Vol. 1, No. 15
G R A N D B E N D ’S F R E E C O M M U N I T Y N E W S P A P E R
Wed. Dec. 12 to Jan. 22, 2007
A SIMPSONS CHRISTMAS Writer/producer Tim Long treats alma mater with visit - p.12
BRINGING A SMILE TO THEIR EYES Photographers donate time for cancer patients - p.3 PAINTING LAKE HURON - P.6&7 Cover photo of Tracy McLennan and Dave MacLeod by Casey Lessard
Mom’s Advice p. - Keeping the Peace p. - Principal’s Page p. - Living in Balance p. - To Do List p.
Test drive a used vehicle online at: 640 Main St. S., Exeter (519) 235-0363 firstname.lastname@example.org
HMP MPExeter.com Exeter.com Big enough for the selection, small enough to care!
2 • GrandBendStrip.com
View from the Strip By Casey Lessard It’s been a great year here at the Strip and in my household. My family and I have enjoyed visiting your homes, and we look forward to being part of your lives in 2008. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, Happy New Year from all of us. To the rest, Merry Christmas, too. This season is going to be particularly tough for friends of mine in Haliburton. Sun Media bought the local newspaper a few months ago and downplayed the prospect of cuts. They’ve finally arrived. Five friends are now jobless, including some who spent the bulk of their careers making that newspaper one of the best in Canada. Two head office executives gave them an hour to leave; they barely had a chance to say goodbye. I’m glad I didn’t witness the announcement. Jamie, Donna, Renzo, Sharon and Buffy, I’ll be thinking of you this Christmas. To the editor, I would personally like to thank the people who helped in the Grand Bend Legion kitchen for November 17’s spaghetti dinner. It was a total success. Special thanks to: Gayle MacGregor, Randy Rapley, Joan McCullough, Anne McElone, Sandra Stanlake, Al Noxell, Mike Tieman, Jeanette Wales. Thank you from Sheila Tiedeman Casey, You sent an email asking about splash pads and whether sand was an issue. I just got your email (Nov. 27). The amount of sand that gets into the splash pad is minimal. The splash pad itself is very popular. Roger Sabine Parks Director, Millennium Park Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan Clarif ication: the article “Beach is fine; focus on Main Street first” (Nov. 21) mentioned that Royal LePage had left Main Street. The realtor maintains an office on Ontario St. N.
Grand Bend Strip P.O. Box 218 Grand Bend, Ontario N0M 1T0 CANADA Phone: (519) 614-3614 Fax: 1 (866) 753-2781 email@example.com http://www.grandbendstrip.com
Strip Thoughts Not town’s job to sustain businesses
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The pleasures of Christmases past
To the editor, In the article “Beach is fine; focus on Main Street first” (Nov. 21), it was suggested that responsibility for the loss of several fulltime, year-round businesses in the past year rests, perhaps partially, on the shoulders of municipal government. This seems to me an inadequate assessment. It is unfortunate that the community has lost several year-round businesses in the past year, but to ignore the circumstances surrounding each individual closure and instead equate the folding of those businesses with a failure on the part of the municipality is a misconception. For example, Saga Bound was forced to close its doors mainly because of the problem most other small-town, independent bookstores face: competing with larger bookstores such as Chapters and Indigo who offer substantial discounts on the bestsellers and Canadian literature titles that Saga Bound predominantly stocked. Given these circumstances, I fail to understand how “better infrastructure in terms of benches and the sidewalk” could have prevented Saga Bound’s closure. Several of the other businesses mentioned in the article were forced to close for altogether different reasons, confronted by any combination of specific industry-related, professional, and personal circumstances. Furthermore, the high turnover rate of businesses in Grand Bend – seasonal and year-round – is part of the turbulent reality of operating an independent business in a small, seasonal community. Proprietors must enter this environment unable to fully predict the sustainability and lifespan of a business. Again, I fail to understand how Ward 1 could be “trying to make sure that stops.” Our pride and care for the community and landscape are always implicit, and have been made sufficiently clear with regard to this issue. We all love Grand Bend. However, to argue for or against the beach enhancement plan with emotionally patriotic rhetoric (such as turning a lament for lost businesses into an issue of inadequate municipal initiative downtown) is not productive, nor rooted in any economic or political reality. I ask those who truly care about the community to approach this issue and hinge moment with the respect it demands by thinking critically, constructively, and realistically. Charles Dodgson Grand Bend Publisher: Casey Lessard Editor: Casey Lessard Editorial Assistant: Anjhela Michielsen Proofreader: Carmen Kinniburgh Advertising Sales & Design: Casey Lessard Chief Photographer: Casey Lessard Contributors: Rita Lessard - my mom Tom Lessard - my dad Jenipher Appleton - nature/birding Jeff Reaburn - SHDHS principal
Distribution: Casey Lessard, Rita Lessard & Joan McCullough
Advice from mom By Rita Lessard
I really love Christmastime. Unfortunately, we celebrate it in a season that, at times, is not so pleasant, especially when the snow is flying and the visibility is so bad you end up in the ditch, which is what happened to my sister and me on Monday, December 3. Fortunately, a Good Samaritan from Hensall came by and gave us a ride to Huron Park, where we made arrangements for a tow. Thank you, kind sir. I can easily forget about the weather and concentrate on this glorious and happy occasion. As the years go by and we are getting older, times change but our memories are still with us. The hustle and bustle I experienced when the boys were young are no longer. I have many good memories, so I will share a few with you.
