November 29, 2009

The Winnipeg Humane Society: Pet Pics, Party and Parenting

You just know that your favorite spaniel wants a word or two with Santa? No problem.

Share the holiday spirit with your whole family! Bring your furry family members—your dog, cat, guinea pig, hamster, whoever you want—down for a photo with Santa Paws.

And, while you take part in this, feel good knowing the proceeds go towards helping the animals at The WHS. Yes, that’s nearly 9,000 animals who will benefit from your photo with Santa.

Come on down to The Winnipeg Humane Society at 45 Hurst Way. Santa will be happy to pose with your buddy from 12 to 4 p.m today, November 29.

The cost is $12 for 1 5x7, $25 for 3 5x7s.

An additional $29 photo package that includes a variety of photo sizes can be purchased from Adam York Photography.

The Winnipeg Humane Society is also asking everyone to join them at their Paws for the Season – Holiday Open House.

Enjoy seasonal treats from their bake sale and peruse the holiday craft sale. Hang an ornament on their tree to honour the people and pets in your life.

There'll be holiday music, refreshments, and activities for the children. Bring holiday cheer to the animals at The WHS.

The fun takes place on Sunday, December 6, from 12 to 5 p.m.

Free Admission! Everyone welcome to attend - please leave furry friends at home.

Want to have a four legged house guest? Contact The Winnipeg Humane Society at 204-982-2041 to become a foster pet parent. It could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Have a great day. How can you miss - you're in Winnipeg!

November 26, 2009

Proof That God Is Not A Woman (part 3 - by Margaret Ullrich)

I know it's more blessed to give than to receive. 
But, unless you have ways of shopping that should be kept secret, giving means money.

It's a little late to start a Christmas account and utility companies really lose that ho-ho-ho holiday spirit if you skip paying their bills. 

If the charge cards are maxed out, gift getting is going to take a little ingenuity.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. 
As we're all stuck with holidays, I'll share some of my desperate measures.

Live off your hump. 
You know what I mean. 
Things like the 19 cans of tuna you have left from the time you bought 20 cans so you could earn 50 bonus airmiles. Now's the time to crack open those babies. 
I know the family hates tuna.
That's why there are 19 cans of fish swimming in your pantry. 
Well, the family would hate a Giftless Christmas even more. 
Think about it. 
Lousy dinners happen. But the family Grinch who's giftless at Christmas gets blabbed about throughout the neighborhood, the schoolyard and the generations.
You don't want to be known as Granny Grinch.

Try creative cooking. 
Pretend you're on the show Iron Chef...  You've got a tube of ground beef, a bag of marshmallows, a jar of salsa, a bottle of raspberry vinegar, a carton of frozen spinach, a jar of maraschino cherries and a box of rice-a-roni. 
Think only a nut would throw just anything together? 
How do you think raspberry vinegar was invented?

If the family gets snarky, tell them you found the recipe in a magazine. 
Drop names. Martha's good for moments like this. 
And if they can't appreciate all the time and effort you put into making a dinner interesting... Well! 
You know the speech.
Remember, guilt, when another person has it, is a good thing.

Go ethnic. 
Granny's recipes aren't just for Folklorama
God bless ancestors.
Go to an Italian restaurant and see what they charge for a plate of pasta fagioli.
Grandma would die laughing if she saw what they charge for noodles and beans. 
Beans got millions of people through tough times. Go thou and eat likewise.

Beans not good enough? 
Go past the recognizable cuts and shop the mystery meats.
Put enough spices on them and the family won't know what hit them. 
I once made spaghetti and meatballs using animal organs only a mother could love. 
Guess what? 
Hubby had invited a friend. Well, the buddy was getting a free meal, so I made like a politician running for re-election. 
Don't apologize and don't explain. 
The buddy said it was delicious, like the meatballs they serve at the Bay. 
Hmmm... I notice the Bay is still in business.

Grab a bag and browse your house. 
Look for things somebody foisted... uh... gave to you. 
Well, why should you be stuck with it until you're six feet under? 
Unless it was made by your kid - Don't even think it, they do remember - you're free to pass it on someone else. 
Just don't give it to the person who gave it to you.

