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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

BULLIES . . . a School Story: page 1


            Story by Eleanor Stadnyk

            Illustrations by Nestor Stadnyk

Page 1:

The doors of Oolichan Bay’s elementary school banged open.

“Look at that!” shouted Kit Otter.

It was a beautiful fall day and warm sunlight glittered off the blue ocean

just ahead.

“Come on!” yelled Kit. “Last one in is a smelly oolichan.”

“Gang way!” shrieked his adopted sister, Millie Mutt. (His family had

found her crying at the end of summer outside an empty cottage.)

But if Olivia Otter heard her little brother there was no sign. She never

even raised her head.

Bewildered, Kit ran back to Olivia. “What’s the matter?” he asked.

“Aren’t you coming?”

“Leave me alone,” said Olivia.

“Okay, if that’s the way you want to be,” said Kit and he ran off to join

his friends.

For HOMESCHOOLING or TEACHERS . . . BLACK BEAUTY Comprehension questions

Yesterday, this paper turned up in one of my old blog binders.  I had used the back of it to do some planning.

BLACK BEAUTY was in the classroom library when I was in grade two, and I loved it.  One of the things it taught was not to be cruel to animals. 

The questions I developed can be used in a variety of ways.  A  teacher could read the book to a class.  Alternatively, of course, a child could read the book alone.   For parents, however, I would recommend, reading with the child.  Take turns reading aloud.  Then do these questions:

1.      The main idea in Chapter 2 was:
(a) A hare was killed.
(b)  A hunt in which people riding horses that followed dogs was described.
(c)  Black Beauty’s mother was upset because a horse was killed.

2.     There are still hunts in England where people ride horses and follow hounds chasing a fox.  These people enjoy hunting as a sport.  Other people say it is cruel.  What do you think?  Why?

3.     Put numbers in front of the following sentences to show in what order events happened.
---- People were riding in all directions: to the doctor’s, to the farrier’s, and to Squire Gordon’s.
____ The colts heard hounds.
____  A terrified hare went by the colts.
____  A black coach went by.
____  The colts saw the hounds.
____  A huntsman held up the dead hare.
____ The horsemen went by. 
____  A gun went bang.
____  The dead man was taken to the house.


I was a school librarian for ten years

collaborating with teachers  (Betty Balon on the left).

Then, I asked for a classroom and was a teacher for over twenty years.

Reading was always my passion and I developed novel study after novel study so that my students could have an individualized program – each kid reading a good book at his/her own level.

The questions were designed to check comprehension and to develop different skills such as identifying main ideas and making judgements.

I sent some of them to Rainbow Publishing in North Battleford and received a lump sum; no royalties.  These are still available if you’re interested.  Just google:

P.S. The BLACK BEAUTY questions were among the many novel studies I never got around to sending to the publisher. 

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

More Summer Fun in SURREY . . . and CRAB DINNER !!!

Finding little crabs

and big crabs 

CRAB for 4 with LEMON and BUTTER

From FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT: The Cook’s Essential Companion by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore

You will need a very large pot.  I use an inexpensive large navy enameled canner.

2 crabs
16 cups water
1 ½ lemons
¾ cup coarse salt
1/8 cup coriander seeds
1 ½ tablespoons brown mustard seeds
½ tbsp. dill seeds
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
12 allspice berries  

Put water in a very large pot.  Cut lemons in half, squeeze the juice into the water, and add the rinds.  Add the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT THE CRABS.  Bring to a boil. 

Add the crabs, cover, and bring back to a boil.  Turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes.

Remove the crabs.  Turn the crab over.  Pry up the apron (tail flap).  Discard.  Next, lift off the top shell.  Discard the spongy gills on the sides and the sand bag from the middle.  Rinse under hot running water.

Divide each crab in half.  Serve with melted butter and quartered lemons.  Oh, YUM!

P.S.  Cheese and Jalapeno biscuits . . . a perfect match.

Sunday, 28 August 2016


Playland at The Vancouver PNE has some great rides for little people.


So you’ve come home from a playground or camping or a trip somewhere and you need to make something for dinner.  Here’s a wonderful and easy recipe!


            From CHATELAINE MAGAZINE, October, 2010

1 kg fresh mussels
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
½ red onion, sliced thinly
1 tbsp curry powder
¾ can coconut milk  (or use all of it)
1 large tomato
1 small tomato (such as a plum tomato)
½ tsp salt
½ cup chopped cilantro

·        Wash mussels in several changes of water until it becomes clear and free of sand.
·        If any are open, tap them with a table knife and set aside.  Check them in a few minutes.  If they’re still open, discard them.
·        Scrub the mussels with a kitchen brush and remove beards by pulling toward the hinge.
·        Put back in the fridge until serving time.
·        Chop the tomatoes.
·        Heat a large pot with oil.  Add onion and stir for 3 minutes.
·        Stir in curry powder and cook 1 minute.
·        Add tomatoes, coconut milk, and salt.
·        Increase heat.  When boiling add mussels and cover.
·        Cook 3 minutes. 
·        Discard mussels that don’t open.
·        Garnish with cilantro and serve.