When your kids outsmart you I always considered myself a fairly smart person, but when you’re smart and have children, they tend to be smart, too. As it turns out, some of them can outsmart their parents. I’m not saying all of my sons were devious, but our son Mike was always curious and he outsmarted me every year when it came to peeking at the Christmas presents. Every year I would use a different mode of operation. I’d hide them, but he’d find them. Then I changed tactics and used different coloured paper for each kid or I would number-code them or letter-code them. Well, none of these methods worked. Mike didn’t care that I was so smart and organized because he didn’t really take the time to figure out what I was doing; he just opened all the presents and saw what everyone was getting and rewrapped them. I didn’t learn this until many years later, but I can honestly say I had fun trying to outsmart him, and I miss the excitement of doing all that shopping and gift-wrapping. Now our Christmases are more sedate but fun and the memories are still good. Grand Bend Strip is printed once a month in the winter (middle Wednesday); 4340 copies are delivered free to all homes and businesses in Grand Bend, Zurich, Dashwood and Port Franks using Canada Post. An additional 1100 copies are available to other residents and visitors at local stores and restaurants.
Watch out for that tree Putting up the tree was always a fun family affair; it wasn’t always a masterpiece, but it was the joy of doing something together. The one year, we were a little concerned about putting the tree up too soon because we had a cat and we figured it would either knock all of the bulbs off or, worse yet, just knock the whole tree down. We’re a trusting family, so we decided to give the cat a break and put up the tree anyway. Now Tom, our wise leader, didn’t agree and thought we should wait until Christmas Eve so the tree would be safe. This was one argument the kids and I won; the tree went up early and we were in the spirit of Christmas. A week before Christmas, all the decorations were on the tree and the house was decorated and all was going just swell. Tom decided to celebrate early and shared some Christmas spirits with the neighbours. It was rather late when he got home, and being the considerate guy he is, he didn’t want to disturb us non-partygoers. He sneaked into the house and kept the lights off. He didn’t need to worry because the cat was there to guide him through with his watchful eyes. (I’m told cats can see in the dark, so like they say, Lead on MacDuff, and the cat did.) Soon enough, we heard this awful crash and it wasn’t Santa. No, it was Tom toppling into the tree. Holy cow, wasn’t that a sight? I got up to investigate and sure enough, the fool was ensconced in our lovely tree. I helped him up and he grinned sheepishly. I said, “I guess you were right, Tom, about putting the tree up so soon.” In the years after that, we didn’t have the cat, but Tom was still around, so we had more fun Christmases to look forward to. On a final note, I noticed that our little village of Crediton doesn’t have its tree decorated and our Santa and reindeer aren’t up this year. It was lovely to look out my window and see this display. Thanks to Jordy’s, we have a wreath erected on her sign. Maybe if I talk to the right people, we can do something festive next year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all. Thanks for taking an interest in reading Casey’s paper (I love that man) and see you next year!
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007
GrandBendStrip.com • 3
Bringing a smile to their eyes Phtoographers oﬀer free photo sessions to families dealing with cancer Story by Casey Lessard Photos courtesy Sandra Regier (www.sandraregier.com) “You always have the image that this can’t happen to me, this is going to happen to somebody else,” says Michelle Smith, whose brother Mike Steckle is recovering from cancer. “You just think it can’t happen to someone who’s 35 and healthy. It can happen to anyone. It affects everybody in some ways.” Steckle was diagnosed last August after experiencing disabling back pain. “I couldn’t walk anymore,” he says. “Dr. Teeple at emergency said we’re going to do some blood work, and she told me later that she thought from the start that I had leukemia. It was pretty advanced along, so I spent the next six weeks in hospital trying to get into remission.” The therapy was successful, but the road to recovery was long and painful. “I spent the next five months sleeping to recover from the chemo and radiation,” he adds. “I had zero energy and clots in my lungs. The beginning of this spring, things got a lot better.” In the meantime, his business, a power-washing company, had to continue without him as a hands-on operator. “The best I could do was drive there and sleep in the truck, letting the guys do the work. I did that for four or five months. I had no control over what the guys were doing, so I learned to be more laid back. It puts life in perspective.” That’s where Michelle Smith’s friend Sandra Regier comes in. Her job is to put everything in perspective and capture the moment on film (or in the modern era, on a memory card). “It had been almost ten years since we had family pictures taken,” Smith says. “Sandra called me and told me about Smiling Eyes, and asked me if we would be interested. I said yes instantly, because I knew my mom and my brother would love it.” Smiling Eyes is a non-profit organization of photographers who offer their time and talent to photograph people dealing with cancer. Photographers spend time with the family and provide the images on a CD free of charge. No catch. “My aunt passed away three years ago,” Regier says. “I had photos of her, but not a portrait of just her. I ended up making a portrait of her in Photoshop because we didn’t have one. It would have been nice to have had the forethought to take a photograph instead. “I think it’s important to capture the stages of life, whether you’re healthy or not. To be able to look back years ago and see how big the kids were. On a personal note, I made a point of getting my picture taken this year with each of my kids. It’s just so important to have pictures of your family. When you look back and see how much people have grown and changed, you realize how important those images are.” Michelle Smith agrees. “A lot of people don’t take the time to get family pictures taken. It’s great to have somebody who wants to come into your home and capture memories. I don’t know when we would have taken a family picture if Sandra hadn’t called us.” “It gives you the memory,” Steckle says. “I have a pretty good prognosis. God forbid anything should happen, you have the portraits for your family. It’s nice to have a decent picture that everybody’s in.”
