About

If I have a care in the world, I have a gift to bring. – Indigo Girls, Hammer and Nail

Making Money

I work “on-call” and by contract (since 1993). Sometimes part time, sometimes full time but (almost) always from my home office.

I own and operate a very successful Homework Club (since 2014) for elementary school children attending Beaver Bank Monarch Drive Elementary School. We do lots of art.

One of the first times I was paid to research and write was in 1994, with a publication titled Understanding Women’s Violence: A Review of the Research for Correctional Service Canada.

I recently served as editor and writer (2016-2019) of a 28-32 page quarterly publication  Nova Scotia Christmas Tree Journal (NSCTJ) now in its 32nd volume. A privilege.

I went on to freelance as a community writer in July 2017 and since that time have sold and published more than one hundred (100) stories, mostly on my favourite subjects – volunteering, volunteers and non-profits, in Beaver Bank, Nova Scotia, and beyond.

I’ve seen my stories published in The Coast Guard, Nova Scotia Christmas Tree Journal, Chronicle Herald, Halifax Citizen, Bedford-Sackville Observer, Dartmouth Tribune, South Shore Breaker, Valley Harvester, Truro Daily News, The City Voice and recently, and The Labrador Voice.

The summer of 2019 started off with a project for Canada Trails (www.thegreattrail.ca) about the Salt Marsh Trail in Cole harbour and Lawrencetown. We also featured a birder familiar with the trail. I got to work with my daughter Emma Dubois, BSc, on this project, she provided great photographs of the trail that were subsequently published by http://www.thegreattrail.com and The City Voice.

Aside from Homework Club and weekly writing, I am back in class to learn about business planning, content writing and SEO. I think the 2020s are going to be big.

Volunteering

I love volunteering and volunteers. Always have. My parents volunteered – even my dad, in a wheelchair.

If an organization needed “door prizes,” well they’d ask my (late) dad. My (late) brother and I often accompanied my dad to the local shopping mall to get these prizes. As my dad often asked, “who is going to say no to a guy in a wheelchair with two kids?” Indeed.

My mother is a volunteer gorilla. She is more than 80 years old and still volunteers regularly and for everyone. She never cared about whose cause was doing what – if someone needed something, they’d call June. She’d always figure it out.

My first memory of volunteering was at Patricia Park in Montreal. With my mother, behind a table, we sold hot dogs and cotton candy, drinks. I was not more than 10 years old and I loved it. The shushing of the pop machine spitting out cool cola (and cream soda!) was especially satisfying. I got to do all kinds of new things and, people treated me…well, not like a kid, but as someone who mattered. I volunteered with my mom many more times, each time a great memory.

I volunteered for local sports leagues, founded a women’s softball league, volunteered for Girl Guides, and one year was a Scouts leader. I volunteered on a farm in Israel for eight months in 1985-6. Moshav Zofar.

Living in Morin Heights, Quebec, I volunteered in the local Legion kitchen during events. For a community newspaper called Perspective Morin Heights, I wrote about volunteers past and present, and developed a nonprofit services directory. The first version can only be called “fontastic” and I blame it on the wine.

Moving to Nova Scotia in 1995, I volunteered for a Home and School Association (5 years) and chaired three spring fairs at my kids’ elementary school. With a small team of volunteer interviewers, I designed and conducted (1) a survey of 80 parents (by phone) and, (2) a smaller survey of teachers, all to inform a Site Based Planning team. Around the same time I volunteered for two years on the Nova Scotia Hospital Ethics Education Committee as a community member, designed and produced a monthly newsletter for a community group, was a badge tester for Brownies and Guides, and worked at civic elections.

I will always volunteer. Recent volunteer work includes websites and content writing, writing, editing and/or researching for several non-profit organizations including The Samara Centre for Democracy, East Coast Environmental Law Association, Zooniverse, Rocky Hollow Ranch, NS, and The Volunteer News, for which I manage a website, facebook page and a one-year pilot program called, ‘Thank a Volunteer.’ On a monthly basis I get to volunteer with my sweetheart Rick for the Sackville Community Food Garden NS to help host a monthly Square Roots – Sackville NS event out of the Sackville Public Library.

Education

I earned a BA in Sociology from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, in 1992, completed the Honour’s Program and graduated with distinction. Research project: A measure of androcentrism in Canadian university undergraduate, social theory courses: A study of syllabi and mail-back surveys from respective professors. I think it would be fun to do a follow-up. No stamps required.

I like to say I earned a PhD in parenthood during the 1990s and 2000s. My daughters, now adults, have taught me more about life, love and myself, than ever expected or deserved. I’m grateful for them everyday.

A few courses were added to my CV over the years, for example in health & safety, first aid and medical ethics. Please visit my LinkedIn page to take a look.

At Home

I live in Beaver Bank, Nova Scotia, with my sweetie and beacon, Richard (Rick) Carruthers, and our two cats, Rascal and Murdoch.

Contact me anytime: