“Hello, Mountain child,” said a pleasant voice.
Golden spun to see who had addressed her with such a strange salutation and gasped in surprise.
A woman stood there. She had a square face, a flawless complexion, blue eyes accented with gold flecks, a perfect nose, classic lips, and a friendly smile. Her long, sunfloweryellow hair dangled to the middle of her back and was embellished with a copper brooch. She wore a royal-blue silk tunic and gold upper-arm cuffs. Her forest-green hooded linen cloak was trimmed with a light-green silk border, embroidered with sea-foam-coloured trinity knots, and secured by a woven yellow belt. A silver trinity-knot brooch secured the cloak to her breast. Her light-tan kneehigh boots were made from the softest calf leather.
She wore a stunning Celtic ring on her right hand, made of gold intertwined trinity knots, inset with a pink tourmaline gemstone, and bordered on each side by diamonds set in silver.
This must be the Green Lady or the Fairy of Kindness the villagers were talking about last week, Golden thought.
Excerpt from Dagger of Urachadh: Attack from the Underworld, p. 75-76.
Three and a half years ago my co-worker Rachel Johnson joined the Department of Surgery and her presence just brightened my work environment. I never knew sharing an office with someone could have such a positive impact on my life.
Rachel is an amazing and talented individual. She has her nursing degree and then she went on to take training to be a Nurse Practitioner. Just recently, Rachel finished her Masters in Nursing. Her educational pursuits and her drive to better herself are inspiring.
Rachel is always positive and uplifting. She never says an unkind word about anyone. Every day I come into to work anticipating what she has to say. Her zest for life is infectious. Her passion to help others and make the world a better place is contagious. Her eagerness to embrace new ideas and ways of doing things is refreshing. Thank you Rachel for giving your “light” to the world. I am so grateful to have you as my colleague and friend.
Karen E. Mosier
It was a beautiful July morning, the height of the growing season. Button had suggested that Golden walk to Butte Seachdad Mìle and check for herbs along the way. She had brought with her the new leather bag that Button had painstakingly made her, beautifully etched with a large round Celtic knot design on the front flap. Golden had been walking for more than two hours, enjoying all the sights and sounds of nature in full bloom, when she saw a breathtaking sight ahead of her. She quickened her pace.
Looming before her was a high, treeless rise, with pockets of bush and greenery here and there and cacti everywhere. Golden climbed higher and higher, watching for and picking herbs along the trail and placing them in her leather bag. The zigzagging path had short, steep sections and offered a breathtaking view of what she now knew was called the Whitemud River.
Finally, Golden stood on top, on an immense, flat plateau.
- Excerpt from Dagger of Urachadh: Attack from the Underworld, p. 74.
You can take winding trails all the way to the top of 70 Mile Butte but watch out that you don’t accidentally step on a prickly pear cactus. It is a bit of a steep climb but it is certainly worth the view. Once you make it to the top, you can see for miles. The butte overlooks the Frenchman River valley  and the endless mixed grass prairie, one of the largest tracks of undisturbed prairie in North America . 70 Mile Butte was one of my favourite sites to visit. It was definitely worth the drive to see it!
Karen E. Mosier
1. Robin and Arlene Karpan. 2018. Saskatchewan’s Best Scenic Drives. Frenchman River Valley. P. 27- 29. Parkland Publishing.
2. Robin and Arlene Karpan. 2017. The Great Saskatchewan BUCKET LIST. Prairie Panorama: Sunset Over 70 Mile Butte. P. 26-28. Parkland Publishing.
3. Parks Canada. Grasslands National Park. 70 Mile Butte. www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/sk/grasslands/activ/experiences/randonee-hiking/sentiers-trails/70_mile
As they reached the edge of the town, Golden knew (because Button had told her) that their first stop would be to see Mary Lynn Bannock. “Can you tell me about her?” she asked Button. “Who is she?”
“Ye will soon find out!” Button teased.
“Please tell me,” Golden begged.
Button relented. “She is nicknamed Mary Lynn ‘Bannock’ because she makes the best bannock in the River Clan territory. Her husband was a Brehon who was killed during one of the early Ivarian raids. This tragedy left Mary to fend for herself.
“She has three sons. Mark, her oldest son, works in the mines at Loch Craobh Beithe (Lock CRAY-of BAY-heh), in the Bog Clan territory. Morris, her second son, is a doctor in Geata (GATH-da). Her youngest son, Oliver, does street theatre in Caor and also performs at the summer and winter solstice celebrations.”
Golden nodded, intrigued.
“Any other woman might have given up once her husband passed away and just moved in with one of her children, but not Mary. Mary became a street vendor in the Caor town square. She started selling baked goods such as bannock, farl, soda bread, barmbrack, blaa, and scuffler.” He licked his lips, clearly thinking of her delicious baking.
“Ooh!” Golden gasped. “I can hardly wait to meet her. She sounds like quite the woman.”
“That was two years ago,” Button added. “Mary’s business has continued to grow and grow. Everyone in the land has heard about her, not only because of her amazing baking but also because of her remarkable bartering skills. Mary always seems to find whatever a customer is looking for, and somehow, each time, she manages to get the item for the best price. As a result, people throughout the Darach realm seek her out to find scarce items and to get a fair price on goods.”
Excerpt from Dagger of Urachadh: Attack from the Underworld, p. 110-112.
I started working in the Department of Surgery almost six years ago. I never imagined that I would have such a deep friendship with my co-worker Marilyn Baniak. She is sweet and kind and tells me about great sales so I get amazing deals on my purchases. In addition, she regularly brings baking to the office for us and it is so delicious! Every Christmas, she promotes inclusivity and buys everyone a gift.
I grew to respect her even more as the years went by. Her positive attitude and her happy disposition brighten our office. She is always ready to lend a helping hand no matter how busy she is. She doesn’t seek the spotlight for herself and is quick to praise those around her. What stood out the most for me was her gift of encouragement and how she always believes the best in me and continually encourages me to reach my full potential and achieve my personal and career goals.
I attended her retirement party yesterday. I will miss her greatly but we will continue to be good friends. At the party, her words touched me deeply when she said “my friends are just like family to me”. Marilyn is such an amazing person. I am grateful to have her in my life. She is such a positive female role model for me to aspire to and a true, blue friend.
Karen E. Mosier