It all began in Seattle. My parents, Fred and Doris Melberg, were married in 1954 in a quiet little ceremony. Folk singer Walt Robertson was Dad’s best man. Walt’s girlfriend Liz Ritzau stood up for Mom. Also attending Grandma Melberg, and Mom’s Auntie Sal and Uncle Merrill Musgrave (interesting family factoid: he was the engineer who invented the machine to crack the outer shell of the macadamia nut). Fast forward 65 years to Saskatoon. On December 3rd, Mom and Dad had another quiet celebration to mark the milestone. We delivered a stack of well wishes from family, friends, and a few notables like Mayor Charlie, the premier, the lietenant governor, the Governor General, the Prime Minister, and even the Queen! Mingus, the neighbour’s cat, came by with a congratulatory cuddle. Thanks to Heather for the cupcakes, which Jim guarded carefully.
Always so much fun to attend Anthony Bidulka and Herb McFaull’s holiday opener. I had the pleasure of interviewing Tony (yet again) about the beautiful Bella Vista renovation at their home. You can read it in the Summer 2019 Saskatoon HOME issue. My date Heather Fritz and I had a wonderful time, so thank you Tony and Herb for sharing your special launch of the festive season. The Harry Potter tree was my favourite; the mandrake was adorable! If you could just have a jumbo shrimp tree just for me next year…
Amanda and Rob at Farmhouse Communications are delighted to present the Winter issue of Saskatoon HOME magazine. For this issue, I was happy to spend an afternoon with businessperson and philanthropist Colleen Mah, and an evening with perfumer Palma Cafolla (needless to say, I smell really nice these days.) I also enjoyed talking with ice architect Don Greer; if you’re a Frozen fan (or if you just can’t get those songs out of your head), wait until you see what he’s cooking up for his front yard! Don’t forget to subscribe; HOME is going to subscription distribution so don’t miss out. Here’s what we’ve packed into this issue:
✅ Cover story: a bold and dramatic home on Sask Crescent
✅ Ice sculpture magic with Don Greer
✅ Farmhouse modern: a couple’s journey to feeling grounded
✅ The history of wartime housing
✅ Authentic perfumer Palma Cafolla (the beautiful Irish Italian artist at work, bottom right–photo Jaclyn Heinrichs)
✅ Q&A with Colleen Mah (that’s me with Colleen, bottom left–photo Lillian Lane)
✅ Pochero, a classic Filipino dish
✅ Home automation: high tech innovations
Read online or pull up a cozy chair and read the hard copy magazine, available with a subscription for guaranteed delivery to you at home.
Our friends’ son loves to shovel snow. He has Asperger’s and doesn’t always feel comfortable connecting with people. He prefers snow shoveling as a solitary activity, so he has come up with a great solution to the pressure of too much interaction when he’s on the job.
This is not a white sandy beach.
Well, this was fun. This past weekend, Rick, Jim and I went to Regina for our first SWG conference. I was lucky enough to win first place in the John V. Hicks Award for Long Manuscript Fiction. The awards were presented Saturday and I was joined by second place winner Tim Blackett and third Beth Goobie. I got to spend time with my old SWG mentor Joanne Gerber, and met a lot of other writers like Annette Bower who, weirdly, has a connection to Hank Buck, the farmer from Abbey who first told me the true story of Violet and her father. That story became the inspiration for my novel. A great conference, and I’m looking forward to it next October 23-24 in Saskatoon. And, yes, we hauled home a six-pack of the Bushwakker Brewing’s commemorative SWG Golden Anniversary beer, The Unreliable Narrator, infused with Writer’s Tears whiskey and hemp. Perfect.
A few summers ago, we got to know a crow. A lot like this one. I’m still mourning the loss of one of my favourite earrings. He plucked it right out of my ear while he sat on my shoulder. I suspect it’s stuffed under a shingle on some neighbour’s roof.