Book ‘digs up’ native stories

June 5, 2017

I majored in history (or ‘herstory’ as I sometimes called it in order to emphasize that women have contributed equally to our past) at University of Winnipeg where I received my Bachelor (Bachelorette?) of Arts.

It was in those years, at the end of the 1970s, that I realized it is important for us to know about the past in order to carry forward what was good about it and to build on that positive as well as to try to avoid repeating what is negative in our history.

Reading women’s stories from the past help us learn from the female perspective so that we have a more complete understanding of how we should progress. The following article focuses on a compilation of stories that help fill in the gaps:

Gulf Islands Driftwood

May 21, 20??

Book ‘digs up’ native stories

by Tanya Lester

The story of retrieving important work done by two Chemainus-area women was the focus of author Chris Arnett’s talk at the Salt Spring Historical Society (SSHS) annual general meeting last week.

The Salt Spring writer told a 40-member audience at Central Hall that he spent a decade putting the stories told in the 1930s — mostly by Mary Rice, a Coast Salish noble woman who was born on Kuper Island — into book form.

The result is Two Houses Half Buried in Sand: Oral Traditions of the Hul’qumi’num’ Coast Salish of Kuper Island and Vancouver Island by Beryl Mildred Cryer, compiled and edited by Chris Arnett and published by Talon Books. It was launched at the SSHS meeting.

Arnett explained the title by focusing on the book’s cover photograph of a long-house and a neighbouring dwelling half buried in sand on Kuper Island as a metaphor for the Rice stories being “buried” in boxes at the BC Archives.

Rice, a midwife and seer who could intuit into the past and the future, was interviewed by Beryl Cryer, a Chemainus journalist. Cryer wrote the 60 unabbreviated stories for The Daily Colonist. Arnett pointed out that the Victoria newspaper gave the pieces submitted by this “gifted writer” a prominent place in many issues of its Sunday edition.

Arnett said the pieces range from one explaining the origins of the Coast Salish, who were “born out of the sky during a huge thunderstorm” to “a man who could charm fish with a rattle and charmed them from others he was in disagreement with.”

Born in New Zealand to an upper-class British family, Cryer’s interest in native story telling probably stemmed from her childhood connection to the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides movement. Cryer’s family, who arrived in Chemainus in the 1890s, had such strong ties with the Coast Salish that Cryer’s father, who was a police officer, is shown posing in a photograph of a potlatch at a time when the Canadian government had outlawed the practice.

Arnett said researching native land claims was also against the law. This, he believes, is what motivated Rice and other natives to want to tell the Coast Salish stories to Cryer when they were approached by the writer. Key elements of the native culture were extremely endangered by the legislation of the time.

It was to Cryer’s advantage that although she could not speak the Natives’ language, she could understand it. Being paid for the articles by the column inch also probably provided this “gifted writer” with the added financial incentive to record the stories without paraphrasing, said Arnett.

Cryer had wanted to publish the stories in a book and communicated with a museum curator concerning this possibility. The curator eventually turned the newspaper clippings glued onto foolscap over to the provincial archives.

Arnett “discovered” them when reading a university masters’ paper that made references to the stories.


Tanya now works as a psychic doing tea leaf readings, tarot, psychic channeling, mediumship and gypsy card readings. She is also a reiki master and fulltime housesitter. To find out more and to access her services, go to her website at or contact her directly at her email: or text or call her at 250-538-0086.

Tanya’s book are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reading and Friends I Never Knew that are available from or from the author. She also wrote Dreams and Tricksters as well as Women Rights/Writes. These books are available in some public libraries.

To read more posts on this blog of eclectic previously published stories and other writing, go to and

Tanya Lester

May 31, 2017

In the early 1990s, I taught a number of writing courses, both creative writing and autobiographical.

I believe often what we want to be our lifework comes to us when we are very young. As a pre-teen and even ttenager, I often thought I would like to be a teacher or a nurse.

I ended up doing both but not in the mainstream style. I taught writing courses and later, I taught people how to do the ancient art of tea leaf reading.

Giving people intuitive readings is often very healing. I also integrate reiki into what I do which is profound energy healing. I send reiki before giving a reading, to animals while I housesit them and generally to people around the world who are struggling.

Not a typical nurse nor a typical teacher but I work in ways that add to the passion of what I do.

