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Gwen Tuinman

Novelist Speaker Advocate

Feeling Nostalgic–Green Tomatoes

The fall season is truly upon us now, and the garden aspect of our urban homestead is winding down. I took a break from writing to harvest the last green tomatoes —  a treat you won’t find at the store. Continue reading “Feeling Nostalgic–Green Tomatoes”

John Wesley and the Methodist Movement

Most of my Irish ancestors indicated Methodist on the census forms of the early to mid 1800`s. This roused my curiosity since I knew nothing of Methodism or its founder. What I discovered is fueling ideas for a character in my new novel!

Had you been strolling a country road, in the early 1740s, near Bristol or London you may have observed John Wesley approaching on horseback. He’d have been oblivious to your presence with his face pressed close to his bible and reins laying slack across the horse’s neck. It may have been difficult to see in him, as the man who’d withstand persecution by the Church of England, argue passionately for prison reform, or urge William Wilberforce to continue in his struggle to end slavery. But he did these things and more.

(Please enjoy this Wellspring Podcast of John Wesley and the Methodist Movement.) Continue reading “John Wesley and the Methodist Movement”

Curating Wonder–Fall Fair

Photo 1: Lakelse Valley exhibit during Fall Fair [Prince Rupert, B.C.], 1915 (photo source: Jack R. Wrathall / Library and Archives Canada) / Photo 2: H.K. Dunyes’ Ayrshires at the fair, 1913 (photo source: William James Topley/Library and Archives Canada) / Photo 3: Opening of the agricultural Fair, Brantford, Ont., 1904 (photo source: Library and Archives Canada)

“I wonder …”

How would you finish this sentence?

Shoeing Horses

I’m nearly ready to begin writing my new novel in which horses will figure prominently. To that end, I’m venturing back to the eighteen hundreds to see what I can learn about expert horse shoers or farriers as they are known. Continue reading “Shoeing Horses”

Curating Wonder–School Days

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Continue reading “Curating Wonder–School Days”

Pioneer Food Gardens and Orchards

What must food growing have been like for the earliest newcomers to Upper Canada? Many families arrived with a sack of seed and little else.This spring when we cleared more ground for planting vegetables, I thought about how much more difficult the task must have been for the earliest settlers. Before planting food, settlers first had to cut down an army of trees and remove obstacles  like roots and boulders. I certainly didn’t have to contend with such challenges. Our garden plot will generate produce to can or freeze, but nothing sufficient to sustain us until the next growing season. Plants are just beginning to yield and August is half over.

(Please enjoy this Wellspring Podcast of Pioneer Food Gardens and Orchards.) Continue reading “Pioneer Food Gardens and Orchards”

Curating Wonder–Sweethearts

tatooed-couple

couple-on-the-fence

milk-maid-and-the-farm-hand-whitby-england

(A Four Photograph Series)

Photo 1: Millions Like Her, Birmingham, 1951, by Bert Hardy/Getty Images / Photo 2: source unknown / Photo 3: Engaged/via adore-vintage.blogspot.co.uk / Photo 4: Milk Maid and the Farm Hand, Whitby, North Yorkshire, England – Late 1800s, by Frank Sutcliffe

“I wonder …”

How would you finish this sentence?

Locating Land Farmed by My Irish Ancestors

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Coddiwomple is a word recently added to my lexicon. It best describes the process by which I found the land farmed by my Irish ancestors. Coddiwomple is an English slang meaning to travel purposefully toward an as-yet-unknown destination. Gratitude and emotion fill me when I reflect on the kindness of strangers who helped me to that end. Continue reading “Locating Land Farmed by My Irish Ancestors”

Curating Wonder–Chaudière Falls: 1800s Watercolour Paintings

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Continue reading “Curating Wonder–Chaudière Falls: 1800s Watercolour Paintings”

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