Pack your own. 
Ever notice the stuff the stores sell as ready to go gifts? 
A popular combo is a box of pasta, a tin of sauce, some cheese and 2 wooden spoons sitting in a large bowl, all wrapped in cellophane. 
Are you too dumb to do the same thing? 
I don't think so. 
It's one way to get rid of some of those extra airmiles purchases.

Still thinking about the folks in the flyers looking wildly happy and jumping around over a toaster? Want your family to go nuts, too? 
Toss the flyers. 
Those folks are models who were paid big bucks to smile like ninnies.
Stores want you to buy. A nice family holiday is not their goal.
If they had their way you'd replace everything and pay 50% interest.

Remember how the best presents were things that showed that someone cared?
Maybe somebody hunted down a second-hand, out-of-print book by your favorite author.
The gadgets that looked amazing seem totally strange on December 26th.

While you're shopping, get yourself some treats. I have a friend who picks up a bag of pfeffernusse cookies every November. Whenever she feels like all she's doing is giving, giving, giving, she pops a pfeffernusse and gives herself an old-time Christmas. 
It doesn't take much.

God bless us, everyone.

November 24, 2009


If you want to see steam, steam and more steam, then come to Winnipeg next May for Steam on the Prairies!

The 1000 Lakes Region's 2010 convention will be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba on the Memorial Day weekend, from May 28 to 30.

On Friday they'll begin with a chartered bus excursion to Portage la Prairie, rated by Trains magazine as one of North America's 10 best railfanning locations. The CN and CP mainlines come within a few hundred feet of each other at the Portage yards, so be sure to bring your camera and extra memory cards! They'll also visit the former CP railway station at the CP Heritage Park Museum. The tour will be guided by Morgan Turney, Editor and Publisher of Canadian Railway Modeler and Railfan Canada.

As a non-rail option on Friday, they have scheduled a guided tour of Lower Fort Garry National Historic Park, a beautifully restored 1830s Hudson's Bay Company Trading Post on the banks of the Red River. It is the oldest stone fur trading post in North America.

On Friday night you'll feast at a barbecue held at Bill Taylor's Assiniboine Valley Railway. After a delicious meal, you can enjoy riding the AVR's 1:8 scale trains well past sunset. The AVR has no less than 3 live steam engines in its roster of locomotives, including a scale model of CP's famous Royal Hudson.

On Saturday morning they'll have clinics. The special guest will be Bill Schaumburg, Editor of Railroad Model Craftsman, presenting a clinic on commuter rail lines.

After the clinics, everyone will head to the Prairie Dog Central Railway. There you can tour the shops and take part in a swap meet. Be sure to bring your want lists and all of your model railroading goodies that you want to sell.

Then you can ride the rails in vintage woodsided cars behind their recently restored 1882 4-4-0 steam locomotive to the towns of Gross Isle and Warren. The Prairie Dog will then take everyone to the Hitch 'N Post Restaurant for the annual banquet.

On Sunday morning The 1000 Lakes Region will be holding their annual general meeting. The afternoon and evening will be free for layout hops.

The CN Lines SIG, the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club and the CP Station Committee of Portage La Prairie will also be attending the convention.

The convention will be headquartered at the suburban campus of Winnipeg's Canadian Mennonite University. Their dorm rooms are available for far less than half the price of an average hotel room. Double occupancy prices start at less than thirty dollars. A limited number of larger suites with kitchenettes are also available at extra cost.

If you wish to book a room on campus, the registration form has all of the contact information listed, including an e-mail address, a fax number and a toll-free number. If guests wish to purchase reasonably priced meals, the campus cafeteria will be open.

Any NMRA member whose registration, with payment, is postmarked by Dec 18 will only pay $80, a savings of $20. If you are not a NMRA member, no problem. You can buy a 6 month trial membership for $10.

The basic registration includes the Friday night barbecue held at the Assiniboine Valley Railway, all clinics, the excursion on the Prairie Dog Central, the banquet at the Hitch 'N Post, and the Sunday layout hops. It does not include the extra fare trip to Portage la Prairie or the non rail tour of Lower Fort Garry National Historic Park.

You can find the registration form by going to the National Model Railroad Association's web site:, then following the links to TLR (1000 Lakes Region), then to Conventions.

