Martin Parnell -- "Right To Play"

One of the things we love best about our mornings in the studio are the stories we get to share. And we were all inspired this morning by Martin Parnell. 

Martin Parnell was born in England, now lives in Cochrane, Alberta and is a good friend of ultra-marathoner Albert Martens. We have had Albert join us before with tales of running in Churchill with the polar bears, running across the Sahara Desert and all in the name of charity -- for Albert it's Althetes in Action for his good friend Martin Parnell -- it's "Right to Play".

And that was just his first Quest! He is now on Quest #10 -- making his way across Canada -- "10 Universities, 10 Guinness World Records, 26 Days, 1 Cross Canada Trip"... that's how we got in his path...


Elexis Penner Blog: When Appliances Go Bad

Stained Glass Secrets

by: Elexis Penner

When Appliances Go Bad


When Appliances Go Bad



It’s official. My blender and I are, what you might call, mortal enemies. I know we’ve had some uncomfortable moments. But lately the ‘accidents’ have been occurring so often, that I really don’t think I can blame myself anymore.


In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that this machine might just have a mind of its own. A personality, really. And it is decidedly not benevolent.


It’s becoming quite apparent that when my blender shows up for morning smoothies, it arrives with ill will, like some culinary version of a Stephen King character. Except, instead of a car, it’s my kitchen machine. I’ve named her Martha – after the most formidable kitchen force in the universe.


I have to back up a bit, and provide some history so that y’all know that this is not me making stuff up.


This blender is actually a machine with a mixing bowl and blender. It all began with an innocent batch of chocolate chip cookies. I mixed the wet ingredients and had just added the dry, when the phone rang. I never had a chance to attach the lid (insert ominous violin music).


As I chatted on the phone, I spotted one of my kids, maybe 5 years old at the time, wander up to the mixer. I watched the events unfold as though in slow motion. Her eyes inspecting the machine, a burning curiosity clearly written on her face. But with the phone to my ear, and my unhelpful linear brain, there was nothing I could do. I was paralyzed as I watched her little hand reach up to the on-knob, with its perfect shiny numbers, just begging to be turned…


And then…. POOF. It spun to life, and a mushroom cloud of flour, sugar and chocolate chips spewed up into the air, hit the ceiling, and settled over the kitchen like volcanic ash.


As my daughter and I stared at each other, our facial expressions were slowly overtaken by the sure, sad reality that there would be no cookies. And I knew exactly who to blame. Martha.


When I asked my daughter why she had turned the knob, she simply said, “I wanted to see what it did.” Of course you did, my Angel.


Martha knows our weaknesses.


To be fair, I suppose I should go even further back to a time that one of the kids – actually it was the same kid – was making her own smoothie. She added all the frozen stuff, poured in the milk and put the lid on. She might have forgotten to attach the blade section, and basically poured milk directly into the motor. Martha never really sounded the same after that. I suspect that had something to do with her ummmm, temperament.


I recently got a different blender. It’s ancient – avacado green. But like most appliances that were built in the olden days, it works really well. As long as you don’t mind the slight burning smell as it starts up.


This morning, in my usual cloudy stupor, I added all the smoothie ingredients, and poured in some milk. As I was rummaging around in the cupboard for the lid, I came across – you guessed it – the blade and entire base section. Which I had not attached to the pitcher. Sigh…


I just stood there, staring at it with my usual deer in the headlights non-response. **Side note, I have no quick thinking – only quick speaking. Which is not nearly as useful. When I see an actual deer in the headlights, my one and only reaction is to close my eyes, and cover them with my hands.


One of the kids ran over with a bowl and was like, “Tip it over into here!!” All I had come up with was to try to quickly lift it and get my hand under there as everything poured out. Kind of like a really bad reverse version of the table cloth trick.


So, I don’t really know how to end this. On the one hand, I’m tempted to give up on early morning gadgetry – THE COFFEE MAKER DOES NOT COUNT SHAME ON YOU FOR EVEN THINKING IT.