The following is my short biography that was printed and ran in the publication of the University of Winnipeg Continuing Education program which was one place where I taught:

University of Winnipeg Continuing Education — Writing Program

Tanya Lester

Do you like to dabble in writing or maybe you have already written a short story or have an idea for a novel?

Do you want some creative direction from a published author and the chance to meet other aspiring writers in a relaxed atmosphere?

Tanya Lester, Creative Writing Instructor in our Writing and Journalism Program can guide you through the writing process.

“I have noticed more of an interest in writing in the past few years, especially as people realize there are good Canadian writers out there,” Tanya says. She integrates discussion on authors and information on the Manitoba writing community into her classes. Students read and discuss their own work in class. “Tanya’s class gave wonderful resources and support for our writing.  The feedback and criticism was invaluable,” commented one student.

Tanya began writing 12 years ago and says that although she’s done a lot of other things, she finds she is constantly pulled back to writing. “It’s a career but it’s almost a way of life.”

Her fiction, non-fiction, and prose poetry have been widely published in numerous journals and magazines. Her novel, Friends I Never Knew, was just published this year by gynergy books. She co-wrote a Popular Theatre Alliance play: Under the Line , has self-published a collection of short stories in 1985 called Dreams and Tricksters.


Tanya’s other books are Friends I Never Knew and Women Rights/Writes.

To read more posts on an eclectic number of topics that Tanya has written about, go to writingsmall,wordpress. com and

Tanya now works as a psychic specializing in tea leaf reading, tarot, mediumship and Russian gypsy card reading. For more information and to access her services, go to her web: or to her pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google. Her email is and to text or phone her: 250-538-0086.




South Pender wades into land use bylaw

May 28, 2017

Anyone who has noticed the posts on this blog will realize that I have written many, many articles and that I have attended many, many meetings in order to write a good segment of these articles.

NOTHING. I will write that again: NOTHING is more frustrating to understand than Island Trust (the governing body of the Gulf Islands that lay between the lower and middle BC mainland coast and Vancouver Island) by-law meetings.

I suspect most people who attend those meetings have great difficulty understanding what is being said about the by-laws and the proposed changes.

In fact, one staff person (who eventually moved to the top of the Islands Trust staff  heap) once told me that even she, with all of her experience and expertise with the Islands Trust, had difficulty understanding one Islands trustee who want on and on and on in —what I can only guess to be– Islands Trust legalese lingo.

I am not a-head-bashing-against-the-wall type of person but if I was these meetings could have easily driven me there.

Perhaps symbolically, the article I am about to share with you has a big piece seemingly chewed out of it. Fitting, I say, based on how much I loathed covering Islands Trust meetings.

The following will give you a taste of what I mean:

Gulf Islands Driftwood — Pender Islands Edition

March 22, 2000

South Pender wades into land use bylaw

by Tanya Lester

Trustees John Henshaw and John Rumble are embarking on a process that promises to consume at least a couple of Saturday afternoons over the next few months as they gather community feedback on the proposed South Pender Land Use Bylaw (LUB).

About 40 residents attended the South Pender Islands Trust business meeting and community information meeting concerning the LUB working draft last Saturday at the South Pender Fire Hall….

….To actually number the rural zones as being four will make it easier to understand when residents are reading this section of the bylaw, according to Rumble.

The LUB section on marine zones, which concerns where docks can be constructed on South Pender, is another change being proposed by the Islands Trust.

At present a zoning bylaw prohibits people from building docks, explained Rumble.

The new LUB proposal recommends that docks be allowed to be built in areas protected from heavy winds in the northern end of the island.

Rumble concurred that safety and aesthetics is a local dock-related issue.

Another change in the LUB proposal is to have houses set back 15 metres or approximately 50 feet — as opposed to the present 25 feet — from water courses.

Rumble responded to a suggestion that the official community plan (OCP) should have been updated first by pointing out that the sub-division bylaw was designed in 1976 with the zoning bylaw coming into effect in 1980.

These laws are in fact more outdated than the OCP, which was authored in 1991. He added, however, that once the LUB is approved, the trustees will then turn to the OCP to ensure that bylaw changes will be applicable to the OCP.

South Pender resident Jane Perch, who was formerly a trustee, attended the meeting last Saturday.

“I’m happy enough to go through the process with everyone having a say and with the trustees listening,” said Perch, after the meeting.

Rumble also felt the meeting was productive and went well.