Have a great day. How can you miss - you're in Winnipeg!

November 22, 2009

Railfanning in Winnipeg

Looking for family fun in December? From December 5 to January 3 The Assiniboine Valley Railway will be holding their Christmas Light Run at 6:30 p.m. Just call Bill Taylor at 832-3872. He will be happy to tell you all about it.

The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club is inviting everyone to attend their monthly meetings, which are held at Westworth United Church, 1750 Grosvenor Avenue, at 7:30 p.m. on the second Friday of every month.

On December 11 there'll be a slide show about a trip to the Powder River Basin. That night Rob Gearns will also teach you how to build a steam locomotive from scratch. What a neat Christmas gift!

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club membership also makes a great stocking stuffer. Members receive a monthly magazine The Lantern. It's packed with news for railfans. Every WMRC member in good standing also gets a 5% discount on all non-sale in-store model rail items at Toad Hall, 54 Arthur Street, 956-2195

Looking for more magazines for the railfans on your Chistmas list? One of the WMRC members, Morgan Turney, is also the Editor and Publisher of Canadian Railway Modeler and Railfan Canada. Morgan is also the Program Director of the WMRC. Come to the meeting and chat with him.

The Number One Northern Division of the 1000 Lakes Region of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) is composed of a few members of the WMRC. They are organizing their 2010 convention, Steam on the Prairies which will be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba on the Memorial Day weekend, from May 28 to 30.

Any NMRA member whose registration, with payment, is postmarked by Dec 18 will only pay $80, a savings of $20. If you are not a NMRA member, no problem. You can buy a 6 month trial membership for $10.

The basic registration includes the Friday night barbecue held at the Assiniboine Valley Railway, all clinics, the excursion on the Prairie Dog Central, the banquet at the Hitch 'N Post, and the Sunday layout hops. It does not include the extra fare trip to Portage la Prairie or the non rail tour of Lower Fort Garry National Historic Park.

You can find the registration form by going to the National Model Railroad Association's web site:, then following the links to TLR (1000 Lakes Region), then to Conventions.

Have a great day. How can you miss - you're in Winnipeg!

November 19, 2009

Proof That God Is Not A Woman (part 2 - by Margaret Ullrich)

Santa Claus has come to town. Yikes!!

Ok, grab a pen and paper and sit down. Why are you doing this?
For some "Jesus is the reason for the season". Okay, that's a start.
God became human.
Humans can't become God.
So get rid of the crap that's crept into the creche.

What's important to you and your family? 
Not to the neighbors, not to the in-laws and not to the stores. 
Set your own priorities. 
Don't let the urgent, like making fancy decorations, keep you from the important,
like spending time together. 
If anyone tries to talk you into doing something extra, just say NO.

Back to the old time Christmas. Maybe chopping and crushing was their idea of a crackerjack good time. But, if your kids just want oreoes, why stay up till midnight making weird sugar cookies that can't fit into a glass of milk? 
I know. It's tradition. 
So, delegate the mixing. Bang open a tube of cookie dough and let the kids get creative while you take pictures. They'll actually eat those cookies.

Did you invite someone who thinks store bought is not fit for the holidays? 
Stock up now, destroy the wrappings, toss your cookies into bread bags and freeze them. 
Remember how in the 60s we distressed furniture? 
When it's Show Time, pop the cookies into the oven for nice burnt edges. 
And muck up the fruitcake's icing. 
The snob will praise you and wolf down anything that doesn't look like it was made by a professional.

Speaking of professional, avoid The Stewart
If you do watch Martha, remember: It's TV. Look at the credits. She has an army helping her. They bake 30 cakes and she shows the best one. She doesn't do all that work when she's bone tired after putting in a 12 hour day. 
Martha is human, too. 
You've seen blooper shows. Trust me. Martha bloopers.

Do you have a friend who thinks she's Martha? 
Whoopee for her. 
Like your Mama done told you, if your friend jumped off a bridge would you do it, too? 
There has to be something your pal hates to do. Swap your expertise for hers.
Yes, you are good at something. She bakes, you wrap. See?