Photographer Sandra Regier (above left) is oﬀering her services free to families dealing with cancer, including Mike Steckle’s family (above). Steckle, 35, was diagnosed with leukemia last August and has recovered well, but still has a couple years of treatment to go. His family photo includes, in the back row, Rick and Michelle Smith (Mike’s sister), and Mike Steckle. In the front are William and Matthew Smith with Mike’s mother Marjorie. Left: one of the moments Regier captured at the photoshoot. Below: Mike with his nephews.
Other families are seeing the value of the process, too. “The family I took pictures of Sunday,” Regier notes, “the daughter said they wished they had done this a year ago because her dad isn’t with them anymore. Now her mom has lung cancer, so they wish they had the picture with their dad. But at least she’ll have a picture with her mom and her little girl.”
And the photographer gets the satisfaction of doing something nice for someone who will appreciate it. “I think pictures are important. We do this free of charge, and the images are theirs to do as they will. Hopefully they’ll hang them on the wall.” To reach Sandra Regier or find out more about Smiling Eyes, call 519-852-4892 or visit www.sandraregier.com
4 • GrandBendStrip.com
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
All I want for Christmas is corn (to burn) Corn promoted as clean (and cheap) heating alternative Story and photos by Casey Lessard In an area where corn grows abundantly, it’s easy to view those fields as sources of food energy and not as a source of heating energy. Patrick Michielsen of Sylvan Kitchens sees otherwise. “I think burning corn’s a really good alternative to burning wood and fossil fuels; it’s environmentally friendly, and corn is cost-efficient and likely will continue to be.” Michielsen decided to integrate corn stoves into his current business, but only after installing one for himself. “The price of oil was going up, and with my house being older and lacking good insulation in some areas, I wanted to supplement the heat. I discovered the corn stove would be an easy fix because you don’t need a chimney – you can direct vent it out the wall. “I had experience burning wood in the past, and I found it was way too much work and too dangerous because of chimney fires, etc. If you are going to cut the wood yourself, it’s dangerous, while corn is much easier and a lot less work to handle the corn, go get it, store it, and load it into the stove.” Sylvan Kitchens recently started carrying the St. Croix brand of stoves, which start at $2400. Michielsen heats his home with the Greenfield stove and has the lower-priced Auburn on display in his office. The Lancaster, which has a smaller hopper (35 lbs. compared to the Greenfield’s 50 lbs. and the Auburn’s 90 lbs.) is the lowest-priced and is available by request. St. Croix also makes a corn furnace that can hold 200 lbs. of corn. All of the stoves produce about 40,000 BTU, or enough to heat between 800 and 1,800 sq. ft. “They’re quiet, clean to operate in the house, they have a lot of safety features that wood stoves won’t have,” Michielsen says. “They have a vacuum control switch where if the door opens, the stove will shut down. They have heat sensors where it will shut down if it’s too hot, and if the fire goes out, it will stop putting corn through the auger. With the direct venting, you don’t get creosote buildup, so you don’t have to worry about chimney fires. Yet, it gives you the look, the flame and the heat you would get from a woodstove.” The stoves are easy to use, requiring only one fill per day
Patrick Michielsen of Sylvan Kitchens has been burning corn to heat his home for the past year, and has seen his heating bills go down dramatically. He now carries the St. Croix brand of corn stoves and furnaces, including the Greenfield porcelain stove (above right).
and the ash produced needs to be emptied about once a week. The ash can be composted, too. “As soon as the water hits it, it seems to disintegrate and disappear,” Michielsen notes. Besides the convenience, there’s the issue of economy. Michielsen was burning oil as his main fuel source until last year. The price of oil continues to rise, but the price of corn has remained steady. “Last winter, I saved about $1200 in oil,” he notes. “The
average person will likely burn a bushel a day, so in an average winter of 100 days, the cost would be about $400.” And if you can’t find corn, the stoves can also burn wood pellets, which are available at stores including TSC. Wood pellets are about the same price as corn. For more information, visit Sylvan Kitchens at 565 Elginfield Road in the hamlet of Sylvan. The shop has everything needed to get the stove running, including venting and chimney products, and hearth pads to place under the stove.
Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps
Recipe for thought – now and in the New Year
“This is a holiday favourite at the Spiers home, ” says Barb Spiers of Beauty ‘n’ the Beach hair studio in Grand Bend (519-238-6520), who sent us this recipe. Serves 4.
Compiled by Harry Young Serves 1 or more.
4 1 2/3 cup 2 tbsp
boneless, skinless chicken breasts pkg sliced bacon (not already cooked) firmly packed brown sugar chili powder
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Wrap each chicken cube with bacon and secure with a wooden toothpick. Stir brown sugar and chili powder together. Dredge wrapped chicken in mixture. Spray rimmed cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken wraps on sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes or until bacon is crispy.
