Ambition finds Opportunity at Career Symposium


Hundreds of high school students and some adults packed the RBC Convention Centre Tuesday and Wednesday of this week for the 18th annual Rotary Career Symposium. Manitoba's and other leading educational institutions, Law Enforcement Agencies and a variety of other career options, including the trades and that's where Ashley Lynn Bantiles Wollmann comes in - she was part of the Women of the Building Trades display and explained to Al Friesen, why she felt it was important to be there:



Manitoba based HyLife was founded in 1994 as a joint venture and has quickly grown to become Canada’s leading pork producer, producing 1.4 million hogs annually in Canada and the United States. HyLife’s head office is in La Broquerie, Manitoba. Andrew Penner is HyLife's Manager of Training and Development, and explained to Al Friesen why he was at this week's Career Symposium:



Who knew that Manitoba is home to 400 for hire Trucking Companies. That message was presented by the Manitoba Trucking Assocation, which was side by side with Jade Transport, one of the many trucking companies in Manitoba. Mark Letkeman drew attention to the need for trucking industry employees in Manitoba:


MCC Manitoba 50th Anniversary a Success

"Sharing God's love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice" is the mission statement of MCC...and it was well represented this past Saturday night at the Knox United Church in Winnipeg in all that happened at the 50th Anniversary Benefit Concert.

The evening was filled with spectacular music by the University of Manitoba Women's Chorus, the Faith and Life Men's and Women's choirs, and the Buffalo Gals Drum Group. 

Former Prime Minister Joe Clark was in attendance to deliver the keynote address for the evening, and Michelle spoke with him about the importance of accepting this invitation from MCC Manitoba:

How Does YOUR Garden Grow? With Lawn and Garden Journal Host Duayne Friesen


April is recognized as National Gardening Month. That celebration was evident at the recent Gardening Saturday, which was relocated this year to the Victoria Inn, due to the encouraging growth of the show. Visitors to the 2015 show included Lawn and Garden Journal host Duayne Friesen


Truck Giveaway

A business owner from Elkhorn is driving around in a new truck thanks to a winter promotion by an Agri-business  retailer based in Brandon.

Mazergroup through its various outlets allowed customers to enter for a chance to win the 2015 Dodge Truck valued at $30,000.

“We got talking one day late last year and said we should do something to offer something for our customers” said owner Bob Mazer.

From that discussion the truck giveaway was idea took flight. Mazer said customers spending more than $25,000 dollars had their name entered for a chance at winning the truck.

Ten names were randomly picked for a chance to turn the key to unlock the truck. On Friday the ten people were at Mazergroup in Brandon. Each person picked a number to determine when they would turn their key and picked an envelope with a key.

Terry Paul of Elkhorn as it turned out was tenth and he was left with the last envelope and it contained the winning key.

Elexis Penner Blog: Minivan Musings


Stained Glass Secrets

by: Elexis Penner

Minivan Musings




I was in a parking lot trying to turn around in a tight spot. The van was responding in its usual nautical fashion, and I was very aware of the inches I had between me and an insurance claim.




Then the thought hit me, “It’ll be nice when we switch from a minivan to a car.”




And by car, I don’t mean Dodge Viper. I’m thinking anything with only four doors would feel positively Andretti-esque. And it’s not that our van is really that much of a boat. It’s not the tank of an automobile that I grew up with – a navy blue, Chevy cargo van.




This was before the time of seatbelt enforcement, so there was a bed in the back that we could sleep in on long drives. The sound system boasted an 8-track stereo on which we played mostly the Oak Ridge Boys. You could back into and over all kinds of things before you’d even think of making an Autopac claim. My dad didn’t really believe in pre-warming the vehicle, so the vinyl seats were a bit of a hardship in winter. And summer. There was no air-conditioning, which was awesome because we could always drive with the windows wide open. It was hard to hear each other at highway speed, but maybe my parents preferred it that way. There were eight cylinders under the hood and when my dad hammered down (which was pretty much never), we could hear the four-barrels open up and we felt like the A-Team. Sorta. Good times.




I don’t really have these pining-for-another-era moments very often. I’ve never been the type to consciously dwell on thoughts of, “I can’t wait until we’re done with diapers.” Or, “I can’t wait until I can walk through a room without stepping on Lego.” OK, that’s a lie – I have said that. But my brain just doesn’t stay there.




And it’s not because I’m some uber-content person. It’s not that I’m consciously thankful for the space and comfort of a minivan. I just don’t really give it much thought. And while this general short-sightedness has its upsides, it’s not always that handy when it comes to little things like life planning and/or the consequences thereof.




But I have dreamed some dreams.




After four babies and the ensuing sleep deprivation, I imagined that when the time came for them to go to school, I would be having luxurious 3-hour naps every afternoon. I’m talking full sleep cycle, phone unplugged, no alarm, sleep utopia. This has happened maybe twice. In seven years.




Or I always thought that once the kids were old enough to stay home on their own, we’d be going out for breakfast with other couples every Saturday morning. I actually don’t think that’s ever happened.




Then there are the things that I dreaded. When the kids were little, I thought that the teenage years would be unrelatable and distant, full of worry. And then adulthood would come and parenting would be over. But I’m loving these years, in many ways they are more connective, and it’s beginning to look like parenting isn’t over when they hit 18 – it continues to morph.




We can spend too much time eagerly anticipating things that aren’t all we’ve built them up to be, and too much time dreading things that may never come about.




Now, I’m not really talking just about gratitude. This isn’t so much about ‘If you can’t beeeee with the car you love, honey – love the car you’re with.’ I’m talking about being present. Sitting with things. As opposed to running from everything.




I’ve always thought that running from painful stuff was the easiest way. The safest way. And the words run and numb can be used interchangeably here.




But I’m finding that if you’re a runner, you probably run from everything. Even the good things. And what I mean, is that even in a happy moment, I always tend to find the downside, or move straight to the fear of losing the happiness. If my family sits down to dinner together, I feel happy because we’re all together. But it doesn’t take long until I think, “Well not for long, soon the kids will be grown and gone, and we’ll be here all alone, in our aloneness.” Oh brother.




We all know lyrics like ‘Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.’ But what has always seemed more practical to me was Simon and Garfunkel’s song, ‘I am a Rock.’ We’d rather stay unengaged, and numb ourselves with the anesthetic de jour than face painful feelings of a difficult circumstance. As the song goes, ‘If I never loved I never would have cried…’




I have started changing this. And it is very simple – and very difficult. And it involves stopping and being present.




I can be at work, worrying and feeling guilty about not being home with the kids. Then when I’m home, I feel guilty about being distracted at my work. Or, if I even catch a whiff of potential calamity pointed at our family, I move straight to panic mode. Then when the thing never actually materializes, all I’ve done is wasted everyone’s energy and modeled exactly what I don’t want to be.




This is a mad, demoralizing, debilitating cycle, and it keeps us from dealing with anything. And it can be really annoying to have reached a certain age before having the guts to throw a wrench into the whole dang contraption.




But, anyway, here we are.




Author and researcher Brene Brown writes, ‘We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.’




I think this is true.




But if we can trust, even a little, we can enter into it – all of it. Enjoy the beauty of it, or hate the unfairness of it, or cry over the loss of it.




Or we can run. But I think we just end of up being afraid all the time.




And we can live like this. We just can’t really live like this.