Ever feel that if you don't do everything the family's been doing since the Stone Age, the holidays will be ruined forever, it will be all your fault and the family will never recover? 
That's Mama Guilt. 
According to a psychologist, "Guilt feelings are a messy mixture of insecurity, self-doubt, self-condemnation, self-judgment, anxiety and fear."
Dump the guilt. 
Make a list of the things you think you have to do, including making that relish that's been in the family since the Black Death.
After dinner, before everyone runs off, read the list. 
If something gets big smiles, it's a keeper. 
If you say "Relish" and people make barfing sounds, cross it out. 
If your family's polite, think about last year.
If you were serving leftover Christmas relish with the Easter ham, lose the recipe.

Office and Organization Parties were once a fun way for spouses to meet the other important people in one's life. Now both spouses have been invited to parties - and guess what, they're always on the same night - and 'The Wives' and 'The Husbands' can't face another plate of appetizers. 
Stay home. 
Your pals will save you a copy of the secretary's xeroxed butt.

Cards used to be nice and simple, with pretty pictures and cheery messages. 
Just sign and send. Then some fool started printing up long bragging letters. 
Don't write The Letter. Your friends will love you.

Back to the three-handed Mom pulling toys off the shelves like they were free samples.
There are 5 weeks left until Christmas.
Think that's a long time? 
How many New Year's resolutions have you done in the last eleven months? 
Neither have I.

November 17, 2009

The Leonid Meteor Shower and The Winnipeg Humane Society

It's time to look up again. The annual Leonid meteor shower is happening. Every 33 years it rounds the sun and goes back to the outer solar system. What exactly are we looking at? Tiny bits of material, no bigger than a pea, which have blown off the comet Tempel-Tuttle and are just floating through space.

To enjoy the celestial fireworks dress warmly, find a dark area with a clear view of the eastern horizon, set up a few folding chairs and enjoy!

The Winnipeg Humane Society is asking everyone to join them at their Paws for the Season – Holiday Open House.

Enjoy seasonal treats from their bake sale and peruse the holiday craft sale. Hang an ornament on their tree to honour the people and pets in your life. Enjoy holiday music, refreshments, and activities for the children. Bring holiday cheer to the animals at The WHS.

Where: The Winnipeg Humane Society
When: Sunday, December 6th 12pm to 5pm

Free Admission! Everyone welcome to attend - please leave furry friends at home.

Have a great day. How can you miss - you're in Winnipeg!

November 12, 2009

Proof That God Is Not A Woman (part 1 by Margaret Ullrich)

Whenever I wonder if God is a man - which I admit isn't often - all I have to do is remember the ho-ho-ho good time we women have during holidays.

Yep . . . God's a man.

He sits and expects a holiday to happen. It happened last year, right? No problem. He just sat and wallah! A holiday complete with a big dinner, a fancy dessert and gifts.

Okay, ladies, we know holidays take a ton of work. Remember the commercial in which we heard Nat King Cole singing about Mrs. Santa Claus? We saw a woman throwing toys into a cart with one hand, keeping a toddler from jumping out of the cart with another hand and clutching a preschooler with another hand.

Of course she had three hands. She was a Mom.

Admit it. We don't have holidays because we like 'em. They're part of our culture, our civilization. Yeah... So is cleaning the toilet. 
But women are tradition keepers, so we keep responding like Pavlov's dogs when we read stuff like:

"While winds howled, we gathered around the fire 
and sorted recipes. At the oak table the children chopped 
fruit and raisins, while Papa happily crushed nuts and 
spices in the grinder."

Let's think about that little scene... 
Sorting recipes? We now have mixes. 
Children chopping raisins? Sure. Yank a gameboy out of a kid's hands, give him a big sharp knife and some raisins and you'll both end up on the 6 o'clock news. 
Papa crushing his nuts in a what? No, thank you.

Remember how we thought technology would give us loads of leisure? 
Uh huh. 
Technology means that in a public washroom, you and a dozen other women can hear your cellphone playing 'Up a Lazy River'. Oh, for the days when we could pee in peace.

Think you can rest when you're retired? Surprise! You've unloaded your youngest, just to be begged by your oldest - the one with the Masters degree you worked to pay for - to babysit her kids while she and her partner hold down a couple of macjobs apiece.

Oh, and your Mom could now use some help.

And now the holidays are back.

