That something extra

Today, March 21st, we are honouring everyone out there with an extra 21st chromosome on Down Syndrome Awareness Day. I came across this short film that was made a while back, and also found this great blogger named Mariah Nichols, a mom who is a deaf career counselor and teacher. She has three kids, including a daughter with Down syndrome. Some viewers loved the film, some hated it and were left with the belief that the young woman with Down syndrome wanted to see herself as ‘normal,’ that she wanted to erase her disability. I’m with Mariah; I didn’t see it that way, either. It is her voice we hear throughout. I think it shows a confident young woman who sees herself as strong, capable, the player of many roles, living a full beautiful life. That’s what she believes. At the end, when she asks the viewer if they are able to see her as anything but her disability, there’s the rub.

A little something to think about.



Spring, it’s here

We celebrated the first day of spring by walking Jim to work today. Started out with a toque, mitts and scarf….and soon realized how silly that was. Street sweepers in full fore at work on winter gravel, Canada geese waiting for the river ice to go out, and Jim wondering what happened to the car. Spring is here.


It’s HOME time

The spring 2019 issue of Saskatoon HOME is out. You can pick up your copy in one of many racks around the city or read online. This was fun issue to work on. Thanks to everyone I had the pleasure of interviewing, and thanks, too, on behalf of all our writers. We so appreciate the generosity of the people who are willing to have their stories told. We’d love to hear what you think about our content. And to all the people who’ve asked about that garage, yes, it is underground. If you’ve got story ideas, let us know!

A couple of wins

True, different types of accolades, but I had to share recent good news. Our musician son Ben played piano on a Leon Bridges recording that was nominated for a Grammy. “Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand” is a song on Leon’s Good Thing album. That’s him in the snazzy corduroy outfit on the left below. And yep, the song won a Grammy on Sunday night in the Best Traditional R & B performance category. Ben’s musical buddies Nate Mercereau and Steve Wyreman were involved in the album, too, so it was a nice win for the boys!

Back home, I’m also happy for Ricky and Rhonda at Decora Homes. They took home a prize in the recent 27th annual Bridges Awards gala, hosted by the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association. For a couple of years now, I’ve been helping Decora write up their award nominations so it was great to see them take the win in a Design, Decor and Renovation category for Kitchen Renovation of the Year (under $50,000).

So glitz and trophies all around!

No, that can’t be right

This was what I found on the doorstep this morning where the Star Phoenix waits for us to get out of bed. It sunk it for awhile, and then I wrote a Letter to the Editor:

There’s a big lump in my throat that even hot morning coffee can’t fix. I pulled the paper in from the front porch to see the news that Cam Fuller had died. We’ve lost a good friend and I only ever met him in person once, for about two minutes. But he made us laugh out loud and brought us to tears, sometimes with the same piece of beautiful storytelling, as we sat at the breakfast table. I called him periodically with story ideas. When our California-based musician son came to town with Alice Russell during the Jazz Festival, I thought he might want to do a ‘home town boy’ story. He did, and even worked in Ben’s favourite waffles. Over the years, as editor of Saskatoon HOME magazine, I sometimes asked him for help with a search for sources. He was always quick to reply, generous with information, and treated me like a good colleague. Whenever Rick and I pored over which Fringe play to see, our catch phrase was “What did Cam say about it?” His observations were thoughtful. His reviews were generous, salient, but he wasn’t afraid to point out where a play was lacking. Always fair, never mean. His writing was brilliant; he wrote with economy, clarity, and grace; he had a rare combination of the three. Our sympathies to his family at home, and his Star Phoenix family.

A bright point of humanity and humour has gone out and we hope, as we gulp down our hot coffee this morning, that the Star Phoenix will soon publish a book of his collected columns (The Glass Half Fuller, perhaps?). Sign us up for several copies.