Local Trust committees throughout the Gulf Islands have been dealing with by-law changes concerning the LUB over the last two years….


Tanya loves her current work doing intuitive tea leaf readings, tarot, psychic channeling, mediumship and Russian Gypsy card reading. For more information, call or text her at 250-538-0086 or email: You can also go to her website: or her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google.

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader and Friends I Never Knew both available for purchase from or from the author. She also authored Dreams and Tricksters as well as Women Rights/Writes. These books are available in some library systems.

To read more posts on this blog of eclectic topics of previously published writing, go to and





Woodies share the folk and art of hobby

April 13, 2017

At any given moment, I wonder how many men and women are slogging wearily away at their office desks in government jobs or selling retail or defending clients in court or standing up to speak in the House of Commons while a thought niggles at the backs of their minds.

I imagine it goes something like this:”When I leave this all behind, I can spend all the time I want every day woodworking in my garage.”

Suffice to say the Penders and other Gulf Islands has a sizable share of these dreamers who become the doers known as woodworkers:

Gulf Islands Driftwood — Penders Edition

Wednesday, March 22, 2000

Woodies share the folk and art of hobby

by Tanya Lester

Their roots run through the community like those of the trees from which they glean their materials, yet the Pender Island Shop Craft Guild (SCG) members say there is always something new for them to learn about woodworking.

Close to a decade old and numbering 50 strong, the SCG’s reason for meeting monthly is the same as it was in the beginning.

“We started by saying we can learn from each other and why don’t we get together every once in awhile,” said Bill Bastendorf.

One of their first major projects saw 30 of them gather at Kevin Oke’s place for an old-fashioned barn-raising, which resulted in a studio and a major education in woodworking techniques for everyone involved.

Nowadays some of the more experienced members are teaching small groups of women to become dexterous in the art of woodworking. This is one reason why monthly meetings throughout the winter season often focus on basics such as measuring and use of both power and hand tools.

Bastendorf said that after being taught the basics, the women apprentices continued right on working — from getting plans and buying the lumber to make finished products that won them prizes.

The SCG is a resource to the Pender community in general and has worked on the beautiful community hall, and spruced things up at the Pender Island Golf and Country Club.

For some SCG members, woodworking has become an almost all-consuming hobby. John Fox will often spend eight hours a day on a project if it really interests him, turning his tools off at 4 p.m. only because he knows tiredness can cause an accident.

“The problem with being retired is you don’t get a day off,” joked Fox, who took up woodworking as therapy when he was a management consultant in Calgary.

“You never reach a point that you know it all; it’s a lot of fun and you lose yourself in it,” Bastendorf said.

The retired psychologist first got into woodworking when he was working on his doctorate in southern California. He found that when he needed something like a box to put things in between his front car seats that he would visit a neighbor handy with wood who insisted on teaching Bastendorf how to do it instead of doing it for him.

In the 1950s, this neighbor encouraged Bastendorf in the woodworking craft by selling him a whole set of tools for $100 when they were worth hundreds more.

In turn, Bastendorf loaned these tools to a friend when he went overseas for what was supposed to be a year but turned into 20. When he returned, he got them back.

Terry Bowyer believes his love for woodworking might be in the genes since his father did it before him. “It’s just a very pleasing thing to do,” he said.

Bowyer likes working with cherry wood, which is quite in vogue nowadays (as is walnut, although it used to be oak), but finds it tricky to work with as there are wood grains running “every which way.”

Some of his finest and most innovative work consists of pens made out of broom and bowls that show off natural wood designs for their artistic quality.

Woodworking, according to Fox, can be an art or it can be a folk piece. As an example, he uses two cabinets he has made. One is chunkier in nature, with the nails showing up as they don’t quite match the colour of the finished wood. Fox will somewhat carelessly put the cabinet in the back of his vehicle when taking it somewhere.

The other piece is a streamlined beauty and Fox treats it like the piece of art that it is, and he wraps it in towels before transporting it.

To work on a wood piece in this way takes time.

Fox’ next project is a diningroom set which will take him two years to complete.

If they were trying to make a living from woodwork, the profit would probably work out to 50 cents a piece, but with the hobby group’s support Fox knows he can ask any member’s advice if he gets stuck on some aspect of his creation.

Fox moved to Pender in 1993 and still numbers the “woodies” he first met in the SCG among his base of island friends.