November 10, 2009

Pumpkin Muffins and Meteors

I got a few more e mails from folks still stuck with pumpkin. Yeah, I know. I can't face another pie, either.

Here's another goodie. Maybe it isn't right for breakfast with a cup of tea. Then again, maybe it is.


grease (or paper line) 12 medium-sized muffin cups
preheat oven to 400º
bake 20 min.

in a large bowl combine
1 1/2 Cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 Cup brown sugar
mix in well
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips
in another bowl blend thoroughly
1 egg, beaten
3/4 Cup milk
1/4 Cup oil
1/2 cooked pumpkin
add to dry ingredients all at once
stir until moistened
spoon into prepared cups

Pack a few muffins and a thermos of hot coffee and go out to watch the Taurids meteor shower. It's happening now. You don't need anything special like binoculars or telescopes. Just dress warmly and go to a dark location. Then look up... look way up.

Ain't nature grand!

Have a great day. How can you miss - you're in Winnipeg!

November 8, 2009

Lectures and Concerts

Winnipeggers love a bargain and what's a better bargain than FREE!

The Downtown Library is more than just a building full of books. On Wednesdays, from September to March, their Reader Services Department is hosting a lecture series featuring teachers and researchers from the University of Winnipeg. On Thursdays the library is providing a showcase for Manitoba's musicians.

Their next lecture and concert features:

Nov. 18 - Prof. Joan Grace, UWinnipeg Politics, talking about Policy Advocacy and Multilevel Governance in Canada: Insights from Scottish Devolution

Nov. 19 - Classical Piano Trios, by Trio Azzurro, with Meredith Johnson, doublebass & Susan McCallum, violin with the WSO, and pianist Maximilian Fleischman

Nov. 25 - Prof. John Anchan, UWinnipeg Education, talking about Mobile Technologies: Excuse Me - Is that the World in Your Pocket?

Nov. 26 - Liam Berry, a talented 14-year-old pianist, who will entertain you with classical, ragtime and jazz on the baby grand

It's all free, but seating is limited. The events are from 12:10 - 12:50 PM, so bring your lunch and come early to the Carol Shields Auditorium.

The schedule is subject to change without notice. To confirm, or learn about future events call the Reader Services at 986-8386 or

Did I mention it's all free?

Want an evening of Jazz? No problem. On Nov. 14 at 8:00 p.m. The Winnipeg Art Gallery is the place to be. Glenn Buhr and Martha Brooks will be perfoming. Tickets are $17 WAG members/ $18 Senior & Student/ $19 Adult and are available at the WAG and Ticketmaster. The tickets include Gallery admisssion on concert day. Make a day of it and stroll through the gallery.

Have a great day. How can you miss - you're in Winnipeg!

November 5, 2009

Margaret Ullrich (nee Margherita Sultana)

Margaret Ullrich was born in M'sida, Malta. Three months later she and her parents immigrated to the United States, to Corona, New York.
After two years they moved to College Point, also in Queens, New York.

While in high school, her essay was published in Young America Speaks (National Essay Press) and her play Better You Should was produced for a student assembly.
She graduated with honours from St. Agnes Academic High School.

While attending Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, Margaret had her own column
Off the IRT Track in the university's weekly newspaper The Prattler.
She also served as The Prattler's Business Manager.

After graduating with a BFA in Fashion Merchandising, Margaret worked in Manhattan as a copywriter for Columbia Minerva, a publisher of knitting instruction booklets.

In 1972 Margaret and her husband Paul moved to Surrey, British Columbia.
In 1975 they moved to Winnipeg. She graduated from Red River Community College's Photographic Technician course in 1980. During the following years she also studied Creative Writing with Maara Haas, Playwrighting with Bruce McManus at Prairie Theatre Exchange, and Basic Film Making with Ann Hodges at the Winnipeg Film Group.

In the late 70s and early 80s Margaret served as editor for
The West End Co-op Resource Centre Newsletter
the Age & Opportunity Newsletter - The Senior Link
the Family Services of Winnipeg Newsletter - Newsbreak
the Manitoba Naturalists' Society Newsletter - The Bulletin

During this period Margaret wrote for The Manitoba Women's Newspaper.
She also wrote and performed in comedy skits with her husband Paul on the VPW Public Access programs Comics and Cartoons and Roger Rocket Pilot.
Following Margo Oliver's recipes, she cooked various recipes to illustrate Margo Oliver's column in The Winnipeg Free Press.

