Girls Golf Getaways

I have fond memories of the Lady Bug Golf Tournament in Minot, North Dakota. I do believe the first or second time my partner Lee Frank and I played in this tournament there were at least 14 pairs (it was a two person team competition) who made the trip some 245 miles from Regina. And there was one team with one player from Regina and one from Kenosee Lake, SK. You can read all about this tournament in Lady Bug Why Not Minot

My association with the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame Alumni for several years, of course, meant there were Golf Tournaments to organize as fund raisers. One time we held the tournament at Flowing Springs, just outside Regina and it was so cold and rainy I couldn’t take any pictures.

It wasn’t until the tournament was held at Long Creek, south of Regina near Avonlea that we had a big contingent of members from Tor Hill participating. This golf course is a real gem with a creek winding through the 18 holes. Many of our golfers had never played this course and after the first year there was no problem getting repeat players. The banquet after the golf was so excellent: the local caterer did wonders with community men and women lending their talents to BBQ the fantastic steaks, HOME MADE potato salad, fresh buns, triple berry pie with ice cream. I’m sure some of the Tor Hill members won prizes but the course and the food brought them back each yearNow you all know I was born right where Gardiner Dam is now on Lake Diefenbaker in Saskatchewan. However, I have never talked about the beautiful golf course located upriver at Elbow, Saskatchewan. This course, Harbour Golf Course Golf sits on the east side of the lake and what beautiful views can be seen of the lake directly down below. It is such a natural sand based course with the original Saskatoon bushes in small coulees used to make this beauty. One hole is a real cutie, only 93 yards but over the Chokecheery trees to a hidden green, with a drop off to the lake below.

Needless to say I had played this course many times and talked the gals from Tor Hill to join me playing in the annual ladies tournament. We loved to go to this course s it was so different from our home course. One time we experienced a big thunder storm and were called off the course. After 20 minutes of pouring rain, it stopped and then the sun came out. We were back playing. The food there was always a treat and many times even when I was not in a tournament I would go there for dinner. I’ve always said that if you are traveling by car, stop at a golf course for breakfast. Nine times out of ten you will be served very good food. And usually the scenery “ain’t bad” either.

From left to right: Ginny Mellor, Mary Corscadden, Linda Morris, Keely Reibling, Lorane Gray, June Hudyma, Pat Rogers, Sandra Merk, Marjorie Steen, Lori Winnitowy, Linda Slough, Maureen O’Shea, Gail Putz

Although the golf getaways have been smaller the past years they are still a lot of fun.

Acrylic Paintings By Maureen O’Shea

I bought some paints, brushes and canvas originally to paint a red Saskatchewan Pool Elevator as there were hundreds of them in Saskatchewan when I was young. Now they are becoming obsolete being replaced with mega grain terminals. I wanted to take a picture of one of these elevators to paint and it was a few years before I was able to find an elevator. I just happened to see this lone elevator a mile or so off the highway west of Rosetown, SK. A left turn and I had pictures.

However, since I had the paints I decided to try painting a golf course hole before I attempted to paint an elevator. Here are some of my paintings.

My first try at painting. Hole #4, Sky Mountain, Hurricane, UT.

Saskatchewan Pool Elevator at Ridpath, SK.

Saskatchewan Pool Elevator, Ridpath, Sk

On The Shore At Maui, HI

Murray and Jesse in Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C.

Norquay, Saskatchewan Elevators

Lake Abraham, AB on the North Saskatchewan River

Abstract Pastel Colors

Angry Bull

Spirit Island, Maligne Lake AB

Spirit Island is the last painting I have done which was in 2010. Then my writing for the blog has taken over since June 2015. One day I will get more canvas and paint again. I’ll never be a famous painter but I enjoy trying to be creative.

Artists and songs

Thanks to my IPad I can watch/listen online and sing along to a variety of songs.

My favourite band of all time is The Eagles and leads the way. 