“Today is the beginning of a new dream.” “We cannot direct the winds, but we can adjust our sails.” “Learn to forgive; once done, you are now a better person, the future is yours.”
Strip at Christmas
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
GrandBendStrip.com • 5
Cherishing memories of a Cypriot Christmas
Keeping the Peace By Tom Lessard, C.D.
I spent Christmas 1967 stationed at Lizard Flats outside Nicosia, Cyprus, which had at one time been used during the Jewish exodus from Germany to Palestine. It was pretty rundown and in a way reminded us of Ipperwash. A sergeant oversaw the junior ranks canteen. During the holidays, he would allow only one song to be played on the jukebox: “Green, Green Grass of Home.” Not a very cheery song for the young soldiers spending this time of year away from home. I’m sure the bartenders spent a lot of time mopping up the tears. I was fortunate to be involved with organizing a Christmas party for the sick children’s hospital. It was the only place on the island where Turks and Greeks mingled. We sent home for toys, goodies and clothes for the kids, and got quite a load. We got one of the guys to dress as Santa, loaded up a couple of vehicles, and made our way to the hospital. The kids were waiting for us. Well, I was never so thrilled and choked up as when I saw the delight in those kids’ faces. They had a wonderful day, as did we. I wonder if, after 40 years, any who are still alive remember that day. I do, and will never forget those little guys.
The gift that always ﬁts! 135 Ontario St. S., Grand Bend - 519-238-6786 Beside the Bluewater Motel
Grand Bend’s Best Kept Secret (519) 238-2120
LIVE MUSIC! Everyone welcome Saturdays 3-6 p.m. Dec. 15 - Mid Life Crisis Jan. 12 - Rev. Freddie & the Distillers
Fun Darts Mondays @ 7 p.m. Bingo Tuesdays @ 7 p.m. Meat Draws Fridays @ 5 p.m. Hall rentals - contact Sharon (519) 238-6865 This photo of Private Tom Lessard ﬁrst appeared in the Kitchener Record after a Christmas party at the Red Cross Home for Sick Children in Kyrenia, Cyprus. According to the news report, it was “the biggest Christmas party the hospital had ever seen.” A raﬄe among the soldiers also raised 96 pounds, or about $300 for the hospital’s building fund.
The January 23 Strip will be read in at least 4340 homes. Reach our readers with an ad by calling Casey at 519-614-3614.
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Wishing a Merry Christmas and the best of the New Year from the Strip to all of our readers and our distributors In Grand Bend: Chamber of Commerce, Mac’s, Back in Time, Colonial hotel, Huckleberries, Bonnie Doone, Pine Dale, Bluewater Motel, No Frills, Esso, and Shady Oaks; in Port Franks: Grog’s, MacPherson’s, The Hideaway, Rustic Creations, Christine’s on the River, Miss Pia Jane; in Parkhill: Bender’s, Accentual, Currant, Pines Mini-Mart, Parkhill Variety; in Crediton: Jordy’s; in Centralia: Crankshaft’s; in Exeter: Donuts Now, Tim Horton’s, Curves; in Dashwood: Allen’s; in St. Joseph: Hessenland; and in Zurich: Zurich Food Market, LCBO, Erb’s Country Kitchen, Zurich variety.
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6 • GrandBendStrip.com
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Gathering Geese. “Every fall, geese gather on the beach at Beach o’ Pines. Years ago, they’d all ﬂy up when you got near. I tried to capture that. A neighbour saw the painting and snapped it up.”
Home is where the art is Paintings by Bill Nieuwland
Arkona Falls. “I wanted to do a local icon which I hadn’t seen painted before. I tried a diﬀerent angle here, and this one spoke the most to me. ”
Blue Point Sunset. This is one of the few original paintings still available for sale at Nieuwland’s home. Of 103 paintings created in his career, only seven originals are still available. Prints of his sold paintings are available at G.B. Posh (139 Ontario St. S., Grand Bend).
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Summer Sunset. “I live near the beach and a lot of summer nights you want to watch a sunset. When you lay down and watch, you’re inspired by the aurora of the sky and the presence of where you’re lying.”
Huron Woods resident Bill Nieuwland (519-238-6447) is taking his hobby public, making prints available at G.B. Posh (beside Aunt Gussie’s) and opening his home to people interested in his original acrylics. Inspired by local scenes, Nieuwland is well-known is his neighbourhood, and has had popular success at Paint Ontario, a juried show hosted at the Lambton Heritage Museum. His paintings won the People’s Choice award in 2005 and 2007. “I love nature,” Nieuwland says. “I have done several animals on commission and some on my own. Most scenes I paint are local scenes from the neighbourhood; the inlets and walkways to the beach. I like the idea that you get the feeling that you can walk into it and I love the realism. Carl Brenders is one of my icons. I liked Ken Danby because he did a lot of northern scenes and Algonquin Park. He died there. “I would like to go full-time, but I won’t do that until I retire. Every time I paint, I think this one’s going to be the best. Ken Danby had the same philosophy. The challenge is there to outdo yourself.”
