Tag Archives: dee Hobsbawn-Smith

Grainews: First We Eat – Gifts for Aging Parents

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I recently spent a considerable amount of time perusing old photographs as I edited a vanity-press family history book written by my mother. When I showed Dave the wedding photo of my parents – taken sixty-three years ago – he confessed he would not have recognized the young and handsome couple in the image. He’s only known my folks for ten years; this year, my parents will both turn eighty-two. Continue reading

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Grainews: First We Eat – Baking with Shon

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When Mom learned that Dave and I were going to spend two weeks writing at Wallace Stegner House in Eastend, she said, “Make sure you say hi to Shon and Steve. They’re good folks.” So, soon after our arrival, I parsed the village’s streets, looking for evidence of potters. When I found a front yard decorated with pottery, I climbed the steps and knocked. Continue reading

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Grainews: First We Eat – Taking Stock

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Our globe tracks a circular route around the sun, and life often mimics that pattern. As does culture. Skirts go up and come down, narrow lapels and three buttons come in and out of style, high-waisted pants unaccountably return to favour from darkest Siberia. And crafts too, come in and out of fashion.

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Grainews: First We Eat – On Not Counting Cookies

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I started baking at six, the same age I first climbed onto a horse. I was too short to mount a tall gelding unaided, and in the kitchen, I didn’t realize that what I wanted to make first – cookies – were among the most challenging of any sweet. Continue reading

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Grainews: First We Eat – Mating Rituals

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Dave and I celebrated a significant anniversary recently. We’d met in Banff, at a writing retreat. During that two-week span, he’d flirted shamelessly, held my chair, chatted me up, sat with me at meals, taken me swimming and to dinner, everything but serenaded me. For that, we waited ten years, and then it was an unlikely pair of romance experts who sang: porcupines. Continue reading

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Grainews: First We Eat – By the Book

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Dave and I are writers. Every room in our house is filled with books and literary journals, framing windows and filling every shelf. Upstairs in my studio, half the room is devoted to my culinary library.  The kitchen, too, has a bookshelf, thanks to my mother. Continue reading

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Grainews: First We Eat – I am a runner

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I am a runner. When the weather allows, I run with my friend, Amy Jo Ehman, along the riversides and bridges of Saskatoon when I’m not scudding through the sand and gravel of our rural roads. Last fall, I ran my first ten-k trail race as a family event, with my youngest son and his partner, and in May, while those two run the marathon, I’ll run in the Vancouver Marathon’s 20-k half-marathon race.

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Grainews: First We Eat -Freezer Archaeology

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I was sitting at my neighbour Sharon’s kitchen counter on a Sunday morning, enjoying our weekly coffee. My puppy, Jake, fussed at my feet, his manners strained by my insistence on a “Down-stay,” so I didn’t hear what Sharon had said, just held out my empty mug for a refill and shrugged. Sharon, who has known me for nearly thirty years, poured more coffee and repeated her words. Continue reading

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Grainews: “First We Eat” – Curling & Chili

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For the past seven years, we’ve greeted the New Year by throwing makeshift curling rocks across the icy lake that surrounds our home west of Saskatoon. The lake arrived in spring 2011, eight months after we’d taken up residence on what has been my family’s farm for decades. Continue reading

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