1. Hotel California 

2.  Frank Sinatra – (1) The Way You Look Tonight, (2) My Way

3.  Anne Murray – Someday

4.  John Denver – Country Roads

5.  Garth Brooks – The Dance

6.  Elvis Presley – Can’t Help Falling In Love With You

7.  Celine Dion – The Power Of Love

8.  Johnny Cash – Sunday Morning Coming Down

9.   Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah

10.  Willie Nelson – (1) Always On My Mind and (2) City Of New Orleans

11.  Willie Nelson and Ray Charles – Seven Spanish Angels

12.  k d lang – I Wish I Didn’t Love You So

13.  Gordon Lightfoot – Early Morning Rain

14.  Ella Fitzgerald – Someone To Watch Over Me

15. Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson – Just A Closer Walk With Thee

16.  My Dad, Peter Stone loved to sing. This was his favorite song

On Moonlight Bay

Voices hum, crooning over Moonlight Bay
Banjos strum, tuning while the moonbeams play
All alone, unknown they find me
Memories like these remind me
Of the girl I left behind me
Down on Moonlight Bay
Candle lights gleaming on the silent shore
Lonely nights, dreaming till we meet once more
Far apart, her heart, is yearning
With a sigh for my returning
With the light of love still burning
As in of days of yore

We were sailing along
On Moonlight Bay.
We could hear the voices ringing;
They seemed to say,
“You have stolen her heart”
“Now don’t go ‘way!”
As we sang Love’s Old Sweet Song
On Moonlight Bay

Spokane and Paprika

This is a story about Paprika in Spokane, Washington but of course it all begins with GOLF.

If you have lived for any length of time in Alberta you must have heard about the affordable golf in Spokane. Spokane is not that far from Calgary, about 690 kms, and an easy drive. In the fall of 1998 a friend of mine suggested we take a golfing trip and we planned to leave October 18. I know I didn’t make the bookings online for the hotel accommodations and the golf tee times, I believe we had seen promotions of golfing in Spokane in golf magazines. For sure we were both familiar with the course Indian Canyon and I made phone calls to book the courses we wanted to play.

We arrived in Spokane in time for dinner and checked into our hotel. It was late by this time and right away I asked to be moved as we weren’t happy with the beds. Although they couldn’t accommodate a move that night they assured us we would be moved into a brand new room for tomorrow night. (Remodeling was taking place in the whole hotel!). They kept their word.

Our first 18 holes of golf were at the Creek at Qualchan. What a treat we were in for: a beautiful course, well maintained, smooth greens and away from the bustle of the city.

The Creek at Qualchan Golf Course

Day two took us to the Indian Canyon Golf Course. We were so excited to play this highly rated course. Well it was spectacular but very hilly. We had a hard time with the dog-legged holes to the left as both of us were most often hitting balls to the right. Uphill, sidehill and downhill lies made for pretty high scores for both if us!

The Indian Canyon Golf Course

Day three featured Hangman Valley Golf Course. This course featured well bunkered greens and Latch Creek which comes into play on seven holes. With wide fairways, you can launch your tee shots which makes the course fun to play. A well-marked course, mostly what you see is what you’ll get for your golf shots. We really enjoyed the open space of this course and scored much better here.

Hangman Valley Golf Course

Day four took us back to the Creek at Qualchan. We had booked just three rounds of golf to be able to pick one we like the best for our fourth game. We loved it at “the Creek” and we were not disappointed in our choice. We were paired with two young doctors, Ron and Bob, and we had such a good time. They were both really great golfers. Lucky for us they hit it long and straight down the fairways. This gave them lots of time to look for the errant shots we had into the trees. They were happy to be out golfing and so were we and it was so much fun.

Ron asked us if we had made plans for dinner that evening which we had not. He suggested we try this unique, small, restaurant called Paprika. He gave us directions to the restaurant as it was close to the hospital where they worked. I can’t remember exactly what it was that he told us to tell Larry, the manager of the restaurant. It was something that Larry would know came from Ron and he would treat us royally.

Paprika at its finest

We were excited to go for dinner. Paprika was a small place, maybe 600 square feet. There was wine and beer but no mixed drinks as Larry and his wife Karla (the chef) were the only staff. What a fantastic place, small tables and cozy. I had Lamb chops and my friend had Pot roast.

This was the first time I had seen on a menu mashed potatoes with several added choices:

  • Onions: green onions, shallots, garlic
  • Chives.
  • Thyme, parsley or rosemary.
  • Cream cheese.