The group’s monthly meetings have ranged from using the chainsaw to guitar making to stained glass and the fundamentals of blacksmithing. This is all available for the grand total of a $5 annual membership….


To read more posts in this blog of articles and other writing on many different topics, go to and

Tanya works as an intuitive reader who specializes in tea leaf reading, tarot and mediumship. Her web is and she has pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. Or she can be reached directly by email at  or text or call 250-538-0086.

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader and Friends I Never Knew sometimes available from the author and always available at  She also penned Dreams and Tricksters besides Women Rights/Writes.  These books are all available in some public libraries.





Fire society agrees on fire hall, but debates location

May 11, 2017

Fires, especially forest fires, are a real threat on B.C.’s Gulf Islands, because they are filled with beautiful Douglas firs and a variety of other tree species. If a fire starts burning out of control, it is not as simple as jumping into your car and driving away from the situation. You have to leave the small island to survive and ferries or helicopters are often not there for the islander to board.

So deciding issues around how fire fighters will be available to the islands, as well as where the fire halls are located, is perhaps more important than in other places:

Gulf Islands Driftwood — Penders Edition

March 22, 2000

Fire society agrees on fire hall, but debates location

by Tanya Lester

An estimated 220 members of the North Pender Island Fire Protection Society gave the okay to proceed with a late summer referendum for a new fire hall building.

The hall will cost taxpayers $950,000 and should provide new fire fighting equipment within two years after paying off an outstanding debt.

Fire society members also returned all but one board representative while voting in a new face at the Pender Elementary gymnasium meeting on Saturday.

Dave Wightman, who chaired the new fire hall planning committee, said he felt it was important to the community to spend under a million dollars on a new facility and equipment.

Wightman — who was elected society president and replaced Dave Jamieson, in a business meeting following the annual general meeting — referred to a referendum held on the issue last year. He believed residents felt the cost, at $1.8 million, was too high.

A reponse to the 1999 referendum results was the resignation of Charlie Boyte, who was fire chief at that time. Boyte had promised to do so if a new fire hall was not forthcoming. Jamieson and Wightman stressed that a new fire hall must be built.

“We desperately need a new fire hall and we have to have a facility for the equipment,” Jamieson said.

As the meeting wore on, the condition of Fire Hall #1 was described more bluntly as “rotting” and, if things continue without intervention, “equipment will be sitting outside under tarps and deteriorating.”

Wightman proposed a three-bay, 6,000-square-foot fire hall (which one audience member dubbed “a palace”) beside the RCMP detachment.

Wightman opted for the Fire Hall #1 site over the #2 site at Magic Lake because Fire Hall #1 would  in the middle of the island and will accordingly serve its north residents better.

He said the project would cost $750,000 in money borrowed from the Capital Regional District (CRD).

Wightman also recommended borrowing another $100,000 to pay off a debt for an Engine 27 pumper used by the volunteer fire department.

Another $100,000 would be obtained to establish a capital contingency fund, which would avoid the predicament of fire society failing to have funds to maintain buildings and buy needed equipment in the future.

Wightman explained the fund would accumulate interest which would total at least $220,000 in five years. This could be used for new and replacement fire fighting vehicles. He predicted a new vehicle could be acquired within two years.

Later in the meeting, Wightman put forward a motion to amend fire society bylaws in order to establish a capital contingency fund. This won a two-thirds membership majority vote, as did Wightman’s motion to proceed with his planning committee proposal. No one voted against either motion.

To pay off the loan, Wightman suggested a parcel tax in which each property owner would pay $55 per year for 15 years or, providing the CRD would permit it, a one-time lump sum of $450 with a savings of $370 for each property owner choosing this option.

Throughout the meeting, members spoke for and against aspects of the proposal.

Resident Jim Petrie read a letter he had submitted to the planning committee in which he outlined his preference to have the new fire hall built at the present side of the Magic Lake hall.

Petrie’s position is that population is concentrated in the southern part of North Pender, with most of the firefighters living in that area, so the new fire hall should be located there.

He also argues that because 60 per cent of the population lives near Magic Lake, it will be these residents who pay most of the costs for the referendum and taxes for the new fire hall.

Petrie said a fire underwriters survey done by Robert Nelson and available in the library supports his position.

Ian Elliott, who is a first responder member of the firefighters, cautioned against this site as he said the ground in the Fire Hall #2 area could end up like “chocolate pudding” if any excavation was done. This would make it difficult to build on.