GrandBendStrip.com • 7
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selected varieties 1kg The Race. “I was filming the race when, all of a sudden, I got inspired by it. It was my first sailboat painting, and it won People’s Choice at Paint Ontario. I love the action. I use my finger to do the skies about 80 per cent of the time.”
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shrimp ring with cocktail sauce 548g
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Frozen Lake. “A lot of people think the lake is cold in the winter, but how many people have seen the lake from the beach in the winter? It has a uniqueness of itself, and I wanted to capture that.”
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8 • GrandBendStrip.com
Grand Bend Strip
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Making the most of your New Year’s resolutions By Jen Denys, B.A., CHRP, CPC The Right Path Consulting Group The beginning of a new year presents a whole spectrum of possibilities. It has become customary to make promises to ourselves as we turn the pages of a new calendar. More often than not, New Year’s resolutions become desires that we never really fulfill rather than the beginning of a new chapter in life. Why is that? It certainly isn’t because our goals lack merit. Common New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, quitting smoking, spending more time with family, exercising more, finding a life partner and saving for a vacation. So, how can we make the most out of our resolutions?
Call the Strip at 519-614-3614 to make your nomination
As a coach, it is my job to support my clients in successfully reaching their goals. It is my pleasure to offer the following 10 professional tips to help you succeed with your new year’s resolutions: 1. Assess your values. This thing you want to do or not do, why is it important to you? How does it fit into your life? 2. Cast a vision. What will it feel like to be successful? What would it look like? How will you know if you have reached your destination? Can you measure it? 3. Beware of the “should.” When we say we should do something motivation comes f rom outside of ourselves, which is less powerful. Ask yourself who are you doing this for? Your best chance for success is to take action for yourself. 4. Utilize positive affirmations. Some of you might be skeptical about this one – honestly, I used to be as well. However, there is a lot of power when you can wake up each day and begin by mentally or verbally affirming your beliefs about who you are, what you expect of yourself and what you believe about the universe. 5. Set small goals. Have you ever watched an ant farm? Each small ant will carry one grain of sand, not concerned with what his brothers are doing. Within a short amount of time the colony as a team has created a sophisticated labyrinth of tunnels. The individual ants are not affected by the enormity of their overall goal; their only concern is taking the grain of sand from one end of the farm to the other. What is that saying about a long journey starting with a single step?
6. Assemble your support team. Women are generally more likely to do this, but it is just as important for men. Decide who you can go to for support, encouragement and positive reinforcement when needed. These people could be friends, family or a coach. Select these people with care as you will likely lean on them during times when your motivation is low. 7. Celebrate milestones. Most resolutions seem like insurmountable barriers; otherwise we would have taken care of them far before January 1st. While you are breaking down your resolution into small goals, strategically plan celebration activities every step of the way. Celebration activities can be as big as a tropical holiday or as small as curling up with a good book in a tub of bubbles. 8. Acquire the resources you need. I am not suggesting that you need to go out and purchase a full home gym during the Boxing Week sales, but within reason you want to have all the tools you need to optimize success. This could be equipment, clothing or other materials, but one of the more challenging resources can be putting aside the time for your resolution activity. 9. Accept that you are not perfect. Despite your best efforts, you are human and you are going to face barriers - some expected and others that are a surprise. To prepare, think about why you haven’t accomplished this goal previously and look at other times when you’ve faced a challenge and succeeded – what supported you to achieve a positive result? 10. Just do it… there is only so much preparation and analysis required before you get paralyzed by over-thinking something. Whether it’s January 1st, December 29th or January 15th – go for it! It is my sincere wish that you will take the opportunity to choose to enrich a part of your life in 2008 and that the above tips might be a contributing factor to your success. Jen Denys specializes in HR consulting, career management, mentoring, retirement lifestyle planning, executive coaching and mediation. For more information, visit www.rightpathconsulting.com or call 519294-6345.
Strip at School
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
GrandBendStrip.com • 9
The perfect Christmas gifts for the student/teacher/principal in your life
You can buy the iPod, but here are the gifts that will truly improve your school and home life in 2008
All U Can Eat Fish ‘n’ Chips $ 99
Perhaps a Simpsons DVD would be a good gift for principal Jeﬀ Reaburn, who was Otto the school bus driver for SHDHS Simpsons day Nov. 22.