But that would mean either giving up my morning smoothie, or trying to blend ice, spinach and frozen bananas the old fashioned way. Wait a minute – is there an old fashioned way?


No. There isn’t. Why not? Because my grandparents didn’t throw their breakfast in a machine so that they could slurp it on the drive to work and at their desk.


They made a full course meal and then sat down to eat it.




So anyway, I think I’ll try this again. Maybe add a few cleverly placed stickie note reminders for myself. Something like, “Do you ENJOY scraping spinach off of the floor and cabinets?” Or, “Do you HAVE TIME for a minor mental breakdown before work today?” Or perhaps, “How do you FEEL about yourself when you curse in front of the children?”


Martha will not get the best of me. I’ll have my fresh, delicious, healthy smoothies. It’ll take a little more than a few messy kitchen mishaps to ruin my morning routine. And besides, the kids hear worse language at school anyway. ;)






Raise the "Woof" Comedy Night -- Pembina Valley Humane Society

Raise the "woof" comedians and Pembina Valley Humane Society staff

It was billed as a night of comedy. The third annual Raise the "Woof"...A group of comedians who travel North America to raise funds for animal shelters. And when Al Friesen stopped by last week's event at Winkler's Quality Inn, Pembina Valley Humane Society fundraising coordinator Janet Granda took time out to share about the importance of the evening

Up for adoption: TOKYO
Mixed breed; DOB Jan. 2014


P.W. Enns Business Awards Gala

It is one of the premiere evenings recognizing the role of business in the community of Winkler, which has recently become an opportunity to be inspired by a nationally recognized leader.  Last night's keynote speaker was WestJet co-founder Don Bell. WestJet, based in Calgary grew from having three used Boeings and flights connecting Calgary, Edmonton, Kelowna, Vancouver, and Winnipeg, to serving 90 destinations in 20 countries throughout North and Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Last night's gala included a number of speakers sharing a "Westjet" story, highlighting the "fun" environment at the airline.  Don, pictured with MC Al Friesen, mentioned as well that was not by accident

They are referred to as the PW Enns Business Achievement Awards, and organized by the Winkler Chamber of Commerce, with recognition for Business Excellence, Business Builder for fewer and more than 10 employees, not for profit service award, and Customer Service Award, which was awarded to GTP. The G in GTP is Dale Gislason, who told Al Friesen later about the business partners in the Winkler business community

Elexis Penner Blog: Never Say Never

Stained Glass Secrets

by: Elexis Penner


Never Say Never


Do you know what irks me?


When I’m watching a movie or reading a book, and the character I relate to the most, is the one I like the least. I’m usually THAT guy.


When I read Gone With The Wind, as much as I wanted to be like the selfless and noble Melanie, I find I’m more like the short-fused and egomaniacal Scarlett. Ironically, she also wishes she was more like Melanie. More confirmation. Oh, fiddle-dee-dee!


Then there is real life. Or facebook. There is a thing that I like to call ‘The Facebook Mob’. Picture angry villagers with crude weapons – kind of like the witch scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.


The mob appears when someone posts a topic or concern (legitimate) and then comments come down really hard and fast and viciously against the alleged antagonist. Burn her – she’s a witch!!!!


The mob (the smug group of us who would never do the thing) often manifests itself on facebook. But it also shows up at our coffee nights, water coolers, or Bible Studies.


Sometimes the mob turns its attention on some mob-agreed-upon poor parenting strategies. And I’m thinking, “I’m THAT mom. I do that. We dealt with that here at our house. It was hard.“ It’s unsettling to be on the pointy end of the angry villager pitchfork. When it seems like everyone’s wrath is directed at you, or at least that thing you do.


I’ve been in the mob. I’ve rallied the mob. We don’t always notice (or care) that we’re part of it. The mob is much more visible when viewed from a distance, as human weaknesses usually are.