One resident spoke in support of each property owner paying the $450 outright rather than be taxed over a 15-year period.

Boyte suggested the fire society “must do away with money issues” and said an option would be to raise thee money through community efforts such as fundraisers for the Community Hall rather than by increasing taxes.

Michael Van Bakel, a firefighter and an architect who has done some work on the new fire hall with the society, put forward the idea of each person contributing at least $10 more than the proposed tax contribution. That way a new fire vehicle could be purchased sooner than two years from now.

Current fire chief Lawrence Pitt indicated in his report that the fire society needs two initial response vehicles that carry pressed air foam, which he described as having the “magic” quality of producing 10 times the volume of water now carried by North Pender’s two pumpers.

One response vehicle would cost $200,000, said Pitt.

Pitt also said he would like an increase in fire fighter membership from 26 to 30, with 15 volunteering at each of the two fire halls in order to satisfy the underwriters.

After recognizing the contribution made by retiring fire society treasurer Sharon Stenson, Jamieson announced the everyone else on the current board, who were appointed by him after the previous board quit following the last referendum, were standing for election.

Nominated from the floor were Boyte, Dr. Don Williams and Gary Steeves. Following ballot voting for six board positions, Joe Gill was replaced by Williams. Others elected were Wightman, Neville Avison, Anna Knister, Rick McKean, and Richard Watson for a three-year term. Jamieson continues his term for two years, having been elected last year. Joan Harper is the board’s CRD representative.

— END–

Tanya works as a psychic who specializes in tea leaf reading and tarot. She is also a reiki master and a housesitter. For more information go to her web site at or her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. Her email is  and her cell phone number or text is 250-538-0086.

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader and Friends I Never Knew who can be purchased from the author or from as well as Dreams and Tricksters and Women Rights/Writes. These books are all available in some libraries.

To read more posts on this blog of a variety of stories and subjects go to or



Enjoy latte in a good energy field

May 5, 2017

The Gulf Islands attract dreamers. They dream of running a Bed and Breakfast away from the urban rat race. They dream of having the time to write all the time or paint all the time or love all the time. They dream of starting up a little café…

Gulf Islands Driftwood — Pender Islands Edition

Wedsnesday, March 22, 2000

Enjoy latte in a good energy field

by Tanya Lester

Not only will Hope Bay Village be the kind of place where you can “hang out” and enjoy coffee while you rejuvenate your energy, it will draw you there because of the special energy it exudes, according to owner Kees Van Der Valk.

Scheduled to re-open this summer after a fire burned it to the ground two years ago, the 7,000-square-foot, two-story structure overlooking Hope Bayer’s glittering waters will boast numerous retail outlets of different sizes and shapes. Among them will the only fresh fish market on the Penders, a casual wear shop featuring the store owner’s designs, a book and gallery store, and a sit-down café right on the water. An interior design office will also be new with two upstairs entrances leading to second-floor offices.

The original historical building’s layout or “footprints” are being utilized in reconstruction, said Van Der Valk.

To embrace the heritage look of the new structure, the owner, who “stumbled on” the North Pender building when he came to Canada from the Netherlands for the second time in 1992, is using a host of recycled wood products.

There is recycled fir flooring, window frames, doors, beams, posts and siding. The building’s look will include dormer windows with a white exterior.

“I enjoy being part of creating this place where people will be going for a long time,” Van Der Valk said, putting a two-century timeline on how long he believes the building will extend into the future.

The building’s past goes back about a century to 1905, he explained, with many people remembering the place as a general store where they went as children. In those days, someone butchered meat on the premises. Gulf Islanders arrived on the ferry which docked alongside it (where the government dock is now located) to buy fresh meat and cattle feed, said Van Der Valk.

The owner believes the place is located on special energy lines like those described by New Age prophets such as James Redfield. There is no doubt that the place lifts one’s spirits.

Van Der Valk wants the building to be harmonious with the surrounding earth and ocean but, being of European background, the challenge for him is building with wood. It is less flexible to work with than the brick or stone renovation he had experience in overseas.

He does not consider himself a builder and so thanks everyone involved in the project for being supportive by helping him to re-build.

“People can relax and forget (pressing issues) here,” said Van Der Valk. “It’s a place where they can let go and just be. That lots of people will enjoy it is what drives me to do it.”


