Global TV – Take Two!

Global News Regina visited our Information Centre over Easter and we got a great spot on the news last Saturday.

They liked us so much that they decided to do a more in depth story for this coming weekend. So this past Monday, Raquel Fletcher and her camera crew came to a community potluck at Lois’, for a second round of filming and interviews. Needless to say, it was a super meal! Raquel even said she was tempted to move in just for our cooking.

Global promised us that a longer feature on cohousing and Prairie Spruce will be on  this Saturday and Sunday at 6:30 as a part of Global TV’s Focus Saskatchewan. Definitely tune in to watch, and let us know what you think!


P.S. For those of you who are thinking I was not very nice as I didn’t bother to get the camera person’s name….well you’re right and I do feel bad.  It was a bit of a faux pas… but in cohousing fashion, at least I didn’t forget to invite him to have supper with us!

A "Tom Sawyer" Turkey Dinner

Tom_Sawyer-238x284Everyone knows the story of Tom Sawyer, a clever young boy who convinces his friends to do his work for him. It is a work of fiction, but the story it seems has inspired many…

About two weeks ago, Murray announced that he was going to cook a turkey for a birthday dinner our community would host while Chris, one of our project managers, was going to be in town. Our Prairie Spruce community rallied behind Murray’s idea and other members quickly offered to make something for the meal. I offered to make extra stuffing. Henning offered to bring perogies. Salads and desserts were volunteered. The Gagnons were going to make some delicious homemade cranberry sauce.

In the lead into the dinner prep, Murray mentioned it would be good to have some help so our host Lois stepped up to help cook the potatoes and Dave volunteered to come early to carve the turkey.3064997632_d930edb767

As with any prairie potluck, there was food in abundance. Jean and Faye brought a spinach salad with strawberries, avocados and poppy seeds. Henning brought perogies whose silky smooth dough and delicious filling drove even those who normally are gluten free or vegetarians to try a couple. Joyce treated us to two types of custard and someone made the best apple crisp I have ever had. Warren offered up cheesecake. Several bottles of wine appeared out of assorted bags and boxes.

Suzanne arrived with a large pan. It was topped with golden brown crumbs and was filled with a smooth, creamy-looking concoction. Hmm, I wondered what it was, some type of delightful potato casserole? Perhaps another dessert? A new vegetarian dish for me to sample? It smelled wonderful. I asked her what it was. Turnip Fluff was her answer. Oh…

I have spent my entire life hating turnips. My mom would boil them to a nasty, pale orange mush and force us to “just try a little.” To this day, some 30 years later, my mom still wants me to “just try a little” of her boiled turnips. As an adult, I can just smile, say “no thanks” and pass them to my dad who really likes them. My dad is English –  you can draw your own conclusions from that.

But life is about trying new things, so I tried “just a little” of Suzanne’s Turnip Fluff. It was delicious. It was fluffy. It was wonderful. I experienced a personal epiphany – turnips are not nasty; they are really quite good. I went back for seconds – a much bigger helping this time. (I wonder what she can do with Brussel sprouts – my second least favorite vegetable?)

When it was time for cleanup in the kitchen, Murray had to retire to the living room to attend the marketing meeting. Fortunately, Ruth came to the rescue. She offered to clean up while the rest of us attended the meeting.

We teased Murray, our “Tom Sawyer of the North”, quite a bit that night about his turkey dinner. But the reality is, we were all Tom Sawyers that night. By splitting up the work, delegating cooking and cleaning, we all benefitted in a way that could only have been possible through group effort. Only one of us had to make the cranberry sauce, only one of us had to bring the turnip fluff and only one of us had to do the dishes. But we ALL had fun. We all got to enjoy the meal and enjoy each others company.

I’m looking forward to Murray’s next party. 🙂



Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

In Transition 2.0
, on Sunday January 18th in the Cathedral Neighborhood Centre. The optional community potluck starts at 5:30pm and the movie will start at 6:30pm, with open discussion to follow.Transition-Movie-Image-400x284

In Transition 2.0 is an inspirational movie about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It is about how groups around the world gather to build community in response to challenges such as costly energy resources, financial instability and environmental change.

The movie was made by the Transition network, which is a British organization that has inspired thousands of initiatives around the world. The organization’s mission is to inspire, encourage, connect, support and train communities as they self-organize to build community, local resilience and to foster a sustainable lifestyle.

You’ll hear about communities printing their own money, growing food in every possible place, localizing their economies and saving local grocery stores from closing down. The movement is also about encouraging people to form local networks, for neighbors to get to know each other, and for people to take pride in their own neighbourhoods.

You can find more information and sign up for the event here:

It is not necessary to sign up in advance, but it is greatly appreciated!

Location & Community Identity

A short walk down a red clay road to beautiful white sand beaches, on the doorstep of a National Park, surrounded by three winter skating ponds and cross country ski trails, and it is home. Or at least it was home, my childhood home on the north shore of Prince Edward Island.  I loved it and still do, but as an adult I discovered I had envy of some of the communities further down the shore from home: the French community of Rustico, the Acadian community of Evangeline, the Celtic community of Bothwell. In addition to their stunning natural beauty, they had (and still have) fabulous music cultures, kitchen parties and cèilidhs.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered the answer to my community envy could be found in Regina, Saskatchewan. There is not a white sand beach nearby (at least not one that meets my standards) but on the evening of Wednesday October 22, I had the delight of being in exactly the right location for a kitchen party. That evening. Prairie Spruce Commons hosted their ‘Sharing for the Future’ Concert at The Club on 8th Avenue. It was a wonderful event with lots of Prairie Spruce Commons friends and new-to-me friends sharing food and the pleasure of a `kitchen party` with Glenn Sutter, the River Time Band, B.D. Willoughby, Jim and Thomas Wright, and their musician friends. I love that it was an all ages affair, with many gathered together for fun. 

The old adage “location, location, location” is not only about your physical neighbourhood; it’s also about your cultural and community neighbourhood. Although our address on Badham Boulevard is pretty hard to beat for a location in Regina, I’m excited by the way Prairie Spruce is already building a cultural and community neighbourhood identity. Community events like the Sharing for the Future Concert or the special public screening of the fantastic “The Happy Movie” on November 16th showcase our intent to foster community and culture, while enhancing our “location, location, location” at Prairie Spruce Commons. Hope you can join us.

PS. Special thanks to Malin Hansen for her leadership in putting this event together!


Reminder: Sharing for the Future Concert

At Prairie Spruce, we’re passionate about creating meaningful, sustainable relationships in Regina. On Wednesday evening (tomorrow, Oct 22), we’ll be using two great connectors to make that happen: food & music! Everything is in place for our Creating Community Event and we hope you’ll join us for what promises to be a fun evening.

Many of you have already expressed interest in attending and it’s still not too late to let us know of your intentions to join us. You can either join the Facebook event page or send us an email. Whether you’re coming for the food, the music, or perhaps both, we hope you’ll leave the evening richer with the personal connections you’ve made over the course of the concert!