Principal’s Page By Jeff Reaburn, SHDHS As this is likely the last column I will write before Christmas, I thought maybe it would be appropriate to adopt a Christmas theme for this week’s column. As Christmas approaches, my family members frequently ask me what I would like for Christmas, and I usually have great difficulty answering this question because there is nothing that I really need and the things that I want cannot be wrapped and put under the Christmas tree. For me, Christmas is about spending time with family and friends, and the important gifts are health and happiness, not toys or tools. I get far more pleasure from giving to others than from receiving gifts myself - maybe that just means I’m getting old. However, there are lots of things I could suggest as gifts for students. I’m sure their Christmas lists include cell phones and iPods, computers and clothing, video games and gift cards. And while I’m sure that any of these things would be appreciated, I don’t know that they will really make their lives any happier or better. Instead, I would suggest that parents consider the following gifts that are much cheaper but potentially much more valuable. First, continue to give them your love, all of the time, even when they are driving you crazy. Give them encouragement, and praise them when they do well, but hold them accountable when they make mistakes. Be involved in their lives - know who their friends are and what they like to do when they get together. Give them freedom and the opportunity to earn your trust, but set reasonable expectations for their conduct. Again, when they make mistakes, talk to them about the mistakes and
help them to learn from their own errors in judgement. Let them know that we all have lapses in judgement from time to time, but that the important thing is to learn from our errors and not make the same mistakes again. Finally, listen to them - we often emphasize the need to talk to young people, but it is more important that we listen to them to try to understand their values, their beliefs, their goals, and dreams. To you students out there, however many there may be who read this column, there are some things you should give to your parents as well. First of all, keep in mind that unlike you, they don’t know everything yet and they will likely make mistakes from time to time. Be patient with them and give them the opportunity to explain to you what they expect of you. Give them the chance to be a part of your life, to spend time with you, and to talk to you, without rolling your eyes or storming off to your room. Give them respect and treat them the way you would like to be treated, even
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when you don’t see eye to eye. Accept what they have to offer and show that you appreciate everything that they do for you. There are some gifts I would like to give to my staff as well if I could. I would give them more patience, lots of it, to help them deal with the ever-changing moods and needs of teenagers, and especially the issues that arise in the lives of teenagers that have nothing to do with school but seem to take centre-stage in the classroom. I would give them an extra dollop of understanding as well, to help them recognize that in the lives of teenagers, school is often not the first priority, and that they are still kids after all, even though some of them inhabit adult-size bodies. And finally, I would give them huge amounts of energy and enthusiasm to match that of their students. (And maybe a whip and a chair for those days when school seems like a three-ring circus.) And not to let myself off the hook, I must say that school administrators need all of the above, perhaps in even larger doses. Finally, let me close this off by asking everyone to stay safe over the Christmas holidays and to do whatever you can to make the lives of others richer, happier, and more fulfilling. Please keep in mind that no matter how difficult our lives seem from time to time, we are blessed to be living in a wonderful country, enjoying a standard of living of which billions of others in this world can only dream. So please continue to support the Huron County Christmas Bureau, the Salvation Army, the local food banks, and the countless other organizations that help those in need both here in Canada and around the world. Enjoy your holidays and savour the time you have with family and friends. Relax and partake in all that the season has to offer. Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all.
135 Ontario St. S., Grand Bend - 519-238-6786 Beside the Bluewater Motel
“Celebrate.... the tradition of giving, the beauty of the season and a New Year of peace and happiness. Our thanks and best wishes this holiday season.” Mark, Wendy, Prosper, Cyrilla, Ashley, Mike, Gerard & Rich
70793 Highway 21 North, Grand Bend (519) 238-2451 Toll-Free: 1-866-798-0101
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10 • GrandBendStrip.com
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Wild Turkey for Christmas! Living in Balance By Jenipher Appleton Most of us envision our Christmas dinner with the usual domestic turkey, browned to perfection, steaming on the platter. Other options may be roast duck, goose, chicken, or even a ham. However, my friend Dwight Hughes f rom around the country corner prefers his turkey to be ‘wild.’ According to Dwight, there are plenty of these critters roaming our local countryside. Just two days ago, I followed a lone set of wild turkey tracks in the snow at the back of our property. Dwight knows that the wild turkey has eyesight akin to that of a hawk. Therefore, hunting them successfully can be challenging. The hunter needs to be extremely well camouflaged and have the patience to remain unmoving for hours on end. He also needs to have the strength and endurance to hold his arms outstretched around the shotgun for an extended period of time. If the hunter is lucky, patience will pay off. Remember, the turkey is alert, cautious, has the keenest of eyesight, and in its natural environment, has the edge. Dwight’s mother Leona recounted the first
wild turkey her son ever brought home. Like the pioneers of our area, she and her husband Don scalded that bird and hung it over a beam in the shed. The scalding allowed them to pluck the feathers cleanly from the skin. Then Leona had the pleasure of cleaning the innards, which she stated, “wasn’t too bad.” Unlike the pioneers, they froze the bird and saved it for Christmas. Their son-in-law Steve stuffed and roasted it to perfection. All accounts suggest they couldn’t tell the difference from a domestic turkey. I can smell it now! How special that Christmas must have been for the Hughes family. Most of us have neither the time nor the patience to create such a traditional experience. And so, off to the grocery store we go.
Gifts for the birder on your list Your local hardware store stocks a good variety of gift ideas to enhance the backyard viewing for the birder on your Christmas list. There are tube-style finch feeders (for finer finch feeds), tube-style feeders for sunflower seed, and countless other wood or plastic feeders resembling birdhouses. There are also many designs of birdhouses for everything from the smallest of wrens to bluebirds and swallows. Hummingbird feeders are available, some pricier than others but with true aesthetic appeal. There are oriole feeders too,
It’s no way to catch a wild turkey, but putting out black oil sunflower seed is a great way to treat your feathered friends this Christmas. Read Jenipher’s column for more gift ideas for the birds and birders on your list.
along with the nectar to go with both types keep them warm. Peanuts in the shell are always a good treat for the blue jays. You can of feeders. also make your own Christmas gift for the birds by taking a pinecone, loading it up with For the birds! Suggestions for treating your feathered peanut butter and rolling it in some mixed friends are also found in the local hardware. birdseed. They stock all types of seeds, suet, and seedA very Merry Christmas to all! Don’t forget encrusted suet balls and bells. Wire mesh feeders are handy to neatly hang a block of to include the birds on your Christmas shopsuet. Birds need the fat from the suet to help ping list.
