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Jim Cumming - From the Publisher's Pen

Jim is the former publisher of the Fort Frances Times Ltd. He writes a weekly column and can be contacted at jcumming@fortfrances.com

June a feast for the senses

June is a fun month. The leaves are all out and the pollen is falling from the pine trees, fertilizing the flowers that will, in a couple of months, produce cones for the squirrels to feed on.

All the annual flowers have been planted and their blooms brighten our neighbourhoods.

The cloying pungent smells of the lilacs are giving way to the soft fragrant smells of roses. Purple and yellow Irises bloom.

Election spending differs

In Canada, we are gearing up for an election in October.

Various news agencies constantly are polling households each evening to determine which of the three parties—Liberal, NDP, or Conservative—would have your vote if you were going to the polls the following day.

The results are published and the news media’s political specialists pore over the numbers with magnifying glasses trying to determine who is ahead and who is behind at a moment in time.

They look for trends in hope they can predict the outcome four months out.

Why don’t MPs face same scutiny?

Should we be surprised by word that 30 senators are said to owe taxpayers almost $1 million.

After the questionable expenditures of senators Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau, and Mac Herb, does this recent announcement surprise us?

I hope not.

The first four senators to come under scrutiny claimed they were not aware of the rules that were in place. Pamela Wallin and Mac Herb repaid the claims against themselves.

Donate to a good cause

Riverside Foundation for Health Care director Samantha Manty had approached our table one afternoon prior to the Canada Day Cash Lottery early-bird draw.

By the time she was finished, all eight of us had purchased tickets for the draw.

In the past, the Fort Frances Times and Rainy River Record have been actively involved in raising funds for the “Care Close to Home” campaign.

Town’s beauty in full bloom

Trees are in full bloom in front and back yards across Fort Frances.

The flowering crabs in front of the courthouse are full of brilliant pink flowers.

As you drive through town, the variety of pinks is amazing. Everything from soft baby pinks to robust deep reds are in their glory.

The colours and flowers are present for only a brief time each year. And just as you might drive around the community to see the lights of Christmas, a trip around town this week would be enjoyable.

Dealing with being handicapped

It is 6 a.m. and I’m the only person in the emergency ward.

It is eerily quiet compared to Monday afternoon. Cathy, the nurse in charge, has just started the IV drip and I will lie on my back for the next two hours.

I will be back again in 12 hours and the procedure will be repeated for several days to come.

I must commend the emergency staff at La Verendrye Hospital, who have been very attentive to my plight. I’ve lost the use of my upper left arm and shoulder, and that has left me frustrated and sore.

All eyes fixed on the finish line

I’ll admit I’m both a news junkie and a political junkie. Give me an election contest and I will follow every blog and political columnist in the area where the election is taking place.

For me, watching the start as the candidates break out of the gate—until they gallop across the finish line—is like watching a horse race.

We have our favourites just like in horse racing. We have our sentimental favourites that we cheer on because they are in the race with no hope of winning. And we have our put-downs for the candidates or parties we don’t want to win.

Weekend enjoyable at cabin

We spent the weekend at the cabin and the water in Rainy Lake has not risen.

Alas, our boat that we went to the cabin the previous weekend refused to start. Even the trolling motor batteries, which we thought we had charged, couldn’t get the motor to turn over.

The batteries probably didn’t take the charge.

Thankfully, my brother-in-law provided taxi service to the cabin.

Burgers cooked on the charcoal grill, fresh corn on the cob, and a 15-year-old bottle of red wine on the deck made the evening perfect.

Cabin season finally here

The flyers that will be distributed later this week are filled with outdoor living items.

Flowers, plants, and shrubbery, along with gardening, and yard maintenance tools, all are being advertised. If you are into boating or improving the look of your yard, the ideas are all laid out.

Spring is here.

My wife and I made our way to our cabin on Saturday. We were the first to have our boat in at the marina.

The foods we enjoy have a global flavour

When I think about what are truly Canadian foods, I usually find myself at a loss.

“Tourtiere,” a dish we often associate with Quebec, comes to mind. It is common to both Quebec and the bordering New England states, and often is associated with Christmas.

It is made with finely-diced pork, veal, or beef. Wild game often was added, as was fish and seafood in communities found along the coast. It is a meat pie cooked with cubed potatoes and often shredded onion and carrots.

Within the province of Quebec, regions often have their own special recipes.