Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Three Days and From the Dust is Released!!

On December 1, 2007 - "From the Dust" will be officially released.
More than a love story. More than history. Read about life on a Saskatchewan farm in 1935. Cheer on our two combatants Tate and Eva. Who will get the farm? Who will leave and who will stay? Or will passion win out? Will they fall in love?

You can pick up your copy at almost any online bookstore; Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, Target and read the story of Eva and Tate as they meant it to be told. McNally Robinson will also carry it as well as Greenwood's in Edmonton and Book and Briar in Regina. Speaking of which if you're in Regina you can come on down to Book and Briar on December 14 and chat with me between 7:00 and 9:00. You'll get a free coffee and a bookmark for your trouble. And if you're in the buying mood a signed copy of From the Dust!

There, that's it for me and promo. Soon it will be on to our regularly scheduled programming. There have been a few glitches of late - I wanted to add music to the blog but that has taken more time then I realized it would and, well the music is still in the queue. Some of my interviews were cancelled as it is flu season here in Saskatchewan. There were quite a few ugly bugs going around. I'm happy to say that although I had to cancel pending interviews because of the flu, they're all feeling better and I hope to write a few more interviews. Especially because one spry 90 something was very excited to be included. He'd be devestated if I don't interview him and have his words appear in print for all of you.

Until later.

Dream big and travel safe.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Who Said a Cow Isn't a Pet?

One spunky lady I interviewed had a tough childhood growing up in the thirties. She plowed the fields, tended the animals and quit school, like so many did, when she was barely a teenager. But she always had her pets. They might have been considered livestock but to her they were friends.

First there was Baby, a calf who she fed daily and who eventually learned to jump into the grainery after her so that it could get the best feed of the herd. The calf continued to follow her everywhere even after it was full grown. When the cows were herded in at night, Baby hung behind and walked beside the girl. If any of the dogs dared to walk anywhere near "her girl", the cow chased them away. Baby was the best milk cow they had and for that reason one day she was sold to a local farmer. Neither the girl or the cow ever got over that. The cow's milk production decreased significantly and the girl, well she still talks about the cow called Baby who was her friend and companion through some tough years in her young life.

Well, if the cow didn't work out you just have to move on. So then came the colt. So many years later my companion doesn't remember the colt's name but what she does remember is that she snuck sugar to it daily. The colt began to look forward to this and expect its daily treat. One day she was busy in the kitchen and hadn't had a chance to feed the colt its treat. The colt got tired of waiting and came up the porch steps and right through the screen door. It ended up standing in the middle of the kitchen looking calmly around for its sugar handout.

And then came Nellie. Nellie was an obstinant creature. An unrideable horse that had to be wrestled with to do the most basic duties like pull a plow. Obviously a challenge for any animal lover. "So," she says and only the wrinkles in her face give away her age, "I set out to train the horse." Nellie let her up on its back, kicking a bit before settling down. They rode along for a few minutes until the horse arrived at the appropriate destination. The slough. And that's where she was thrown off. When she arrived home, soaking wet and muddy her Dad took one look and said, "Nellie."

Who said a horse doesn't have a sense of humor?

She ran a hand along the cow’s tough hide. “Men are nothing but trouble, Ingrid. Do you know that?" Eva Edwards - From the Dust

Safe travels


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rembrance Day - 11-11-11

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead.
Short days ago We lived, felt dawn,
saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
and now we lie In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you from failing hands
we throw The torch;
be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

We Will Not Forget!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

You Either Had or You Had Not

For many, The Great Depression was a battle to survive.

For Tate Prescott Brown, "From the Dust" the depression all began with the stock market crash of 1929.

“...Played the market and won.” He grinned. “The stock market. Even through the crash of ’29.” Tate Prescott Brown - "From the Dust"

For one vivacious lady that one would never dare call elderly, money wasn't even a consideration. For her the depression began like this:

"One year everybody seeded grain and gardens. That spring we had alot of wind every day. The crops didn't grow. No rain. No garden. The wind was blowing every day. Not only wind, it was dusty wind. We had to put towels around the house windows to keep out the dust. The next year was bad. Hardly seed to put in and the dust storms didn't stop. There was no snow and no rain that year. We got some seed from the municipality but we had to work for it. There was no relief."

Of course Tate's view of the years that followed were slightly different:

“But I never wanted...the society clinches, charity fundraisers."
Tate Prescott Brown, "From the Dust"

Smiling broadly and pouring more coffee, my hostess continues with the interview:

"If we had a nickel we went to the store bought chickory to add to the coffee to taste better or we bought socks because we didn't have any." She smiles.

"In fall boxcar loads of potatoes came from the east. Each family got one bag unless it was a big family. We got nine bags. Then we had one potato to a person only on Sunday." She says this as if that one potato was the biggest treat of her life.

“At first the idea of a Saskatchewan farm was a joke among my friends."
Tate Prescott Brown - "From the Dust"

Her gray hair gleams in the sunlight as it streams through the window and skips across her kitchen table. And the senior continues:

"The grain was only about 10 inches high. We cut it down with grass mower and put it on the tarp run over with a disc to thresh it out then we put through the grain cleaner to blow the chaffe. After that we put kernals in the chopper. Sifted the seed fine, that was our flour for bread, course flour was our porridge. That was the wheat. Barley was done the same only fine flour was our potatoes and course barley was roasted and made our coffee."

“Money? You think money is the answer?” She looked up. “What do you know about farming on the prairies?” Eva Edwards - "From the Dust"

Safe travels