Friday, 24 August 2012

Living on the fringe

This summer has really flown by. Just two more weekends and then it’s back to school. Can you believe it?

Most of my friends do a big family thing on the Labour Day weekend and take advantage of the extra day off – but my grandparents are farmers, and Labour Day isn’t a holiday. In fact, it’s one of the busiest times of the year.

So, this is our family weekend before my sister and I go to school. 

We’re going to start it off at the Fringe. Do you know what that is? Every year, Edmonton is host to a theatre festival where writers, actors, and producers take over Whyte Avenue, a part of the city, and put on dozens of plays. Edmonton’s Fringe is the second largest in the world - it’s awesome!

I don’t know if Grandpa will have time to come to the Fringe with us, but I know he’ll be there for our family picnic. I’m in charge of the salad this year – so I snuck one of Grandma’s salad dressing recipes. 

It’s easy:

Spritzer Raspberry Vinaigrette

15 mL syrup – pancake, maple, raspberry, etc.
5 mL white vinegar
15 mL water
10 mL canola oil

Measure all the ingredients into a spray bottle. Shake to mix well.  Take to the picnic and let everyone spritz on the amount they want on their salad. 

Gotta jet! I’m picking cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, carrots and tomatoes from Mom’s garden for my salad and then heading out for a run.

Have a great weekend!

- Chase Superman Duffy 

Hey! How about this imaginative ending to Gotta Jet by Vital Grandin Grade 4 student , Lucas.


As Chase saw an incomplete image of what appeared to be a scientist working on a device through the bushes right after the finish line, he sped swiftly across the racing track.

Neither Lightning nor the red-headed kid could catch up to the lightening-like speed Chase was going. Everything was going perfectly  until Chase’s foot sprang from the pedal accidentally. He realized the car was still going.

After three more miles of panic and anxiousness, Chase looked up to see a big, cement block as decoration, with a turn leading to the left where the finish line was. He looked up too late to turn to the finish line and crashed into the cement block and flew into the air, over a large bush, and landed into a device.

It didn’t take long for Chase to figure out it was a time machine.

Chase saw an unclear date, and that was the last thing he saw that day.

The rest of this story is to be continued by….YOUR imagination.


Friday, 17 August 2012

What if...?

I know the Olympics are over, but I can’t stop thinking about all of the athletes and how hard they have to work. I mean, the Olympics are the pinnacle of peak performance, right?

I’ve been practicing my running all summer. I even beat my personal best in the 50-meter dash. But Dad says I need to start thinking about the future – before I go into high school. Because what if I'm not good enough? Gulp.

It’s not that he doesn’t think I’m a good runner. My family is really supportive, especially Grandpa, who has never missed one of my track events. But even Grandpa thinks I should have a back-up plan.

I mentored at the library this year, and teaching kids how to read was pretty fun. I could be a teacher… I also love writing, so a career in journalism might not be so bad.  Maybe I could be a SPORTS REPORTER, for like TSN or something?

All I know is that lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to be when I grow up.  It’s not as easy as I thought…

Gotta jet. School is right around the corner so I’m taking advantage of the sunshine and hitting the BMW trails with Gordon. It’s just supposed to be for fun, but I bet it turns into a race.

Speaking of races, don’t forget to check below for the alternative ending Gr. 4 Vital Grandin student, Kail, wrote for Gotta Jet.

- Chase Superman Duffy


Chase was racing down the hill as his Grandpa and Kevin were cheering him on.

Chase was in first place heading toward the finish line faster than a speeding bullet. “Man, I feel like I’m in NASA,” Chase said, speeding down the bumpy road, heading closer to the finish line until…whoosh!

Gordon sped right past him.

But Chase wasn’t ready to give up. He released…THE JET!

Faster than ever, he simply shot past “Lightening” and crossed the finish line.


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Crafting with my little sister

My Mom had to go away on a work trip and my Dad couldn’t get the day off, so I stayed home to watch my little sister. It wasn’t so bad.

We started out watching The Princess Bride, one of our favourite movies. I made stove top popcorn for breakfast (sorry, Mom) and we ate the whole bowl.

But then we kind of got bored. I looked through our games, and there’s only so many times we can play Monopoly before my sister gets upset about losing, so I looked up a recipe on the Internet for play dough.

We created the most amazing things and had so much fun. I mean…if you’re forced to look after your sister and all…

Want to make your own? Here’s the recipe.
Remember, though, play dough is for playing with, not to eat!

Easy Dough
1 cup flour (250 mL)

1 cup salt (250 mL)

1 Tbsp. canola oil (15 mL) 
drink crystals for colouring 
enough water to form the dough.

Mix flour and salt. Add canola oil. Add drink crystals or food colouring to a couple of teaspoons   of water. Then, slowly add water until mixture is pliable (spongy and claylike).

Enjoy. Store in a used margarine tub plastic container. Make more colours.

Have fun!

Gotta jet.

- Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 3 August 2012

Lessons from the Olympics

Mom and I have been watching a lot of the Olympics. (Who hasn’t?)

Our Canadian athletes are doing so well in diving and rowing! I even watched the re-runs of those events with Grandpa. He’s  busy getting the marchinery ready for harvest and generally doing chores, so he can’t watch too much of the Olympics during the day. That’s ok, though, I send him texts from my Mom’s phone whenever Canada does well, so it’s almost like he’s watching with me.

Of course I’m cheering for Canada, but at this level of competition, it’s tough not to watch all of the athletes. I can’t even imagine all of the training required to make it to the Olympics.

Well, maybe a little. Watching the games has got me thinking about my track and field goals. Maybe it’s a little optimistic to think I might ever represent Canada at the Olympics, but why not aim for the stars? That’s what coach says.

And to quote one of my favourite authors, C.S. Lewis, “You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream.”

Gotta jet! We’re going on a family road trip for the long weekend, so I need to catch as much of the Olympics as I can now.

- Chase Superman Duffy

PS – Here’s another ending to Gotta Jet, by St. Vital Grandin school student, Noah. It’s all about being a good sport!


I started in the lead but then Lightening cut me off.


All of a sudden we’re going down the road banging against each other. Something got caught in my wheel. I spun out. Red Head won the match!

He got the first place trophy and I settled for second.

Even though I know I lost, my family and Kevin and his wife were still proud of me. I walked over to Red Head and shook his hand. He happened to be a good guy and we became good friends.