Of course, respectful, humble discussion of opposing views is healthy. Although it is typically hard to master – speaking from experience. But I’m not really talking about that.


What I’m talking about is when the general vibe of the thing is, “I would never…”


I would never allow my child to go to that party. I would never spend my money on that thing. I would never have given up on my marriage.


This week on facebook I read a compassionate comment in response to a difficult situation, “It’s very easy to say ‘I would never…’ But in truth, you don’t know unless you are there.”


You don’t know unless you are there. Period. End of story. If there are any exceptions, I can’t think of them.


My mom says, “Never say never – never is a long time!”


My use of ‘never’ declined sharply after we had kids. I used to say we’d never listen to Sharon, Lois and Bram in the van to keep the kids content. That I’d never allow my kids to watch that movie. That I’d never buy sugary breakfast cereal. Ok, I didn’t say that, but you get the picture.


I read a quote that said, “Every action stems from love or a need to be loved.”


Can I at least try to consider the path a person has travelled? Acknowledging that if I was handed the same character traits and the same life experiences, that I might very well be doing the same thing. This doesn’t necessarily mean condoning an action. But it is the beginning of compassion.


Of course the mob feels good. It’s security. It means we’d never do that thing. But it is based in fear. And it causes us to do silly things like putting our need to be right ahead of our calling to love our neighbour. Silly things like keeping someone down so that we seem upright. And silly things like rallying the mob.


If we stop to think about it, we’ve probably all been both – we’ve been the mob, and we’ve been that guy – the bad guy at the pointy end of the pitchforks.


Putting down a pitchfork and pulling up a chair instead is not usually fun. It costs something. But things change when we’ve attempted to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, if only by hearing them.


An overused adage, I know – but probably one of the most under-practiced.


Follow up: Since this blog was finished, I have caught myself not following this advice a schwack of times. Phooey… Ah well, onward and upward!! My mom says that a lot, too.

(VIDEO) Messy Munchkins Winner!

Home Furniture and Appliances owners Earl and Dorothy Braun, along with winners Shawna Wolfe and daughter Jadah!


Thanks to all who entered our Messy Munchkins contest, with a chance to win a washer and dryer pair valued at $1400 from Home Furniture and Appliances in Winkler! We have chosen our winner -- congratulations to Shawna Wolfe and her beautiful messy munchkin, Jadah!







Hospitality House Refugee Ministry

World Refugee day is June 20th, but for one Manitoba based organization, refugees are a year round concern. Hospitality House Refugee Ministry, based in Wpg, has over the past 25 years, grown into the largest single private sponsor, in terms of numbers sponsored, and landed here, in Canada. This faith based organization, was formed by sisters of an order of the Roman Catholic church, and has grown to include Anglican, Presbyterian, Catholics, United and Mennonite supporters.  Today, we put the spotlight on the work of Hospitality House. And for that, we contacted Executive Director Tom Denton.  Here is Tom's conversation with Al Friesen on the CFAM Morning show.  

Contributions can be sent to Hospitality House at 1039 Main Street, Winnipeg, R2W 3R2...or you can find out more information at

(VIDEO) 13th Annual St. Jean ATV Derby A Success



Altona Community Expo


A huge thanks today to the volunteers, businesses, and organization reps who helped host the Altona Community Expo this past Thursday and Friday. It's become more than a sale but also a chance to find out about the organizations and clubs that define Altona as a community.  An example of that was Dave Sawatkzy and Harvey Bergen who attracted attention with their model airplane Harv explained to me

Alzheimer Coffee Breaks -- Sandy Sandulak

We are invited to make our coffee count during the month of September, Alzheimer Awareness Month. A bunch of coffee breaks will be held throughout the region during September. Our CFAM onair team is hosting a coffee break and we received our official hosting kit from Sandy Sandulak of the Alzheimer Society of South Central Manitoba, who then explained about the importance of hosting a coffee break


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