong about this. He is on the wrong side.

I will be sending another email tomorrow once I figure out what I want to say next.

xo Lisa

P.S. I always invite open discussion in good faith, but I will not debate racism.


Black Lives Matter YEG - Defund EPS Letter template

Black Lives Matter petition to divest Edmonton police funding gains steam (Edmonton Journal)

Bashir Mohamed - Edmonton's Anti-Black Racism Toolkit

To watch the Edmonton City Council public hearings on this topic you can visit their You Tube channel here. The presentation by speakers starts up again on Monday morning. (There are so many BIPOC reliving their trauma on here...the least us white folks can do is bear witness to it.)

And for more learning about police and prison abolition, Google is your friend my friend. But I can start by recommending the excellent writing of Angela Davis.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

The 100 Day Project - 100 Days of Drawing Houses

Last Tuesday was the official halfway point for this project. Day 50.

And as of yesterday I had finally drawn my 40th house. This is a very labour intensive project for me. It takes me about 30 minutes to draw one house on a 3x5 card, which doesn't seem like much when I write it down here. But it feels like a lot when I'm doing it. This also means that when I fall behind, it's hard for me to catch up. I haven't been booking myself time to work on this, and at the end of the (long long long) day, I sometimes just don't have the energy.

I really enjoy working on it though, and I love how the little houses are turning out! This will be a very impressive collection once completed. Which means, I haven't officially given up. But it's definitely going to take me longer than the 100 Days.

I always get a lot of insights into my creative process during the 100 Day Project, which I think it partly the point. I also learn about which supplies I love and, let me tell you, I am starting to hate cheap pencil crayons!

Sometimes I can barely even believe that these are real, live houses I'm drawing! I am fully aware of the privilege I have in being able to take these photos without getting the cops called on me.



100 Days of Finishing Projects (2019) ...I did not finish this project!
100 Days of Watercolour Whatevers (2017)...I also did not finish this one!
100 Days of Stamp Carving (2017) This one was super successful and very fun!

Saturday, May 30, 2020

In The Garden - Coffee Grounds

The front food garden is coming along SO GOOD! These photos were taken 2 weekends ago, and I can already see a big difference between then and today.

Continuing with some of my zero waste and compost blogs, I wanted to share a little video on how I divert COFFEE GROUNDS from the landfill by using them in my garden.

Gosh Laverne is so pretty right now...

I also learned that coffee grounds are a potential deterrent for whatever animal has been munching on the carrot tops! Very excited!

I do this "treatment" every couple of weeks now. That's about how long it takes to fill up the plastic container. I have lots of garden to cover, and then any extra will go straight into the backyard compost bins.


All of my "Zero Waste" posts are here, and I think I have a few "Gardening" ones saved as well.

I found a lot of great articles about using coffee grounds in your garden on Google. There are some plants that you shouldn't use them with. So always do a little extra research if you're not sure.


All right I’ve got a quick gardening video for you today. I have been saving my coffee grounds for awhile, and I usually put them in my compost but I noticed that Dan wasn't throwing the coffee grounds into the compost bin (under the sink) so I thought, what's an easier way for him to be able to do this so I can still use the ground for something? So this is silly, but this is what I did.

I took this plastic container and it's pretty shallow and I stuck it in the cupboard below where we make coffee. So he has to just open a door, open up the container, and dump it in. We still use paper filters because as you can see there's a hole there. Our percolator you have to punch a hole through the filter and I haven't quite figured out how to make my cloth filters work for that. So today we're going to use coffee grounds in the garden!

The coffee grounds are good for a few things in your garden. They help retain moisture, they help prevent some pests like slugs and stuff. They are supposed to help with worms which I'm not sure how they do. And they also have some good maybe nutrients or something I think I've heard I'm not sure. I use them more for pest deterrent I think this year for me especially and the water retention. And they are super easy to apply.

So yeah to apply you pretty much just you sprinkle them around. I don't want them to clump too much because then it's almost too hard on the top as it dries. You can mix it in too. I don't need a lot. I'm going to do a little better job here when I'm not holding my camera. And that's it! I use a regular dinner spoon because that's my jam I have knives and spoons littered throughout my garden because of course I do. So that's it. A super easy way to divert coffee grounds from the waste stream in the garbage. We drink a lot of coffee as I'm sure many of you folks do as well so this is Black Gold for us for the garden and for our compost. I would love to hear how you use up food surplus. Something that otherwise would go to the garbage in your kitchen.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Mother's Day Lessons

I found this in my DRAFTS list.

Every year I am left feeling disappointed and exhausted on Mother's Day. I read a comment on Facebook from a mom who wrote that the success of Mother's Day depends on having a supportive partner, with other moms chiming in with their experience of reluctant kids, well-meaning kids leaving messes that they'll have to clean up later, and partners and kids who ignore their wishes and requests for their "special day". I felt like cheering.

My kid doesn't care, my partner isn't a parent, so why even bother?

I tried to make a plan this year so that I would at least get to do something I wanted to do. But it was still a huge letdown.

My one bright spot is that Lucas got his step-Mom a present and a card. I mean, I helped him come up with the idea for the gift, took him to buy it, reminded him to make a card, asked him to text his dad to ask when would be a good time to drop it off, and then drove him to their house to drop it off...but it got done.

Being a mom is exhausting, and Mother's Day comes with so much baggage for so many reasons. I love reading the posts on Instagram addressed to those folks who have complicated relationships with the word "mother", and how that presents itself in their lives.

Folks who want to be moms, but aren't.

Folks who have messy relationships with their kids or abusive relationships with their mom.

Folks who have lost children or lost parents.

The list goes on and on and on and on and it frustrates me that being a mom is so complicated. So fraught with explainers, and if onlys, and expectations, and baggage.

When I see the blissful breathless blessed posts the disconnect feels even stronger. Because I know that those posts only show part of the story, and I wonder who they are for. They aren't for me. I contributed to the false front this year, and I really wish I had just kept my fool mouth shut (and my phone off).

Lesson learned. Make a note. Next year Mother's Day is cancelled.

That was from Mother's Day 2019. That was a rough year for me, to say the least!

Sunday was Mother's Day 2020. And guess what I did...

I went to a local coffee shop and read. I went for a walk in the River Valley. I rode my bike to an early dinner/late lunch at my fave little pub. I read some more at home. And I had a sunset photo session with Hayley from Paper Ink Art.

HAHAHAHAHA JK All of those things were COVID-cancelled! Well, almost all of those things were cancelled. I was able to do my "sunset" photo session with Hayley, and it was so lovely.

I tried to make a plan, and ask for what I want and the stupid Universe had other ideas.

I tried though. And I survived. Mother's Day is hard, and that's okay. And Lucas bought me a Blizzard.