To read more posts in this blog of eclectic subjects go to and

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader and Friends I Never Knew (sometimes for purchase from the author or from as well as Dreams and Tricksters and Women Rights/Writes.

Tanya works as an intuitive reader, who specializes in tea leaf reading, tarot, and mediumship. She also infuses her reiki into her divination and is also a fulltime housesitter. Her web site is and she has pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. You can text or call her at 250-538-0086 which is her cellphone or email her at





Phoenix’s Chocolate Factory offers tasty (nutritious?) treat

April 29, 2017

I guess lot of people would say that Salt Spring Island is an ideal spot for an alternative school created for those young people (like many of their parents and neighbours) who do not fit in to the norms of mainstream society.

The following is a review I wrote on a play put on by Phoenix School students:

Gulf Islands Driftwood

Wednesday, November 24,1999

Phoenix’s Chocolate Factory offers tasty (nutritious?) treat

by Tanya Lester

Phoenix Elementary School students do not put on a play.

They experience it.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, held last Wednesday and Thursday, is the only performance I have been to at ArtSpring in which I looked forward to the intermission even though I was enjoying the show.

Who could resist the little green Oompa-Loompas (except my cynical 12-year-old son) or the red-and-black squirrels that hung out in the nut room?

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a theatrical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

The plot was difficult to follow at times because the nervous, excited actors occasionally talked a bit fast and forgot their lines.

As told by the storyteller, played by Ezra Gilson in a deadpan style that reminded me of Charlie Brown, I think the storyline goes something like this: A girl (not Dahl’s male character) named Charlie Bucket (Halley Gilson) and her family, which consisted mostly of the cutest little grandparents you could ever lay your eyes on (played by Roshann Cornwall, Cora Muellner, Gabriella Mitchell and Kailee Budd), are so poor they are starving with only one bed to sleep in.

The solution to the Bucket family’s problems is connected with Charlie’s ability to obtain a golden bar that serves as an entrance key into the chocolate factory.

Charlie, of course, was not the only one wanting to gain entrance. Any number of wealthy folk with their spoiled kids desired an “in”` This menage was the most wonderful display of children in grown-up’s dress-up clothes that has ever graced the ArtSpring stage.

Patrice Bowler did a fine job of being a spoiled brat extraordinaire in her role as Veruca Salt, even to the point of laying down on the stage while she kicked her hands and feet. Bowler’s timing was great.

Elsbet Krayenhoff was also very appealing as a child gum fanatic.

The story continued with the group led in a tour of the factory by none other than the owner, Willie Wonka, played by Raven Derr. For part of the tour, the spectacular group rode in a very stylish pink sort of Viking boat.

The audience went along for the ride and we got a glimpse into a fantastic chocolate factory where the pipes looked like candysticks and a river of chocolate flowed.

There were many rooms where the delicious ingredients to the making of chocolate candy were housed. These included the cream room, the whip room and, of course, the chocolate room.

This leads me back to the intermission and ArtSpring’s multi-purpose room. It was there that the Phoenix Elementary School students had on display (as they did last spring for their Robin Hood play) and visual art they had created while exploring different aspects of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

What an experience it was to be drawn into their experience of the play!

A quilt with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory emblazoned across it and created by the sutdents hung near the entrance. On the walls were big, bold finger paintings of the play’s characters. The tables were laden with Placticine mounts of the sets and contraptions like the candy machines in the play’s set.

This is the way to learn and to grow. The most wonderful thing about it is that, as far as I could see, the students all had so much fun doing it.

The energy in ArtSpring was electrifying. There was something about it all that made me think of how young people throughout the century, and before, have always dressed up and staged plays for adults. Virginia Woolf would have approved.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a tasty pre-Christmas treat.

And, oh yes, Willie Wonka invited Charlie and her family to live in the chocolate factory, alleviating their starvation.

Could this mean that chocolate is nutritious, after all?


To read more posts in this extremely eclectic blog featured articles by and about Tanya, go to and

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader and Friends I Never Knew (both available for the author or from as well as Women Rights/Writes and Dreams and Tricksters.  All of these books are in some library systems.

Tanya works at her passion: doing intuitive readings including tea leaf, tarot and mediumship enhanced by her practice of reiki and is a fulltime house sitter. Her website is at and she has pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. Her email address is You can text or call her at 250-538-0086, her cell phone.






This is blog of the many articles published by and about me over several decades as a freelance writer and a tealeafreader/tarot reader/psychic.