There was an article in The New Yorker in October 1998 that had an article about mashed potatoes. A restaurant in Chicago, the Mashed Potato Club, offers more than 100 possible toppings for mashed potatoes, including anchovies, pickled beets, jalapenos, granola and peanut butter.

My dinner plate was awesome. The mashed potatoes were underneath the asparagus and to top it all was the lamb chops in a tee-pee formation. I believe dessert was sticky date pudding for two.

At the table next to us were two young women. I couldn’t help but notice they were trying all the appetizers, then portions of all the entrees. Curious as I am I asked them if they were reporters for some newspaper. They said yes they were sampling the items on the menu for the New York Times, Food Section. How cool a job was that?

When I searched the Paprika restaurant a few years ago I found although it had closed in 2006 there were these remarks I want to share with you. We were not the only ones who really appreciated the “Paprika”.

Paprika 1228 Grand Blvd., Spokane Washington

OK so I know Paprika restaurant closed in December 2009 (sob, sob,sigh).

This review is only historical in nature because this was THE best restaurant in all of Spokane and easily rivaled many top restaurants in the US. My wife and I, have enjoyed many fine meals and of course the scrumptious deserts at Paprika’s. 

They have been missed sorely, and in some ways I wish I would have taken Larry’s and Karla’s offer up to buy the place, but to follow in their footsteps would have been some pressure that I did not want, since I am enjoying my early retirement.

For everybody who ate a Paprika’s I am sure that you sorely miss them as much as I do and for those of you who missed out that is a shame. Spokane had for over 10 years one truly great restaurant.

Farewell Paprika’s and thanks for the memories

There was no name for the above but I’m sure many people could have written those kind remarks.

Thanks Spokane for a wonderful golf vacation.

My Friend Darlene

Once upon a time there was a one room schoolhouse I attended. It was called Stafford School. The school was some 14 miles from the villages of Strongfield, Loreburn and Glenside in Saskatchewan.

To the north of the school about one and one half miles lived the Fred Hauberg Family. They had two daughters Anna and Ruth. When I was young Anna had married Einar Larson and they lived in a small house in the Fred Hauberg yard. Ruth was married to Mike McIntosh and they lived in Glenside. Later on, after Fred and Mrs. Hauberg died, the Larson family moved into the Hauberg house and the McIntoshes moved into the small house.

All the Larson and McIntosh children attended Stafford school and that’s when I met Darlene and her sister Maxine along with their brothers.

When Darlene was finished High School she went to Saskatoon and she saw a big billboard advertising the need for military personnel. She immediately was smitten by the thought of an awesome adventure and she applied to join the air force. She was accepted and was soon on her way by train from Glenside to Montreal for basic training.

WOW. How courageous for a Saskatchewan farm girl!

After Darlene completed her military career her family moved to Calgary and she became a member of the Elks Golf Club. Darlene loved to golf and played many times a week at the club.

It was my brother Gerald who told me that Darlene was living in Calgary. He got her phone number for me from her brother, Neil, who still lives and farms in the area. I called Darlene and soon we were talking about having a golf game together. Many times I golfed with her both at her club and at clubs I liked to play. We always had a fun time and a good visit.

One day Darlene called me to say she had a hole in one that day on the Elks Golf course.. How excited I was for her! She said the club gave her $2,000.00 for her accomplishment and would I go with her to try out some new clubs. She fell in love with the Adams clubs and not only bought a set for herself but a set for her granddaughter as well.

I played as a guest several times in the Member/Guest tournament with Darlene at the Elks Club. One such occasion was called the “Dots and Stripes” tournament and this was the theme for the dress competition. You know I like to sew and I did not take this challenge lightly. I sewed dots and striped shorts and bought white shirts to decorate. Even our hats, wrist bands and socks were decorated in this theme.


The winners had cardboard cut outs of dots and stripes pinned to their shorts and shirts with Bobby Pins. We were shocked but this couple were close friends of the tournament committee. The crowd booed.

I was sad to hear that Darlene passed away awhile ago. She was a kind, generous person and a true friend of mine.