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To Do List
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
To Do: December 12 to January 22 THURSDAY, DECEMBER 13 Grand Bend CHC Bereavement Suppor t through the Holidays. Christmas can be a difficult time. Social Worker Mickey Gurbin as she helps you to manage your grief and learn coping skills that will get you through the holidays. A follow up meeting is planned for January 3rd. To register: 238-1556 ext. 223 or ext 6.
p.m. - Forest post office Kinwood Public School Performance. : p.m. - Parkhill Leisure Club Parkhill Area Horticultural Society pot luck supper.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21 p.m. to a..m. - Kimball Hall, Forest Second annual R&B Charity Christmas Party. Music by The Room and DJ Aaron Zimmer. Proceeds donated to the Make-AWish Foundation of Southwestern Ontario to make a wish come true for a special child. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. This is a semiformal event (no hats or jeans). Please bring a nonperishable food item to support Contact House. Contact Brennan Rumford 519-381-7863.
p.m. - Kineto Theatre, Forest Forest Kiwanis Club Free Christmas movie - “White Christmas.” Admission: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23 to p.m. - Christine’s on the River, canned good or cash donation to the Contact Port Franks House. Christmas celebration with live entertainment by Julien, aka “Gig.” Restaurant will FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14 close after the party until February. : a.m. - Grand Bend CHC Healthy Eating Is In Store For You. If you have diabetes and want to learn more about WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 26 Parkhill Arena (until December ) how to read food labels then this class is for Novice Silver Stick Hockey Tournament you. Contact Patricia Baker RD CDE at 238-1556 ext 235 to register.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 31
GrandBendStrip.com • 11
p.m. - Grand Bend Legion WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16 New Year’s Eve party with Ben Shane & to p.m. - Southcott Pines Bobby K Clubhouse Partners in Learning Open House. Come p.m. - Parkhill community centre meet the moderators and hear them outline Parkhill Optimist New Year’s Eve Dance. the three exciting 10-week winter courses Tickets 519-294-0214 or 519-294-0248. which include “Mysteries of Life, Reality and F iction,” “From Distant Shores,” TUESDAY, JANUARY 1 and “Socrates Café.” Courses commence to p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Wednesday, January 23, 2008. New Year’s Day levee with Ben Shane & Bobby K SATURDAY, JANUARY 19 p.m. - Grog’s Restaurant WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 2 Port Franks Optimist Meat Raffle. : a.m. to : p.m. - Thedford Arena to p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Let’s Get Active Together. Skating Day. Horse Races Program for ages 8-13 years. Call Valerie Cook at 519-786-4545 ext. 270. Do you want your event listed here?
It’s free, so call 519-614-3614, email
: to : p.m. - The Shores firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax recreation centre, Forest 1-866-753-2781. Our next issue comes Everybody Move. Cooking Day. Program out January 23. for ages 6-8 years. Call Valerie Cook for more information, 519-786-4545 ext. 270.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 3 : a.m. to : p.m. - Thedford Arena Let’s Get Active Together. Skating Day. Program for ages 8-13 years. Contact Valerie Cook , 519-786-4545 ext. 270.
Join us for New Year’s Eve dinner
to p.m. - The Shores recreation : to : p.m. - Main Street, Forest centre, Forest SATURDAY, JANUARY 5 Demonstration by Rokeby Stables. Children’s New Year’s Party. Free skating to p.m. - Grog’s restaurant Va u l t i n g D e m o n s t r a t i o n , D r e s s a g e from 2-4 p.m. Contact Jarret VanKessel for Hillbillies Meat Raffle Demonstration, Pas de Deux and Quadrille information at 519-786-6504. Demonstration.
8 oz. Sirloin cooked to perfection, topped with a savoury red wine and peppercorn sauce.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 10
to p.m. - Parkhill Arena to : p.m. - Thedford Arena SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15 Rock And Roll New Years Eve Family Good Tyme Country Jamboree. Please p.m. - Kineto Theatre, Forest bring cookies to share. Tea and coffee is proForest Kiwanis Club Free Christmas Skate vided. Free will donation for School Snack Movie - “The Muppets’ Christmas Carol.” p.m. - Star Dust dinner theatre, Program and Contact House. Contact Bev Admission: canned good or cash donation to Parkhill at 519-243-2297 or Jim at 519-243-4036. the Contact House. New Year’s Eve party. http://www.stardustparkhill.com FRIDAY, JANUARY 11 p.m. - Grog’s restaurant, Port Franks The Shores Recreation Centre and Port Franks Optimist Meat Raffle. p.m. - Parkhill Leisure Club Thedford Arena. Parkhill Leisure Club New Years Eve International Silver Stick Tournament to p.m. - Grand Bend Legion Party (until January 13). Atom and Bantam. Live Music with Mid Life Crisis
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 16 a.m. - Port Franks community centre Port Franks Optimist Breakfast with Santa. For more information, call Tracy Huxley at 519-243-3022.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19
p.m. to a.m. - Thedford Arena SATURDAY, JANUARY 12 Thedford Spirit Club Presents “The to p.m. - Grand Bend Legion New Year’s Eve Bash.” Cash draws at 10 Live music with Reverend Freddie and the p.m. and 12 a.m. (must be present). Music Distillers by Bruce Falconer, light lunch provided. Tickets are $15 per person or $25 per couple. MONDAY, JANUARY 14 Tickets available at Zavitz’ General Store in to p.m. - Parkhill Leisure Club Thedford or Spirit Club Members. VON Foot Care Clinic. Appointments needed: 1-519-659-2273.