In 1990 Margaret's play The Spare Room received an honorable mention in CBC's Writers for Radio contest. Her three short pieces - Sensibilia; Love, You Make My Day and Cross in the Sand - were runner-ups in CBC Radio's Afternoon Edition Valentine's day writing contests from 1991 to 1993.

From 1993 to 2001 she was a member, volunteer and Officer of the Board of the Manitoba Association of Playwrights. Margaret was accepted into MAP's Mentorship program. Her plays, including her three longer works The Legacy, My Father's Daughter and The British are Coming, were workshopped at MAP's Open Door.

In 1995 her play Good Breeding, directed by Mauralea Austin, was produced by Popular Theatre Alliance of Manitoba for TESTING GROUND II.  In the same year, Margaret edited copy for RE VISIONS, the Festival Program for The Winnipeg Women's International Film & Video Festival.

Margaret's recipes for Rabbit Cooked in Garlic and Wine; Smothered Potatoes and Fennel, and Caponata (all Maltese style recipes) were included in Enter Cooking!  Volume Two, Another collection of favourite recipes from the Manitoba Theatre Community, which was published by The Manitoba Association of Playwrights in 1996.

In 1996 she also performed in Limblifter's rock video Vicious.

In 1998 Margaret's play Pat Answers and her short story Worms with Angel Wings were broadcast on the UMFM radio program Saturday Night Variety Show.
In 1999 these pieces were again broadcast on the UMFM drama show Play It Again, along with Good Breeding and Women of Culture, a full length play. 

In 2000 she attended the Radio Technical Operation Course at Video Pool and CKUW (Steve Bates, instructor).

From 2000 to 2007 Margaret read her own essays and humorous stories on the CKUW radio program 2000 and Counting - Older and Wiser, which was broadcasted live on Tuesday afternoon and repeated on Saturday mornings. She produced the Christmas 2001/New Year's 2002 programs. Her play Pat Answers was performed live on the program.
Her essay Living with Cholesterol was broadcasted on CBC Radio One.

During this period Margaret attended the University of Winnipeg where she studied Creative Non-fiction with Catherine M. Senecal and Screenplay Writing with Don Bailey. She was also published in The Metro, Autumn Leaves, The Prime Times News, The Manitoba Co-operator, The Nor'West News and The MSOS Journal.

Four of her works, Bus Sightings, On My Way, Portuguese Fisherman and Cholesterol Blues (a shorter version of Living with Cholesterol) were included in the anthology Autumn Leaves which was published in 2003 by Creative Retirement.

Margaret and her husband Paul created and performed in a play spotlighting community problems with The Nor'west Co-op Community Health Centre's theatre group in 2003. They also performed at the Nor'West Community Centre AGM and at a Meet and Greet hosted by the Keewatin/Inkster Neighbourhood Resource Council.

From 2007 to 2008 Margaret was co-host and co-producer with Sophie Kolt of the CKUW radio program Better Than Chocolate.  It was voted CKUW's People's Choice for Favourite Spoken Word Show 2008.
It was broadcasted live on Thursday mornings and included local personalities and news. 
Margaret also wrote for and read her stories on the program.
Her full length play Women of Culture was also broadcasted on the show.

Margaret's story A Traditional Family Easter was included in
‘A/Cross Sections: New Manitoba Writing’, launched November 1, 2007.

Another of Margaret's stories, Home Place Two... Plus One, was published in the
"Home Place 2" section of Prairie Fire magazine Vol. 29, No. 1, which featured work by Winnipeg creative non-fiction writers.  It was launched at McNally Robinson April 24, 2008.

Currently Margaret is the Public Relations Person for The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club.  She has written articles for The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's publication The Lantern and The Thousand Lakes Region, National Model Railroad Association Thousand Lakes Region's publication The Fusee.

Margaret is also producing two blogs.
Winnipeg is Better Than Chocolate, a continuation of her radio program Better Than Chocolate, is about happenings and people of Winnipeg.
I'm Turning 60... is a more casual, personal blog which includes stories and Maltese recipes.

