Does anyone say ‘new digs’? Apparently I do. Had a great visit with my pal Amanda Soulodre about the upcoming winter issue of Saskatoon HOME magazine in the new HOME and Prairies North offices in the Wall Street Common, downtown Saskatoon. I am in love with the rejuvenated warehouse, but particularly enamoured with the floor. The stories it could tell… Watch for that winter issue, coming out in early December. We hope you will love it as much as we do.
I don’t want to jinx this yet, but I want to mark a new surreal and unexpected development regarding the historical novel I’ve been working on for the last several years. I won’t say too much now since you never know what might happen, but I’m thinking the family just might have a book in their Christmas stockings in 2018.
One of my absolute favourite events of the year is the annual Word on the Street literary festival in Saskatoon. This year in September, it was held on beautiful Broadway, the centre of our universe. If you haven’t been, you should. Free readings and interviews with artists, writers, actors and an array of booths about all things artsy and literary. We so enjoyed Henry Woolf in conversation with Jeff Rogstad. Had a nice chat later with Henry (look at that face!), and with novelist Gail Bowen. Mark your calendar for next fall. This is one of those ‘can’t believe we get to go’ festivals right in our neighbourhood.
When I was 10, I lived in Atlin, British Columbia. My teachers in a one-room trailer school house were from Australia and enamoured with Robert Service. For the Christmas concert, I learned to recite ‘The Cremation of Sam McGee.’ Slightly weird for a Christmas pageant, but there are strange things done in the midnight sun. In September, Rick, Jim and I visited my parents in Whitehorse and enjoyed a drive out to ‘the marge on Lake Leberge’ and collected a few stones from the shore. We’ll take them to our grandson in San Diego, and the Robert Service poem will be passed on to the Americans in the family. That’s us wth the Melbergs Senior as we moiled for gold.
I’m digging in to a bit of Saskatoon history for a piece in the Winter issue of Saskatoon HOME magazine. It was a good excuse to visit City Archivist, HOME author, and generally all around neat guy Jeff O’Brien. If you look up ‘walking encyclopedia’ about Saskatoon’s history, you’ll find Jeff’s photo. Along with our readers, I think one of the best features in HOME is Jeff’s Reflections column. History, as they say, comes alive by his hand.
The summer Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan plays have been part of our family tradition for decades. The kids cut their teeth on Shakespeare under the tents when they were small, and we look forward to every new season. We do our small part as season ticket holders by contributing to the Treasure Trove fundraising campaign at each performance, spreading our donations out over each of the two plays. This season, it was Richard III and Twelfth Night. We coveted the two beautiful Ekornes recliner chairs donated by Sleepers Mattress Factory. Two lucky patrons got to sit in them for each performance, and at the end of the season, they were up for grabs in the Treasure Trove draw. Imagine my surprise when Alan Long, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan’s PR guy called with some nice news! Not only were we the lucky winners of a beautiful Nancy Grummett piece of pottery (that’s Jim and me posing with Alan) but ….
We also won one of the two Ekornes chairs! Not only that, we were starstruck to have Richard III himself, though in his less regal Friday casual finery, bring the chair and ottoman to our door. And he never tried to assassinate us once. He just gave us a tutorial on how the chair works. Rob van Meenen was outstanding in both Richard III and Twelfth Night this summer and we can’t wait to see him in his next role, Art, with Persephone, the first show of their 2017-18 lineup. A huge thank you to Alan and Shakespeare on the SK, to Rob and to Sleepers. What a wrap to a wonderful season.
The Fall issue of Saskatoon HOME magazine is out. There are several locations throughout the city to get your copy.
I’ve got a cover story. But keep going! Inside is one of my favourites; well, several of my favourites. What’s your favourite kitchen gadget? A spoon you always reach for? A knife you can’t be without? Your gramma’s olive dish? We asked several cooks and chefs about their favourite kitchen tools. Of course I was thrilled that my old pal Michael Smith agreed to share his ‘must have’ kitchen appliance. And so many other Saskatoon cooks and chefs threw their hat in the ring. But one of my best chats was with D’reen. If you’ve lived in Saskatoon for long, you recognize the name of this wonderful caterer. We had a lovely chat about her best girlfriend Kitchen Aid mixer. I loved photographing this renowned caterer in her element; what is there not to love about a caterer who has a poster of Julia Child AND Rick from The Walking Dead (and a bottle of Tylenol) over her desk? Get your copy and read about D’reen and many others who have a love affair with their gadget.