Thursday - Shrimp & Wings Friday - All-U-Can-Eat Fish & Chips
Join us for a Christmas Celebration December 23 - 4 to 7 p.m. Live entertainment featuring Julien “Gig” NEW HOURS: Thurs. & Fri. - 4 to 10 p.m. Sat. & Sun. - 12 to 10 p.m.
Closed after December 23
10072 Poplar Ave.
Port Franks 519-243-3636
We will reopen in February
Pan-fried Ruffy and Shrimp in a creamy Alfredo sauce The above are served with a choice of soup or salad, a choice of baked potato, mashed potato or rice, fresh dinner roll and dessert.
Chicken Carbonara with penne noodles, Caesar salad, garlic bread and dessert. Or feel free to order from our regular menu!
519-238-6786 135 Ontario St. S., Grand Bend Beside the Bluewater Motel
BARBERS - HOT TOWEL SHAVES NEW YEAR’S EVE 2007 TWO 394 Main Street, Exeter Otterbein’s Barbershop Monday, December 31st, 2007 9:00 p.m. until ???? $20 includes party favours, light meal, champagne and music by Ben Shane Grand Bend
Men’s & Ladies’
Tickets for the Carry On Cloggers’ annual Blyth Festival show “Hit the Road” are on sale now, with proceeds going to the CT scanner for Huron. Tickets for the April 18 shows (2 and 7 p.m.) are $12 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under. Call Norma at 482-3141 or Debbie at 233-9153.
12 • GrandBendStrip.com
Strip at School
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Simpsons writer Tim Long returned to his home school, South Huron District High School, November 21. He got a warm welcome from students and staﬀ who dressed up as Simpsons characters, including Isaac Moore, who wore his Radioactive Man costume. Long now lives in Hollywood with his wife Miranda, and had free time because of the writers’ strike. The school will beneﬁt from his visit - he’s going to fund an award.
Simpsons writer wows hometown crowd Tim Long praises SHDHS Story and photos by Casey Lessard It’s a long road from Exeter, Ontario to Los Angeles, California, but Tim Long found his way back. When he arrived, an entire school of fans awaited. “If you keep trying and following your dream,” said Taryn Dougall of Exeter, “you can be successful like Tim.” Tim Long’s success comes from his long association with the Simpsons, the animated series that has fans around the world. That fan base extends to South Huron District High School, where he graduated 20 years ago. “It’s exciting to see him come back and talk to all the kids,” says dad Earl Long, whose work at Huron Tractor brought the family to the area; he and his wife Dorothy now live in London. “We never thought we’d have a son who would end up writing for a television show that is as widely known. I would mention to people that he writes for the Simpsons and they wouldn’t believe me, so I keep a card of his in my wallet to prove that I’m not being dishonest.” The Longs were celebrities by proxy at South Huron November 21 when their son visited the school with his wife Miranda. Celebrating their one-year anniversary weeks
Sam Zehr did his best (and pretty good) Professor Frink imitation as requested by Tim Long.
before, it was Miranda’s first time in Exeter. Commenting on the school and its services, she told the Strip it was impressive compared to her high school in New York City. Her husband agrees. “South Huron is a really, really good school,” Tim said. “In my work I’ve ended up working with a lot of people who went to fancy schools in the States. They all have one thing in common. They’re not that bright. You really are getting a first-rate education and you’re getting it for free. A kid from Exeter can do anything, even me.” Long also noted that growing up in the area influenced his writing, including an overnight
stay at Exeter Public School during a blizzard that inspired the Skinner’s Sense of Snow episode. When asked who watches the Simpsons, students showed their support. They roared and cheered while watching Long’s favourite Simpsons moments, including Homer’s failed canyon jump, the land of chocolate, Homer in space, the gay steel mill, and Bart’s White Stripes tribute. While criticized by some for its edgy content, Long defended the Simpsons for having a moral code stronger than many other shows on television. “Simpsons is really pro-family,” he said. “The family stays together, they look after
“People will tell you that your teenage years are the best years of your life. Those people are crazy.” - Tim Long, Simpsons co-executive producer
each other, Marge and Homer stay faithful to each other, and interestingly they’re also the only (characters) on TV that regularly attend church.” Watching television may be fun for his teen fans, but Long insists they should look forward to the real fun – being an adult. “People will tell you that your teenage years are the best years of your life. Those people are crazy. It gets better,” he said, giving words of encouragement for his South Huron fans. “If nothing else, I prove that an overweight Grade 9er with no f riends can go on to become a Hollywood big shot. Maybe you can, too.”