A great festival, naturally!

11255317_754071958043371_5409751413931282722_n Marks your calendars for the NatureCity Festival! Do this! So many wonderful wildly interesting things to do during this annual festival. Proud to be associated with it; congratulations to organizer Candace Savage and her collection of wonders who put this unique festival together. Something for everyone.


A promise made

When Ben Moser and Mary Lapkowicz were grade four classmates, Ben promised to take Mary to the prom. Seven years later, Ben, a school quarterback, made good on that promise. The best part about this story? Ben didn’t see it as “special” just because Mary has a disability. He was just keeping a promise to his childhood friend. And they even got matching outfits. Good on the Huffington Post’s Isabelle Khoo for a story that was heartwarming without being gooey!


The best mom ever

Here’s to mine! Happy Mother’s Day!


Mom and me, Saskatoon.

Burby's 002

That’s me with Mom, 1959, near Seattle.


Mom and Dad’s 60th wedding anniversary, Whitehorse, 2014.

Tofino 063

Mom with my brother Nels, Tofino, mid 1950s.

Mom Dad Athabasca River north of Ft. McMurray night at trappers cabin Nels 7.5 months werent we stupid

Mom, 7.5 months pregnant with my brother, and Dad, high class accommodations on their solo boat trip on the Athabasca River, 1953.


Mom’s favourite place to be was in a nice warm barn with her cows.

Pauline Cove & Ice Floes 01 C-185 Pauline Cove 01This is mom tramping around Herschel Island in the Beaufort Sea. She said it was very peaceful there and can’t imagine going to someplace like Los Angeles.

Lake Laberge, Doris 01Mom near Lake Laberge, Yukon.

Fairview House and us

Mom and Dad at the house they built in Fairview, Alberta, in the early 80s.

Doris, Nursery

Mom as a young practical nurse in Seattle, early 1950s.

Mom 1949 at Musgrave house seattle

Mom in Seattle, 1949, no doubt thinking of the two fabulous children she would have within the next decade.

frances carrell mom may 10-15

Mom on the right with her pal Frances in Whitehorse on Mother’s Day 2015.

Happy Mother’s Day!

The Notley legacy

We were out of the country when Rachel Notley was elected as premier of Alberta. When we got home, I dug into some old boxes in the storage space under the garden room and came up with this photo I took of the Notleys at their home, probably in the mid-70s.


I spent my junior high, high school years and some time after graduation in Fairview, Alberta, too; when I was in high school Rachel’s dad, Grant, rounded up a few of us and took us to an NDP convention – my first political experience – at the Chateau Lacombe in Edmonton. Her mom, Sandy, was the librarian at our high school and she’d often give stern talks to girls who wore halter tops and too much light blue eye shadow. When I was still in high school, and just after graduation, I worked for the weekly newspaper, the Fairview Post, and wrote a piece about Grant Notley. I wish I still had a copy. They had an acreage near Dunvegan and I did the interview there; see, that’s my little car in the background. Rachel, just five years younger than I, must not have been home at the time I took this wintery family photo of Sandy, Grant and her brothers Paul and Stephen (armed with their Spiderman action figures), I’m guessing in the mid-70s.

Grant was an NDP pioneer and one-time party leader; my parents, who dairy farmed in Fairview, always spoke of him with high regard. A kind, decent man with a social justice approach. Mom says he never struck her as a politician who was ‘campaigning,’ but instead as someone who cared about the issues and the views of his neighbours. She remembers he stopped by after milking one day. She was in the kitchen separating cream. He came in and sat down on an empty cream can for a visit. My parents remember him fondly an an approachable, down-to-earth man. He was killed in a plane crash, along with five others, in 1984 when Rachel was only 20. Here we are, 31 years later and Rachel is the premier. I’m betting Fairview is feeling pretty proud right about now.