I get too much praise, said no one ever

Years ago, I remember sitting in my stepson’s IPP meeting and wondering who they were talking about. I didn’t recognize Jim in the conversation. Neither did my husband. Jim was there and I don’t think he knew who it was about either. We finally asked, “Maybe we could take a few moments and go around the table and each of us say something good about Jim?” Evidently we were from Mars judging by the looks we got. But they did it, good on ’em. And what was a tense meeting turned out to have some laughter in it.

Today, I came across this story on ABC News by Genevieve Shaw Brown. It’s about a teacher in Florida who gets it. I’m going to write Mr. Chris a letter. You should, too. Check out their Facebook page called Special Books by Special Kids; come on, there’s got to be a publisher who sees the value in this project! I know a publisher; I’m going to write him a letter, too!

Here is Mr. Chris with a few of his proud as punch students, getting lots of practice being good humans.



Cookie love

It’s about that time again for Jim to pull on his boots, coat and mitts (big mitts just to make things difficult) and head out into the neighbourhood to deliver cookies.

We’ve lost count of how many years he’s done this annual trudge, sometimes at -30 C, sometimes only -3. It’s a chance for Jim to give a sugar-induced hug to all our neighbours. We also pack them up and head to the post office; you’d think we’d get a bulk discount, but we think it’s worth it to imagine the grins on the faces of family and friends who get their packages of “Momo cookies.”

Rick’s parents, Momo and Bobo (aka Mary and Fred Schwier) led the charge each year with a jaw-dropping sweet assortment of New World and German (Rick’s side) Christmas cookies. It was like getting a big hug from Florida; if you closed your eyes you could see Momo mixing, stirring, adding, fussing, assisted by her long-suffering Elf Bobo. We have inherited the handwritten, butter-stained recipe cards, the 100-year-old carved German springerlie boards and the determination to keep the tradition alive. We’ve added traditional Swedish (Karin’s side), if you count snickerdoodles as Swedish (still haven’t mastered spritz). Karin was about 30 before she came across snicker doodles in a bakery and was hit with the realization that her mother hadn’t invented them.

Christmas cookies are just so darn pretty and festive! And there’s nothing more festive or familial than sending some cookie love to friends and family.



Hot Santa


Happy to have been amongst the hundreds of Nice and Naughty revelers at the one-of-a-kind holiday party hosted by Anthony Bidulka and Herb McFaull last night. After dozens of warm bodies relaying their earnest Christmas wishes, poor sweaty Santa (who bore a striking resemblance to Anthony) had to wander up and down the driveway outside to cool off. My date for the evening was Saskatoon HOME publisher Amanda Soulodre.

Behind the covers

Saskatoon HOME magazine is barely hitting the streets, and already the team is fine tuning the Spring issue. A few  of us gathered for a production meeting last week. Remember the articles are ultimately selected by our Reader Panel; we want to showcase what you most want to read. Interesting stories selected by interesting people! If you’d like to be on our Reader Panel for a future issue, let us know.