In 2009 her photo Take the E Train was awarded first place, film print prototype, in the The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's annual photo contest.

In 2010 Margaret's latchhook rug of of a CN Alco FA-2 engine, with boxcar and caboose, was awarded first place, Arts & Crafts, in the 'Steam on the Prairies', National Model Railroad Association Thousand Lakes Region's Regional Convention's model contest.  
Her photo Take the E Train was awarded third place, black and white prototype print, in the 'Steam on the Prairies', National Model Railroad Association Thousand Lakes Region's 2010 Regional Convention's photo contest.

In 2011 Margaret's story Easter Bread was included in Dust & Fire, Writing & Art by Women 2011, which was launched on March 25, 2011.  The book was published by the Women's Studies Department of Bemidji State University.  The launch took place at the American Indian Resource Center.
She was also awarded the President's Shield for Outstanding Contribution to the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club by W.M.R.C. President Suzanne Lemon for her work  in promoting the annual Spring Open House.

In 2012 her model entry Depot on CD was awarded the Tyro - Initial Modelling Achievement award by the W.M.R.C.

In 2013 her model entry N scale Grain Elevator was awarded the Goodall Trophy / first place kit class by the W.M.R.C.  It was also awarded third place, Structure On-line, in the 'Twin Rails to the Twin Cities', National Model Railroad Association Thousand Lakes Region's 2013 Regional Convention's model contest.

most recent update - June, 2013

November 3, 2009

Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars and Prairie Fire Launch

Ah, yes... Halloween. It's loads of fun to carve a pumpkin. But now it's November and folks are stuck with a huge hunk of raw pumpkin. Food prices being what they are, nobody wants to just throw food away.

I received a few e mails asking if I had a recipe. Here's an old favorite. Hope you enjoy it, too.


grease 2 9 x 13" pans
preheat oven to 350º
bake 50 min.

in a large bowl combine
3 Cups flour
3 Cups oats
3 Cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
make a well in the center
3 Cups cooked pumpkin (= 28 oz. can)
3 large eggs
9 ounces oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
stir until just mixed
stir in
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
turn into prepared pans
bake - cool - cut into bars

Just a reminder... Prairie Fire Press is inviting you to come to the launch and celebration of "Home Place 3", Thursday November 5, at McNally Robinson Booksellers' Grant Park location, in the Travel Alcove. It's free to the public.

Giving short readings that evening are Steve Benstead, Todd Besant, Warren Cariou, Sharon Chisvin, Anita Daher, Elizabeth Denny, David Elias, Hedy Heppenstall, Mary Horodyski, Faith Johnston, Esme Claire Keith, Barbara Romanik, James Scoles, Niigonwedom James Sinclair, Katherena Vermette, Andrea von Wichert and John Weir. They'll start at 7:00 pm.

Join the writers for cake and coffee after the reading.

Hope they'll serve their delicious carrot cake. I had a story in Prairie Fire's "Home Place 2" in 2008 and remember the launch as being a lot of fun. Writers love to meet their readers.

Have a great day. How can you miss - you're in Winnipeg!

November 1, 2009

Autumn Leaves and Tomato Soup

Autumn is really here. Yesterday the neighbourhood was out in full force raking leaves.

Wouldn't it be great if they did an extra garbage run right about now to pick up all the bags of leaves? Sometime there just isn't time to 'leaf it with them'.

We were pretty lucky with our garden this year. We enjoyed homegrown rhubarb, beans, lettuce, beets, cabbage and tomatoes. I credit our success to our compost. We have two boxes going and, what with all the grass clippings, the leaves and the kitchen waste, we always manage to have two full boxes of compost to spread in the Fall.

How do I compost, you ask? Just call the Compost Infoline at 925-3777. Your garden will thank you next year.

Last month, when we heard there was going to be frost at night, I had to pick a few hundred green tomatoes and store them in the basement. They turned red alright. Some are a little too soft to serve in a salad. But they're just perfect for making soup.


in a large pot heat
2 tablespoons oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
cook until the onion is slightly browned
stir in
2 tablespoons flour
stir in
2 cups buttermilk
stir over low heat
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons minced parsley
heat but don't boil

Have a great day. How can you miss - you're in Winnipeg!