YUM!  Serve the mussels in a big soup bowl with a simple salad and a loaf of chewy, crusty Italian bread.  Put some more large bowls on the table for discarded shells.

     from Bernard Clayton's New COMPLETE BOOK OF BREADS

Thursday, 25 August 2016


Best fun thing to do with kids in Vancouver?

Little trains are usually pretty much the same but just look at these ones                              in Burnaby’s Confederation Park.

You get a lovely long ride. 

Cutest little trains ever!


Nicole is a creative cook and often doesn't measure stuff. Enjoy!


About 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
2 or 3 plum tomatoes, quartered
about 1 tbsp Olive oil
Black olives
Shaved parmesan (Use vegetable peeler.)
Fresh tarragon or basil

In the evening, preheat oven to 200.
Put all the tomatoes on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast for 2 hours.
Leave in oven overnight to cool down.

In the morning, transfer tomatoes to a glass dish.   Cover and let stand in fridge until close to serving time.
Sprinkle with sliced black olives, shaved parmesan, and chopped tarragon or basil.  

Monday, 22 August 2016


Kepler raced away along the waterfront and down to the water taxis.  He just HAD to get on one . . . but then was devastated when he learned he would not be allowed to steer it. 

                          but it took us to Fisherman's Wharf
                         where a seal stared at Kepler and Kepler stared right back

Victoria Butterfly Gardens

We took a few minutes to check out the lovely wines at Church and State Winery 

while Kepler and Bryan hung out at a nearby playground

thanks for a Delightful holiday, Victoria!


SAUERKRAUT FILLING for Pyrizhky  (Nachinka z kvashenoyi kapusti)

     From Savella Stechishin’s TRADITIONAL UKRAINIAN COOKERY

6 cups sauerkraut, well drained
1 large onion (about 12 to 16 ounces)
4 tablespoons fat
½ tsp pepper

Chop onion finely.  Cook onion in the fat for 5 minutes until tender.
Add the sauerkraut.  Turn up the heat and cook, stirring, for 8 to 10 minutes.  Turn heat lower and continue cooking until sauerkraut is quite dry.  Some will begin to brown. 
The filling should be dry.

Fill 32 pyrizhky buns.  It's not hard to do!  See my mom’s recipe for the dough and method:

Divide filling into 32 equal portions.  

Stretch out a piece of dough, and
Savella says to use “a generous portion of the filling because the kraut settles in baking”. 

Pull dough over the filling.

Pinch the bottom closed.  Nothing fancy.

Turn over and they look nice.

Bake and serve.

Topped with creamed spinach and teamed with a sausage:  Yum!

Also great with no sauce at all!  Serve as an appetizer.  Yum!

Or serve with soup. Yum!



Wednesday, 17 August 2016


Summer, 2016.  Kathryne R observes

                 dark clouds gathering.

        Instantly, The Storm Chaser is on full alert. 

                                             Lightning bolts split the sky


                    but Kathryne is unfazed.

  The Calgary Cowboy listens to her story.

Adults smile, but The Calgary Princesses sense imminent danger.
They know from scary!

They contact THE LAREDO KID.

At first, he is confused.
Laredo Kid: Where's my sword? I need to fight!

N: You only fight bad guys right?

Laredo Kid: I need to fight Daddy! Bring him to me!

But common sense prevails.  He calls the Vancouver Talons.

They're in.

The Laredo Kid catches a serious ride . . .

Weaponizes . . .

 As does the Calgary Cowboy.

Oh, oh!


"Fear not, little one," soothes Princess Serenity. 

Meanwhile, in a briefing session with :

Laredo Kid:  We have to sneak up!

N: Ok. What are we sneaking up on?

Laredo Kid: the bad guys!

N: well what are we going to do once we have them?

Laredo Kid: tape them up!

N: so what did the bad guys do?

Laredo Kid: they fight!

N : who do they fight?

Laredo: the tapers! 

Okay then! and the chase is on.

the Quarry!

Of course, the Good Guys win . . .  

 You just don’t mess with the Calgary Cowboy!

or the Princesses.

Ditto the Talons!

And the Laredo Kid!

The End


GOOD GUYS' CORNMEAL PUDDING (aka, before political correctness, as Indian Pudding)
¼ cup corn meal
3 cups milk
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp soda
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter
½ cup molasses.

Start oven preheating to 275 degrees (very low).
Cook corn meal in 2 cups of the milk for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat.  Stir in remaining ingredients.
Turn into casserole.
Bake at 275 degrees for 2 hours.
Serve warm with ice cream.